United Kingdom

Sadiq Khan’s London victory written off as Labour ‘going backwards’ across UK

Sadiq Khan re-elected as Mayor of London

Mr Khan’s continued success in the capital could lead to the Labour Party‘s decline in the country as a whole, Express.co.uk was told. The London-born politician celebrated securing a second term as London Mayor over the weekend after a close run-off with his Conservative counterpart Shaun Bailey. He won 55.2 percent of the popular vote, with neither him nor Mr Bailey achieving a majority in the first round of voting.

Mr Bailey fell considerably behind managing just 44.8 percent of the vote, although an improvement on his predecessor Zac Goldsmith.

The Tory candidate was largely written off as Mr Khan was predicted to take a clean sweep.

Many believe that Mr Khan’s repeated success and relative popularity in London could spell-out the end of Labour in the country as a whole.

This is as the party appears to move towards a more metropolitan, young, liberal and affluent voter base found in the UK’s cities.

Sadiq Khan: The London Mayor’s success in the capital could spell disaster for the party in the UK (Image: GETTY)

London news: Khan pictured swearing in after reelection

London news: Khan pictured swearing in after reelection (Image: GETTY)

Richard Wyn Jones argues that England is “pretty uniform” in terms of its national identity and constitutional attitudes, with the “only real outliers” being London and the big, metropolitan cities.

The political scientist told Express.co.uk that Labour’s problem is that Mr Khan’s success “doesn’t translate out of the city”.

He said: “There are a lot of parliamentary constituencies in London, but you’re not going to win a general election on that basis.

“The danger for Labour is that they get a really fantastic result in London which is absolutely plausible, they do potentially quite well in other very large conurbations, but outside of those they continue to basically go backwards.”

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Shaun Bailey: The Tory candidate won more of the voter share than expected

Shaun Bailey: The Tory candidate won more of the voter share than expected (Image: GETTY)

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has been heavily criticised for the party’s loss of Hartlepool, many blaming his being stuck in the “London bubble” as a sticking point.

Paul Embery, a leading trade unionist and Labour member, claims the party’s problem comes from the fact that it “often sees political issues through the lens of London”.

He also argued that Mr Khan’s victory will result in future obstacles for the party, and told Express.co.uk: “Many in Labour will be pleased about his victory, naturally and understandably.

“But the reality is that the more the party is sweeping up the votes in London the less it’s sweeping up the votes in Red Wall constituencies.

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[ANALYSIS] 

Labour: Many argue that cities like London aren't representative of the UK as a whole

Labour: Many argue that cities like London aren’t representative of the UK as a whole (Image: GETTY)

Keir Starmer: The Labour leader is facing fierce criticism over the failures in England's elections

Keir Starmer: The Labour leader is facing fierce criticism over the failures in England’s elections (Image: GETTY)

“There’s a link between how popular Labour is in London and how unpopular it is in provincial and post-industrial small town Britain.”

The predictions appear to have turned into reality.

Not only did Labour lose Hartlepool, which it had held since its first vote in 1974, but also overall control of Durham County Council.

This was the first time it had lost it in a century.

Brexit: Many people who voted to leave the EU are unsure about where Starmer stands on Brexit

Brexit: Many people who voted to leave the EU are unsure about where Starmer stands on Brexit (Image: Express Newspapers)

Labour are now faced with doing a deal with another party to make up the required numbers.

The party also lost overall control of Bristol City Council after a “Green Surge” saw its main rivals more than double their seats.

It lost three seats in its Wirral heartlands, Wirral Council slipping even further from the party’s hands than in the 2019 general election wipe out.

Mark Drakeford: Labour performed best in Wales where it secured 30 out of 60 Senedd seats

Mark Drakeford: Labour performed best in Wales where it secured 30 out of 60 Senedd seats (Image: GETTY)

In Wakefield, the Conservatives stole Pontefract South for the first time in ten years.

Even the Liberal Democrats managed to snatch more than one council seat, achieving a resounding margin in Knottingley.

A similar picture could be seen across the country.

Labour performed best in Wales where First Minister Mark Drakeford comfortably held onto his position, with the party reclaiming a seat from Plaid Cymru in the Rhondda.


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