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Sadiq Khan wins race for Mayor of London but fails to score landslide which was predicted

Sadiq Khan has been re-elected as the Mayor of London – but fell short of the overwhelming landslide victory he originally hoped for.

The Labour Mayor won 40 per cent of votes in the first round, ahead of Conservative challenger Shaun Bailey on 35.3 per cent with Green candidate Sian Berry in third and Liberal Democrat Luisa Porritt fourth. When second preferences were included Mr Khan ended up with 55.2 per cent against Mr Bailey’s 44.8 per cent.

YouTuber Niko Omilana, who ran his campaign as a joke to produce more online content, managed to come in fifth, marginally ahead of actor Laurence Fox whose campaign against lockdowns and “woke” social movements attracted 1.9 per cent of the vote.

In his acceptance speech Mr Khan insisted he had won an “overwhelming mandate” but in an apparent recognition that he had performed worse than expected, he added: “I want to speak directly to every Londoner who didn’t vote for me this week – I’ll never ignore your voice, your concerns or your worries.”

He said that the local election results around England showed a “deeply divided” society, pointing to “the scars of Brexit”, a “crude culture war” and a “growing gap between our cities and towns”. Mr Khan concluded: “We simply must use this moment of national recovery to heal those damaging divisions.”

The Mayor was first elected in 2016, beating Zac Goldsmith by a 14-point margin in the second round of the vote. The next election was due to take place last year, but was postponed thanks to the pandemic; the next one will take place as scheduled in 2024, meaning Mr Khan’s second term will be only three years long.

Mr Bailey, whose mayoral campaign ended up lasting almost three years because of the delay to the election, was widely written off with some polls predicting he would lose in the first round. The Conservatives apparently refused to put additional resources into his campaign, and Boris Johnson rarely joined him on the campaign trail despite his own history as a former Mayor and current position as a London MP.

He has twice tried and failed to be elected to Parliament, but Mr Bailey’s unexpectedly strong performance may now put him in a position to be chosen to contest a safe Tory seat at the next general election.

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