Opinion: Boris Johnson wins London mayoral election but victory is hollow

16:47 06 May 2012

Boris Johnson won the London mayoral election but did he really win over London? Picture by Nigel Sutton

Boris Johnson won the London mayoral election but did he really win over London? Picture by Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

So London has a new Mayor. Or rather it has the same Mayor after Boris Johnson unsurprisingly won a second term at City Hall.

The election proved to be a largely underwhelming affair, and personally I’m glad it’s finally all over.

The campaigns by the two leading candidates were long and tedious as well as generally uninspiring and excessively negative.

Each seemed more concerned with bashing the other than actually putting forward many positive policies to shape the future of the capital.

The final result of the election was similarly mundane, with most people predicting a Boris win long before polling day.

Even the delay to the result announcement which dragged things out until the early hours of Saturday failed to add any proper tension.

Really, the only momentous events were Ken Livingstone declaring it to be his political swan song and the Green Party’s Jenny Jones finishing in third place.

The eventual scale of Boris Johnson’s victory typified the whole election.

While the Mayor himself and Prime Minister David Cameron may revel in the Conservative Party’s success in the City Hall race, it can hardly be described as a convincing outcome - at least not accurately.

Firstly, turnout was a dismal 38 per cent, which means nearly two thirds of eligible Londoners couldn’t even be bothered to vote. Boris along with the other candidates failed miserably, it seems, to arouse much – if any – interest in the election among Londoners.

Of this small percentage who turned out, more than half of them chose someone other than Boris as their first preference for Mayor.

This is not exactly a strong platform of support to build on for the next four years.

It seems to be as much a case of the other candidates and parties losing the election as Boris winning it with any commanding style.

Let’s be pleased the election is done and let’s salute Boris Johnson’s victory but let’s keep things in perspective and not get carried away.

Finally, let’s watch with interest whether the Mayor fulfils his promises to Londoners and goes on to justify the trust that at least some of the capital’s residents have put in him by giving him that second term.

Related articles

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
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London politics news

Monday, June 29, 2015
Protesters at an earlier anti-austerity demo in Berlin in March (Photo: Adam Berry/Getty Images)

Owen Jones, Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn and Green MP Caroline Lucas are all at a rally in Trafalgar Square to show solidarity with Greece this evening.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Police clashed with disabled protesters in the lobby of the House of Commons (Photo: Debbie Jolly/PA Wire)

Police have been accused of “heavy handed tactics” as they blocked disabled protesters, many in wheelchairs, from entering the House of Commons chamber during Prime Minister’s Questions today.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015
(Hannah McKay/PA Wire)

In his latest YouTube video and in the wake of Saturday’s anti-austerity march, Russell Brand has called on people to ‘love the police’ and protest in the streets for better pay, better overtime and better pensions. This, he claims, is a new form of activism called ‘situationism’ which creates ‘spectacles which are provocative and interesting’. You can watch his Trews video below.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Anti-austerity protesters at the State Opening of Parliament (John Stillwell/PA Wire)

Tens of thousands of people from all over the country are expected to demonstrate in London for the People’s Assembly ‘End Austerity Now’ protest on Saturday.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015
(Zac Goldsmith running for Mayor. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA Images)

Expelled Eton boy, environmentalist and Conservative rising star Zac Goldsmith has joined Sol Campbell in announcing he will run for the role of Mayor of London.

Monday, June 8, 2015
(Picture: Martin Rickett / PA Archive)

The star football player has told SunNation he will run for the role of London Mayor in 2016 and is “in it to win it”.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Good times with Greenall's!

Good times with Greenall’s, a Great British gin sponsors Great British racing.

Read more
Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Read more
Adrenalin junkies, this one's for you!

An icon of British engineering and a consistent favourite of James Bond, there are few names quite as legendary in motoring as Aston Martin.

Read more