This lunchtime I went to a lunch which Boris Johnson gave for bloggers. He was in fine form and exuded a confidence I hadn't seen before. What really impressed me was his total grip of policy, whether talking privately or answering questions from those present. It's clear to me that Boris now really believes he can win, and most of those present seemed to share that belief. The landscape has changed dramatically since the turn of the year. Livingstone's increasingly shrill and desperate attacks are failing to land a blow and all the polls show things moving in Boris's direction.
One thing Boris said at the lunch made me think. He said that the Mayor's precept is now £311 for a Band D house. He promised to run the Mayoral budget by "good Tory principles". He has already made clear there are lots of efficiency savings to be made. I made a facetious comment about 'sharing the proceeds of growth' but I meant it. The mayoral precept has rise hugely during Livingstone's years in charge and all Londoners have to show for it is a raft of extra quangos and job opportunities for Livingstone's cronies. If there's scope to cut the tax burden for Londoners Boris should seize it with both hands.
I was shown some psephological work this afternoon which shows categorically that Boris is in a really good position to win. I suspect Ken's people have seen something similar, which explains their increasingly desperate tactics. Ken's on his way out, and he knows it.
More reports from the lunch from Tory Radio, Ellee Seymour, Sam Coates