By Ray Fleming
IN theory it should be possible to unseat Ken Livingstone as mayor of London and if the Conservatives could bring it off it would be a big boost for their national aspirations. Some of the best results for Mr Cameron at the local elections earlier this year were in London and it should be possible for the party to capitalise on that success at the next mayoral election in the spring of 2008. Mr Livingstone is always capable of the most awful gaffes and one of these days he will find it difficult to talk himself out of the latest one. On the other hand he is a very unusual politician who says what he thinks and acts on his impulses; by and large, he has been a successful mayor and has a strong following which probably cuts across traditional party lines. If the Conservatives are to beat him they will need someone with a strong personality as well as political credentials. But Mr Cameron's efforts to find such a person have so far been unsuccessful. Unless there was a last minute surprise, the shortlist for nomination which closed yeserday does not include a single familiar or high-profile name; Steve Norris, who contested the last two elections, withdrew at the last minute. There are to be primaries in the autumn, an interesting innovation, at which all Londoners on the electoral roll, regardless of any party affiliation, will be able to participate.


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