Friday, May 02, 2008


Update 23.56: Johnson has won; followed by the BBC report.

Well, I said there was no room for complacency. As Paul Linford makes plain. And while Sunny Hundal has given up for a bit, writer and commentator Dave Hill is still live blogging on CIF from the London Mayoral election count. He says (9pm, 2 May): "I've been talking to Sian Berry, the Green candidate. She's hoping her party will hold on to its two assembly seats but is worried about the BNP. They and the Greens continue to vie for fourth place in the mayoral vote and on the London-wide party list and the BNP showing well in some constituencies. I'm told a bunch of their supporters have arrived downstairs, establishing a presence, as it were. Speculation here in the media bunker is that they will hit the 5% mark and therefore take a seat. Two seats is a possibility."

If fluffy Tory hampster Boris Johnson does win (and it seems he will, driven by the divide between inner London and the suburbs), it will be interesting to look at the differential turnouts. In traditionally Labour areas that could be one of the decisive factors for the successes of the BNP, I'd calculate. We'll see. Sian Berry (pictured) has fought a good campaign, by the way. As I've mentioned, I'd have given her my first preference had I qualified for a vote in London.

My friend Henry Potts, who's also my landlord in Parliament Hill Fields, came bottom of the poll for the Lib Dems in Highgate, I see. Bad luck, Henry. Alex Goodman, a 30-year-old planning and human rights barrister, won the election by more than 290 votes from his nearest challenger, Labour's Michael Nicolaides. That's a breath of fresh air.

Incidentally, I see that 'Christian Choice' (says who?) candidate Alan Craig lost a High Court bid to have its party election broadcast (PEB) repeated last week, after claiming it had been censored. Craig said the BBC had "commanded" the words be changed about the Muslim group planning to build a large mosque in east London; a proposal which he opposes.

But judge Justice Collins said the BBC had indicated that if a legal challenge had been issued before the broadcast it would have "backed down and let them publish as they wished." This had not been done and he has ordered Craig to pay the BBC's £11,875 legal costs. The BBC says the judgment upholds its right to raise proper concerns about election broadcasts.

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