ComRes have released a new poll on the London mayoral elections, conducted for the Evening Standard, LBC and ITN. Topline voting intention figures, with changes from their last poll in January, are JOHNSON 46%(+2), LIVINGSTONE 41%(-5), PADDICK 6%(+1), JONES 4%(+1).

With second preferences reallocated, Boris leads Ken by 50% to 46%. Last month ComRes has Ken leading by 2 points, 51% to 49% (I’m not sure why this month’s figures don’t add to 100%, but I’m sure it will become clear once the tables arrive).

The Evening Standard has now corrected the story, saying “An earlier version of this story carried on the Standard’s website contained some inaccurate figures supplied by ComRes. Those errors have now been corrected.” I’m not exactly sure what went on there, but the reported second round figures are now Boris 53%, Ken 47%.

The poll shows a lower Boris lead than the last YouGov poll, but both companies are showing Boris establishing a lead over Ken having previously been neck-and-neck.

UPDATE: The full tabs for the ComRes poll are now up here. They include one of my favourite questions, which Ipsos MORI orginally wrote, asking if people like both the Conservative party and Boris, just the Conservatives, just Boris or neither of them (and the same for Ken) and it underlines the fact that Boris is outperforming his party while Ken is a drag on his.

57% of Londoners say they like Boris Johnson, compared to just 36% who say they like the Conservative party – meaning Boris is outperforming his party by 21 points. Compare this to Ken: only 41% of Londoners like Ken, compared to 44% who like the Labour party, so he is underperforming his party by 3 points.

95% of people who say they are voting for Boris like him, with just 4% who say they dislike him but like the party. For Ken 83% of his voters actually like him, with 14% saying they don’t like him but like the Labour party.


189 Responses to “UPDATE: ComRes give Boris SIX point lead”

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  1. It’s an interesting effect. A good part of the reason is the massive onslaught from the Standard.

    Of course, looking at the figures, two things come to mind:

    1) Lib Dem voters prefer Ken to Boris by a margin of 13 points. It is therefore in Ken – and Labour’s interest – that the Lib Dem vote holds up. One of the paradoxes of the coalition is that this is the case in other parts of the country too.

    2) London is no heavily leaning to Labour. Alll it really takes for Ken to win is to gain around 85% of Labour votes. Ken has an interest in re-Labourising himself – ironically, this is against the received wisdom in Mayoral elections.

  2. Probably something to do with Ken’s appearance at the Finsbury Park mosque. He’s going for the Muslim vote, but that might alienate a lot of other people

  3. Two responses to David.

    1) The ‘muslim/ken’ thing is what the Standard/Gilligan et al have been pushing precisely because it doesn’t help him. What has been depressing is the Lyton Crosby/Boris campaign hasn’t bothered at all with policy – it’s been dog-whistle stuff about muslims, Ken being an anti-semite (he isn’t) etc. etc.

    2) Having said that, one thing Galloway proved in Bradford is that the muslim community can be admirably committed to turing out and voting – they clearly have a better sense of civic duty than many other people. So, one side-effect of the Tories’ strategy to associate Ken with muslims is that it could backfire badly on them.

  4. I think this is very interesting. London is a heavily Labour area, for Ken to only have 41% of first preferences must be disappointing for them. Is there any further analysis on why this figure is so low for Labour? Also what is surprising is that during Labour’s height of unpopularity Boris only managed to score 42%, now after 2 years of unpopular Conservative goverment, Boris’s first preference vote has gone up to 46% in this poll? Could it be many of the scare stories Labour implemented last time, becoming useless now that Boris is the incumbant?

    After reading most Lib Dem supporters are giving their 2nd vote to Ken instead of Boris, Mike said, it is making me question my decision to award them my 1st preference. I want 2 votes (vote counted twice if your pro-av) but can’t really find anyone suitable to give the 1st vote too, other than Boris.

  5. Is it me, or did the news item appear on the Evening Standard site as a 404 and then completely disappear?

    They are probably waiting on Lynton Crosby and the rest of the Back Boris team to get back with copy approval. Couple of ‘muslamic’ stuff in there, maybe a photo of Ken drowning a kitten.

    You know, typical Standard balanced reporting.

  6. Given the pasting that Ken is taking from Labour supporters on the Guardian website I’m not surprised he’s behind. I think on the whole Bank Holiday polls tend to over-state Labour support so Boris’ lead may be greater. When is the next poll I wonder?

  7. @Mike

    Can you really blame one newspaper, when the entire media apart from the Guardian and Mirror backed Cameron, and attacked Brown he was unable to get above 36% even when Labour was highly unpopular?

    If all that couldn’t get a Tory win, how can one paper on its own, during an unpopular Tory led government get them to 46%, when all the papers combined couldn’t get them above 36% during the good times?

    @Nbeale

    True, but these guardian readers giving ken a pasting, they may dislike him and be angry at him, but they will probably return to him for the election, they’re just venting their anger at the moment, they probably will vote Ken in May, even as a 2nd choice, so probably Ken’s vote will go up :/

  8. The problem for Ken, is that even some lukewarm Labour supporters prefer Boris.

    Ken is seen as a creature from the past and it would probably have been better for Labour to have chosen another candidate.

  9. I’m surprised Ken’s behind. But he ain’t done yet.

  10. Apparently the London mayoral vote is a national election. ITN do a poll for the whole country to see. Sky has the candidates debate in prime time for the whole country. The national media keep droning on about it.

    So where is my vote? I don’t live in London.

    Oh I forgot in reality its a local election for a small proportion of the population of the UK. Those local elections get indifference because they are local, and this is no different.

    So frankly my dear I don’t give a damn how many polls they do about it, I’m less interested than I am than even in the US or French presidential elections, at least they will affect us more.

    London – yawn!

  11. Of course, if Ken’s campaign has any sense, they’ll look at the polls and do the sensible thing:

    1) Galvanise the anti-NHS bill campaigners (plenty of whom were not natural Labour supporters e.g. senior doctors, Lib Dems etc.) to use May campaign to ‘kick Lansley’.

    2) Persuade anti-Osborne voters upset about the numerous aspects of the budget that won widespread unpopularity to use May to ‘kick Osborne.

  12. R Huckle,I have no knowledge of the selection process,
    but I must say that I wonder why he was chosen this time
    round.

  13. Interesting – so much is about turnout.

    t’s all about turnout: ComRes today has Ken ahead 60%-40% in inner London, Boris ahead by exactly the same margin in outer London (60-40).

    On this basis, there is a simple conclusion – outer Londoners – if you can call Bromley that – are more likely to vote.

    In zone 1-5 London, as usual, it’s about Labour/Lib Dems mobilising their vote.

  14. @Jon

    Actually whoever we elect Mayor will be representing the whole of the UK at the Olympic opening and closing ceremonies. So there is a slight reason to be interested ;)

    Also it will be a test of Miliband’s leadership, you watch. If Labour don’t win one of their strongest regions during a period of unpopular tory led government, questions will no doubt be asked.

    So far Labour has lost Scotland to the SNP, lost Bradford West to Respect, and could be about to lose London to the Tories again.

    Now the polls show Labour with a 10 point lead, but I hope you will forgive me for thinking that Labour is not in a happy place right now given the circumstances. It is after all a bit of a hollow victory if your 10 points ahead in the polls but seemingly unable to win anything.

  15. …The other thing that Boris must be pleased about is there are only two right-leaning candidates:

    Boris plus the UKIP-with-an-inexplicably-random-name-probably-because-they-are-ashamed-candidateversus 4 left-leaning ones:

    Siobhan, Ken, Paddick and Jenny.

    BNP are hard to categorise.

  16. @MIKE HARTLEY
    It is plain that you are well “into” a favourite Labour posters pastime. You deride the Standard for being anti – Ken and even suggest this is helping Johnson. Like many another before you, there is no consideration of the drivel printed in left wing newspapers about Tory motives and Tory politicians. Kindly drop the bitching, selective “journalism”
    is part of life.

  17. Mike Hartley

    Tables aren’t up yet so it’s difficult to tell what ComRes do, but I think that there are also many more voters in Outer rather than Inner London. Admittedly it also depends on how you define the Inner/Outer split.

  18. jon
    I should take your provincial attitude and write to the Huddesfield Examiner, or Dorchester Chronicle with it.
    London, whether you like it or not, is politically, socially and economically, massively important.

  19. ROLY1 – but that is because it simply isn’t true. No objective person would think so. Who supports Ken actively in the same relentless way the Standard or Telegraph does Boris? No-one.

    The only two left-leaning papers have amongst the smallest circulations, and only the Mirror is positive.

    The Guardian in 2010 supported the Lib Dems, and inthe Mayoral election came out as supporting neither Boris nor Ken last week.

    It’s not warped to say that, it is stating the fact.

    There is a scarily Tea Party-esque element about now that believes that even right-leaning and very right-wing papers and media are somehow ‘liberal’.

  20. I’m not surprised Boris is in the lead, Ken is nothing but an old grumpy cheap opportunist attacking his opponents even if they so much as sneeze.

    I’m no Tory but if I were living in London then Boris would get my vote any day. He has charisma, personality and is likable..qualifications Ken does not have..

    When I think of Boris I see the Olympics, when I think of Ken I see Bendy buses without wheels…It’s all about perception!! ;)

  21. I take a slightly different view…if Boris holds onto London despite the unpopularity of the Government, that’d be a reflection upon Boris rather than Ed M.

    But if Ken takes the Mayorship it will an unmitigated disaster for the Tories.

  22. ALLAN – two quick things:

    1) Ken won the Olympics, not Boris. It was awarded in 2005.

    2) Bendy buses weren’t unpopular. The Evening Standard didn’t like them, but anyone using them appreciated a bus large enough that they could get on it in the mornings.

    Unfortunately no-one polled the latter. Boris wouldn’t have dared.

  23. @MIKE HARTLEY
    Which confirms my long term view that Ken is a busted flush. However, just because you agree with the Mirror, Guardian and Indie, regarding for example, the recent budget, Cameron and Europe, the ultimate sin of being born into money and going to Eton, ect ect ect, it does not make these organs views correct or truthful. That they sell fewer newspapers also holds a message. Never fear, the Times and the Currant Bun are nearly back onside, its Rupe’s Revenge. At least it will stop the boring left wing diatribes against the Murdoch Empire.

  24. Quite a big movement to Boris on all fronts it seems-even in Ken’s inner city.

    I like that 50/50 to 60/40 effect of the anglo saxon usage in the lift. It indicates how Boris’s character can appeal strongly.

  25. Mike Hartley

    ALLAN – two quick things:

    1) Ken won the Olympics, not Boris. It was awarded in 2005.

    2) Bendy buses weren’t unpopular. The Evening Standard didn’t like them, but anyone using them appreciated a bus large enough that they could get on it in the mornings.
    ______________

    As I said it’s all about perception and Ken just doesn’t cut it with many people.

  26. @NICK P
    Nick please give us a break from this ridiculous Labour Party Line. I, terrible old Tory that I am, gave the government a huge kicking on this site after the budget. How can you claim Miliband will have nothing to answer for WHEN Johnson is re-elected ? Gorgeousness Personified in Labour heartland, London staying Tory, you can lock your 10 point lead in the garden shed, these are real votes at real elections.

  27. Also, I’ve noticed a distinct lack of election material being sent out by the candidates. Last year I got at least 2 from every candidate, many candidates sent more.

    Alas, so far all I have received is 2 leaflets from Boris (they were the same leaflet just sent a few weeks apart.) Nothing from Ken. my nan, also able to vote, has received 1 from ken, and the same 1 from Boris. maybe we are forgotten as not really in London.

  28. “But if Ken takes the Mayorship it will an unmitigated disaster for the Tories.”

    Labour winning one of their safest regions now counts as an unmitigated disaster for the Tories? Is that really how far Labour has fallen, that winning their once safe London is seen as a huge success? The poll numbers are all in your favour, but when it comes to an actual election, you are unable to win anything.

    “1) Ken won the Olympics, not Boris. It was awarded in 2005.” He was mayor when we one the bid, but that wasn’t down to him. What the OP was referring to was Boris’s standout performance at the closing Olympics ceremony, and his speech afterwards.

    “Bendy buses weren’t unpopular.” Try telling that to all the people involved in the accidents. Whether they were popular or not at the time, the fact is that they were unsafe, and that is their lasting perception, and Boris got rid of them.

  29. An extended campaign of lies and vilification from the media is effective during election campaigns.

    What have we really learnt about their policies? Nothing much, because the media isn’t interested in them.

    We have learnt that the Evening Standard wants to smear Livingstone and leave Johnson alone.

    It would be interesting to see how democracy works without one side or the other ( I really just mean one side) having a megaphone blaring lies all day every day.

    But it is an idle utopian dream to expect any honesty or decency from our media or to have fair elections decided on policy.

  30. I’m still predicting a Ken victory. Might be closer than I thought though…

  31. London includes all those leafy outerLondon boroughs, Max. never been safe territory for Labour.

  32. @Mikems

    Yes indeed

    “It would be interesting to see how democracy works without one side or the other ( I really just mean one side) having a megaphone blaring lies all day every day.
    But it is an idle utopian dream”

    It’s not like Labour has any newspapers supporting it, such as the Mirror or Guardian (Independent, despite the name also seems quite lefty)

    I don’t understand how anyone can logically blame the media. Every newspaper apart from the mirror was against Gordon Brown, even the guardian said it couldnt back him and instead went Lib Dem. Alas, the Conservatives only managed 36% nationwide, despite this media backing.

    Now in London, a typically labour area, a Conservative is on 46%, and somehow that is solely down to the Evening Standard and nothing else?

  33. Roland

    Once again you are courageously choosing to fight on ground that is completely unwinnable. Whether you like it or not the bias in the national press in completely against Labour. I’m sure if it were the other way round you’d be screaming blue murder – as indeed you were when the Government came under some fire after the budget. Now imagine how you’d feel after five years of that rather than a couple of weeks.

    But in any case the real problem here for democracy is that there is only one regional paper in London and that is extremely partisan one way in the mayoral election and biased against one particular candidate. In some ways the situation is worse than in 2008, because the Evening Standard is now a free paper and so has an even higher readership. (For what it’s worth I also think it’s a better paper as well, no doubt due to Lebedev’s investment).

    It doesn’t matter what your politics are; when the Mayor (among others) is consulted on who the editor of the ES should be, it doesn’t feel right. The London Press should be able to criticise London’s Mayor, but it all seems too chummy at the moment – Sarah Sands is old friend of Boris’s and indeed ex-boss.

    For what it’s worth I think Boris gets too easy a ride off the media in general, partly because he is seen as popular, but mainly because he is one of their own. For example if when Ken was Mayor he had been getting £250,000 a year to write a weekly column for some trade union paper, there would be cries of the Mayor being in their pocket (and rightly so). But it seems OK for the Boris to do the same for the Telegraph group.

  34. Max King of the Fantastic County of Kent

    “But if Ken takes the Mayorship it will an unmitigated disaster for the Tories.”

    Labour winning one of their safest regions now counts as an unmitigated disaster for the Tories? Is that really how far Labour has fallen, that winning their once safe London is seen as a huge success? The poll numbers are all in your favour, but when it comes to an actual election, you are unable to win anything.
    ________

    Labour even tried to make out Bradford West was a disaster for the Tories even though it was Labour who lost the seat. They will do the same in Scotland if the SNP fail to win outright control of Glasgow, a city Labour have held even before Wilma Flintstone was pregnant …”SNP flops” etc etc!!

    Labour always try to act like the underdogs so if they fail then it’s business as usual and nothing said but if they win then everyone else is a flop!!!

  35. Surely if Ken is behind in the polls he IS the underdog?

  36. 1200 odd people polled ?
    Seriously, how scientific is that ?
    These Mayoral Polls seem to come around just a tad too few and far between to warrant the same sort of meaningful conjecture given to the national opinion polls.

  37. nickp

    London includes all those leafy outerLondon boroughs, Max. never been safe territory for Labour.
    _____

    Oh don’t tell me, first it was leafs on the lines which buggered up the trains now it’s Labour activists slipping on the pavement leafs !!..oh dear excuses excuses.. ;)

  38. @Allan

    I think you may be right. It was interesting yesterday watching the 92 election, how Labour had been expecting to get a majority, but actually ended up losing and the Tories managing to get their 4th majority in a row, and Labour were painting it as a disaster for the Tories because this win wasn’t a landslide like the last 2.

    I fear for Hussein Bolt in the London Olympics, if he wins but fails to break the world record again, Labour may try and take his medal off him.

  39. @ Max

    “…….seemingly unable to win anything”

    In this parliament, since Ed M became leader btw, Labour have won:

    5 of the 7 by-elections; i.e.

    Oldham East and Saddleworth
    Barnsley Central
    Leicester South
    Inverclyde
    Feltham and Heston

    Prior to Bradford West the only other by-election has been Belfast West, which lets face it no national party has any chance of winning for what I would hope would be obvious reasons.

    Labour also won the English Local Elections of 2011, gaining the most seats, councils and Vote share.

    In this parliament, they have lost the Bradford West by-election and the Scottish parliamentary elections. Inneither of these elections can any other national party take any joy – having straggled very poorly behind Labour.

    I think the Tories have not actually WON an ‘election night’ since July 2009 – the Norwich North by-election.

    Do correct me if I’m wrong.

    [snip]

  40. allan

    What you and I say to each won’t have any effect on the result. I think either Boris or Ken will win. If it’s Ken that would be bad for the Tories. ESPECIALLY if Labour makes big gains round the country.

    If it is Boris, I don’t think it will change much for Ed M UNLESS the other results on May 3 are unspectacular.

  41. nickp

    Surely if Ken is behind in the polls he IS the underdog?
    ___________

    Is it not Labour who are in the lead in the polls nationally? If Ken fails to win then it’s an even bigger disaster for Milliband. First he was swept aside in Scotland wining only 15 FPTP seats to the SNP’s 53 then loses Bradford West to a former Big Brother cat man and is on the brink of being humiliated in the local elections in Scotland..all this despite his commanding lead in the poll?? Come on everyone else have to be the under dogs..Yeah!!

  42. @ROGER MEXICO
    Message to K Livingstone – Tough
    Message to you, my courage and ability to win don’t matter, it is the Tory candidates ability to win which concerns me. On that basis I have won.

  43. I still maintain that it was probably a mistake for Labour to go with Ken again, a beaten incumbent up against the one who beat him. It’s not one big safe labour seat, especially with the problems represented by Respect.

    Labour not getting their vote out/losing votes to Conservatives because they picked the wrong candidate? It’s happened before and will happen again.

  44. @Nickp

    ” I think either Boris or Ken will win.”

    Really? That is some deep political insight there.

    “If it’s Ken that would be bad for the Tories. ESPECIALLY if Labour makes big gains round the country.”

    The word you should have put in caps was IF, in the last local elections I believe Labour were 8 ahead nationally, you still lost the local elections despite making gains.

    “If it is Boris, I don’t think it will change much for Ed M”
    Because Labour losing twice in a row in their former stronghold, this time under a popular tory goverment, isn’t anything to be concerned about.

    Despite Labour’s 10 point lead in the polls nationally, (and we all know polls can be very wrong, and even if correct, support very soft) they didn’t win the Scottish elections, they can’t seem to win in London, they lost in Bradford, where exactly can Labour win?

  45. It doesn’t reall matter who is the underdaog. Everybody expected Lab to hold Bradford W and now you all expect Ken to hold the mayorship in London.

    If Ken wins and Lab make nationwide gains, it’ll be a good night for them. Scotland will be interesting.

    If Boris wins, but Lab make gains all round then it would be SELF-EVIDENTLY a local result. Only if Lab disappoint all over will the polling be proved wrong.

    It seems to me Con are trying to load a lot of importance on Boris winning, cos they think he will…but I think that’s a dangerous game, cos Ken is more than capable of turning it round.

    You cab’t have it both ways…if Boris winning would be a disaster for Lab (which I don’t believe) …why on earth would Ken winning not be bad news for Con?

  46. @ronnie
    What an impressive list of by election victories for Labour.
    All very marginal or ultra safe Tory seats. As for the council election results, top hole. A splendid performance based on their previous very strong performance in these elections. An excellent post.

  47. Max King of the Fantastic County of Kent

    I fear for Hussein Bolt in the London Olympics, if he wins but fails to break the world record again, Labour may try and take his medal off him.
    _____

    LOL :)

  48. Someone told me over the weekend that Boris was the kind of person who rescues people from being mugged, whereas Ken gets drunk and throws his pregnant girlfriend down the stairs… this is the garbled gutter campaign of lies which Ken is having to contend with.

  49. Tables for the ES poll are now up:

    http://www.comres.co.uk/polls/London_poll_10th_Apr12_Data_tables.pdf

    On-line survey with sample of 1003 – fieldwork is 2 -5 April (you’d have thought they’d had time to get their figures right first time ;) ). Interestingly Boris and Ken are much closer after weighting than before (weighted 375-336; u/w 431-283) which may be bad news for Ken if voting is less determined by usual social or political factors than usual – as may be the case in a personality driven contest.

  50. nickp

    allan

    What you and I say to each won’t have any effect on the result. I think either Boris or Ken will win. If it’s Ken that would be bad for the Tories. ESPECIALLY if Labour makes big gains round the country.

    If it is Boris, I don’t think it will change much for Ed M UNLESS the other results on May 3 are unspectacular
    ___________

    But that’s the point I’m trying to make about Labour, if anyone else loses then it’s a disaster for them but if Labour lose then it’s no big deal!! How can this be when Ed is so far in the polls nationally and has been campaigning with Red Ken.?

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