Paul Tavares is a business entrepreneur and was a Conservative Council Candidate in Camden in 2018
London is a Labour city.
In the 2017 General Election, Labour won 67.1% of the London vote compared to the Conservative Party’s 28.8% share.
The year before, in the London Mayoral Election, Sadiq Khan won the highest mandate in mayoral history, winning by an overwhelming 315,000 votes.
And despite Sadiq Khan breaking virtually every one of his major electoral promises and proving himself to be the most incapable Mayor London has ever had, according to some polls his popularity still remains high amongst Londoners.
It seems Labour can do no wrong in the capital.
And so begs the question: how can we change that? How can the Conservative Party reverse that trend and win back London once more?
Procrastination is said to be the mother of all lost opportunity, so the time to launch the Conservative renaissance is surely now with one eye on winning the London Mayoral Election in 2020.
The general consensus amongst political commentators seems to be that a Labour victory is all but guaranteed. Certainly, the data would strongly suggest that to be the case.
But I disagree. If there’s one thing I know, it’s this: nothing in life is ever guaranteed. Nor is it inevitable.
As Conservatives, we always fight elections to win, and with the political landscape so tenuously balanced, defeat is not an option. There is far too much at stake.
As a party, we must think outside of the box and open our minds to new possibilities. For if we do that, we stand a real and genuine chance of winning the London Mayoral election and beyond. However, fail to do so and continue along the same old path, bound by the constraints of conventional thinking, then be assured, defeat is certain.
So what do we do?
I’m often reminded of the sage words once imparted upon me by an old mentor of mine when he said, “Paul, God gave us two ears and one mouth, and intended us to use it that way”.
So the first step is to listen and understand.
Engaging with and actively listening to people on the street, it’s clear that ordinary Londoners have lost faith in the political establishment, disillusioned as they witness the growing success of the powerful social elite (“the few”) whilst the quality of their lives and those closest to them (“the many”) stagnates.
People want change and they want positive change. Moreover, they want someone who understands the struggles they face today and has the strong leadership, vision and absolute conviction needed to do whatever it takes to improve their lives for the better. Most importantly, they want someone in whom they can truly believe in and who can help them regain their aspirational hope once lost.
In summary, people want and need vision, hope and belief.
There’s an old saying in the world of show business that goes, ‘always give the audience what they want’.
That is why I hereby announce my intention to stand for selection as the Conservative Party’s candidate for Mayor of London in 2020.
I do this because I know I can make a real and positive difference to the lives of millions of people across London and because I firmly believe I am the only person who can win this election on behalf of our party; a belief not borne of arrogance but rather the knowledge of how to overcome the seemingly insurmountable barriers to our success.
During the course of my professional career, I have achieved things that no one ever thought possible. I’ve achieved those successes, in part, because I know, far better than most, how to convince people to believe in a positive vision, and to do so with integrity, honesty and pragmatism, and to always deliver – true Conservative principles.
Though the odds may appear stacked against me, I am in a unique position to prove to Londoners that the Conservatives are truly the party of opportunity and aspiration, not through empty words but by example.
As your candidate, I believe we can transcend party politics and win the hearts and minds of Londoners across the political divide. We can capture the public’s imagination like never before as we look to deliver an exciting vision for the future, one we can all believe in.
With your help and support, we can build a London that achieves unprecedented growth and success, a city where we all have the opportunity to fulfil our potential and finally become all that we can be.
By working together, the Conservative Renaissance in London starts here and now.