It’s no great surprise that Brian Paddick has won the contest to become the LibDem’s sacrificial lamb in next year’s Mayoral Elections.
When you put a man with reasonable name recognition up against two political pygmies and ask members to select one to run against a media operator like Ken Livingstone the outcome will always be wholly predictable.
When the shortlist was first announced LibDem Campaign chief Ed Davey said his party was putting forward “an excellent shortlist of high calibre candidates that will both give London Liberal Democrat members a real choice”.
Few outside the party found themselves able to take that description of the candidates seriously and it seems neither could party members who awarded Paddick 73% of the first preference votes.
It’s not just the LibDems who failed to give their members a real choice, Conservative candidate Boris Johnson won 75% of the vote in the party’s ‘open primary’ – hardly the sign of a closely fought contest.
Labour at least spared voters a charade of a selection, party bosses merely “consulted members across the capital” before confirming Ken Livingstone as their candidate.
This is just about acceptable when dealing with an incumbent but when neither of the national opposition parties are able to field more than one credible candidate for such an important job there’s something very wrong in London politics.