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Matthew Carter

"Mayoral policy adviser mayble. Mayor or Mayoral candidate. Come off it"

This is a good point. I think we are losing sight of what it takes to win this election. We need someone who can convince people that he or she could be the Mayor, ie actually win the election and actually be able to do the job.

So far, we have no-one. We've got to have someone to show that our party can win again.


This evening's Evening Standard chose an unnecessary title to announce Boles intentions.

london tory

This is depressing. Are the people who designed this contest, which to date has produced three candidates whom Livingstone would blow away, really in charge of our general election campaign?

Stephan Shakespeare

I think a Conservative candidate has a very good chance of winning - a 5% swing from the 2004 result (in which the Conservative campaign was unspectacular) is surely a serious possibility. Especially if the Tory can attract a few more second-preference from the LibDems.

I think the idea that this necessarily needs a 'big hitter' is wrong. The media will want a proper contest, and will anyway be duty-bound to give the Conservative candidate a proper platform. A pleasant and fair-minded candidate with a strong policy platform and a convincing management style could have a fresh appeal.

What Nick Boles needs to avoid is putting himself forward as a 'New Tory' - why should Londoners care about the inner drama of the Conservative Party? What can he do to make life better for Londoners? How can he convince us he'll be able to deliver? That's all that matters.

london tory

I half agree and half disagree with Mr. Shakespeare.

The media will want a proper contest but they won't regard this as one on the basis of the candidates announced so far.

The election is a soap opera to the media so anyone that isn't taken seriously as someone who could beat Livingstone will struggle to get the necessary publicity to even be heard.

Victory with a strong candidate is a serious possibility but with those in so far the media would regard the contest as over before it started. Too many Conservatives by far underestimate this election.


We should await the primaries to judge the potential candidates. Treated rightly they will be both great fun for us hack types and a great way to boost our winning candidate.

Justin Peterson

Experience as a local councillor and writing policy papers hardly qualifies as regards campaigning or being the Mayor.

Let's have a candidate with a real chance of winning this one.


We don't have a candidate. Let's campaign to offer a referendum on abolishing the Mayoralty and giving Londoners their money back

There's no way we win if we play by Ken's rules. Its time to think laterally and break free. None of Blair's constitutional reforms are sacrosanct.

Jill Richardson

Nick Boles should call up Steve Norris and ask to be his policy advisor. The answer to Ken Livingstone is a serious tough personality who has actually done jobs that have some relation to the Mayor's not someone from a think tank.

Mark Riley

Nicholas Boles's credentials could not be better. He has a rare combination of intellect and approachability. Hunting out a c-list celeb candidate smacks of tabloid politics, and will backfire if said celeb can not communicate a passion for making London a better place to live. Nicholas has done the thinking; now is his chance to do the doing.

Barbara Preston

Another nobody who no-one has ever heard of who no-one, including the media, will believe can defeat Livingstone. This is like if, instead of running Mayor Livingstone, the Labour Party offered a primary including

(a) the person who runs IPPR
(b) an obscure Labour Assembly member from Labour's inner city heartland
(c) a failed (3rd) borough mayoral candidate
(d) a councillor from a safe Labour ward in Newham
(e) another councillor from a safe Labour ward in Newham

Against a high-profile, strong Conservative candidate (unlike those we have so far) who would rate Labour's chances in that line up?


Barbara Preston has summed up the situation perfectly.

Imagine if Livingstone were to stand down the Labour contest would begin with Gavron, Len Duvall, Steve Bullock and perhaps Jim Fitzpatrick.

That collection looks laughable, which is how we look this evening.

Since 1971 Livingstone has fought and won 12 elections in London. He has had just one failure, Hampstead in the 1979 GE.

He is beatable, but with a candidate who looks at least his equal. To misquote the late Senator Bentsen "Mr Boles you are not Livingstone"

Brendan Hart

Nick Boles is no Steve Norris.


What none of the pro-Nick Boles people on this discussion care to mention is that for all the talk and the hype, Nick lost Hove, when to win it, all he needed to do was keep the same vote as the mediocre campaign at the previously election got. He worked hard, looked good and sounded different to old tories, but it didnt work. People didnt buy the spin.

Ultimately you have to judge wannabe politicians on their record and Nick just wasn't any good.

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