London goes to the polls
On Thursday voters decided who will occupy City Hall - on the SE1 riverside - as Mayor of London for the next four years, as well as choosing members of the London Assembly.
Londoners have a total of five votes on Thursday: a first and second choice for Mayor of London, a consituency and a party choice for the London Assembly, and one for the European Parliament election.
Lib Dem mayoral hopeful Simon Hughes with Charles Kennedy and Caroline Pidgeon meeting voters in Potters Fields Park
Mayor of London
After a lacklustre start to the contest, the campaign has gained momentum in the last 10 days or so. Polls show that incumbent mayor Ken Livingstone – now back in the Labour Party – has a narrow lead, with Conservative Steve Norris in second place.
On Monday the Lib Dems chose Potters Fields – with City Hall as the backdrop – to launch their policing policy. Leader Charles Kennedy was on hand to support local MP and Mayoral candidate Simon Hughes and the Lambeth and Southwark London Assembly aspirant Caroline Pidgeon.
The South Bank has hosted several debates between the Mayoral candidates – a health hustings at St Thomas' Hospital, an architecture and planning forum at the Royal Festival Hall and the joint ITV London/LBC Who Wants to be a London Mayor? show recorded at the London Studios in Upper Ground
Commuters at Waterloo and London Bridge stations have been bombarded by leaflets from the Lib Dems, the Respect Coalition and the Green Party in the last three days of the campaign alone.
London Assembly – Lambeth and Southwark consituency
Cabinet minister Baroness Amos with Labour's Val Shawcross at Blackfriars Settlement last month
Labour's Val Shawcross, who has served as Lambeth and Southwark's representative on the London Assembly for the past four years and acted as chair of the Albert Embankment-based London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, will be hoping to see off the threat from Lib Dem challenger Caroline Pidgeon.
Shawcross cites her campaigning for improvements to pedestrian crossings in Borough, London Bridge and Jamaica Road among her achievements for the SE1 area.
Former Southark Council deputy leader Pidgeon, speaking to the London SE1 website on Monday, says that feedback on the doorsteps shows that voters want "someone who lives locally" to represent them on the Assembly. She added that the Cross River Tram, Red Routes and crime were among the key issues for voters in the constituency, though she is aware of the differences between the areas she hopes to represent: "Borough and Bankside is very different to Dulwich" she says.
Tory London Assembly hopeful Bernard Gentry, a London Underground station supervisor on the Victoria Line, is campaigning for the abolition of the congestion charge, a move unlikely to strike a chord in SE1 where polls have shown strong backing for the charge.
The UK Independence Party's Frank Maloney is standing for both the Mayoralty and the Lambeth and Southwark London Assembly constituency
Counting of ballot papers from Lambeth and Southwark begins on Friday morning at Brixton Recreation Centre, where the constituency London Assembly result will be declared. Mayoral and London-wide assembly results will be transmitted to City Hall for calculation.
The Mayor of London and overall London Assembly results will be declared at City Hall on Friday evening at around 7pm.
City Hall will also be the setting for the declaration of the London region results of the European Parliament election on Sunday evening at about 10pm.