Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London


FRONT PAGE
SiteSearch
About us
Directories


English local elections 2014
London elections 2012
UK elections 2011
British Mayors
Parish councils England
London elections 2008
UK elections 2009
British local elections 2007
English local elections 2006
UK party conferences 2006
UK 2005 election - results
English local government reforms
London government
City of London Corporation
Mayor of London
Recruiting local councillors
English mayors succeed
UK local government


City Mayors reports news from towns and cities around the world. Worldwide | Elections | North America | Latin America | Europe | Asia | Africa | Events |


Mayors from The Americas, Europe. Asia, Australia and Africa are competing for the annual World Mayor Award. More


City Mayors ranks the world’s largest as well as richest cities and urban areas. It also ranks the cities in individual countries, and provides a list of the capital cities of some 200 sovereign countries. More


City Mayors lists and features urban events, conferences and conventions aimed at urban decision makers and those with an interst in cities worldwide. More


City Mayors reports political events, analyses the issues and depicts the main players. More


City Mayors describes and explains the structures and workings of local government in Europe, The Americas, Asia, Australia and Africa. More


City Mayors profiles city leaders from around the world and questions them about their achievements, policies and aims. More


City Mayors deals with economic and investment issues affecting towns and cities. More


City Mayors reports on how business developments impact on cities and examines cooperation between cities and the private sector. More


City Mayors describes and explains financial issues affecting local government. More


City Mayors reports urban environmental developments and examines the challenges faced by cities worldwide. More


City Mayors reports on and discusses urban development issues in developed and developing countries. More


City Mayors reports on developments in urban society and behaviour and reviews relevant research. More


City Mayors deals with urban transport issues in developed and developing countries and features the world’s greatest metro systems. More


City Mayors examines education issues and policies affecting children and adults in urban areas. More


City Mayors investigates health issues affecting urban areas with an emphasis on health in cities in developing countries. More


City Mayors examines the contributions history and culture make to urban society and environment. More


City Mayors examines the importance of urban tourism to city economies. More


City Mayors describes the history, architecture and politics of the greatest city halls in the world. More


City Mayors invites readers to write short stories about people in cities around the world. More


City Mayors questions those who govern the world’s cities and talks to men and women who contribute to urban society and environment. More


City Mayors profiles national and international organisations representing cities as well as those dealing with urban issues. More


City Mayors reports on major national and international sporting events and their impact on cities. More


City Mayors lists cities and city organisations, profiles individual mayors and provides information on hundreds of urban events. More



This archived article was published 30 June 2004
London Mayor faces tougher
scrutiny in his second term
By Andrew Stevens

30 June 2004: The second set of elections to the Greater London Authority (GLA) in June 2004, which saw Mayor Ken Livingstone re-elected for a second term, places it on unknown political territory within Britain’s emerging multi-arena democracy. Unlike the Scottish and Welsh devolved bodies that exist in that arena, the newly elected GLA is a useful pointer to both national political prospects and the Government’s future policies on urban autonomy.

Labour entered the 2004 London elections holding the Mayoralty and joint first place in the London Assembly. However, while Labour had nationally retained its majority in Parliament, some London seats had been lost at the 2001 General Election to other parties and the 2002 local elections saw few electoral successes for the party in the capital either, with some high profile London Boroughs slipping out of its control. 

Opinion polls in the preceding months suggested that Mr Livingstone, a largely popular figure as a high profile Mayor who Londoners warmed to, was on course for re-election, but his readmission to the Labour Party prior to the campaign was not so attractive to voters and would incur some cost to him at the ballot box. However, second-time Tory challenger to the Mayoralty, Steve Norris, damaged his own chances of unseating the incumbent Mayor by accepting the chairmanship of the controversial engineering firm Jarvis Plc, one of the companies responsible for modernising the London Underground rail network under the Government’s Public Private Partnership.

The advantages of incumbency proved sufficient for Mr Livingstone to see off his Tory opponent, in spite of being on the Labour ticket. The national political mood, which saw the Labour Party lose both European and council seats on the same day, had limited effects in London, partly because of the distance between the views of the Mayor and Prime Minister, not least on the question of Iraq. However, the main issues which determined the outcome of the campaign were crime and transport – both of whom featured most prominently among Londoners’ concerns in any polling done in the capital and both of which are the actual responsibility of the Mayor through the Metropolitan Police and Transport for London.

It is in the elections for the London Assembly, the body enshrined in the GLA legislation to act as both a scrutineer of the Mayor’s policies and as a pool of favourable nominees for political appointments to the plethora of functional bodies under the Mayor’s control, which has seen some of the most interesting and mould-breaking developments. 

While designing the GLA, the Government ensured by dint of a proportional electoral system that no one party could dominate the Assembly. The Government also capped the membership of the Assembly at 25, somewhat smaller than previous representative bodies for Greater London, as it believed the public would not support a higher number of salaried members.

The 2004 elections almost saw a repeat of the performance four years previously where Labour and Conservative were equally tied, the Liberal Democrats received seats proportionate to their vote share and smaller parties such as the Greens were able to break out of the ghetto of fringe politics and into the representative arena. On this occasion, the Conservatives overtook Labour by two seats to become the largest party in the Assembly but without a majority. The Greens lost a seat, thanks to the rise of the UK Independence Party (Ukip), who polled badly in 2000 but received a substantial boost in the 2004 London elections due to the publicity afforded to the party in the European elections. The Liberal Democrats also gained one seat in 2004.

Labour may yet rue the day it decided to hold all of the 2004 elections on one date in order to boost turnout as Ukip now have two seats on the London Assembly and all that brings with it – legitimacy, mandate, staff, resources and votes. The rightist party is profoundly hostile not only to the policies of the Mayor (a left-wing Euro enthusiast) but to the very existence of the GLA itself, which it views as regionalist institution created to bring about a ‘European Union of the regions’. With only two members, the party has already made its presence felt to that end.

Labour suffered a high profile loss in the elections in the form of (Lord) Toby Harris, the leader of Labour in the Assembly for the last four years and also Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority for that period, who lost his constituency seat of Brent and Harrow. However, losses were not limited to Labour as the Tories’ group leader Eric Ollerenshaw, the often rambunctious arch-critic of the Mayor’s policies in the chamber at City Hall, lost his list seat due to the formula which calculates party representation on the Assembly.

The ensuing horse-trading at City Hall has resulted with Labour being confined to opposition on the Assembly, with no committee chairships to its name. Any suggestion of the Green Party cooperating with Labour was immediately scotched by the Greens’ leader Darren Johnson, who refused to ‘write any blank cheques for the Mayor’ and wished to exact massive changes in policy. Some observers had assumed that Labour might attempt a ‘Red-Green’ coalition but this did not transpire. Tony Banks MP had suggested such a move while seeking the party’s support for Mayor back in 2002, citing the German ruling coalition as an example. However, the UK Green Party does not share the same outlook as the ‘Realo’ faction of Joska Fischer’s German Greens.  Rather than renew the centre-left pact between them and Labour of 2000, the Liberal Democrats have brokered an agreement with the Tories to share the chairs of the committees that scrutinise the Mayor. 

Some might argue that it is preferable that scrutiny is led by those who do not share the Mayor’s party line and can scrutinise him free of any loyalty conflict, while others may see this situation as merely a recipe for political point-scoring. The arrangement has seen the Assembly elect the often stentorian leader of the Conservative group, Brian Coleman, as its Chair, who will certainly prove to be a counter-weight to the Mayor’s own presence. The London Governance Review, the Assembly’s inquiry into the powers of the GLA and the role and size of the London Boroughs beneath it, has already been threatened with discontinuation by the Tories, who view the body as a vehicle for the Mayor and his Labour allies to propose a reduction in the number of London Boroughs from 32 to just five.

The Mayor’s stated desire to see his controversial Congestion Charging policy extended across West London will also face stiffer opposition under the new Assembly under these circumstances. It is, of course, early days in the Mayoral term. Mr Livingstone has remained ambiguous about his political future, casting doubt on reports that he intends this term to be his last in having said that he intends the mayoralty to be his last political job. Almost 60 years old and displaying an open desire for publicity and power, no one can imagine for one second that he intends to withdraw from the political stage unless the electorate say otherwise in four years time.


London City Hall on the South Bank of the river Thames

Results of the 2004 London mayoral election
Ken Livingstone (Labour): 36.7%
Steve Norris (Conservative): 29.0%
Simon Hughes (Liberal Democrats): 15.2%
Frank Maloney (UK Independence Party): 6.2%
Lindsey German (Respect): 3.6%
Julian Leppert (British National Party): 3.1%
Darren Johnson (Green Party): 3.1%
Others: 3.1%

Distribution of seats in the new London Assembly
Conservative: 9 seats (no change)
Labour: 7 seats (-2)
Liberal Democrats: 5 seats (+1)
Greens: 2 seats (-1)
UK Independence Party: 2 seats (+2)

Total share of the vote in the 2004 local elections in England and Wales
Conservative: 38%
Liberal Democrats: 29%
Labour: 26%
Others: 7%

More