Can Ken bounce back again?

Can Ken bounce back again?

    Is 10/1 good value on the newt-lover returning in 2012?

mayor-front-cover.JPGI’ve just finished the book by the BBC’s Giles Edwards and the Telegraph’s Jonathan Isaby on Boris V. Ken: How Boris Johnson Won London. This is a highly readable account of both the background to this year’s race and the fight between two men for the most powerful elected position in UK politics.

It’s a great holiday read for political anoraks and gives a good flavour and some interesting insights into this amazing battle. Just going through this again and three things struck me about Ken.

He totally underestimated his Tory opponent which left him without the clarity of message that was needed. He believed his own “Boris the buffoon” rhetoric.

He was harmed by his handling of the spate of media stories about his custodianship of City Hall. He should have adopted a more conciliatory approach and his technique of seeking to smear his attackers made him look shifty only added to the impression of untrustworthiness.

But he is hugely resilient and a has it in him to come back. He learns lessons quickly, and if he could get Labour’s nomination for 2012 he would stand a good chance of getting his old job back.

So how realistic is that? Will today’s news of the investigation into his City Hall spending habits come to haunt him. Will his age in 2012, 66, just be too old? He’s made amazing come-backs in his career before and I would not put it past him to do it again. The next Mayoral fight looks set to take place midway through the first term of a Tory government just when the gilt is starting to come off.

Ladbrokes are offering 10/1 on Ken being the next mayor – possibly worth a small punt if you don’t meant letting the bookie have your cash for nearly four years.

Mike Smithson

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