Page last updated at 22:35 GMT, Friday, 2 May 2008 23:35 UK

Livingstone win 'highly unlikely'

Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson and Brian Paddick on their way to vote on Thursday
The result is expected to rely on second choice ballots

Ken Livingstone's campaign manager Tessa Jowell has said she does not think he will win the mayoral race.

She told the BBC: "I think it's highly unlikely that Ken will be mayor of London after the end of this evening."

Results are expected imminently. Tory Boris Johnson leads in eight of the 14 electoral areas on first preference votes, Mr Livingstone in six.

Second preferences have not yet been published. London's Evening Standard says Mr Johnson will not need them.

Ms Jowell said, while it looked like Mr Livingstone would lose, "if you look at Labour's vote in the assembly there are some unexpected surprises there that demonstrate the loyalty of the Labour vote".

She told Sky News later: "We don't quite know the result yet, but we fear that Ken has lost."

'Bad night'

The final result has been delayed several times - partly due to increased turnout by voters, estimated at 45%, up from 36.95% in 2004. It could be midnight before the winner is declared.

It follows what Gordon Brown has described as a "bad night" for Labour in local elections in England and Wales.

Johnson: 'A different kettle of fish'

The party suffered its worst council results in at least 40 years and was pushed into third place in terms of vote share by the Liberal Democrats.

BBC research suggests Labour won 24%, the Tories won 44% and the Lib Dems won 25%.

The London election will also decide the 25 members of the London Assembly, which scrutinises the work of the mayor.

Neck-and-neck

Constituency results have started to come in. Labour have held their City and East seat and taken Brent and Harrow from the Conservatives. The Conservatives have held onto Bexley and Bromley and Havering and Redbridge.

Opinion polls had placed Mr Livingstone and Mr Johnson neck-and-neck, with Lib Dem ex-police commander Brian Paddick a distant third.

Livingstone: 'No one can be certain'

Asked if he was encouraged by the Conservatives' performance elsewhere on Friday, Mr Johnson replied: "I think the party's done fantastically nationally but London is a very different kettle of fish and we'll have to see what happens."

Meanwhile Mr Livingstone told reporters he was "feeling fine" and was "just going to sit down and wait like all the rest of you, because none of us can be certain until they announce that result".

The Liberal Democrat candidate Brian Paddick said he had received strong support in Lambeth, where he was a police commander - but he conceded it had been difficult to take on "two giants" who had dominated media coverage.

High profile contest

Speaking at City Hall he told the BBC: "I think we're holding our own, we are coming in around about 15% by the look of things, if we do manage 15% that will be the best performance for a Lib Dem candidate to date."

The race to run London is the highest-profile contest in the 2008 round of elections.

HAVE YOUR SAY
People want a change and are voting against Ken not for Boris
Gavin,
Lambeth

Analysts say the outcome could have a powerful impact on national politics ahead of the next general election, which is due by 2010.

Attention in the capital will also be focused on the fortunes of the British National Party and George Galloway's Respect.

Both parties are vying to hurdle the 5% threshold needed to win their first seats on the London Assembly.

The Greens and UK Independence Party will be hoping to repeat their successes in 2004, when each took two seats.

The Conservatives aim to remain the largest single grouping, although no single party is expected to obtain an overall majority.



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THE ELECTION RESULTS
COUNCIL RESULTS
  Councillors Councils
Party +/- Total +/- Total
CON 257 3155 12 65
LAB -334 2365 -9 18
LD 33 1804 1 12
PC 31 205 -1 0
OTH 10 898 0 0
NOC - - -3 64
159 of 159 councils declared.

Find your results

Results in more detail

London Mayoral results
Overall results
Name Party Votes
Johnson CON 1,168,738
Livingstone LAB 1,028,966
Paddick LD 878,097
Berry GRN 409,101

Find your results

Results in more detail

London Assembly Results
Overall results
Party Constit' Top-up Total seats
CON 8 3 11
LAB 6 2 8
LD 0 3 3
GRN 0 2 2
BNP 0 1 1

Find your results

Results in more detail


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