The Day of Reckoning! It's the third ever mayoral election, it's a lot more exciting than the first two, and for the first time a Tory candidate has a chance of winning. The last time the Tories controlled London was back in the mid-70s when the Greater London Council was under the leadership of Tory councillor Sir Horace Cutler. He was defeated in the 1980 election which saw Labour's London leader Andrew Macdonald win...only to be ousted as Labour leader within 24 hours of victory by a young left-wing upstart called Ken Livingstone.
Boris clearly generates real hatred on the left, nowhere more so than in the pages of the 'Guardian' which has given him the tribute of a whole section entitled 'Stop Boris'. The lead article is by Zoe Williams, and is so gloriously intemperate, out-tabloiding the tabloids in its outraged, street-style language that we had great fun analysing it in politics today. Apparently Boris is only loved because of his floppy hair and 'sodding' bicycle. With penetrating analysis like that, no wonder the Guardian doesn't need to bother with facts. And one fact, incidentally, that eludes so many people, is that Boris never wrote the Liverpool article in the Spectator for which he apologised so profusely. As editor, he took the wrap for the unsigned piece, but it was actually written by right-wing columnist Simon Heffer. Which makes Heffer's own spluttering attack on Boris in the Telegraph all the more inexplicable. Heffer himself, of course, lay low and never openly admitted authorship of the offending piece.
Anyway, a man who alienates both a left-wing harridan like Zoe Williams and a right-wing blimp like Simon Heffer must be doing something right. More to the point, overpaid journalistic clap-trap notwithstanding, will Boris win? Well, in a few hours we should know, but I think I'm sticking with the view expressed today that he'll win on second preferences. Can't wait!!!