Sunday, 24 April 2016

Make a difference to the London Assembly

While the mayoral election gets the attention, the role of the London Assembly is crucial in shaping how our city is run and it's also where your vote is most likely to get a result.

What can the London Assembly do?

London Assembly members pressured Boris to deliver on Cycle Superhighways, pushed for HGV safety improvements and held the authorities to account when things went wrong (such as mis-targetting of safe cycling by Operation Safeway). They have the power to amend the Mayor's budget if they vote with a two thirds majority.

They also question the mayor & key officials in detail - finding out what TfL is up to, teasing out the substance behind the announcements or getting the latest statistics. You may never have read about the Mayor's Question Time, but many/most of the articles about infrastructure or HGV safety will have been informed by answers to these questions.

In particular, this campaign has benefited from the work of Green Party and Liberal Democrat assembly members, especially Darren Johnson.

How to make your vote count for the London Assembly

If you want your vote to make a difference for London, in the London Assembly you have the chance to do that, even if you don't support one of the two most popular parties. This is because a portion of the members are chosen using proportional representation - the orange ballot paper.

The London-wide Assembly Members are elected from votes for different parties on the orange ballot papers. Details of the calculation can be found here, but for the smaller parties essentially it boils down to:

  • 5% - One Assembly Member
  • ~8% - Two Assembly Members
  • 11-12% - Three Assembly Members
The exact percentages vary slightly depending on how the other parties perform and parties getting less than 5% are not counted. For the larger parties the number of members are around 1 member per 4% of the vote.

You cast your vote by putting an 'X' by one of the parties, but as long as they win at least 5% of the vote your vote will help elect a representative to the London Assembly.

Your vote can make a difference

I hope you've found this helpful and if you've got a vote, please use it!