Sunday, 13 April 2008

One poll puts Boris behind

One opinion poll has shown Boris Johnson behind Ken Livingstone in the race for the London mayoralty. However, given that the results are within the range of sampling error, all they confirm is that the race is a close one.

The Conservatives have refused to disclose who wll be in Mr Johnson's cabinet until after he was elected. The implicit message is that Boris will be the engaging figurehead and a group of men in suits will attend to the task of running the city on a day-to-day basis.

However, this reluctance to reveal how the distinctive City Hall building would be run could play into Labour's attack which focuses on Boris Johnson's lack of managerial experience. The Labour claim is that Mr Johnson's management experience was confined to a 'small rightwing magazine, where the most difficult decision was where to go for lunch.'

For its part the Tories are trying to make integrity rather than competence the key issue, focusing on Mr Livingstone's perceived cronyism and lack of transparency.

One letter to The Times reflected the feeling of many Londoners that none of the main candidates was acceptable and suggested that the Californian 'none of the above' option should be made available. However, given the wide range of minor party candidates available across the whole political spectrum, there is a de facto 'none of the above' option. Londoners could then use their supplementary vote for the major candidate they thought was the least bad choice.

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