Zac Goldsmith wins Conservative mayoral nomination

The Richmond MP and anti-Heathrow campaigner will face Sadiq Khan in 2016. 

NS

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Zac Goldsmith has won the Conservative mayoral nomination with 70 per cent of the vote in the first round, setting up a clash with Labour's Sadiq Khan. 

Goldsmith praised his Tory predecessor, Boris Johnson, saying that "London now leads the world in business, tech, media, art and culture" after seven years of Johnson in City Hall, and described London's housing crisis as "the greatest challenge" facing the capital. "We will need a step change in the number of homes built, and the manner in which they are built." Johnson repaid the compliment, describing the Richmond MP as "fizzing with ideas".

Goldsmith polled 6,514 votes, against his nearest rival, the MEP Syed Kamall, with 1,488. Deputy mayor for policing and crime Stephen Greenhalgh polled 864 votes, while Andrew Boff, a member of the London Assembly, got 372 votes.  The low turnout will be a disappointment for the Conservatives. Of the five Labour contenders for mayor, all but Christian Wolmar, with 4729 votes, and Gareth Thomas, who polled 1,055 votes, got more votes in the first round than Goldsmith did in victory. Johnson, when he was selected, got 15,661 votes.

Stephen Bush is political editor of the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics.