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Posts tagged ‘London mayoral race’


Lord Winston attacks Ken’s ‘disastrous’ and ‘unhealthy’ politics.

First Lord Sugar urged his 1.8million Twitter followers to not vote for Ken. Now another famous Labour peer – Lord Winston – has openly attacked Ken, just a week after fronting Labour’s Party Election Broadcast. He said on the Daily Politics:

“I don’t really understand how we’ve chosen Ken Livingstone, who’s shown to be quite a tricky sort of customer. I’d have thought we would have had a fresher view about how London might be led by Labour. I think Ken’s espoused some disastrous causes, and I must say that some of his comments on international politics seem to me to be extremely unhealthy.”

Couldn’t agree more, Lord Winston…

UPDATE: See the video:


The “21% Ken Livingstone distrust deficit”.

Perhaps the most interesting analysis of the campaign to come out of last night’s BBC London mayoral debate (watch it here), was when Andrew Neil compared Labour’s lead over the Tories in London, with Ken’s deficit to Boris. He said to Ken:

“There’s an issue of trust with you. Your party, the Labour Party, is 15% ahead of the Tories in London. You personally are 6% behind the Tories. My arithmetic shows that’s a ’21% Ken Livingstone distrust deficit’.”

Even today’s poll – which has Boris leading Ken by 2% – still shows a 21% Ken Livingstone deficit, given Labour are apparently 19% ahead of the Tories in London. It’s now clear that Boris is personally the most popular candidate – by some distance – but that Ken has the fortune of belonging to a currently popular party. That ‘distrust deficit’ – which comes from, amongst other things, his record of breaking promises, his personal attacks on various minorities, and his extensive tax avoidance – will make it hard for him to convince the electorate of the credibility of his shamelessly unachievable policies.


Imagine a Ken victory.

Imagine if the mayoral polls haven’t been completely accurate, and Boris’s lead is actually only, say, 4%. And imagine if not enough voters bother to look into Ken’s fares policy to see what a shameless deceit it is. And imagine if Lutfur Rahman et al are now busily filling in twenty pro-Ken postal votes for every two-bed flat in Tower Hamlets.

And then imagine, if you can bear it, the thought of watching Ken’s victory speech, riddled with self-satisfaction, before four years of rocketing council tax, rocketing crime, profligate waste, massive congestion charge expansion, corrupt cronies, negligently low levels of transport investment, and attacks on certain minorities more befitting of a pariah state.

That could yet happen.

With Boris having led in the polls by between 6-8% for more than a month now, and with Ken racking up gaffes, setbacks and unaffordable policies like they’re going out of fashion, the bookies now make Boris the firm favourite. But as Andrew Gilligan alluded to in the video I posted yesterday, that brings its own dangers. Boris’ lead isn’t sufficiently big that he can afford for any of his supporters to assume that the race is won, and to not bother voting.

Whether you’re planning to go to a polling station on 3rd May, or whether you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of Londoners who have now received their postal ballot papers, if you’re keen for a trustworthy mayor who unites London, keeps his promises, keeps council tax down, is dragging London’s transport system into the 21st Century, has a fully-costed plan to create an extra 200,000 jobs, has overseen London’s murder rate fall to its lowest since 1969, then I implore you to find time to back Boris.


Gilligan: Beware complacency.

Harry Cole and Andrew Gilligan put the boot into Ken last night, but Gilligan’s warning over potential complacency was also hugely important:

“The danger for Boris is that Tory supporters start thinking it’s all over, he’s won, there’s no point coming out to vote, and then Ken gets in through the catflap.”


Lord Sugar: Ken, you’re fired.

Although there’s been a veritable flood of Labour members declaring themselves to be against Ken Livingstone, most thus far have been – whilst often respected in political and media circles – largely unknown by normal Londoners. That’s now all changed.

Earlier today, Lord Sugar – Apprentice supremo, Labour peer and Labour donor – urged his two million Twitter followers to not vote for Ken.

It’ll be interesting to see if Sugar elaborates further nearer the election, but it’s easy to see why he wouldn’t be keen on the old socialist’s anti-business, anti-Jew rhetoric. Whatever the reasons for Sugar’s sage advice, it goes without saying that being openly discredited by one of his party’s most popular and well-known supporters is a massive blow for Ken and his team.


Labour MP blasts ‘tired’ Ken.

Labour MP Austin Mitchell earlier shared his views on the state of Ken’s campaign…

When the Huffington Post checked with him to see if he’d been hacked, he was instead even more forthright:

“There’s no excitement, is there? He just seems tired out. We’re desperate that Ken should be elected because we’ve suffered a reverse in Bradford, we have a new leader and he’s still finding his feet. We need a win, we need a big win.”

Not the most helpful contribution, Austin…


The wisdom of Boris’ crowds.

The closer to the election we get, the bigger the crowds…

[Hat-tip: photos stolen from @CFoI]


Evening Standard misread new mayoral poll.

A new YouGov poll out today shows Boris has maintained his six-point lead over Ken Livingstone. This despite Labour leading the Tories by 17 points in London. In the first round of voting, Boris is on 45%, Ken’s on 40%, Brian Paddick’s on 7%, the UKIP candidate Lawrence Webb is on 3%, with the Green candidate Jenny Jones and independent Siobhan Benita tied on 2%.

The background data is, as ever, interesting. Boris leads Ken 59-41 amongst women, suggesting the messages on trust, crime and council tax are getting through particularly well. He also has a huge 67-33 lead in the demographic most likely to vote – those aged 60+. His approval rating (+21%) is one that Cameron, Miliband et al would kill for.

The response to one question, however, completely confused the Evening Standard. Their analysis of the poll led with the headline-grabbing statistic that eight out of ten Londoners believe Boris is a “mayor for the rich”. What they’d failed to notice was that the figure – 78% to be more accurate – came from a much smaller subsample of people who believe Boris helps some groups more than others. When calculated properly, the figure was closer to 35% – an unsurprising level given Ken’s support amounted to 40%. They promptly amended their story online, but it was too late for the print version. Expect an apologetic correction in tomorrow’s edition…