As a Lib Dem should I really be writing off Brian Paddick’s chances of winning the Mayor of London election later this year? (No you shouldn’t – Ed) Ah well…erm…*looks at shoes is an embarrassed kind of way* but let’s be realistic here. The odds of Brian Paddick pulling off the sensational coup and making arguably the biggest single election splash for the Liberal Democrats in their relatively short history are the same as me actually being in a real-life position having to decide whether Zooey Deschanel or Sophie Ellis Bextor should accompany me to the Ambassadors reception.
So we can write off Brian’s chances and look at the two political heavyweights. A few months ago this seemed like a gentle cruise towards a second term for the bumbling buffoon but the newt isn’t finished yet. Campaigning on things Londoners actually give a hoot about (public transport costs, crime) has actually worked compared to Boris’s campaign of ‘I’ll promote London abroad’. That may interest some in the city but most folk actually care about the real life day-to-day issues that they face.
So Ken now leads Boris in a poll conducted by YouGov. The Evening Standard wrote about with the headline Ken takes lead over Boris in race for Mayor which I suppose gets the point of the story across although it isn’t exactly a humdinger and won’t be up for any ‘Headline of the Year’ awards.
It seems as though this sea change has been down to two things, firstly Labour voters going back to their candidate and not being swayed by Boris and the hate of Gordon Brown’s party at a national level like they were in 2008 and that people see Red Ken as more in touch with ordinary people compared to Boris. I’m shocked it needed a poll to work that out but apparently it did.
It will be a fascinating contest however it goes down and this poll is probably better new for Boris than it is for Ken in a twisted way. Most people though he had it sown up and apathy amongst his activists will have been high. Now this poll will have given them a kick up the rear end that they might have needed. Boris is still the favourite but Ken isn’t an outsider shot any more. He’s a realistic candidate to take the top job in London from the incumbent. Ken v Boris again in 2016 anyone?
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