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Comments

Jeff Randall

So couldn't win in Hove,actually but can win against Ken Livingstone in London?

Failed in a target marginal seat, never elected to anything more than a local council seat in true blue Westminster. Never run anything more than a think tank. But he's seriously saying he can beat Ken Livingstone? I suppose he wants a safe seat.

Where are the heavyweight candidates?

Richard ROBINSON

Nick is one of the brightest of his generation of politicians of any party and is an extraordiarily effective communicator.

Had Nick wanted a "safe" seat, I have no doubt that he could have been selected for one. We are fortunate that he has chosen not to and is prepared to devote the next year to unseating Ken Livingstone.

Anonymous

Nick has been an inspirational leader at PX. I only hope he gets to show this to the rest of London. Good luck Nick. You already have a lot of support behind you.

malcolm

Nick Boles is a conservative I admire hugely.Personally I prefer a thoughtful if unflashy candidate. If we as a party can ensure that the public in London are aware of what Ken Livingstone has done to raise the quality of life here ((ie 2/5ths of nothing)whilst wasting a huge amount of money and Nick has some sensible policies then he can win.
I have heard several comments like that of Jeff above,but who are these 'heavyweight' candidates we should be choosing?

Jessica Hind

I fear that the road to City Hall is not paved with (doubtlessly earnestly written) public policy research papers...

thatcherite

Steve Norris is too busy at the moment.

Jeff Randall should stand himself. The competition is lightweight.

Anthony Scholefield

Jeff Randall is certainly right-Boles result was worse than the average in the South East-guess why?
The good news is Anthony Browne-he is one of the brighter thinkers in politics but I would have thought hewas far too realistic for the Cameroons-will he be allowed to think the unthinkable on the EU immigration Islam crime etc where he has known well thought out views.

Anthony Scholefield

Jeff Randall is certainly right-Boles result was worse than the average in the South East-guess why?
The good news is Anthony Browne-he is one of the brighter thinkers in politics but I would have thought hewas far too realistic for the Cameroons-will he be allowed to think the unthinkable on the EU immigration Islam crime etc where he has known well thought out views.

tory worker

Check out Steve Norris on 18DoughtyStreet.com to see what is missing.

Amanda James

Where's Steve Norris when we need him? Or any heavyweight candidate?

xenon

The problem with positions like London Mayor is that elections to them turn into celebrity circuses. The fact of the matter is that the people who can go out and win the election may not have the skillsets to actually do the job, the people who can do the job may not have the campaigning skills to win. I hope whoever emerges as candidate for London Mayor gets properly supported and a decent media operation. If that is Nicholas Boles then I would be happy, if it was anyone else I would be equally happy on the principle that a Conservative Mayor has to be better than Ken!

James

"Never run anything more than a think tank." Well, apart from building his own multi-million pound business before going into politics - but then, who cares about details like that eh?

Eveleigh

This is great news for Conservatives in London. Nick Boles is a modern, intelligent Conservative well suited to run a great City. I wish him nothing but the very best.

Andrew Taylor

"Well, apart from building his own multi-million pound business before going into politics"

Er, no, a little DIY small business is not the same as being responsible for delivering London's transport and policing.

It's nice that Nicholas Boles has friends who want to come on this site and say sweet (but not necessarily accurate or relevant) things about him but it takes a bit more than that to be a credible campaigner. As Steve Norris said last night, "it's about more than convincing your mum and dad and a few friends" that it's not a waste of time.

A personal view


The heavyweight candidate would be Boris Johnson

Maude/Cameron needs to take him aside, give him the Frank Dobson talk:

"Look, Boris, you need to face up to the fact that you will never make it to a Cabinet position - do the decent thing for the Party and run for London Mayor.

"You will find that the job has more prominence and involves less work than almost any Cabinet post - bar the top three - which will allow you to continue your other four jobs (journalism, writing books, television appearances and after-dinner speaking.

In addition, the focus on your private life will be much less judgemental and exigent than it would be in Government, which must be a good thing.

Please - for the good of the Party, the Capital and yourself - take up the challenge. You would be a shoo-in, and you might even find, (though you may not yet know it), that you have found the right political platform for your talents, and better - that being responsible for restoring to greatness the world's greatest city, in the run-up to the olympics - could be the best fun you could have with your clothes on."

Mark Hughes

@8.08am

So Nicholas Boles is a multi-millionaire...?

What's the point of making that one up? I think you'll find that he is an employee of a think tank who rights research papers, until his recent replacement by Anthony Browne, that is. I suppose he doesn't have a job now.

Rachel Cartwright

"So couldn't win in Hove,actually but can win against Ken Livingstone in London"

Actually, as it were, his vote fell by 2% in Hove--he did worse than the Tories nationally even in the 2001 disaster.

Some people have spent a bit too much time living in the Westminster village.

policy guy

How about Steve Norris for Mayor and Nic Boles for policy wonk advisor?

Matt Davis

Just say Nick Boles to the average London voter and see what you get back? The response will be "Who?". We can't beat Livingstone with a candidate with no real name recognition across London it is that simple.

Nick Boles may very well be an excellent policy wonk and all round good chap but he doesn't have the profile or serious experience to take on Livingstone and win, let alone the political experience to actually run London.

BoristheSpider

Nick Boles may be a 'policy wonk', but so was Mr Cameron not so many years ago. These same arguments were made about his candidacy for Leader by people who are now reduced to grumbling into their Telegraph, while Dave sets his sights on power.

From what I understand, Boles has been a councillor, a businessman and a very influential wonk. One of the most influential wonks, in fact. This is not necessarily a bad thing - by definition policy wonks know a thing or two about policy. That's what will beat Ken, not going head-to-head on charisma and name recognition. I mean, I love the Boris idea advocated above, until you stop and think about it. No, seriously, stop and think about it.

As for Norris...Twice, he's lost twice. Last time, he just never seemed that bothered. He's got a degree of personal charisma but, as the last two elections show, it isn't enough to beat Ken. Boles might not be enough either, but he's a fresh, young contender when fresh and young would seem to be the coming thing. Add some good ideas and he would have as good a chance as anyone.

PS - I am neither a policy wonk nor a personal friend of Mr Boles, despite my spirited defence of both.

Mike Joseph

"Nick Boles may be a 'policy wonk',"

He simply isn't in the same league as Steve Norris or Cameron. You're right that Norris has "a degree in personal charisma." David Cameron has a bit of that about him too. But it's not just what Boles lacks in that department.

Both Norris and Cameron have won elections bigger than the size of a local council ward. Both have run large organizations, London Transport in the case of Mr. Norris, the Conservative Party in Cameron's case.

Experience--electoral and big organization--counts for an awful lot in this election and in that job. Victory would not be a dead cert for Norris, just as it is not for Cameron. But they are both the kind of serious political players that the London Mayoral election requires. Whatever their shortcomings, people can see Norris being Mayor and Cameron being PM.

Simon Fawthrop

As a candidate in this selection process, I seriously hope that commentators will concentrate on policy discussions rather than candidates personalities.

In a recent candidates debate in Bromley and Chislehurst constituency I would say that Nick carried himself well. However from my perspective Nick needs to adopt more of the decentralising Communities First agenda if he wants to be in with a chance of beating Labour Livingstone. Lets have this ideas debate and then take the fight to Livingstone.

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