The Tories chose Zac Goldsmith to contest the London mayoral election on Friday, as the Richmond and North Kingston MP smashed the competition to secure 70 percent of the votes cast.
Goldsmith’s nearest rival and MEP Syed Kamall failed to secure even a quarter of the ballots of the winner, with deputy mayor for crime and policing Stephen Greenhalgh and London Assembly member Andrew Boff limping into third and fourth.
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The extent of Goldsmith’s victory emphatically confirms expectations that he would contest the London mayoralty against Labour candidate Sadiq Khan, with some speculating that the Tories deliberately chose weak rivals to ensure his candidacy.
The Richmond and North Kingston MP has earned public attention for his opposition to expansion at Heathrow Airport, as well as his considerable personal wealth, which is estimated at £280m.
Many see him as a continuity candidate for the current London mayor Boris Johnson, and Goldsmith has even hired Lynton Crosby to run his campaign, a move Johnson made back in 2012 and David Cameron made in the recent general election.
Image Credit – Zac Goldsmith, June 2013 by Policy Exchange