Hands up for tactical voting

PUBLISHED: 15:56 10 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:38 25 August 2010

IT was red faces all round in the blue corner in the London Mayor spat when a far-right party got a bit too close for comfort.

IT was red faces all round in the blue corner in the London Mayor spat when a far-right party got a bit too close for comfort.

Jokers at the British National Party (BNP) urged their voters to use their second vote for Tory candidate Boris Johnson.

Right-wing candidate Richard Barnbrook suggested people vote for Mr Johnson with their second vote, because better him sitting in City Hall than that 'namby-pamby' Ken.

Last Wednesday Mr Johnson said: "I utterly and unreservedly condemn the BNP and have no desire whatsoever to receive a single second preference vote from a BNP member. I hope as many Londoners as possible turn out on May 1 to prevent the election of a BNP candidate."

Ken Livingstone also took the opportunity to bash the BNP at the Evening Standard's mayoral debate on March 31, asking people to vote simply to keep down the BNP's vote tally.

But Brian Paddick got his hands dirty and just had to sling some muck Mr Johnson's way.

The Liberal Democrat candidate said: "Clearly the BNP have recognised Boris' talent for causing offence and creating division.

"We need a mayor who does not make offensive remarks, who does not take sides and who will put all his efforts into uniting all Londoners whatever their background." Good to see that liberals can be as opportunistic as right-wingers.

It seems that everyone took a pop at the BNP, seeing it as the best way to earn themselves a few votes, including back runner Matt O'Connor, the candidate for the English Democrats.

Shamelessly using the opportunity to get himself in the press (it worked) Mr O'Connor said it was incredulous that anyone should see the BNP as more than a 'festering pustule of ignorance'.

He added: "For the record, I would rather eat my left testicle than join the BNP." Ouch.

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