Ken vs Boris Round 2
Congratulations to Ken Livingstone on his selection to re-fight the London Mayoral election.
I enjoyed the unity in London Labour of the 2008 Ken campaign - hopefully we can replicate it this time but with a different result.
My tips for Ken for a Labour victory this time are as set out in previous blog posts in 2008:
- You can't win just by firing up our core vote in inner London and BME communities. We'll do our bit in Hackney - we sure did last time - but you'll never win an inner London vs outer London turnout war because of the maths - there are more voters in outer London!
- So you need to get out and campaign in the suburbs far more than you did in 2008.
- The voters you are going after out there aren't posh - far from it - they just don't identify with inner London. You need to be a voice for white C1 and C2 voters in Bexley, Dagenham, Romford, Enfield, Croydon, as well as for your comfort zone in Hackney and Brent.
- Build some bridges with the Jewish community. There are 195,000 Jewish residents in London, they have a very high turnout and they are not opposed to voting Labour, hence our ability to win parliamentary seats in Barnet etc. in recent elections. Almost uniformly they voted for Boris in 2008 because you alienated them with the Finegold affair and inviting dodgy Islamist clerics to City Hall. It will be tough to win back trust but you can't hope to be Mayor if you don't reach out to such a large community - and you have to be Mayor for all Londoners.
- It would be a good idea to try to build bridges with black cab drivers too! Another group of swing voters - who are word-of-mouth advocates - who were alienated pre-2008.
- Drop the Hugo Chavez stuff. Voters can tolerate you believing in Latin American demagogues but not you spending time on courting them that could be spent sorting out policies on improving bus services in Bromley or neighbourhood policing in Harrow.
Look forward to seeing you on the campaign trail in Hackney Ken - but don't spend too much time here, get on the tube and train out to where the swing voters are.