Following the YouGov London poll last week that showed Ken Livingstone narrowly ahead of Boris Johnson, ComRes have released a new London poll showing almost identical figures. Topline voting intention figures are:

First round: Johnson 44%(-4), Livingstone 46%(+6), Paddick 5%(-2), Others 5%
Second round: Johnson 49%(-5), Livingstone 51%(+5)

Changes are from ComRes’s last London poll in November. There has been a slight change in method, as the figures are now weighted by turnout when I don’t think they were a month ago, but this made no difference in the first round, and marginally reduced Ken’s lead in the second round.

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141 Responses to “ComRes show Ken ahead in London”

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  1. SMUKESH

    Thanks.

    I knew I should have waited for Anthony :-)

    Happy with confirmation of YouGov though………………for as long as it lasts ?

  2. HENRY

    Ashdown is UK President of UNICEF.

    I think that has something to do with it.

  3. Good Evening.

    I think before I finish my teaching, in 2025, at the age of 70, when I can take my pensions from my contributory scheme and my OAP, there may be an A Level Political History Question asking my students to rank Labour leaders since 1924 in order of their contributions to ‘The Party’ and to working people and their families.

    Attlee the best, as he delivered New Jerusalem
    Blair of course as things got better and he won thrice.
    Macdonald in third place. The Joshua to Hardie’s Moses.
    Wilson in fourth place, despite the flaws.
    Smith in fifth place for beginning the road back.

    Then the ultimate failures follow
    Callaghan best in the category
    Kinnock second place
    Lansbury third place
    Foot fourth place
    Miliband. the final place.

    Do people here agree?

    Thank you for your help with long term lesson preparation.

  4. CHRISLANE1945

    It is too early to say-as Zhou Enlai once said :-)

  5. ChrisLane,

    How could you forget the delightful and charming son of the manse ? :-)

  6. The Bishops win

    257 to 232

  7. @CHRIS LANE 1945
    For the critical view you may count on me.
    YES, I agree with your rating in detail.

    COMMENT
    Some of Attlee’s cabinet were worth 10 of some of the future leaders. Attlee about as far in front as he could possibly be.

  8. The question is, with public opinion overwhelmingly in favour of the benefit cap, will the Lords defeat help Labour or just keep hurting them like a stone in their shoe?

  9. Chris Lane,

    MacDonald in 3rd place? Now I KNOW you’re a Tory having us on!

  10. SMukesh

    “Interestingly it shows that the major charge against Ken that he was too old and unelectable is being squashed by the electorate…”

    I wouldn’t want to be the one to dampen Ken’s self confidence and turn him into a shy thumb-sucking recluse, but there cannot be many who would describe him as good-looking in an Heir-to-Blair kind of way.

  11. NEILA

    @”The question is, with public opinion overwhelmingly in favour of the benefit cap, will the Lords defeat help Labour or just keep hurting them like a stone in their shoe?”

    I hope IDS & co make efforts to ensure the latter.

    What’s the point of 70% public approval if you don’t use it ?

  12. Chris Lane.

    And also with you.

    Damn. See. I just can’t stop myself.

  13. “No connection between Labour vote to wreck benefits reform in Lords and 5-point Tory lead in ICM poll. But they’re not unconnected either.”

    John Rentoul

  14. JOHN MURPHY
    `I wouldn’t want to be the one to dampen Ken’s self confidence and turn him into a shy thumb-sucking recluse, but there cannot be many who would describe him as good-looking in an Heir-to-Blair kind of way.`

    But would you agree that he is running against a good looking bloke with lots of charm,in the Blair mould of things?Last I heard Boris leaflets either don`t have a Tory logo or a tiny one in the corner…He`s trying to tell people he`s not really a Tory and to elect him for being Boris…Maybe he will change his strategy after seeing the latest Youguv polls

  15. @SOCALLIBERAL

    “I don’t understand it very much at all. IRV is something I don’t like. It might be okay at a political convention where you have political activists casting ballots and negotiating with each other. But it’s not appropriate for a general electorate.”

    Personally, I don’t see that first past the post is appropriate for a general election in a multi-party system. Instant runoff voting allows people who support smaller parties to vote honestly without letting the worst offenders in (i.e. tactical voting is effectively abolished). AV works fine if you have something like a Presidential election, and can prevent third-party spoilers. Supplementary Vote, however, is a really poor system because you only have one preferential vote, so you have to guess who the top two candidates will be.

    @CHOUENLAI
    “As for the Army, what are you talking about ?They are having 8 % reduction in manpower.”

    We’ll still have one of the biggest military expenditures in the world. The UK defence budget makes up 3.7% of global military expenditure, despite us having only 1% of population. The only nations which spend more (in absolute terms) than we do on their armed forces are the US, China, and possibly France. So there’s probably more scope for defence cuts than there is for pretty much any other kind of cut.

  16. NEILA
    @”The question is, with public opinion overwhelmingly in favour of the benefit cap, will the Lords defeat help Labour or just keep hurting them like a stone in their shoe?”

    I do not think it will damage either the Tories or the Coalition, except that a number of LD Lords have let down their leader. However, it is neither helpful to Labour or the C of E. I know a number of C of E’s, far better and more knowledgeable Christians than me, who are furious. I think it will also hasten the reform of the Lords, which is well overdue anyway.

  17. @GREENCHIRSTIAN

    To be pedantic, the UK with its small armed forces and greater involvement in current military committments, and with an eye on possible future ones (Falklands, Iran) should not be cut less than France or China (proportionally, that is).

  18. chouenlai @ CHRIS LANE 1945

    “Some of Attlee’s cabinet were worth 10 of some of the future leaders. Attlee about as far in front as he could possibly be.”

    From Macmillan on the sheer quantity of change and fresh legislation was very much less. Partly this was due to a flush of new, socialist initiatives and partly to deferral for the duration of the war.

    There was something of the same in the first Scottish Parliament Lab/Lib coalition which passed five times as much legislation, much of it prepared at Westminster and deferred for years.

    Like the first SNP government there was also a keenness to work hard, get things done, to impress the voters to show that the new team could do as much and more as their opponents.

    The UK coalition by constrast seems to be trying to make changes to schools and sell off things including the NHS in a way that would be difficult for their opponents to reverse when, sooner or later, the other team has its turn to bat,.

  19. This news today makes me happy.

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/10-1259.pdf

    I’m curious to know the various Lib Dem, Labour, Conservative, Green, and Scots Nat opinions on the following question:

    When the government suspects an individual of being a drug dealer (or other criminal) and wants to attach a GPS device to that individual’s car so as to better track their movements, should the government be required to get a warrant before they do so?

  20. Back on thread topic. I’m very pleasantly surprised about Livingstone’s lead in the Mayoral race. [Snip] the really interesting thing is how the polls have moved in Livingstone’s direction at a time when the national polls are twitching in a Tory direction. When the race was last polled Johnson had a handsome lead at a time when Labour was ahead in the opinion polls. He’s now lost the lead, according to two polls, at a time when his party is enjoying a bit of a boost in the national polls. That suggests to me three very interesting things, a) Livingstone is campaigning very effectively, b) Johnson’s brand of politics-lite Toryism-cum-celebrity tomfoolery isn’t quite the irresistible electoral force we were once led to believe it was, c) the Mayoral election is being/will be fought in a local vacuum that will tell us very little about the state of national politics. I suspect many voters will vote for a candidate in May who represents a party that have no intention of voting for in a subsequent General Election.

    As for the national opinion polls published today (ICM and Populus), they just re-inforce the weekend YouGov. Public opinion has twitched in a Tory direction since mid December but we’re witnessing minor tremors here not political earthquakes. Indeed, Labour still enjoy a narrow, albeit reduced, lead in Populus. That suggests people are getting very excited about very little, unless you’re party to the partisan buffoonery that says “Labour should be 15-20 points ahead by now!”.

  21. @SOCAL

    Perhaps I’m a little obtuse, but how can they prove the following:

    a) Jones’ wife was driving the vehicle at any or all of the times?

    b) That the data released pertains to a vehicle owned by Jones / his wife, if the data showing the vehicle at the home (and presumably the data going to and from the home) is suppressed.

    Lastly, how reliable would GPS technology be in a court, given that it has been proven to be less than infallible in the past? No system is 100% secure, and no system is 100% accurate.

    If you take system and replace it with “witness”, does reasonable doubt creep in?

    (No legal experience whatsoever, but am perplexed at the reliance on technologies with a history of inaccruacies. More than a touch of “The computer says No!” creeping into legal systems these days. They are only as clever as their masters.

  22. @SoCal,

    We don’t actually need a warrant to do that in the UK, you know. We need high level authorisation, but from senior police officers, not from a court.

  23. SMukesh @ JOHN (MURPHY?) B DICK

    “But would you agree that he is running against a good looking bloke with lots of charm,in the Blair mould of things?”

    Yes.

    I’m sure too that Boris’s advisers are mostly lean, male, under 40, wear expensive suits, drink in wine bars, drive expensive cars, work out at a gym or have a personal trainer, spends more on cosmetics and fragrances than I do on beer or entertainment and a trophy wife with a job in media or fashion.

    The politician with the highest net approval is a wee fat bald guy with funny eyebriows whose wife is 17 years older than he is and stays out of sight..

  24. JOHN B DICK
    My apologies
    `The politician with the highest net approval is a wee fat bald guy with funny eyebriows whose wife is 17 years older than he is and stays out of sight.`
    He just happen to have a silver tongue,be masterful at tactics and a very good team behind him

  25. @Crossbat11

    I’m almost tempted to say that England followed your moniker far too literally in Dubai last week.

    I agree with you about London. Despite the best efforts on the ES I hasten to add. After several pro-boris front page outings over the past few months, including every poll showing him ahead, Livingstone’s lead last week in the most recent YouGov made a bottom half page report on page 2. No suprises there then. It wouldn’t suprise me if tomorrow’s print edition doesn’t even mention today’s Comres.

    London should be close. The inner london v outer London dynamics see to that. For this reason, neither Ken nor Boris can ever be more that say 5pc ahead on first round voting.

    The benefits cap will also hit london hard. Private rents are still rising in the centre. Even modest accomodation in bad areas. There was an ad for a two.bed flat in the Mozart Estate in Queens Park, for the princely sum of £1,350 per month(!) And therein lies the problem. The cap will severely hurt poorer people living in modest accomodation in central and inner london, due to the greed of private lanlords, often in ex local authority housing. But that’s another story.

  26. @RAF,

    Nick Robinson has a blog post about “two moralities” that rather captures the nature of your issue with the 2-bed flat in Queens Park.

    The problem is that a working family would need to be earning £50,000 plus to be able to afford that 2-bed flat. Your family on benefits may well be sleeping 2 to a room in the flat, and about to lose their tenancy because of the government’s policy. But next door to them will be a couple who work 2 jobs each and barely have enough to eat.

  27. @Neil A

    I perfectly understand that. But the solution is to cap private rents.

  28. Raf,

    The Comres poll was front page of the West End Final tonight, with double page spread of continued editorial and details of the supplementary questions a couple of pages in……

    Although it did say the fight was ‘on a knife-edge’ rather than ‘Ken leads!’ ;-)

  29. @Hooded Man

    I’m surprised.

  30. SMukesh @ JOHN B DICK

    “He just happen to have a silver tongue,be masterful at tactics and a very good team behind him”

    It’s almost cheating isn’t it? It takes the fun out of politics if you take it seriously instead of as a schoolboy’s game.

    That’s what you get when you let state school educated people get above themselves. And his deputy is a woman!

  31. Still too early to say but Boris has that incumbent factor when it gets nearer to the election time and campaigns officially start. He really does have to justify the ridiculous transport fares though.

  32. @Mactavish
    I doubt the incumbent factor will be a big factor here. Both Ken and Boris can campaign on and be attacked on what they did as mayor, both have pretty much universal name recognition amongst the electorate, and most Londoners will already have a firm opinion on what both of them will be like in office.

    If Labour were standing anybody other than Ken, incumbency might be a factor, though.

  33. I’m new to this site. I am a UKIP man, but quite like Boris so naturally I am a little concerned about the latest polls. It means that there is a risk of Ken Livingstone being in charge of the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebration!

    There are a lot of socialists who live in London, so it would not suprise me that (at a time of austerity) they would embrace the man offering the biggest goodies to the largest number of people- its how Labour wins elections.

    Whilst a free-market man like me might not cherish the prospect of Ken winning, one has to concede that actually (by rights) Boris should be some 10 to 15% behind given the current economic climate and the high concentration of immigrants/poor living in the Capital. This would suggest a widening of the poll lead for Ken as the Mayoral Vote approaches.

    Ian Pennell

  34. Ian Pennell

    I don’t think Boris is personally entirely to blame for the economy. He presents himself as semi-detatched from the Coalition.

    If Labour gain votes by bribing the voters with their own money, how is it that the Conservatives win then?

  35. John

    To be fair, I think it is likely that Boris will respond to the latest polling by following suit- offering council tax cuts for poor families.

    All the main Parties (Conservatives included, and I would say especially David Cameron’s Conservatives) are inherently socialist- and even in times of economic difficulty with massive public debts they all try to pander to the pauper masses by promising to tax the rich and going after bankers (or people with big mansions) ever more in order to bribe the masses.

    Now I read Boris’ contributions in the Daily Telegraph, and he seems to have some good points on a number of topics, but he is not exactly willing to stand for unpopular causes. He certainly has not come out fighting to defend the tube fare rises (i.e there is little money to borrow and London’s vital infrastructure upgrades still need to be paid for, and we can’t just expect the rich to pay ever more taxes to pay for it all if London is to remain competitive).

    It seems likely that either he will himself, or David Cameron will lean upon him to cut the fares on public transport funded by putting up council taxes on £ 2 million mansions. He may go on to put up business rates in order to fund council tax cuts en-masse. It would seem that both Ken and Boris know which side their bread is buttered, and they will offer fairly similar socialist policies in order to win the Mayoral Election.

  36. Ian Pennell

    So would you withdraw the franchise from those on benefit to stop that sort of thing, or is there any way to vote in a non-socialist government?

  37. @RAF

    “I perfectly understand that. But the solution is to cap private rents.”

    No no no no no no no.

    No!

    Do you know what you are saying? That way lies disaster. Think about it. If you cap rents you make it difficult for (buy-to-let) investors to raise the capital to purchase further properties. The housing market is already very very sluggish. Take away their income and the market will dry up completely.

    There will be no sales, apart from distressed sellers (because of a death in the family or moving overseas or lost their job…). These houses will inevitably be sold for much less than otherwise, there being no BLT pressure to keep them high.

    That will have the effect of reducing *everyone’s* house value. As house prices plummet you will be taking all that wealth out of the economy. And if there are no buyers at the (rightly) inflated prices and the sellers default who will lose out? The banks as their bad — sorry — debts are called in.

    We will have to print some more money to give to them (QE2, QE3, QE4, I forget now).

    No, our economy *depends* on high house prices and a strong FSS. It’s not politics, just plain economics. After all both Labour and the Tories know to reduce the value of voter’s main asset is political suicide. Easier to inflate our way out of this.

    Capping private rents? Are you mad sir?

  38. Perhaps I should have added — I get much of my information about housing from http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk, a website mainly populated by renters longing to get on the housing ladder.

    LVT is their preferred way of redistributing wealth (although of course it would be as they don’t have a home!). As I (very nearly) own my own home, I find I can detach myself quite nicely from their rantings!

  39. John

    There is only ONE Party that offers anything like a real alternative to Socialism in this country and that is UKIP; which as well as promising to get Britain out of the EU and adopt a sound energy policy (not based on windfarms)- has a Flat Tax policy. Under a UKIP Government- nobody would pay more than 31% in Income Tax- not even the very rich!

  40. Ian Pennell

    “a sound energy policy” that’ll be nuclear?

  41. What a frightening thought.
    After Ken’s comments on the riots (similar to Harperson), he doesn’t deserve to have any support on crime atall.

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