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Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Boys On The Streets

Over on, failed LibDem parliamentary candidate Mike Smithson has predicted that Ken Livingstone is heading for a massive increase in his share of the first-round vote next Thursday, to a level beyond even that achieved when he first stormed into office in his purple bus in 2000. "So for every seven Londoners who gave Ken their first preferences in 2004, MORI found that eight would do so on Thursday", says Smithson. Well, not being someone who is easily impressed by the punditry of LibDems (although I'm much more favourably disposed to failed parliamentary candidates), I thought I'd take part in today's canvassing in Hackney North & Stokie instead.

Canvassing teams arrive in LeabridgeA small group of 46 Labour activists (including Julian's mates Ronnie and Reggie plus some of their friends from South London, Hertfordshire, Essex and Kent) took a slow drive around Leabridge Ward, which has always returned three Labour Councillors. It's mainly but not exclusively social housing but low rise with a lot of buy-to-let leaseholders most of whom were out sunbathing in Springfield Park so we didn't have to listen to them bleating on about how the credit crunch was affecting their property portfolios and how Boris would sort it all out. The ethnic mix includes large Turkish, Kurdish and West African minorities, several thousand of whom are employed by Hackney Council.

Ronnie and Reggie invited people to step up to the darkened windows of their limos to report their voting intentions. The returns from the 279 electors canvassed were as follows:

Labour (including those unable to comprehend the question but understanding the right answer) - 261
I knew your mother, she had a heart of gold - 3
I'm not from round here, but I'll certainly vote now you've given me a ballot form - 14
Yes, I'd think seriously about changing my electricity supplier - 1

Now even allowing for over-enthusiastic canvassing, this suggests that Hackney will return a massive majority for Ken, even bigger than Julian's victory in the last Hackney Mayoral election when many of the supporters of other candidates inadvertently put their ballot forms into an elephant's arse rather than into the ballot box.

The markets are moving towards a Ken victory

The betting markets are also looking better for Ken. Most bookies have his odds shortening, at a rate that suggests that he will become the punters' favourite by June 2012, easily in time for the Olympic Games. I'm a bit puzzled by Mike Smithson's personal gambling comment, though: "I've been waiting with a fist-full of cash ready to make some significant investments and the prices simply have not moved enough." Which, given that the odds against Ken are shortening, makes me wonder on who's nose he was planning to put his fist-full of cash. Unless he was planning to throw his money away on Brian Paddick, this can only mean that he was planning to back Boris as his odds lengthen. I wonder whether I should really pay serious attention to a LibDem who is desperate to put wads of wonga on a Tory victory?

1 comment:

Mad Jack said...

Meet yer up English later for a bevvie or two.