UK: Tories lose ground as Sadiq Khan wins again in London

The Labour Party urged UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to call a general election after Sunak’s Conservatives suffered heavy losses in local polls. The vote saw Labour’s Sadiq Khan securing another term as London mayor.

Sadiq Khan, the Labour Party’s mayor of London, won a third straight term on Saturday, dealing yet another blow to the UK’s ruling Conservative Party.

Khan won a little over a million votes, or nearly 44% of the vote, putting him over 11 percentage points ahead of his main challenger, the Conservative Party’s Susan Hall. He did particularly well in inner London but struggled in several outer boroughs.

The local election held in the UK on Thursday is shaping up to be a heavy defeat for the ruling Tories. The Conservatives lost more than 450 councilors and 10 councils.

This means by late afternoon Saturday, with most of the 2,661 seats up for grabs in the local elections counted, the Tories had lost around half of the 1,000 seats they were defending.

There was a lot of speculation that the London mayor race result would be closer than previously thought, but Khan won more than 276,000 votes — representing a swing of 3.2% to Labour. He first became the first Muslim mayor of the UK capital in 2016.

Following his victory, Khan said it was the “honor of my life to serve the city that I love.” He added: “Today’s not about making history, it’s about shaping our future.”

In contrast, Labour won councils that the party hasn’t held for decades, regional mayorships, and a special election for the Blackpool South seat in parliament.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer speaking at an election rally in NorthallertonLabour leader Sir Keir Starmer speaking at an election rally in Northallerton

“Here in Blackpool, a message has been sent directly to the prime minister,” Labour leader Keir Starmer said. “This was directly to Rishi Sunak to say we are fed up with your decline, your chaos and your division and we want change,” Starmer added. “It’s time for change, it’s time for a general election.”

The local election results put Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. who belongs to the ruling Conservative Party, under pressure to outline his plan for when he will hold the next vote.