London mayoral race: BOJO still king of City Hall

The Conservative mayoral incumbent Boris Johnson has bucked a national trend that yesterday witnessed a significant shift to the left and in doing so trumped the labour challenger, Ken Livingstone by 62,000 votes. In an election race that was labelled as more of a personality contest, Boris Johnson has secured a mandate for another four years at City Hall, but more tellingly the eccentric incumbent has gained a stamp of approval and secured a credibility that is prompting some commentators to suggest that Johnson could make a move back to mainstream politics and prove a formidable contender for the future leadership of the Conservative party. In any case here’s my cartoon and your captions are very much welcome!

Brian is a writer, artist, political cartoonist and legal blogger.

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  • Mick Fealty

    Yep, some Tory commenters… But there is also some speculation that it was defecting Labour (in the Assembly elections) voters who kept him in…

  • Alias

    As Brendan O’Neill points out, Milliband is celebrating because 88% of those eligible to vote didn’t vote for his party. Equally dismal is that 91% of those eligible to vote didn’t vote for the Tories. That shows that the political class represent nobody other than the political class, hacing ben comprehensively rejected by the people.

  • Harry Flashman

    “That shows that the political class represent nobody other than the political class, hacing ben comprehensively rejected by the people.”

    Yes Alias, but we’ve been saying that for a couple of years now and still the sheep that do vote simply swing from one end of the LibLabCon centrist coalition to the other.

    If what you say is correct this should have been the chance for the UKIP, Respect, Greens, BNP, Socialist Workers to romp in but they didn’t. Just another handover from one established party to the other, just like the last time, and the time before, and the time before.

  • Regally blonde. Boris’s victory leaves door open for Michael Heseltine to make one last bid for Prime Minister’s crown.

  • lamhdearg2

    How did boris line up in the two davids contest?.

    I feel the lack of numbers voting means we need to start complelling people to vote, not that the leading parties will go for it.
    I suggest a switch to military rule*, while we think of a replacment for this sham called democracy and the lethargism it promotes in the electorate
    *to follow after a double dip and a small (quite British)revolution.
    ps well done Boris you crazy turk/german/very british B*****D, wana buy some buses.

    caption, Routemaster (taxi) for Livingstone!.

  • Mick Fealty

    Maybe the office is the problem?

  • tuatha

    The British electoral system is rooted in the 19thC of simple majority, aka First past the Post. They had the chance last year to move to AV, aka transferable preference as in most of Europe, but rejected it, along with Proportional Representation, thus ensuring that it remains a two horse race, with Klegg the irritating, blood sucking insect as per his oop north dialect namesake.
    America is the only other major country I can think of (Canada keeps fiddling so am not sure of the current system – perhaps JoeCanuck might enlighten me) that has FptP, with the added obscenity of the Electoral College in case the voters get it wrong and don’t pick one of the wholly owned corporate subsidiaries.

  • tuatha @ 12:05 pm:

    Surely the problem with last year’s AV referendum was it didn’t offer proper PR — otherwise there’s a stack of us would have been more positive.

    I don’t understand your point about “the added obscenity of the Electoral College”. Please explain. In London, for instance (which is the topic-point here) the GLA consists of 25 members, with something adjacent to PR and a thresh-hold of 5%. Are you arguing for a 4% qualifier?

    Now have a look at that GLA outcome, before you give BoJo a coronation: there’s a Labour-Green majority. How does BoJo force through a budget, particularly one that perpetuates the fares-escalator? For what it’s worth, it’s now considerably cheaper to have a once-a-month Eurostar trip to Paris or Brussels [indeed to the outskirts of Maastricht, 512 miles = £69 return] than to buy a week’s Euston-Watford travel pass [14 miles each way = £76].

  • Jimmy Sands

    How does BoJo force through a budget,

    Easily. He only needs nine votes and he has them.

  • Alias

    Welcome to the new post-democratic Europe, Harry. When the vast majority of the English public abandon democracy (as they have now done), you know the game is up.

    In reality, while Labour was rejected by 88% of those eligible to vote and the Tory party was rejected by 91% of those eligible to vote, both were rejected by over 95% of those eligible to vote since most of those voting simply picked the least worst option.

    The result is a political class that represents virtually no-one, but is very useful to those promoting global government.

  • Alias

    Incidentally, Norman Tebbit reminded folks of Labour’s governmental legacy, but as criminally incompetent as it is, the pendulum will swing again to those clowns and then back again to the clowns in blue – while those promoting the likes of the EU and other geopolitical concepts will be rubbing their hands with glee that yet another member state is weary of self-government.

  • Jimmy Sands @ 12:06 am:

    Precisely: there are just nine Tory GLAs. The perfect political storm in London is that lot pitched repetitively against the rest. The 2/3rds requirement is to drive through an alternative budget.

    Under the new dispensation BoJo will be held to answer in a way he didn’t previously:

    The Assembly has the power to investigate and prepare reports about:
    a. Any actions and decisions of the Mayor,
    b. Any actions and decisions of any member of staff of the Authority,
    c. Matters relating to the principal purposes of the Authority,
    d. Matters in relation to which statutory functions are exercisable by the Mayor, or
    e. Any other matters which the Assembly considers to be of importance to Greater London.

    The “strong mayor” model assumes a “strong mayor”: BoJo, over the last term, has never been seen to be on top of the job, well–prepared or well-briefed. The defeat of Richard Barnes won’t have helped, and Kit Malthouse is “damaged goods” (particularly now he is seen to have interfered with the Met, colluded with Yates, over phone-hacking — a.k.a. “media hysteria”). Guto Harri is baling out as PR guru.

    BoJo will certainly now be held to account: for a start, we can expect the GLA to investigate and prepare reports about the £336 million squirrelled away in the TfL piggy-bank. No more £1.2 million vanity buses? No more £12,000 a time bikes? No more closet deals to paint London roads Barclays blue? Even the facts about air-quality?

    With a bit of luck, the next four years could be very interesting times.

    [I see that the Boris battle bus that’s been polluting London streets these last weeks is a re-registered 1997 Dublin Bus discard — and probably therefore doesn’t comply with low-emission zone requirements. That ought to be a couple of hundred quid a day to TfL funds, and certainly a cavalier attitude to sharing exhaust particulates with London asthma-sufferers.]

  • Jimmy Sands


    Of course by the same token the anti-EU parties were rejected by over 99%.

  • tuatha

    MalcolmRed – poor exposition on my part – I meant that PR had been rejected in the protracted Woy Jenkins committee which finally, after much kicking & screaming, offered the sop of AV+.
    Elections for the European Parliament are conducted according to PR, hence outliers like Hannan & LaFarge.
    The reference to Electoral College was specifically about the amerikan system – it actually has the final say in law, not the popular vote although it hasn’t countermanded it for the last hundred years. It is even less democratic than our Seanad in selection of its members.

  • Good week for Eurostar – all those rich Frenchies fleeing 75pc tax going one way, all those who cried “I’m leaving if Boris elected” t’other.

    Malcolm – how do you account for Boris outpolling the Assembly Tory candidates? At first glance it makes one think a lot of Labour voters preferred the toff to the comrade.

  • Mark Dowling @ 3:01 pm:

    I think you’ll find I’ve dealt with some of that elsewhere, and on a previous thread.

    All I’d add is that, despite months of unrelenting character-assassination by BoJo’s attack dogs, many commentators were surprised Livingstone came so close.