Results tagged “Election” from Mayor of London blog

Boris Johnson (Conservative) has beaten Ken Livingstone (Labour) in the election for Mayor of London. Both of them were well ahead of their next nearest rival, Brian Paddick (Liberal Democrats).

The voter turnout seems to have increased compared with the 2004 election. As expected, nobody got more than 50% of the vote on the 1st Preference count, so 2nd Preference votes, so heavily promoted with dubious promises and deals between the minor parties were important, but did not affect the final result.

Name1st Preference1st Preference Percentage of the electorate2nd PreferenceTotalTotal Percentage of the electorate
Boris Johnson   1,043,761   19.26%    124,977    1,168,738    21.56%  
Ken Livingstone   893,877    16.49%    135,089    1,028,966    18.99%  

The potential 2008 electorate was 5,419,913, and the turnout was 45.33%, so any claims, by any of these politicians to somehow represent all of London, or even a majority of Londoners, is misleading - getting the votes of around 20% of the electorate means that around 80% i.e. 4 out of 5 people did not vote for you.

See the official results - N.B. the current figures of "0" in the 2nd Preference votes columns, must surely be wrong.

Another four years in power of authoritarian, arrogant Ken Livingstone and his dubious political cronies would have been insufferable.

Boris Johnson is an intelligent man, but whether he becomes an effective Mayor of London, within the deliberate constraints on his powers which the Labour Government has inflicted on the position, we shall simply have to wait and see.

This blog intends to continue to comment on and criticise, if necessary, the actions or inactions of the new Mayor and the Greater London Assembly.

Election Expenses

Given that both Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone are reported as having raised much more money than the £400,000 election spending limit, it will be worth examining the Election Expenses breakdowns in detail when these are published.

Have the excess funds funds simply been confiscated by the Conservative and Labour party central fund raising machines ? Is this a loophole in say, the rules on foreign based donations to political parties ?

Greater London Assembly

The GLA election results show almost no changes, despite the increased turnout:

PartySeatsGain/Loss
Conservative Party 11 +2
The Labour Party 8 +1
Liberal Democrats 3 -2
Green Party 2 0
British National Party 1 +1

The mainstream political parties seem to have utterly failed in their attempts to prevent the odious "BNP" from getting a seat on the Assembly, but a least the differently odious "Respect" George Galloway did not get in, as some feared.

The UK Independence Party lost both of its London wide list Assembly seats, and now have no seats at all.

The Liberal Democrats also lost two of their London wide list Assembly seats, but they retain three seats.

We have had a report from a friend, that at one west London polling station, people are being advised that they are supposedly not allowed to vote for the same person in both the First and Second preference columns.

This is false advice - you obviously can vote for the same person in both columns - it will not improve the chances of that person winning, but it may prevent some electoral fraud:

The London Elects website and leaflets state:

If you only mark a first choice, your vote will be counted - you do not have to cast your second choice vote. But making a second choice cannot reduce the chance of your first choice candidate being successful.

If you only mark a second choice vote and not a first choice vote, no vote will be counted.

If you vote for the same candidate for first and second choice, only one vote will be counted. You cannot improve the chances of your chosen candidate by giving them your first and second choice votes.

Is this an attempt to allow someone to tamper with the ballot papers of anyone who just ticks the First Preference column, leaving the Second Preference column blank ?

An insider could fraudulently fill in the empty Second Preference column to favour their own candidate.

We doubt that the scanning equipment will detect any difference in the style or colour of the crosses in the two columns.

Is this down to ignorance or to Russian / Zimbabwean style election rigging ?

We would be interested to hear if anyone else is being given this sort of false advice.

If you believe the opinion polls, the contest for the next Mayor of London is already over, before any real votes have been counted - supposedly Boris Johnson is set to win by a reasonable margin.

Only the votes for the Conservative challenger Boris Johnson or for the Labour incumbent Ken Livingstone, on first or second preference, can actually influence the outcome - all other votes are "wasted" (especially any for Matt O'Connor, who has withdrawn as the English Democrats candidate, but whose name is still on the ballot paper).

There is no reason not to vote for the other candidates, to send some sort of primitive signal to the political classes, and especially to express disapproval or hatred of the current Labour government and the Prime Minister without a mandate, Gordon Brown, or simply to show that it is time for a change.

The complexity of the Greater London Assembly votes, with the large constituencies (each covering about 3 House of Commons constituencies), together with London wide Assembly Members chosen from publicly unaccountable Party Lists, makes it much harder to guess who will prevail.

This is especially so, since one of the opinion polling companies seems to be saying that up to 16% of the people they sampled, were not registered to vote on the current electoral register, even though they thought, or claimed that they were.

There is also the effect of the notoriously insecure and easily rigged Postal Proxy voting system, which has been abused illegally in the previous elections, and which the Labour Government has refused to tighten up..

Supposedly the Electronic Vote Counting system has been improved since the previous near shambles, where an unacceptably high number of ballot papers were "spoiled".

Partly as a result of the disasters with electronic ballot paper counting in the last year's Scottish Parliament elections, and in some the English pilot areas, at least the ballot papers for the two London Elections are now on three separate sheets of paper, which the scanning technology might be able to cope with properly.

However, there is still no provision for a proper, mandatory t manual count of a statistically valid sample of the ballot papers, to audit the results of the electronic ballot paper scanning.

See this article in The Register for details: How scanners and PCs will choose London's mayor

The counting in London will not even start until Friday morning, and the results might not be available until the afternoon evening.

The Imperial Romans, around the time of Emperor Nero and later, were mad keen on Ben Hur style chariot racing in the Circus Maximus. The four racing stables became established as the four factiones i.e. factions - the Red, the White, the Blue and the Green. Both the charioteers and their fanatical mobs of supporters, would display these colours at these sporting / betting / rioting events, and this also spilled into political elections as well.

Given the dyestuffs available to them, the only other major colour available was the expensive Tyrolean Purple, which was reserved for the Senate (purple edges to white togas) and the Emperor himself who could afford a whole purple toga.

What is surprising about this election for Mayor of London and for the Greater London Assembly is the breakdown of traditional British political party Colour Schemes / Identities.

The number of voters who choose their candidates because of their Colour Schemes is probably going to be significant in a close race.

It looks as if the spin doctors and image consultants have been trying to manipulate the public image of, and in some cases, to totally hide, the party political machines behind most of the candidates.

This is evident on the Candidates' websites and in the official London Elects booklet which is being delivered to every household.

  • Richard Barnbrook of the BNP has a Red, White and Mauve colour scheme. - not quite the Union Jack, is it ?

  • Lindsey German of the Left List, has a Light Green and Red and Black and White and Red logos - not quite the Red Flag, is it ?

  • Boris Johnson has Conservative Blue logos, but these are more Cambridge Light Blue rather than Oxford Dark Blue, and then there is the peculiar Green "oak tree" / squiggle logo. However, Boris's website graphics are Blue, Green, Orange and Red.

  • Si├ón Berry of the Green party, probably has deviated least from her traditional party colours - she does, have Green and White and black graphics, although some of her downloadable posters are much more multi-coloured.

  • Brian Paddick of the Liberal Democrats strted off with browns and oranges, but now has lots of Blue backgrounds on his website, and his London Elects booklet section is Purple, Yellow, Black, White and Orange, but predominantly Purple and Yellow. - not the traditional Yellow / Orange that the Liberal Democrats are associated with.

  • Gerard Batten of the UK Independence Party, has stuck to his party's traditional colours of Purple and Yellow, which seem to have been confusingly borrowed by other candidates.

  • Alan Craig of the Christian Choice (Or is it the Christian Peoples Alliance and Christian Party ?) uses a couple of shades of Purple with Light Blue.

  • Matt O'Connor of the English Democrats had White and Red and Black, and so was, like UKIP, keeping to the traditional colours associated with his small party.


    N.B. Matt O'Connor has stepped down as a Mayoral Candidate (and also from the London wide Party List), blaming lack of money and party organisation. The English Democrats press release hints at O'Connor's problem with alcohol.


    Why should anybody vote for these incompetents ?

  • Winston McKenzie, for some reason, does not appear in the London Elects booklet. His graphics rich, but user unfriendly Flash based website is mostly White, with Black and Bronze, Khaki and Silver.

  • Ken Livingstone is the official Labour Party candidate, but he seems to be deliberately obscuring this as much as possible. If you look at the small print and zoom in on his website, you may spot a Labour Red Rose and the words Labour Party on the Donations page, but there is not a single mention of Labour in his section on the London Elects booklet.

    You just have to "know" that his campaign HQ at 39 Victoria Street houses the Labour Party. It also houses, interestingly, Aegis Defence Services Ltd the largest UK Private Military Contractor company supplying mercenaries for security and intelligence snooping work in Iraq, something which is very unlikely to be just a coincidence.

    Ken's primary colour scheme seems to be Purple and White, but there are web site pages in Light Blue, Dark Blue, Green, Brown, and an almost exact Liberal Democrat Orange / Yellow.

    What there is no sign of at all is traditional Labour Party / Socialist Red.

    Watching Ken Livingstone's increasingly grumpy demeanour on TV, and his focus on negative ad hominem attacks on his opponents , together with the Imperial Roman Purple and White colour scheme which he has adopted, evokes the image of Kenneth Williams as Julius Caesar in Carry on Cleo uttering :

    "Infamy ! Infamy ! They've all got it in for me !"

    Kenneth_Williams_Infamy_Infamy_Theyve_All_Got_It_In_For_Me.jpg

    [picture source - Daily Mail]


Despite Ken Livingstone's campaign website and literature trying to gloss over and hide his links with the deeply unpopular New Labour regime (no "red" imagery anywhere), The Guardian reports:

Livingstone's unlikely secret weapons: Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell

Matthew Taylor and Patrick Wintour
The Guardian,
Thursday April 24 2008

Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell have both been giving advice to the campaign working for London mayor Ken Livingstone's re-election, the Guardian can reveal.

The former prime minister and his media strategist had been among Livingstone's most trenchant critics in the past, and he had derided them for being the architects of the New Labour project. However, with the race against the Tory candidate Boris Johnson on a knife-edge, Livingstone's team has sought their expertise, and also the advice of Philip Gould, New Labour's pollster and focus group adviser.

None of them is formally involved in the campaign,

Presumably, because they know that they are despised by many people, across the whole of the political spectrum.

but Tessa Jowell, the Olympics minister brought in by Downing Street to coordinate the effort to secure Livingstone's third term, yesterday described them as "the best in the business".

Blair has privately advised the team the election is very winnable. Despite the rancour that once existed between them, he describes Livingstone as a man who can transcend traditional politics in a way that few others can. But he says he must align his experience with a vision of how he and Londoners will together continue to create the greatest city in the world.

Blair warns that Livingstone cannot win solely on the basis of his record,

Livingstone's record of broken election promises, his mockery of public consultation processes, and his besmirching of the Office of Mayor of London with his refusals to apologise for his arrogant insults, and his incompetent or corrupt political appointees, have even enraged many of his former supporters, let alone the vast majority of the electorate who did not vote for him the last time.

and must be unambiguous that he will continue to attract private sector investment to the capital.

What sort of "private sector investment" has Livingstone actually attracted so far - foreign dictators, corrupt Russian oligarchs, corrupt Indian billionaires, corrupt Chinese communists, property speculators and money launderers ?

[...]

Labour says it is focusing heavily on the issue of second-preferences. It argues that many Liberal Democrat and Green supporters do not understand that they will be throwing away their second preference if they do not vote for Livingstone, since it is certain that only he and Johnson will be in the final round of counting

We wonder how many of the people "on the left", who claim to be opposed to the war in Iraq etc. will be fooled into giving their second preference votes to Livingstone, the favoured candidate of the architects of the repressive New Labour government, Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell and Philip Gould ?

The London Mayoral Election needs a bit of humour, so we were pleased to be informed about this little Flash animation "opinion poll" which allows you to "flush" an image of either Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson, Brian Paddick or Sian Berry (there are 6 other candidates who are not included in this poll), down the toilet:

sapsap_300.jpg

Your Chance to Vote on London's BIGGEST NIGHT MAYOR With just 10 days to go - Spendapennysendapenny.com has launched an unofficial poll where you can vote on your least favourite candidate.

The poll is open to all ages and so far Ken is topping our flushometer having been chased by our animated hoodies and routemasters and ending up down the loo over 300 times!

This is a new unofficial poll created by frustrated Londoners for frustrated Londoners.

Hopefully it will add a fun element to the elections but also provide a serious indicator at the same time.

Spendapennysendapenny.com gives the general public the opportunity to vent their frustrations and flush their least favourite candidate down the loo.

Voters spend their virtual penny, (they're free) and voice their views.
click on the coin to go straight through to our "polling booth".

Voters are rewarded with a number of animated scenarios of candidates being chased by hoodies, routemasters, congestion signs and other topical objects, before ending up down the loo.

The pennies are free so flush away*

We are a non affiliated, non political organization set up by the people for the people.

[...]

About this blog

This website comments on the policies of the Mayor of London, the London Assembly and the Greater London Authority and actually pre-dates even the referendum which took place before these public bodies were set up.

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Do not confuse that lot with the ancient office of the Lord Mayor of London either.

Hints and Tips for Whistleblowers

There are many good people trapped in the bureaucracies which run London. If you are thinking about blowing the whistle on shadowy and powerful people in Government or commerce, and their dubious policies then you need be very careful these days. The mainstream media and bloggers also need to take simple precautions to help preserve the anonymity of their sources e.g.

Links

Wikipedia article on the Mayor of London

Wikipedia article on the London Assembly

The Evening Standard newspaper - fulfills its role by scrutinising the Mayor and the GLA etc. rather more effectively than the politicians and bureaucrats do.

Mayor of London press releases

London Assembly press releases

MayorWatch - commercial news site about the Mayor of London etc.

Campaign Button Links

Watching Them, Watching Us, UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign
UK Public CCTV Surveillance Regulation Campaign

NO2ID - opposition to the NuLabour Compulsory Biometric ID Card
NO2ID - opposition to NuLabour's plans for Compulsory Biometric ID Card and National Identity Register centralised database.

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ASBO Concern - alliance of organisations and individuals who are concerned about the abuse of NuLabour's Anti Social Behaviour Orders.

MI5 encrypted contact web form use 999 or 112 to report immediate threats
Encrypted MI5 web response form NuLabour's "Climate of Fear" is not the same as the real fight against terror.

gamesmonitor_logo_150.gif Games Monitor - "Games Monitor is a network of people raising awareness about issues within the London Olympic development processes. We want to highlight the local, London and international implications of the Olympic industry. We seek to deconstruct the 'fantastic' hype of Olympic boosterism and the eager complicity of the 'urban elites' in politics, business, the media, sport, academia and local institutional 'community stakeholders'. "

Peaceful resistance to the curtailment of our rights to Free Assembly and Free Speech in the SOCPA Designated Area around Parliament Square and beyond
Parliament Protest blog - resistance to the Designated Area resticting peaceful demonstrations or lobbying in the vicinity of Parliament.

Save Parliament: Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill (and other issues)
Save Parliament - Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill Act

Ken Livingstone Links

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