There is a new YouGov poll of London voters here, YouGov’s first for the 2012 London mayoral election.

In London’s Westminster voting intention, Labour is four points ahead of the Conservatives, at 42% (up five from the general election), the Conservatives on 38% (up 3 from the general election) and the Liberal Democrats on 13% (down 9 points, echoing the collapse in support that YouGov’s Great Britain polls have shown.

On the mayoral vote Boris Johnson is doing slightly better than the Conservative party, but still has only a narrow two point lead over Ken Livingstone in first preference votes. The current figures are Johnson 46%, Livingstone 44%, the Liberal Democrat candidate 4% and other candidates 7%. 85% of Conservative voters would back Boris Johnson, compared to 78% of Labour voters who would back Ken Livingstone. Liberal Democrat voters split evenly between Johnson and Livingstone.

In practice the proportion of people saying they will vote Liberal Democrat or “other” in the election will almost certainly rise once other candidates are in place. Livingstone and Johnson have been reselected by their respective parties unusually early with 20 to go until the Mayoral election – too say it is early days yet is an understatement.

My view is these findings are probably pretty positive for Ken Livingstone – at present the Conservatives are still ahead in national polls and about to announce huge cuts, and Boris has only a 2 point lead. By May 2012 they will probably be deep in mid-term unpopularity and I think it’s fair to imagine that the position will have moved against candidates standing on a Conservative platform. The question may well be to what extent can a mayoral contest between two charismatic, very high profile candidates with some degree of independence from their party leadership can seperate itself from the national party battle.

Looking at the other results Boris Johnson himself still has a good approval rating as mayor. 58% of respondents think he is doing a good job as mayor, with 34% thinking he is doing a bad job. On specific issues his highest approval ratings are on his handling of the bus service (54% approval) and the Olympics (51% approval). 46% approve of his handling of crime and 43% approve of his handling of the tube (the only area where he has a net negative rating).

By the standards of British politicians in power, these are pretty positive ratings. They probably don’t translate into a better voting intention figure because the public also have a positive recollection of Ken Livingstone’s period in office – 56% think Livingstone did well as mayor, compared to 36% who think he did badly. Ken Livingstone is almost slightly more likely than Boris Johnson to be seen as competent and in touch. 52% think Livingstone is competent, 44% think he is in touch with ordinary Londoners. In comparison, 45% think Johnson is competent and 40% in touch.

78 Responses to “YouGov shows a narrow Boris lead over Ken”

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  1. @Eoin
    I have had a quick shufty at the table and for now I will pick out just one item – support for AV continues to drop.
    33% want AV and 41% want to keep FPTP.
    Two weeks ago 35% wanted AV and 40% FPTP

    What will be the effect on grassroots LDs as their hope for a new system dream turns out to be a mirage? Will they conclude that Nick has sold out for a handful of glass beads?

  2. Cozmo,
    Don’t you think that trend might change when Lab more actively and openly campaign for AV?
    And if not, where does that leave Ed M who has very clearly stated his support?

  3. Cozmo,

    Yes, that is right +10 has gone to -8 in favour of AV (A swing of 9%). LDs will have to drop it as a demand for future coalitions. I think they were banking on perhaps banking AV and then going in search for STV perhaps? Thus, one of their main planks is finished. An enjoyable game worth playing out in your head (though by no means posting), is “How to write an LD manifesto?”. What do you write about Nuclear, Tax, Iraq, Immigration, Europe, AV, Civil Liberties, Tuition fees in 2015? That is 8 policy areas where I see them struggling. NHS, Crime, Enivronment and Education will remain feasible- and Housing presents its own problems. But it is not a straightforward manifesto. Certainly, I forsee few rallying calls for their canvassers in 2015. For reds on the other hand, gaps are appearing by the day. If the gov. go ahead with cutting social housing funding by 50% they are creating an open goal for Ed Balls, housebuilding programme, needless to say National Care Service and Graduation Tax. I wonder where the LDs will end up on Turkis entry to the EU? It looks like German might neuter that as a problem before it hits these shores.

  4. Eoin,
    I’ll have a look at the depts in more detail, there are a couple of things you’ve missed eg Devolved Spending cuts (Scotland £4bn), and also NHS is protected but not all dept of health as I understand it ( though most of the balance is pensions)

    Much is not yet clear – are the cuts in real terms for example?

    It is tempting to say “wait until tomorrow!” :-)

  5. Hooded Man,

    I wonder which dept. the block ‘grant’ (hate that word) falls into, or is it split up over all the depts? Gov spending is actually set to increase in monied terms so yes those % figures were real terms. Regarding Scotland, i suspect the cuts their will be much greater than the £4bn. If two RAF bases close for example? Or BAE job losses will affect them. I suspect Scotland, the NE, NI will end up paying more than their fair share. Incidentally, one of these headlines that used to appear during the Thatcher era, returned to our papers today… apparently shop lifters cost you and I £4bn a year. That must be a fraction of what are utilities con us out of but it makes a good headline eh?

  6. Good to see more popular support for FPTP, the public have a counter intuitive understanding of its fairness that beats the the hell out of the several alternatives. As the experts agonise over the intricacies of AV AV2 AV3 etc., it becomes a meaning of life issue, stick with what we’re got, it’s fine and creates friction, and I was taught many years ago, no friction=no action, and for Éoin, the Irish used to grease the rails so that the trains wouldn’t move, to stop the Brits moving troops.

  7. @Hooded Man
    “Don’t you think that trend might change when Lab more actively and openly campaign for AV?
    And if not, where does that leave Ed M who has very clearly stated his support?”
    Fair enough questions. The feedback I get from fellow Lab members ranges from strongly anti AV to lukewarm pro-AV, with a fair sprinkling of “not much bothered either way” and “don’t see the point in messing about with what we have”. I can only hope that the upper echelons in the party take some proper sounding from grassroots before they gallop off crusading for AV.

    As for Ed my guess is he will lick a finger and stick it in the air before finally committing himself, but that is only my humble opinion. I think AV is already a dead duck.

  8. Ken,

    I know, what a waste of grease. We should have highed a group of french workers, they would have blockaded it for years. :)

  9. Ken,

    “hired” :)

  10. Eoin,
    If you had cast aside your anti-Guardianism for one day yesterday you might be, as I am, the proud owner of a magnificent govt spending wallchart – double page, proportionately-sized coloured bubbles joined by sticks, you know the sort! Its for 09/10 but very useful to see what comes from where as it is very detailed.
    Devolved spending is separate for Scotland Wales and NI (£110m spent on your culture arts and leisure, where does it all go ;-) )
    But RAF closures would be defence and a separate impact to cuts in grant.

    Shoplifters, eh? Daily Mail perchance?

  11. @Éoin………….If the English did blockades, they would each have a doorbell and a letter box. :-)

  12. Eoin wrote
    What do you write about Nuclear, Tax, Iraq, Immigration, Europe, AV, Civil Liberties, Tuition fees in 2015?

    Never one to resist a challenge!

    We accept the need for reducing carbon emissions and had wished greater progress had been made with non nuclear options. We promise to put more investment into genuinely green energy.

    Actually, I am bored already, these will not be the issues in 2015, just like Foot and Mouth and BSE were not issues in 2010.

  13. @Eoin
    Good points. You are testing my limited grey matter again :)

    1. “How to write an LD manifesto?”.

    A cruel question!!. I will consider using this a a party game at Xmas!

    2. “If the gov. go ahead with cutting social housing funding by 50% they are creating an open goal for Ed Balls”

    My favourite subject. We have millions on the waiting list, plus millions who cannot afford to get on the property ladder, plus a construction industry which is crying out for orders when they should be a leading engine for economic growth. The ConDem solution? Stop building!

    Housing is not just about roofs over heads and the proposed changes in social housing conflict with the wish-lists of other departments. E.g. people will be reluctant to get on their bike and take work in another town if it means giving up a secure tenancy and taking a new one with a 5 year limit – and at a higher market rent. There is much more but I will restrain myself!

  14. I’m rather confused as to how “I will vote for and support AV” from Ed in his speech to his party is viewed as “Well, of course Ed won’t support AV, because his party won’t.” coupled with a circular reasoning of “Labour won’t support AV because there’s been no leadership pushing for it”.

    One of the *first things* Ed M said after becoming Labour Leader was that he would be supporting the AV Yes Campaign. It seems a bit like wishful thinking to imagine that Labour will come out in official opposition to AV.

    I also think there could be a sea-change when the Conservative party start campaigning in support of the No campaign. Because if there is an Anti-Government vote pushing up No, then it seems contradictory that will continue with the majority of the Government say they want you to vote No.

  15. Ken,

    And you’d invite us in for cuppa no doubt! I once came accross a taxi strike in Paris. What a magnificent sight! I am due to march in half an hours time, somehow I do not see it being quite the same size! :) (if it is I’ll let you know- Campus is eerily quiet today).


    £110m? Why it goes to all our hooded men of course! :)

  16. @Cosmo.
    Nobody is saying stop building.The problem is
    builders WON’T build in a dropping market.The funding for social housing should be cut !Contraversial yes,but you have to also think,where are you going to put all these millions of houses ? Bearing in mind the huge increase in immigration,this has been the main cause of shortages of houses particularly in the South East.Until we get a proper “plan” for housing it is pointless pouring billions into builders pockets ,for more and more flats as that is all you can get in the south east now. We have to “pursuade ” people to live outside and move further north where there is room to build.There needs a complete change now in our development plans and maybe the idea of building new towns midlands north will help those areas and ease congestion further south.Houses are affordable the further North you go and why subsidise millions of people just because they want to live in the home counties.

  17. @Éoin…….Don’t forget your drum, good luck. :-)

  18. Having had a quick look at YG it is still good to see that across the four questions of “who do you trust most to…reduce deficit, encourage growth, cut fairly, get people back into work” the Tories come out top each time. And to reinforce all that 60% see cuts as unavoidable v 25% avoidable, so even though there will be impact, and debates on fairness, people on balance are still not disputing the need for cuts.

  19. Hooded,

    The key question on the YG deficit tables is whether or not Labour have a “credible alternative”. Those stats make pretty dire reading for a red.

  20. Eoin,
    You lot have always had a warped sense of “culture, arts and leisure”

  21. Why oh why oh why would anyone want the return of Livingstone?

  22. It seems to me that the Nu-Labour growth areas…….. public sector, population, and debt…………are hardly viable long term.Thus we have the foundations of the counter strategy tomorrow…………..unfortunately the beneficiaries of Labour’s Gordian knot will be the first to feel the sharpness of Alexander Osborne’s sword. :-)

  23. Ken,

    Nuu -Labour are no more “the boys [& girls] are back in town ;) “

  24. Eoin, I started typing to that effect and thought it would be too much for one post and start to look too partisan…….
    Only 2/3 of reds think they have a credible alternative.

  25. @Éoin…….When Phil Lynott died it was kennedy moment for me. :-(

  26. And before Valerie gets into my ribs, I didn’t mean Charles Kennedy, I was of course alluding to J.F.K. :-)

  27. Posted this on the other thread. Nothing wrong with stereo 8-)

    @Hooded Man
    “Do you think that trend may change when Lab more actively campaign for AV? If not where will that leave Ed M who has very clearly stated his support.?”

    I imagine it will leave him standing alongside Vince, Dave and Nick as they survey the rubble which is all that remains of their broken promises and pledges.
    It’s funny how Labour’s opponents expect the party to have more integrity than their own crew.
    I remember hearing about JFK’s assassination. It was in the school playground in Singapore where my father was in the armed forces. I can also remember the Cuban missile crisis and feeling quite scared.
    Phil Lynot though? Drugs overdose? He passed me by really..

  28. John Fletcher

    “root and branch cull of civil servants, not for political correctness, just gross incompetence.”


    DC announced 25,000 from MOD-that’s about 25%.

    I expected more.

    17,000 service personnel too-I hope they start at the top with the top heavy scrambled egg brigade.

    The cold war warriors in tanks in Germany seem to be other casualties.

    THought the debate was excellent.
    DC seemed well briefed..
    What a nightmare legacy to sort out.

    Ed & that Scots bloke he has as Defence Shadow were on a sticky wicket anyway-and made a bad job of it.

    So far-if Treasury & Defence postures & performance are anything to go by, this opposition will be characterised by logic & policy free bouts of tactical sniping.

    It remains to be seen if this gets them Polling points.

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