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Comments

Richard

To what extent will he take the votes of working class Tories?

Steve Norris for Mayor

Hooray! Bird has never been a Conservative and would have been rejected by the members in the Primary.

Steve Norris is the only Conservative Mayoral candidate who can beat Red Ken. Even the Mirror backed Steve last time.

It is time that CCHQ faced up to reality. The other candidates are unknown, lack experience and cannot win.

Alex Hayes

"Bird has never been a Conservative and would have been rejected by the members in the Primary."

That's not clear because it is not only the members who have a vote in this silly "primary," which, as Bob Worcester of MORI has pointed out could result in the election of Donald Duck as candidate.

It's fine to copy primaries but in America there are restrictions on who can vote in them. Even in the minority of states that have open primaries (registered Democrats, Republicans and Independents can all vote), if you vote in one e.g. the Republican primary, you can't vote in the others. Also, parties cannot simply set the date for when they feel like having one. Nor can they restrict whom is allowed to run.

For all CCHQ's lack of planning and thought, Victoria Borwick could end up being the candidate as Labour supporters vote for the person who would be the biggest embarrassment to us as a party.

If CCHQ fail to persuade Steve Norris to participate that danger is now much greater as the numbers of people prepared to participate will be very low if it is just the short list of unknown nobodies that we are looking at now. But I agree that Steve Norris is the only candidate who can beat Livingstone. And having well-known independents like James Whale and John Bird make it all the more important that us Tories don't get stuck with a non-entity like Boles, Borwick, Lightfoot or Boff.

Tim Aker

Alex Hayes, in what way is Victoria Borwick an embarassment?

Personally, I favour Norris (one of the newest converts to the Better Off Out argument) or Nick Ferrari. Both would easily secure the working class tory base and reach out to populist independents and disgruntled Londoners fed up with the loonie left.

MH

Look. The Conservatives ain't going to win this one. Bird or a credible independent might.

Not Brian Coleman

Would much rather see Shagger get it.

He's a sound guy with some solid principles.

Alex Hayes

Alex Hayes, in what way is Victoria Borwick an embarrassment?"

Where to start? Super-rich (inherited, separately, by her husband and by herself) true blue Kensington & Chelsea Tory lady who lunches, who has failed on numerous occasions to be selected even to fight a seat on the GLA, who has no campaign skills, no media skills, and has never been the executive of any significant organization in her life, up against London's most successful politician?

If tactical voting did give it to her, the Tories would have to ask her not to run.

jailhouselawyer

And, what about Bremner and Fortune, will they now be jobless?

Daniel Hart

It's got to be Norris. You can't have three candidates whom Londoners have heard of and an unknown Tory who has never even won as much as a parliamentary or GLA constituency (not that anyone has ever heard of any of the GLA members) but the benefit of being the candidate for a political party ought to be, unlike Mr. Bird, some successful campaign and electoral experience.

Can the party get this sorted for us please?

Matt Davis

I'm glad that John Bird is standing and even more glad that he isn't standing as a Tory, since he patently isn't one. He is more likely to take votes from Livingstone than from anyone else and as such should actually help us if we select a good enough candidate, and that means Steve Norris.

Cardinal Pirelli

Ferrari is an obnoxious fool. Norris may be the least worst option but I can't say I'm too enthused by any of the potential candidates.

sjm

You really must explain this Norris mystique to me.

He was a fairly lowly Minister a very long time ago. He was notably disloyal to the Parliamentary Party last time he stood, as I recall, causing the Leader some embarrassment. He did not campaign in swathes of East London, cancelling dates with little notice. He is noticeably long in the tooth.

And he has lost the damn Mayoral election TWICE!!!!

C'mon lads, convince me.

James Mason

"He was notably disloyal to the Parliamentary Party last time he stood, as I recall, causing the Leader some embarrassment."

You don't understand this election. People aren't interested in voting for clones of the party leadership. That is why William Hague made it clear from the start that the London Mayoral candidate would have the party's London Mayoral policies devolved to them. IDS may not have been able to take that (he wasn't able to take very much, was he?) but that was a mistake on his part.

Pretending that Norris had an unimportant job in government doesn't cut it either. He ran London Transport and was responsible for London's roads, taxis etc--at least half of the job of the Mayor. It's ridiculous to compare that with a bored housewife, an economist and a former think tank researcher, none of whose jobs compare.

The other references rather betray the fact that you are not as objective as you claim.

sjm

Where did I claim to be objective? I don't know anything about Nick Boles, and I certainly don't rate the others.

I can't stand Norris.

How's that for honesty?

comstock

Despite being left of centre I don't like Livingstone one bit.

The first/second preference system that has favoured Ken might work against him this time-no need to worry about splitting the anti-ken vote.

Hopefully all Tories will give their 2nd preference to John and not UKIP or whatever. How openely you can ask people to do this without underminig the Tory candiate is moot, but if John picks up the vast majority of LibDem and Tory votes, as well as a handful from the minor parties, he could just do it..........

comstock

John Bird, 59, said he had not decided if he would stand for a party or as an independent in the spring 2008 poll.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/6479753.stm

According to that,he hasn't decided yet...

Matthew Wright

Steve Norris is the only one whom Londoners can see as a potential Mayor. Let's not be worthy but dull and unsuccessful. Let's go with the guy who has the skill, charisma and brains to get taken seriously by media and voters alike. I'm sure the others would all stand a good a chance of getting a job following a Norris win.


Nigel Morris

Steve Norris is the only candidate with the experience and gravitas to give us the pre-general election boost in London we need.

Fiona Carter

Let's get Norris and get on with this all this silly talk of people who can't get taken seriously has gone on long enough.

Unlike some of them, Bird has some good qualities but has no campaign experience and doesn't want the Tory nomination anyway.

Peter Franks

Hands up those at CCHQ and in the Shadow Cabinet who think Nicholas Bowles can beat Livingstone.

comstock

But Mr Bird was equivocal on the principal issue which divides the opinion of Londoners in the Livingstone era - the congestion zone

According to Bloomberg, Bird is going for a referendum. There will be six options, including scrapping (it doesn't say what the other five are...)

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601102&sid=ak2bNzdZ4vTc&refer=uk

interested observer

"But Mr Bird was equivocal on the principal issue which divides the opinion of Londoners in the Livingstone era - the congestion zone"

It is not the political winner that certain elements in the Conservative Party, who do not have any responsibilities for London, have for too long supposed that it is.

comstock

It (scrapping the congestion charge) is not the political winner that certain elements in the Conservative Party, who do not have any responsibilities for London, have for too long supposed that it is

Well I certainly don't think it ranks above eg crime as a vote winning issue, and there must be literally millions of Londoners not affected either way- if they commute by tube or even live in zones 5/6 and don't enter the centre much at all.

However I do think offering a referendum is a smart move.-something Livingstone never did. I'm also not conviced the alternatives were fully explored (for example taxing work place parking)

Marcia Rowling

We're just not attracting credible candidates at the moment.

None who have declared an interest--Borwick, Boles, Lightfoot, Fawthrop--stand a chance.

Ahead in the polls, now is the time to score an actual electoral hit in advance of the general election. CCHQ needs to find out what it takes for someone serious to get in this.

Helen Wright

Steve Norris was right about the congestion charge.

Comstock

Bird is out, only just seen this

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7051608.stm

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