'Buffoon' Boris Takes London's Mayor Race

Johnson's huge win deals devastating blow to Brown's Labour party
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2008 5:08 AM CDT

(Newser) – Self-described "buffoon" Boris Johnson won a hard-fought race last night to become mayor of London, the Guardian reports, dealing British PM Gordon Brown's party a stunning loss in his first election test. Johnson unseated Labour incumbent Ken Livingstone 53% to 47% after a 15-hour count that ended with a conservative taking the nation's first high-profile office in more than a decade.

As Brown humbly vowed to heed voters' scathing rebuke, the often shambolic Johnson was gracious in victory, even suggesting there could still be a job for his defeated rival at City Hall. Johnson, who takes power immediately, will represent his city in Beijing this summer, when the Olympic flame is handed over for London's 2012 Games. (Read more Boris Johnson stories.)

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