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Top of the shot

Somethings never changes. Two from Kensington and Chelsea. What happened to real diversity, we had a chance to put forward not only a woman, but a black woman at that. So much for modernisation. My guess as to who would be the four to go through from the final 6 was spot on. Poor Andrew becomes the statutory diversity candidate. Why bother with the farce, we all know who will be the candidate at the end of the day.


Who is Andrew Boff?

Don't tell me he is one of the crazy candidate that wanted to abolish the position of London Mayor.

I went to his web site and it told me to be patient.


Two counillors from K and C and an Etonian in the hustings. The Tory party has changed. It has become more elitist?

Deputy Editor

601, Lee Rotherham was the only abolitionist candidate.


Top of the Shot: if you were not part of the selection process, you have no way of knowing why certain candidates did not cut the mustard.

The last thing the Party should be doing is selecting by gender and/or skin colour. To my certain knowledge, selectors take the whole process extremely seriously and do not make their decisions frivolously.


Two K & C and a celebrity who will be crowned. Sorry, I've lost all interest in this sham.

Nicholas Coleman

Why was Lurline excluded from the list ? I think she should be there on merit, regardless of the wider issus, anyone able to fill be in?

James Cleverly

This is a good shortlist. Ignore the trolls (who have moved with admirable speed) there is a good mix of experience and I'd be happy to work alongside any one of them as the next Conservative mayor of London.


So, who was the mystery alderman who made the 6 but not the final 4?


What a sad bunch! Draft Shagger Norris!

Graeme Archer

601 asks "Who is Andrew Boff?". Andrew runs his own IT company, edits and publishes Easteight magazine, has been leader of Uxbridge council, came a close second to Steve Norris in the first Mayoral selection process, and won a stunning victory in the 2005 Hackney council by-election in Queensbridge that took us from fourth to first place. See here.. Labour won it back off us at the last borough big bang but Andrew is still personally responsible for trebling our vote in the south of the borough where we have zero council representation. In short he's a London Tory who delivers. I am partisan as you can see but I think there's a qualitative difference between a Tory who has proven he can win in Hackney and another who happens to represent a ward in K&C. I would rather have the former in a fight against Livingstone.

601: you may not have heard of Andrew before. But I urge you not to judge him until you've heard him in action at the hustings!


Andrew Boff would be a good choice - we need a hard-working politician with a solid track record in local government.

Much as I like Boris, we don't need a celebrity and we certainly don't need a Margaret Thatcher impersonator.

Dunno about Andrew's dripping web site though.


Nicholas Coleman: no-one should 'fill you in' on how a candidate fared at a confidential stage of the selection process. It would be a gross breach of trust between interviewer and candidate for judgements and opinions to be made public.

Any candidate participating in any selection process is entitled to ask the attending agent for his/her comments on these matters.


My Prediction:
1. Johnson
2. Borwick
3. Boff
4. Lightfoot


Andrew Boff is far and away the best qualified for the job. At least he has actually run something in London.


Patricia said:

///Andrew Boff is far and away the best qualified for the job. At least he has actually run something in London///

Well said - We need a Boff and not a toff


We need someone who is going to win the election for us. Not someone who speaks before he thinks and then has to apologise. We need Borwick, she would win the election for us.

Zone 5 Tory

Nice strapline Les. I agree with the above, I think Andrew Boff would be an inspired choice.


Q. Where are the majority of Conservative voters?
A. In the suburban outer ring.

Q. What themes will get them out to vote?
A. Resisting overdevelopment, better policing & more overground train carriages .
(Themes that make outer-Londoners switch-off include - anything to do with Zone 1, Addressing them as "Londoners", the Olympics (unless in Havering))

Steve Norris was hopeless at reaching the suburbs.
Can a K&Cer, ex-Hackney-ite or Henley MP can do any better?

There is one very simple question that will test their knowledge of outer "London" - but that can wait until the hustings!


They've got rid of the abolitionist candidates. Quelle surprise. We fight Ken with his own weapons on his own ground.

And we lose

Gill is quite right. Havering Bromley and Hillingon have no reason to come out and vote for any of these.

Local Councillor

Jonathan. Havering, Bromley and Hillingdon voted overwhelmingly in favour of a directly elected Mayor in 1998. There is not a scrap of evidence that they would do any differently now.

Zone 5 Tory

Jonathan is mistaken - I think the people of Hillingdon would have lots of reasons to vote for Boff ... he was leader of Hillingdon Council!

As someone who lives in zone 5 (hence the name) I would think he's the candidate with the most to offer us.

Boris might be a laugh, but hasn't any outer borough experience. The thought of a posh K&C councillor as our candidate fills me with dread, and there you are right, it would be a difficult proposition to sell on the doorstep.

Let's go with the experience of runninbg an outer London borough.

Londoner for Boris

Amazing how many shoot from the hip here from ignorance. Unless confounded by the hustings (which I will attend), I will vote for Boris but Warwick is not posh - yes he is an Oxford educated economist but, if you read the interview with him on here a few days ago, his mother was a single parent until she remarried a lower Division professional footballer when he was 15; and he went to a London comprehensive school. Re Outer London, if I remember correctly he was brought up in Barnet. He also has extremely relevant current experience as Chairman of his Borough's committee dealing with Community Safety, i.e. liaising with the police, which is one reason why he has some very good insights on that topic.

Victoria is posh (rather posher than Boris probably) but she has been involved to my certain knowledge in community organisations in the rough end of North Kensington for about 25 years (from long before she was a Councillor). If 2 of the best 4 candidates happen to be RBK&C Councillors, so what?

Andrew is also well known to anyone involved in the Party in London, as his advocate in chief, Graeme, has ably pointed out.

The selection committee presumably had to be very careful that they did not include anyone on the list who could not do the job without embarrassing the Party - otherwise there would be the chance of mischief-making in an open primary. Thus, whilst I would have been interested to hear and assess Lurline C, it is always possible that they thought she might come into that category. I am not intending to insult the lady, and I may be quite wrong, but there is that possibility. The same would go for the abolitionist candidate(s) - futile, as it is Parliament which would decide on abolition, not a Mayor. They would have been a sitting duck for a possible spoiling campaign of support by our opponents.

I voted "no" to having a Mayor in the referendum - not sure how I'd vote now. I would point out that several Outer London Boroughs in fact had very high "no" votes - in fact, Bromley in particular may have had a "no" majority (someone will know, tell us). But that does not mean that an abolitionist candidate now would be any use.

Boris will win but all these three opponents, in their different ways, will challenge him at the hustings and make him a better candidate. Afterwards I hope all three will take senior positions in his London team.


@Local Councillor
There is no evidence because they have never been asked and it has never been put to them as a possibility. My parents live in Havering and my father was Leader of the Council and I know what people there think of the mayoralty, which is that it is an expensive waste of time.

@Zone 5 Tory
I knew that but I was at a hustings with Boff and Shagger last time and it was very clear that Shagger was the better candidate. Boff is very nice but Ken would eat him alive.


So what happens now? When is the big vote and how does it work?


The electorate were asked to vote yes or no to the question: 'Are you in favour of the Government's proposals for a Greater London Authority, made up of an elected mayor and a separately elected assembly?'

Yes votes Yes votes (%) No votes No (%) Turnout (%)
1,230,715 72.0 478,413 28.0 34.1

There was a majority in favour of 'yes' in every individual London borough. There was generally more support in Inner London boroughs than Outer London ones. The lowest support figures were 60.5% (Havering) and 57.1% (Bromley), the greatest were 83.8% (Haringey) and 81.8% (Lambeth).

Mayoral Referendum by Borough

Borough Turnout Yes total No total
Number % Number % Number %
Barking and Dagenham 28239 25.1 20534 73.5 7406 26.5
Barnet 80695 35.7 55487 69.6 24210 30.4
Bexley 58140 35.0 36627 63.3 21195 36.7
Brent 62279 36.6 47308 78.4 13050 21.6
Bromley 90958 40.2 51410 57.1 38622 42.9
Camden 45057 33.3 36007 81.2 8348 18.8
City of London 1553 30.6 977 63.0 674 37.0
Croydon 84057 37.6 53863 64.7 29368 35.3
Ealing 69901 33.2 52348 76.5 16092 23.5
Enfield 68643 33.2 44298 67.2 21639 32.8
Greenwich 49556 32.6 36756 74.8 12356 25.2
Hackney 40080 34.5 31956 81.6 7195 18.4
and Fulham 38142 34.1 29171 77.9 8255 22.1
Haringey 44122 30.2 36295 83.8 7038 16.2
Harrow 58790 36.6 38412 68.8 17407 31.2
Havering 60667 34.2 36390 60.5 23788 39.6
Hillingdon 61602 34.8 38518 63.1 22523 36.9
Hounslow 50297 32.3 36957 74.6 12554 25.4
Islington 41278 35.0 32826 81.5 7428 18.5
and Chelsea 28860 28.2 20064 70.3 8469 29.7
Kingston upon Thames 42000 41.3 28612 68.7 13043 31.3
Lambeth 58792 32.0 47391 81.8 10544 18.2
Lewisham 51858 30.1 40188 78.4 11060 21.6
Merton 49572 37.9 35418 72.2 13635 27.8
Newham 41881 28.7 33084 81.4 7575 18.6
Redbridge 61878 35.6 42547 70.2 18098 29.8
Richmond upon Thames 55905 46.0 39115 70.8 16135 29.2
Southwark 62885 33.0 42196 80.7 10089 19.3
Sutton 46117 35.2 29663 64.8 16091 36.2
Tower Hamlets 44307 35.6 32630 77.5 9467 22.5
Waltham Forest 53207 34.1 38344 73.1 14090 26.9
Wandsworth 77915 39.3 57010 74.3 19695 25.7
City of Westminster 40269 31.9 28413 71.5 11334 28.5

Peter Berrow

Graeme you seem to have forgotten what happened to Andrew in 2006, why is that?
Look we must find someone who has the skill to take on Ken on his vison for London. While I got actually no problem with either both Victoria or Andrew I think personally Warwick would be the best choice for us. Boris I think all of us would agree could destroy himself by just one gaffe and the problem is we just can't have four more years of Ken. The other problem is do we vote for another party on the list vote for the Assembly or people think that our share of the vote will actually be more that the seats we win in the 14 fptp assembly seats.

Roger Evans

Peter, I would advise you to vote Conservative for the Assembly list. Because the total is divided by the number of FPTP seats we win plus one, we need all the list votes we can get, just to achieve one list seat. The current system effectively punishes support in the constituency section and needs to be changed by the next Conservative government.

Local Councillor

Jonathan, re Havering Conservatives, you all no doubt think that Alby Tebbutt was a vote winner as well.

Every Borough,including Havering, voted Yes in 1998. I reiterate there is not a scrap of evidence they would vote otherwise. The Romford Conservative party is not exactly a representative organisation.

By running an abolitionist we would be made a laughing stock. The creation of cuddly Ken was the result of abolishing the GLC without a mandate. To make Livingstone a multiple martyr would be political purity gone mad.

london conservative

The run off will obviously be Johnson and Boff. As Johnathan points out, Steve Norris was plainly the better candidate at the last hustings. But Boff as a communicator will easily out-class Warwick and Victoria.

That is a tough call for party members, however. Boris Johnson, as former editor of The Times William Rees-Mogg put in his column on Monday, is "a self-directed missile." Added to his well rehearsed capacity to self-destruct is the weight of politically unhelpful baggage he carries. But while Andrew Boff is a more thoughtful, serious and disciplined candidate, he lacks a really strong profile in his own right.

london conservative

"As Johnathan points out, Steve Norris was plainly the better candidate at the last hustings. But Boff as a communicator will easily out-class Warwick and Victoria."

Sorry, my mistake. It was, of course, Steve Norris versus Andrew Boff at the hustings and on the ballot paper in 2000, after the disgraced Lord Archer was removed as the candidate. 2004 was when Steve Norris beat Roger Evans 77% to 23% in the ballot.

If we can't remember some of these people how likely is it that the public will? But then again, being well known is not everything, as we discovered with Archer.

Peter Berrow

The problem is Roger as you probably know with the multiply of parties and due to the fact that unlike Scotland & Wales(who are at least improving) we as a party do well in the FPTP lot of seats(within London) and with that will we ever, while Labour are in power nationally be able to win PR list seats as the answer is that we won only one in two elections compared to the left who have won nineteen so do we learn anything from what the Labour party did in Scotland in seven out of the eight regions in 2003.
Another nameless person(London Conservative)
joins and makes rubbish comments on this board. What do you base your comments on the four candidates from(Doris Stokes I'll bet)and are you just someone else on this blog who because your arguments are weak need back up with multiple names?

london conservative

"What do you base your comments on the four candidates from(?)"

I was at the hustings for the (second) primary in 2000 in a school in, I think, K&C. Steve Norris gave far and away the best performance. But Andrew Boff was very much more impressive than the two very unimpressive (but well connected in the party) Baronesses who had also entered the primary. I feared that the fact that Andrew's speaking skills were so much better than theirs would not be recognised in the voting because of homophobia. I was pleasantly surprised when he came second.

I know Victoria and Warwick. They are perfectly nice people but not in any way ready for the demands of this role. Warwick is very intelligent, and Victoria (rather like those unimpressive Baronesses) is well connected in the party in K&C, but both lack the political and communications skills required. Nor do they, or Boris Johnson for that matter, have any relevant management experience to be the Mayor.

As for Boris, I was merely quoting someone who knows him well. Countless others--newspaper editors, newspaper columnists, MPs, former Conservative Party leaders--will happily tell you the same thing.


@Local Councillor
One gets the impression that you are the sort of Conservative that hasn't tried political purity in a long while and are perhaps not in the best position to comment on it when you think you see it.

You also seem to hold the opinion that politics can only be responsive to the public mood never pro-active, which is probably why we are having such difficulty making the political weather with your co-religionists in current charge of our Party. A decent politician tells the voters what they think but can't enunciate.

Your de haut en bas sniping at Romford, the most successful campaigning Association in London and your ad hominem attacks on its members betray a superiority that is certainly more social than intellectual.

The Mayor and the GLA are an expensive waste of time. Most voters know this, especially in the outer London Boroughs where our vote is concentrated; where public transport is far from the feast of Central London and which dont get a fair share of public spending on the police as ken looks after his own. Why should londoners pick up the tab for the Olympics - because there's a Mayor to pay for it. Why should they pay for diplomatic and terror protection?

Given the current love of voters for their politicians, a Poujadiste campaign against Ken and his Labour establishment could be very successful. It just isn't going to be tried

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