Friday, September 24, 2010

How Ken can win

Here's a few stats which show what a difference good local campaigns make, as well as the task facing Ken in defeating Boris in the London Mayoral elections in 2012.

I've looked at five London constituencies which Ken lost in 2008, and which were close fights in the General Election in 2010 Labour and the Tories. In some of these, Labour ran weak local campaigns with poor candidates, in others, they ran strong local campaigns with excellent candidates.

Across London, Boris led Ken by 44% to 37% in 2008.

In both Brentford & Isleworth and Harrow East, the Labour candidates had received a lot of criticism over their expenses.

In Brentford & Isleworth, Boris beat Ken by 44% to 37% (identical to the results across London as a whole), whereas in 2010 the Tories beat Labour by 37% to 34%.

In Harrow East, Boris beat Ken by 49% to 36%, whereas in 2010 the Tories beat Labour by 45% to 38%.

In both cases, Labour closed the gap between 2008 and 2010, but a similar performance across London in 2012 would see Boris narrowly re-elected. However, the picture is very different if you look at three other marginal constituencies.

In Ealing North, Boris beat Ken by 41% to 39%. In 2010, Steve Pound crushed his Tory opponent 50% to 30%.

In Hammersmith, Boris beat Ken 41% to 40%. In 2010, Andy Slaughter saw off a well funded Tory campaign by 44% to 36%.

In Westminster North, Boris beat Ken by 46% to 38%. But in 2010 Karen Buck beat one of David Cameron's personal friends by 44% to 39%.

Andy Slaughter, Karen Buck and Steve Pound all backed Ken as Labour's candidate for Mayor. If Labour can learn and replicate the secrets of their successful campaigns across London, Ken will be back in City Hall in time for the 2012 Olympics.


At 6:08 pm , Anonymous Alun said...

What about Dagenham & Rainham? Cruddas won by 2,630 votes, but Livingstone only carried a single ward there.

At 10:19 pm , Anonymous The anonymous editor of the 'Periplus of St Peter the Navigator' said...

In passing, Cruddas's result in 2010 was, adjusting for regional effects (we did well across London relative to most other regions of the UK), actually one of Labour's worst performances in Britain.

How he found his way with that carcrash of a result into a Progress leaflet on organising to win is an interesting question. It's like receiving a pamphlet co-written by David Owen & Roy Jenkins on the paramount importance of Labour Party unity.

I know that doesn't fit the currently widely accepted Gospel of St Jon, but it's true.

There are issues both for Ken (as Oona points out) and for Labour (as Ken points out) in outer London, not just in 2008 but since long before, and 45% turnout in 2008 is very different from the high turnout of the 2010 general. In areas like Dagenham, given the relationship between demographics and turnout, much of that difference will be Labour voters.

Dan: a more serious point I would raise is the demography of these places where you want us to learn from. The Labour vote in Hammersmith and in Westminster North is a very low turnout vote. We will need more than turnout (though of course we will need turnout as well) to beat Boris. We also need to bring some direct switchers back, and neutralize whatever it is that caused 'soft Tories', i.e. low turnout Tories, to come and give their backing to Boris and give Ken a kicking in 2008. I agree we have stuff to learn from what worked in those seats, but simple percentages without context hide almost as much as they reveal.


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