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. I’m prepared to give @Leetay the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he meant ‘one off intelligence’?

    On the substance of his point, it is worth recalling that some of us said in 2009/2010 that Cameron really should be further ahead in the polls; we were roundly condemned by a then largely blue board, but in the end events proved us right.

    While I know that @Chrislane1945 insists on finding parallels between Labour now and Labour in 1983, I don’t think we are at the point where Labour need to worry too much about whether their lead is big enough – we’re too far out for polls to be significant (and I also think @Rob Sheffield has a strong point that coalition now means small leads will be the norm).

    However, if the situation remains too close to call much beyond 2012, then the ‘Labour should be miles ahead’ brigade might start to have a point.

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

    Ofcourse,the main defence of their economic policy is the AAA credit rating…If this goes,then confidence in the government`s economic policy will plummet

  3. Really interesting news on the ratings watch story. I’ll preface comment on this with what I always say – the ratings agencies are terminally useless – but it really won’t be happy news for Osborne. He will be very nervous, as he has staked so much on our rating.

    The wider economic news is mixed, with the CBI getting the headlines for suggesting we will see growth in Q1 and avoid a recession, while two other surveys drew broadly opposite conclusions. With the ratings news, growth or lack of it becomes even more important as this is what will determine whether or not we get a downgrade.

  4. SMUKESH……………UK, France, and Austria, on negative outlook, meaning 30% chance of downgrade in next 18 months, basically a nudge to stay with the strategy.

  5. ALEC
    I hope the CBI is right but John Cridland tends to drumbeat for the government that much I have noticed

  6. ”the evidence is mounting”

    Hmmm, I’m not too sure I’m convinced of that.

    On Labour’s poll lead, interesting. Beyond the 5 point lead they had last week which was an outliner I don’t really see what evidence there is to suggest this ”developing lead” Labourites here speak of. The polls seem more volatile than they were 2 weeks ago notably, but from last week it seem to swing between both Lab and Conservative leads suggesting the roughly neck and neck position.

    We’ll see what the polls this week show, but I’d expect Lab’s 4 point lead to be consistient and the poll volatility to decrease, in the light of poll narrowing, which so far hasn’t happened. As for Alec, I disagreed with you, I didn’t shoot you down. If you wanted to reply, you could have.

    As for JayBlanc – Labour aren’t even close to having a huge majority. Even the UKPR projection on the old boundaries are showing them with a 10 majority, on a 1 point lead averaging, let alone all the factors that come into play during a GE. I’d be interested to know what’s made you conclude a huge majority will occur.

    I’m always hearing on here the ”mood music has changed”. It’s not been a good couple of the weeks for the government, but I think it’s a complete overestimation of voters’ interest in politics to think votes will shift over lukewarm coverage. If anything, it comes off as slightly wishful thinking by some on here rather than poll analysis.

  7. KEN
    `basically a nudge to stay with the strategy`

    Not sure about that,though that`s exactly what Osborne has said tonight…I feel this decision means that status quo may not be enough,rather than more of the same.

  8. @ Raf

    “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.”

    I seem to remember Livingstone being kicked out of Labour temporarily but winning anyway, which demonstrates his popularity. Also I remember him only narrowly losing last time (maybe I’m mistaken).

    It’s interesting that Middlesbrough has a directly elected mayor. I haven’t heard of that city before so I assume that it’s a small town. You would expect other large cities in the UK to have directly elected mayors, places like Glasgow, Edinburgh, Bristol, Liverpool, Birmingham, and Coventry. My understanding is that they don’t and that local governance is conducted through city councils where parties with the most seats govern.

    In terms of doughnut demographics, does London’s ever rising rent and and sales price increases create more of an electorate for Tories? Or is the jurisdiction that elects the Mayor of London big enough and inclusive enough of the suburbs that it doesn’t matter? For example, people get priced out of certain neighborhoods that gentrify, they move out to the “suburbs” which they can afford but are those suburbs still within the jurisdiction of the London mayoral race?

    London politically reminds me of a Krispy Kreme Chocolate Iced Kreme Filled doughnut where the cream in the middle and the chocolate glaze on top are the Tories and the regular doughnut part is Labour. That’s because the outer ring suburbs are usually safely Tory and the central parts of the city where tourists go are usually safely Tory and everything else in between is Labour (and Lib Dem).

    @ Old Nat

    “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.”

    Keep in mind that movie reccomendations aren’t neccessarily an argument for adopting a different kind of political system. Though I like to defend FPTP when given the opportunity.

    Micromanagement in local government is counterproductive and removing it is generally a good thing.

  9. I don’t why coalition would make small Labour leads were the norm. The Tory vote has held up, but what is it specfically about coalition that is making it so, so that in the event of a minority govt/majority Tory govt the Tory vote wouldn’t hold up? Simarly the LD VI has collasped, serving to benefit Labour. If anything, without the coalition Labour would be polling in the late thirties, early forties. Simarly, if Dave’s lead wasn’t enough for a majority in 2009, then that makes one wonder why on earth Labour supporters aren’t thinking the same thing on Ed’s lead? It does make me wonder………

  10. Commentary from Moodys attached for those who can be bothered……I don’t think Osborne will be particularly concerned yet, given the rationale for their revised perspective….–PR_237716

  11. BOO BOO
    `Simarly, if Dave’s lead wasn’t enough for a majority in 2009, then that makes one wonder why on earth Labour supporters aren’t thinking the same thing on Ed’s lead? It does make me wonder………`

    The two parties were neck and neck till Blair stepped down in 2007,two years after the election…Cameron`s huge leads were only after Brown`s honeymoon was over
    We still haven`t reached the two year term of a first-term government.

  12. SMUKESH………..S&P and Fitch will follow if it’s any more than thinking aloud by Moody’s, sometimes the rating agencies play a little mood music to create some interest……….there were also a number of downgrades.

  13. @Boo Boo

    You can’t have a multiple Outliers in close series. As I said above, it now looks much more like the 5 point lead was the top of the error margin, not an outlier, and the 2 point Conservative leads were the bottom. This strongly suggests that the 1 to 2 point Labour leads are in the right area, and are not error variation on a tie. If we get a return to the occasional 5 point leads for the conservatives in January that might indicate otherwise.

  14. @Boo Boo

    “…………but I think it’s a complete overestimation of voters’ interest in politics to think votes will shift over lukewarm coverage”

    I’m going to give that one of your hmmms, I think! If you were talking about typically Westminster Village tittle-tattle issues, then I would agree with you, but I think the recent furore over the planned health reforms has potential resonance with ordinary voters as opposed to what sort of carpets the Speakers wife has ordered for their Westminster apartment. That’s tittle tattle. How our Health Service operates matters to people.

    Incidentally, I’m always amused at what constitutes issues of interest and media visibility. When Cameron monsters Miliband at PMQs we’re told that the watching nation has quivered in admiration and witnessed another ritual humiliation of the Labour leader. When Miliband has a good day, however, we’re told that nobody takes a blind bit of notice of PMQs and it won’t do him the slightest bit of good, especially if there was a more intersting item on the news bulletins that night! lol

  15. KEN
    I wonder if this is a reaction to France and Germany egging the credit agencies to revisit UK`s status after the public row

  16. Re: Downgrade warning.

    I don’t understand! I’ve been told over and over that taking our economy in this direction was the only thing keeping us safe from the Vicious Bond Markets. Why, it’s almost as if it were a mistake to throw Keynesian economic principles out the window because of the knee jerk response of the bond market, and that the bonds market will now punish us for listening to the bond market’s bad advice.

    Whch version of Plan A will we have to go to now? Plan A.36?

  17. apparently the UK’s outlook has been revised to downward by Moody’s, from I assume stable. I think we can assume the Eurozone black hole is a lot to do with this. Time for things to get a little more complicated, I think.

  18. SMUKESH………..With friends like that, who needs enemies ? :-)

  19. KEITHP

    Actually Moody`s have given two reasons

    1)low growth

    I think the government would like to concentrate on the Eurozone rather than the low growth

  20. @Smukesh
    Yes, but that polling shift by large occured to events related to a change in an opponent. Which isn’t going to happening regarding the Tory side between now and the GE.


    But you’re analysis doesn’t really change the virtual neck and neck situation we have. Maybe I should have used MoE rather the ”outliner” but your post suggests these leads are the confirmation of a 1 point/2point lead or so that has been going on for about 3 weeks now, anyway and wouldn’t particuarly change the overall virtual neck/neck situation between the two parties.


    The issue of the NHS reforms isn’t tittle tattle, but the talk of internal wars, Lansley’s future etc is Westminster Village. Furthermore, while the public care about the NHS the issue isn’t a vote shifter in itself towards Labour, because the level of positive association/credo each party has with the NHS is already built in, and has been for sometime.

    As for PMQs, I believe it can be used to shift agendas, but that beyond that it doesn’t matter. I don’t think the nation overall care about PMQs, either way, wherther DC has a good day or not.

  21. “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.”

    The irony of that statement made me chuckle.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens when the Mail on Sunday coverage of the NHS Bill and McKinsey kicks in, if it hasn’t already.

    @Billy Bob and Alan

    “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.”

    That seriously misunderstands the nature of Lib Dem voters. The Lib Dems have been courting a left of centre support base for at least 10 years. These people won’t vote for the Conservatives, it’s the alignment of the coalition parties why they’re leaving in droves. This is likely to cost the Conservatives in Lab/Con marginals as those votes return to Labour. Relying on Conservative tactical votes is also a dead end for the Lib Dems. The only seats where this would even be a factor are the ones where the Conservatives are in a distant third, meanwhile existing Lib Dem voters are moving over to Labour raising the bar for victory, whilst the Lib Dems are left trying to make up the difference, from a much smaller pool of voters. This was seen in Oldham East and Saddleworth.

    To the extent that the Conservatives are going to benefit from the Lib Dem collapse, it’s going to be from direct wins of Lib/Con marginals, but even there, I suspect they’ll benefit less than Labour, as Lib Dem MPs in those kind of seats tend to be “stickier” for personal reasons, and tactical Labour voters are more likely to hold their noses, when it comes down to it, than the principled and disaffected defectors the Lib Dems attracted during the Blair years.

  22. @Keith P

    Investor confidence has actually improved significantly in Europe, since the EZ zone fiscal union talks and the approval of the Greek bailout terms. Of course, this means that the UK isn’t benefiting from a ‘safe haven’ effect.

    The worse problem for us is that while the EU is on a better footing, we’re not going to be seeing huge boosts to our exports from them any time soon. And since GO’s economic plan was a gamble on increasing exports to avoid having to make meaningful domestic stimulus, this has exposed a significant hole in the UK’s economy, and required the BoE to step in with quantitative easing.

  23. @SMUKESH

    You don’t seem to understand the difference between ‘negative outlook’ and ‘negative watch’.

    Negative outlook means there’s a 30% chance our rating might be downgrading within the next 18 months.

    Negative watch means there’s a 50% chance of a downgrade.

  24. “While I know that @Chrislane1945 insists on finding parallels between Labour now and Labour in 1983, I don’t think we are at the point where Labour need to worry too much about whether their lead is big enough – we’re too far out for polls to be significant (and I also think @Rob Sheffield has a strong point that coalition now means small leads will be the norm).”

    It’s a false comparison, anyway. Labour was scuppered, in the early 80s by the Falklands megabounce, and the creation of the SDP. In essence what’s now happening is the complete opposite- the “left” vote is coalescing around Labour, with the Lib Dem vote, having collapsed.

  25. Jay/Smukesh,

    I’d advise you both to read the Moody’s report before [inserting your own opinions] on the reasons.

    Low growth has not been cited as the reason – the ability to continue the pace of fiscal consolidation if there is lower growth (over a multi year time period) has been stated. Hardly a clarion call for Keynesianism, and certainly not support for the DarlingBallsian “slower, shallower” strategy.
    And the Eurozone, as KeithP says, has been strongly advised as the other reason. The Greek fudge has not exactly sprinkled confidence stardust over the EZ……..there are plenty of real downgrades in Europe, whereas the UK has been put on a different watch status which may or may not (70% chance not) lead to a downgrade in 18 months or so……

  26. @Hannah

    There are interesting comaprsions with the 80s, in regards to this point in cycle (the Falklands bounce was towards mid 1982 I think, so not at this point in the cycle yet). For one, Lab leads were bigger even though the SDP/Liberal Alliance were proving a threat to more moderate social democrat, threating to spilt the vote. Simarly, Labour had a leader who was unpopular, and recieved negative coverage. The difference is, of course as you say Labour now have a pool of LD voters rather than the LDs as a threat. Which makes it even more bizarre why they aren’t storming in the lead rather than virtually neck and neck at a time when they are in a better position than in the 80s.

  27. @Boo Boo

    You said “…Which makes it even more bizarre why they aren’t storming in the lead…”

    Is that a serious question?

    Regards, Martyn

  28. While the Moody’s downgrade risk could have some short-term damage to the government (I’m sure that Labour will take every opportunity to throw back Osborne’s claim that austerity took us off negative outlook), it’ll probably be quite helpful to the treasury as budget day is only 36 days away – so this would be an important risk to factor in.
    It could also be useful on the marriage-tax cuts, etc – with Osborne avoiding party-backlash because he can claim that the negative outlook means that those proposals aren’t affordable.

  29. I also suspect that Baroness Warsi’s attack on secular life could backfire – while it’ll probably play well with the party faithful (mind the pun), it’ll probably make those of a more liberal disposition (in their coalition partners and liberal-conservatives), who understand that secularism isn’t an attack on religion but there to protect the freedom of religion (especially minority religions).
    It’ll also send out an interesting message to the ‘Islamic world’, that they shouldn’t embrace secularism but should embrace their ‘religious heritages’.

  30. “it’ll probably make those of a more liberal disposition (in their coalition partners and liberal-conservatives), who understand that secularism isn’t an attack on religion but there to protect the freedom of religion (especially minority religions).”
    Should read “(especially minority religions), nervous.”

  31. I think a 4% lead is the limit of what is is possible at the moment, probably an outlier.

  32. Boo Boo.
    You are right that for Lab to achieve an OM next time they would have to be well ahead (although not as much as in previous periods due to the coalition effect) if not now certainly during 2013/4, but this is not a realistic target.
    People who voted Conservative in 2010 are not going to desert in the first 2-3 years as they bought in to the GO/DC plan.
    In fact these voters will in high numbers over 90% stick with the conservatives at the next GE unless things go badly wrong, a few may move due to single issues perhaps.
    Add to this a few LD’s moving to Conservative and imo it is highly likely that, baring an economic meltdown, they will at least match their 2010 vote in 2015 and will probably add 2-3%.
    After Labour’s terrible result they are not going to gain many Tory switchers during this parliament, and at the GE. The task for Labour is to regain the votes lost in 2005 and 2010 to the LD’s plus stayaways and most first time voters, especially in Lab/Con marginals to force another coalition; and, to close the gap to such an extent that they can challenge to have the most votes in 2020 or whenever. (Hannah is right about nose holders in LD/Con marginals)
    Turning the challenge around are the Conservatives doing enough to suggest they will be able to goverrn on their won after 2015, not quite.

    I would offer that the Conservatives are probably the most satisfied of the 3 main parties (SNP clearly advanced the most) but Labour can be encouraged also. Still all to play for.
    FWIW, I think 40/35/15/10 next time is realistic and I know predictions this far out are silly.

  33. HOODED

    THanks for the link to Moody’s.

    Very interesting reading.

    Their perception of the relative strengths of the UK economy are interesting.

    They are certainly worried about the trajectory to Peak Debt in UK.

    I read that Obama’s new budget proposal for USA features a four year slippage on previous debt trajectory forecasts.

  34. @Hooded Man/Leetay

    Ah, I see, I’ve got it now. This move by Moodys to place us on negative outlook, as opposed to negative watch, is actually positive news and, to quote Osborne, the reality check we’ve all been waiting for. We’re being warned, but all for the right reasons! lol

    I await similar re-assurances when the unemployment figures are published later this month. I guess these may well be “good” unemployment figures and what we should expect “at this stage in our economic recovery”.

    I remain unconvinced, but the power of spin can be very beguiling to some.

  35. CROSSBAT11

    You had no reason to be confused.

    Moody’s report explains :-


    The primary driver underlying Moody’s decision to change the outlook on the UK’s Aaa rating to negative is the weaker macroeconomic environment, which will challenge the government’s efforts to place its debt burden on a downward trajectory over the coming years. These challenges, reflecting the combined effect of a commodity price driven hit to real incomes, the confidence shock from the euro area and a reassessment of the lasting effects of the financial crisis on potential output, were already evident in the government’s Autumn Statement. The statement announced that a further two years of austerity measures would be needed in order for the government to meet its fiscal mandate of achieving a cyclically adjusted current budget balance by the end of a rolling five-year time horizon, and to reach its target of placing net public sector debt on a declining path by fiscal year 2015-16.”


    The UK’s Aaa rating could potentially be downgraded if Moody’s were to conclude that debt metrics are unlikely to stabilise within the next 3-4 years, with the deficit, the overall debt burden and/or debt-financing costs continuing on a rising trend. This could happen in one of three scenarios, all of which would imply lower economic and/or government financial strength: (1) a combination of significantly slower economic growth over a multi-year time horizon — perhaps due to persistent private-sector deleveraging and very weak growth in Europe — and reduced political commitment to fiscal consolidation, including discretionary fiscal loosening or a failure to respond to a deteriorating fiscal outlook; (2) a sharp rise in debt-refinancing costs, possibly associated with an inflation shock or a deterioration in market confidence over a sustained period; or (3) renewed problems in the banking sector that force a resumption of official support programmes and spill over into the real economy, indirectly causing lower growth and larger budget deficits.”

    THe section “RATIONALE FOR CONTINUED Aaa RATING” is also interesting :-)

  36. I thought the ratings agencies had already proved that their assessment of risk was worth precisely diddley squat, at a time when their input might actually have helped.

  37. @Hannah

    My “somehow persuade LDs to vote Con in the Con/Lab margiinals” was a bit tongue in cheek, so I agree your analysis.

    You sometimes hear arguments here about how an LD collapse would possibly help Tories more than Labour, but it is the Con/Lab marginals that really matter (the current ratio of defections from LD to Labour suggests that roughly for every one LD seat gained by Labour, Tories gain two from LD, but Labour gains five from Con imo – so LD -3, Con -3, Lab +6).

    What actually happens in LD/Con marginals is very much up for debate, we won’t get a clear idea unless there is a by election.

  38. On austerity and growth…Greece?

    New data from Greece shows the desperate state of Greek’s economy – its GDP plunged by 7% in the fourth quarter of 2011, on a year-on-year basis.


    The Portuguese economy shrank by 1.3% in the last three months of 2011, compared with the previous quarter, as the austerity measures demanded by its international lenders took hold.

    I wonder if all you cheerleaders for austerity might consider, even for a moment, how bad things might get if the Keynesians warning against this approach are remotely right?

  39. Nick P – I agree but it doesn’t matter what we think the rating agencies judgement still have clout in the bond markets.
    BillyBob – the new consituencies will make it harder for the LDs in some seats to use incumbency and for the tactical vote strategies to gain traction.
    I think most of us accept, though, that the LDs will hold on to more seats than UNS would suggest.
    I don’t think a By-Election will tell us too much as with no Governemnt at stake many (perhaps most) Lab supporters in LD/Con marginals would vote Lab.

  40. Moodys refers to :-
    ”The increased uncertainty regarding the pace of fiscal consolidation in the UK due to materially weaker growth prospects over the next few years, with risks skewed to the downside. Any further abrupt economic or fiscal deterioration would put into question the government’s ability to place the debt burden on a downward trajectory by fiscal year 2015-16.”
    Phew !! Sounds like gobbledygook for “rocks and icebergs ahead”.

  41. ‘“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.’

    Not true. In 2004 Ken was the official Labour candidate.He ran – and won – as an independent in 2000.

  42. I agree with Jimjam

    LDs had about 20 seats in 1992 when they were on 18% of the vote.

    In 2015 I expect them to have a similar number with a slightly smaller HoC and 14/15% of the vote.

  43. It will also be very difficult for the tories to get more than 280/600 seats in 2015 even if they add 2% to their 2010 result but I expect them to be at least narrowly the largest party.

  44. @Colin

    This wouldn’t be the same Moodys who gave Lehman Brothers a Triple A credit rating in 2008 shortly before they collapsed and precipitated the banking crash, would it? lol

  45. I bet if YG asked a question about the ratings agencies, there’d be as many ‘don’t knows’ as there is for QE.

    I don’t think the public got very excited about it, when GO was banging on about having saved the UK’s AAA rating; & I’d don’t think they’d care much, if we lost it. They’d more likely be angry with the ratings agencies than the government. And rightly so, IMO.

    A ‘credit card’ type analogy would work just fine. Britain has always paid its debts & always will but the rating agencies, who didn’t even see the crash coming, have had the barefaced cheek to downgrade us! Job done for the government.

    A downgrade – unless it was a huge drop – wouldn’t shift polling by so much as a single point, IMO.

  46. CROSSBAT11

    Didn’t know that -thanks.

    Clearly-if UK loses AAA that would be a big deal.

    Politically GO has invested a lot in it.

    Financially it excludes us from sovereign debt buyers whose mandate is restricted to AAA-our low interest rate period might be at an end.

    For the moment, Steph Flanders’ opinion is that UK inflation falling from 4.2% to 3.6% ( RPI 4.8% to 3.9% )
    is much bigger news because it impacts on UK citizens-and in a good way.

    It is good to see all those BoE predictions of falling inflation coming true after their previous disastrous efforts at forecasting inflation.

    These are big & rapid falls .They have the potential to boost consumer confidence a little.

  47. One nice thing about the tables for the London poll this month is that YouGov have added a split between Inner and Outer London. Ken is widely held to have lost last time because he did not do well enough in Outer London. Given 70% of the voters are there, you’d have thought that was pretty obvious in any London election, but the commentariat always seemed shocked that life exists outside the more fashionable N postal districts (“You mean Croydon is in London? And they allow the people there to vote???”).

    Ken launched his campaign is Croydon this time and Boris has set up a £50 million fund for improvements in the Outer (non-Labour) Boroughs, so this is clearly the battleground. As you might expect Boris leads in Outer, but not by as much as you might think (38%-34%) and Ken’s grip on Inner is also less secure (41%-35%).

    Interestingly the proportion of DKs in Outer is higher on the mayoral race (though not for Westminster) so that might help Boris if they go the usual way or show that Ken also has potential there.


    I’ve been trying to compare the Inner/Outer split with the results from last time. Which definition of ‘Inner London’ did you use? The usual one is effectively the old LCC (Camden, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith, Islington, K & C, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth and Westminster) plus City of London. But some people add in Haringey and/or Newham or take out Greenwich and/or Lewisham.

  48. Just when they thought he had gone away…… afraid; be very afraid


    “Tony Blair has told Labour MPs at a private meeting that the party must stick to the centre ground and build closer relations with business if it is to win the next election.
    Almost five years after stepping down as prime minister, last week’s meeting with MPs is a sign that Mr Blair is ready to re-engage in domestic British politics and to deploy his experience in helping Labour return to power.

    But Mr Blair’s audience with seven Labour MPs at his Grosvenor Square headquarters is likely to be seen by some as an attempt to steer Ed Miliband on to New Labour territory and away from his crusade against “predatory” capitalism and City excess.”


  49. @Jim Jam – “… with no Governemnt at stake many (perhaps most) Lab supporters in LD/Con marginals would vote Lab.”

    The Ashcroft polling of Con/LD marginals showed a bare VI with Con ahead of Labour, and LD in third place. When the “thinking about your constituency” question was asked, the order reverted to Con/LD/Labour.

    If current voting trend persists, it may take an election or two for the tactical position to unwind… but a high profile by election or local poll could accerlerate the process. A lot depends on the degree to which Labour prioritises this type of seat though.

  50. Crossbat,

    I assume you read my post with the same close attention to detail you reserved for the Moody’s report? ie not much, or none at all….!

    Of course I wasn’t suggesting that it is a “good thing” to be moved to negative outlook, and was not spinning in the slightest that it was….merely clarifying the reasons expressed for the change to ‘negative outlook’. The report really is an interesting read (not just for the Uk but all the countries involved) with much of the focus on downward debt trajectories and fiscal consolidation, as well as EZ economic and banking difficulties. It certainly makes no suggestion that stronger growth achieved through loosening fiscal policy would be welcome, and it affords Balls little succour in demonstrating that his ‘plan’ would have been better, in the eyes of Moody’s, FWTW. On the measures Moody’s use it would have almost certainly been worse. I suspect that’s why he has on the whole been pretty selective in his comments on it……

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