Doing your bit to stop Boris is pretty straightforward. There are just two simple steps:
- Vote on 1 May 2008
- Don’t vote for Boris!
Updated: New advice on how to vote if your main objective is stopping Boris:
(for more information, see the related blog post)
If you want to use your ballot paper specifically to stop Boris and…
- …you think Ken’s the best choice for Mayor:
- Put Ken as your first choice.
- Put Brian as your second choice. It’s unlikely your second choice will be counted, so it almost certainly doesn’t matter who you put; but if it does get counted, it being for Brian would be of most use in stopping Boris, as he’s the only other candidate with a (very slim) chance of reaching the second preference run-off.
- …you think someone other than Ken is the best choice for Mayor:
- Put your favorite candidate as your first choice. This will help them retain their deposit, but only in the event of a major upset will it result in them winning.
- Put Ken as your second choice.
stop Boris … you’d rather avoid Ken being Mayor, too, if at all possible, or
- 4. …you don’t care who’s Mayor, as long as it’s not Boris:
- Put Brian as your first choice. He’s the only candidate with any slight chance of beating Ken and Boris if he gets enough first-preference votes to make the final round.
- Put Ken as your second choice. If you’re a ‘number 3′, hold your nose or look the other way as you cast your vote, but, like it or not, Ken’s the only person with a good chance of stopping Boris. It’s a shame that a non-FPTP vote should require choosing ‘the lesser of two evils in many people’s eyes, but that’s the reality of the situation we find ourselves in.
The ballot paper
The vote for Mayor is done on a pink ballot paper.
The paper lists all the candidates and has two columns of boxes on the right.
In the first column, you mark an X in the box next to the candidate you would most like to see as Mayor. Steer clear of Boris’s line!
In the second column, you mark another X, this time in the row of your second favorite candidate. If your first choice isn’t among the most popular two based on everyone’s first votes, this vote will be counted instead.
For instance, if you think the Green candidate, Siân Berry, would be the best Mayor, put an X in the first column next to her. If she comes, say, fourth when they count up everyone’s votes in the first column, with Boris and Brian Paddick in first and second places. You had put Paddick as your second choice; your vote for Paddick will be added to his original total, potentially taking him ahead of Boris and thus stopping him from becoming Mayor. Brilliant.
Spread the word
Of course, you can also help by spreading the word about Boris’s failings, talking to your friends about the Mayoral election, and checking they intend to vote on 1 May (or sooner if they have a postal vote – these are already being delivered!).
If you feel a bit embarrassed about the idea of bringing up politics with your friends, imagine how sorry you’d be if the figurehead of your city were Boris – having a quick chat is the lesser of two evils!