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Local elections 2024: the London Assembly

What does the London Assembly do and how are its members elected?

City Hall in Newham, Docklands aerial view
London Assembly elections were held on 2 May 2024. The Mayor of London and the London Assembly are housed in the new City Hall at the Royal Docks.

On 2 May 2024, Londoners cast their votes for the 25 members of the London Assembly, which is responsible for holding the mayor of London to account. This election took place at the same time as the 2024 mayoral election

What is the history of the London Assembly?

The abolition of the Greater London Council (GLC) in 1986 left London without any directly elected city-wide institutions. In 1997 the Labour Party came to office with a commitment to re-establishing an elected tier of government for the capital, subject to a referendum “to confirm popular demand”. 12 New Labour, Because Britain Deserves Better, election manifesto, 1997,

Tony Blair’s government published a white paper in March 1998, setting out its plan to establish a new London Assembly along with the post of Mayor of London. This plan was backed by 72% of voters in a referendum held in May 1998. The assembly was then legally established by the Greater London Authority Act 1999, with the first election held in May 2000. 

How is the Assembly elected?

The Assembly comprises 25 members, elected by the additional member system – which is also used in elections for the Scottish and Welsh parliaments. Under this system, every voter casts two votes:

  • The first is for a constituency candidate, selected using the first-past-the-post system.
  • The second is to elect London-wide assembly members, who are selected from party lists.

There are 14 constituencies represented using the first-past-the-post system. A further 11 members are elected across Greater London according to the proportion of votes each party receives on the second vote, taking into account the number of seats won in the constituency vote to ensure greater proportionality in the overall result.

What happened in past London Assembly elections?

In all Assembly elections until 2024, only Conservative and Labour members had been elected on the constituency ballot. In 2024, for the first time the Liberal Democrats won a constituency, in South West London. Various smaller parties have secured representation via the London-wide ballot.

At the 2024 election, including both constituency and London-wide results, Labour won 11 seats, the Conservatives eight, the Green party three, the Liberal Democrats two and Reform UK one.  

Turnout in 2024 was 41%, a fall of one percentage point since 2021, and a second consecutive fall from the peak of 46% in 2016. Turnout is still clearly above the low point of 34% recorded in the very first election in 2000.  

Local and mayoral elections 2024

On Thursday 2 May, voters across England and Wales went to the polls in a major set of mayoral and local elections. Keep up with our latest content, events and analysis on why these elections matter and their results.

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Voting count council workers counting papers

What are the functions and powers of the London Assembly? 

The primary function of the London Assembly is to hold the mayor to account by scrutinising mayoral policies, programmes and budgets.  

The assembly elects a chair and deputy chair from amongst its members for a one-year term each April. The Conservative’s Andrew Boff is the current assembly chair, and the deputy chair is Labour’s Len Duvall. 

The mayor is responsible for a combined revenue and capital budget of £21.5bn, which goes towards the functions of the GLA, the Met police, the London Fire Service and the mayor’s two development corporations. The budget also includes £9m for the assembly, of which the majority (£7.2m) is spent on staffing costs. One of the strongest powers of the London Assembly is its ability to amend or vote down the mayor’s budget. However, to do so requires a two-thirds majority and this has never happened to date. 17 Washington-Ihieme M, ‘How the London Assembly scrutinises the Mayor’, blog, Centre for London, 18 January 2021,

The assembly holds the same powers to vote on the mayor’s strategies, though similarly has never voted one down.  

The assembly carries out its activities through cross-party committees which can conduct investigations and publish reports. 18 London Assembly, ‘London Assembly committees’, (no date) retrieved 4 March 2024,  There are currently 12 committees, whose themes broadly reflect the mayor’s responsibilities. The size of the committees ranges from the 11-member GLA oversight committee to the four-member audit panel. Through these committees, the assembly can push for changes to national, mayoral and local policy and the mayor has to respond to committee’s motions and formal recommendations. 19 London Assembly, ‘About the London Assembly’, (no date) retrieved 4 March 2024,

The mayor is required to attend mayor’s question time, held in front of the assembly, 10 times per year. The assembly also holds confirmation hearings for some mayoral appointments, but it cannot veto the mayor’s choices.

Whilst the number and nature of committees on the assembly have changed in line with expanded mayoral responsibilities (such as the creation of the Police and Crime Committee in 2011), the assembly’s general powers have not changed since it was established in 2000.

A report published in December 2023 by the assembly’s GLA Oversight Committee called for the assembly’s scrutiny powers to be strengthened. 20 GLA Oversight Committee, Devolution in London, 2023,  Specific proposals included include granting the assembly the ability to ‘call in’ people and papers for scrutiny (similar to the powers of a select committee) and allowing the assembly to pause mayoral decisions from being implemented to allow time for a committee to review them. 

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02 MAY 2024 Project

Local and mayoral elections 2024

On Thursday 2 May, voters across England and Wales headed to the polls in a major set of mayoral and local elections.