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.