Does Boris stand a chance?

Does Boris stand a chance?

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    Or is Ken certain of a third successive victory?

This morning’s news that Boris Johnson had won an overwhelming victory in the Tory “open primary” to choose its mayoral candidate will hardly come as a surprise. In races like this it’s the most well-known that usually clinches it and there could have been little doubt that the former Spectator editor fits that category.

But what are his chances? Is it possible that he could give Labour’s unopposed choice, Ken Livingstone, a run for his money?

On the face of it the electoral system should make this quite an easy election for the Tories. Turnouts are normally substantially higher in the outer suburbs than in the Labour strongholds. In 2004 the Tories had a substantial margin over Labour in the London Authority elections that were held at the same time.

    Alas there wasn’t much enthusiasm behind their candidate, Steve Norris and perhaps one in six Tory voters in the Authority election switched to Livingstone for the Mayor.

Will the same happen again? Will Boris’s perceived lack of seriousness count against him? Was Ken right when he boasted at the Labour conference that he had just delivered “..the first “Boris Johnson memorial lecture”?

It’s hard to say but Livingstone is one helluva politician.

Mike Smithson

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