It is still too early to tell if Sadiq Khan has been re-elected as Mayor of London, a Labour source has said.
Conservative candidate Shaun Bailey is trailing close behind, winning 462,837 first preference votes (37%) by the end of last night compared to 487,104 (39%) for his rival.
Counting continued at 7am this morning and results are expected to be announced this evening at the earliest.
Earlier this week Khan had a seemingly unassailable lead, with pollsters Opinium claiming he was on course to win 48% of first round votes compared to 29% for his Tory rival.
But yesterday Bailey’s team said they believe they can win the race, which is much closer than people thought, considering some in his own party had written him off.
A Labour source told the Independent: ‘We always said it would be a close election.
‘There is no question we are seeing significant impact from turnout and voter complacency.
‘There are still half of London boroughs to count and it’s too early to say anything with any certainty at this stage.’
Khan’s re-election campaign has focused on jobs, with an emphasis on promoting tourism and investment to help the 300,000 Londoners who lost their jobs during the pandemic.
Bailey has pledged to increase police patrols and stop-and-search, drawing attention to his Labour opponent’s record on knife crime.
As well choosing their new Mayor, Londoners have also voted in the London Assembly elections.
So seven of 25 seats have been counted, with four going to Labour and three to the Conservatives.
London is generally seen as a Labour stronghold and is the only place where the party gained a seat in 2019 as it suffered humiliating losses elsewhere in the country.
But the Tories have won the mayoralty twice in the capital and have won the largest share of votes for the Assembly in three elections.
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