MAYORAL ELECTION: Boris leads by a neck as Ken fights back

THE RACE to become mayor looks incredibly close despite Boris Johnson at one stage taking a clear lead over Ken Livingstone. Speaking from the Olympia count, where six London Assembly seats are being counted

By Katie Davies and Susanna Wilkey

THE RACE to become mayor looks incredibly close despite Boris Johnson at one stage taking a clear lead over Ken Livingstone.

Speaking from the Olympia count, where six London Assembly seats are being counted, Tory candidate for West Central, Kit Malthouse, said Mr Johnson was the clear favourite.

He said: "I think Boris Johnson is going to win. It looks pretty good. And hopefully soon he will emerge as the winner. If I was a betting man I would bet that we were going to win."


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Mr Johnson is ahead in five of the six counts at Olympia and it prompted Karen Buck, Labour MP for Regent's Park and Kensington North to say it appeared now very likely that Boris would win.

She said: "There's a pattern emerging which points to Boris Johnson being the winner. I think that nobody likes to lose, but the thing that worries me about this is the implications for people in my area - people who need housing and depend on public transport."

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But elsewhere the count is very close. With 72 per cent counted in Enfield and Haringey Mr Livingstone has just taken the lead over Mr Johnson.

Ken is also ahead in the Brent and Harrow vote and in the North East constituency, which includes Islington, Hackney and Waltham Forest, while Mr Johnson leads the mayor in Barnet and Camden

And George Meehan, leader of Haringey Council, is refusing to write off the mayor.

He said: "I have just been told that Tony Travers (the election analyst) is still staying it is too close to call and he is much more of an expert than I am. It is looking quite close for us still in Enfield and Haringey and Brent and Harrow. It is not as good in Camden.

"The vote is related to national government and it is very difficult for London to buck the national trend that we saw this morning but we still could."

At the Alexandra Palace count the tension is rising by the minute, with one Boris Johnson supporter overheard remarking "I think the bookies have got it wrong", referring to earlier reports that one bookmaker had paid out bets on Boris Johnson winning.

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