Political

Brian Paddick’s verdict on the London elections

Here’s the email which Mayor of London candidate Brian Paddick sent out to supporters after the result:

It feels a bit like waking up with a hangover but without the headache!

Thank you so much for all the hard work and support that was put into our campaign.

It is important to recognise the unique nature of this set of London elections set against the context of the national picture. If the London picture were reflected nationally we would have cause for concern and for being despondent but not a bit of it!

We have had one of the best ever results nationally and this is a major boost for our new leader, Nick Clegg. Four years ago we picked up a lot of support from those who, like me, were disgusted at the illegal war in Iraq.

For us to improve our position nationally, as we did on Thursday, is a triumph for the party and I am immensely proud to call myself a Liberal Democrat despite the London results.

Many Londoners had had enough of Ken Livingstone and believed, encouraged by the press, that the only way to get rid of him was to vote Tory. Many other Londoners saw the imminent danger of having Boris Johnson as Mayor, encouraged by the opinion polls, and defected to Labour. The staggering number of spoilt ballot papers showed that people did not understand the voting system and simply went all out for either Labour or the Tories.

I spoke to Tony Travers last night, the academic and independent commentator on London politics, who told me that we had done very well indeed in all the circumstances and that we should be proud of our performance (and Tony is no friend of the Liberal Democrats).

As I kept saying during the campaign, in the 15 or so London by-elections between September last year and April, right across the capital, what Londoners really feel about us came through:

Liberal Democrats 36%
Conservatives 28%
Labour 25%

We got squeezed between two political monsters in a way we had never seen before. We did our best. We need to get off the floor, brush ourselves down and get back to our usual winning ways. I hope to join as many of you as possible in Crewe – we have a Parliamentary by-election to win! Details are at www.elizabethshenton.com

Apparently the best thing to do when you get thrown by a horse is get back in the saddle as soon as possible, although I wouldn’t know one end of a horse from another!

Thanks again everyone.

With every best wishes,

Brian

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