There are still a few weeks to sign up if you want to help decide the Conservative candidate for London's Mayor. Registration costs £1, and online voting kicks off following hustings next month. Any old left-winger can sign up, but nobody seems to think it's a risky political gamble to open up the selection to the public because the end result is a foregone conclusion. The chosen candidate will be announced at the end of September, after due process has been seen to be done, leaving barely seven months for the victor to campaign for the Mayorship.
So who's in the running, and what might their chances be?
• Andrew Boff (@andrewboff): Although he never made it as an MP, Andrew has considerable experience as a London Assembly member, and long ago was leader of Hillingdon council. Has contested the Conservative nomination for the London mayoral elections three times previously, without success. His website features a sign-up page and nothing else. I've Googled, but I have no idea what he proposes to do about fares. Won't be chosen, wouldn't be elected. "London's democracy needs to change."
• Zac Goldsmith (@zacgoldsmith): Aristo-environmentalist Etonian, and the MP for Richmond Park. Friend of Boris, and darling of the Evening Standard. Outspoken critic of Heathrow expansion, which either will or won't harm his Mayoral chances. Won't let you read his website unless you agree to accept cookies. Wants to cut rail fares, I think. A shoo-in to be chosen, and a tough opponent for the Labour challenger. "London needs a Mayor who can work with Government to get the resources that London needs to deal with massive pressures on housing, transport and policing but is also strong enough to stand up to the Government when it gets things wrong,"
• Stephen Greenhalgh (@team_greenhalgh): Bluff suited gent, and the only candidate with current experience of GLA power as Boris's Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime. Previously leader of Hammersmith and Fulham council, with a national reputation for service slimdown and cost-cutting. Wants a four year bus fare freeze, and annual rail/tube fare cut. Campaign website is mostly character validation. Won't be chosen, wouldn't be elected. "London provides a huge engine of opportunity but our capital city also faces huge challenges that will not be solved by glib solutions."
• Syed Kamall (@syedkamall): A Londoner of Guyanese descent, with a background in business. Currently an MEP, and Chairman of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group in the European Parliament. Has a website, but with no mayoral focus. I've Googled, but I have no idea what he proposes to do about fares. Won't be chosen, wouldn't be elected. "Just as I have achieved some success, I want to make sure all Londoners have the opportunity to achieve their ambitions."