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Sadiq Khan poised to become London Mayor in historic victory over Zac Goldsmith - latest updates

The Labour candidate has maintained a steady lead throughout the day

Lizzie Dearden
Friday 06 May 2016 11:35 BST
Sadiq Khan with his wife Saadiya after casting their votes at a polling station in Streatham, south west London
Sadiq Khan with his wife Saadiya after casting their votes at a polling station in Streatham, south west London (Getty)

Sadiq Khan is poised to emerge victorious over Zac Goldsmith in the London mayoral race as counting for the contest closes.

The Labour candidate has been hotly tipped to succeed Boris Johnson, despite controversy over allegations of links to extremists made by his rival.

With verification of the votes now complete, Mr Khan has extended his lead over Mr Goldsmith, with the pair's rivals lagging far behind. All that remains is final adjudication.

The Green Party's candidate Sian Berry was in third place, followed by Lib Dem Caroline Pidgeon, Ukip's Peter Whittle, Sophie Walker from the Women's Equality Party, George Galloway for Respect, Paul Golding from Britain First, Lee Harris of Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol (Cista), BNP's David Furness, independent Prince Zylinski, and Ankit Love, from the One Love Party.

A live tracker on the count’s progress can be found on the London Elects website here.

Mr Goldsmith’s campaign drew criticism from opponents, as well as some members of his own party.

Andrew Boff, the Conservative group leader on the Greater London Assembly, said the “outrageous” tactics had “blown up” bridges built with London's Muslim communities.

Nastiest moments in the London mayoral election

“I mentioned that I thought this was a mistake for future integration in London. If you are a London politician this is just a bizarre thing to do,” he said.

“It was effectively saying that people of conservative religious views are not to be trusted and you shouldn't share a platform with them. That's outrageous.”

Speaking before the count started, a Labour source said Mr Khan's team was “optimistic” about his chances but did not believe the large leads shown by previous polls.

The final survey, carried out as voting started on Thursday, showed the Labour campaign ahead by 43 per cent to Mr Goldsmith’s 32 on first preference.

In the final run-off, according to the YouGov poll for the Evening Standard, Mr Khan was heading for a victory that would make him the capital’s first Muslim mayor by a 57 to 43 margin.

Since YouGov’s last survey a fortnight ago, Mr Khan’s lead has fallen from 16 points to 11 points on first preferences, and is down from a landslide 20 points in the run-off to 14.

A win for the Labour politician, who has been the MP for Tooting since 2005, would be a boost for his party after a disastrous performance in Scotland.

Jeremy Corbyn said he would work to re-build support north of the border after Labour lost 13 seats in the Scottish Parliament, being pushed into third place by the resurgent Scottish Conservatives.

It maintained control of the Welsh Assembly, where Ukip took seats for the first time, and has lost one English council so far.

Additional reporting by PA

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