Boris Takes London?

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Polls are now closed in London; the city nervously awaits its fate. According to the latest polling data, Boris "Buffoonish Toff" Johnson, the tousle-haired, mumbling conservative candidate, is neck and neck with "Red" Ken Livingstone, the lefty incumbent. (As I pointed out in a previous post, quotable Ken isn't so keen on capitalism, which he says "has killed more people than Hitler.") This YouGov poll predicts a slim margin of victory for Johnson. Other polls put Livingstone ahead by a nose. From the Livingstone-friendly Guardian: "A poll for Ipsos Mori last week put Livingstone 4% ahead and another for MRUK put him 2% in front." Liberal Democrat candidate Brian Paddick, a former Scotland Yard commander famous for pushing through London's eminently sensible marijuana policy, is polling around 12 percent.

For what it's worth, the Tory blog ConservativeHome, run by former Conservative Central Office staffer Tim Montgomerie, is "calling London for Boris." Not much info beneath the banner headline ("Based on a wide range of conversations we've had throughout the day with people in the field and with senior Tory and other insiders…"), though, so skepticism is in order.

Watch Ken Livingstone defend his (physical) embrace of radical Egyptian cleric Yusuf Al-Qaradawi below. And by all means continue watching if you want to hear a series of exciting plans for the acquisition of a fleet of "bendy buses" for London:

 
Update: The Guardian asks representatives of London's easily horrified cognescenti just what would happen if the rakish Mr. Johnson were elected Mayor. Full points to fashion designer Vivenne Westwood who suggests that it might just prove that England is a fascist dictatorship, and that anyone who disagrees with her is, well, not interested in democracy: "Boris as mayor? Unthinkable. It just exposes democracy as a sham, especially if people don't vote for Ken—he's the best thing in politics."

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  1. Whoever wins the tube will still be hot, smelly, and inefficient, and London will still be a bit of dump.

  2. THAT LIVINGSTONE FUCKER UPSTAIRS SINGS THE FUCKING INTERNATIONALE AT ALL HOURS OF THE NIGHT!

  3. If London does not elect the rakish Mr. Johnson…then the US should abandon the English language.

  4. Might I suggest German as an alternative?

  5. How can I shit on the Constitution today, Mr.Scalia?

  6. “Boris as mayor? Unthinkable. It just exposes democracy as a sham, especially if people don’t vote for Ken – he’s the best thing in politics.”

    Ok, I understand they say weird things like “lift” and “lorry” and “petrol”, but that sentence was still completely incomprehensible to this Yank.

  7. This would make her think democracy is a sham? Sort of like wrinking your nose at the neighbors’ cooking after a long day cheerily shoveling horseshit.

  8. But don’t forget 2nd-preference voting, which could put Ken back in front. Basically if all of the people who voted lib-dem/green/bnp/respect/mrlp chose Ken as “2nd preference” then the votes for the losing candidates get added to the votes for Ken and he wins.

  9. Ok, I understand they say weird things like “lift” and “lorry” and “petrol”, but that sentence was still completely incomprehensible to this Yank.

    She’s a fashion designer. You aren’t supposed to understand. It’s about feeling.

  10. Well, the results aren’t in from the mayoral race – but elsewise it looks like Labour is taking a hell of a shellacking.

    This is a good thing!

  11. Her statement is so dumb it makes my head hurt.

  12. Boris as mayor? Unthinkable. It just exposes democracy as a sham, especially if people don’t vote for Ken – he’s the best thing in politics.

    You sure this wasn’t just Gore Vidal pulling one of his pranks?

  13. I just went to the BBC and there isn’t a single story on this. WTF?

  14. Let me see if I can parse Viv’s sentence down into almost American.

    Some twunt who makes dresses thinks Red Ken is wonderful, so if the proles don’t vote for him, democracy is a sham.

    This just confirms my belief that Brits in general have only a loose grasp of the concept of democracy. I think it’s the cognitive dissonance from reconciling it with their bizarre leftover monarchy.

  15. I just went to the BBC and there isn’t a single story on this. WTF?

    They’re still in shock over the council elections shock. The BBC is not exactly neutral when it comes to the conservative party. Good times for BBC detractors 🙂

  16. We Americans forget that in Britain it’s not politics every day, forever.

  17. So what are the election results?

  18. We Americans forget that in Britain it’s not politics every day, forever.

    Well, most Americans don’t have politics as their hobby, either.

  19. This post needs a soundtrack…

    How’s about Boris

    http://blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2008/03/boris-statement.html

  20. Episiarch, mayoral results are announced later day, probably in the next 90 mins or so.

    You can follow live updates here:

    http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/05/waiting_for_the_mayoral_electi.html

    Early word today is a win for Boris:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/may/02/london08.london

    Boris Johnson is being strongly tipped to win the London mayoral elections when the results are announced later this afternoon.

    The Conservatives are now privately very confident that Johnson, the Henley MP whose candidature was initially dismissed as a joke when it was announced last year, will beat Ken Livingstone.

    Some Labour figures are also predicting a Johnson a victory. When Harriet Harman, Labour’s deputy leader, was asked on GMTV to predict the winner of the mayoral contest, Harman said she “did not expect the London result to be any different from the rest of the country”.

  21. Early word today is a win for Boris:

    Damn…i really wanted to start speaking American today rather then fucking English.

  22. Pig Mannix

    Well, the results aren’t in from the mayoral race – but elsewise it looks like Labour is taking a hell of a shellacking.

    This is a good thing!

    Why’s that, Pig? Labour is the most libertarian party in British politics (unless you cut the Liberal Democrats in half, considering solely the Libertarian side). Libertarians should NOT like Tories. Classical liberals in the UK are mostly LibDems, or else they’re probably in the Labour camp.

    For example, last fall the Conservatives were trying to push through government subsidies to encourage women to stop working and become stay-at-home wives. That kind of thing is reactionary and anti-libertarian on so many levels, it’s mind boggling. And if you support the Tories because of their economic policies, guess what: they’re pretty much the same as Labour.

  23. Take note that Labour + Liberal Democrats still equals a majority. Labour probably lost much of support because of Gordon Brown’s recent attempt to make the income tax less progressive with the whole 10p tax debacle.

  24. “Boris as mayor? Unthinkable. It just exposes democracy as a sham, especially if people don’t vote for Ken – he’s the best thing in politics.”
    This comming from the woman who gave us bondage pants. I remember John Lydon, in his bio ROTTEN, saying some devestatingly scathing things about Westwood.
    Remember: to the left,”democracy = 1 party”, just like they did it in the good ol’ USSR!

  25. Liberal Democrats + Tories = majority.

    Sorry Brian the party of Thatcher is closer to libertarians by a few thousand light years then Labour is on a good day.

  26. And Boris “Buffoonish Toff” Johnson is indeed mayor of London.

  27. I like Boris and he has done a good job so far but his idea to allow mobile phone use underground on the tube is ridiculous!! It’s bad enough on the bus, it will be hellish on the tube.

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