Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Who Should Fight Johnson in 2012 ?

It may seem strange to be considering the 2012 London Mayoral election the night before the 2008 election but that was on my mind this morning.

On the assumption Boris Johnson wins tomorrow (and all the evidence is heading that way), he will face re-election in May 2012 when the political and economic landscape could look very different.

IF, as also seems likely, the Conservatives under David Cameron win a General Election in 2010, Johnson will be fighting not only on his own record but on the record of a Government approaching its midterm.

The last two Conservative victories over a Labour Government (1970 and 1979) led to serious trouble for the new Government within a couple of years. In both 1972-73 and 1981-82, Conservative Governments were struggling and facing huge opposition. This might happen again - it might not. My suspicion is the Cameron honeymoon with the electorate will be short and within twenty-four months of taking office, the polls will be looking pretty bad.

Given that there might be a real opportunity for Labour and the Liberal Democrats to defeat Boris in 2012, who should they pick ?

As a Liberal Democrat, the Party needs to start thinking about the next contest, not in a year or two years time, but next Tuesday morning. If we re-select Brian Paddick, let's get him in position as soon as possible and give him the skills he needs in terms of political presentation and policy-making. If we want a more political figure, let's get someone in place so they can become known as the Lib Dem "Spokesperson for London". It will take time for that person to build a profile but it will allow us to start building some coherent opposition to Johnson.

For Labour, assuming they are in Opposition at Westminster, re-gaining the London Mayoralty would be the first sign of a fightback. They need a credible candidate who would mount a serious challenge to Johnson. My idea of that candidate - David Lammy.

What price David Lammy to win the 2012 election ?

No comments: