Last September, long after the other main City Hall parties had picked theirs, London’s Liberal Democrats finally selected a candidate for Mayor.
After several rounds of voting former Met Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Brian Paddick beat Mike Tuffrey by just 91 votes.
At the time people I spoke to claimed they’d voted for Paddick because he had a big profile as demonstrated by his appearances on the news and I’m A Celebrity.
He would, I was assured, be more familiar to people and be better able to connect with voters than was the case when in 2008 he led a campaign which lost two London Assembly seats.
For his part Paddick insisted he would be a better candidate second time round and promised to deliver the “best ever result for the Liberal Democrats in a Greater London Authority election”.
In the end he delivered the worst.
In the elections for Mayor and London Assembly the party slipped to fourth place behind the Greens.
A party which in 2004-08 held 5 of the 25 Assembly seats now holds just 2 and one of those thanks only to UKIP’s failure to pass the 5% mark.
It is a disaster of a result which very nearly cost Londoners a highly effective team of Mayoral scrutinisers.
Based on Twitter activity much of the credit for the two seats seems to belong to Caroline Pidgeon who tirelessly campaigned across London.
Ahead of the results Paddick’s campaign Twitter account criticised a “Failed LD politician who lost a massive majority & then had no support in London”.
Whatever it is, when the LibDem result for 2016 comes in he’d probably best not offer unsolicited commentary lest the words be quoted back to him.