This Thursday (3rd May) 5.8 million voters get their say on who they want as Mayor of London and the 25 London Assembly members for the next four years.
With campaigning in its final days London Elects – the body that runs elections to City Hall – is urging voters to make sure they know how to fill in their ballot paper and where to vote.
Over the past week the body has been distributing millions of information booklets containing details about the elections and how to vote.
The booklets also include mini-manifestos from the seven candidates for Mayor and details of London Assembly candidates.
At the polling station voters will be given three ballot papers, one for the Mayoral election, one for their local London Assembly constituency and one for the London Assembly ‘list’ election.
London Elects say: “Voters should mark a first and second preference with a cross when they make their choice for Mayor on the pink ballot paper.
“When voting for their constituency London Assembly Member, voters mark one cross on the yellow ballot paper for the person they would to represent their local area.
“Similarly, voters mark one cross on their orange ballot paper for the political party or independent candidate who they want to represent the whole of London.”
Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm on 3rd May and voters can find their polling station via a search engine on the www.londonelects.org.uk website.
John Bennett, Greater London Returning Officer, says: “It only takes a few minutes to vote on the three ballot papers for the Mayor of London, Constituency London Assembly Members and London-wide Assembly Members.
“This is your chance to say how you would like your London for the next four years, and who should be in charge of an annual budget of about £14bn budget. The decisions made by the Mayor and the Assembly affects every single person living in London.”
Around 4,000 polling stations will be open across London from 7am to 10pm. Research commissioned by London Elects, and carried out by Ipsos MORI, shows that some people are already planning when they will go out and vote. In the survey, 32% of Londoners said they will vote in the evening after 6pm and 52% said they will be voting on their own rather than with family members of friends.
But running out of time on polling day was one of the main reasons that people gave for not voting at the last election. Of those that don’t always vote, 21% of those questioned (the most common answer) said that lack of time or being too busy was the most important reason for not voting.
Mr Bennett adds: “Whether you go in the morning, at lunchtime or after work, it is important to make sure you make the time to vote on 3rd May. It only takes a few minutes to have your say on who runs London for the next four years. So don’t leave it too late and miss out on having your say on 3rd May.”
Candidates for Mayor include Jenny Jones (Green party), Ken Livingstone (Labour), Lawrence Webb (UKIP) Boris Johnson (Conservative) and Brian Paddick (Liberal Democrat). A full list of candidates can be found here.