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Page last updated at 15:10 GMT, Friday, 9 July 2010 16:10 UK

The battle is on for London Mayoral nominations

By Jerry Thomas
The Politics Show, BBC London

City Hall
Can Labour win back City Hall from the Conservatives?

Bucking the national trend, Labour emerged from May's general and council elections as the biggest party in London.

This caused many in the party to think that in two years time there is every chance they can win back City Hall from the Conservative Boris Johnson.

Now the battle is on to win the Labour nomination to run for Mayor in 2012.

The two candidates who will be slugging it out over the summer are Ken Livingstone and Oona King.

Mr Livingstone is the former two times Mayor and former GLC Leader, Ms King is the former MP for Bethnal Green and Bow.

The winner, due to be announced on September 24, just before the Labour party conference, is likely to face the current incumbent Boris Johnson, although the latter has yet to declare he is running for a second term.

'Reflecting views'

The voters are London Labour members and people from affiliated organisations like trade unions.

They want someone who reflects their views, but also a winner.

Ken Livingston and Oona King
The winner is due to be announced in September 24

Pre-conceived tags that Ken is a proven winner and Oona is a candidate for change might play well in a party election but may well prove insubstantial in a mayoral head to head.

So what message do they need to strike? Robert Gordon Clark, MD, London Communications tells the Politics Show.

"If I was advising Ken Livingstone - and I'm not - I would definitely say to him "you've got to change a bit".

"You've got to come up with some new ideas. I'm sure he will. It's a new politics and he can't just rely on the success he had as Mayor.

"I think for Oona, she needs to define herself separately from Ken, which means not necessarily knocking the Conservative party at every possible opportunity between now and September.

"The number one thing I would say to her is "get out and about around London". Get your face known. Meet a lot of Labour party members. Meet a lot of the public. Walk the streets".

But the Labour Party will have to bear one final thing in mind - what is Ken going to do if he does not get their nomination?

At the moment, he says he has no intention of standing unless he is the Labour candidate. But then again, that is also what he said before running as an independent back in 2000.

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SEE ALSO
Livingstone seeks return as mayor
19 Mar 09 |  London
Oona King to run for London mayor
24 May 10 |  London


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