Page last updated at 10:23 GMT, Thursday, 3 April 2008 11:23 UK

Q&A: London mayoral election 2008

What are the responsibilities of London's mayor?

Ken Livingstone, Brian Paddick and Boris Johnson
Ken Livingstone, Brian Paddick and Boris Johnson are all candidates

The role is described as being one which promotes "economic development and wealth creation, social development and the improvement of the environment" in the UK's capital. The mayor has responsibility for policies regarding London's transport, planning and development, culture and the environment. He or she also sets the budgets for the Greater London Authority, the Metropolitan Police and London Fire Brigade, Transport for London and the London Development Agency.

How long has the role of mayor existed?

The first mayoral election was held in May 2000. It was won by Ken Livingstone, who stood as an independent candidate, having been exiled by Labour. By the time the next poll took place, four years later, Mr Livingstone had been welcomed back by the party and won the election as a Labour mayor.

Is there a limit on the time a mayor can serve?

Not at present. Last year an attempt was made in Parliament to curtail the position to two four-year terms. However, this was rejected by MPs.

When is the next election for mayor?

Thursday, 1 May.

What is happening on that day?

Registered voters will be given a ballot paper offering the chance to pick a first-choice and a second-choice mayor. They do not have to select a second-choice candidate but if they do, this vote will count towards the complicated process of elimination which will be used during the count.

If one candidate has secured an outright majority of more than 50% of the first-choice votes, they are automatically declared to be mayor. If this does not happen, the two candidates with the most first-choice votes will be announced (let's call them A and B) and the others will be eliminated. The ballot papers of the eliminated hopefuls will be re-examined and if there are any votes for candidates A and B, these will be added to their totals.

Whoever has the most votes between candidates A and B is declared mayor. If the results are tied at this stage then the Greater London Returning Officer draws lots.

When it comes to voting for the London Assembly, each ballot paper offers two choices. Voters can pick a candidate and also a party to support. There are 14 constituencies and the candidate with the most votes in each area will be elected.

A further 11 seats are available under the proportional representation system. These will be allocated from the second votes to the different parties under a complicated method known as the d'Hondt formula. Assembly members will be chosen from a further list of candidates held by each party. If party A receives two seats, then the first two people on its list are elected, and so on.

Who is running for mayor?

Labour's Ken Livingstone is seeking to secure his third term in the position. Boris Johnson is the Conservative candidate, with Brian Paddick standing for the Liberal Democrats. Gerard Batten is standing for the UK Independent Party, Lindsey German for The Left List, formerly known as Respect, Richard Barnbrook for the British National Party and Sian Berry for the Green Party. Alan Craig is standing for Christian Choice, while Winston McKenzie is running as an independent candidate. Matt O'Connor will represent the English Democrats

Who can vote?

Residents of London's 32 boroughs - plus the City of London - are eligible to vote, as long as they are on the electoral register.

How do I register to vote?

Anybody who was not already on the electoral roll could have asked to be added - but the deadline for this was 16 April.

When will the results be known?

Ballot papers will be "securely stored" overnight at counting centres at Alexandra Palace in Wood Green, the Excel conference centre in Docklands and the Olympia hall in Kensington. Electronic counting will begin at 0830 BST on Friday, 2 May, and it is likely to take about 12 hours to complete. Ballot papers are scanned through special machines which count the votes and take into account the different voting methods. The winner of the mayoral contest, and the results of London Assembly seats, are due to be announced that evening.

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  Councillors Councils
Party +/- Total +/- Total
CON 257 3155 12 65
LAB -334 2365 -9 18
LD 33 1804 1 12
PC 31 205 -1 0
OTH 10 898 0 0
NOC - - -3 64
159 of 159 councils declared.

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Results in more detail

London Mayoral results
Overall results
Name Party Votes
Johnson CON 1,168,738
Livingstone LAB 1,028,966
Paddick LD 878,097
Berry GRN 409,101

Find your results

Results in more detail

London Assembly Results
Overall results
Party Constit' Top-up Total seats
CON 8 3 11
LAB 6 2 8
LD 0 3 3
GRN 0 2 2
BNP 0 1 1

Find your results

Results in more detail


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