The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Elections

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-21-2012, 04:30 AM
Malden Capell Malden Capell is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
London Elections, 2012

A perhaps interesting diversion from all that American election stuff going on, anybody following the London elections?

For the Mayor, it's clearly going to be a close-run race between Boris Johnson (Conservative incumbent) and Ken Livingstone (Labour and Mayor before Boris).

For the London Assembly, all the constuencies are up for grabs - the Tories have a plurality but I imagine that'll be hacked down to size this time round.

Any predictions?

I think Boris Johnson will win it - Livingstone may have been running high but I think he's made a few too many gaffs lately that have put people off.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 03-21-2012, 06:34 AM
glaeken glaeken is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Personally I think it should go back to Livingston. Not that I am a supporter just I think itís good to swap the position rather than keep the incumbent. That should keep them sharp.

Having worked in London for the last 15 years I have actually not noticed any difference between the reign of Ken or Boris. Of course they say different things but from a feet on the ground perspective I have been unable to tell the difference.

Of course I could say the same thing about the majority of leadership/party changes with regard to the UK.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-21-2012, 06:58 AM
gamerunknown gamerunknown is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
The two differences I noticed have been that Boris instituted bicycles around the city, increased Oyster card fees and he said that the minimum wage should be increased for city workers. He also cancelled the Rise anti-racism festival.

Ken introduced the congestion charge and bendy buses. He's also a socialist, so I'll probably vote for him. Not sure whether to go Trade Unionist or Green though.

Edit: Oh, Trade Unionist group is anti-EU. I'll go for Greens.

Double edit: So are the Greens... Not as markedly though. I may just vote Labour.

Last edited by gamerunknown; 03-21-2012 at 07:03 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-21-2012, 07:04 AM
glaeken glaeken is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Yeah I actually I have to give the bikes to Boris. They are a noticeable change. Not that I have used them and I am unsure of just how successful the scheme has been.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-21-2012, 07:43 AM
amanset amanset is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by glaeken View Post
Yeah I actually I have to give the bikes to Boris. They are a noticeable change. Not that I have used them and I am unsure of just how successful the scheme has been.
Although Livingstone had already planned them. He just didn't have time to implement them due to being voted out.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/fe...ansport.world1

Quote:
In the city centre there will be a bike hire scheme based on a similar initiative in Paris which has helped transform cycling in the French capital. It is understood the hire bikes will be based at various stations in the centre of London and will be free to use for short journeys once people have signed up to the scheme .
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-21-2012, 11:05 AM
Cumbrian Cumbrian is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
As Amanset points out with respect to the bikes, some of Boris' "successes" are actually continuations (or implementations of) Livingstone policies. It will be interesting to see what Boris does when he has to come up with his own stuff.

It's likely to come down to which of the two keystone policies go over best. Ken wants to cut transport fees. Boris wants to cut your council tax. It's interesting that these policies play to their respective geographical constituencies - according to the electoral map last time, Boris won the outer areas of London handily (where quite a few people will use cars to get around, not public transport) whereas Ken did better in the inner areas of London. A lot will depend on getting the vote out in these respective areas as a result.

It could be quite a tight thing in the end, this mayoral campaign, which is a shame as a massive mullering for Boris will likely kill once and for all his ability to become PM (which has long been the rumour - that Boris is trying to build a profile through London that will support him getting straight into cabinet should he return to Westminster, with an eye to deposing Cameron). That said, I note that Boris has been pulling away in recent opinion polls, so it will likely be the case that he gets back in.

I'll be voting for Ken - in the hopes that the mullering comes to pass and the people of London can save the rest of the UK from a Boris run at PM. I'm given to understand from the press that his public buffoon like persona belies a sharp political operator but the UK is already fading as a world power and we can do without our own Berlusconi type to take us further into laughing stock status.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-21-2012, 11:09 AM
Springtime for Spacers Springtime for Spacers is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
My impression of Boris is that he is sharper than he appears but not as sharp as his supporters would like us to think. Whenever he's made a gaffe I picture him like a cat nonchalently licking its paws after falling off something "I meant to do that."
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-21-2012, 12:38 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by glaeken View Post
Personally I think it should go back to Livingston. Not that I am a supporter just I think itís good to swap the position rather than keep the incumbent. That should keep them sharp.
Then Labour should have found a new candidate instead of a retread, surely?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-21-2012, 08:16 PM
foolsguinea foolsguinea is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Tornado Alley
Posts: 10,474
Not necessarily. Don't be like the US Democrats and throw away a pol after he loses one election.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-23-2012, 08:20 AM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
When is Election Day?
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-23-2012, 08:39 AM
AK84 AK84 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
I look forward to a Labour win. If only to see the eventual inevitable Tory abolishing of the London government. Although I no longer live there, during my time in London, the GLA was the bane of my existence. Just hand over the entire area to the London Cooperation.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-23-2012, 08:55 AM
Malden Capell Malden Capell is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainGlutton View Post
When is Election Day?
May 3rd.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-23-2012, 09:11 AM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by AK84 View Post
I look forward to a Labour win. If only to see the eventual inevitable Tory abolishing of the London government. Although I no longer live there, during my time in London, the GLA was the bane of my existence. Just hand over the entire area to the London Cooperation.
What is the "London Cooperation"? Sounds like a lameass band name.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-23-2012, 09:40 AM
Malden Capell Malden Capell is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainGlutton View Post
What is the "London Cooperation"? Sounds like a lameass band name.
Heh, it does doesn't it?

It's the municipal local government for the City of London (the tiny Square Mile which is the original medieval city), a local body that had been in existence since the 1100s.

Its proper name is the 'City of London Corporation'

Last edited by Malden Capell; 03-23-2012 at 09:41 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-23-2012, 09:54 AM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malden Capell View Post
Heh, it does doesn't it?

It's the municipal local government for the City of London (the tiny Square Mile which is the original medieval city), a local body that had been in existence since the 1100s.

Its proper name is the 'City of London Corporation'
Ah, yes. I've heard of it. Somehow I doubt that ceremonious, quasi-medieval body is competent to govern the whole London metro area.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03-23-2012, 11:24 AM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by AK84 View Post
I look forward to a Labour win. If only to see the eventual inevitable Tory abolishing of the London government. Although I no longer live there, during my time in London, the GLA was the bane of my existence. Just hand over the entire area to the London Cooperation.
What is specifically objectionable about it? Please try to explain so a foreigner can understand. I know that metro government for London, in whatever form tried, has always been controversial for some reason, like when the GLC was abolished. But I'm not clear on why.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 03-23-2012, 08:31 PM
PaulParkhead PaulParkhead is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainGlutton View Post
What is specifically objectionable about it? Please try to explain so a foreigner can understand. I know that metro government for London, in whatever form tried, has always been controversial for some reason, like when the GLC was abolished. But I'm not clear on why.
I was going to leave this to others, as I've been out of the loop of London politics since I left the city 10 years ago. But since there are no answers, I'll give it a shot.

I don't know about the present GLA, specifically, but there are various answers you'd get about London metro government.

The "sensible" arguments in favour seem to boil down to the fact that it is a large but cohesive city, and a structure of dividing it into 30-odd boroughs means there are limited democratic means to influence what happens to the city as a whole. Without something like the GLA I, as a voter in Lambeth borough, have no way to change the way London works, because other voters in Kensington & Chelsea control that part of the city and so on. And yet I don't live in Lambeth, I live in London.

An argument against would be that overall metro government amounts to a completely unnecessary and expensive layer of bureaucracy. After all, most of the issues that officials need to deal with involve collecting trash and ensuring streetlamps light up. Each borough has its own set of demographics, and surely the people there are best placed to decide how that area should be run?

In the end, the GLC controversy was political, though - GLC leader Ken Livingstone (currently mayoral candidate) was popular with some sections of the London population and was, back in the 80s, something of a left-wing firebrand. The Thatcher government did not like left-wing firebrands very much, so pushed for the abolition of the GLC, and succeeded.

Of course, that's not the reason they gave, and I'm not trying to editorialise here. But the suggestion is that Thatcher did not like the idea of an elected left-wing organisation which could claim to represent close to 20% of the population of the entire UK.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 03-24-2012, 10:03 AM
E-Sabbath E-Sabbath is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Up The River
Posts: 13,945
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012...-phone-hacking
As I understand it, Boris has been a strong supporter of Rupert Murdoch, and this has gotten some amount of media attention. This could affect the election, especially if he becomes more firmly tied to the effort to make the police stop investigating the newspapers.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 05-04-2012, 08:14 AM
Ximenean Ximenean is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Londoners, I have a question re the mayoral elections: who the fuck is Siobhan Benita? I see from news of early results (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17946742) that she is in fourth place in first choice votes, ahead of proper candidate Brian Paddick of the Lib Dems. To be honest, she first came to my attention on Betfair, where she seemed to have remarkably low odds for a minor candidate (by which I mean 100-1 rather than the usual 1000-1). Seemed strange to me, but here she is beating an established party candidate in first choice votes.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 05-04-2012, 08:24 AM
Stanislaus Stanislaus is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
She's an independent candidate - her background is a Whitehall civil servant.

She's personable, comes across as intelligent and has enough of a background in policy formation that her manifesto isn't obviously stupid in the way that independent candidates' tend to be. She impressed a number of political commentators and thus got more publicity than most independents ever do. Had she been accorded a party political broadcast (as the Lib Dems were) it's possible she would have done better.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 05-04-2012, 05:00 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Interesting blog/article from The Nation:

Quote:
Livingstone was a genius at leveraging the minimal powers granted the office—chiefly over public transport, urban planning and police numbers. He pushed through the congestion charge, he once told The Nation, because it was his only chance for revenue that didn’t depend on Whitehall’s largesse.

But like Ed Koch, the urban politician he resembled in so many ways (apart from their actual politics, which were poles apart), his abrasiveness eventually cost him re-election. Boris Johnson, the American-born, Eton-educated Tory who replaced him four years ago had the great advantage of not being taken seriously. When Livingstone called a Jewish reporter “a concentration camp guard” you could hear the wailing from Westminster to the Upper West Side. When it emerged that Johnson had written an article describing the Queen being greeted by “flag-waving piccaninnies,” everyone just said “Oh, that’s just Boris.”

<snip>

The result has been a two-man race that has been compared, all too appropriately, with a pair of drunks at a wedding. Although only one of us can vote here, The Nation’s London bureau is divided on which would be worse—four more years of Boris braying on behalf of Britain’s oppressed bankers or four more years of Ken’s overweening arrogance. It wasn’t just the way Ken talked out of one side of his mouth about “rich bastards” who avoid paying their fair share of taxes—and then turned out to funnel his own considerable media earnings through a corporate shell. There was also his long track record of high-handed contempt for even constructive criticism—as borne out most recently, and most painfully, in his disastrous meeting with Jewish Labour supporters desperate for a few encouraging words.

Last edited by BrainGlutton; 05-04-2012 at 05:01 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 05-04-2012, 08:50 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Boris re-elected.

Quote:
The Conservative victory in London came despite David Cameronís party receiving a mauling in local elections outside of the capital.

Both Coalition parties suffered heavy losses as they were apparently blamed by voters for a series of policy blunders, including new taxes on pensioners, pasties and charity donations.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 05-06-2012, 07:00 AM
gamerunknown gamerunknown is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Looking at the results, it appears that those on the right are better at tactical voting. Livingstone definitely wasn't part of New Labour, so dissatisfaction with them fails to account for the large disparity between primary votes.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 05-06-2012, 05:28 PM
DeptfordX DeptfordX is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
I've discussed this with a number of people and we all came to the same conclusion. If labour had fielded a good candidate that wasn't Ken Livingstone they would have won. Ken just had to much baggage and had pissed off to many labour supporters. I voted for him myself, but it was in a Well goddamit anythings better than the alternative sort of way. If i thought the liberal candidate had a chance i would have voted for him.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 05-06-2012, 06:53 PM
nudgenudge nudgenudge is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeptfordX View Post
I've discussed this with a number of people and we all came to the same conclusion. If labour had fielded a good candidate that wasn't Ken Livingstone they would have won. Ken just had to much baggage and had pissed off to many labour supporters. I voted for him myself, but it was in a Well goddamit anythings better than the alternative sort of way. If i thought the liberal candidate had a chance i would have voted for him.
So you vote Liberal Democrat as your first preference, and Ken Livingstone as your second. The whole point of the system is that "wasted vote" is no excuse.
As it turned out, Livingstone did do better in second choice votes than he did in first preference, but not enough to make up the gap.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 05-06-2012, 07:00 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by nudgenudge View Post
So you vote Liberal Democrat as your first preference, and Ken Livingstone as your second. The whole point of the system is that "wasted vote" is no excuse.
As it turned out, Livingstone did do better in second choice votes than he did in first preference, but not enough to make up the gap.
!!!! You have instant-runoff voting in the UK?! First I've ever heard of that! How long has it been in place?

Last edited by BrainGlutton; 05-06-2012 at 07:01 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 05-06-2012, 07:40 PM
PaulParkhead PaulParkhead is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainGlutton View Post
!!!! You have instant-runoff voting in the UK?! First I've ever heard of that! How long has it been in place?
The UK uses various systems for different elections. The London mayor is elected by supplementary vote, where all but the top two candidates are eliminated if no-one makes the quota on the first count.

The Westminster parliament is still elected by a simple first past the post system - an attempt to change this was rejected at referendum a year or so back. Other elections use alternative vote (instant run-off), mainly local elections.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 05-07-2012, 05:02 AM
DeptfordX DeptfordX is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by nudgenudge View Post
So you vote Liberal Democrat as your first preference, and Ken Livingstone as your second. The whole point of the system is that "wasted vote" is no excuse.
As it turned out, Livingstone did do better in second choice votes than he did in first preference, but not enough to make up the gap.
Except the Liberal vote was literally one-tenth of Ken and Boris's first round votes so i'm going to go ahead and say i made the right decision.

Last edited by DeptfordX; 05-07-2012 at 05:02 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 05-07-2012, 09:08 AM
gamerunknown gamerunknown is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
I was a card-carrying member of the Liberal Democrats and will never vote for them again in a general or local election after the astounding ineptitude of the coalition. I was actually disappointed they did so well in obtaining council seats. After reviewing the policies of the Greens they're far more in accord with my views fiscally anyway and they'd make a far more interesting third party. Took a bit of a jolt for me to realise that.

Edit: I'm not sure exactly which Labour candidate would be popular enough to run against Boris. Perhaps Tom Watson?

Last edited by gamerunknown; 05-07-2012 at 09:12 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 05-07-2012, 12:33 PM
SirRay SirRay is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
In the Telegraph article that Brain Glutton, thru-out the comments there are many accusations that supporters of Ken Livingston were using postal fraud.

In the US, newspaper on-line article comments often veer off into conspiracy theories or biased carping, and I would guess UK papers are not immune.

Is there an actual basis for this vote-fraud accusation in this particularly Mayoral election, and if so is there more in-depth discussion available on reputable sites?
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:04 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.