|Livingstone v. Johnson|
Opinion polls suggest Livingstone is only a shade behind Boris Johnson, so close to be virtually neck-and-neck.
The betting odds tell a different story. Johnson is clear odds-on favourite, currently 1-4; Livingstone is 11-4 against. Betfair comment here explains why punters are backing Johnson.
Given the Government's omni-shambles grows by the day and that London is traditional Labour territory even without the economic malaise, any candidate other than Livingstone now would be a near-certainty to win the capital.
The former mayor carried too much baggage into the hustings especially with his less-than-opaque tax affairs. Livingstone concedes Johnson is the more humorous of the two but what counts most among voters is the latter is considered the more trustworthy.
Labour has form when it comes to shoot-in-the-foot selections. Gordon Brown should have been dumped long before the General Election; the party chose the wrong Miliband to be leader (although I'm no fan of David M.), and now it looks like losing London.
Talk about snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Labour is poised to a great local election night on May 3rd but the Tories will take heart if Johnson is returned in the capital.
As the Betfair article concludes there is still time for Livingstone to turn things round. Sometimes the punters get their dead-certs wrong; if Livingstone does it will have been without my vote.