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Sadiq Khan could crush Labour's hopes in UK as mayor set for landslide victory

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Mr Khan’s continued success in the capital will translate as a loss in support for the Labour Party in the country at large, Express.co.uk was told. It comes as he remains the favourite to win London’s mayoral election three weeks away. A number of polls have placed him firmly ahead of the other candidates.

His victory in May would mark a second term in office.

While his time in the position has not been without controversy, Mr Khan has been commended for overseeing a surge in Labour Party membership in London.

Areas like Hammersmith and Richmond last year experienced a sharp increase in people joining the party.

In 2016, Mr Khan secured an impressive 57 percent of the voter share, beating the Conservative Party’s Zac Goldsmith who lagged behind by 14 percentage points.

Sadiq Khan: The London Mayor's victory in May could spell disaster for Labour in the UK

Sadiq Khan: The London Mayor’s victory in May could spell disaster for Labour in the UK (Image: GETTY)

Zac Goldsmith: The Conservative candidate didn't come close to Khan in the 2016 vote

Zac Goldsmith: The Conservative candidate didn’t come close to Khan in the 2016 vote (Image: GETTY)

Yet, as Richard Wyn Jones, a political scientist noted, Labour’s London success could see the party move backwards as it attempts to win votes outside large cities.

He said that as a country, England is “pretty uniform” in terms of national identity and constitutional attitudes, with the “only real outliers” being London and the big, metropolitan cities.

Professor Wyn Jones told Express.co.uk: “You would expect Labour to crush it in London in the mayoral elections, but the problem they have is that it doesn’t translate out of the city.

“There are a lot of parliamentary constituencies in London, but you’re not going to win a general election on that basis.

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London: Khan is expected to take a clean sweep of the votes in the mayoral elections

London: Khan is expected to take a clean sweep of the votes in the mayoral elections (Image: GETTY)

“The danger for Labour is that they get a really fantastic result in London which is absolutely plausible, they do potentially quite well in other very large conurbations, but outside of those they continue to basically go backwards.

“And so that’s why the Hartlepool by-election is at least as important and interesting as London in terms of the long-term prospects of the Labour Party.”

Many believe that the party’s future in the country could be seriously damaged by its current identity crisis.

This was after Labour lost a chunk of its heartlands in the North of England and Midlands in the 2019 election.

Paul Embery, a leading trade unionist and Labour member, said the party’s problem is the fact that it “often sees political issues through the lens of London”.

This appeared to be true of Jeremy Corbyn’s time as leader of the Labour Party.

It was here that membership soared in cities around the UK, especially those with universities.

Party figures released to The Guardian in 2016 showed that membership jumped from 201,293 on May 6, 2015 – the day before the general election – to 388,407 on January 10 2015.

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Shaun Bailey: The Tory candidate is hoping to challenge Khan

Shaun Bailey: The Tory candidate is hoping to challenge Khan (Image: GETTY)

Keir Starmer: The party leader is struggling to win over much of what were once Labour heartlands

Keir Starmer: The party leader is struggling to win over much of what were once Labour heartlands (Image: GETTY)

This was credited in large part to Mr Corbyn’s remoulding of Labour, introducing spaces for radical grassroots groups, many of these, like Momentum, based in London.

Mr Embery said: “London is very liberal, London is very cosmopolitan, but that’s not particularly what provincial and post-industrial Britain is like.

“Part of the problem is that Sadiq Khan will win comfortably in London, and whilst many in Labour will be pleased about that, the reality is that the more Labour is sweeping up the votes in London, the less it’s sweeping up the votes in Red Wall constituencies.

“I think there’s a link between how popular Labour is in London and how unpopular it is in provincial and post-industrial small town Britain.

“It needs to understand that while yes, it’s good to win in London, you can’t throw everything at our fashionable cities and at our university towns.”

Brexit news: Much of Labour's problems appear to stem from the 2016 Brexit vote

Brexit news: Much of Labour’s problems appear to stem from the 2016 Brexit vote (Image: Express Newspapers)

The upcoming Hartlepool by-election was seen as leader Sir Keir Starmer’s first real chance of proving that Labour was relevant to those in the Red Wall.

Mike Hill, Hartlepool’s current Labour MP, resigned this year following allegations of sexual harassment which he denies.

Paul Williams was picked as Labour’s candidate to run in the election, much to the dismay of political observers.

Mr Williams, a staunch Remainer who backed a People’s Vote, is trying to win a constituency that voted 70 percent to leave the EU.

Paul Williams: The arch-Remainer will contend the Leave seat of Hartlepool this May

Paul Williams: The arch-Remainer will contend the Leave seat of Hartlepool this May (Image: GETTY)

A telephone poll carried out by Survation last week found that Jill Mortimer, the Tory candidate, has support from 49 percent of voters, while Mr Williams has 42 percent.

A Labour source told The Daily Telegraph the party now expects the seat to turn blue for the first time since 1964.

They said: “Labour would have lost Hartlepool in 2019 had it not been for the Brexit Party.

“In the context of the vaccine bounce, the Conservatives should take this seat.”



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