London mayoral election: New map reveals voter apathy

17:21 20 March 2012

The London Elects heat map shows where voting was strongest and weakest in the 2008 mayoral election

The London Elects heat map shows where voting was strongest and weakest in the 2008 mayoral election


The starting pistol was fired today in the race for the most powerful political position in the UK outside Downing Street - Mayor of London.

A new infographic released by election organisers to mark the start of the campaigning shows which neighbourhoods turned out to vote in the last poll in 2008; and the wards in which apathy reigned.

The map by London Elects shows turnout in 2008 was strongest in mainly Conservative-voting suburbs on the outskirts of the city while Labour urban strongholds saw fewer people take part.

That hints the Boris doughnut of support for Tories around the outer fringe could be a factor in the 2012 election; a boon for Mayor Johnson as he seeks re-election.

Meanwhile, rivals Ken Livingstone and Brian Paddick will need to take a bite out of Johnsons base in order to get into City Hall. Mobilising the vote in urban constituencies where the map shows turnout is lowest will also be key for opponents bidding to unseat the Mayor.

However, officials from London Elects said that the voting patterns were not uniform.

Some of the highest turnouts in the 2008 poll were seen in the central London area of Hammersmith & Fulham, while the lowest was in Hounslow, on the outskirts of west London.

Also revealed by the London Elects map are glaring differences in turnout between wards located next door to each other.

The border demarking East Sheen in Richmond from Putney Heath in Wandsworth runs along a residential street where 29.5 per fewer voters marked their ballot paper than the 60.3 per cent who did in East Sheen, Richmond.

Elsewhere, apathy was highest in Cranford, Hounslow, where almost three quarters of voters stayed at home on polling day.

A pocket of political engagement is revealed in Longbridge in the borough of Barking and Dagenham, where more than 45 per cent of voters took part, compared to 30 surrounding wards where turnout was much lower.

Greater London returning officer John Bennett said: There are lots of things that affect turnout, from the age of voters, the levels of deprivation in an area or even the weather on polling day.

But our research shows that the picture isnt always what youd expect. Some of the most affluent wards in London only managed a turnout of 35 per cent, while some of the very poorest wards were beating the London average. And its a myth that low turnout is just an inner east London problem too. The lowest turnout was actually a ward in outer west London.

Our message is, wherever you live in London, its your vote and if you want to make sure your voice is heard, you need to get out and vote on May 3.

London Elects is taking a giant inflatable ballot box to all corners of the capital over the next seven weeks in a roadshow designed to boost turnout, and information on the elections is available at

Click on the map below to download a full-size PDF version.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
2 3 4 5 6

Latest London politics news

Friday, November 27, 2015
Thousands will march for ambitious action on the climate crisis by governments internationally (Picture: PeoplesMarch)

The People’s March for Climate, Justice and Jobs will pass through central London on Sunday November 29 with more than 7,000 people from all around the UK. Here is a guide to the march - why it’s happening, where to go and what will be going on.

Friday, November 27, 2015
The Chief Inspector of Hospitals has recommended the London Ambulance Service NHS Trust is placed into special measures (Picture: PA Images)

Health watchdog CQC has said the London Ambulance Service (LAS) NHS Trust should be placed into special measures as it is ‘performing poorly’ and has been rated ‘inadequate’.

Thursday, November 26, 2015
Plane Stupid protesters blocked the tunnel leading into Heathrow Airport (Picture: Plane Stupid)

Plane Stupid climate change activists have blocked the inbound tunnel to Heathrow in a protest against airport expansion.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Aerial view of proposed Rotherhithe Bridge [image: reForm Architects]

Plans to build a new bridge across the Thames between Canary Wharf and Rotherhithe on either side have reached completion in a new feasibility study.

The proposed ‘Rotherhithe Bridge’ would have the longest bascule span in the world, at 600ft (184m), for use by pedestrians and cyclists.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Junior doctors held a massive protest in London last month over the contracts and now plan to strike for three days in December (Picture: Naomi Ackerman/ London24)

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt today agreed to negotiate the junior doctor contract with the British Medical Association (BMA) in talks held by conciliatory service Acas, but the BMA say his consenting so late is ‘political game playing’.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Holloway Prison. Picture: Rebecca Naden/PA

Holloway Prison is to close, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said this afternoon.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!

Read more

You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Read more

Latest Tech News