Boris Johnson has won the London Mayoral election for the Tories, securing a second four year term at City Hall.
After a long and highly negative campaign which saw intense fighting with his Labour rival Ken Livingstone, Boris finally won with 1,054,811 votes or 55.26%.
Going into the election opinion polls had suggested that Boris would win easily, but the final result ended up being tighter than expected, with Livingstone securing 992,273 votes, or 44.74%.
Speaking after the result was announced, Johnson said he would continue to "fight for a good deal for Londoners".
"I will dedicate myself to making sure that Londoners and above all young Londoners are ready to take the jobs that this amazing city creates," he said.
Conceding defeat, Livingstone said: "this is the defeat I most regret" and said: "This is my last election."
Ken's team had been downplaying their chances of winning throughout the day, with a member of his team telling the London Evening Standard on Friday afternoon: "The polls are narrowing, but sadly I think not enough."
Still, the narrowing of the polls late on during the count caused a wave of excitement at City Hall - with Boris' team revealing they had packed up their belongings into boxes in case of a shock defeat.
The count also took on something of a farcical tone late on Friday evening amid reports some ballot boxes had not initially been counted.
In light of crushing defeats for the Conservative Party in local council elections in England and Wales on Thursday, Boris has bucked national trend.
He will almost certainly now be talked up as one of the most likely successors to David Cameron as party leader.
It was a miserable day for Lib Dem candidate Brian Paddick, who finished in fourth place with 91,774 votes behind Green candidate Jenny Jones who secured 98,913 votes.
It was a better day for independent candidate Siobhan Benita, who has polled remarkably well with 83,914 votes, well above both Ukip and the BNP.
Her substantial showing in the polls came despite being denied access to any of the televised hustings before the election - something she has vowed to campaign about in the months to come.
Ukip are blaming their distant fifth place on a mess-up within the party, because they failed to get their party's name on the ballot paper.
Their candidate, Lawrence Webb, was billed only as "Fresh Choice For London", much to the annoyance of party leader Nigel Farage.
Labour did manage to win the consolation prize of picking up two seats in the London Assembly, taking their total to eight and making them the largest party
They managed to inflict a blow on Boris by unseating his formal deputy Richard Barnes, who saw a massive to swing to Labour in his constituency.
Labour’s Dr Onkar Singh Sahota narrowly took the seat, although as with other areas in London there's been a highly schizophrenic pattern of voting, with people often voting for Boris as Mayor but for Labour assembly members.
There were signs of voter apathy across Britain - nine cities voted in referendums to reject the idea of having elected Mayors. Bristol, however, voted in favour of one and will hold a further election on who'll do the job in November.
Full coverage of today's local and mayoral elections:
Livingstone's defeat in London spoiled what was otherwise an excellent day for the Labour party, which inflicted heavy defeats on Tories and Lib Dems in council elections across England and Wales.
Labour gained more than 800 councillors - better than expected, with the Tories losing over 400 wards and the Lib Dems shedding over 300.
The party also saw off an SNP challenge for Glasgow Council, defying expectations that they would lose control. Instead the SNP polled worse than expected across the country.
Tonight Boris Johnson will be partying at Conservative Headquarters in central London, whether David Cameron will be in such a festive mood is much less clear.
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more