Anyway, if you are voting for a third-party candidate such as Brian, then you might assume that you should give your important first preference to one of the Tory/Labour Big Two candidates who appear most likely to win, while then daintily dropping your feeble second preference into the corner of the nice Liberal Democrat, as a gesture of encouragement in his direction. Actually, it is the other way round - it is more logical to-<SLUMP> Just trust me. If you vote (for example) "First Paddick, Second Johnson" and Mr Paddick comes third, with Johnson and Livingstone coming first and second, then Brian will sadly be eliminated and your second preference vote will be counted for Boris and against Ken. Whereas if you'd voted "First Johnson, Second Paddick" then you'd have cast the same vote for Boris and against Ken, without giving Brian the first preference vote that he needs if he is to make it to the final two. In 2004, I believe that the Lib Dem Simon Hughes got more votes than did any other candidate in that London mayoral election; had most of those votes been first preferences and not second preferences, he'd have won.
As for the London-wide list of Assembly Members, that is pure PR (give or take). The complete opposite of a wasted vote. Any vote, in any part of London, cast for the Lib Dems will count towards the election of any Lib Dems who are elected from the list. To qualify for getting anyone elected, a party needs to get at least 5% of the vote, a feat achieved last time by the BNP, when they did elect a London Assembly Member. A vote for any other party increases the share of the vote won by all other parties, so making it harder for the BNP to get 5%. So really, if you don't want the BNP to be on the Assembly, then vote Lib Dem or for any other party that is not the BNP. That is democracy - elections are about deciding not only who we want to win, but who we don't want to win, and I don't want the BNP to win.
And I've already voted for Chris Richards, the Lib Dem candidate, to be my local London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden. That is simply done by first-past-the-post, and so does not involve a lecture on glaciers.
As we get closer to polling day, it is becoming increasingly clear that support for Ken Livingstone is waning and more and more Londoners cannot bring themselves to vote for a candidate that has a real credibility problem.
That's why I'm reaching out to you.
Caroline Pigeon and I, along with our energetic and diverse team of London Assembly candidates can offer real change and a real alternative to the Tory run Mayoralty.
We have lots of fresh and creative ideas for London, here are just five of them:
- A fairer London, with realistic fare cuts targeted at those who need them most: a One Hour Bus Ticket; Early Bird discounts; and Part-Time season tickets.
- A greener London, with electric buses, taxis and vans by 2020.
- A safer London, with police who listen to the concerns of local people and work with them against the criminals.
- Serious solutions to London’s biggest problems, such as tackling the housing crisis by building 360,000 new homes.
- Creating a network of Youth Hubs to give young people a positive alternative to gangs.
There are so many reasons why if you sit on the left of London politics, you do not have to vote for Livingstone.
To read more about what we would do, have a look at our manifesto here www.brianpaddick.com/manifesto
With very best wishes,