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POLL PREDICTS LIVINGSTONE WOULD WIN MAYORAL RACE WITH OR WITHOUT BLAIR'S BACKING

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A new poll shows that if Ken Livingstone is Labour's official candidate for mayor of London when the elections are ...
A new poll shows that if Ken Livingstone is Labour's official candidate for mayor of London when the elections are held in May next year he will crush the Conservative candidate, Lord Archer.

The Guardian (p1) reports that the ICM poll forecasts that Mr Livingstone would win 63% of the vote, with Lord Archer winning 25% and the Liberal Democrats' candidate, Susan Kramer, with 12%.

It also shows that if the former GLC leader stands as an independent, and it becomes a four-cornered contest, with Frank Dobson as Labour's candidate, the former health secretary faces the danger of being pushed into a humiliating third place and being left out in the runoff.

Mr Livingstone yesterday declared he was ready to take a loyalty oath - but made it clear that would not prevent him disagreeing with the Labour leadership if he saw fit.

With Mr Dobson so far behind in the polls, Millbank is also looking at extending the party ballot into January in order to give him a chance to gain ground.
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