What’s the story?
Zac Goldsmith has been given the go-ahead from his constituents to stand as the Conservative candidate in the Mayor of London election.
With Boris Johnson standing down as London Mayor after eight years in the post, the Conservative Party needs a charismatic candidate to pick up where Bo Jo left off. For many, Goldsmith is the man to stand in the 2016 Mayoral election.
Signs that Goldsmith would stand became increasingly apparent after his huge General Election victory back in May. He was one of few Tory MPs in London to excel, growing his majority in Richmond Park to over 35% (until 2010 the seat was held by the Lib Dems).
However, the 40 year old always maintained that he would never seek election if his local constituents felt it would interfere with his ability to serve them as their local MP.
A month ago, Goldsmith (who is the brother of media personality Jemima Khan) sent out ballot papers to his 77,000 constituents to ask if they would support him in contesting the right to stand as the Conservative candidate in next year’s election.
Yesterday he revealed the results of the primary. Some 79% of respondents believed that he should enter the mayoral race, compared to only 18% who were against the idea.
In the hours after the result, Goldsmith appears to have selected former Enfield North MP, Nick De Bois, will chair his campaign, with Lynton Crosby - the Australian mastermind behind the national Tory campaign at the General Election - on hand to offer advice along the way.
Although he is the favourite to win the Conservative nomination, he faces competition from businessman Ivan Massow, MEP Syed Kamail, and former England footballer Sol Campbell.