If you want to win an election you've got to believe you can do it, but more importantly, convince the people whose votes you are asking for you can do it. Until recently there was some doubt as to whether anyone (including perhaps Boris himself) thought Boris could pull it off. Recent polls not only show that a Boris victoiry is possible, but also probable. Contrary to the pundits' expectations Boris is attracting significantly more second preference votes than Livingstone.
He is also producing good solid policy proposals. His crime manifesto was well received and today's transport manifesto are both credible and have voter appeal. Like Tony Travers in the Standard I'd like to have seen a bit more radicalism, but that can come later. Among the proposals are...
* provide more police at tube stations and on buses
* extend tube operating hours until 1.30am at weekends
* stop tube ticket office closures
* abolish the western extension of the congestion zone
* more powers to fine utlility companies for causing disruption when digging up roads
* bring in direct debit for oyster cards
* more air conditioning on the tube
* negotiate a no strike deal with unions with binding arbitration to resolve disputes
* higher congestion charge at rush hour and less at other times
* congestion charge bills sent to drivers at month end
* scrap £25 charge for bigger cars
* reset traffic lights to ease congestion
* new generation of Routemasters with conductors
* clamp down on illegal minicabs
* support more 20 mph zones and increase cycle parling
* more integrated river transport
On their own, none of these are what you would call a 'big idea', but the manifesto document exudes a quiet air of competence. What Boris needs to do now is make clear who will head up Transport for London. It needs to be a big hitter who will go in and sort out a fundamentally inefficient and wasteful organisation. My candidate? Step forward Steven John Norris.