Sunday, April 09, 2006
Who Should be the Tory London Mayoral Candidate
The Social Affairs Unit Blog has an interesting piece on the likely runners and riders in the 2008 London mayoral race for the Conservatives. The names listed by Watlington are Margot James (pic, below right), Syed Kamall, Nicholas Boles (pic, right), Simon Milton, Richard Stephenson (pic, below left), Steven Norris, Richard Barnes, Roger Evans, Brian Coleman, Angie Bray and Ray Lewis. There should be one main criteria for any of these candidates when they ponder whether they should start. They need to look at themselves in a mirror and ask one question: can I win? Name recognition is hugely important in this sort of race and only one of the candidates passes that test - Steve Norris. I've always liked Steve. If he had stayed in Parliament he would be have been a leading player over the last ten years. His previous to runs for the mayoralty have been well run and he did better than many people expected. However, I'm not convinced he should do it again. But the trouble is, there are very few who are better known. The only two who spring to mind are Sebastian Coe and Michael Portillo. Neither are likely to want to throw their hats into the ring, and in Portillo's case I doubt whether many Conservatives could bring themselves to tramp the streets for a man whose main preoccupation these days is to trash the very Party that gave him his career. One other consideration is the candidate's ability to fund the campaign. The Party won't be contributing a penny, as I understand it, so whoever wins the nomination had better have some deep pockets or have the ability to dip their hand into other people's. This rules out about half the list I name above. I wonder if the Cameroons are looking for a celebrity figure to take on the mantle. How about it Bob Geldof?!