Sadiq Khan tells young Londoners to vote or ‘wake up shocked’ to Tory victory

Sadiq Khan has warned young Londoners that if they fail to vote in the mayoral election they could risk waking up “shocked” as they did to the Brexit referendum result or Donald Trump’s victory in 2016.

The City Hall incumbent said that with his poll lead against Susan Hall narrowing, the Tories could “sneak in” if young people do not cast their ballot.

Mr Khan is seeking a historic third term in office, having first been elected in 2016.

Only 30% of 18 to 24-year-olds – among whom Mr Khan is 37 points ahead of Ms Hall – say they are certain to vote, compared with 67% of over-65s, among whom Ms Hall has a 17-point lead, according to a YouGov survey.

Less than a week before the polls open on May 2, the London mayor told The Guardian: “The truth is this election is on a knife-edge. The polls have narrowed significantly and the data shows that if younger Londoners in particular don’t vote, the Tories will sneak in.

“I’m worried we could be looking at a repeat of the Brexit referendum and the Trump victory in 2016, where young people wake up shocked because they didn’t make their views heard at the ballot box.

“In the 2020 US elections, turnout among young people helped the Democrats defeat Donald Trump. I’m asking younger Londoners to do the same in London and ensure we don’t let the Tory candidate win in our city.”

He described Ms Hall, a former leader of the London Assembly Conservative group, as a “hard-right Tory candidate who would take our city backwards”.

“I urge young Londoners – please come out and lend me your vote. Make sure your voice is heard. Every vote will count.”

The Conservatives have been contacted for comment.