Given the closeness of the race for Mayor of London the choice of second preference for those backing smaller parties will be crucial. Canvassing last night in my ward I found a couple of UKIP supporters – one was giving Boris Johnson a second preference, another was undecided about whether to exercise a second preference at all.
After their curious endorsement of the left wing Europhile independent Siobhan Benita there has now been a change in the advice UKIP are giving to their supporters in terms of second preferences.
UKIP's leader Nigel Farage says:
"Ken Livingstone is dangerous and does not represent the aspirations of Old Labour at all. His comments on Islam, calling for London to be a 'beacon for Islam' and to spend the next four years ensuring Londoners know the teachings of Mohammed are divisive, opportunistic and totally unacceptable.
"He has clearly been learning politics from George Galloway and is pandering dangerously to one religious group. He is standing to be the Mayor for the whole of London and, particularly with the Olympics and Diamond Jubilee celebrations, should be someone all Londoners can respect and be proud of.
"While we have deep reservations about some of Boris Johnson's views, especially his support for amnesties for illegal immigrants, we now recommend that Londoners give him their second preference vote.
"Ken Livingstone – Ayatollah Livingston – would be a disaster for London.'