London mayor Sadiq Khan's chances of being re-elected at the ballots that are to be held on 6 May have risen to a record high 97%, betting exchange company Smarkets has said.
It said over £5m ($6.9m) has been traded across its London election markets, adding that there is a 38% chance that Khan becomes the first candidate since the mayor position was created in 2002 to be elected with more than 50% of the first-round vote.
The Conservatives’ Shaun Bailey looks almost certain to finish second (97%), while Siân Berry of the Green Party and Luisa Porritt of the Liberal Democrats are battling for third place, as per Smarkets.
"The race to become London mayor is so uncompetitive — with Labour incumbent Sadiq Khan up to an all-time high of 97% to be re-elected — that it seems almost hard to believe that the mayoralty was in Conservative hands between 2008 and 2016," noted Patrick Flynn, Smarkets political analyst.
"The Conservatives’ problems in London go beyond a weak candidate in Shaun Bailey (who is a 97% chance to finish in second place) as some of their remaining seats in the capital, most of which are in outer London, look likely to fall at the next general election," he added.
Flynn also pointed out that prime minister Boris Johnson’s seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip in outer London recorded a Conservative lead over Labour 3 percentage points higher than the UK at-large in 2019, yet Johnson’s lead was 17 points higher than the national picture in 2015, a relative shift of 14 points towards Labour in just four years.
Watch: London Mayor Sadiq Khan reflect on year of lockdown
Last month, Khan announced £544m worth of investment for creating jobs and revitalising local areas in the city. However, he warned that the government must match his plans for the capital if the country is to recover.
At the inaugural "London Recovery Summit" Khan said he is putting revitalising high streets, supporting communities and boosting jobs at the centre of his plan to rebuild the capital.
“We owe it to everyone who has lost their lives, to the key workers who have done so much to keep us safe, and to all those who have suffered to ensure that we build an even better London after the pandemic," he said.
Watch: Sadiq Khan makes job pledge in re-election bid