How many "millions of Londoners" actually voted for Ken Livingstone ?

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The Guardian quotes Ken Livingstone on his 4 week suspension:


The decision to suspend Mr Livingstone, who was elected with sizeable majorities in 2000 and 2004, was taken by the Adjudication Panel, the government body which deals with serious disciplinary cases involving local government.

Its three members comprised a lawyer, a former local authority chief executive and a lay member. Last night it seemed certain that Mr Livingstone would challenge the decision in the courts.

"This decision strikes at the heart of democracy. Elected politicians should only be able to be removed by the voters or for breaking the law," he said. "Three members of a body that no one has ever elected should not be allowed to overturn the votes of millions of Londoners." He said he will decide next week whether to challenge the decision at the high court."

Both The Guardian and Ken Livingstone seem to have conveniently forgotten just how few people did actually bother to vote for him in the 2004 election

1st Choice votes: 685,541

2nd Choice votes: 142,839

(On papers where the 1st and 2nd choice vote were for the top two candidates, the second choice votes were not counted.)

Total votes for Ken Livingstone: 828,380

Electorate: 5,197,647

So only about 13% (1st choice) to 16% (including the 2nd choice votes) of the electorate chose to vote for him.

Even including the 2nd choice votes, to claim that "the votes of millions of Londoners" were cast in favour of Ken Livingstone is untrue

3 Comments

hmm. turnout 1,920,533. can ken really be blamed for londoners not turning out?

and by the same premise, maybe the current govt. should be dissolved, with no overall majority and no majority of the electorate. what would be the alternative.

the way I see it, if you're too lazy or stupid to vote, you have surrendered your right of representation to others. yourview becomes 'i'll go along with the others...' and is read as such.

consent can be tacit.

maybe, you might suggest, lononers are against the office of mayor anyway. i mean, there were enough candidates to choose from, right?

if you are by chance lefties, please do not be insulted, but is this a tory blog?

@ tom - this blog is not party political at all, neither "tory", nor "lefty" etc. This is the 21st Century after all, and politics are much more complicated than such stereotypes.

Ken can't be blamed for the low turnout, but it is political propaganda trickery to claim that "millions of Londoners" actually voted for him.

true, true. I just wondered what sort of a perspective you hold, or whether the idea is simply to 'keep a check' on Ken. (I have ony just discovered your blog, and wondered what the motivation was for the blog as a whole).

True, to claim that millions of londoners voted for Ken is factually incorrect (and thus irresponsible). Good point, not that it means that he has no mandate... by the way, I have responded to your comment on my Blog, thanks

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