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James Baxter

He's right to be supportive of Cameron. He's right that Ken would lose... but only if Steve is the candidate. We need our best candidate, and that candidate is Steve Norris.


Norris is a joker.

He is not "falling on his sword" but withdrawing from a race he has zero chance of winning.

So he is "letting a more diverse candidate through, eh?

What cheek! London has a relatively young population that Livingston connects with. It also has lot of young migrants moving in from the rest of the country and outside it, as well as older ones wh would have heard of him in the last couple of elections moving out.

People do not vote along party lines for London Mayor, they vote for the personality.

He needs to be cut loose.


If Norris is serious about being Mayor, then can he outline what his policies are and how he is going to campaign differently so he won't be thrashed for a 3rd time.

Matt Davis

Norris is NOT our best potential candidate. He has run and lost twice, and last time he ran a terrible campaign. We can and must do better this time, candidate wise, if we want to win.


As torylady says, people vote for personality when it comes to electing a mayor - which norris i'm sad to say lacks !


Norris is not worth the trouble he caused to the Party on the previous occasions he stood for Mayor.

Since Lord Browne of BP is probably going to be retiring, why don't we ask him to give it a go?

Jamie Staines

Reading some of the posts above, I get the sinking feeling of what it must have been like in the Labour Party when Neil Kinnock became leader and started changing things, allowing their party to get a lead in the polls.

Rantings, totally out of touch with reality, were the order of the day for old Labour, yet taken dangerously (for them) seriously in the party itself at the time; popular, tough and populist candidates agitated against by out of touch party activists.

Norris lacks a personality--come of it, not even his worst enemies would agree with that.

Let's ask Lord Browne of BP--memo from planet Earth: the Tories aren't that interesting that people are just going to stop what they are doing and say after a few seconds contemplation, yes I want to turn my life around and run for Mayor. Activists need to stop playing fantasy football and take a dose of reality. Deal with those who are running not some idle wish list.

Norris, Borwick or Lightfoot--do you want a couple of politically inexperienced lightweights or someone who actually has a following among Londoners because he has skills that these K&C council members lack.

Tory lady--I believe the modern word that most Londoners use is woman, but never mind. Have you ever been with Steve Norris and actual voters, real people? He is a top rate speaker, communicator and people person.

It's about time some people stopped choking on their sherries and spent some time thinking seriously about this election. After all, if we can't win London, we can't win a general election either.

Steve Norris does, and that's why I for one would like to see him run.

Justin Hinchcliffe

Excellent posting by Jamie Staines.

Martin Hoscik (MayorWatch)

Jamie and Justin, if Tim thinks it worthy enough I've submitted a perhaps too lengthy article to him for to publcih which I think you'd both like.

Martin Hoscik (MayorWatch)

Amazing, I'm sure I proof read my last comment!

Justin Hinchcliffe

Martin, do you mind emailing it to me at [email protected] ? Thanks, Justin

Selsdon Man

Borwick's article on this site was a pathetic joke. Lightfoot is lightweight.

Norris is the only credible candidate at the moment.


Er, Jamie, the comment about Lord Browne was meant to be mildly sardonic - and as for Mr Norris's people and speaking skills, the same could be, and was, said about Jeffrey Archer. Ahem.

Now I'll just finish my 4th sweet sherry, bid goodbye to the Vicar, don my nightcap, look under the bed, put the cat out and go to sleep. Cos of course, that's just the kind of life us dozy old activists lead, as any fule kno.

James Baxter

"Er, Jamie, the comment about Lord Browne was meant to be mildly sardonic - and as for Mr Norris's people and speaking skills, the same could be, and was, said about Jeffrey Archer. Ahem."

This just shows you might as well be drinking sherry with all those Tory ladies who thought Jeffrey Archer was so wonderful.

If you can't tell the difference between Steve Norris and Jeffrey Archer, you've no business being an activist in a party because you don't understand politics. One went to prison for perjury, not to mention his other dealings as covered by Michael Crick, for example. Steve Norris has actually been ahead of the party in terms of many of the issues we are wrestling with at a national level for a very long time.


Norris lacks a personality--come of (sic) it, not even his worst enemies would agree with that.
I'm sure that he's the life of the party when among his friends and colleagues. On TV and in print, the man is as dull as ditchwater.

Like it or not, the majority of Londoners who will vote in 2008 will not be attending any hustings to get the Norris vibe up close and personal.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know, nobody has ever run against the same candidate 3 times in a row and won "third-time-lucky".
The message we will be sending out to London is that Norris, (already tainted by two losses to Livinston) is the best and only worthy candidate that we have got, and they only need to "come round" to our way of thinking. After 10 years? COME ON.

Tory lady--I believe the modern word that most Londoners use is woman, but never mind.
Sorry but I don't take lessons about what's "modern" from anyone over 30. It's a moniker, dummy. Get over it. I don't need any man telling me what pseudonym I should be using on the internet.

Jamie Staines

"Tory lady" have you been at the sherry too?

Steve Norris is a strong and experienced TV performer. Victoria Borwick and Warwick Lightfoot (which one is your favoured candidate?--this is not fantasy choices as someone said in this thread but actual choices we are talking about) are not. "Like it or not" he has personal name recognition and support in London, support that reaches far beyond "Tory ladies."

That is why as a modern, Conservative, London woman--not a man (although I am someone who doesn't say "dummy"), I believe he is the best choice.

Every election is different so I don't see that this matters but since you are wrong I thought I should point out in passing that plenty of current MPs stood against the same incumbent twice before defeating them the third time around. Menzies Campbell is but one example among many.

Also, it's an open primary so let's remember it's not just tory ladies who get to decide who the candidate is but every Londoner. It's up to them who our candidate will be.

"After 10 years?" I think you'll find it's 6 years since Livingston (sic) became Mayor.


Lightfoot a political lightweight? Don't make me laugh. Special Advisor to the Chancellor was good enough for David Cameron's initial selection, so why shouldn't it be good enough for Warwick?

James Baxter

"Special Advisor to the Chancellor was good enough for David Cameron's initial selection, so why shouldn't it be good enough for Warwick?"

Again, people have a problem taking this election seriously. That would be David Cameron's selection to contest Witney. The London Mayoral election is 74 times the contest, comprising an electorate of 74 parliamentary constituencies not one. MPs stand or fall on the party's national campaign, and don't require national media. This contest is heavily media-driven and stand alone from the party.

Warwick, likeable guy though he is, has failed to be selected for a winnable Tory seat by the dozens of Tory members who comprise selection meetings. How much less likely is it then that he would win in a contest in which over 5 million are allowed to vote? Same goes for Victoria, who has consistently failed to be selected by party members--a tiny fraction of the electorate--to contest even a constituency for the Assembly, never mind the Mayoral election.

Justin Hinchcliffe

James, you are so right!

John Hustings

How can one person be more "diverse" than another?

Dave Harris

It has to be Norris. We can't send some lightweight nobody without any real election experience that voters won't be able to take seriously like Borwick, Boles or Lightfoot up against Mayor Livingstone. A serious party needs a serious candidate.

Jon White

I can't believe that people seriously would support a 3rd Norris canditure. Dave Harris posted that a "serious party needs a serious candidate". So true. Not a two time loser. If that is the best that we can do, then it's hardly worth the expense of fighting the election to watch him get trounced by Livingstone a 3rd time. Better to concede now and save our cash for the GE.

fantasy Mayor

"Better to concede now and save our cash for the GE."

So, are you supporting Borwick or Lightfoot?

Lots of people seem to want to play fantasy Mayor.


"After 10 years?" I think you'll find it's 6 years since Livingston (sic) became Mayor.

Jamie, the point is that in 2008 it will be 10 years since Norris started his campaign for Mayor. The calculation isn't rocket science.

fantasy Mayor

And 26 years since Livingstone began his campaign to take over the GLC...

How many times have the Tories won 42% or 45% of the vote in a London-wide election in the last 10 years "torylady"?

Twice, in the Mayor's race in 2000 and 2004, an improvement on the first time, and a better improvement than the entire party got in London in the 2005 general election.

Since, unlike Steve Norris, the Tories running for London Assembly constituencies saw their vote share drop 2 percentage points (33% to 31%), perhaps they should all resign their seats? Or perhaps David Cameron should resign after the Tory vote fell in Bromley?

It's a rather better record Mr. Norris has than other Tory campaigns in London.

Torylady's sherry is tasting a bit bitter.

free democrat

Crikey - this has turned into a heated debate hasn't it! What strikes me is that we are getting ahead of ourselves. There is going to be an open primary and we actually needn't concern ourselves with which candidate will have the most general appeal as (hopefully) that will take care of itself.

If it was between just these three then, yes, it would be Steve Norris for me. He is damaged by having lost twice before but not so much that it makes him less credible than Lightfoot or Borwick who are unknown outside the Party. They might make good mayors, but I am certain they wouldn't be strong enough candidates to win.

What we need at the moemnt is more candidates. Whats more we need a better informed discussion between them about the policy issues they will be dealing with.

For instance on:

The Congestion Charge - Mayoral elections have in the past been almost single issue referendums on it. Peronally i think scapping it seems a bit extreme these days but as Ken is determined to expand it and increase it there is a natural middle way for us emerging by keeping it, but keeping it small and cheap - it's shouldn't be a rich mans road.

Crime - How can we address intelligently an area which concerns people but the Mayor has quite limited power?

The new powers - Amongst other things the Mayor will be "required to draw up a new climate strategy and say how emissions can be cut in the capital." I would like to see candidates seriously address this.


Tory Lady said: "Please correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I know, nobody has ever run against the same candidate 3 times in a row and won "third-time-lucky".

Sorry, but you are completely wrong. There are plenty of MPs who have won Parliamentary seats after standing three (or even in some cases) four times. Just ask Richard Benyon MP for Newbury or any number of Lib Dems and Labour MPs. The Party should be begging Steve Norris to stand again - quite simply he is the only candidate who has the profile in London to have even a vague chance against Livingstone.

Cllrs Lightfoot and Borwick aren't even famous in their own boroughs. Without being too rude, if we end up with a candidate of that calibre then it is perfectly possible that we won't even come second, never mind beat Livingstone. It would also be a severe blow to the Party after all the noise around the announcement of the new open primary system at the start - put simply, how many Londoners who are not already paid up Party hacks will bother to vote.

Send for Steve!

london tory


I'm very interested on your analysis of this. Especially since our candidate will have to win sufficient second preference votes from Liberal Democrats to win--a fact which some of our would be Mayoral candidates in the recent past have failed to grasp even at the selection board meeting.

Could you email it to me at [email protected] (not the same person as LondonTory06 above)?

Many thanks.

Martin Hoscik (MayorWatch)


The link to the article it here:


Just for clarity, I put it up on MW before I realised Tim has a (perfectly understandable) policy of publishing only original content so it's 100% my fault it's not on CH!

Someone had problems accessing it the other day - if you dont get a VERY long article please let me know!

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