SURELY Brian Coleman has nothing to worry about in holding onto Barnet and Camden at the not-too-distant London Authority elections? Has he?
As Labour work out who is best placed to take him on – Lucy Anderson and Nicky Gavron failed to do too much damage in recent tries – the Conservatives are doing their best not to be complacent. And as such, strategist Lynton Crosby will turn up to a branch meeting to herald the start of his re-election campaign at the end of the month. I’ve been told he will brief party activists on what they must work on to avoid any avoidable slip-ups.
One of the nagging concerns for Team Brian is the possibility of a Liberal Democrat collapse and the worry that left-leaning voters who felt conned by the forming of a coalition with the Tories might switch to Labour in protest.
That said, the Lib Dems in Camden at least have polled better in council elections and in the Hampstead and Kilburn general election battle than they ever do in London ballots (they often blame poor mayoral candidates for that). That means the numbers still might not add up for Andrew Dismore, Tom Copley, Neil Nerva or whoever else takes up the uphill challenge of felling Coleman.
No nonsense Crosby is credited with masterminding Boris Johnson’s victory over Ken Livingstone, having come to Britain following successful election campaigns for John Howard – the former Prime Minister in his native Australia.