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Friday, 5 May, 2000, 09:59 GMT 10:59 UK
Papers' lukewarm response for Livingstone
papers
Even though the first editions were off the presses long before the results of Thursday's elections began to flood in, the papers are confident of one thing - Ken Livingstone is Mayor of London.

The Daily Telegraph sums up the expectations with the headline Mayor Livingstone, we presume.

It believes Tony Blair is facing his biggest electoral setback since becoming prime minister.

A black night at the polls is how The Times sees Labour's predicament - and The Guardian reckons the inquest is about to begin in earnest.

'Nightmayor'

The Sun adapts a catchphrase from the cult cartoon series South Park for its front page headline. "Oh no," it says. "They've elected Kenny".

London asked for him, insists the paper, now London's got him.

Mr Livingstone condemns the "vile" campaign against his candidacy in the Daily Express and The Mirror.

Mirror columnist Routledge blames Mr Blair for the expected "Nightmayor" to come.

Blair's Black Friday described in the Daily Mail includes Labour's by-election defeat at Romsey which left the party trailing third behind the Tories and Liberal Democrats.

It expects the prime minister will be preparing to pick up the pieces of a triple hammering at the polls.

'I'll salsa with Anne Widdecombe'

And while The Guardian describes Mr Livingstone's performance as a "spectacular comeback", editorial comment is conspicuously absent.

The Independent predicts change for the future with Labour plans to scrap the "stitch-up" system for mayoral selection.

The Rover crisis is blamed for the desertion by West Midlands Labour voters in the local elections.

Daily Star political editor Henry Macrory also presumes a Livingstone victory in London, vowing to salsa with Anne Widdecombe if he is wrong.

Ken Livingstone is bad news for Blair and old news for readers according to the Financial Times which looks instead to an even bigger event in British politics this month - the arrival of the Blair baby.

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05 May 00 | UK Politics
Livingstone on course for mayor
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