Tower Hamlets mayoral elections: Who are the candidates, who is going to win and how will the vote split change from last year?

 
Catherine Neilan
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A polling station in Bethnal Green: This year's election looks to be a two-horse race (Source: Getty)
Tower Hamlets is going to the polls, for yet another hotly contested election, just one year after the last vote.

Why is it being held now?

Tower Hamlets voters went to polls just over a year ago, with incumbent Lutfer Rahman being returned with a small majority over his Labour rival John Biggs.
But, an investigation was prompted following accusations of large groups of people “obstructing or intimidating” voters.
In April of this year the Electoral Commissioner ruled that Lutfur Rahman was guilty of electoral fraud. He was removed from office with immediate effect – leading to then-communities and local government secretary Eric Pickles effectively taking over.
But this election has not been without its accusations. Police are investigating apparent “abuses” after Rabina Khan election leaflets were distributed by being tucked inside a Tower Hamlets Homes information document.
Khan denies any wrongdoing.

Who are the candidates?

Looking at the forecasts, this is really only a two horse race: Labour's John Biggs against independent candidate – and former colleague of Rahman – Khan.
Biggs is a former leader of Tower Hamlets Borough Council, who once worked as a financial analyst in the City.
Labour has been going all-out to back him, with likes of Tessa Jowell campaigning on his behalf.
Jowell said: “Labour has a fantastic candidate in John Biggs. He’s a decent, dignified man who has always stood up for what is right. He has always stood up for decency in politics and he understands that the way Labour wins elections is by building a movement based on our values and the change we want to see in our communities.”
Khan, who came to England from Bangladesh when she was three, is a cabinet member for housing at Tower Hamlets Council. She is also the author of two books. She has been backed by Rahman, her former boss.
In an interview with IBT Khan said: "Labour and the Tories' only real message is that they are not Lutfur Rahman – neither am I.
“I am happy to be associated with someone who helped me deliver record numbers of affordable homes, stand up to the bedroom tax and provide a £2.2m Preventing Homelessness Fund.
"The forgotten story of Lutfur Rahman is that his administration supported some of the most vulnerable people in our borough."
Other candidates include Tory Peter Golds, Elaine Bagshaw of the Liberal Democrats, John Foster of the Green Party, Andy Erlam of the Red Flag - Anti Corruption – running specifically against the issues that have plagued previously Tower Hamlets elections - Vanessa Helen Hudson of the Animal Welfare Party, independent candidates Hafiz Abdul Kadir and Motiur Rahman Nanu, and Ukip's Nicholas McQueen.

Who will win?

It is looking like a very tight race, but bookies are tipping Biggs as the favourite.
Ladbrokes has him on 2/5 while Khan is on 2/1. The closest candidate thereafter is Golds, who has odds of 20/1.
But how will the vote split? Here is what Ladbrokes reckons it will look like for first preferences – and the two charts below show how it panned out last year.


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