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April 30, 2012

A tale of two endorsements.

On the front page, above the fold, the Evening Standard announced today that they’re backing Boris in Thursday’s election. That, in itself, isn’t too surprising. Ken’s relationship with the paper has been frosty ever since he hurled Nazi abuse at one of their journalists, while Boris has done the kind of centrist, inclusive job that sensible newspapers like.

The paper’s reasoning for the endorsement is interesting. They say Boris has “campaigned tirelessly for London’s interests”, arguing that the complexion of the government has not mattered as much as Boris’s ”independence of mind in championing our city”.

They say “his vision of what London needs is driven foremost by the capital’s economic interests” and commend him for prioritising ”the investment in transport infrastructure that our economy so urgently needs”. They say Boris “has proved a popular figure able to unite this diverse city”.

Compare and contrast that generous endorsement with the one offered to Ken Livingstone by the Guardian. The endorsement itself is as unsurprising as the Evening Standard one, but the reasoning is half-hearted at best. It could be loosely paraphrased as ‘Look, we know he’s awful. Maybe just give him your second preference votes, yeah?’ They mention specifically Ken’s “cronyism”, “offensiveness to Jewish voters”, “tax position, which offends ordinary voters” and “ethnic politicking”.

That will do nothing to change the minds of those 16% of Labour voters (£) who are ready and willing to back Boris.

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