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2011-06-15 - 09:35:00 - by AlisonW - Topic: UK-Politics: Elections | London Mayor |

We are fast approaching the time when all Londoners – like myself – will have to vote for a new mayor. So far we have had Ken and Boris in the post.

You'll note I did not include their family names, indeed very rarely to the media find it necessary to to do so either, their personal names being totally sufficient for everyone in London (and many further afield) to know who is being referred to.

The LibDem candidate, generally, has not had this level of name recognition in the past. Vote for Susan! required the seven million or so Londoners to know Ms Kramer better than they probably did. Support Simon! had some level of name recognition for Mr Hughes because of his activities as a fairly well-known London MP, but still he didn't win against the 'popular' Ken and Boris show.

Arguably, the voters in this contest haven't really taken the position of London-wide Mayor as seriously as they ought to; it appears to many to be more of an opportunity for PR stunts than a serious position responsible for setting the policies which enable London to grow and to run the transport and other public services. So maybe, just maybe, it is time for the LibDems to offer up a candidate who has as much of a 'knock-about' reputation as Ken and Boris do?

Lembit!

In his favour he has national name recognition in the same way – and possibly stronger than – Ken and Boris. He has been seen to not take himself too seriously, appearing on television quiz shows and the like, but also has a great record as an MP. His perceived negative, of course, is that unlike Ken and Boris he isn't seen as 'a Londoner'. But then Boris wasn't when he got elected; he'd been pretty much seen as the Henley-on-Thames candidate.

Mike Tuffrey has also thrown his hat into the LibDem selection 'ring', on the grounds of his sterling service to the GLA and right back to GLC days, but whilst he is known in London political circles he has zero name recognition at large and will suffer in the same as Susan Kramer did for that.

It will be interesting to see whether the LibDems will select the candidate more likely to win, or one who is more in keeping with the Party line but certain to lose.



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