Labour Win Local London Assembly Seat with Ease

Increased majority for Leonie Cooper in Merton and Wandsworth

Leonie Cooper (centre in red coat). Picture: Ellie Baker AM

May 10, 2024

Rumours of a closer than expected contest for London Mayor that were circulating this Friday evening and Saturday morning were quickly confounded by the declaration of the result in the Merton and Wandsworth constituency.

Some commentators were even suggesting the possibility of a shock win for Susan Hall due to the early publication of turnout numbers which showed that more people had voted in Conservative leaning constituencies. However, Sadiq Khan ultimately won by his largest ever victory margin close to what the polls had been predicting all along.

Labour’s Leonie Cooper increased her share of the vote in Merton and Wandsworth by two percentage points to 43.7% and with the Tory challenger Ellie Cox seeing a 5.5 percentage point fall to 29.2% the winning margin increased to 7.5 percentage points.

She has pledged to continue her campaign for the government to properly fund the repair of Hammersmith Bridge and promised to continue campaigning to tackle London’s housing crisis.

She said, “Under Mayor Sadiq Khan, City Hall has done a great job of protecting London from the damage the government has done to the rest of the country. 

“City Hall has stepped up to make London the greenest city in the world, investing to make sure that sewerage is kept out of our waterways, something that the government should learn from. On top of this, I’m pleased to see that London is building again, building more new council homes than at any time since the 1970s and I will make sure that we keep this up over the next four years. 

“Thank you to voters for putting their confidence in me. I will be the champion for our part of southwest London at City Hall. The Mayor’s plans will make London fairer, safer and better connected over the next four years – and Merton and Wandsworth must be a part of that.” 

Turnout held up relatively well with 176,823 electors in the two boroughs taking part down by 1 percentage point from the previous election.

Sadiq Khan saw an even bigger margin of victory in voting in the Mayoral race within the constituency. He received 84,725 votes of 48.3% compared to Susan Hall’s 50,976.

Labour’s share in the Party List vote was slightly lower at 40.4% and the Greens managed to sneak ahead of the Lib Dems in third place with 11.1% having finished behind them in the Assembly Member vote.

In a generally bleak set of election results across the country, there was some joy for the Conservatives with Nick Austin winning back one of the seats on Wandsworth Council in the West Putney ward.

Merton and Wandsworth Election Results - May 2024











Leonie Cooper



+ 2.0




Ellie Cox






Liberal Democrats

Sue Wixley







Pippa Maslin






Reform UK

Tania Marszalek






Rejoin EU



Animal Welfare






Britain First







Laurence Fox







Farah London







Gabe Romualdo







Valid Votes



Invalid Votes









Labour hold


+ 3.8

Despite its gains, Labour does still does not have a majority on the London Assembly now holding 11 out of the 25 seats. The party will be dependent on support for the Greens who have three representatives and the Liberal Democrats with two. The Conservatives now have eight members in the assembly.

There was some speculation on social media on Friday evening that the Mayoral election could end up being closer than expected. Figures released on Friday showed that turnout was down in all seven London Assembly constituencies in which Sadiq Khan polled more first preference votes than his Tory rival Shaun Bailey in 2021. Turnout had meanwhile risen in some of the constituencies which had returned Conservative candidate. With not a single vote counted at this point, these predictions of a tight contest proved ill-founded with Sadiq Khan going on to win a third term with an increased majority receiving 43.8 per cent of the votes (1,088,225) to Susan Hall’s 32.7 per cent (811,518).

Ms Hall congratulated the Mayor on his victory, before saying he must make tackling crime his top priority adding, “He owes it to the families of those thousand people who have lost [their] lives to knife crime, under his mayoralty.

“I will continue to hold Sadiq to account, to stand up for hard-working families, for motorists and for women.”

The best ever result for a winning candidate in terms of vote-share was achieved by Mr Khan in 2016, when he secured his first term as mayor with 44.2 per cent of ‘first preference’ votes, under the old ‘supplementary vote’ system.

For this year’s City Hall election and others going forward, the voting system has been changed to ‘first past the post’, meaning that voters are no longer able to choose a first and second preference for mayor. The winning candidate now simply had to receive more votes than any other.

The lowest win, by vote-share, was that of Labour’s Ken Livingstone when he won re-election in 2004, with 37 per cent of first preferences. This was down from the 39 per cent he received when running as an independent in 2000.

In that earlier contest – the capital’s first mayoral election – Mr Livingstone achieved the largest margin of victory by a London mayor over their nearest opponent, defeating Tory candidate Steven Norris by 11.9 percentage points.

By contrast, the narrowest winning margin was held by Tory mayor Boris Johnson when he secured a second term in 2012 with just 3.7 percentage points over Mr Livingstone.

Since the mayoralty’s creation in 2000, overall turnouts for City Hall elections have averaged at about 40 per cent.

Historically, the highest turnouts in London mayoral contests have been in the ‘change’ elections of 2008 and 2016 – when Tory mayor Boris Johnson and Labour mayor Sadiq Khan each seized their first victories, respectively. But even in those contests, fewer than half of eligible Londoners actually voted, as only 45 per cent turned out in each.

At the other end of the scale, the lowest turnout recorded was in the mayoralty’s first election in 2000, back when Londoners were unused to the idea of having a directly-elected mayor. Just over a third of those eligible – 34 per cent – cast their ballots.

Written with contributions from the Local Democracy Reporting Service

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