07:26 GMT +325 April 2019
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    Journalist Rachel Johnson

    London Mayor Race: 'Poor Tories,' Nigel Farage & Boris' Sister in 2020 Election

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    As public support for the incumbent London Mayor has plunged to its lowest level, the talk of a strong Conservative opponent to challenge Sadiq Khan in the next election is rife.

    Up to date, Boris Johnson remains the only Conservative mayor of London, following his victories in 2008 and 2012.

    The Tories have shortlisted three candidates to run against Mr. Khan in 2020, including Members of the London Assembly Shaun Bailey and Andrew Boff and the first woman to be shortlisted for the Conservative party's London Mayoral Candidacy, councilor Joy Morrissey. 

    Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis praised the Tory candidates and urged them — if named the winner in September — to "take on Sadiq Khan for his failings in crime, housing and transport."

    Mr. Khan has come under sharp criticism for his handling of the surging crime in the British capital and management of Transport for London (TfL) funding.

    According to a YouGov poll for Queen Mary University of London, the Labour mayor saw his approval rating has slump from +22 in May this year to just +4 this month.

    "In April 2018, Sadiq Khan was still ahead among those aged 50-64, working-class Londoners, those living in outer London and white voters. He's now behind among all of these groups. When we first started polling, he was one of the most popular politicians in Britain. Such was his cross-party support, he even had net positive support from Conservative voters. Those days are long gone," Philip Cowley, Professor of Politics at Queen Mary and Director of the Mile End Institute, said.

    The poll has also revealed that both main parties are losing public support. Given the popularity decline of Labour and Conservatives, it remains to be seen if during the 2020 mayoral election a 'major party' candidate manages to snatch victory.      

    Smaller parties, on the other hand, have experienced an increase in backing.

    "Support for the Liberal Democrats rose five percentage points from 10 per cent in April to 15 per cent in September. The Greens are now on five per cent, double their performance in the general election. UKIP have also doubled in support in the same time period from 2 per cent to 4 per cent," the poll showed.

    Former UK Independence Party leader, Nigel Farage, announced in August he was considering running for London mayor. 

    The Yougov poll revealed, however, that "Londoners reject the notion of Nigel Farage standing as a Mayoral candidate for UKIP in 2020." Sixty-two percent of respondents opposed Mr. Farage, 16 per responded 'Don't Know' and 22% said they would support the outspoken Brexiteer.

    Among the potential candidates of Liberal Democrats is British journalist and sister of the former London mayor, Rachel Johnson.

    Despite the rise in popularity of smaller political parties, the major player candidates are more likely to assume the London mayor office in 2020.

    According to a Farage ally who spoke to the Financial Times, "the three Tory candidates are so poor… no one expects any of them to win." The Conservatives may face the need to step up their game if they'd like to see Labour give up their hold on the British capital.

    READ MORE: Johnson Lines Up With Trump in Attack Against 'Pathetic' London Mayor Khan

    The next London mayoral election will be held on 7 May, 2020. 


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    London mayor, mayor, election, Sadiq Khan, Boris Johnson, United Kingdom
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