Sadiq and Zac agree for once: Caroline Pidgeon is “great” and “impressive”

We know that Caroline Pidgeon is making a very positive impact on London’s mayoral race. In virtually very debate, she is judged to be the winner, with even arch-Tory Iain Dale, now of the LBC parish, saying that the two women were eclipsing the men in the debate.

Caroline was featured in the Standard and the first paragraph of that article had praise from her two biggest rivals. They don’t often agree, but they are clearly both bowled over by her talents.

If the mayoral election was decided on a candidate’s grasp of policy, there’s a good chance Caroline Pidgeon would win it. The Lib-Dem hopeful — who has eight years on the London Assembly under her belt — has impressed even her better-known rivals with her inside knowledge of the City Hall empire.

Zac Goldsmith tells me “she’s great”, before glancing at his media adviser and asking, “Am I allowed to say that?” Sadiq Khan agrees that her handle on London policy is impressive.

Those two get more like Stadtler and Waldorf from the Muppets every day and this is about the only thing they agree on. Why would Londoners want either of them when they could have Caroline?

In the article, Caroline is asked about her major policies and she takes the opportunity to explain why moves like Sadiq’s fare freeze are anything but fair:

It would take huge investment out of London’s budget at a time when the Government is removing the £700 million a year revenue funding to TfL. Ultimately if we want to see the transport network growing then we’ve got to see investment in transport,” she says.

I just don’t think Sadiq’s plans stack up. You will see fewer buses. You will see increasing overcrowding at all times of day on trains and Tubes. We won’t be able to afford the upgrades. It is really, really worrying. We need that investment in order to help to build the housing to grow the city.

She makes clear that neither of her major rivals have plans that are nearly bold enough:

But she doesn’t think her rivals have been radical enough. “You’ve got to be bold and have a vision and I don’t see that. They’re too worried about upsetting any group and want to please all people, and actually you can’t do that.”

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  • That is not good, it means they don’t see her as a threat.

  • Tony Dawson 9th Apr '16 - 2:44pm

    So, Caroline is great. But do we have anyone running her campaign with serious ideas as to how to give her momentum on the back of this in a city which still contains HUGE ‘black holes’ for Lib Dems? And I am talking about the ten days that are left before postal votes go out.

  • She isn’t a threat to either of them and never was. Her job is to get 3rd place and win more assembly seats than UKIP or the Greens. If she does that she’s done well, if she doesn’t she hasn’t.

  • Richard Underhill 9th Apr '16 - 4:16pm

    Should “very” be spelled “every”?

  • nigel hunter 9th Apr '16 - 9:32pm

    It does not say much for the front runners who, unfortunately, are most likely to top the polls have not a clue how to run a City. It would be nice for the winner to go to ask for her advice cap in hand but they would say it was their idea in the first place. Coming third? I hope all the troops can march forward and win.

  • Rightsaidfredfan 10th Apr '16 - 5:35am

    They’re just trying to pick up 2nd choice votes from the remaining lib dem supporters, they don’t see her as a threat but realise that they might need a few second choice votes to get to 50%. This is not a good sign for the lib dems, in fact in an AV election compliments from ones opponents is about as bad as it gets.

    The reason the Londoners won’t pick her isn’t because she is not a good candidate, they won’t pick her because she is a lib dem. If Caroline was labours candidate for example then she could win.

  • Richard Underhill 10th Apr '16 - 8:24am

    Rightsaidfredfan 10th Apr ’16 – 5:35am
    Not actually an AV election, something similar called the Supplementary Vote.

  • Sue Sutherland 10th Apr '16 - 1:15pm

    She’s being brilliant just by raising our profile in the city. We could easily just be ignored as an also ran. This will have a knock on effect on other election reportage. She’s showing that we are fighting back and that we do have good ideas and if this isn’t reflected in votes it won’t be her fault. Yes it would be great to come a good third but if she doesn’t she won’t have failed because political reporters are sitting up and taking notice of us and this will build up if we don’t collapse in the May local elections.

  • Well said Sue 🙂

  • This all makes the mayoral election a bit farcical. It would be better if no candidate was allowed to stand on a political party ticket.

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