If Zac wins:
- He will be praised for keeping cool under fire.
- The campaign will be praised internally for having stuck to its searching questioning of Khan’s history on extremism.
- Lynton Crosby’s reputation will soar – even though he has had no direct involvement with Zac’s campaign whatsoever.
- Khan will blame Corbyn (directly) and Islamophobia (almost as directly).
- There will be a tricky by-election in Richmond Park, in which the Conservative candidate’s commitment to opposing Heathrow expansion will be compared to Zac’s.
- Some Tories and others will claim that the result is a repudiation of anti-semitism within Labour. But the result will actually have more to do with Londoners voting for what they think is best for London.
If Khan wins:
- He will take the credit, try to ensure that Jeremy Corbyn takes none, and say that he has triumphed over “the most Islamophobic campaign in British history”…
- …while the Labour leader tries to take as much credit as possible, to offset what are likely to be disappointing results for Labour elsewhere.
- The Conservative campaign will be slated for negativism – and, worse still, for unsuccessful negativism. This has already begun. ConHome has picked up unhappiness among some Conservative MPs, who are queasy about the attacks on Khan taking place at all, and among some insiders, who believe that they were too little, too late – arguing that many of them were launched after the postal votes had gone out. The cry will be: “Zac should have been himself” – running a gentler, kinder and even more green campaign.
- Lynton Crosby’s reputation will take a knock – even though he has had no direct involvement with Zac’s campaign whatsoever.
- There may be a tricky by-election in Richmond Park, if the Government decides to go ahead with Heathrow expansion and Zac, as promised, resigns his seat.
- There will be a rather tasty by-election in Tooting, where Khan won by 2,842 votes last year. Dan Watkins, the Conservative candidate then, remains the party’s parliamentary spokesman in the seat. Intriguingly, we gather there are some concerns among the ranks of Tooting Labour that Galloway or Livingstone might stand and split the vote.
- Some excitable spirits will claim that the result shows that anti-semitism is on the rise. But it will actually have far more to do with Londoners voting for what they think is best for London…
- (…And Boris’s achievement in winning twice will begin to look very big indeed)
Whatever happens, both the Conservative and Labour Mayoral totals will be compared to the parties’ vote in the Assembly elections. Mark Wallace wrote yesterday on this site about the Welsh, Scottish, Northern Irish, PCC and council elections.