Zac Goldsmith, MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston, has been elected as the Conservative Party’s candidate for London Mayor in 2016 in an online ballot.
Goldsmith beat his rivals winning 70% of the 9,227 votes cast. Votes were cast ‘predominantly online’ with voters also able to take part via post.
The number of those who took part was however, significantly fewer than those who voted for Labour’s candidate, Sadiq Khan. 87,884 voters turned out for Labour’s selection. The BBC reports that some Conservatives have called for an ‘inquiry’ into the Mayoral selection process.
Both Zac Goldsmith and Sadiq Khan have backed WebRoots Democracy’s campaign for online voting following a poll by WebRoots and YouGov which found that 59% of Londoners are in favour of implementing online voting for the 2016 London Mayor election. Goldsmith said it is time for a ‘proper debate’ on online voting, and writing for WebRoots in October last year, Khan emphasised the need to ‘drag our democracy into the 21st century.’
Goldsmith’s online election now means that all main political parties in the UK have adopted online voting for their own party elections. Labour’s leader, Jeremy Corbyn, was recently elected in the largest online voting election in UK history with 81% voting online. In London, the Liberal Democrat candidate Caroline Pidgeon, and the Green Party’s candidate Sian Berry were both elected in online ballots. Last year, the Scottish National Party also adopted online voting to elect their new Deputy Leader, Stewart Hosie.
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