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January 11, 2012

London's Mayoral Race: Is Boris Johnson going to keep his job?

That is one of the questions--and a good one--posed by The Economist this past weekend in "London's Mayoral Race: Back into the Fray". In May, London's incumbent mayor Boris Johnson, a flamboyant and often very funny Conservative, former MP, journalist and author (hatched from the Conservative Party's usual lower England Etonian-Oxford tribe) will run against the same opponent he faced in 2008: "Red" Ken Livingstone, the Labour Party candidate, and a serious lefty, who was Johnson's predecessor. Both Johnson and Livingstone are capable pols and managers. While Johnson's eccentricities and manic kind of charisma have made him a popular mayor, Livingstone, who is two decades older than Johnson, may have the advantage of pitching to his more natural constituency in the traditionally liberal urban electorate of London. Johnson is eccentric as hell, fun to watch and connected very well with voters in 2008. Whether or not he is re-elected five months from now, he is expected by many to become Prime Minister some day. But he may not be a shoe-in May. Excerpt from The Economist January 7 article:

London leans left—-as big, diverse cities tend to. Mr Livingstone, knowing that voters often punish governments between general elections, aims to paint his rival as just another Tory. And although the polls suggest that Londoners prefer Mr Johnson on policing, the economy and the Olympics, he trails on the vital issue of transport. A spate of strikes on the Tube has encouraged the view that Mr Livingstone, a machine politician and a man of the left, is better at dealing with London’s ornery unions.

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Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, Mayor of London.

Posted by JD Hull at January 11, 2012 04:09 AM


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