YouGov has published its latest London voting intentions here. For the last few months YouGov have shown Boris and Ken effectively neck-and-neck, these latest figures have Boris opening up a lead.
On first preferences Boris is at 49%, Ken at 41%, Brian Paddick 5% and others 4%. When respondents are asked which of the leading two candidates they would prefer in a forced choice, Boris leads Ken by 54% to 46%.
The last polls were conducted when Ken was making most of the running with pledges on transport fares, and Boris’s campaign could have been kindly described as “masterful inactivity”. Since then Boris launched his own slate of pledges and Ken has faced a rather troubled month of accusations about his personal tax affairs, perhaps explaining the apparent shift towards Boris.
Looking at the other questions there have been some significant drops in perceptions of Ken Livingstone. The proportion of people who think he sticks to what he believes in has dropped to 34% (down 6 points) and the proportion who see him as in touch with ordinary people is down to 32% (down 5 points).
There has also been a shift in how the public perceive the respective records of the two main candidates. Last month 40% of people thought Ken had acheived more than Boris during his time as mayor with 31% thinking Boris had the better record. Boris has now closed that gap, with 36% thinking he has achieved more, compared to Ken’s 34%.
Ultimately though, Ken’s problem remains that he cannot convert Labour’s national support in London into support for him. In London’s Westminster voting intentions Labour have a 12 point lead over the Conservatives, CON 34%, LAB 46%, LDEM 9%. However, only 69% of those Londoners who say they’d vote Labour in a general election say they’d vote for Ken for mayor (10% would vote for Boris, 3% for Paddick, 3% for others, 4% wouldn’t vote and 11% don’t know). In comparison 86% of London Tory voters say they will vote for Boris.
There is also an Ipsos MORI London poll out today for the BBC. BBC producer guidelines essentially prevent them from ever commissioning voting intention questions, so there is a rather obvious gap on that front, but they do have some questions on perceptions of the candidates on issues and qualities. Boris has small leads on crime, the environment and (surprisingly, given other polling has shown Ken ahead) on transport. Ken has a substantial lead on Housing.
On personal qualities Boris has leads on being likeable, being an ambassador for London and getting the best deal for London from the government. Ken leads on grasp of detail, understanding ordinary Londoners and being good in a crisis. The two main candidates are neck-and-neck on making the best use of public money and being trustworthy.
UPDATE: Ipsos MORI have also released their monthly political monitor here. Topline figures are CON 36%(+1), LAB 37%(-4), LDEM 11%(-1), Others 16%(+4).