James Forsyth

Boris v Ken, round 2

Boris v Ken, round 2
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What we have long expected has now been confirmed: Ken Livingstone will be Labour’s candidate against Boris in 2012. From the moment he lost, Livingstone has been working out how to beat Boris in 2012. He is consumed by a desire to be London’s mayor when the Olympics open in 2012.

Boris won the mayoralty in almost the best conditions possible for a Conservative candidate — the Tories in opposition, an unpopular Labour government and an economy in mess. He’ll be running for re-election in almost the worst — a Conservative led government making deep spending cuts.  

But if any Conservative can win in these circumstances, it is Boris. The fact Ken is his opponent will also help Boris again turn out the outer Zones.  

One key part of Boris’s re-election strategy will be winning various battles with central government for London. Expect to see Boris striking an increasingly independent pose in the coming months.