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Sadiq Khan has won London mayor for Labor despite a late Tory boom in the capital.
Khan won a second term at City Hall after winning 45% against Shaun Bailey’s 35%.
He won a total of 1,206,034 (55.2%) votes against Bailey’s 977,601 (44.8%) with a turnout of 42%.
The London Mayor’s victory followed wider Tube Mayor victories for Andy Burnham in Greater Manchester and Steve Rotheram in Liverpool. Work also triumphed in the Welsh Parliament.
Khan’s win, as well as other victories for Labor in the west of England and the Mayor’s races in Cambridgeshire, provided much-needed relief for Keir Starmer after heavy losses to the Tories in the by-elections in Hartlepool and other parts of England.
Every month-long opinion poll had given Khan a 15-point lead. One poll got him to a massive 50% and almost won on first preferences, but the actual London result was much tighter.
Several Labor activists reported difficulties in motivating working class voting in the city center while Conservatives mobilized their forces in the London area.
In the end, Khan held back the Tory wave and Labor did even better in the London Assembly seats.
Khan’s vote dropped 4.2% from his 2016 result, while Bailey just increased Tory’s stake over Zac Goldsmith’s performance that year.
The Green candidate, Siân Berry, polled 7.8%, up 2% over five years ago, while Lib Dems’ Luisa Porritt scored 4.4%, a slight decrease.
YouTuber-independent Niko Omilana (49,628 votes) took 5th place among the minority party candidates, beating Laurence Fox (47,634) from the Reclaim Party.
The joke candidate Count Binface finished 9th, beating Jeremy Corbyn’s conspiracy theorist Brother Piers, who finished 11th.
In his victory speech, Khan called for unity. “The scars of Brexit remain, a raw culture war is pushing us further apart. We must seize this moment of national recovery to heal these divisions.
“Coronavirus doesn’t care if you’re a Brexiteer, a remainer or woke up.”
Thank you London. It is the absolute honor of my life to serve the city I love for three more years.
I will leave no stone unturned to get our city back on its feet.
A better future is possible and we will deliver it together. pic.twitter.com/kwA1awEten
– Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) May 8, 2021
Starmer’s problems in the north, however, continued when his party lost control of Durham County Council for the first time in a century after the Tories took 14 seats and Labor lost 21.
In Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon was reinstated as the first minister, as the SNP was only just under the overall majority in the Holyrood Parliament.
After her party’s fourth consecutive victory in the Scottish Parliament elections, Sturgeon said her victory was a mandate for a new independence referendum.
Boris Johnson received another boost when Tory Andy Street retained the West Midlands mayor’s office with an increased percentage of the vote.