Malcolm Gooderham: Five headlines that would help Zac Goldsmith to beat Sadiq Khan

Written by Malcolm Gooderham on 13 April 2016 in Opinion


The Tory mayoral candidate is trailing in the polls - but the right issues and headlines could still swing it for him.


Next month, London will wake up to a new Mayor of London. The capital’s traditional Labour bias favours the candidate Sadiq Khan. Yet, voters are not predictable. Public polling is not always reliable.

A handful of stories over the next few weeks could tip the contest either way.

Imagined below, are five issues and headlines that helped to shape the final four weeks of the campaign and swing a surprise victory for Zac Goldsmith.


The Global Ambassador: Mayor Mike Bloomberg says 'Zac has what it takes'

Zac is supported in private and public as a future leader on the international stage, by an impressive range of business and political leaders. This contrasted with a lack of similar support for his rival. And raised questions as to whether Sadiq could make such a transition.


Housing + Homes: Ownership is a reality for all, says Zac

Zac’s passion and plans for house building - and emphasis on ‘ownership’ not just rental schemes — earned support from a diverse group of voters, united in a desire for ownership to be a reality not a political pipe-dream.


Economic Opportunity: Zac Pledges start-up fund for 'Snapchat Generation'

Zac’s pro-enterprise initiatives, such as creating London-wide hubs for entrepreneurs, successfully tapped into the zeitgeist of economic aspiration — and garnered the votes among younger and ethnically diverse communities.


Education Standards: Zac and Sadiq clash over schools

Zac’s comments on standards as well as structures in London schools — and the value of Grammar schools — galvanised support among aspirational parents, in particular across boroughs with schools enjoying a status at risk of being challenged by a Labour administration.


Big Tent: Zac is more maverick, than Tory, says Conservative insider

In the final weeks of the contest Zac underlined how his appeal transcended ideology and generated cross-party support — doing so in a way Sadiq failed to do — his cross-party appeal strengthened by his credentials as a leading environmentalist and a maverick Member of Parliament.



Malcolm Gooderham is a communications consultant and former Conservative Party adviser. This article first appeared at


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