A YouGov poll for ITV news has Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson practically neck and neck in voting intentions for the London mayoral contest – the full topline figures are Livingstone 45%, Johnson 44%, Paddick 7%, Other 4%. As with the poll for the London Policy Institute back in November, the level of support for other candidates seems absudly low compared to what happened at the last election when 18% voted for other parties, I’m sure that 4% will rise as the campaign progresses.

Obviously in such a race second preferences would come into play, but sadly there is no sign of them having been asked here – we can only conclude that the race looks very tight.

23 Responses to “Ken and Boris neck and neck”

  1. The low proportion for others probably represents voters’ (probably correct) assumptions about who will be the last two contenders, so although some might say Boris or Ken and mean it, they will still vote for someone else on their first preference.

    So it might be that this poll really measures Ken and Boris’s first preference support plus a chunk of their second preference support which will scatter on the first round.

  2. Suspect this poll shows what a weak candidate the LibDems have got.

  3. I think Paddick is about a strong a candidate as they could get. The problem is that I suspect everyone knows it is a two-horse race between Livingstone and Johnson and reacting accordingly.

    I don’t think any candidate for the Lib-Dems would stand the slightest chance of changing it, barring anything external happening to the campaign (i.e. either Ken or Boris imploding).

    The choice Londoners face is either Ken or Boris, everything else is just fluff.

  4. I don’t like the electoral system in these elections. If during the last days of the campaign Ken and Boris are not neck-and-neck and/or there’s a strong third candidate then I’ll vote for some third party candidate and then Boris for my second preference to increase his chances of winning (which I don’t think he will anyway). They should use FPTP for this instead.


    What I perceive about most of the commentators on this site is positive. They are generally smart and civil to each other, which is in the best traditions of British people.

    However I will say this.

    For people that comment using the internet hardly any of you seem to be using it for anything else….political anyway.

    You opinions seem to be formed entirely from what you read in the press and watch on the TV. Which in itself is fine because thats where most of the ordinary people get theirs from, so you are almost an opinion poll in yourselves.

    But virtually none of your seem to know anything else or bring anything else to the table not copied or propagated by the MSM or your own parties propaganda.

    My advice, but feel free not to take it. Is to find out more about the world using the internet. You will soon discover that most of our current problems are reflected all over the western world. Especially the English speaking parts.

    This is because there is a world wide conspiracy to create a New World Order. This is not my conspiracy this is a FACT of life. If you don’t understand this and have no idea what the covert and not so covert policies of the conspirators are. Then you cant really understand what in the hell is going on in British politics at all.

    This I contend is because you all watch too much BBC. Who are in my opinion the most highly funded and competent ministry for disinformation and dishonest propaganda known to modern mankind. Our so called free press is not much better.


    Boris will win by a short head. Its simply time for a change, and I think Boris will at least deliver that. Possibly much more we can only hope.

  6. Yippee!

    However I don’t see the LibDems second-preferencing Boris somehow. Ken must go!

  7. How does this second prefrencething work?

    I need to know becuase I will be voting in the election.

  8. You simply give your second preference to any other candidate you like. It only gets counted, however, if it’s for one of the candidates who finished first or second. Realistically, therefore, only second preferences for Boris and Ken will count towards the result.

  9. Atlas,

    As a matter of fact I use the internet quite a lot to do research. I’m not sure I understand what conspiracy you are talking about though. Perhaps you would like to illuminate? As for trying to create a New World Order – of course! Isn’t that what we’re all trying to do? The BBC isn’t perfect but it’s head and shoulders above pretty much all the national (news paper) press.

    Anyway, sorry, that’s all a bit off topic. How on Earth has Boris managed to lift him self up to 44%? I’m not a Londoner so I haven’t really been following the campaign but I did see his speech at the Tory party conference. With that kind of performance I thought Ken was going to be a shoein.

  10. Steven-” How on Earth has Boris managed to lift him self up to 44%? I’m not a Londoner so I haven’t really been following the campaign ”

    Couldn’t be the stuff unearthed by the Evening Standard could it? -Lee Jasper–cronyism-public funds for LooneyTune causes-the Sleaze word in a nutshell.

    Same old Ken in other words.

  11. Or the same old Evening Standard. I’m not going to stick my neck out and say it’s definitely all rubbish because with the exception of a quick google five minutes ago I don’t know the story at all but usually Mail/Standard + story involving race/political correctness = pack of lies in the same way as Channel 4 + science story = pack of lies.

  12. I wouldn’t be surprised if Ken hadn’t been damaged by that story.

  13. Much more likely that Livingstone and Johnson are in the mid 30s rather than the mid 40s, given the numbers who will vote for minority parties, including the Lib Dems, but currently don’t know the names of those parties’ candidates.

  14. People may be a little sick of Ken, but I would suggest Boris is high in the polls on sheer personality and name recognition. It will be interesting to see how much of that translates into actual votes…

  15. Thank-you Sean.

    We need a poll that shows both first and second prefrences.

    The questions should be, will you vote for the labour party candidate Ken tory party candidate Boris etc in the telephone polls. Although both figures have managed to get themselves recognised beyond their parties.

    I think Ken will win because more Libdems will always vote for the Labour candidate in the second prefrence.

    What if on the first prefrence one candidate gets more than 50%, do they still count the second prefrences. (Can I vote for Boris twice and mess up my second prfrence)

  16. The detailed figures for the poll is on the Yougov website .It illustrates the problem of Yougov’s panel not being representative of the population as a whole . 50% of the 995 responses were from people aged 55+ as compared with the weighted figure of 22% . This age group strongly favours Boris and I realise the weighting is supposed to correct the imbalence in the sample but doubt whether it does so sufficiently .

  17. I note also that 50% of Christians said they intended to attend church over the Xmas period . I expect the true figure who did was substantially lower than that .

  18. Mark – you can’t tell the make up of the YouGov panel by looking at the unweighted figures as YouGov samples aren’t randomly selected from the panel, they are quota samples. In other words, the unweighted sample isn’t representative of the panel as a whole.

    The large weighting downwards of over 55s means only that more over 55s responded than expected and fewer younger respondents replied than expected (or possibly that too many over 55s were invited, but that’s the same thing really: if too many were invited it would be because the response rate was underestimated).

    Its always easy to judge whether weighting on demographics is sufficient – look at the weighted figures and compare them to reality. Political weighting by past vote and things is controversial. Weighting on things like age is incredibly simple and (unless its a universe where the age profile is unknown, like party membership) very difficult to get wrong.

  19. Daniel Finkelstein (who I like) predicted that Ken would win the Mayoral election, but it wouldn’t matter (re the Tories).

  20. What I am picking up from chats on the street and in the pubs is that Ken Livingstone is seriously tired and well past his “sell-by date”,something of a dinosaur bluntly, while Boris Johnson is young, very clever, and offers new hope for Londoners. The other great plus factor for Boris is that he appeals to the young voters, that notorious band of “no shows” in so many elections, and that must help him to build his majority.

  21. There has been much talk about whther a Ken victory would cause embarassment for David Cameron, and perhaps prick the bubble of momentum (if you can prick a bubble of momentum??) that is building behind the Conservatives.

    However, I’m more interested in how a disasterous showing by the Lib Dem candidate might damage Nick Clegg. Any thoughts?

  22. Mayoral election and Lib Dems – James –

    I’d like to believe that a bad performance would damage the LDs generally – but I don’t think it’s really that crucial because they are not expected to win it anyway.

    I think Boris can win this and agree with some of Richard’s points – a lot of recognition – but I also think Ken Livingstone will be hard to shift.