Cast your minds back a few weeks and you will recall that we at newstatesman.com were urging our London-based readers to get involved in the Tory London mayoral primary.
For the price of a £1.50 phonecall and, regardless of your own voting intentions, you could register to have a say in who would go head-to-head with Ken Livingstone in the name of Conservatism…
There were four contenders: Victoria Borwick, Andrew Boff, Warwick Lighfoot and Boris Johnson. All were invited to pen us a piece and only Boris declined to do so. He was on holiday in America at the time.
Our interest in the Tory showdown, such as it was, was inferred in some quarters to be mischievous. Some seemed to think we were trying to convince people on the left of the political spectrum to get involved in order to scupper the blond bombshell’s mayoral bid. A suggestion which hurt us deeply.
In fact, as I told the BBC’s Brian Wheeler: “If you want the Conservatives to lose, it’s true you could vote for the one you considered the most hopeless.” But after all that could have been Boris, couldn’t it?
And in any case, if stopping Boris was on our minds at newstatesman.com – and I maintain the whole notion is questionable – we were resoundingly unsuccessful.
For it has been announced that the member for Henley will indeed go head-to-head with Red Ken, Green Berry and some Lib Dem or other in next year’s contest.
In the primary Boris won 15,661 votes, Borwick got 1,869 votes, Boff 1,674 and Lightfoot picked up 609 votes.
It was one of those ballots that offers you four choices – you put ‘1’ by your favourite, ‘2’ by your second favourite and so on up to four times. I voted three times…
Actually come to think of it I may have voted six times because I left it all rather late and then having posted my ballot last thing on Tuesday thought ‘what with the Post Office these days I’d better do it online’ but I think we’d better skip over that detail.
So what happens next? Well it depends how you look at it. Maybe we are at the start of seven months of hilarity – London laughing all the way to the polls and then waking up to the hangover of a BoJo mayoralty.
Or perhaps, we will all get to sit back and enjoy ourselves as Lexus Dave’s Conservatives unravel and Boris blunders with a series of gaffes that simultaneously offend everyone AND expose his almost total ignorance of the governance of one of the greatest cities on earth.
Or maybe he will surprise us all. Maybe.
Back to the Tory mayoral primary briefly. A Conservative Party spokesman said the contest had “captured the interest of the public and has helped challenge voter apathy”. Not with under 20,000 votes from a City of 7.5 million it hasn’t! But awfully well done for trying…