There is a new YouGov/Evening Standard poll of voting intentions in London. First round intentions with changes from a month ago stand at JOHNSON 46%(+2), LIVINGSTONE 45%(-1), PADDICK 6%(-1), Others 3%. On a forced choice between Ken and Boris, Boris leads by 51% to 49%, a reverse of last month’s figures.

While technically Boris has retaken the lead from Ken, all the changes are within the margin of error and the two main candidates are essentially neck-and-neck.

Most of the other questions in the poll showed little movement from a month ago, though there was a good reception for Ken’s policy of cutting fares by 7%. Improving transport was, along with crime, seen as the most important issue facing the capital and 68% said they supported Ken’s policy. What probably limits its cut through is that people were far more divided over whether it was actually deliverable – 44% thought Ken would actually do it, 40% thought he wouldn’t.

Westminster voting intentions in London are CON 35%(+1), LAB 47%(-2), LDEM 9%(+1). This represents a slight drop in Labour’s lead in London, but they are still doing slightly better in London than elsewhere in the country; these figures represent a 5 point swing to Labour, compared to an average of a 4 point swing in Great Britain as a whole.

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109 Responses to “YouGov/Evening Standard has Boris just ahead”

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  1. Are the boundaries that YouGov apply to ‘London’ the same boundaries that the Mayoral Elections apply to?

  2. Hardly my favourite thread theme, but since no one else has responded – First?

  3. Fallout from “the-Tories-are-riddled-with-closet-homosexuals” gate? (catchier name in progress)

  4. Some progress for the Boris camp as the shower of publicity since the last poll has borne fruit…However,still neck and neck and all to play for.

    Interesting that Labour are polling so high in London and Ken gets 80% Labour vote and Boris 90% Tory vote…So if he can convert the other Labour voters to his side,he`ll probably win

  5. Sanelynch – yes

    The Lorax – the explanation is more likely to be “normal variation within margin of error”

  6. Good Evening all.

    JIM JAM.
    Tony Benn said that the 1983 GE was a triumph, since 8.5 people voted for ‘socialism’. I was 28 then, just at the end of my first teaching appointment in Basildon, whereEric Moonman had lost in 1979, to a lovely man called Mr Harvey Proctor, who later moved to Billericay and a very nice man called David Amess (sp?) won in 1983.

    Two young Labour MPs took their seats in 1983 for the first time. One of them was son of the Manse. The other Labour MP became MP for Sedgefield. I wonder how they got on? I think they won three General Elections ‘on the bounce’ as they say on Radio 5 Live.

    Roy Hattersley, who was a senior Labour MP in the defeats of 1970, the draws of 1974 and the defeats of 1979, 83,87 and 1992 has been giving sage advice to ED about adopting his own triumphant brand of Social Democracy.

  7. Has anyone actually done a study into whether Londons continued high levels of immigration lead to higher levels of support for Labour.

    I have always assumed this as fact, but when challenged could not provide evidence, so has there ever been a poll asking just immigrants or those from immigrant families how they would vote, or is that not seen as PC?

  8. It is often said that where the USA goes, the UK follows.

    BBC News – Panorama – America’s homeless resort to tent cities
    Interesting report on liberal capitalism’s achme.

  9. The ES is presenting this as a “dramatic” development from last month, stating that Londoners are confronted with a clear choice between the “big spending” Ken, and the lower spending”but efficient” Boris. They are of course paraphasing London doyen Tony Travers (generally considered a fair and independent voice), but once more the loaded rhetoric of the paper shows just how difficult is is for Ken to get a fair local media hearing. Oh, and the story and the quotes are on the front page.

  10. My view is that Boris victory depends on two things,both out of his control. Will there be a double-dip recession in the UK,How heated will the NHS Bill get?I know many here will disagree feeling that things will be decided on a local level

  11. So changes from the GE (when GE figures are rounded) –
    Lab +10
    Con -nc
    LD -13
    UKIP +3
    Green -nc
    LD to UKIP swing, or LD>Con, Con>UKIP?

  12. What I find fascinating is the difference in voting share for Boris Johnson and the voting share that the Tories get overall in London. I find it fascinating to see elections for executive office in a country that has a parliamentary system. You can see the difference in vote share that can build up through personal appeal and incumbency that you normally see only very little of. Are there any other elected offices in the country that are executive like this one?

    It makes me wonder what the elections would be like if they were conducted in a non-partisan manner and candidates ran without their party affiliation.

    @ The Lorax

    “Fallout from “the-Tories-are-riddled-with-closet-homosexuals” gate? (catchier name in progress)”

    I doubt it.

  13. @ Old Nat

    “Hardly my favourite thread theme, but since no one else has responded – First?”

    Mayoral elections are really cool though! Mayors shape so much public policy, often by creating it even if they can’t implement it. Mayoral races often lead to the building of political coalitions that translate into broader nationwide coalitions. There also where you see political splits among normal coalition partners. They’re exciting too, especially when they lack a partisan glow or defy traditional partisan politics.

    See, I think you should see the film Milk (a film I doubt many Europeans have seen) because it explains (1) the importance of local government to the lives of ordinary citizenry, (2) why first-past-the-post single member districts are good things, and (3) how first-past-the-post single member districts ultimately are a great tool for pushing forward progressive public policy. (It also partly explains why San Franciscans haven’t elected Republicans since the 1970’s).

  14. @Socal Liberal

    Ken ran as an independent in 2004, against the official Labour candidate, Frank Dobson, after he wasn’t selected as the official candidate. He subsequently walked the election.

    Ray Mallon, I believe, is still the popularly elected mayor.of Middlesbrough. He was known as Robocop for his zero tolerance appoah when a local senior police officer. He is an independent.

    Boris outpolls his party for several reasons. He’s a social liberal, which tends to work on London. He sometimes shows contempt for his party – Londoners like an independent voice. He’s great socially when dealong with the electorate regardless of colour or background (he once talked of his pride of having a relative in a senior administrative position in Ottoman Turkey). He can laugh at himself. And he’s not dogmatic.

    So while he’s still.a Conservative, he doesn’t carry any baggage as a member of the “nasty” party. Whether boris the persona, is an accurate reflection of boris the mayor, is almost irrelevant. People buy into it.

    But even Boris relies on the doughnut demographics of London to win. He has to persuade a larger proportion of suburbanites to vote for him, that Ken can pursuade in the centre.

  15. “”David Cameron’s attempt to create a sanctuary from regulation for the City of London is not acceptable,” he( Francois Hollande) said.”


    Bring it on Franky boy :-)

  16. SoCalLiberal

    Of course local government is important to the lives of ordinary (and extraordinary) citizens. However, that doesn’t require FPTP voting systems.

    The removal of micro-management by central government, and STV voting which has required local politicians to create coalitions has produced similar effects here.

    I’m always doubtful of people who want to assume that their political systems are automatically transferable elsewhere.

  17. Colin

    Your ambition that the UK be an unregulated tax haven, at the very time that the international community is cracking down on such practices, may not be a long term solution.

  18. Tinged Fringe

    Or LD > Will not vote (which would increase others “share of the remaining votes”).

    I suspect the increase in UKIP is the normal flow from the Tories between elections, it’ll probably move back again once the election draws close.

    One interesting question for 2015 might be “will blues vote tactically?” Before 2010 the liberals were pretty much distrusted and can imagine they got little support from the blue camp even in very clear red/yellow seats.

    If the liberals don’t come in with at least 15% of the vote, in 2015 they will be badly crushed no matter what, if they do manage to claw back say half the lost vote, some new found allies in the north might happen to be rather important.

    How long blues will see yellow as at least potential allies remains to be seen. Probably until the next red/yellow coalition or the next conservative majority when you can be sure the liberals will be throwing bricks at them from across the benches!*

    *Metaphorical bricks at least.

  19. @ Chris Lane

    “It is often said that where the USA goes, the UK follows.

    BBC News – Panorama – America’s homeless resort to tent cities
    Interesting report on liberal capitalism’s achme.”

    Don’t get me started. Don’t EVEN get me started. :(

    It gets me so angry sometimes, I just get ready to explode. Then I calm down and accept what I cannot change on my own.

    Anyway, your country is far too civilized to ever treat the homeless and impoverished in the same way. Be thankful for that.

  20. OldNat

    I suspect Colin doesn’t want the city to be an unregulated tax haven, just an area where the UK determines which regulations it has and how much tax it contributes to our coffers.

    Francois Hollande seems to want to kill our golden goose, which is fine for him to state as it might be in Frances interest, I’d expect our Prime Minister of whichever party to “robustly defend” our own interests.

    My message to him would be along the lines of “**** **** **** ****, stronger message to follow”

  21. In terms of voting intention, a French attack on the city, which DC could then protect, would almost certainly help the Cons.

    I’ve just noticed my CAPTCHA code: K (5) EN. Most appropriate.

  22. Alan

    “an area where [insert state] determines which regulations it has and how much tax it contributes to our coffers” sounds like a perfect description of the Cayman Islands and other such places. What do you see the difference as being?.

  23. @Old Nat

    How warm are the Cayman Islands and how much sun do they get? :-)

  24. @”BBC News – Panorama – America’s homeless ”

    Just watched it.

    Astounding-quite incredible.

  25. @R Huckle

    (Sorry but from the previous thread – Some may find it amusing.)

    “Obviously if one parent votes for one party and the other parent a different party, this just leads to a confused child.”

    Oh Dear!

    Dad was from a strong Labour activist family and always voted Labour, except once when he claims he voted Comm. Mum had her own opinion which she kept to herself! Dad would put up a big Labour poster in the front window. As soon as dad left for work, mum took down his poster and put up her Tory one. Yeh, mum was aTory. Just before dad was due back home from work, down came the Tory poster and up went Lab’s. The neighbours thought it was all very amusing and dad never did find out!

    When the canvassers/candidates came round, mum would always answer the door. For the Tory ones she would quickly tell them go away, not to waste their time and that they had her vote. She would then tell dad it was the Tory ones, so she had sent them packing, much to dad’s satisfaction. For the Labour ones she would keep them talking as long as possible (and mum could certainly talk!), just to waste their time. Then she would ask for a car to take them to the polling booths. Dad was therefore satisfied with her enthusiam.

    At the polling booths dad would careful tell mum the name of the Labour candidate. Mum would repeat it several times and then go in to vote. Afterwards, when dad asked who she voted for, my mum dutifully named the Lab candidate, with an ‘I think’ added. All my brothers and sisters knew precisely whom mum had voted for, dad was never quite certain.

    The consequences were some hectic family ‘discussions’ since all five children seemed to end up supporting different parties. We probably still do, however I often wonder if the party we supported during the family ‘discussions’ was actually where our Xs went on the day.

    Of course it does raise some interesting side issues as one of the ‘confused child’ of R Huckle’s theory. Did any of my siblings support Lab out of ‘parent pressure’ or did they support Tory to show their independence? Are the Lab supporters showing a ‘father figure complex’ or are the Con supporters merely giving in to their feminine side. And what about those who gave Liberals their X, were they just being blo-dy pig headed or showing true independence of thought. Either way the canvassing returns from our house would have tested even AW’s ingenuity to interpret.

    Mum used to vote 5 times every election! Once for herself, once each with the proxy votes of my brother, his wife, my wife and myself. Whenever I asked which way she voted for me, her reply was along the lines of ‘ Oh the way I knew you would have wanted me to have done of course’.


    So to be absolutely honest, if someone asked which party I usually voted for, the answer is a surprising ‘I’m not quite sure’.

    OMG that makes me a DK!!


    Sorry to be off-thread but we did live in London at that time!

  26. What is fascinating about this election, is despite the big differences in policy, political thinking and ideology, this is really going to come down to personalities, and both of them are massive.

    My boss lives and works in London, and yes, travel is a massive thing, but she still thinks it will come down to personality.

  27. OLDNAT

    @”an unregulated tax haven”

    Don’t be silly.

    It isn’t & it isn’t going to be-as the Frenchman knows fullwell.

    He is using code-when he says “regulation” he means “tax”…………Financial Transaction Tax.

    RichardW is quite right-DC would help him write the speech I suspect. :-)

  28. OldNat

    The Caymans aren’t truly a Tax Haven as they can be forced to release details in the investigation of crimes etc. If that is where you’re hiding your ill gotten gains you might be better of finding a new haven like Belize*

    The main differences between our current position and a tax haven are:

    A non-nominal tax rate.
    We cooperate with other authorites over tax information.
    We cooperate with other legal authorities.

    As a tax haven our country sucks. As a place to do legal financial business it’s pretty good and I hope it remains that way despite what some Frenchman wants.

    *Alternatively you could also do the moral and legal thing and have all your income based in a non-haven country and fully declared for taxation purposes.


    In terms of voting intention, a French attack on the city, which DC could then protect, would almost certainly help the Cons.

    I’m not sure that’s true. YouGov pick up on the attitude to the City as Boris’s weakness. They asked if “Boris Johnson’s support for City firms compromises his ability to speak up for Londoners”. Voters agreed by 45% to 35%, even 34% of his own supporters agreed.

    As it happens Ken did a lot of sucking-up to the City in his time too, but that time was pre-financial crisis. If he can persuade voters that Boris will run London for his rich mates rather than ordinary Londoners, it may play well.

    The mayoral election actually takes place between the two rounds of the French presidential election, so it may not have the same effect as an attack from the actual President and the campaign would most likely be about domestic matters.

    Despite the headlines there is no difference between this poll and the last one in that Boris and Ken are neck and neck. The only significant change is that the number of non-voters has risen.

  30. COLIN
    In all the veto euphoria,I think you haven`t noticed that the veto ` was for christmas` and there has been a `U` turn since then…Maybe you got distracted by Fred being shredded to avoid the publicity

  31. @Alan – “How long blues will see yellow as at least potential allies remains to be seen.”

    Tories picked up (nearly) enough Labour seats to get a majority in 2010 – but they failed to take enough LD seats on their 117 target list.

    On the other hand If the LD “surge” (Cleggmania) had continued LDs would have been on course to take many more seats from the Tories than from Labour… as it was they lost seats.

    Tories could have hopes to pick up a score of LD seats at the next election. Tactical voting by Conservatives for LD would pay a dividend in only a few seats… there again, if they could somehow persuade LDs to vote Con in the more numerous Con/Lab margiinals – then they would be on to a winner.

  32. FrankG

    Although it’s only anecdotal evidence, it is awfully amusing.

    Thanks for sharing.

    I wonder if there has even been a divorce for “irreconcilable political differences”, if so perhaps Nick Clegg should have a thorough look at the case before 2015.


    @”In all the veto euphoria,I think you haven`t noticed that the veto ` was for christmas` and there has been a `U` turn since then…Maybe you got distracted by Fred being shredded to avoid the publicity”

    I have noticed -nothing is forever in politics is it?

    I have also noticed that Frau Merkel-who will be there after Sarkozy has gone-has been signalling that there is no question of EU trying to impose FTT on UK. Indeed she even took up DC’s idea that they should adopt our FTT-Stamp Duty.

    So whilst the business of vetoing EZ’s use of EU institutions certainly didn’t last long-the resistance to EU imposed taxation of the City is very much on the agenda still-& I would judge successfully -despite the rhetoric from a certain French Socialist :-)

  34. COLIN
    `I have noticed -nothing is forever in politics is it?`

    That`s for sure…Only days ago,the right rejoiced at Sarkozy`s expected bow, and now the probability is France is getting a proper socialist who has `declared war on the banks and financial institutions`.

    Merkel is going to campaign for Sarkozy but I doubt whether she will favour Cameron over Hollande…An Euro-sceptic PM outside the Eurozone vs Euro neighbour and ally,I`ll be very surprised if she chooses Cameron…I have the greatest respect for Merkel though and have no doubt that there`s likely to be great strategic thinking before she makes up her mind

    I agree Cameron`s action was successful,as an opt-out,not as a veto.

  35. CON 38%, LAB 42%, LD 9%; APP -22

    Starting to look as though the gap is widening…

  36. ALAN

    Accepted that the details aren’t the same, but you wish to continue a haven in which financiers can set up subsidiaries to do dodgy deals that would be banned in their own jurisdictions – and escape paying taxes on those transactions.

    I see no moral superiority in that position, nor any long term benefit to the host country. However, if you want the power of financiers to remain with little regulation, and the gulf between the rich and the poor to continue to accelerate, then I can see the short term advantage to those of your philosophy – but probably just as much at your expense as to the rest of us.

  37. Yes a 4% labour lead, which I think could increase further this week. The Tories have been getting some pretty poor media coverage over recent weeks.

  38. @Robin

    Too early to jump to conclusions on the back of just one poll.

    Could just be margin of error.

    Besides unless you’re extremely partisan anyone with any once of intelligence knows Labour should be way ahead by now so a 4% lead is hardly worth gloating about.

  39. Is the sample Labour-heavy?They seem to have increased support on every issue,including education and the economy…I would have expected some increase in support for their NHS stand

    In case you hadn`t noticed,there have been a few larger Labour leads the last week,not just this one

  40. @R HUCKLE

    You’ve been saying that for weeks now.

    I think there’s some wishful thinking going on here.

    As I said in my previous post it could just be margin of error so it’s too early to jump to conclusions.

  41. Can’t help thinking this job would have been right up Ed Milliband’s street. Even better if IDS was opposing him.
    If anyone watches Russia Today the documentary they’re showing on Los Angeles paramedics is pretty amazing.

  42. The repeated incidences suggest that these occasional larger Labour leads were not outliers, but sample error variation. Which suggests that the ‘true’ result is a small Labour lead.

    It might be useful to have a look at YouGov polls as one-week candlestick graphs.

  43. Ah, this has potential. Please please please can we have Boris overtaking Ken on transfers. I would love to see the Tories grilled on the validity of the election if that was to happen.

  44. Leetay – I normally let stuff pass but ‘anyone with an once of intelligence’ is just rude. What is an once of intelligence by the way??
    I suggest you take a look back at the should Labour be doing better thread.

  45. I did ponder a couple of nights ago that the 5% Labour lead was less of an outlier than the 2% Tory lead, but I got somewhat shot down by people claiming no change and still neck and neck. I didn’t agree with them, and I still don’t. As @Jayblanc says, the evidence seems to be mounting, but we still can’t be certain about the extent of any change.

  46. @Leetay

    “Besides unless you’re extremely partisan anyone with any once of intelligence knows Labour should be way ahead by now so a 4% lead is hardly worth gloating about.”

    Oh dear. Nobody’s gloating and it’s silliness to pre-empt and taint what might be an interesting discussion on tonight’s poll by such partisanship. You may be disappointed, but that’s no excuse to make baseless accusations.

    A 4% Labour lead may or may not be a precursor to a trend of continuing Labour leads, especially when we’ve seen a 5% Tory lead and a 5% Labour lead both occurring in the same fortnight! However, last week’s run of polls suggest a narrow Labour lead may be consolidating itself now and, when you survey the political scene at the moment, that’s hardly surprising. It’s been a rickety old fortnight or so for the Coalition and I wonder if the recent stories of internal dissent in the Cabinet, and the surprisingly strident and petulant denunciations from Downing Street, suggest some nervousness taking root. Negative growth in the last quarter, stubbornly resistant borrowing levels and deficit and now the NHS Bill furore. Choppy water and the polls may be twitching Labour’s way in response.

    Nothing dramatic, and quite possibly transitory, but after the EU Veto bounce for the Conservatives, things might be ebbing back in Labour’s direction for a while. We shall see and I may well be mistaken

  47. “Besides unless you’re extremely partisan anyone with any once of intelligence knows Labour should be way ahead by now so a 4% lead is hardly worth gloating about.”

    I don’t think Labour should be way ahead. That means I don’t have a “once” of intelligence? Oh dear.

    I enjoy insulting Tories in new and inventive ways but we should be wary of calling each other thick. It gets us nowhere. This site is for rising above that.

    4% ahead – I’ll enjoy a little gloat for now. I can’t see any good news for the coalition any time soon.

  48. Now now… Whenever I see someone say “Labour should be doing better” and “Labour are being held back by Ed”, I just assume they’re acknowledging the possibility of a huge Labour victory at the next election instead of just a small Labour victory…

  49. ******* Breaking news********************

    Moodys credit rating agency puts UK economy on negative outlook watch.

    Not a downgrade yet, but this will be a disappointment to the government.

  50. Come on Anthony, I would have thought that a 4% Labour lead was worth a thread on it’s own, or has that Labour leaning colleague of yours, Mr Kellner suppressed it to try and persuade us all of his faux impartiality?? lol

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