UK 5 May 2012 Was Ken really a drag on Labour? Livingstone finished less than a point behind his party. Sign up for our weekly email * Print HTML Throughout the London mayoral election, commentators (including myself) frequently noted that support for Ken Livingstone trailed support for Labour in the Assembly. The conclusion they drew was that an alternative candidate could have performed better. In the final YouGov poll, Ken underpolled his party by six points. Yet as Éoin Clarke noted this morning, the final results told a different story. Ken won 40.3 per cent of the vote in the first round, less than a point behind Labour, which attracted 41.1 per cent. So, while Ken still trailed his party, the gap was nowhere near as large as previously thought. As Clarke notes, since Boris Johnson won 44 per cent, Labour would have needed a candidate who could outpoll his or her own party by three per cent. The reality, perhaps, is that any Labour candidate would have struggled against Boris, who successfully detached himself from the Conservatives and retained his unrivalled personal appeal. › Livingstone failed because his old tactics no longer work Ken Livingstone won 40 per cent of the vote, Labour won 41 per cent in London. Photograph: Getty Images. George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman. Subscribe from just £1 per issue More Related articles What actually is Article 50? The small print that will trigger Brexit Who will win the Copeland by-election? What is the Scottish Six and why are people getting so upset about it?