The Evening Standard front page yesterday lead on a YouGov poll showing Boris ahead of Ken Livingstone in the race to be London mayor. It was actually part of YouGov’s poll in the Telegraph at the weekend – I held off mentioning it until now because, as some people will know, the regional breaks YouGov normally show in their tables for the Telegraph are based on ITV television regions, not government regions, so what proports to be London actually has a fair old chunk of the (Tory-voting) home counties. Well, I’ve doubled checked and the standard tables are now showing breaks for actual government regions, not TV regions, so the poll really was showing 46% of people in London preferring Boris Johnson, with 40% preferring Ken.

Unfortunately I need to point out that it was only a break of a national poll. National polls are weighted so they have the right numbers of people in terms of age, gender, class, political outlook and so on in the country as a whole, but they aren’t weighted within in region – so you could, for example, have too many women in London balanced out by too many men in Yorkshire. The overall number of people questioned in London was also only 170, so it was a very small sample size indeed. These figures really aren’t reliable enough to draw any firm conclusions from, though if pushed I suppose they are pointing for in a positive direction for Boris – the same poll had voting intentions in London at Labour 45%, Conservative 35% so clearly Boris is picking up support from non-Conservatives somewhere along the line.


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