by Atul Hatwal
The conventional Westminster wisdom is that this is Labour’s year in London. Labour thrashed the Tories in the capital at last year’s general election by 44% to 35% and in a recent poll, Sadiq led Goldsmith by seven points.
However, the conventional wisdom is about to be tested.
In the next few weeks, the Tories are going to roll out their main attack on Sadiq Khan: terror.
Lynton Crosby is running Zac Goldsmith’s campaign and he is nothing if not politically obvious.
The Mayoralty is not a role where conventional attacks over economic issues will resonate.
The public, and Crosby, know that the Mayor cannot crash the economy so the Tory line on what Corbyn’s Labour would do to jobs, growth and taxes, will not be effective.
Neither is the Mayor going to make a profound difference to the state of London transport – no-one can wave a wand and create the extra tube lines or rail services that the capital desperately needs.
Identity and personality not policy will determine voters’ choice.
The Mayoralty is overwhelmingly a symbolic and representative role. Who sits in City Hall says something about how Londoners’ see themselves.
As the son of a migrant, from a working class family, who rose to run a high profile legal firm, Sadiq Khan’s biography is London’s story told best.
Sadiq has also moved deftly to buttress the independence of his brand by pitching himself against Jeremy Corbyn with a range of centrist, business-friendly positions.
He is doing all that’s required to pass the Mayoral threshold in an increasingly Labour city.
The Tories need a game-changer. Something that irrevocably redefines Sadiq in the eyes of Londoners and casts him as Jeremy Corbyn’s candidate.
Cue the impending attack over terror.