A team of half a dozen Labour leafleters wait outside an East End primary school on a warm afternoon just off Roman Road street market in the gentrifying suburb of Bow. The party's message is that schools are facing spending cuts imposed by the central government; the target audience is the predominantly Bengali women picking up children, a group that party campaigners otherwise struggle to reach in an area where the Bangladeshi vote is critical.
Outside the school is the diminutive figure of John Biggs, the incumbent directly elected mayor. But the Labour politician's path to the top job in the borough that contains the gleaming towers of Canary Wharf and the traditional East End has been anything but easy.
He won with 55% of the vote in a 2015 byelection after the independent mayor from 2010, Lutfur Rahman, was disqualified by an election court for, among other offences, telling local Muslims it was their spiritual duty to vote for him and giving out grants inappropriately.