There are several Tory candidates who, given the chance, would probably make responsible and worthy Mayors of London. The trouble is they would find it near impossible to get elected.The recognition factor is decisive in the brutally tough knuckle fight that is the Mayor of London election. To win, Tories have to beat a 19% swing to Labour in London. You have to have outstanding charisma, huge brains, steely determination and brilliant communication skills to take the crown, and crucially, be immediately recognisable to voters.
An article in the Standard today reported that quirky candidate Ivan Massow, the entrepreneur, is recognised by 9% of Londoners. James Cleverly is tough and good on television, but he is recognised by only 8% of voters. Intelligent Stephen Greenhalgh, after a shaky start, has rallied hugely to do an excellent job, he is also good on television, but recognised by only 7% of voters. Andrew Boff and Victoria Borwick, both first class London Assembly members, with excellent track records, are known to only 5%.
Tory Zac Goldsmith is an independent thinker and already a political superstar. He has the recognition, he is recognised by just under a third of Londoners and by 46% of Tory supporters. But he has indicated he wants to remain as an MP. Could he be persuaded? Boris Johnson has championed both Zac Goldsmith and Seb Coe, but both at times have said No.
In The Times two days ago, Boris Johnson again championed Seb Coe for Mayor. Tough battle though it would be, Labour is attackable on several levels, particularly if either Tessa Jowell (who has a 17% recognition factor) or Diane Abbott are the candidates. Both these ladies have massive weaknesses.
A Labour Mayor would make a total hash of London, not just economically, but divisively, As well as reviving the London economy and jobs market, Boris has been a uniter, loved and respected by all communities. There are fears that several Labour candidates, who have dodgy episodes in their histories, would mishandle the London budget of £17 billion.
Tessa Jowell, who backed the extremist policies of Red Ken, Diane Abbott, and Sadiq Khan, another Labour hopeful, are all unlikely to exert a unifying influence There are also fears of wacko PC policies. Most Labour politicians have only the vaguest idea of economics, not a clue how to raise funding, or encourage foreign investment. They probably believe the Fin Tech revolution is something to do with deep sea diving.
The Tories must pray that either Seb Coe or Zac Goldsmith step up, because the alternative is too horrific to contemplate.