Lets start with a look at the Mayoral race. Here are the final results.
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2012 election results
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|Sadiq Khan and his wife Saadiya|
The Greens made steady progress and Sian Berry increased the Green 1st choice vote by more than 50%. This is a spectacularly good performance. For the Lib Dems Caroline Pidgeon put in a decent performance. Many people had commented to me that the Lib Dems would suffer for having a politician rather than a celebrity such as Brian Paddick who stood last time. In actual fact, Pidgeon did far better. Again this seems to show that London is not seduced by the cult of celebrity. It is also notable that London seem to rather like women and more diverse candidates. It is also interesting to see that Sophie Walker from the womens equality party beat George Galloway, who has a national TV profile.
The message London seems to be sending to its politicians is a fairly clear one. We don't do division, we do diversity. Women are an electoral asset and we want candidates who reflect the social mix of London rather than those who seek to represent priviliged cliques.
One final word. The Conservatives made a monumental and highly costly error trying to portray Sadiq Khan as an extremist. There is one bit of advice I'll give anyone trying to work out if someone is a religious fundamentalist extremist. Have a look at a picture of them with their wife. Religious fundamentalists deal in singularity. It is quite clear that Khan does not subscribe to such views. He is about as mainstream as it is possible to be. Khan has got a very big job on his hands. It is in all our interests that he does a splendid job. David Cameron and his Tory party have done Khan a huge disservice with their lies and distortions. My advice to Cameron would be to reach out to Khan and to try and mend a few bridges.
Barnet and Camden analysis
Now lets have a look at the local results. A solid result for Labour and Andrew Dismore.
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Dismore consolidated his position. Many thought that without Brian Coleman to tarnish the Tories standing, Dismore could be in trouble. It seems that whilst Coleman was a factor in 2012, the non campaign run by Dan Thomas for the Tories seems to have completely negated any bounce they may have had.
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|Andrew Dismore celebrates his win last nigh|
On Monday I finished off my blog about the Mayoral race with these words.
In summary I will be supporting Sadiq Khan. I am not a Labour activist and I am not a party member. I just happen to think that his plans are more coherent. I also think that Goldsmith has done himself no credit at all with his highly personal attacks on Khan. This is a trademark of the Lynton Crosby style of electioneering. Sadiq Khan is not a Muslim extremist and does not support Islamic extremists. To pretend otherwise is dishonest and unfair. There are many things which I would wish to see as qualities as the new Mayor, but ultimately I really don't want a man who tells lies and promotes outrageous smears about his opponent. London is a city with all manner of creeds and colours. Sadiq Khan strikes me as a man who can work with all of them. Zac Goldsmith strikes me as a man who simply follows what his campaign manager tells him. He is a lightweight with a lightweight plan. His campaign seems to be banking on scaring people into thinking Khan is in some way dodgy. For that reason alone, I hope London soundly rejects him.I am pleased that London firmly agreed with me on Thursday. Congratulations to both Sadiqand Andrew. The hard work starts today.