Europe's largest city, London is the capital of the United Kingdom. Greater London's population is approximately 7.2 million people (May, 2004), of whom 25% are of non-British ethnic origin. London is a global financial capital, home to Britain's stock market and to currency and precious metals exchanges. London is located on the river Thames in southeastern England.
Greater London contains 32 Boroughs plus the City of London, the Borough's are responsible for Education, Social services, Libraries, rubbish collection and recycling and most parking and road issues.
The Greater London Authority (GLA) is responsible for London Underground (The Tube), bus routes and some strategic roads, and some strategic matters such as relations with the Olympic 2012 project.
All Local Politicians in London are elected on fixed four year terms, the Borough elections take place on the first Thursday in May of even years not divisible by four - 2002, 2006, 2010 - 2014, and GLA elections take place mid way between them 2000, 2004, 2008 - 2012.
Borough elections are conducted by first past the post, but apart from the elected mayors which some boroughs have, all ward councillors are elected "three up" so most wards will have three councillors of the same party.
The council of the Greater London Authority is elected by the additional member form of Proportional representation, a German electoral system rarely otherwise used in Britain. Since its inception the council of the GLA has never had a majority for any one party, with Conservatives, Labour, Liberal democrats and Greens as the four main parties. The Mayor of the GLA is elected by an unusual if not unique form of the alternative vote system whereby voters have a first and second choice. The current Mayor of London is the Conservative Boris Johnson who defeated Ken Livingstone. In the two previous elections Ken Livingstone had been elected first as an independent and then for Labour. GLA results