Local and mayoral elections across England have been postponed for a year – including the elections for the next Mayor of London.
Well Sadiq, looks like you’ve got a little longer in City Hall. With the coronavirus outbreak seeing its biggest jump in cases overnight (with 798 confirmed cases in the UK), the decision has been taken to postpone all local elections in England until May of next year. That includes the biggest race of the lot – Sadiq Khan’s quest for a second term as Mayor of London.
See also: Here’s what the government policy on coronavirus means for London.
The Electoral Commission had recommended the postponement yesterday, and the news has just arrived that all local elections have now been postponed for a year. That means mayoral and council elections from Cornwall to Northumberland will now be shifted to next May, as concerns about the logistics of holding elections during a pandemic became too great to bear.
In London, that means Sadiq Khan will be Mayor for another year, with his first term originally due to end in May. Things had admittedly been looking pretty rosy for his re-election, with the latest poll giving him 49% of the vote – a full 25% ahead of Conservative challenger Shaun Bailey, and 36% of independent candidate and former Tory leadership contender Rory Stewart.
See also: A full list of London venue closures.
If the vote had headed to a runoff (which is mandatory when no one candidate gets 50% of the vote), Khan was projected to defeat Bailey by a margin of 67%-33%. By May 2021, that picture will likely have changed, but since we’ve all got bigger things to worry about right now, Election Night will have to wait.
We’ll keep you updated on this as it develops – in the meantime, maybe content yourself with pictures of Sadiq Khan’s puppy?
Also published on Medium.