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EDITIONS
London Mayor Friday, 5 May, 2000, 11:57 GMT 12:57 UK
The losers: Highs and lows of the campaign
By BBC News Online's Mark Davies

From endless policy relaunches to gimmicks and gaffes, those who lost the race to be London's first elected mayor at least gave the capital some entertainment.

BBC News Online assesses the successes and failures of the runners-up.


Frank Dobson, Labour

Alas, poor Frank. Mr Dobson became a tragic figure who brought a touch of pathos to the contest.
Frank Dobson
Frank Dobson: Stuttering campaign
He didn't want the job in the first place, and it showed virtually from the moment he actually won Labour's contest to be the party's candidate.

His cheerful bonhomie was replaced with an apparent lack of confidence amid a stuttering campaign which never got off the ground.

Senior Labour figures were bemused and not a little irritated by the failure of the Dobson campaign to ever get up and running.

He always appeared on the back-foot and too easily rattled by barbs from his opponents.

High point: Finally persuading Prime Minister Tony Blair to come out on the campaign trail with him.

Low point: The opinion polls which repeatedly suggested, rightly as it turned out, that in this case New Labour just wasn't working.

World of the bizarre: Inadvertently helping to finance Ken Livingstone's campaign with a comment about red-heads which prompted TV celebrity Chris Evans to double his 100,000 contribution to the Livingstone campaign coffers.

What now?: He surely deserves some reward for taking on such a poisoned chalice; a seat in the Lords, perhaps, or a return to the cabinet? Or will he be rejected for such a poor campaign?


Steve Norris, Conservative

After the false start when Jeffrey Archer won and then soon lost the Tory nomination, it was always going to be difficult for Mr Norris to haul back the party's credibility in London.
Steve Norris
Steve Norris: Campaign was slick at times
At times his campaign was slick; at others it was confused as the Tory candidate appeared to attempt to be all things to all men - except a Tory.

He reportedly infuriated Conservative Central Office by appearing to distance himself from the party, and certainly angered his rivals with his perceived arrogance.

But his charm also made him the Tory who Labour voters could, just possibly, consider.

Few doubt that he could have done a good job as mayor.

High point: Gradually crept up the polls as election day approached.

Low point: Being excluded from the Tory mayoral shortlist and only reinstated after an embarrassing delay.

World of the bizarre: Getting caught up in a row about whether his party was "unpleasant" or not.

What now? A comfortable private sector post surely awaits.


Susan Kramer, Liberal Democrat

A valiant effort from a relative newcomer to politics.
Susan Kramer
Susan Kramer: A doughty campaign
A cheerful, though earnest, campaign which kept up an optimistic note from start to finish - and for Kramer, this was a long, long campaign.

Selected as Liberal Democrat candidate way back last August, she was on the campaign trail while the other parties were scrapping over who was going to be their mayoral hopeful.

But it was always going to be a long haul for the doughty former businesswoman, first as she tried to raise her profile, something which only really happened once she was able to sit alongside the big name Tory, Labour and independent candidates.

And then with Livingstone so far ahead, she had to engage in a cat fight with Frank Dobson and Steve Norris in the battle to come second.

High point: The opinion poll putting her virtually neck and neck with the Labour and Tory candidates.

Low point: Had to stop half-way through a hustings speech as the stresses and strains of the campaign appeared to get to her.

World of the bizarre: Engaging her cat Whittington to "write" a website diary of the campaign.

What now?: More battles as a Liberal Democrat candidate lie ahead.

Links to more London Mayor stories are at the foot of the page.


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