The real London Mayoral election result

The people in London, who are actually registered to vote, had their say on Thursday about who they wanted to be Mayor.  Below is the official result, including the second preference votes where a choice was indicated.

The vote doesn’t take into account those people who had a mountain of opportunity to support a candidate but who decided not to vote for anyone.  When you include that number, the election result looks rather different (percentages rounded).

This is the state of politics today.  38.1% of those with the franchise saw anything worth voting for and went through the motions of supporting a candidate under the illusion the outcome would matter.

However at least 3,588,047 of London’s registered voters exercised their democratic right not to engage or select any of those on offer.  There will be a multitude of reasons why they chose not to.  But turnout in London was down 6.7% from four years ago, the last time the Mayoral election was fought.

The political process is failing people and increasing numbers are turning away as they recognise the fact that nothing they do will effect any kind of change.  They do not want anything to do with those who purport to represent them and claim a mandate to lead them.

It is time to stop looking at the percentage of the vote candidates secure, and instead look at the percentage of registered voters who actually engage in the process.  It is far more informative.  61.9% in an election is considered to be a landslide.  In this case, it is a landslide against the political class and politics in general.  Those in office do not have real legitimacy.  In years gone by an electorate excluded people based on class, title and gender.  The only difference now is those not having a say are self selecting.  They have disenfranchised themselves because they have no power.  We just need people to see that they can take power back.  It is within their gift.  It is their responsibility to do so.

11 Responses to “The real London Mayoral election result”

  1. 1 okjoe57 05/05/2012 at 9:16 am

    Yes, it’s not apathy anymore, it’s realism, why vote? Don’t vote, don’t ever vote, don’t even register.

  2. 2 procrustes 05/05/2012 at 10:02 am

    Excellent post, AM.It’s working out how to take the power back that’s the difficult bit.

  3. 3 doc 05/05/2012 at 1:14 pm

    Of course, the old adage ‘if voting changed anything they’d abolish it’ still holds.

    So as matters reach an implosion point we’ll find that all executive power will simply go to Brussels openly (to the point where Cameron and the like will publicly say ‘matters are no longer in our hands’..and….’eat cake’, etc) where the commission et-al will just look over the parapet and say ‘what you gonna do about it?’.

    A post-democratic benign dictatorship…..I’m sure Mandlebrot could enlighten us….


    Thought not.

  4. 4 Mike Jackson 05/05/2012 at 6:39 pm

    I have made this point before and will continue to make it in some shape or form till I stop breathing or my fingers seize up.
    In every democratic country (let’s ignore Syria, China, et al) you get the government you deserve. If you don’t like the people who are putting themselves forward to represent you, then do something about it. There were seven candidates in the mayoral election. Are you telling me that not one of them was putting forward a programme that 60+% of Londoners couild find something in to vote for?
    If true, then the solution (in the absence of starting your own party which is not likely to get you much further forward) is to decide which of the recognised parties most closely represents your view of the world, go and join it, and — along with all the other like-minded Conservatives, Socialists, Lib-Dems — get it back on track.
    Political apathy becomes a vicious circle. Membership of political parties has fallen by anything up to 90% in recent decades. This is NOT primarily because your party no longer represents your views; it is, and always will be, because the membership has allowed the activists to make the decisions.
    If the price of freedom is eternal vigilance so is the price of democracy. You can appoint (elect) a representative to speak for you in parliament; you cannot unless you have no interest in the outcome delegate to a small group within the party either locally or nationally the right to decide how that representative is to act when he/she reaches Westminster or City Hall.
    The millions who used to be Labour or Conservative party members who no longer are (as well as the millions who would have joined a party but no longer do) have abdicated their responsibilities. They have passed the buck. They have told the party activists that they no longer care.
    BUT, they are then complaining that the party no longer represents their views and they see no connection or contradiction between these two states.
    A commenter on the DT website has made much the same argument and reminded me of the joke about the Lord’s reply to Jacob who kept praying for a lottery win. “Meet me half way, Jacob; buy a ticket”. There is no point in sitting waiting for the world to change if you’re not prepared to actually do something about it.

  5. 5 Brian H 06/05/2012 at 3:01 am

    I heard it was Sean, a Scot. After being reduced to living on pizza crusts in alleyways, in painful stages, praying for a lottery win at every step down.

  6. 6 Brian H 06/05/2012 at 3:03 am

    And what do you suppose the voting % would be if NOTA was on the ticket? With a lifetime ban on candidates who got fewer votes than NOTA?

  7. 7 chrismorph 06/05/2012 at 9:18 am

    I read an interesting suggestion elsewhere – the number of representatives in an area should be based on population with “None of the Above” as an option automatically.

    The number of representatives returned should then be in proportion to the turn out – e.g. in an area with 4 reps 20% or under 0, 20-40% – 1, 40-60 – 2, 60-80 – 3 and 80 + 4.

    The NOTA option IS required – it is my right to say these useless twits are all useless twits and I don’t trust any of them.

    To extend this any mayoral election (including NOTA) with under 30% turnout should signal the end of the mayoral role – it’s obviously not wanted, and should only be re-instated after a referendum with over 75% voting.

  8. 8 James Murphy 06/05/2012 at 11:50 am

    Mike Jackson, your point is earnestly made, but myopic. Politics is not the art of the ‘possible’, but of the ‘bearable’. Most people don’t get involved with activism, as you call it, simply because they’re rightly happy to let buffoons occupy themselves thus whilst they, themselves, attend to more important matters, such as life, love and the private pursuits of liberty. It is only when crisis periods occur (such as we are now entering) that people wake up and begin to wonder. – What we are witnessing now is only the first stirrings of such an awakening of conscience, as this ‘bankster-inspired’ financial crisis begins to really bite in the form of sharp mortgage-rate increases, home repossessions, job losses, etc. Only when it hits a sufficient amount of people in the pocket thus, will people engage. – And then, of course, cometh the hour cometh the man, etc: expect the demagoguery to begin! The weather outside is terrible at the moment, but not a tenth as bad as the social storm that is gathering….

  9. 9 james higham 08/05/2012 at 2:12 pm

    Yes, the great we don’t want any.

  1. 1 Residents All, Have You Done Your Duty?… « informedminds Trackback on 05/05/2012 at 6:33 pm
  2. 2 The real London Mayoral election results | Abolish the Bank of England Trackback on 06/05/2012 at 4:53 pm
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