5 May 2012

Boris Johnson wins London mayoral race

Boris Johnson beats Ken Livingstone in the London mayoral election, with the defeated Labour candidate conceding “this is my last election”. Jenny Jones finishes third for the Greens.

Boris Johnson wins the race to be London mayor.

The Conservative candidate eventually fought off Labour’s Ken Livingstone by a narrower margin than four years ago, ahead by 62,500 votes or 2.5 per cent.

The pair were followed by Jenny Jones for the Greens in third and Liberal Democrat Brian Paddick in fourth. Independent candidate Siobhan Benita came fifth.

Acknowledging his win, a tired-looking Mr Johnson hailed a “neo-Victorian” surge in investment in London ahead of this summer’s Olympics.

He told supporters: “I will continue to fight for a good deal for Londoners.”

And he thanked voters for his “new chance” to be the city’s mayor and a “new mandate”.

And he paid tribute to his old rival: “Ken, last time I said some complimentary things about you – fat lot of good it did me,”

“But you have been amongst the most creative and original [opponents]. if only you will promise not to stand again, I look forward to that non taxpayer-funded drink.”

End of Ken

In his speech, Ken Livingstone announced “this is my last election,” telling voters it was the most regretful defeat of his career because of the current economic hardship facing Londoners.

How the results unfolded: Channel 4 News election live blog, video and analysis

The result was delayed after two ballot boxes of uncounted votes were found and damaged voting papers had to be hand counted.

More than two million votes were cast in total. In the London Assembly election Labour are ahead of the Conservatives.

Boris Johnson’s victory ends an otherwise grim 24-hours for the Tories who lost control of 11 local authorities and saw more than 400 councillors unseated.

Earlier, Labour leader Ed Miliband said: “It has been a closely fought campaign in London. We will see what the results are.”

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls acknowledged that Mr Johnson might win “despite his association with David Cameron and George Osborne, rather than because of it”.