LondonNet News Headlines
16/02/00
Dobbo Close to Victory
- Narrow win predicted for Blair's man

FRANK DOBSON is close to securing the Labour nomination for London Mayor, Ken Livingstone could be offered a job by his erstwhile rival, but both could find themselves twiddling their thumbs for another year.

These were the messy predictions being made by political insiders as the Labour party prepares to announce the winner of its primary. The Dobson camp believe their man will squeeze home by a couple of percentage points, thanks mainly to the votes of MPs, MEPs and London Assembly Members who form one third of Labour's complicated electoral college and almost all of whom are loyal to Prime Minister Tony Blair and his choice of candidate.

Livingstone supporters put a brave face on the likely defeat, claiming the result, which will be made public on Sunday, was still too close to call. If the popular left-winger, who everyone concedes has won an overwhelming majority among ordinary party members, does lose he will be offered a post on the Dobson campaign team.

But the election for Mayor, scheduled for May, could still be postponed thanks to wrangling over mail shots. Liberal and Conservative Party bosses want the government to fund a free mail shot to all London homes, something Blair rules out on cost grounds. The dispute could go all the way to the courts, forcing a postponement of the election until next year.






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