Almost everyone who came to my surgery this week began the conversation by saying "terrible news about Ken" or some such similar lament for Mr Livingstone's demise.

As well as being grateful for the sharing of grief at the passing of perhaps London's most iconic politician, this confirmed my view that the mayoral election had touched on people in a way even general elections can fail to do.

The increase in turnout, that saw Livingstone lose despite getting nearly half as many votes again as four years ago, showed a lot was at stake.

The results for Labour in London - and locally - were much better than in the rest of the country. Livingstone scored 12 per cent more than Labour nationally, and lost 53 to 47 in the run off. The London Assembly seats saw swings of up to six per cent to the Tories in the suburbs and three per cent to Labour in East London, but nothing on the scale of the double digit swings in England and Wales. In West London there were small swings to the Tories in the assembly votes but in council by-elections in Ealing and Hammersmith, no swing or even a swing against the incumbent Tory councils, despite huge efforts and spending by them.

But none of this can dispel the disappointment of losing the mayoralty. I think it is right to give anyone newly-elected time to show their true colours, and Boris Johnson has already said he wishes to prove that much of his reputation is misplaced. But he has already made it clear in whose interests he will be governing. He intends to scrap the higher rate congestion charge for gas guzzlers. He aims to restrict bus travel for under 18s and possibly for pensioners too. With his history of insulting everyone from ethnic minorities to whole cities and countries, he seems an unlikely figure to lead London.

I think the empathy for Ken from my constituents was in part a fear that their chances of getting a decent home, better public transport or safer streets had just gone down.

Let's hope the terrible news for Ken isn't terrible news for those who are most vulnerable in our community.