There is a new YouGov poll of London out today, the first for over six months. Last June YouGov had Boris Johnson ahead, the latest figures have Ken Livingstone overtaking him to secure a very narrow lead – topline figures for the first round are Boris 44%(-4), Ken 46%(+5), Brian Paddick 7%(+5), Others 3%. Asked to choose just between the top two candidates, Ken leads by a whisker – 51%(+5) to Boris’s 49%(-5).

Note that this is the first YouGov London polling since Brian Paddick was confirmed as the Lib Dem candidate, so the boost for Paddick will at least partially be that fact that there is now a named Lib Dem candidate in the question, rather than “the Liberal Democrat Candidate”.

YouGov also asked about Westminster voting intention, and there was no such swing towards Labour here – in fact, Labour’s lead has dropped since last June. Current Westminster voting intentions in London are CON 34%(+2), LAB 49%(-2), LDEM 8%(nc), Others 9%. This reflects a 6.5 swing from Con to Lab since the general election, larger than polls are currently showing in the country as a whole.

The contrast of a shift from Boris to Ken in mayoral voting intention, but Lab to Con in Westminster voting intentions appears to be because the proportion of “Labour for Boris” voters is falling: last June 23% of Labour voters who expressed a preference opted for Boris over Ken, in the latest figures that has fallen to 12%.

That said, Boris is still polling significantly above his party. In Westminster voting intentions Labour have a very solid lead in London. In mayoral voting intentions it remains neck and neck.

158 Responses to “YouGov shows Ken edging ahead”

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  1. Phil

    MORI use an Urban/Rural split for their Scottish polls, I’m not sure if it makes the same difference in England. It doesn’t make any difference in London of course (unless you live in Pratts Bottom[1]) but it would be interesting to see if there was an Inner/Outer split and whether say outer borough Labour voters were more likely to go for Boris or inner borough Tories for Ken.

    Anthony is right of course that you need to assess ethnicity on a more comprehensive basis than non/white and of course class is a confounding factor, but the London differences are so great – though possibly less than they once were – that I can see under-representation in samples (due to panel under-representation) making a bit of a difference.

    [1] I suppose I’d better explain that Pratts Bottom is a village near the Kent boundary of the London Borough of Bromley and so probably the only true rural village in Greater London. I don’t want Chou getting over-excited again and thinking “living in Pratts Bottom” is a new sexual practice he hasn’t heard of.

  2. While Pratt’s Bottom has the great advantage of a highly memorable name, there are actually a few rural villages in that area – Keston, Downe, Cudham and Chelsfield all spring to mind. Given their proximity to the city, they are all rather suburbanised.

    Although I don’t know the areas, I imagine that North Ockendon and Havering-atte-Bower in Havering and Harefield in Hillingdon are similarly rural villages.

  3. Don’t forget Botany Bay, a little hamlet in the London Borough of Enfield.

  4. @Martyn

    I wish you were on my pub quiz team! :-)

  5. @ Martyn

    “I take Amber’s point. But anything said on this or other boards will still be accessible for decades – I can easily find posts I made on other sites in 1999, for example, and if pressed I could push that back to 1995. People with political aspirations, or those who just wish to keep their personal circumstances personal, need to understand that once it’s on here it can’t be taken back.”

    I appreciate this. My honest feeling is that Millenials in the future are going to struggle with their internet and text pasts coming back to bite them. How we deal with it is going to be something for the future.

    My feeling is, just behave myself, treat others with respect as if we were in a non-cyber forum, and watch what I say. I’m sure there are things I’ve said here that could still come back to bite me in the future.

  6. I live in Bromley, and am very familiar with Keston and Downe. Less so with Pratts Bottom, but I do know it.

    Keston is a very wealthy village. It’s actually very close to Bromley town, but feels very rural. It’s well connected by buses and is good walking country. Margaret Thatcher lived in Keston before moving to.Finchley. Very upmarket.

    Downe is a little.further away, but again is connected by buses, although less frequent (one an hour at weekends). It’s also the location of Downe House where Charles Darwin lived for a while. Again it has a rural feel.

    Bromley is the greenest bourough in London and away from the larger towns is every inch the countryside. Paricularly.towards the south.east, towards the Kent border.

  7. @OldNat

    The Greens are standing Jenny Jones AM as our candidate.


    The system in these elections is the Supplementary Vote. It’s like AV, except that you only have your second preference. In order to win, Paddick would have to beat Ken or Boris into third place, and pick up enough second preferences from whichever he beats to have more votes than whoever gets into first.

    From what I recall last time, the majority of Labour second choices went to the Greens. This time around the Libs are even less likely to pick those up, so he’d have to beat Boris and hope for Tory voters to back him instead of UKIP with their second vote.

    So, Paddick winning is not completely impossible, but it’s very very unlikely.

  8. Going off at a slight tangent….and in line with other recent discussions… Boris too ugly to be re-elected as London Mayor?

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