SO, we now know that Ronnie Carroll’s name will still appear on the ballot papers in Hampstead and Kilburn, despite his sad passing on Monday. People are linking this with the 42 vote figure which haunts the constituency, as if someone could win or lose on the grounds of how many votes a dead man achieves. It’s a fantastical old yarn of impossible what-ifs, but the kind of fun that I think Ronnie would have appreciated. As would, no doubt, his late friend Peter Cook who originally teased him into the idea of standing for election with the aim of scoring zero votes. A @VoteRonnie Twitter accounts has five followers so far.
Still, the Labour Party will be chuffed with this beacon-like poster on Avenue Road, right at the top of one of the borough’s highest points.
BALLS: LUCIANA ‘CABINET MATERIAL’
They are still rooting for the local hope up the Finchley Road, even if Luciana Berger had to safely land a parachute in Liverpool Wavertree before the last election to reach the House of Commons. The 33-year-old (pictured with her old Camden gang) swapped a council election campaign in Somers Town to gap and win on Merseyside. Back in north London, her flourishing political career became a topic of conversation when Ed Balls arrived at the JW3 centre for a Q&A session on Tuesday night. One member of the audience asked what they thought of Luciana’s prospects in a Labour government. “She’s definite cabinet material,” Balls replied.
Green Party leader Natalie Bennett dared to reference where she lived during last night’s BBC debate: Somers Town. A few reaction tweets revealed that quite a few people around London remain confused as to where you’d find it on a map, but more noticeable was the quicksilver response of London Assembly member Tom Copley and Labour List writer Mark Ferguson who snapped, within seconds, a reminder that the Greens had finished third in the neighbourhood at a recent council by-election. Their speedy delight may be one of the only times you see these Labour souls celebrate a Tory advance. It might, might, also just give us all a bit of a clue as to the irritation the Greens – the only party other than Labour to have a councillor in the Holborn and St Pancras constituency, and across all neighbouring Islington – are still providing for Labour.
MONEY-BUYERS GAMBLE ON TULIP
IN the life-wrecking world of gambling, the term ‘money-buying’ relates to the idea that some bets can be identified as such sure things, that those with a huge starting bank can increase their wealth by loading large sums to make even a small percentage. Somebody seems to have that theory (a foolish theory) in mind this week after placing a £3,000 bet with Ladbrokes on Tulip Siddiq to win Hampstead and Kilburn for Labour. If she wins, the punter will have ‘bought’ £1,000 for themselves on election night, turning the kind of percentage margin any business would be delighted to record in its annual accounts. It’s not the risk free road to riches, of course, if you eat the Tory line that it’s still a 50/50 race.