Sadiq Khan re-elected as Mayor of London, defeating Conservative challenger Susan Hall


“You have proven once again that London is a city of progress,” the victorious Khan claimed in a speech punctuated by boos, “a city of pluralism and above all a city of opportunity, a beacon of openness, inclusivity and equality in the world.” In his victory speech, he called on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to call national elections as soon as possible.

The 53-year-old son of immigrants was favorite to win the London elections, but there were rumors on Friday that the battle for city hall would be more exciting than expected. However, the counting on Saturday of the votes cast on Thursday quickly showed that Khan was well on his way to a third election victory in a row. A total of 2,495,621 Londoners voted, a turnout of just over 40 percent, just under three years ago. According to observers, Khan scored strongly in postal votes.

Khan did better in all districts than last time. Hall only won in ten suburbs that traditionally vote Conservative and where there is discontent over Khan’s controversial tolls for older cars. For example, in Bexley and Bromley, south-east London, Hall received 111,216 votes, compared to 48,952 for the incumbent mayor. By contrast, in Southwark, a borough on the south bank of the Thames near Tower Bridge and Tate Modern, Khan won 106,861 votes, and Hall 26,347. It shows the political-geographic divisions of London.

In recent years, Khan has put a lot of energy into making the metropolis greener, including by building additional cycle paths and discouraging the use of cars, although he does not go as far as his Parisian colleague. He has also given new names to several railway lines to emphasize the diversity of London and thanks to him, all students, rich and poor, receive free lunches. There is still a lot to do in the field of public housing. The British capital is also struggling with increasing crime, from shoplifting to stabbings.

Labor scored many victories in the local elections this week. The party also won the mayoral positions of Liverpool and South Yorkshire, among others. The result is seen as an indicator for the upcoming national elections.

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Khan’s relatively easy victory completes a tough election round for the Conservatives. The ruling party lost hundreds of council seats and a seat in the House of Commons. Conquering London, a predominantly red city, seemed impossible in advance. It is difficult for the Conservatives to win votes, especially in the old city districts with a relatively young and diverse demographic. The party seemed to have already given up the fight by choosing Hall, an unknown candidate who has spoken highly of Thatcher and Trump.

With a third term, Khan surpasses his predecessors Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson. Livingstone tried to be re-elected for a second time in 2008 but lost to Johnson. Johnson himself elected national politics after two terms. In the two previous elections, Khan defeated Conservatives Zac Goldsmith and Shaun Bailey. Khan is looking forward to the arrival of a Labor government, expecting it to bring more money into the capital. Londoners have had to deal with rising taxes under eight years of Khan.

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The article is in Dutch

Tags: Sadiq Khan reelected Mayor London defeating Conservative challenger Susan Hall


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