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London Mayoral Election

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906337.  Thu May 03, 2012 10:48 am Reply with quote

Forget about policies, it seems there's a different reason to predict why Boris will become London Mayor this year:

906517.  Thu May 03, 2012 9:20 pm Reply with quote


906519.  Thu May 03, 2012 9:50 pm Reply with quote

I see the pundits are heavily down on the Lib Dem losses, but the projected share of the votes suggest a national count of 16%, which is much higher than most polls normally show, so I think they can take that as a positive.

In other news, the first results for referendums on mayors for various cities are so far rejecting the idea of a direct mayor, and keeping a Council Leader voted by Councillors. On a personal I find this very encouraging because I've argued in the past that I think Government should follow this model in having the HoC elect the Prime Minister rather than it automatically being the leader of the biggest party. It probably won't change the result, but I think it will take some of the figurehead element that's taken over in General Elections in that many people vote for which party leader they support rather than the candidates in their constituency or actual policies.

906528.  Fri May 04, 2012 1:21 am Reply with quote

The representatives from different parties are painting pictures of the results to show how they either did very well, or didn't do too badly, but this is mostly based on the results of one set of local elections, but the reality is that these results are only partial, and not the whole country, and in many councils, not all wards, so in reality we should look back at the last couple of results and add up the changes to get a decent picture of where each party is starting from.

Looking at the 2010 and 2011 results, we see Labour start from a position where they've already gained 1,274 councillors and 43 councils before this election, whereas the Conservatives start with a loss of 35 councillors, and no movement in councils, while Lib Dems start with a loss of 880 councillors and 13 councils.

This would suggest that the projected results for last night, added to the figures above, show a massive result for Labour, a predictable bad night for the Conservatives (mid term blues), but a terrible night for the Lib Dems.

The problem is that we need to remember that the 2010 local election results weren't in keeping with the General Election because of some massive swings in 2008 and 2009.

If we include those two results as well, Labour start off with a gain of "only" 649 councillors and 30 councils, Conservatives start with a gain of 466 councillors and 19 councils, and Lib Dems start with a loss of 849 councillors and 13 councils.

That suggests that the true picture, if taken with projected results for last night, shows Labour still having a great night, the Conservatives are back to square 1, which isn't bad for a a sitting Government, but Lib Dems are still having a terrible night.

This suggests to me that the Tories don't need to worry too much about the results, but shouldn't boast that they didn't lose much to Labour, because they failed to gain from the Lib Dems. Labour can be satisfied of a terrific result that saw them picking up loads of seats, but only at the expense of the Lib Dems, not much at the expense of the Tories. The Lib Dems should rue the day they got rid of Charles Kennedy :)

906529.  Fri May 04, 2012 1:23 am Reply with quote

One big fly in the ointment for the Tories, how long before they accept Warsi is a liability almost every time she opens her mouth?

906552.  Fri May 04, 2012 3:29 am Reply with quote

I've a feeling that the ex-lib dem councils will revert at the next opportunity. If you look around at the news of the cuts, the blue and the red sectors seem to be content with towing the party line ie labour cut services and blame central government for the lack of funding. The tories cut services and claim that we are all in this together. While the lib dems do seem to have a cany approach of making the efficiency measures required to keep services and save money?

It may well be smoke and mirrors, but the lib dems in council seems to work

906586.  Fri May 04, 2012 5:38 am Reply with quote

Having worked in councils and with councils, I can tell you there's a bit of crap in all that.

Party influence is not all encompassing when it comes to council policy because many services are determined by need and regulations, the party influence tends to come out more in how policy decisions are reported rather than the policy itself. A perfect example is how Newham publicly suggested moving tenants to Stoke because of benefit caps, they are Labour led and wanted to make a big deal out of it, yet Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea, and Westminster are all looking to move tenants to as far away as the Midlands, but are keeping quiet about it because they are Tory led and don't want to clash with the Government line. The actual service you see tend to be more affected by the management and workers in the council.

You occasionally see a major shift in council vote in some areas because of singular events, and you see some reversal 2-4 years later, and the difference between 2008 and 2010 for many Labour councils are a perfect example, as is the reversal for Tatton (which Osborne now represents).

With the Lib Dem votes, they suffered badly in 2011 and you'd expect some bounce back in 2012, but they've lost even more seats, while at the same time still polling very low. In the past they were seen as an alternative to the big two parties, perhaps offering a more human element to politics, but Clegg's stewardship has destroyed that image and most people who voted for them in the past are likely wondering what the Lib Dems actually represent for them now, I don't think they'll be seen as an alternative or "spoiled" vote any more.

906595.  Fri May 04, 2012 5:58 am Reply with quote

I'm not entirely sure you caught what I was trying to say there, because you said first of all that it was crap, then went on to point out how the two major parties handle the cuts (although from my understanding you used a change in benefit allocation as an example, and as far as I can tell the councils have no say in that - I may be wrong)

The crux of how well a council handles its finances, and as far as I can tell that is down to those in charge - the councillors rather than the managers.

906603.  Fri May 04, 2012 6:11 am Reply with quote

I might not have worded it right.

I've been involved with drafting budget reports for committee and council meetings, and while councillors can vote to reject the proposed budgets, this is not very common. Yes, there may be a policy proposed which might need budgeting for, but the councillors won't then just decide what to cut, they get a review of viable options from the Finance departments (these will have impact studies), so it's not something they just choose because of which party they happen to represent. Their politics might help steer their decision, but 99% of the time they go with what's proposed to them.

Usually it's the needs of the demographics that has most influence on policy decisions, not party politics, though when there are dissenting views councillors often side with their party colleagues in the council.

906703.  Fri May 04, 2012 9:12 am Reply with quote

Still lots of counting to go through, but it currently looks like Boris has a slight lead on first preference over Ken, but the surprise is just how close Jenny, Brian and Siobhan are (currently in that order).

In terms of assembly, Labour are ahead of the Tories by a noticably bigger margin than the Boris/Ken gap, while the Greens seem to have pulled a slight gap in third, pushing the Lib Dems into fourth, only slightly ahead of UKIP. Looking at the count so far, the BNP and Christian Peoples Alliance are fighting for 6th spot, and they look way behind the other 5, which suggests there won't be a seat left.

In other counts, it looks like Brian Coleman will lose out to Andrew Dismore, there's a very close race between Richard Barnes and Onkar Sahota, with the latter possibly knocking Barnes out, Roger Evans has a tight race to keep his seat against Mandy Richards, the other 11 incumbents look safe.

906784.  Fri May 04, 2012 5:04 pm Reply with quote

Will enough people have considered Boris good enough?

906792.  Fri May 04, 2012 5:28 pm Reply with quote

London is supposed to be a major world city. It is, after all, hosting the Olympic Games in a few months from now.

And yet it has taken over 24 hours not to announce the result of the election. Contractors cutting off the power to the building where the count was being held, two ballot boxes apparently "forgotten". Bit of a shambles really. Boris, what are you going to do about it?

906806.  Fri May 04, 2012 5:55 pm Reply with quote


906807.  Fri May 04, 2012 5:56 pm Reply with quote

The macarena? :P

906819.  Fri May 04, 2012 7:01 pm Reply with quote

The former seems improbable. The latter seems all too probable, so yes, that is what he must now do.

Oh yea, he won. It had been widely anticipated that he would be re-elected as Mayor of London and so he has been, but the contest was closer than had been expected. The Green Party's candidate beat the Lib Dems' into third place, although neither got as much as 5% of the vote.

As for the London Assembly, few surprises there. Parties of the far right took 11% of the vote in Bexley and Bromley, which scares me a bit, although those parties' performance in Havering and Redbridge (10% of the vote in a district which is one third minority ethnic) is probably of wider concern. Substantial swings to Labour in all of the London Assembly districts bar the desperately safely blue Bexley and Bromley.


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