LDV survey: who Lib Dem members want to be the party’s candidate for Mayor of London

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of the early race for the party presidency, the London mayoral selection, Trident, and the Labour leadership. Over 400 party members have responded, and we’re currently publishing the full results.

LDV asked: The following names have been suggested as possible contenders to take on Boris Johnson for the elected position of Mayor of London. Who would you like to see stand as the Lib Dem candidate for Mayor of London?

  • 12% – Lembit Opik
  • 11% – Brian Paddick
  • 15% – Susan Kramer
  • 14% – Caroline Pidgeon
  • 26% – Floella Benjamin
  • 3% – Other (please state)
  • 19% – Don’t know / No opinion

The most popular choice in our sample of party members, then, was newly-ennobled peer, Baroness (Floella) Benjamin, who attracted over a quarter of the vote. A little distance behind was Susan Kramer, currently running to become Lib Dem party president, just ahead of Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Lib Dems on the GLA. Finally came Lembit Opik and Brian Paddick. Over a fifth of members expressed no opinion.

There is a slight fly-in-the-ointment in this question: it seems neither Floella nor Caroline nor Brian nor Susan are likely to stand; which leaves only Lembit as a declared candidate for the role. As you might expect, the response in respondents’ comments in the survey indicated Lembit’s marmite status — many said they would vote for anyone but Lembit; others said Lembit was the only character big enough to take on the Ken and Boris show for the Lib Dems.

One other candidate has also been mooted this week: Duwayne Brooks, a recently elected councillor in Lewisham, who has long been in the public eye as the friend of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence. He’s bound to face some questions about his experience, but his candidacy will certainly make for an interesting contest among London Lib Dems as the party selects its Mayoral choice.

You can view the results of all our LibDemVoice.org members’ surveys here.

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This entry was posted in LDV Members poll.


  • Roger Crouch 22nd Sep '10 - 12:08pm

    Listening to Caroline Pidgeon at a couple of fringe events, I have been impressed with her quiet confidence and knowledge of the issues, particularly transport issues. I hope Caroline stands for the mayoralty but also stands for the GLA list.

  • david thorpe 22nd Sep '10 - 3:42pm


    caroline is to be on the selecion committe which interviews candidates, her acceptence of this role means she is ruling herself out, but I agree she is very good

  • It’s clear from the poll that Lembit is a candidate big enough to take on Boris and Ken on their own terms. Lembit declared his interest many months ago and has the time and energy to match the ‘big beasts’ in a long campaign. He has a group of supporters that has been meeting for several months planning the upcoming campaign for the nomination. Many are young and/or councillors but they are committed to Lembit and will fight a vigorous campaign.

    Meetings are being arranged across London with borough parties and we hope to visit every borough during the nomination campaign to bring onside those who are backing other candidates at present. Lembit4London has raised funds for the publicity and organisation required for the campaign for the nomination. He has worked for the party in local and national government and will seek to unite all elements of the party if successful. In addition Lembit will appeal to Central/East European voters who could be significant this time, and offers the best hope for our party to challenge Labour and the Conservatives.

    Ed Joyce

  • Jane Manning 22nd Sep '10 - 6:14pm

    I think Lembit would be great because he has the confidence to take on the battle and is a highly visible/well known individual. Love him or hate him you can’t deny he has bags of energy, enthusiasm and courage.

  • George Morris 22nd Sep '10 - 6:31pm

    Not quite sure how you think this poll shows Lembit is “big enough” for anything. All this poll shows is that there are four candidates who are preferred by the party membership. I don’t think that somebody who can win over 12% of the party is necessarily qualified to take on Boris and Ken.

  • Can we assume from his enthusiasm for a role in London that Lembit’s commitment to mid Wales is no more?

  • I haven’t heard about Duwaine running but it’d be great. I’ve met him during the Earl’s Court by-election campaign and I think he’d be a very good candidate, though I suspect his youth might play against him.

    But please not Lembit!

  • I met Duwayne briefly at Conference and was very impressed. He certainly sounds like the best choice and I feel confident he would be a distinctive and media-friendly, as well as hard-working Mayoral candidate. Unlike some (see above), I think he’s also realistic about what the Party’s goals are for the 2012 elections and what the role of the Mayoral candidate should be in that 🙂

  • Roger Crouch 23rd Sep '10 - 7:53am

    I had not realised Caroline was on the selection committee. Ed Joyce makes the case for Lembit; Iain Dale makes the case why I am looking for an “Anyone but Lembit” candidate: http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2010/09/lembit-you-cannot-be-serious.html – it is a pity Lembit has become the party’s jester; when he is serious he articulates liberal values in a compelling way.

  • @ed – can you explain what happened with lembit on iain dale last night please?

  • Matthew Huntbach 23rd Sep '10 - 2:48pm

    This whole conversation illustrates how ridiculous is this executive mayor system. I do not see any positive case for Mr Opik being put forward as candidate on the basis of the well-being of the people of London. If the system is such that the well-being of the people of London is not a major aspect of who is most suitable to be put forward for this post, then it demonstrates how wrong the system is.

  • Lembit Opik lost the right to stand for elected office when he lost a safe Lib Dem seat at the General Election.

    He is a joke and IMHO will be an embarrassment if he is allowed to stand.

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