Members of the Labour Party in London have voted overwhelmingly for Ken Livingstone to be the party's candidate for the London Mayoral election in 2012.

Mr Livingstone was the first person to hold the post of elected mayor of London and was only dislodged from the post in 2008 by the current Conservative mayor Boris Johnson.

He was also mayor at the time when London was awarded the Olympic Games in 2005. Should he win the election in the spring of 2012 he would find himself as the mayor during the games themselves as well.

Mr Livingstone's main contender was Oona King, who served as Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow until being ousted by the Respect Party's George Galloway at the 2005 general election.

Mr Livingstone won the selection, in which 33,000 people could vote, with 68 per cent of the vote.

The selection of Mr Livingstone, and the news earlier this month that Mr Johnson wants to stand again, sets the stage for a virtual re-run of the 2008 election, which Mr Johnson won by over 100,000 votes.

The news of Mr Livingstone's selection comes just a day before the Labour Party chooses its national leader following a contest that has lasted around four months. It is widely expected that either David or Ed Miliband will win the contest.

Following his selection Mr Livingstone said, "We need a Mayor who will stand up for London.

"The choice between me and Boris Johnson could not be clearer. I will protect the fare payer. After Boris Johnson's unnecessary fare increases that go hand in hand with cuts to investment we need fairer fares. I promise that fares under my administration will be lower than if Boris Johnson is re-elected.

"Today's decision by London Labour members signals the start of a campaign to change London for the better and to protect Londoners from the cuts of this government that threaten to wreck lives and push us back into recession.

"I will unite Londoners around this message.

"The London election in 2012 will be the chance to send a message to David Cameron and George Osborne that we don't want devastating cuts to our public services, fewer jobs, and declining living standards.

"If you want them out, first vote Boris out."

Harriet Harman, Acting Leader of the Labour Party, said, "Ken is the decisive choice for Labour's candidate to stand for London Mayor. He has the backing of London's growing Labour Party membership, Labour's growing team of London councillors and London's Labour MPs.

"He will win the backing of all Londoners who want London to be a safe, prosperous, fair city. He will provide leadership to communities across London who are threatened by Tory spending cuts.

"Oona has won the admiration of Londoners. She will play a vital part in Labour's campaign for London and a leadership role in Labour politics in the future."