Boris' primary

According to the Conservative Party, 'over twenty thousand' people took part in the primary for the Conservative candidacy to be London Mayor. Guido Fawkes gives a breakdown of the results:

Boris Johnson - 15,661
Victoria Borwick - 1,869
Andrew Boff - 1,674
Warwick Lightfoot - 609

Three things to note. Firstly, the figures above add up to 19,813, so the spoil rate could be around 1%. Secondly, Boris was on around 75% of the vote. While it's a pretty convincing win by any standards, it's not impossible that someone else could have beaten him if people hadn't seen it as a foregone conclusion. As I said a while ago, it was not a fair election as CCO was expressing a clear preference for one candidate.

The most interesting thing, though, is the dismal failure of the campaign to excite people. The population of London is on the order of seven and one-half million. The Conservative Party nationally has about 290,000 members. If they are evenly distributed across the UK (and I know you can't really make that assumption, but run with me), that would suggest around thirty-six thousand Tory members in London. The primary was a dismal failure; with only one candidate with any chance of winning, people did not engage and there was no serious discussion in around the Conservative Party on policies for London. It was a missed opportunity; I hope that Mr Johnson does not try to capitalise on having had an open primary during his election.


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