Sadiq Khan has emerged victorious in the race to become London’s next mayor.
The Labour candidate received 40% in the final count of first preference votes released today.
The Conservatives’ Shaun Bailey picked up second place with 35% of votes cast, with the Green Party’s Sian Berry and Liberal Democrat Luisa Porritt coming in third and fourth position with 8% and 4% respectively.
Khan ended up with 55.2% of the vote after two rounds, with 1.2 million votes, compared to Bailey’s 977,601.
Khan was favourite to win the race ahead of polling day on Thursday.
The incumbent Labour mayor had promised an “unprecedented campaign to support London’s economy” in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
The race was incredibly tight going into Friday afternoon, however.
The London Elects website, which tracked live first-choice votes counted so far across London for each candidate, showed that Khan at 38% had just a single percentage point lead over Bailey as at 1.30pm.
By early evening, Bailey had briefly taken a surprise lead of some 5,000 votes.
However, by early Saturday morning, Khan was back on top by 40% to 36%. Bailey’s vote share had ticked down 1 percentage point by 2.30pm, with some 75% of votes counted, with Khan holding steady at 40%.
The results fall in line with polling earlier in the year; in mid-April, Labour was carrying a 13 point lead over the Conservatives in the polls.
While Tory candidate Bailey’s main pledges involved getting tougher on crime, he also talked up the risks that young people in the City would get left behind if the home-working trend continued.
“Let’s be clear, we never built the big centre of London because it was a nice thing to do, we did it because it is an efficient way to grow business. But one of the groups of people who really need that to happen is young people,” Bailey, who also wanted to introduce commercial sponsors to the City’s underground train network, told a Bloomberg debate.
Trading platform Smarkets had placed Khan’s chances of winning the election at more than 98% the day before the vote. The candidate with the highest chance of coming second was the London Real party’s Brian Rose at 1.67%, despite the former Wall Street broker’s previous association with controversial figures such as David Icke, and for his flouting of lockdown rules.
However, Rose ended up polling just 1%, behind the Reclaim Party’s Laurence Fox.
In his acceptance speech, Khan said he had been given an “overwhelming majority”, and that he would support all Londoners, regardless of their wealth or political affiliation.
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