Conservative Boris Johnson has won a second term as London mayor, beating Labour rival Ken Livingstone by 3%, after a far closer contest than expected.
The outspoken Mr Johnson won on second preference votes after failing to gain more than 50% in the first round.
He bucked the national trend after heavy Tory (Conservative party) losses elsewhere.
Lib Dem Brian Paddick saw his vote collapse and he was beaten into fourth place by Green Jenny Jones, with independent Siobhan Benita fifth.
Mr Johnson’s victory comes after a dismal night at the polls for Conservatives across England, Scotland and Wales, as Labour seized control of 32 councils.
In his victory speech, Mr Johnson vowed to fight for a “good deal for Londoners from the government that will help us deliver prosperity for everybody in this city”.
And he added: “I will dedicate myself to making sure that Londoners and above all, young Londoners, are ready to take the jobs that this amazing city creates.”
The controversial Mayor has sometimes been at odds with his own party on policy. Whilst the main Tory line is to reduce immigration, Boris favours an amnesty for illegal immigrants in London.
He said granting legal status to hundreds of thousands of non-tax paying migrants would add billions to the UK economy.
Conservative Party co-chair Baroness Warsi described the win as “historic” and said it was a “testament to the way he has connected with Londoners”.
Mr Johnson outperformed his party but failed to secure the massive win predicted by some opinion polls – and at one stage, as the count was delayed, it looked as if the Labour candidate might overtake him.
Mr Livingstone announced his apparent retirement from frontline politics in his speech, saying “this will be my last election”.
The party secured eight of the London Assembly’s 14 first-past-the-post constituencies, gaining two from the Tories, which left them with six.
London Mayor council results
Anti-Europe and immigration party, UKIP’s, hopes of returning to the London Assembly appear to have been dashed – but the party blamed an administrative blunder by their officials, which led to candidates being listed as “Fresh choice for London” rather than UKIP. For full election details see the BBC website.
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