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Daniel Vince-Archer

I second the call for Ray Lewis to run (and he was the person I said I would like to see as our candidate in the previous ConservativeHome survey).

Ray Lewis has real hands-on experience of working to address the social problems that London faces.

With all due respect, what can somebody like Nicholas Boles bring to the table in comparison?

Robl

I don't buy the argument for delaying this process at all. The candidate needs at least 18 months to build support across London whoever they are. It is stupid to suggest that we should be selecting our candidate six months out from the election;that would defeat the whole point of the primary election in the first place. The primary is about giving Londoners a say in selection of our Mayoral candidate not about creating a timetable suitable for people to 'emerge' as and when they might feel like it. If they want to have a go they should get their applications in now and get on with it.

Political Animal

CCHQ is full of campaign 'geniuses' who have yet to show they can win anything. Especially Steve Hilton who has yet to prove himself.

This primary has the makings of political trauma. Not because of the unspectacular candidates, but because they haven't fianlised the rules and stand to make fools of the party.

Geoff

There are an amusing couple of lines on the BBC website here:

"...critics say Mr Cameron's attempt to open up the race to people not normally known to be Conservatives has failed.

The party has reportedly been turned down by Michael Portillo..."

Those who doubt that he is still in the Party would have chuckled at a possibly intentional dig.

Bruce

In the US the "filing date" for candidates is usually 6-12 months prior to an election--not 18. This early London deadline forces the potential mayoral candidate to file first, then start seeking support. Which is the reverse of what the process should be. The early deadline also discourages outsiders and newly minted "celebreties" from running--some of the very people the party may want as candidates.

In practice, parties in the US that set early filing deadlines do so in an attempt to keep outsiders from running.

Vt

Just out of interest, why is Ray Lewis - who's charity is specific for Black Youth only, which promotes segregation under the banner of "multiculturism" (when it should be available for all disadvantaged youth) - being talked about with such high regard.

If this is what we can expect. Is he any different from the likes of Lee Jasper. No.

london tory

Could we have clarification from the party chairman that Jeremy Clarkson and Carol Thatcher have NOT been contacted by CCHQ?

We would like to know that there are some people with a political brain in their heads at Victoria Street.

ChaunceyGardener

I assumed when CCHQ announced it was going to have a open primary for London Mayor that they had two or three well known 'crackerjack' candidates ready to launch campaigns. It appears I was wrong and that it will be a contest amongst a bunch of political unknowns all of whom will both fail to inspire the electorate and be trounced by Ken because of his greater name recognition.

Ted

Name recognition is important if we are going for Celebrity Big Brother not the real thing :-)

Seriously, while I have reservations about the timetable, I don't think name recognition actually matters that much in a long campaign if it catches the public mood. A big if but properly managed the recognition will come as Victoria, James, Nick, Warwick or Richard make their play for votes. Involving the public is about emotional as well as political involvement - if we can get people to care about who makes it through then we will change the political ground.

If many Londoners have followed the contest and even at a shallow level have "adopted" the candidate they will be wanting them to do well and the winner of the Tory nomination will have had a good deal of public campaigning experience. That will level the field with Ken.

The London Mayoralty elections haven't been about policies but faces,; the Conservative Primary could be what changes it to faces and facts.

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