by Stephen Tall on March 19, 2012
The media may be focusing on the Boris v Ken show for London mayor, but Brian Paddick’s Lib Dem campaign is making some noise. His hard-hitting campaign posters focusing on crime — an issue the former police commander in the Metropolitan police knows first-hand how to tackle — abound in London.
And one of the reasons Brian is able to achieve this exposure is the success of the London Lib Dem fundraising effort. I understand that the total raised has, or is about to, pass the £400,000 mark — an impressive achievement for the Lib Dems, and (I’m told) not a million miles off Boris’s war-chest.
To be clear, this is money for the Lib Dems campaign across London, not solely for Brian’s campaign to be Mayor of London. Also to be clear, this is new money specifically targeted a the London campaign, as the federal party is too cash-strapped to be able to divert existing resources. And as the figures given to me are unofficial, nor do they include the individual fundraising efforts of GLA candidates.
But the London-wide focus of the fundraising effort makes sense — as Mark Pack noted here at last week’s spring party conference, Brian’s campaign and that of the Lib Dem GLA candidates are closely entwined this time around:
It is one of the lessons from previous London campaigns that the party needs to be far better at turning profile for a Mayor candidate into votes for the London Assembly list, the best prospect for the party to gain new seats. … “It is vital that we maximise our vote for the London Assembly,” said Brian Paddick when it was his turn to speak. He echoed the campaign’s previous theme that when the votes are counted in May, it’s likely to be a close call between Lib Dem list candidate Shas Sheehan and the BNP. A female, liberal, Muslim versus the extremism of the the BNP – a deeply symbolic and practical choice.