Race for Mayor: Boris wins London election
12:46am Saturday 3rd May 2008 in News
Dominic Gover live at City Hall:
LONDON MAYOR ELECTION RESULT
Boris Johnson is the new mayor of London.
The conservative candidate won 140,000 more votes than his rival Ken Livingstone.
Johnson secured 1,168,738 votes in total.
Livingstone won 1,028,966 votes to finish second.
Liberal Democrat Brian Paddick finished a distant third with 236,685 votes.
In his victory speech, Johnson said: "I do not think for one second that this result means that London is transformed into a Tory city, but I will work flat out to repay the trust invested in me by voters who's pen wavered for a second before they crossed the box next to my name."
Outgoing mayor Ken Livingstone accepted responsibility for his defeat.
He said: "I'm sorry I couldn't get the extra few percentage points to take us to victory. I want to thank Londoners' for allowing me to serve me as mayor. i will help the new administration in any way I can."
For his part, Boris praised his predecessor as a "considerable public servant" and also his handling of the terrorist attacks of July 2005.
Johnson has pledged to cut crime, tackle anti social behaviour on buses, and reform the capital's public transport system.
He is also committed to reforming City Hall, with plans to cut the number of press officers on the public payroll.
Elsewhere, in South West, Boris has won 47.56 per cent of the first choices, Ken has 30,60, Paddick has 13.21, the Greens took 3.20 per cent, and the BNP polled 2.37 per cent of first preferences.
Meanwhile, in West Central, Boris has polled 55.65 per cent of first choice mayoral votes. He beats Ken into second, the incumbant won 29.61 of the vote. Brian Paddick is third with 8.41.
Boris Johnson favourite to win Havering and Redbridge, pending second preference. Ken Livingstone favourite to win Greenwich and Lewisham, pending second preferences.
The results for the mayoral ballot in the north east constituency (including Waltham Forest) are in. This includes first preferences only:
Boris Johnson 57,394
Ken Livingstone 96,402
Winston McKenzie 482
English Democrats 820
Brian Paddick 19,641
Christain People's alliance 3,067
Tessa Jowell concedes victory to Boris Johnson.
The minister for London ran Ken Livingstone's election campaign.
Jowell calls for a new culture in the Labour party.
She said: "It remains to be seen whether this result reflects a sea change in power across the country. I hope there is no chat about Gordon Brown"
The Evening Standard has run a front page stating that Boris is mayor. Speculation is rife as to whether he will, if he wins, have the required two-thirds majority in the London Assembly that the mayor needs to get his budget passed into statute.
The trickle of media personalities who made themselves available for interview earlier in the evening, has dried up. Perhaps they are in their respective party's campaign headaquarters with a flute of champagne, watching the television, like the gathered media here, in the heights of the egg.
There is a whisper going around that the BNP are close to winning two seats in the Constituent Assembly. Proportional Representation looks like its working for the extreme right.
Ken has stretched his lead over Boris in the vote for mayor in Enfield and Haringey. 98 per cent of votes have been counted.
The latest rumour is that Boris is ahead by 48 per cent to Ken's 41 per cent overall. This means the Conservative candidate is three per cent away from winning the mayoral race straight out.
A candidate requires parity, which is a clear majority of 51 per cent, for this to happen.
There would be no need for a run-off if parity is reached by a candidate.
The constabulary is guarding democracy vigourisly. While the count progresses in the bowels of City Hall, a rag-tag bunch of 10 anti- fascist protesters have been herded into a pen on the walkway by the river Thames. About 40 police officers have formed a ring around the pen's perimater.
A police boat is on the scene too, maybe to prevent the protesters from getting any ideas about requisitioning the docked HMS Belfast. Fat chance.
The pollsters say that turnout is high in the constituencies where Boris is performing well. Could it be that apathy does for Ken in the end?
The old Etonion currently holds leads in eight of London's 14 constituencies.
Result expected at '10pm at the earliest' according to one official.
The reason for the delay is that an extra 1.5m people voted. Altogether, 7.2m papers have to be counted. This means that 2.4m people voted in the election for mayor of London.
Some pointless, or perhaps presiscent, trivia. Today is the feast day of St Boris in the Bulgarian and Greek orthodox church.
Will his namesake move in mysterious ways? Will he be required to? Or will Ken's army be too strong?
It seems that Ken's lot is so low right now, that even vanquished foes from elections past believe they could chase him out of town tonight.
Steve Norris was beaten by Livingstone twice in the race for mayor, in 2000 and 2004. But the Tory's ex-candidate believes that it would be third time lucky for him.
Mr Norris said: "I would love to run this time because I would have beaten him. But I cannot afford it. I could have done eight years ago."
We are told that the winner will not be announced now until 10.30pm. So much for the march of technology. Electronic counting was supposed to quicken the process. It may be a typical, traditional election night after all.
Tessa Jowell, the minister for London, seems to be preparing for the worst. She said: "I've heard that Boris is ahead.
If Ken has not won, London has lost someone special. He has been passionate for the city and has done great things, and that is something I have heard all across London.
"But we are not there yet, and we may be in for a long night.
"There has been a move against the government, and London is not immune to that."
"People in London are worried about the big turbulence and how it will affect them"
I think that in london it has been a contest between two big figures. Although it has been a close contest, we cannot take the influence of the bad night we had last night"
Mr Paddick is doing interviews in the media gallery. He does not have the demeanour of a man preparing for office and appeared irked by some questions. He also did not seem to give much credence to the gossip.
Commenting on the speculation that the race would be between him and Mr Johnson, he said: "That would be a turn up for the books. It is early days yet, but it is clear that a lot of people are voting against the government. The elections so far have been a disaster for Labour. It's not the Tories who have gained from that."
The North East constituency is one of the five where he is ahead. He currently holds a strong lead there.
A rumour is racing around the media gallery that the race for mayor will be between Boris and Brian Paddick.
The capital is divided into 14 constituencies for this election.
With about half the votes counted, the indication is that Tory candidate, Boris Johnson, is making the early early running.
Mr Johnson holds the lead in Enfield and Haringey, and eight other constituencies. But the early signs are that Ken Livingstone has been able to bring out his supporters in Waltham Forest.