Sadiq Khan of the Labour party will be London’s next mayor.
With more than 90% of first preference votes counted, Khan has effectively beaten his closest rival — the Conservative party’s Zac Goldsmith — with 44%. Meanwhile, Goldsmith has just 35%.
His win now seems certain.
Earlier Peter Kellner, the former president of polling organisation YouGov told the Guardian: “With almost 80% of first-preference votes counted, Sadiq has won without question. He is well ahead on the first count and that’s not going to change radically.”
The result is not hugely surprising because even at 70% of the count, Khan was way ahead of Goldsmith. Bookmakers like Ladbrokes even started to call the end of the race just after midday.
Khan has been the frontrunner for over a month leading up to the elections but a flurry of party member suspensions, including that of the former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, over allegations of anti-Semitism threatened to hurt his chances.
However, while there are sighs that it did do some damage to Labour in the council elections, it didn’t seem to impact on Khan.
Khan also faced embarassment when his speech writer Shueb Salar quit his job in March, following the publication of a video of him brandishing a gun and joking about being a secret hitman was unearthed by the Evening Standard.
But despite these setbacks, Khan has promised popular policies across his campaign. They include:
- Housebuilding target — Khan aims to build 50,000 new homes in London a year amongst other policies.
- More police on the streets — He said that this would be to tackle threats of terrorism.
- Freeze transport fares for 4 years.
The London mayoral contest has been a bitterly fought two-horse race between Goldsmith and Khan. The failed Conservative candidate accused Khan of being a radical and repeatedly attacked his judgement for sharing platforms with extremists. Khan’s camp countered that these attacks amounted to “dog-whistle racism” intended to play on voters’ prejudices around the new mayor’s faith.
Khan, the son of a bus driver who grew up on a London council estate, is the city’s first Muslim mayor.
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