London results open thread

The count in London started yesterday in three very large venues across the city:  Olympia, Alexandra Palace and Excel Centre. So far results have been declared for 7 of the 14 Assembly constituencies, all with no political change – 4 Labour and 3 Conservatives. We are hoping to win our first ever constituency in South West London but it will be close.

Votes were also counted for the London Mayoral in those 7 areas and at the moment Sadiq Khan is ahead of the Conservative Shaun Bailey by 39% to 37% on first preferences. Lib Dem Luisa Porritt is lying fourth behind the Green. The Mayor is elected by the supplementary vote system, so if no-one achieves 50% in the first round the second preferences for third placed candidates and below are added to the top two. Of course, we are not expecting to get into the top two, but the first preference votes for the Mayor give us some indication of how they are stacking up in the list vote.

The party list vote is used to allocate the remaining 11 seats to the Assembly, in proportion. We have only ever gained seats through the list, and last time round we only managed one seat. We are hoping for more this time.

Update at 2pm

London Elects is providing live running updates, including the party votes while the count is still in progress – they are counting electronically and this is something we don’t usually see!

In the South West London constituency it is still a three cornered fight, but with less than half the votes counted.

The running total for first preferences for the Mayoral election is now standing at 40% for Sadiq Khan and 36% for the Tory candidate, Shaun Bailey.  We are currently in 4th place.

Update at 6pm

Sadly it looks as though we will be disappointed in the South West London constituency seat. With 90% of the vote counted we are on 28% with the Tories on 32%.

That leaves us looking at the London-wide list vote, which currently has us on 7%. That should guarantee us one place, and possibly two. It’s hearts in mouth time.

In terms of the Mayor, Sadiq Khan is in the lead with 40% first preferences over 35% for the Tory, but victory will depend on second preference votes which can be somewhat unpredictable.

Update at 8.30pm

We are hearing rumours that there have been some problems with the updates we have been seeing on the London Elects website. We might be in for a surprise.

But sadly not … we have come in as a strong second in the South West constituency in the end. Our hopes are now pinned on the list result.

Update at 11pm

Finally confirmation that Sadiq Khan has been re-elected as Mayor of London, though with a closer margin than most were expecting.

We are still waiting to hear about the final 11 Assembly members who will be allocated from the party lists.

And here it comes at last … Caroline Pidgeon and Hina Bokhari are elected to the London Assembly.  Caroline is a veteran, of course, but Hina is the first Lib Dem ethnic minority London Assembly Member and the first Muslim woman on the Assembly of any party.

Congratulations to them both and to the whole London team!


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  • Based on the results so far I can’t say I’m convinced that the South West seat will be close (at least not for us). Luisa Porritt is the best mayoral candidate we’ve had a long while though and there seems to have been more energy around the London campaign generally this time around – even if it doesn’t appear to have cut through as well as we’d hoped.

  • Alex Macfie 8th May '21 - 1:31pm

    Alexander: The seats for which results have come out so far are ones where we’ve never done particularly well. Kingston and Richmond are somewhat different.

  • In other news – we have held a Council seat in a by-election in Chessington South in Kingston. Our new councillor is a former Labour MP, the wonderful Andrew Mackinlay. The ballot paper had 19 names on it, 13 of whom were Monster Raving Loonies. Apparently they all turned up at the count dressed as Santa. Well done to Kingston’s Chief Exec who managed to keep a straight face through the declaration.

  • I’m aware of that, but our vote share in those other seats hasn’t quite increased enough to suggest South West could be tipped over the edge. Local strength matters, but our vote floor all around London indicates people not enough people are willing to vote for us without being keenly targeted.

    We’re doing very well looking at the count on London Elects. But at present, we’re still narrowly in third and 5% behind the Tories. I’d like to be wrong – depends on which areas are still left to count really (Hounslow isn’t very strong for us) – and the effort in the constituency is something to be proud of regardless.

  • Alex Macfie 8th May '21 - 4:19pm

    @Alexander: As far as I’m aware election counts don’t release running totals, and certainly not for publication. So London Elects’ analysis will be based on guesswork based on looking at the piles of votes for each candidate. I’d take it with a pinch of salt anyway. It’s the result or it’s a guess. Best wait for the result.

  • Alex Macfie 8th May '21 - 5:55pm

    I was mistaken, it appears that London Elects is a live (electronic) count. Last time I checked we’d moved up to 2nd, but I still say wait for the final result.

  • John Nicholson 8th May '21 - 8:00pm

    Another by election victory in London South West, this time in Hampton Wick on Richmond council. This is a gain and takes us to 40 seats(out of 54) on the council.

  • Graham Evans 8th May '21 - 8:24pm

    Although we’ve won four times as many seats as the Greens and are projected by the BBC to have a vote share in England of 17%, well ahead of the Greens, in many of the contests for big constituencies such a mayoral elections, where arguably people are voting for the party, where the candidate has much less importance, and where campaigning is much more difficult, we were significantly outvoted by the Greens.

    I wonder if this is because voters have a clear image of what the Greens stand for (even if voters know little about individual policies) whereas currently the Liberal Democrats have no distinct image.

  • Andrew McCaig 8th May '21 - 10:39pm

    I agree Graham, and in my view as a Yorkshire Lib Dem in a Brexit voting seat, the best thing we could do is commit to rejoining the Single Market and Customs Union. But not the EU. Labour are going to go into a complete omerta on Brexit, but the problems of Northern Ireland, Scottish independence and seafood rotting on docksides would all disappear. At least 25% of people still feel strongly about this and they need a home. 25% would oppose and 50% would not mind. The key to doing better where I am in Kirklees is an improved national poll position, not trying to please hard Brexiteers.
    We did a load of surveys in a Brexity area (70% Leave) in 2017/18, and 55% saw staying in the Single Market (including freedom of movement) as the best Brexit option, including about 30% of Leavers. As a medium term goal this is a popular policy, easy to understand, and frankly what people expect from us

  • Graham Evans 9th May '21 - 7:04am

    @ Andrew McCaig I agree with you in that it makes much more sense to establish ourselves as the party committed to rejoining the single market and customs union, but that is too abstruse for most voters so I think we should tilt towards pushing for membership of EFTA (even though in practice what we land up with isn’t formal membership). When Brexit was the issue in the EU parliament election we beat Labour even in London because we had a clear message. Labour are probably going to continue avoid talking about Brexit, so we can re- establish ourselves as the party wanting to rebuild close links with the EU without committing to membership per se.

  • Andrew McCaig 8th May ’21 – 10:39pm:
    …the best thing we could do is commit to rejoining the Single Market and Customs Union. But not the EU.

    In the EU Referendum we decided to leave the EU in its entirety as stated at the time. It was not possible to take back control of our money, borders, laws, and trade while remaining in either the EU Internal Market (the ‘single market’) or EU Customs Union. The EU made that clear from the outset.

    In any case, the so-called single market (which has 24 different official languages) was of little net benefit to the UK as evidenced by the huge trade deficit with the EU which grew inexorably. Uniquely amongst EU members, the UK did the majority of its trade outside the EU and as the World’s second largest exporter of services, was stymied by the EU single market’s “weak performance” for services.

    Rejoining the EU Internal Market in the EEA would mean being subject to EU law, losing control of our borders, and paying the EU large sums of money. The EU would impose Directives to dictate many domestic policies (see the forced privatisation of Norway’s railways). These could be contrived to damage UK competitiveness. 99.3% of UK businesses do not export to the EU, yet all would be subject to EU laws and regulations over which we would have no control, democratically or otherwise.

    The UK is the World’s fifth largest market for imports. We are currently negotiating trade deals with several countries (e.g. Australia and India) from whom we buy almost as much as the entire EU does. Membership of the EU Customs Union would stop us negotiating such trade agreements tailored to our own interests, prevent us from joining wider trade pacts such as The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), force us to levy tariffs on many goods, like citrus fruit, even when we have no producers to protect, and hand over £billions in tariff revenue to the EU (less 10% for collection). We would have no say over any of this or in any future EU trade agreements in which the EU could ’sell’ access to the lucrative UK market without needing to obtain a reciprocal UK benefit (as Turkey). The EU are our competitors. Outsourcing our tariff and trade policy to them would be as absurd as Sainsbury’s outsourcing its procurement and pricing policy to Tescos.

  • Graham Evans 9th May ’21 – 7:04am:
    …it makes much more sense to establish ourselves as the party committed to rejoining the single market and customs union, but that is too abstruse for most voters…

    Most informed voters would see such a policy as a ploy to drag us back into the EU’s orbit before demanding we rejoin. Making the country a vassal state of the EU makes no sense now we are (mostly) free.

    ‘SHOCK EU 2019 REPORT: ‘UK benefits least from Single Market’:

    The latest official EU Commission Single Market report of 2019, released yesterday, shows that the UK benefits LEAST out of the 28 member states when it comes to the EU’s ‘Single Market’ for goods.

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