Labour candidate Sadiq Khan was set on Thursday to become the first Muslim to be elected mayor of London, loosening the ruling Conservatives’ hold on Britain’s financial center after a campaign marred by charges of anti-Semitism and extremism.
His expected victory may be a lone bright spot for Labour on a day of local elections in England, Scotland and Wales. Opinion polls suggested the main opposition party would lose seats in some traditional strongholds, testing the authority of its new left-wing leader, Jeremy Corbyn.
In bright sunshine, Britons trickled in to voting stations to cast their ballots in elections which some campaigners fear could fail to attract many voters, as the contests have been overshadowed by next month’s referendum on whether Britain should leave the European Union.
The fight to run London – the top prize in the local elections – has pitted Labour’s Khan, 45, the son of an immigrant bus driver, against Conservative Zac Goldsmith, 41, the elite-educated son of a billionaire financier.