YouGov’s eve-of-poll figures for the London election – the only pollster to produce a true eve-of-poll effort with fieldwork within a few days of actual voting – has topline figures of JOHNSON 43%, LIVINGSTONE 36%, PADDICK 13%. Minor party support is split Green 2%, BNP 2%, UKIP 1%, Alan Craig of the CPA 1% and Lindsey German of the Left List 1%.

After second preference votes have been re-allocated Boris Johnson is projected to win by 53% to 47% for Ken Livingstone. This suggests that the second preference votes have broken in favour of Ken Livingstone.

Several people including Nick Sparrow and Mike Smithson have rightly pointed out that polling figures for how second preferences split aren’t particularly useful to us because of the small sample – if you’ve only got 170 people saying their are voting for Brian Paddick, the margin of error on how they divide between Ken and Boris is huge. Still – if Boris Johnson does have a 7 point lead on first preferences, the second preferences would have to break in favour of Livingstone to an absurdly unrealistic degree for him to overcome it, given the number that are unused or given to minor candidates.

Voting intention in the assembly stands at CON 40%, LAB 33%, LDEM 14%. Others include the Greens on 4%, BNP on 3%, UKIP 2%, Christian Choice 1%, Left List 1%, Respect 1%, Abolish the Congestion Charge 1%. In an earlier YouGov poll the assembly question was asked about only the constituency vote, not the more interesting list vote. I’ve sadly no idea which these were asked about.


115 Responses to “YouGov shows Boris set to win”

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  1. I didnt take part in this poll but the list of parties suggests the Assembly question asked about the list rather than the constituency contest.

  2. Well, good luck Anthony. The debate between the pollsters after this will be interesting…

  3. if boris wins tonight labour may not be electable in two years time, as the message will be that gordon s week and davied is ready for power

  4. Anthony,

    Are you able to comment at all on how PB managed to get the figures the day before?

  5. Whilst I am a big Boris supporter, I still do have some respect for Ken Livingstone when it comes to the congestion charge and other flagship policies.

    I think the best explanation for Ken, if he does lose, would be to look at Peter Brookes cartoon in The Times today. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/cartoon/

    As I say I do have a lot of respect for a politician like Ken Livingstone and it is a shame that he will not have lost this election, Gordon will have lost it for him!

  6. I suspect that if Boris wins then, combined with the Local results, this will have such a negative psychological effect on Labour that they will be looking at a hung Parliament at best in 2 years, unless either Johnson or Cameron do something stupid before the election (maybe quite likely with Boris).

    Reports from Westminster seems to be that many Labour MP’s are starting the “maybe we need a period in opposition” talk that was so damaging to the Tories in their last government.

    If Livingstone can pull it out of the fire then maybe it will be the springboard for them to turn things around and a small majority in 2010 will be possible.

    Regarding the poll, I think it all depends on how many people bottle out of voting for Boris when it comes to the crunch, in the same way that seemed to happen to Labour in 1992. That would appear to be the thing that will swing it in the end.

  7. What’s interesting is that nearly all the polls agree the winning and losing shares of the top 2 candidates are going to be quite high even on the first vote.
    In 2004, it was about 35.8pc to 28.5pc with lots of “others”.
    But this poll predicts Ken in second place but with the same 2004 share of the vote on round 1.
    Paddick doesn’t seem to be doing spectacularly badly – it just seems the others are lower in this tight fight.

  8. With regard to who wins this may I note that neither party should be happy as really both Ken and Boris are larger than life characters who are bigger than their party membership. They happen to be members of a party but that is not what defines them. I would suggest that many people will vote for the characters of Ken or Boris, not for their party membership.

    I forget which pollster said it of the USA presidents but he argued that the winner is always the one the electorate wants to have round for a BBQ and I think this is the case in the little Presidency which is the Mayor of London. Sure, party membership will play a part for some today, but I would argue the deciding (swinging) voters are less party based, more barbeque based seat of the pants.

    Hence my point that for accurate indications of how the voters are thinking then the various council results are fine, but the Mayoral race has significant other factors attached to it.

  9. I join Lukw in wishing good luck to you all at YouGov Anthony.

    May the best man win!

  10. The Greens, BNP and UKIP are all much lower than 2004, when they took 12% between them. This poll shows them on just 5%.

  11. Jack, whilst not disagreeing with with what you say, I don’t think that will help Labour if they lose. The effect of losing both Scotland and London will be significant, even if people appreciate that there is a big personality factor in play.

    Incidently, whilst the poll suggests Livingstone has a very similar proportion of the first preference vote this year (36% compared to 35.7% in 2004), the conservative share was only 28.2% last year compared to a suggested 43% this time. Surely, that is significant as there are lots of questions about Boris. Not living in London, I can’t really recall what the reaction to Steven Norris was, but surely he was no worse a candidate than Boris was he?

    Going by that thinking, the Conservatives will have plenty to take out of today if Boris can win, on top of just showing that they are electable in big areas again.

  12. Here’s hoping that the polls are right. Of course Boris is not the best Tory for the job, but to see Ken get ousted (on International Workers Day!!!) would be the most perfect start to a Bank Holiday Week-End!

  13. I saw a picture earlier of Gordon and Sarah Brown going out to vote. Could I ask why? I thought they would be registered in Kirkaldy and Cowdenbeath or can they just change it for the intermittent years and then re-register in Scotland ready for a GE.

  14. Adrian: You can be registered to vote in local elections at more than one address. But for general and european elections you can only vote in one place.

  15. Simon, thanks for that. So at local elections does it have to be a permanent building or do those Lodges and Static caravans count. Mind you, some sites close for 6 weeks to prevent them being ‘residential’. Just wondering thats all.

  16. I understand that the actual result won’t be out till tomoorow. Will the news channels be putting out exit polls after voting ends tonight?

  17. Personally I think people should have only one vote, including in local elections. It sounds like some students are voting twice in local elections: once where their university/college is and a second time by postal vote in the place they used to live in.

  18. OK the Weighted Moving Average says 43:39:12 – we’ll see what happens tomorrow and this will be a good test of YouGov and the WMA approach. The retrospectives show the last Ipsos/Mori Unison poll as out by 7.2 and as noted earlier I think the framing error in their question is very bad (I’m amazed they are allowed to do this within the guidelines).

  19. Impartial – I haven’t heard anything about any exit polls and I suspect if there was one either Mike or I would have heard something. My guess is no.

  20. Abdy- Yes, suudents often vote twice. I did it myself in the 2005 GE, for different parties. It was quite liberating being a plural voter.

  21. Who would benefit from people voting twice? I assume that students would tend to favour LibDems and Labour. Is there any stats to confirm this? Twice in locals I could reason BUT twice in a GE should surely be wrong

  22. Anthony,

    The rumour has it that ITN are doing one.

  23. Adrian, Students (and anyone) can vote locally whereveer there are registered, but my understanding is that is a illegal to vote twice in a national election is GE or Euro. The Electoral Commission website also confirms this.

  24. ” It sounds like some students are voting twice in local elections: once where their university/college is and a second time by postal vote in the place they used to live in.”

    I would question that wisdom. Most students I know can’t even be bothered to fill in the electoral registration form, let alone order a postal vote, fill it in, and send it during exam time. Heck, when I registered my flatmates they didn’t even bother to thank me by accompanying me to the polling booth and using their vote.

  25. As a true YouGovian (or YouGovan for our Scottish participants) I have backed this honourable estate and placed my mayorial vote for Boris. All other preferences went – unsurprisingly – to th English Democrats.

    Have only nine cans of Scrumpy Jack. Hopefully Ken will be gone before my liver…! ;)

  26. Jon White

    Many thanks for your neutral, non partisan words. This is the sort of comment which shouldn’t be appearing on this board, Anthony.

  27. Steven Norris Who? Versus Boris?–was this really a serious comparison? Sorry, Boris appeals across party as does Ken. Steven Norris was a nobody, but thought to be somebody by the Conservative party. That’s why the Tories were losing then.

    I restate my view; you need larger than life people to win Mayor; Steven Norris is at best a mere footnote in history. Both Ken and Boris would rate a pargrpah in the mainstream.

    And I’d happily have both at my BBQ, Ken Norris I wouldnt know from a bargepole..

  28. Ralph – presumably not, since I guess we’d have had it as a 10 o’clock headline.

  29. Mr Bowtell,

    Please, it’s election night. Can we not let our collective (that word sends a shiver) hair down and act like – heck – childish politicians…? Gosh, it is all about proof and pudding tonight!

    Anthony runs this blog. When he calls “enough is enough” then we should all take stock. ‘Til then, lets be liberal with the guidelines…! ;)

  30. Well thats it! Time to hold on to your seats folks… (if you’ll pardon the pun) ….

  31. Whilst we await 10:30, an aside. Has anyone seen tomorrows The Economist front-page? I think it looks pretty cool! [:off-topic]

  32. I wonder how widespread electoral fraud will be this time? (in the country-wide elections, as well as London).

    It begs the question – how can pollsters possibly allow for this? I suppose you could get details of all the cases that reach court – how many votes were involved, and for which party – and then factor that in as a percentage of total votes.

    You’d also have to make a guess at what percentage of cases reach court. My guess would be one in 10 at best.

    Would you also have to allow for the area where seats were? For instance, from memory, most of the cases I have heard of have been in inner-city areas. It is also an unfortunate fact that the majority, if not all, of the cases have been perpetrated by members of the Asian community. Could a pollster take this into account in any way?

    I’m surprised that none of the political parties seem to have made much of an issue of this, beyond expelling those found guilty.

    I’d be most interested in your take on the fraud issue, and how it could be accounted for (if at all) by pollsters.
    If it can’t be done, then surely polls will gradually become less accurate as the practice spreads. Unless, I suppose, some poll respondents say things like “I will vote for Ken 250 times!”

  33. Pete Banks,

    Have you seen the front-page of Friday’s Gruaniad? Rats and sinking-ships come to mind…!

  34. Fluffy,

    I try to avoid reading deluded drivel. I’ve had a quick look at their website and can’t immediately see anything that relates to your comment. Do tell.

  35. Fluffy – I would much rather you all policed yourselves so I didn’t have to tell anyone off!

    [Corrected unfortunate grammar failure!]

  36. Anthony Wells

    Fluffy – I would much rather you all policed themselves I didn’t have to tell anyone off.

    Fair cop guv. Please rephrase in English. ;) [O.K., I know it’s late!]

  37. Fluffy,

    Are you suggesting that the Guardian will abandon the Labour party if they lose the Mayoral and local elections? The Guardian who supported them through the 80s where not only were they not in power but essentially unelectable.

    One day someone is going to need to explain to you about principals…

    BTW, does EDP stand for English Democratic Party? I’m just trying to work out how seriously to take you… :wink:

  38. Sorry Pete,

    Noticed Anthony’s response before yours. Sky are showing the front-pages on their website. [SkyNews.com]

    The left-column leader reads: Election Fraud: Labour failed to act says MPs. Hope this clarifies my earlier statement.

  39. Jon H,

    I’d be more worried if you did take me seriously. Then again, compared to Gordon Brown, no contest…!

    Happy election night. Hope you will keep up with me. ;)

  40. It must be a rubbish night to be a journalist. You have the choice of either ignoring the biggest thing that’s happening (less of an issue if you write for, say, the Express where you’ve made a career out of ignoring news stories in favour of writing about Diana), or risking making an arse out of yourself.

    Fluffy, I can’t dispute that on current PM performance Gordon Brown warrants less serious consideration than I’d like. From my perspective right now politics is about the least bad option – and the London Mayoral race is that in a microcosm.

  41. MP for Bury North thinks that a low turn-out is good for Labour. Surely this turns political punditry on it’s head…?

    [As seen, now, on Sky News.]

  42. Fluffy – won’t a low turn out be good for Labour because it throws the whole thing open to a bit of random chance? On a high turn out the polls are more likely to be bang on and they’ll be slaughtered.

  43. I suppose his reasoning might be that a high turnout would mean that the anti-Labour vote had mobilised in force, and that a low turnout would be more likely to keep the status quo? i.e. it would be ‘less bad’ rather than ‘good’.

  44. Jon H,

    Legacy punditry would suggest Labour voters don’t turn out. Hence my comment.

    Tories (and English Democrats) will always vote. Young Master Alexander is banking on a good turn-out in London to re-elect Red-Ken! [But then, considering his sister’s finances….]

  45. Fluffy,
    It’s certainly supposed to be true that a high turnout favours the Tories in General Elections, but there are many rock-solid Labour wards which always have a turnout of 20-30% at local level. If they suddenly had a huge jump in turnout, wouldn’t the extra votes be likely to be for other parties, because Labour have done nothing to enthuse the electorate recently?

  46. Pete,

    Have to disagree. Your analysis is back-to-front.

    Tories (especially pensioners) always turn out to vote. Casual (Labour) voters vote depending on the weather. [Total simplification, but heck!]

    I would be interested if you could supply any evidence otherwise. Anthony, if still alert, could you assist in this particular discussion…?

  47. Fluffy Thoughts (EDP)

    I’ve no problem with a bit of banter in the right place but the odd snide comment in parenthesis is fairly unedifying stuff on any night.

  48. David Botwell,

    Sorry I have rattled you. I should not, but have a silly habit of doing so. :(

    If you have read my posts, you will understand my stand-points. One bug-bear though: which snide comments (in parenthesis)?

    I am happily watching SkyNews – Adam Boulton gets my goat – and am trying to have a discussion on the on-going results. As Anthony allows ourselves to be self-governed it is up to you to respond or ignore. I hope you respond, as it is better to debate then to fume.

  49. Fluffy,
    If you reread my post, you’ll see that I was just trying to see what the Bury councillor’s reasoning might have been, rather than expressing my own views. I have no more evidence for this theory than you have for yours.
    Anyway, I’d be more interested in what you (or anyone else – especially Anthony) thinks about my original question about the extent of electoral fraud, and how pollsters can allow for it, if at all.

  50. Perceived wisdom is that low turnout helps the Conservatives – I think this is largely based on polling evidence where Labour supporters *say* they are less likely to vote. Whether this is reflected in reality is a different matter.

    In practice I think it can vary. In previous London elections a big problem for Steve Norris was a lower turnout in the outer London areas than the party hoped for – presumably because people out on the fringes of Greater London didn’t really identify with the office of mayor. If Boris can reverse that, then high turnout would be good for the Tories.

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