Mayoral Update: Ken Concentrates On His Personality

By M@ Last edited 122 months ago
Mayoral Update: Ken Concentrates On His Personality
All I do each night is pray...hoping that I'll be electable again some day.

The highlight of the mayoral election week came at the Evening Standard’s Influentials Debate at the RSA on Monday, when Ken Livingstone told LBC breakfast host Nick Ferrari why he doesn’t drive. He revealed that he’d tried cars when a young man because he’d thought it would help him to get girls, but in the end had decided to “concentrate on my personality.” There were great hoots at that, showing that even in a fairly hostile environment the old winning charm hasn’t deserted him.

It’s just as well. As the week went on it became clearer still that the battle to be next mayor is a close one and that Boris Johnson may be slightly ahead. The newest opinion poll for YouGov gave The Blond a small but clear lead. Although some older data done privately for Labour’s man by Ipsos-MORI – and seemingly released to dull the impact of the YouGov findings – looked better for Livingstone, the findings on electors’ second preferences, which will probably be decisive, looked better for the Tory.

You can almost sense the campaign teams moving up through the gears as the official start date – 18th March – comes nearer. Livingstone’s lot continue seeking to expose Johnson as an incompetent twit, while Communities Secretary Hazel Blears reckons he's "A nasty, right-wing elitist, with odious views and criminal friends like Conrad Black." Ouch.

For its part, Team Boris continues to present itself as offering the fresh, upbeat alternative that listens to Londoners about crime and transport, which will continue to be a big theme next week. And Brian Paddick the Lib Dem? He’s still miles back in third but has gained at Ken’s expense, and has been bashing him constantly. Thud, crash, biff. Ah, the sweet sound of democracy!

By Dave Hill.

Read more from Dave over at the Guardian, and on his mayoral blog.

Image from World Economic Forum's Flickr photostream.

Last Updated 29 February 2008


Love him or hate him Mr. Livingstone of mayoral candidates is ‘independent’ of the main political parties even if Labour appears to endorse him. This makes him a most definite choice for Mayor of London where he can continue to cock-a-snook at party political interests with his famed reference; always; to the people of London’s concerns which government ignominiously ignores.

Anyone can see that the Conservatives; desperate for a credible mayoral candidate; are impelled to foist onto a blasé London public a Conservative ne’er-do-well, a bumble-worded out-of-town toff who’s retainers having constantly to rush to comb down his unruly topknot, will note that no relevant CV makes B. Johnson fit to be Mayor of London even with nicely raked hair. If Boris is ‘so cool’ why hasn’t David Cameron got him into the opposition cabinet? ‘David, it’s over to you’. On second thoughts ‘don’t bovver’. –

Yes, he’s likeable (Boris that is) so are Paddington Bear and The Wombles of Wimbledon. These cuddly toys have more relevance to mayoral candidature than tousled haired Home Counties Boris Johnson. Surely?

Boris mate - stay in your home county constituency Henley-on-Thames where I’m sure you will continue to be applauded by fellow Hooray-Henry’s and Henrietta’s for your dexterous punt manoeuvres on balmy Oxfordshire’s River Thames. By the way Boris; is it true your poling skill once had you clinging to a slowly sinking punt-pole in the middle of the Henley Thames as you watched your boat full of shrieking, hyperventilating rudderless Annabelle’s and Henrietta’s glide away leaving you stranded mid-river where you were last heard by the first of the evening’s towpath trollers expleting “B_ _ _ _r Me! No Totty Tonight! – I’ll pong too much like an Oxfordshire Toad?”