Mayoral debate to broadcast live tonight
Three main contenders for the London mayoral election will face off tonight live on Sky News at 8pm, as they prepare to secure the votes for the poll on 3rd May.
Current London mayor Boris Johnson, former mayor Ken Livingstone and Liberal Democrat candidate Brian Paddick will all make an appearance tonight. It is the first broadcast debate between the former two candidates since their presence in a radio studio that ended up in an explosive row.
Tonight’s debate may win each party the votes they desire. However, if they are not careful they could just as easily lose them. Gaffe-prone Johnson may have to work the hardest as not only does he have to argue the pledges he shall be introducing to help the community develop, but he will also have to defend his time as mayor which many critics argue was somewhat of a failure. During his four-year tenure as London mayor, Londoners were faced with the rise in public transport fares and the riots that kept the society fearing for their safety. His bike hire scheme was the only well-received achievement during his time.
Brian Paddick, the only candidate among the trio who has yet to win the election, may lack the charisma and sense of humour of the other two candidates, but his experience in the Metropolitan police may give him the edge following London’s riot last year, as Londoners seek safer policies. His lack of flamboyance may haunt him tonight as alongside Johnson and Livingstone he may appear the least interesting, thus swaying away the Londoners.
The former mayor, Ken Livingstone, may once again be the biggest threat to Johnson. Tonight will provide Livingstone with the perfect opportunity to upstage his rival and win back the position. Despite his controversial tax affairs, his popularity amongst the ethnic communities is unquestionable, thanks to his anti-war stance and left-wing credentials. He may have won the poll twice in 2000 and 2004, but his divisive nature has lost him his own labour voters and his TV appearance may lose him some more if he isn’t careful about his arguments.