05 April 2008

True 'liberals' Will Vote For 'liberal' Policies Not Personalities.

May 1st is the chance for liberals in London to make their voices heard.

Unlock Democracy have produced LONDON.VOTEMATCH.NET to help you decide which candidate best suits your views - (it tells you your similarity with each candidate's position in a chart and there is also a list of the issues and candidate responses).

Like with all of these 'issues' websites (as this site itself points out), it is best to look directly at party and candidate manifestos as well as this site when making your final decision. But saying that, this site does appear to have been well researched and produced. (Although there are some strange wording and use of negatives in some of the 25 questions - so make sure you read them all very carefully). It even lets you give more weight to some questions than others - which is a useful feature.

The new Mayor of London is likely to receive less than...
one million votes out of a eligible 5 million voters (Ken won with about 850,000 in 2004 on a 37% turnout).

Although turnout is likely to be higher this time - (continuing the trend in London - PR elections in London, Scotland and Wales have bucked the steep decline in local and general election turnout in the UK since 1997); it is still unlikely to break 50%.

There are over a million Labour voters in London, if most of these turned out, we wouldn't have to worry about the BNP or 'Boris Thatcher' being elected. Livingstone of course has built a coalition far wider than new Labour, his competence, vision and political bravery have won voters from Tory, Lib Dem, Green, trade unionist, muslim and other ethnic and minority backgrounds, but his 'brand' has been severely damaged by unfounded accusations from a London press that would shame North Korea in its levels of bias.

True liberals would vote for a candidate who has;

- the backing of the Green party and well respected environmentalists - they all back Ken Livingstone.

- the backing of the anti-war movement - they all back Ken Livingstone's stance against Bush and the Iraq War which was supported by 'George W Boris'.

- the backing of Stonewall and many respected Gay Rights campaigners - they all back Ken.

- the backing of anti-racism groups and respected figures - they all back Ken.

Affordable housing, congestion and gas guzzler charges, public transport frequency and cost - these are what matter most to Londoners, not whether Ken has five children or whether he shook hands with a controversial cleric.

Ken has proved himself competent, Boris has only proved himself good at apologising for his errors and ducking the issues.

Roll on April 24th and BBC Question Time when hopefully more people will get to know about the issues. Boris knew he couldn't get away with avoiding that debate, no matter how many others he chickens out of.

Out of interest my results for VoteMatch were as follows (note the order is also influenced by which issues I put as more important);

1. Ken Livingstone (Labour) 23/25
2. Sian Berry (Green) 17/25
3. Lindsey German (Left List) 15/25
4. Brian Paddick (Lib Dem)16/25
5. Alan Craig (Christian)13/25
6. Matt O'Connor (Eng. Democrats) 11/25
7. Winston Mckenzie (Ind) 11/25
8. Boris Johnson (Tory) 9/25
9. Gerard Batten (UKIP) 6/25
10. Richard Barnbrook (BNP) 4/25


  1. Presumably Neil, May 1st is the day for all voters to make their voices heard, not just liberals right?

    I honestly found the questions in the poll to be poorly designed and very, very leading. In this knowledge I still managed to make Barnbrook my 1st choice (I only disagreed with him on congestion charges and inter racial marriage) but, curiously, my second most compatible choice was the Green Party!!! UKIP were fourth!! What happened there?!

  2. R&W: Of course this election is for all voters and the more who turn out the better (of whatever persuasion). My point is that if London truly is a 'liberal' dominated city it will not elect Boris or the BNP on the issues. The polls show Londoners think Ken has done a good job (even Boris supporters think this). If this is so, why is Boris so close to winning?

    Out of interest, where did Ken come in your list?

  3. Hi Neil,
    Kenny came fifth. It's a shame we can't link to our own results page, unlike this old test (you've probably seen it already):

  4. Nice test. I got Gerard Batten and Boris first equal with 11/25. But I'd only vote Gerard of course. If I lived in London. Which I don't. Any more.

  5. Sadly for you, you aren't the judge of who is liberal or not.

    You hate liberals, so why on earth do you want their vote now. Have some principles. You can't go on like a broken record one day about how much you hate liberals and expect them to do what you say the next.

    You would be better working for a left of centre census, and being consistent. That means respecting other parties and other people's views.

    Liberals won't vote for Ken because he is corrupt. I really hope he loses, even if that means Boris. At least Boris isn't corrupt.

  6. You are assuming that Livingstone gets more votes than Paddick. Will you be urging Livingstone voters to give their second preference to Paddick in a beat Boris unity campaign? ...

    oh no you can't can you, Ken has already done a dirty desperate deal with the 2% Green candidate!! That's really going to help him beat Boris when he's 20% behind in the polls.

  7. Anon, tribal Lib Dems like you might be a lost cause, but I am a true liberal in the real sense of the word and I am appealing to other like minded liberals.

    Issues like ID cards are irrelevant in this race where the Mayor has no power anyway. From this week, the Mayor gets power over housing, so affordable housing is an issue, the cycle highway is an issue, the 20mph zones are an issue, competent spending of £39bn on transport is an issue, rephasing of traffic lights is an issue, £25 gas guzzler charge is an issue. For true liberals all these issues will get worse if Boris is elected. We all know this election is between Boris and Ken, Paddick is nowhere. I will offer you a £1000 bet on Paddick being in the final two if you want to take it? Put your money where your mouth is.

  8. Be careful Ken has been caught offerign £1,000's of arounds. All this money talk makes politics stink.

    You are not a liberal. No liberal would tell another how to vote.

  9. Anon: Did you know politicalbetting.com was set up by a Lib Dem?

    It is not liberal to have your head in the sand. Would you not have advised to vote against Hitler and his Tory coalition partners in Germany?

  10. I have no idea why you are comparing Ken Livingstone to Adolf Hitler.

  11. but I am a true liberal in the real sense of the word and I am appealing to other like minded liberals

    You mean like Thatcher, Neil? Because she was a 'true liberal', in the nineteenth century, whig definition of liberal: a believer in free trade, low taxes, small government.

  12. stephen: No I mean John Stuart Mill liberalism (but without his strange ideas on voting). The modern definition of liberalism is social liberalism not economic.