A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Friday, September 24, 2010

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.


Anonymous Justin Hinchcliffe said...

Luke, you are being very naive - you are asking Ken to stop being Ken, stop being left-wing. You also want him to create a 'big tent' –but Ken doesn't compromise. Very few Jews, black taxi drivers, white working class voters and those in the 'sticks' will vote for him. It'll be a re-run of 2008 and Boris will be back - and back stronger (I say this NOT as a Boris fan).

Keep dreaming, though.


PS. You ask 'Ken' to get on the tube and visit 'target' voters. Well, I have news for you: the majority are them are NOT on the tube. This goes to prove how out of touch you and Labour actually are.

2:17 pm, September 24, 2010

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

I said "and train".

As a Stoke Newington resident I am accutely aware of which bits of London aren't on the tube.

2:28 pm, September 24, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ken is a bad choice. Still easily dubbed as 'Red Ken' by opponents, and even within the Labour party, he really does not go down well in the outer residential suberbs where many their still associate him with the failed GLC.

Success is now dependent on some outrageous gaffe by Boris, always a possibility, rather than the performance of the Labourt candidate.

Shame the party could not find someone of wider appeal instead of reverting to these old left wing dinosaurs.

4:26 pm, September 24, 2010

Blogger Merseymike said...

Remember, though, that next time ken will be fighting with the background of an unpopular ConDem government. Last time he actually did far better than Labour nationally which were loathed at the time - I'd go as far as to say that any other candidate would have not only lost but done far worse

5:02 pm, September 24, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

its tram routes we want in inner and outer london and home

we will never win over outer london white van man

chavez cost us a hand full of votes

the evening standards bias costs us thousands

as did not letting Jasper go early when it was clerar he was costing us votes

The GLC is still well liked (so much so we got the GLA)- dont know where you get the "failed" from

Boris has either to lay into Cameron or Ken

good money on Ken, because outer London will stay at home and sit on hands

7:10 pm, September 24, 2010

Anonymous Simon said...

"he really does not go down well in the outer residential suberbs where many their still associate him with the failed GLC."

It didn't stop him winning many outer London suburbs (including some rather Labour-unfriendly boroughs like Richmond) in 2000 and 2004.

Sometimes the way people talk about Livingstone you would think he was totally unelectable and hadn't won two out of his three Mayoral elections to date. The challenge for him is to recapture some of the broader support that he was demonstrably able to win in the past.

11:50 pm, September 24, 2010

Blogger Unknown said...

Ken lost becuase over a million ordinary people were prepared to walk over broken glass to get rid of him and his menagerie of pseudo revolutionary weirdos at City Hall.

He, like Gordon, has put himself above his party. This egomania will abandon us to opposition and God help the ordinary people who will pay the price. Very collectivist Ken.

Between anti-war Ed who presumably now will squirm before Iran and anti- Zionist Ken it would be amazing if any Jewish person felt they could vote for us.

I'm in despair today.

11:45 am, September 25, 2010

Blogger southhackneypunter said...

Congratulations to Ken, (Oona King would have been obliterated in 2012).

Problem with Ken is he'll be nearly 67 in 2012 (and London will be gearing up for its short-lived burst of Olympic euphoria which should reflect well on Boris despite his laughable performance at Beijing).

If Ken wants to win he could do worse than backing the Crown Estate tenants now(Boris has already moved to back them after all). Although a problem with an anti-cuts based campaign will be that the most savage cuts to housing and security for social tenants (ie the working class inner city people who actually vote) are due to start in 2013.

1:13 pm, September 25, 2010

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stephen, you come across about as much as a Labour supporter as Norman Tebbit or Melanie Phillips.

Poor wum, mate ;-)

2:13 pm, September 25, 2010

Blogger Merseymike said...

Stephen. Given Ed's heritage do you think that statement has a scrap of credibility?

5:35 pm, September 25, 2010

Anonymous Dan said...

I got the impression that Ken was quite a fan of some parts of outer London. Otherwise, why was he so happy to see the destruction of historic Dalston and its metamorphosis, with high-rise buildings and chain-shops, into a clone of Croydon?

9:43 am, September 28, 2010

Blogger Edward Carlsson Browne said...

It never ceases to be hilarious when Justin Hinchcliffe, the Great White Tory hope of Tottenham, lectures others about the dangers of naivete and dreaming.

5:13 pm, October 03, 2010


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