Sadiq and Zac

Sadiq Khan (left) and Zac Goldsmith (right), source photos both via Wikimedia Commons.

Green voters backed Sadiq Khan over Zac Goldsmith in the London mayoral race by nearly 5:1, new figures have revealed.

The data released by London Elects shows that, contrary to reports that Green voters might flock to ‘environmentalist’ Zac Goldsmith, they overwhelmingly backed Labour when giving their second preference for London Mayor – the vote that was counted after Sian Berry was eliminated from the Supplementary Vote ballot.

Sadiq Khan got 71,027 Green 2nd preference votes to Goldsmith’s 14,496 – meaning the latter secured just 20.4% of Labour’s second preference support.

Image from Number Cruncher Politics

In fact, the Women’s Equality Party’s Sophie Walker got more second preference votes among Greens than the Conservatives – despite the fact that casting a vote for a smaller party is ineffective under the SV system. Walker got 16,601 Green second preferences, while the Lib Dem’s Caroline Pigeon also got more backing than Goldsmith among Berry voters – 18,697 – meaning Goldsmith came in fourth among Greens’ second prefs. 

Among Sadiq Khan voters – those that backed him for 1st preference – 298,932 picked the Greens for their second preference, while 111,971 of Goldsmith voters did the same. That puts levels of secondary Green support among Labour voters at nearly 3:1 over Goldsmith backers.

The findings may come as a surprise given that the London Federation of Green Parties voted not to endorse a candidate for second preference in the Mayoral race – unlike most previous elections – as neither candidate would meet the Greens.

The findings may also come as a surprise given that Goldsmith has frequently presented himself as an environmentalist, with some in the Greens viewing him as a potential ally.

But the levels of support for Khan could be an indication of Green voters’ hostility to what was widely criticised as a racially-tinged ‘dog whistle’ campaign by Zac Goldsmith, focusing on issues of ‘extremism’ against a Muslim candidate – and the fact that Green voters are still overwhelmingly on the left of the political spectrum.

The only question is…who are the 1,604 Britain First voters who 2nd preferenced Sian Berry? Or the 3,826 die-hards who both first and second preferenced the Greens? Or the 5892 UKIP voters who also backed Sian? (We could go on) Politics is a strange place, sometimes…

Josiah Mortimer

About Josiah Mortimer

Josiah Mortimer is a Senior Correspondent for Bright Green, writing on Westminster politics and the Green Party of England and Wales. He was Co-Editor of Bright Green between 2014-15, and is now a Contributing Editor for Left Foot Forward.