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London Assembly set to remain under no overall control

by LLB Editor
4th May 12 4:31 pm

The London Assembly looked likely to remain under no overall control as constituencies began returning results on Friday afternoon.

Labour was ahead in eight of the 14 assembly constituencies, which use the first-past-the-post voting system, according to London Elects’ Data.

The Conservatives are on course to take the other six, but look likely to lose out in Ealing and Hillingdon, as well as Barnet and Camden.

Merton and Wandsworth was the first constituency to announce its results, with Conservative Richard Tracey claiming 43.1 per cent of the vote. Tracey said mayor of London Boris Johnson is “clearly well on the way to victory” in a speech after the result was announced.

Conservative James Cleverly was returned as the assembly member for Bexley and Bromley, while fellow Tory Stephen O’Connell held Croydon and Sutton.

The remaining 11 members of the assembly will be elected from a party list to make the total number of members from each party representative of the vote.

London Elects’ data suggested that Johnson was ahead of Labour candidate Ken Livingstone on first preference votes, although with neither man looking likely to pass 50 per cent in the first round. It offered no insight into how second preference votes would be allocated.

Liberal Democrat Brian Paddick, Green Jenny Jones and independent candidate Siobhan Benita were locked in a battle for third place.

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls suggested Johnson may out-poll his Westminster colleagues, even if he is a “buffoon”.

Balls said: “It certainly suggests that Labour, when it’s Labour, it’s doing very well compared to the Conservatives across London and we’ve seen that in by-elections as well.

“But there was a personality contest in which Boris Johnson said ‘Vote for me even though I’m a Tory’ and it looks like he may… we’ll wait and see, but if he wins I think it will be despite his association with David Cameron and George Osborne, rather than because of it.

“I backed Ken Livingstone, I think he was the best mayor London’s had so far. I think he would be a better mayor for London on Tube fares and jobs and housing than Boris Johnson who, let’s be honest, is a bit of a joker, a bit of a buffoon.”

Across the country as a whole, Labour gained 750 council seats, while the Tories dropped more than 400 and the Lib Dems lost out on over 300 seats.

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