Lib Dems claim third place in mayoral election

Rob Blackie narrowly defeated the fourth place candidate, Green Zoe Garbett, reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate Rob Blackie at London Bridge station
Lib Dem mayoral candidate Rob Blackie. – (Credit – Andrew King Photography)

The Liberal Democrats have claimed third place in the London mayoral election, achieving their best result in 16 years.

The party’s candidate Rob Blackie took the third place crown by a wafer thin margin from the Green Party – who had come third in the last three contests.

Blackie received 145,184 votes – just 70 more than the 145,114 received by Green candidate Zoe Garbett.

Both parties were left with about 5.8 per cent of the vote, meaning that they both kept their £10,000 deposits. The Lib Dems had lost their deposit in the last three mayoral elections.

Labour mayor Sadiq Khan won with 43.8 per cent, while Tory candidate Susan Hall came second with 32.7 per cent.

Blackie said: “I’m very pleased to have retained our deposit. We’ve increased our vote everywhere in London and [are pleased] to have got into third place for the first time in a long time.”

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He admitted that Khan’s repeated claim that the election was a “two-horse race” seemed to have worked in winning over voters from smaller parties “to some degree”.

He said: “Sometimes people listen to that, because they were scared of the Conservative candidate, but people were also disappointed in the mayor.”

The Green vote-share went down by two percentage points, as 2021 candidate Sian Berry previously received 7.8 per cent of first preference votes under the supplementary vote system. For this election and others going forward, the system was changed by the Government to first past the post.

Green candidate Zoe Garbett said: “I think what we’ve seen is an impact of the first past the post system, but I’m really positive about the vision we were putting forward and how many people came out and voted.

“Sadiq Khan built his campaign around squeezing the Green vote, and I think he needs to listen to that, and the policies we were putting forward about addressing inequality, about the climate crisis, about addressing the cost of living crisis, need to be a priority.”

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