Labour launch Operation Save Ken

Labour are now trying to shore up Livingstone's support.
Earlier this week Andrew Gilligan wrote that he detected a shift in Ken Livingstone’s strategy to win City Hall, appealing for support from those looking to name their second best would-be Mayor.

Comments made by Livingstone at last night’s Evening Standard hustings would seem to support Andrew’s hunch.

During the debate Livingstone made a direct approach to Green and green-minded voters by condemning Boris Johnson’s policy of gluing pollution to the roads.

Such comments will make it easier to win support from those Green members who were sceptical about endorsing the former Mayor.

But work is also underway to shore up Livingstone’s internal support.

And after weeks of direct hits from Labour supporters unimpressed by their candidate’s tax affairs and comments about Jewish voters, Mehdi Hasan has warned Labour supporters “If you don’t want Boris, you have to vote for Ken”.

Nothing speaks louder about how badly Ken has handled his campaign that his own supporters – those whose votes he should be able to take for granted – need the choice before them set out in such stark terms.

Beyond the well publicised tears, there was something curious about Livingstone’s election broadcast which he unveiled yesterday.

Normally such films involve candidates and parties appealing for votes, but Livingstone’s effort involves ‘ordinary Londoners’ appealing him to win the election for them.

Re-watching it today, it feels almost like a public appeal from his own supporters to stop cocking things up.

Update Friday 13th April: In the Independent Owen Jones writes that “The 1 per cent have an interest in demonising Ken Livingstone”


  1. Nick Long says

    This election is going to throw up results like no other. The outcome of the Bradford West result suggests the major parties are going to get a bloody nose. A 6% lead with over 3 weeks to run means the outcome is still unknown. Ken’s latest broadcast is likely to be effective and the outcome could be decided on second preference votes. As support for the Tories slides Boris is living on borrowed time.

  2. says

    I don’t think Bradford West can be used as a model for elections elsewhere, everything I’ve read suggests that Galloway won by appealing directly to Muslim women who had been ignored by Labour in the past though disenchantment with the main parties was certainly a factor along with the usual reduced turnout suffered at all bye-elections.

    I suspect that results will be pretty much as last time, a straight fight between Boris and Ken with Paddick third and the rest polling less than 5%.

    And the majority of people not bothering to vote at all!.

  3. Robin says

    I still think UKIP or greens will finish third, if people ive met leafletting vote according to window and talking to myself over the garden fence!