Saturday, 21 May 2016

On the Tooting by-election

It is rather interesting that the Tooting by-election, held due to Sadiq Khan resigning from the House of Commons to take up his post of Mayor of London, has as many as 14 candidates, especially when seven only appeared at the last minute.

This raises some interesting questions about this by-election, which has some similarities to the Henley by-election of 2008 caused by the resignation of Boris Johnson when he became Mayor of London; this by-election was in a safe seat (Tooting is reasonably safe for Labour since it is only marginal at times) and featured as many as 12 candidates from a wide variety of parties (and some independents).

My five key questions for the Tooting by-election, whose polling day is 16th June, are:

1. How high will the winning majority be?
2. With Labour's candidate and the Conservative candidate at the top and bottom of the ballot paper, how much of a difference will the order of the ballot paper make to the candidates' performances?
3. As the Greens finished third in Tooting at the last general election, can they save their deposit this time having firmly established themselves as London's third political party?
4. Can the prominence of this by-election ensure a decent turnout?
5. Who will take the wooden spoon for this by-election?

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