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HomeNewsHarrow residents on Susan Hall as voting continues in Mayoral Election

Harrow residents on Susan Hall as voting continues in Mayoral Election

Londoners had the opportunity today (Thursday, May 2) to vote for their next mayor.

Up against the incumbent Labour candidate, Sadiq Khan, is one of Harrow’s Conservative councillors, Susan Hall.

In the run up to the election, Hall has come under heavy criticism from parts of the media and electorate for her questionable use of social media, not knowing how much a London bus fare is, and claiming that her wallet was stolen on the London Underground – despite later being reunited with it.

Crime, housing, and transport are all issues high up on the agenda for voters and it will be these issues that will determine which box they put their tick in. Khan is the favourite amongst pollsters but the gap has been narrowing of late.

Hall garners more support in the outer London boroughs, particularly those areas where the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) expansion is a bigger factor.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) visited Harrow to find out what voters in her home borough thought about the local candidate and how they rate her chances of winning when the result is declared on Saturday (May 4).

Nilesh Patan, 67

Nilesh thinks London is in need of change in Mayor, he believes Sadiq Khan has ‘taken up permanent residence’ but hasn’t yet decided who he is going to vote for. Despite not being personally impacted by what he calls the ‘crazy’ ULEZ expansion, It is one of Nilesh’s biggest gripes with the incumbent Mayor.

Harrow residents on Susan Hall as voting continues in Mayoral Election Harrow Online
Nilesh Palan, 67. Milesh thinks it\’s time for a change of Mayor. Image Credit: Facundo Arrizabalaga.

Nilesh wants more done to fix the roads and improve transport across the capital and says ULEZ has ‘made it worse’. He told the LDRS: “I know that some parts of London need it but there are areas around here where there are no bus services.”

He added: “The fact is that it’s [Khan] that’s going to succeed, he keeps scoring so highly. But I’m not going to vote for him.”

Kishore Vaja, 60

Kishore says he is ‘a Labour guy’ but is currently in two minds about whether to vote for Khan or Hall. He says Khan has done a ‘pretty bad’ job of being Mayor and cited ULEZ and policing as two particularly big issues that he wants addressing, which he hopes Hall will be able to tackle.

Harrow residents on Susan Hall as voting continues in Mayoral Election Harrow Online
Kishore Vaja, 60. Kishore is a traditional Labour voter but is ‘in two minds’ about who to vote for. Image Credit: Facundo Arrizabalaga.

Kishore told the LDRS: “Well, hopefully I think she will be good with spending. I’m not sure about the ULEZ thing now, whether it will be abolished, but I think she will probably be able to look at policing and look after London more than Sadiq. I think he’s had a fair chance.”

Kishore will decide who to vote for on the day but is ‘hoping’ it will be Hall. He said: “I’m a Labour man, always have been, but it’s just that now I’m fed up of Sadiq at the moment. So the only other option really is Susan.”

However, there are others who told the LDRS that they would never vote Tory and are turned off by what they see as divisive rhetoric coming from the candidate.

Patrick Marshall, 50

Patrick was blunt about his feelings. He told the LDRS: “I don’t like her. I don’t like her views, I don’t like her approach to this election. I don’t think she’s for the people, I don’t think she’s gonna win. I think she’s just there to make as much noise as she can to try and destabilise our community.”

Harrow residents on Susan Hall as voting continues in Mayoral Election Harrow Online
Patrick Marshall, 50. Patrick thinks Susan Hall is trying to ‘destabilise the community’. Image Credit: Facundo Arrizabalaga.
He added: “The gap between rich and poor is getting so much bigger. The rich are getting much richer, the poor are getting much poorer. The gulf in between is immeasurable.” When asked whether Hall could be someone to bridge that gap Patrick laughed. “Oh come on”, he said, “Don’t be fooled by the dark side of the force, Luke.”

Others had no idea who Susan Hall was, such as Eva Baka, 65

Harrow residents on Susan Hall as voting continues in Mayoral Election Harrow Online
Eva Baka, 65. Eva didn\’t know who Susan Hall was. Image Credit: Facundo Arrizabalaga.

Eva told the LDRS that she ‘doesn’t know about her’ but, whilst she is still open to voting for her, wants to keep her decision on where her vote is going to go private.

Whilst some, such as Dorell, 77, seemed disillusioned by politics all together

Dorell told the LDRS:: “I don’t have an opinion, I listen to them but I don’t really have an opinion. To be honest, I don’t trust politicians period. There’s always more to be done. It’s [about] prioritising.”

Harrow residents on Susan Hall as voting continues in Mayoral Election Harrow Online
Dorrel, 77. Dorrel said she doesn\’t trust politicians \’period\’. Image Credit: Facundo Arrizabalaga

She hadn’t decided who to vote for yet but thinks the next Mayor will have a big job on their hands. She said: “I can’t really tell you what, there’s just so much to be done.”

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