2012 London mayoral election
The London mayoral election of 2012 was an election held on Thursday 3 May 2012, to elect the Mayor of London. It was won by the incumbent mayor Boris Johnson of the Conservative Party. The election was held on the same day as the London Assembly election.
|Turnout||38.1% 7.2 pp|
Result of voting by London borough. Blue boroughs are those with most votes for Boris Johnson and red those for Ken Livingstone
Incumbent Conservative Boris Johnson was seeking re-election for a second term as Mayor. Ken Livingstone, who was Mayor between 2000 and 2008, was seeking a third, non-consecutive term as the Labour candidate. As of the 2021 London mayoral election, this was the last time that London voted for a Conservative Party Mayor.
|Mayor of London election 3 May 2012|
|Party||Candidate||1st round||2nd round|
First round votes Transfer votes
|Total||Of round||Transfers||Total||Of round|
|Liberal Democrats||Brian Paddick||91,774||4.2%||
|BNP||Carlos Gerardo Cortiglia||28,751||1.3%||
Shortly before midnight on 4 May, Boris Johnson was declared the re-elected Mayor of London.
At the 2008 mayoral election, Boris Johnson defeated incumbent mayor Ken Livingstone. Livingstone's defeat had been attributed to a loss of support amongst swing voters and voters in London's outer suburbs. The contest was also one of the 2008 local elections, which generally demonstrated poor results for Labour.
Candidates and their selection processes
Media reports alleged tension between Johnson and the national Conservative leadership as well as the Conservative-controlled central government. This might have led Johnson to seek a parliamentary seat to challenge these two entities rather than seek a second term as mayor. However, on 10 September 2010, he announced his intention to stand for a second term. At a re-selection meeting on 14 October 2010, he faced a period of questioning, before being unanimously adopted as the Conservatives' candidate.
The Labour Party candidate for Mayor was elected by an electoral college composed half-and-half of the votes of Labour members in London and the votes of affiliated organisations. The ballot papers were issued around early September 2010, and the winner was announced on 24 September. Four people initially sought the nomination: Ken Livingstone, Oona King, Seton During and Emmanuel Okoro.
Several Labour politicians such as Peter Mandelson, Tessa Jowell, Sadiq Khan, James Purnell, Lord Sugar, Alan Johnson, Tony McNulty and David Lammy were all touted as potential candidates, but none of these decided to run. Ken Livingstone had announced his intention to regain the mayoralty in March 2009 and said at the time that he would run as an independent if he failed to gain Labour's nomination, as he had done successfully in 2000. Former MP and Channel 4 Diversity Officer Oona King announced her bid for the candidacy in May 2010.
Prior to the vote, Livingstone gained the support of the GMB and Unite trade unions, as well as the backing of the majority of Labour members in the London Assembly. The Economist wrote that he was "by some distance the favourite to win the candidacy".
Around the beginning of September 2010, the Liberal Democrats started accepting applications for their nominee. Lembit Öpik, Member of Parliament for Montgomeryshire from 1997 until his defeated re-election bid in 2010, said in June 2010 that he would like to be their candidate. Liberal Democrat councillor Duwayne Brooks, a friend of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence who was with him when he died, also put himself forward. Caroline Pidgeon, Floella Benjamin, Joanna Lumley, Brian Paddick and Susan Kramer were also seen as possible candidates . Jeremy Ambache, a former parliamentary candidate for Putney, also put his name down for selection for his party however he did not continue his campaign since he defected to Labour.
On 15 October 2010, plans for selecting a candidate were deferred for twelve months. On 12 July 2011, the new shortlist of four candidates was announced. As a result of the announcement of the shortlist a High Court complaint was lodged by Patrick Streeter who was unsuccessful in being shortlisted. Subsequently, the High Court ruled the Liberal Democrats selection process fair and lawful. The result was declared after a ballot of party members on 2 September. The four candidates were Öpik, Paddick, Brian Haley and Mike Tuffrey. Haley is a councillor in Haringey and was a member of the Labour Party until defecting in January 2010. Paddick was the party's candidate in 2008 and previously Deputy Assistant Commissioner of London's Metropolitan Police. Tuffrey led the Liberal Democrat group on the London Assembly between 2006 and 2010.
|Liberal Democrats||Brian Paddick||1,289||41.7%|
|Liberal Democrats||Mike Tuffrey||1,232||39.9%|
|Liberal Democrats||Brian Haley||316||10.2%|
|Liberal Democrats||Lembit Öpik||252||8.2%|
|Liberal Democrats||Brian Paddick||1,567||51.5||+9.8%|
|Liberal Democrats||Mike Tuffrey||1,476||48.5||+8.6%|
|No 2nd preference[clarification needed]||46||–||–|
The Green Party announced its shortlist on 2 February 2011. London members chose Assembly member Jenny Jones, who won 67% of votes cast, over lecturer Shahrar Ali and writer Farid Bakht. Jenny Jones served as Deputy Mayor 2003–2004 during the first term of Ken Livingstone, when he was an Independent Mayor.
British National Party
On 7 September 2011 the British National Party (BNP) announced London member Carlos Gerardo Cortiglia as its candidate, who is a press officer for the party. Cortiglia was born in Uruguay of Spanish and Italian ancestry and came to the United Kingdom in 1989. He has previously taken part in a televised abortion debate on RT (Russia Today) in his capacity as press officer and was a list candidate for the party in the assembly elections in 2004. He has worked for the BBC World Service and has been involved in several areas of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, including television, radio and Internet via London Radio Service, British Satellite News, APTN and other media.
UK Independence Party
On 2 June 2011, an email was sent to all UKIP members from the Executive Chairman setting out a timetable for selection and requesting applications from possible candidates. The party held an online poll, the results of which influenced the final vote. The six candidates were David Coburn, Michael Corby, Michael McGough, Paul Oakley, Winston McKenzie and Lawrence Webb. On 5 September 2011, Webb was selected by London members as the UKIP candidate. However, he stood under the description "Fresh Choice for London" rather than under the party label. This, the New Statesman revealed, was because of an error by the party, which forgot to put its name on the nomination papers.
Much of the campaign period was focused on the tax affairs of the main two candidates, Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone. The Livingstone campaign has been dogged by scandal over his tax affairs. Livingstone was accused of hypocrisy, having berated those who avoid tax while organising his own affairs in a manner that reduces his tax liabilities. It is claimed that he had his accountant arranged for his earnings from media work to be channelled into a private company to avoid the 50p top tax rate. Personal tensions between Livingstone and Johnson ran high, with Johnson cornering Livingstone in a lift and screaming, "You’re a fucking liar, you’re a fucking liar, you’re a fucking liar," after a radio interview in which Livingstone accused him of using similar arrangements.
Polling showed that Livingstone was less popular than the Labour Party, while Johnson was more popular than the Conservatives. In March, a Yougov poll indicated that almost 1 in 3 Labour voters would not be voting for Livingstone (31%). One website dedicated to Labour politics has highlighted this as a problem for his campaign saying:
Some in the Labour Party were critical of Livingstone off the record, with one MP speaking anonymously suggesting that the internal contest to pick a mayoral candidate had been run far too early, thus no alternate candidates had experienced electoral teams ready. Labour peer Lord Sugar urged people not to vote for Livingstone, while two other Labour peers, Lord Desai and Lord Winston, have also been critical of Livingstone.
UKIP candidate Lawrence Webb was listed as 'Fresh Choice for London' rather than as the UK Independence Party on the ballot paper, albeit with the UKIP logo, after they filled in nomination papers incorrectly. UKIP leader Nigel Farage was described as "furious" at this, saying it was a "cockup" which cost UKIP votes.
Cortiglia's core policies included free weekend travel on public transport and a minimum five-year prison term for knife crime. However, his candidacy was marked by controversy over a 2003 interview, in which Cortiglia is quoted:
Soy argentino oriental, o dicho de otro modo, uruguayo de nacimiento, y me siento muy ligado emocionalmente a la República Argentina. En 1982 me ofrecí como voluntario para ir a las Islas Malvinas. Todo nació de mi gran interés por la historia y por haber crecido nutrido por los ideales de lo que podría haber sido y finalmente no fue. Esto me llevó finalmente a involucrarme en la carrera periodística que, en definitiva, fue lo que me trajo al Reino Unido.
That is, Cortiglia said that, feeling an emotional connection to Argentina, in 1982, he had volunteered to go to the Falkland Islands, which was interpreted as showing support for Argentina in the Falklands War. In 2011, Cortiglia labelled the erroneous suggestion that he had fought for Argentina as "far left fabrication" and explained the quote in La Nación so:
As a State employee and as a Uruguayan (not as a British citizen), I made a public pronouncement expressing the position of the Uruguayan government. If Argentina had suspected, at any point in time, that Uruguay would be siding with Britain or helping Britain, Uruguayan neutrality would have been compromised.
Cortiglia explained his reasons for joining the British National Party in a statement introducing his candidacy:
I want to help preserve the freedoms, values and traditions that help make this a great country to live in. That's why I joined the British National Party twelve years ago. I wanted to pay back the country that has been so kind to me and my family. I wanted to work with others who felt the same way as me.
Ken Livingstone, Labour
- Polly Toynbee, journalist and writer
- Rabbi Danny Rich, chief executive of Liberal Judaism in the UK
- George Galloway, RESPECT politician
- Mehdi Hasan, political journalist, commentator and author
- Richard Rogers
- Owen Jones, newspaper columnist, commentator and author
- Steve Richards, television presenter and newspaper columnist
Boris Johnson, Conservative
|The Sunday Telegraph||Conservative|
Second preference endorsements
Under the supplementary vote system used in the election, the voters were invited to express a first and a second preference. Some mayoral candidates had explicitly recommended how their supporters should use their second preference. The membership of the London Green Party voted to recommend that their supporters rank Livingstone second; Jenny Jones had previously been Livingstone's deputy mayor in his first term. Johnson's campaign described Livingstone as planning a coalition with the Greens.
Having initially recommended a second preference for independent candidate Benita, UKIP switched to urging a second preference for Johnson, criticising Benita as having "New Labour" leanings. Paddick and the Liberal Democrats said they would not "patronise our supporters by telling them how to use their second preference."
In the run up to the election, several polling organisations carried out public opinion polling in regard to voting intentions. Results of these polls are displayed below. The figures sometimes show extrapolations from the raw data contained in the pdf files, and in several cases the percentages are not directly referable to that data.
5 way polling
Johnson vs. Livingstone
|Date||Pollster||Sample size||First preference||Final round|
|3 May||Election results||2,208,475||44.0%||40.3%||4.2%||4.5%||1.3%||2.0%||3.8%||51.5%||48.5%|
|30 Apr – 3 May||YouGov||2,119||43%||38%||7%||3%||1%||4%||4%||53%||47%|
|27–29 Apr||Populus Archived 24 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine||1,500||46%||34%||5%||6%||1%||3%||5%||56%||44%|
|Date||Pollster||Sample size||First preference||Final round|
- Asked as "Liberal Democrat candidate"
- Asked as "Liberal Democrat candidate (to be confirmed)"
- "London Elects - Declared Results". Greater London Authority. 4 May 2012. Archived from the original on 3 May 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
- "London mayor: Boris Johnson wins second term by tight margin". BBC News. 5 May 2012. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
- Analysis: Cut and thrust to oust Boris
- "Johnson wins London mayoral race". BBC News. 3 May 2008. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- Hélène Mulholland (14 April 2010). "I expect Boris Johnson to stand for second term as London mayor, says David Cameron". Guardian. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- Harding, Eleanor (30 August 2010). "Mayor Johnson denies threats not to run again". The Independent. London. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- "Johnson tipped to win second term". Ft.com. 10 September 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- "Mayor Boris Johnson to stand for re-election in 2012". Bbc.co.uk. 10 September 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- Isaby, Jonathan (14 October 2010). "Boris Johnson unanimously re-selected as London Mayoral candidate for 2012". ConservativeHome. Retrieved 27 June 2011.
- "Labour members vote for London mayoral candidate". Bbc.co.uk. 1 September 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- "Livingstone seeks return as mayor". BBC News. 19 March 2009. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- "Labour London mayor candidates announced". Bbc.co.uk. 18 June 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- "Labour in London: The undead red". The Economist. 9 September 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- "Ken Livingstone wins Labour nomination for London mayor". Bbc.co.uk. 24 September 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- "Team London: selections open". Libdemvoice.org. 5 September 2010. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- "Ex-MP Lembit Opik denies Labour defection plan". Bbc.co.uk. 24 August 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- "Stephen Lawrence friend may run for mayor of London". Bbc.co.uk. 21 September 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- "Lib-Dem failure to find candidate puts party out of mayoral race for year". Thisislondon.co.uk. Archived from the original on 3 January 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- "London Lib Dem Mayoral candidate "applied to High Court" over non-approval". The Times. 10 October 2010. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- "London Lib Dem Mayoral candidate "applied to High Court" over non-approval". Liberal Democrat Voice. 11 October 2010. Archived from the original on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
- London Mayoral candidate shortlist and revised timetable published Archived 27 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine, London Liberal Democrats, 12 July 2011
- Former senior Labour councillor Brian Haley bids to be London Mayor for Liberal Democrats Archived 7 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, by David Hardiman, Haringey Independent, 6 July 2011
- "Jenny Jones heads list of Green 2012 Mayoral hopefuls". Mayorwatch.co.uk. 2 February 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- "Jenny Jones to run for London mayor in 2012 election". BBC News. 20 March 2011.
- "BNP confounds expectations by fielding a Uruguayan national as its candidate for London mayor". Bbc.co.uk. 12 April 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
- "Row over Abortion Ad Erupts LIVE on RT". RT. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
- "Our Candidates List for the Greater London Assembly Elections". Archived from the original on 3 June 2004. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
- "Carlos for London! British National Party mayoral candidate announced". BNP.oRG.UK. Archived from the original on 1 February 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
- "The Candidates | UKIP's Mayor for London". Indhome.com. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
- "UKIP's Mayor for London | The Party that lets you help pick the candidate". Indhome.com. Archived from the original on 25 September 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
- "Who to Vote For". London Elects. Archived from the original on 14 April 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- Eaton, George (4 May 2012). "How UKIP became "Fresh Choice for London"". New Statesman.
- Ross, Matt"Interview: Siobhan Benita Archived 30 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine", Civil Service World interview, 27 January 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
- Gilligan, Andrew (17 March 2012). "Inquiry as Ken Livingstone saves thousands in tax bill". Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 27 March 2012.
- Swear waves: Bojo's sweary rant at 'liar' Ken at radio station, by Jason Beattie, Daily Mirror, 3 April 2012
- Boris and Ken in Lift Bust-up, by Simon Harris, ITV News, 3 April 2012
- "Yougov poll 20 March" (PDF). Yougov. 20 March 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
- "Ken Livingstone's Crumbling Labour Flank". Labour Uncut. 23 March 2012. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
- "Labour already rues the day itlet Ken run for Mayor", by Jenni Russell, Evening Standard, 30 April 2012, p. 14
- Nicholas Cecil (2 May 2012). "Ken Livingstone is living in the past, says Labour peer Lord Desai - Mayor - News - Evening Standard". Thisislondon.co.uk. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- FactChecK: Can Ken Livingstone deliver a 'fare deal' for London Archived 1 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Channel 4 News FactCheck
- Polly Curtis (11 April 2012). "Can London afford Ken Livingstone's plan to cut fares?". Guardian. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
- "Jenny Jones Jenny Jones launches London mayoral campaign". yourlocalguardian.co.uk. 16 October 2011. Retrieved 23 October 2011.
- BBC accused of excluding independent from London mayoral contest coverage Guardian
- Siobhan Benita has received far more coverage than she deserves The Scoop|Snipe
- London Mayoral Election: UKIP Blames 'Error' For Their Party's Name Being Kept Off Ballot Papers, Huffington Post, 4 May 2012
- Vote 2012: Elections in England, Wales and Scotland, BBC News, 4 May 2012
- London election 2012: BNP wants free weekend travel, BBC News, 16 April 2012
- Carlos Cortiglia Blog Archived 23 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- El five o’clock tea y la nostalgia del asado, La Nación, 6 December 2003
- Diary: May's xxx-rated problem, The Independent, 9 September 2011
- BNP Picks Uruguayan Mayoral Candidate, Londonist, 8 September 2011
- British National Party mayoral candidate Carlos Cortiglia responds to media smears Archived 1 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine British National Party
- Mayoral and GLA nominations accepted today Archived 25 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- Polly Toynbee (30 April 2012). "Why we must vote Labour in Thursday's elections". The Guardian.
- "Labour Jews still critical but endorse Ken Livingstone with a week to go".
- "Galloway: I'm openly campaigning for Ken Livingstone".
- Mehdi Hasan (11 April 2012). "If you don't want Boris, you have to vote for Ken". The Guardian.
- Richard Rogers (27 April 2012). "I've worked for Ken and Boris — I'm backing Ken". Evening Standard.
- Owen Jones (12 April 2012). "Owen Jones: The 1 per cent have an interest in demonising Ken". The Independent.
- Steve Richards (2 May 2012). "Steve Richards: Which mayoral candidate will improve life in the city?". The Independent.
- "Opinion". The Telegraph. 16 March 2016.
- "Ken Livingstone's the best man for London". Daily Mirror. London. 2 May 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- "Ken Livingstone, flaws and all". The Guardian. London. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- "Lessons that the Tories could take from Boris". The Sunday Telegraph. London. 29 April 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- "More Boris". The Sun. London. 2 May 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- "Boris Johnson: The right choice for London". The Evening Standard. London. 30 April 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- Heath, Allister (2 May 2012). "Why Boris Johnson is by far the best choice for Londoners". City AM. London. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
- "London mayor election: Greens urge vote for Livingstone as second preference". Bbc.co.uk. 28 March 2012. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
- London mayor election: UKIP urges Johnson second choice vote, BBC News, 13 April 2012
- Livingstone quits debate over BNP, Press Association