The Weekend Debate: Who’d get your 2nd preference after Brian in the race for London Mayor?

by Stephen Tall on April 28, 2012

Here’s your starter for ten in our weekend slot where we throw up an idea or thought for debate…

This Thursday, millions of voters will go to the polls to cast their votes in local elections. And although London is only one of those elections, its electoral size and the colourful prominence of its candidates means it has got the lion’s share of the media coverage.

For the Lib Dems, Brian Paddick has fought a terrific campaign. The former Metropolitan police chief only narrowly squeaked ahead of Mike Tuffrey for the party’s nomination following what Brian himself has acknowledged was a tricky first outing as a Lib Dem candidate in 2008.

This time round, however, he has more than held his own in the televised debates, while his advertising, social media and online presence has achieved real impact. As I reported last month, the Lib Dems’ London fundraising has been a huge success, allowing the party actively to compete at this election in a way that’s not previously been possible.

Lib Dems can of course hope for a Brian win. I’ve no doubt he would make a better Mayor than either of the two front-runners, Boris and Ken. However, the polls are clear enough: in this particular two-horse-race, the Lib Dems are unlikely to be Neptune Collonges.

Which leaves those of you in London with a vote — and those of us who have no vote but take a keen interest — with an interesting dilemma… Who will/would get your second voting preference in this contest?

According to Unlock Democracy’s Vote Match, Siobahn Benita ought to get my next preference. Yet that seems like a cop-out: surely I should choose between Ken and Boris to ensure my vote makes a difference? Talk about Hobson’s choice.

But what about you, Lib Dem Voice readers? How are you going to vote (or, like me, how would you vote if you could) in this year’s London mayoral contest? And why…?

* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and also writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.