Boris re-elected Mayor of London
Boris Johnson has been re-elected to serve a second term Mayor of London, beating rival Ken Livingstone by a surprisingly narrow margin. No candidate won enough votes in the first round to immediately score a victory, meaning that a second round of votes had to be counted.
Mr Johnson secured 51.5% of the votes, with 1,054,811, while Mr Livingstone was narrowly defeated at 48.5%, with 992,273 votes. In third place came Jenny Jones of the Green Party, with 99,913 votes, meaning that the Liberal Democrats’ Brian Paddick was pushed into fourth place, with 91,774 votes.
Elsewhere in the mayoral elections, Independent candidate Siobhan Benita took fifth place with 83,914 votes. UKIP’s Lawrence James Webb won 43,274 votes, and the BNP’s Carlos Cortiglia polled last with 28,751 votes.
After accepting defeat, Mr Livingstone announced that he would be retiring from electoral politics. In his speech he said: “This is my last election…but the one I most regret losing is this.”
In his victory speech, Mr Johnson thanked voters, saying: “I want to thank all of you for giving me a new chance and a new mandate to take us forward,” and went on to pledge to continue “fighting for a good deal for Londoners.”
The Conservatives, however, struggled to maintain control of their local council seats. With results in from all 181 councils, the Conservatives now control 42, having lost 12. Labour have gained control of 32 new councils, and now control 75, and the Liberal Democrats lost one council and now control 6.
Labour leader Ed Miliband said of the victory: “We are a party winning back people’s trust, regaining ground, but there is more work to do.”
Prime Minister David Cameron Cameron insisted that the losses were to be expected before the next general election, saying that his government had to carry out tough economic repairs following the recession. He acknowledged: “These are difficult times and there aren’t easy answers.”