ONE of the stories of the last time we all had a vote in London was how Labour, at a time when it was being booted out of government, defended its strongholds in the capital. Glenda Jackson, Emily Thornberry and to a lesser extent Frank Dobson defied Cleggmania to keep their parliamentary seats in 2010, while the party was able to win back control of Camden Council. It was meant to be a breakthrough election for the Liberal Democrats but these advances were not seen in north London as the party had envisaged, despite some fine by-election results in Camden and elsewhere in the years before.
Given that Brian Paddick needs to win people back to the Liberal Democrats in areas like this – especially, I guess, Labour voters who say they are fatigued by Ken Livingstone – I asked him during his visit to Camden Town today why the Lib Dems did not do better in 2010 and what there is for him to build on for the mayoral elections. There’s a moment at around 1min 40 seconds where he seems to forget the name of Danny Alexander, ‘the treasury guy’ – but all in, he deals with a tricky question, insisting that people now treat the Liberal Democrats as players in a three party system. The question is whether the claim of credibility will this time translate into votes.
The audio from his panini stop at Caffe Nero in Camden Town is above.