Sadiq Khan wins London mayoralty with record turnout

In his victory speech, Khan denounced his opponent's 'politics of fear'


When poll after poll predicted Sadiq Khan’s election as mayor of London, Labour activists worried that low turnout could neutralise Khan’s advantage, potentially even handing the election to Zac Goldsmith.

On Thursday afternoon, there were rumours of especially low turnout in the city, with one source claiming that just 12 per cent had voted by four o’clock.

In the end, London turnout hit a record high of 45.6 per cent, and Khan won by 13.6 per cent— as impressive a margin as the polls predicted.

With 1.3 million votes, Khan can claim the largest personal mandate in UK political history, a tribute to his refusal to take victory for granted.

With tenacious and enthusiastic campaigning he drove up turnout in his strongholds and, at the same time, his measured, centrist approach won him support in outer London, where Boris Johnson secured his victories.

In his victory speech, Khan, the child of immigrant parents, focus on equality of opportunity. He also responded to Goldsmith’s negative campaign tactics, saying:

“This election was not without controversy and I’m so proud that London has today chosen hope over fear and unity over division.

I hope that we will never be offered such a stark choice again.

Fear does not make us safer, it only makes us weaker and the politics of fear is simply not welcome in our city.”

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.