Updated 4.30pm with more predictions and a minor correction.
Hello everyone: I’m Mrs. Stop Boris and will be stepping into the shoes of my better half today to provide updates as the votes are counted. I hope I can do his work justice.
So, down to business. There’s no point beating around the bush: it’s not looking good, Boris-stoppers.
First to call the election for Boris was the ConservativeHome’s blog, just before the polls closed last night. Initally the Conservative party distanced themselves from this statement (sorry, can’t find a link at the moment as I read this in print in the Guardian and they’ve since updated their online article), but as time’s gone on the consensus seems to be that we’ve lost the battle.
Here’s a summary of predictions and speculation from the main parties and commentators today:
- Labour: Harriet Harman on GMTV this morning said she “did not expect the London result to be any different from the rest of the country”, a rather heavy hint that she thinks Boris has won. Anna Pickard blogging for the Guardian says:
Gordon Brown has said that he’s spoken to Ken Livingstone, and in saying this, praised Ken’s achievements over his time as mayor and sounded, apparently, all very ‘past tense’ about the whole thing.
- Conservatives: Doesn’t seem to be anything definite on the record, with Cameron saying he’s “nervous” about the London result, but general reporting is that the Tories are optimistic, understandably so given the results elsewhere in the UK, e.g. the Telegraph has stated that “the Conservatives are increasingly confident that Boris Johnson will be elected mayor of London later today.” Daniel Finkelstein has apparently been told by a “senior party source” that “Boris has got it”, and virtually on first preferences only. The Standard seems to share the same source.
- Lib Dems: Vince Cable thinks Boris will win. (see 9.40am update on linked blog post.)
- Media and bloggers: Dave Hill is twittering today, and at Alexandra Palace is seeing a “Clear swing against ken on first prefs”. He’s also doing hourly updates on the progress of the count. The Sky News blog has worrying news on two counts:
About one in ten of first preference votes are in, and Boris Johnson has a reasonable lead in most London constituencies. Much too early to be sure, but apart from the Ken and Boris struggle, look out for the BNP candidate Richard Barnbrook. He’s showing strongly.
Daniel Finkelstein has a round-up of web rumours.
Just to top it all off, it’s also St. Boris day in Russia, which isn’t exactly a good omen! Update: actually, thanks to differences in calendars, it’s not necessarily St. Boris day, depending who you ask. Sadly the consensus still seems to be that it is Boris day in London.
I’ll continue to update this post as more news comes in, but it seems wise to prepare for the worst. So Boris-stoppers, if the worst comes to the worst, what should we all do next?