It’s not always easy to distinguish the positions of the London mayoral candidates this year, especially if you are simply reading their official statements. Many say superficially similar things about housing, transport or the environment. Where do they really stand, what are the differences between them, and who is the best match for each voter’s political viewpoint?
Crowdpac has applied our unique objective data to answer these questions. Our UK political algorithm is based on social network analysis of Twitter followings, as well as processing of candidates' speech and text and other data. We have mapped the positions of mayoral candidates, national politicians and parties on both economic issues (from left to right), and social issues (from liberty to authority).
Here is the real map of the mayoral candidates’ positions, based on Crowdpac's big data analysis of millions of political signals:
The Crowdpac map of London mayoral candidates reveals some striking facts about their real political positions. Conservative Zac Goldsmith’s position is revealed as clearly the most centrist or “moderate” of the major party candidates:
The Crowdpac data places Sadiq Khan as similar on the social spectrum, but significantly more left-wing than Zac is right-wing:
Sian Berry of the Green Party is also “Liberty Left”, but clearly the most left-leaning of all the candidates on economic policy:
Peter Whittle of UKIP is strongly right-wing, and leans moderately toward authority over liberty:
Also in the “Authority Right” quadrant, but leaning almost completely toward authority, are David Furness of the British National Party and Paul Golding of Britain First. These two candidates appear almost identical in their positions.
Caroline Pidgeon of the Liberal Democrats has a much stronger position on social liberty than on economic issues, although she leans clearly to the left:
Sophie Walker of the Women’s Equality Party is also “Liberty Left”. Interestingly, she appears both to the left of and more libertarian than Sadiq Khan.
Lee Harris of the “Cannabis is Safer Than Alcohol” party is the most libertarian of the candidates, and also strongly left-wing:
Jan Zylinski, the Polish aristocrat running as an Independent, is another moderate but very slightly to the right of Zac Goldsmith – and he says he was approached by some Conservatives as a possible candidate for their party.
George Galloway’s position on this map seems at first glance the most surprising: the Respect candidate appears very close to Sadiq Khan, slightly more libertarian but slightly less left-wing. Commentators might have expected him to appear further to the left. However, Galloway holds an unusual mix of opinions and has followers with a wide diversity of perspectives, which may account for this result.
By answering a few simple questions, London voters can use the Crowdpac matchmaker service to establish their own position on this map and to find their best matches among the parties and candidates for Mayor.
Finally, we have compared Zac and Sadiq’s positions to those of other leaders in their party. Goldsmith is well to the left of both David Cameron and current Mayor of London Boris Johnson.
And Khan is well to the right of Jeremy Corbyn – but to the left of former Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, who is one of the few politicians appearing in the “Authority Left” quadrant.
In the coming weeks and months, Crowdpac will continue to publish data stories about where Britain’s politicians really stand. We also plan to help undecided voters make up their minds about how to vote in the EU referendum.
For now, we hope this data is informative and interesting for voters and the media as London and the UK go to the polls...