Sunday, 6 May 2012

Boris boost not Ken drag in 2012!

The votes cast in total for the mayor and the top up are very similar.

In 2012 it has been well reported that there was only a small Ken drag, however there was a Boris boost.  Whilst the Ken drag was 21,286 that he was behind his party, the Boris boost was a massive 262,863!

Looking at 2008, both Ken and Boris ran ahead of their parties. The Ken boost was 228,434 and the Boris boost was 208, 226

Intriguingly in 2004, there was a Ken boost for Labour of 217, 301 but Stephen Norris the Conservative candidate only ran 8,727 ahead of the Conservative top-up vote.

So in 2012 the Boris boost grew by 30% and the Ken boost disappeared.

In the London top up figures there was also a major swing to Labour and a further collapse of the Liberal vote...
2012: LAB 41% - CON 32% - LIB 7%
2008: LAB 28% - CON 35% - LIB 11%
2004: LAB 25% - CON 28% - LIB 17%

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Could Ken have won it? How close was he? Was there a Kendrag?

Through the selection process for Mayor and in fact for 12 years we were told that Ken performed better in elections than the Labour Party.  Maybe it washed in government, but in opposition it was unlikely to be true. So the question became is how big was the Kendrag ... and could someone else have won based on what we know from the other two votes.  The GLA candidate and  the Londonwide List .

No complexities and all the data is available on 

Overall Ken scored 40.3% of the votes, the total of our GLA candidates was 42.3% and the total of the Labour Share of the Londonwide List was 41.1%.  So this shows a 2% Kendrag.

How is Kendrag broken down by electoral area

AREA Londonwide   GLA
Barnet and Camden 3% 10%
Bexley and Bromley 0% 2%
Brent and Harrow 1% 2%
City and East 1% 1%
Croyden and Sutton 0% 0
Ealing and Hillingdon 2% 1%
Enfield and Haringay 1% 3%
Havering and Redbridge 2% 1%
Greenwich and Lewisham 0% 1%
Lambeth and Southwark 0% 3%
Merton and Wandsworth 2% 3%
North East -1% 0
South West 0% -1%
West Central 2% 3%

Some other analysts have only compared to the Londonwide figures which show a lower Kendrag

So Ken lost by 82,013 on first preferences and 62, 538 after transfers.

So how many votes is the difference between the vote for Ken and the totalled vote for the GLA candidates.... 43,520 (the Kendrag part ONE)

There were only 185,235 transfers, whilst there could have been 346,626.   It seems people do not understand or do not use the transfer.  The balance amongst the other candidates would have suggested that if people understood/used transfer there would have been a larger pull back from Ken.  It is also clear in this election whilst Brian Paddick was quite supportive of Ken last time as a transfer that was not true this time. Equally Siobahn Benita was not wooed and was the home mainly for an anti-Ken protest vote.  So here is Kendrag part TWO - another candidate would have picked up more second preferences from other candidates.  Why did Ken only get a transfer of 102,355 when the Green transfer was 98,913 and they openly backed Ken for transfer.  Surely if these votes transferred you would expect more votes to come from Siobhan Benita and Brian Paddick who totalled 175,000.

That takes us out of statistics and into reality.   How many votes did the tax fiasco and upsetting the Jewish community cost Ken?  How many people just did not vote and are invisible on the statistics? How many votes in Barnet could be seen as Anti-Brian Coleman rather than Anti-Ken?  How many votes came back to Ken in the last week of the election from the so called "Boris Labour"? How much effect in the Jewish community did the endorsement of Ken have? (Kendrag part THREE)

This was always going to be a close election.  With Labour rapidly extending a lead post-budget it was clear a mayoral victory could have been possible, and had Ken reached out just a little more to the Jewish and other communities he upset he might well have won it!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


When we wrote the first draft of what became the "Leaked letter from the Jewish Community to Ed Miliband" we had just attended a most frustrating meeting with Ken Livingstone.  It was no better than an equally irritating meeting that a number of us had held two years before.  It was no better than many previous encounters during Ken's mayoralty between the Ken Livingstone and the Jewish community.

So much about Ken is good for London and even for the Jewish community.  Ken's policies on Housing, Transport, Regeneration, Business, Young People, Crime and so much more  is streets ahead of Boris. It was Ken, who invested in Simcha in the Square, Chanukah in the Square and who cared about our social issues, our demographic issues and engaged with us.  We credit Ken for his refusal to sit on a platform with the BNP candidate.  Ken also opposed the Academic Boycott of Israeli Academics.

However, Ken regularly upsets us on Israel and on reaching out in what seems inappropriate ways to political Islamists, who he rarely exposes when they are anti-semitic.  He fails to understand our issues with his involvement with Iranian Press TV or with Sheik Yussuf Al Qaradawi.  He also does say different things to different people.

Ken did realise he had offended us and he did release an unusually strong opinion piece in the Jewish Chronicle.  It was welcomed but it did not persuade many.   We urged Ken to go further, which he has not done but he did meet us this week and we are pleased that the meeting was softer and more amicable.

Ken is mistreated by the right wing press. The video of Ken at the Finsbury Park Mosque shows that he was unfairly quoted & written up by Andrew Gilligan, based on the video evidence that Andrew Gilligan himself has used in his Finsbury Park Mosque article.    However we do wish that Ken had read some of the prophets such as Amos and Hosea or the Ethics of the Fathers from Jewish scriptures and chose to quote them as well as the Koran.  

Neither Ken nor the Jewish Chronicle have understood the complex issues around Jews and voting preferences.   We still have not managed to persuade Ken, that wealth is not the only major determinant of voting preferences.  Ken does not register that  Stamford Hill, a poorer community is not totally Labour voting, whilst the more affluent Finchley is not as Conservative voting as he would predict. 

Actually when it comes to the Jewish community the opposite is true.  According to their religious values, the Jews of Stamford Hill are much more socially conservative than those living around them and vote Tory. The opposite is true in Finchley where the Jews of Finchley are more supportive of the Labour party  than those living around them.   This shows wealth cannot be the key determinant of voting for our community.

We can further confirm this by pointing to Hackney, where the only non-Labour members on Hackney Council are elected from the Jewish area in Stamford Hill, and  most of those councillors are Charedi Orthodox Jews.  However in Finchley and throughout the more affluent Jewish communities across North London, votes for Labour are higher than in the Non-Jewish community around them – this is documented in JPR surveys.

There are many factors.  First the religious right is socially very conservative which is more relevant to its voting than its wealth.    The more wealthy parts of the Jewish community through North London are more modern in their religion, and retain strong prophetic Jewish values which some couple with their family experiences as 2nd and 3rd generation  immigrant communities retaining political connections.  We have sent all the figures to Ken.  This is not an accusation of anti-semitism, but Ken has not listened or absorbed the statistical information.   

We continue to emphasise this as Ken needs to win the votes of our community but also many other migrant communities who may have taken a similar journey.

 Ken has heard from us that he needs to work with the London Jewish Forum and not play favourites within the Jewish community. He has agreed and promised to meet with the Forum four times a year if elected.  He has also promised to go to Limmud.   

On Israel, Ken's comments are not always beyond the pale.  At our meeting, he repeated his commitment to a working two state policy with strong economic connections between the Israeli and Palestinian communities.  He also reminded us that he has visited Israel, but has not visited Iraq or Iran. His comments on Israel in his article in the Jewish Chronicle also were equally inoffensive.  However, we know that there have been moments when this has not been the case.  We urge Ken to maintain focus and not to drift away from a peaceful workable 2 state solution if he feels the need to comment in the future.

The Labour candidates for the GLA are impressive.  The gap Ken faced is narrowing. Nationally the Conservative coalition government is making serious errors, seemingly daily.   Maybe Cameron needs Boris.
Under Boris, we have seen no significant transport initiatives, no new housing projects, cancelling of various projects with all communities including our own.  Broken promises.  Boris in his first year in office promised to sort out the 210 bus route so it would go from Golders Green to Stamford Hill, it still ends at inconvenient Finsbury Park.  It is still not resolved.

Under Boris as Mayor, we will get a few laughs, but little service and not much engagement.

Under Ken as Mayor, we will get irritated, upset and annoyed but we will get lots of services and lots of engagement and an improved London.

We are sure that Ken will sort the 210 bus out. 

We commend The London Jewish Forum for its willingness to stand up and manage the community's relationship with Ken, or whoever is elected mayor.  The Forum is a non-partisan body who organized events with all candidates both at this election and in 2008. The Forum must continue that scrutiny diligently, particularly if Ken is elected. 

If Ken was still 6-8 points behind then maybe one would not vote or vote wastefully, but it is 51%-49% according to the latest opinion polls.

With our eyes open and breathing deeply maybe with a sigh or two, the time has come to endorse Ken Livingstone for Mayor of London...

Andrew Gilbert, Neil Nerva, Judith Bara and Jem Stein  (all in a personal capacity)