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Tuesday, 16 May, 2000, 11:55 GMT 12:55 UK
Livingstone triumphs in London
Ken Livingstone
Ken Livingstone: Tribute to rival candidates
Ken Livingstone, the independent candidate and maverick MP expelled from Labour, has been chosen as London's first elected mayor.
London Mayor - the result (after second preferences)
Livingstone: 57.92%
Norris: 42.08%

He won the historic poll despite a late surge in support for Tory Steve Norris - with Labour's Frank Dobson trailing well behind on a disastrous election night for the Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Mr Livingstone polled a total of 776,427 votes to 564,137 for Conservative candidate Steve Norris, after second preferences were calculated during a marathon election count.
First preference votes
Ken Livingstone (Independent): 38.11%
Steve Norris (Conservative): 26.5%
Frank Dobson (Labour): 12.78%
Susan Kramer (Liberal Democrat): 11.6%
Ram Gidoomal (Christian Peoples' Alliance): 2.45%
Darren Johnson (Green): 2.22%
Michael Newland (British National Party): 1.96%
Damian Hockney (UK Independence Party): 0.95%
Geoffrey Ben-Nathan (Pro-motorists): 0.58%
Ashwinkumar Tanna (Independent): 0.53%
Dr Geoffrey Clements (Natural Law Party): 0.32%

Elsewhere across England, Labour lost control of 15 local councils with the Tories gaining considerable ground. But there was a surprise as the Conservatives lost to the Liberal Democrats in the Romsey by-election.

An emotional Mr Livingstone, who was thrown out of the Labour Party after choosing to run as an independent, praised his opponents and said he would invite them to work in his new administration.

He said: "In particular I want to say a word to my old colleague and friend Frank Dobson, who has borne a terrible brunt of odium which was not his but should have been rightly reserved for people who work behind the scenes."

Mr Dobson said he accepted his share of Labour's failure, but said he hoped he had not let too many people down.

Prime Minister Tony Blair urged Mr Livingstone to work together with the government, but added that his views about the left-wing MP - who he had said would be a "disaster" for London - had not changed.
steve norris and ken livingstone
Steve Norris came back strongly but couldn't catch Mr Livingstone

He said: "It is important that we do what we can as a government to make sure that this works for London and works for Londoners. We accept our responsibility in that regard."

But Mr Blair made it clear Mr Livingstone would not be allowed to return to Labour after standing against an official party candidate.

Of first preferences in the mayoral vote, Mr Livingstone polled 38.11% to Mr Norris' 26.5%, with Mr Dobson on just 12.78% and Liberal Democrat Susan Kramer behind him on 11.6%.

Both Mr Dobson and Ms Kramer were eliminated from the contest after the first round, with their second preference votes then redistributed to Mr Livingstone and Mr Norris.
frank dobson
Frank Dobson: No regrets over standing in mayoral contest

Mr Dobson's humiliation in the mayoral poll was underlined as he came fourth in the mayoral contest in Barnet and Camden - the seat which includes his parliamentary constituency.

Despite a turnout of just 33.6%, with 1.7m people voting, Mr Livingstone's triumph was announced just after 1215 BST on Friday - more than 12 hours after polls closed - following problems with counting equipment.

Mr Livingstone said he would fight for the interests of Londoners as mayor, demanding more money from the government and telling ministers they were wrong over plans to partially privatise the London underground.
Greater London Assembly seats
Conservatives: 9
Labour: 9
Lib Dems: 4
Green Party: 3

Mr Livingstone used his first press conference as London mayor to attempt to heal his rift with Labour - but also made it clear he would argue with the government on key issues, including the plans to part-privatise the London underground.

He said he was already in contact with ministers to co-ordinate his policies with the government on issues facing the capital.

'Heal wounds'

And the new mayor said he was hoping to meet Mr Blair and Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott soon, while he also plans to discuss the future of the Ford Dagenham car plant with Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers next week.

I think the overwhelming sentiment - rather than logic - in this election has been poking Blair in the eye with a stick

Steve Norris

He said he intended to "heal the wounds with Labour" rather than deepen them.

Mr Livingstone, calling on other parties in the Greater London Assembly to stay clear of the "sterile politics of Westminster", said: "The job of the mayor is to unite all of the capital so I will immediately be taking measures to involve all parties in the government of the city."

Mr Norris said London had given Mr Livingstone "merely a conditional mandate", adding: "If this trend continues he will be on probation as London's mayor."

Green Party mayoral candidate and successful assembly candidate Darren Johnson said the election of three Greens to the GLA made it a historic day for the party.

Mr Johnson, tipped as a possible deputy to Mr Livingstone, said he had only spoken briefly to the new mayor, adding: "At the moment we have had nothing more than a friendly chat and wishing each other mutual congratulations."

Steve Norris
"We won the popular vote here in London tonight"
Ken Livingstone
"It will be an administration which reflects all the parties"
The BBC's Robin Oakley
"For the moment the Prime Minister and the Mayor have to look as though they are trying to get on"
The BBC's John Pienaar
"It is time for a show of magnanimity"
See also:

05 May 00 | Business
05 May 00 | London Mayor
05 May 00 | Local elections
05 May 00 | UK Politics
05 May 00 | London Mayor
05 May 00 | Local elections
05 May 00 | London Mayor
05 May 00 | London Mayor
05 May 00 | London Mayor
05 May 00 | London Mayor

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