Sadiq Khan won his second term as London Mayor on 6 May 2021 by the comfortable final margin of 55.2 per cent to 44.8 per cent over his Conservative nearest rival. The photo above shows him at the swearing in ceremony held at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre on 10 May.
That 10.4 percentage point difference is smaller than the one of 13.6 by which Khan defeated Zac Goldsmith in 2016, bigger than both of Boris Johnson’s mayoral wins, in 2008 (6.4 points) and 2012 (three points), and a bit smaller than Ken Livingstone’s 10.8 point cushion of 2004. Livingstone’s 15.8 point win in 2000’s inaugural mayoral vote remains the biggest yet in final vote share terms.
Khan total of 1,206,034 first and second preference votes combined (1,013,721 + 192,313) is the second highest achieved in the six mayoral elections so far, falling slightly short of his record winning total of 1,310,142 in 2016 with a lower turnout (42 per cent compared with 46 per cent five years ago). One indication of how Londoners feel about having a Mayor is that Livingstone’s combined first and second preference vote total in 2000 was 776,427. Turnout that year was just 34 per cent.
London is big and extremely varied. It is interesting to see how levels of support for Khan and his main competitors compared in different parts of the city’s 600-odd square miles. London’s Mayors are directly elected by London voters as a whole, though when results for the 14 constituencies of scrutiny body the London Assembly are individually declared the votes cast for mayoral candidates in that area are read out too (and are listed on the London Elects website).
Below is a breakdown of the first preference votes cast in each constituency area for each of the top four candidates – Sadiq Khan (Labour), runner-up Shaun Bailey (Conservative), Sian Berry (Green Party), who finished third, and fourth-placed Luisa Porritt (Liberal Democrat) – along with the local first preference percentage those figures represent. There is also a bit of commentary.
Second preference votes cast are not included because many of them, for various reasons, ended up not counting towards candidates’ the final totals, most significantly those of Bailey and Khan, who, as the top two candidates, went through to a second round of counting under the supplementary vote system. Khan eventually received 192,313 second preferences and Bailey 84,550.
Some headline points:
- Khan got the most first preference votes in seven constituencies and Bailey got the most in the other seven (if second preferences that counted were added it is very possible Khan did better than Bailey in some of those).
- Khan got the largest number of first preference votes in an individual seat: 111,359 in North East, which was 52.03 per cent of the total and his largest percentage share.
- Bailey got the largest share of first preference votes in an individual seat: 54.65 per cent in Bexley & Bromley. The 100,630 votes he received there was his biggest constituency total.
- Berry got the third highest number of first preference votes in every seat except South West, where she got the fourth highest. Her highest total was 24,257 in North East and her biggest share was 11.53 per cent in Lambeth & Southwark. Her overall first preference share was 7.8 per cent – the best yet for the Greens.
- Porritt got the fourth highest number of first preference votes in all 14 seats except South West, where she got the third highest and her highest anywhere: 21,104 votes. Her biggest share was in South West too: 9.96 per cent.
- In two seats that Labour Assembly constituency candidates won – Brent & Harrow and Ealing & Hillingdon – Bailey got more votes than Khan.
- The highest number of “good votes” was 214,034, in North East. The lowest was 139,554 in West Central. The highest turnouts were of 47 per cent, found in South West, Ealing & Hillingdon and Merton & Wandsworth. The lowest was 35 per cent, in City & East, followed by 39 per cent in West Central. Here are the first preference constituency-level results for the top four candidates in full.
BARNET & CAMDEN
- Khan: 67,610 (38.66%)
- Bailey: 65,822 (37.63%)
- Berry: 13,934 (7.97%)
- Porritt: 7,689 (4.40%)
Total good votes: 174,899. Turnout: 43%.
This is notable for being the first time in the history of the seat that the Labour mayoral candidate has won more first preference votes than the Conservative, even though a Labour candidate has won the constituency at the last three elections.
BEXLEY & BROMLEY
- Bailey: 100,630 (54.65%)
- Khan: 44,350 (24.08%)
- Berry: 12,236 (6.64%)
- Porritt: 6,225 (3.38%)
Total good votes: 184,141. Turnout: 44%.
This was Bailey’s highest constituency total and vote share in a strongly Conservative part of south east Outer London.
BRENT & HARROW
- Bailey: 65,566 (40.10%)
- Khan: 61,778 (37.79%)
- Berry: 9,378 (5.74%)
- Porritt: 5,853 (3.58%)
Total good votes: 163,489. Turnout: 40%.
This is interesting because the Labour candidate for the seat, Krupesh Hirani, won by a very clear margin with a 45.62 per cent vote share compared to the 33.17 per cent of the Conservative runner-up. Yet Labour’s Khan got fewer votes than the Conservatives’ Bailey. Why? We can’t be sure until ward-level data are released. But one possibility is that Bailey’s false claims about Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and the supposed imminent arrival of a new road-pricing scheme hampered Khan. Another is that some of the seat’s many Hindu and Sikh voters did not want to vote for a Muslim candidate. There was evidence of this in the 2016 results, following a campaign in which the Tory candidate’s campaign infamously spread scare stories about Khan in those communities.
CITY & EAST
- Khan: 99,971 (47.54%)
- Bailey: 58,145 (27.65%)
- Berry: 13,616 (6.47%)
- Porritt: 5,906 (2.81%)
Total good votes: 210,294. Turnout: 35%.
Covering primarily the Labour-dominated, high-deprivation boroughs of Newham, Tower Hamlets and Barking & Dagenham, this produced Khan’s second-highest vote total and third-highest vote share.
CROYDON & SUTTON
- Bailey: 78,368 (44.11%)
- Khan: 57,317 (32.26%)
- Berry: 11,923 (6.71%)
- Porritt: 9,153 (5.15%)
Total good votes: 181,759. Turnout: 42%.
Croydon borough has a Labour-run council and Sutton has a Lib Dem one, yet the Tories took the seat with ease and Bailey’s total reflects that.
EALING & HILLINGDON
- Bailey: 79,836 (39.52%)
- Khan: 74,854 (37.05%)
- Berry: 13,041 (6.46%)
- Porritt: 7,267 (3.6%)
Total good votes: 202,021. Turnout: 47%.
The other Assembly seat won by Labour in which Bailey nonetheless got more votes than Khan. Why? The Labour Assembly candidate’s majority was reduced, which might indicate a general swing away from the party. Also, Labour-run Ealing Council has faced conspicuous local opposition to its introduction of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, which Bailey falsely claimed he would be able to “scrap” if he won (Mayors have no powers over borough roads). Again, the story should become clearer when ward-level results are released.
ENFIELD & HARINGEY
- Khan: 74,646 (45.83%)
- Bailey: 48101 (29.53%)
- Berry: 13,600 (8.35%)
- Porritt: 5,903 (3.62%)
Total good votes: 162,863. Turnout: 42%.
Rock solid Labour territory.
GREENWICH & LEWISHAM
- Khan: 76,731 (46.50%)
- Bailey: 43,306 (26.24%)
- Berry: 16,322 (9.89%)
- Porritt: 6,291 (3.81%)
Total good votes: 165,027. Turnout: 42%.
Another easy “win” for Khan in a seat covering two strongly Labour-supporting boroughs.
HAVERING & REDBRIDGE
- Bailey: 82,361 (50.28%)
- Khan: 49,818 (30.41%)
- Berry: 7,967 (4.86%)
- Porritt: 3,669 (2.24%)
Total good votes: 163,813. Turnout: 42%.
A seat that looked marginal on paper never actually was. In 2016, UKIP took a tidy vote share at the Conservatives’ expense. This time, most of those voters switched back to the Tories. That is reflected in Bailey getting his second highest first preference vote total and second highest percentage.
LAMBETH & SOUTHWARK
- Khan: 93,437 (50.93%)
- Bailey: 36,471 (19.86%)
- Berry: 21,149 (11.53%)
- Porritt: 9,773 (5.33%)
Total good votes: 183,443. Turnout: 41%.
Khan’s third-highest total and third highest share, and Berry’s highest share, reflecting Green strength in Lambeth, where it has the second highest number of council seats.
MERTON & WANDSWORTH
- Khan: 76,403 (42.85%)
- Bailey: 59,460 (33.35%)
- Berry: 14,050 (7.88%)
- Porritt: 9,445 (5.30%)
Total good votes: 178,302. Turnout: 47%.
There was an early LTN furore in Wandsworth borough, but it is a Tory borough and the schemes were swiftly suspended. Perhaps that helps explains why Khan’s vote and Bailey’s vote were very similar to those of their parties’ respective Assembly seat candidates.
- Khan: 111,359 (52.03%)
- Bailey: 44,233 (20.67%)
- Berry: 24,257 (11.33%)
- Porritt: 6,931 (3.24%)
Total good votes: 214,034. Turnout: 42%.
Rock solid home turf for the Labour candidate – the most votes and the biggest share – though also where Berry got her highest number of votes.
- Bailey: 77,012 (36.36%)
- Khan: 73,939 (34.91%)
- Porritt: 21,104 (9.96%)
- Berry: 16,264 (7.68%)
Total good votes: 211,805. Turnout: 47%.
Covering two Lib Dem-run boroughs (Richmond and Kingston), this seat gave Luisa Porritt her best return, as expected. The third borough within this seat is Labour-run Hounslow. And yet, like the Tory Assembly constituency candidate, Bailey came out on top.
- Bailey: 53,713 (38.49%)
- Khan: 51,508 (36.91%)
- Berry: 10,239 (7.34%)
- Porritt: 6,507 (4.66%)
Total good votes: 139,554. Turnout: 39%.
One of the most striking counts: in 2016, Goldsmith got over 15,000 votes more votes here than Khan. This time, Khan was only 2,205 behind Bailey. In parallel, Labour’s constituency candidate ran the Tory incumbent close.
See all the results of the elections for London Mayor and London Assembly Members here.