An uncomfortably slim margin that speaks louder than the loss. That this psychotic, Jew-hating commie would win 48.5%. of the vote is the writing on the wall for Londonistan.
Times of Israel – The counting went on for hours longer than expected. Declaration of the result was delayed over and over again. There was a power cut in north London. Two batches of ballot papers were mishandled and had to be hand-counted.
Finally, more than a full day after polls closed, the winner of London’s mayoral election was announced minutes before midnight on Friday night: Boris Johnson, the floppy-haired right-wing incumbent, was narrowly returned to office.
Johnson just staved off challenger Ken Livingstone, by a margin of barely 60,000 votes — 51.53 percent to 48.47%. London’s mayor from 2000 until Johnson defeated him in 2008, Livingstone was sent home by the voters a second time, and immediately declared that “this is my last election.” For most of the Jewish community, the announcement was a major relief.
Accused of both anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, Livingstone had been clashing with London’s Jews for the best part of three decades. In the run-up to the election it had looked at times as though he might overtake Johnson, and the prospect of a mayor who did not seem to care about the community’s sensibilities — to put it mildly — had alarmed many.
“I hope that Ken Livingstone is consigned to the dustbin of history,” said David Mencer, former director of Labour Friends of Israel, a lobby group affiliated to Livingstone’s own party. He says he did not vote for Livingstone: “Why would I vote for a Jew-hater?”
But while Livingstone may be finished politically, his campaign has left the Jewish community bruised and battered. And it may have long-term implications.
Anglo-Jews, and not only those in the capital, have been left with profound questions about their place in Britain’s political system.
Livingstone’s strategy during the campaign, many claim, was to win Muslim votes by alienating the Jews. There are an estimated million Muslims in the capital, compared to 200,000 Jews at most.
During a meeting with Jewish supporters of the Labour party — intended, ironically, to heal the rift with Livingstone ahead of the elections — the prospective mayor sparked a new crisis by alleging that Jews would not vote for him because they were too “rich.”
As mayor, he showed the same tin-ear for anti-Semitic tropes, calling a Jewish newspaper reporter a concentration camp guard, telling two Bombay-born Jewish businessmen of Iraqi heritage to “go back to Iran and try their luck with the ayatollahs,” and welcoming to City Hall an Islamic preacher, Sheikh Yusuf al Qaradawi, who has supported suicide bombings in Israel. Livingstone himself is a passionate supporter of the Palestinians, who has excused suicide attacks and accused Israel of ethnic cleansing.