So London has spoken, and Boris Johnson is to be the Conservative candidate for next year's London Mayoral election. Well there's a surprise. There was me thinking that Victoria would wing it, or maybe Warwick or Andrew would sneak ahead and pip everyone at the post. But no. Boris romped home with more than 75% of the vote, at least among the 19000 Tories and 1000 non-Tories who bothered to vote in the primary phase. He'll need a lot more support than that to win in May.
Boris's Mayoral campaign benefits from a not inconsiderable web presence. There's Boris the politcal thinker, battling against the Uzbek billionairemenace. There's Boris the MP, trolling around the village halls of rural Oxfordshire. And there's Boris the multimedia campaigner, inviting you to sign up for email updates and to add a Back Boris banner to your blog. There's not a lot of policy on Boris's Mayoral site at the moment, he's still at the "mission statement" stage. There's not even mention of his beloved bus policy - death to the bendies and Routemaster resurrection. The former policy is clearly a winner, but the latter is more of a smokescreen. There'll be no rear-platformed omnibuses reinstated on the streets of London if Boris is victorious, just a call to TfL's designers to build something a bit Routemaster-like (but with wheelchair access) for delivery on some unspecified date in the future. It's better than nothing, but it's not instant transport nirvana.
The stage is now set for a Ken v Boris election. OK, it'll actually be a Ken v Boris v Brian election (or even a Ken v Boris v Brian v Siân v Lindsey v Garry v Richard v several other nutters election), but all money will be on either red or blue. And hey, there's not long to go now until polling day itself. Only... 222 days. Sigh. It looks like Londoners will have to put up with an extended period of ranting, posturing and mud-slinging before they're allowed anywhere near a ballot box. There's a lot to be said for instant snap elections and not drawn out predictable contests. Assuming you've made your mind up already, as I have, it could be a desperately tedious 8 months.