The UK Times reports that a major upset appears to be underway in today's mayoral election in London.
The Conservatives were increasingly confident this afternoon that massive Tory gains in local elections across England and Wales would be capped this evening by victory for Boris Johnson, their colourful candidate for London Mayor.
With the outcome of the London vote due by 10pm, David Cameron's party was already celebrating a 44-per cent share of the vote nationwide. Labour, on 24 per cent, were pushed into third place behind the Liberal Democrats on 25 per cent, losing more than 300 council seats across England and Wales.
It was Labour's worst performance since the 1960s and a humiliation for Gordon Brown on his first proper electoral test as Prime Minister.
But victory in London would cap it all for the Tories. This afternoon, a senior Conservative source told the Comment Central weblog that Mr Johnson, MP for Henley, was set for a clear win over Ken Livingstone, the Labour incumbent. He said that that Mr Johnson would not win on first preference votes "but it will be pretty close to that".
By mid-afternoon, information on first-preference votes appeared to confirm that view, showing Mr Johnson ahead in nine out of the 14 constituencies, with Mr Livingstone leading in the remaining five. Mr Paddick was in third place in each of the areas. About 40% of the ballots have been counted since the count began. A result is expected at any time from 8.30pm tonight.
"Red Ken" Livingstone has pandered to Muslim voters, palled around with Hugo Chavez, and otherwise proven himself worthy of his nickname. If London is to be rid of him, so much the better for the city.
France, Germany, and now London appear to have rejected their leftist leadership. Keep your fingers crossed.
Boris Johnson sealed a nightmarish first electoral test for Gordon Brown, surging to a hugely symbolic victory for the Conservatives in London.
Mr Johnson claimed the largest prize of a triumphant day for David Cameron by ending Ken Livingstone's eight-year reign as London Mayor. He said that he did not believe that his victory meant that London was a Conservative city, but pledged to work "flat out" to earn the trust of those who doubted his capability and commitment to the job.
Mr Livingstone, fighting back tears, said that the fault for his defeat was entirely his own.
Mr Brown suffered humilation across the country as the party lost an astonishing 331 seats. It was Labour's worst election night for 40 years, leaving its local government and campaigning base severely weakened and ministers fearing for their survival at the next general election.