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. Also, I do object to the assertion I’m some dyed-in-the-wool Labour supporter come rain or shine. I’m an ex-Liberal Democrat…

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  2. ‘Because that was 12 years ago, and he hadn’t made so many mistakes then. He’s had a whole decade since then of cosying up to Islamic extremists, and making antisemetic and homophobic comments that has put people off.’

    On the other hand, I would suggest Ken has less of a’loony left’ image today than he had in the 1980s when running the GLC..Similarly, his willingness to take an independent line on Northern Ireland by talking to Sinn Fein long predates his election and did not seem to harm him.

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  3. Graham

    Because he’s been the most successful public administator in London. Mrs T had to abolish the GLC in 1986, because Ken kept winning (leader fron 1981-86). He then became a very popular MP for Brent East, veru.close to where I lived. And then in 2000 won the Mayoralty as an Independent. He improved London greatly between 2000-08.

    To say he’s unpopular, as some has defies logic. He is effectively goong up for a similar office he has held 4 times, the first over 30 years ago. That he is still polling 41% and just 5% behind at this stage is simply.extraordinary. He has no peer in modern regional politics.

    Let’s see where the cards fall on May 3rd. But whatever happens, Ken’s record will.be difficult to beat.

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  4. @Graham,

    “On the other hand, I would suggest Ken has less of a’loony left’ image today than he had in the 1980s when running the GLC..Similarly, his willingness to take an independent line on Northern Ireland by talking to Sinn Fein long predates his election and did not seem to harm him.”
    _______
    it’s not about left wing or far left, you can still be communist and be likeable. Ken is just not likeable anymore, after his long history of comments.

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  5. “To say he’s unpopular, as some has defies logic. He is effectively goong up for a similar office he has held 4 times, the first over 30 years ago. That he is still polling 41% and just 5% behind at this stage is simply.extraordinary. He has no peer in modern regional politics.”

    How many of that 41% are just voting Labour? Also why is there a large chunk of Labour saying they would rather vote Boris, and an even larger chunk saying they will just stay at home, if Ken is so popular.

    Yes he’s been in politics a long time, but to say he’s unpopular right now, is an understatement. Also surely the fact he’s polling miles behind his party in London overall, is yet further evidence of his unpopularity.

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  6. RAF
    ‘Because he’s been the most successful public administator in London. Mrs T had to abolish the GLC in 1986, because Ken kept winning (leader fron 1981-86). ‘
    Ken never actually won a GLC election though – only becoming leader after Labour’s quite narrow win in 1981.

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  7. @NickP
    “I like Ken, always have.”

    Another fan here. Shame I don’t have a vote this time as I no longer live there. A memento I treasure is a badge from the GLC’s farewell party which says ‘GLC, we will meet again’.

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  8. Joe

    Tory 2005-2010: Best 31 point lead -> reality 7 point lead
    Lab 1992-1997 Best 40 point lead -> reality 12 point lead
    Lab 1987-1992 Best 26 point lead -> reality loss
    Lab 1983-1987 Best 16 point lead -> reality big big loss

    I see my suggestion that we look at polling figures in context of the particular historical scenarios fell on deaf ears then.

    Your numbers are correct, but there are several points that need to be addressed before one could even begin to think about drawing conclusions from them.

    We’ll ignore the cardinal sin of assuming that outliers in a very small sample really ARE outliers, and that the few remaining, apparently consistent data points are truly representative. We’ll ignore the fact that the assumption of a Govt rebound in the run-up to a GE is a given, and is not something that capricious fate can whisk away through Macmillan-esque “events” ( Winter of Discontent anyone?). There are still big problems with your analysis.

    The biggest point, of course is that not one of those inter-GE high spots that you quote occurred within 2 years of the previous GE (ie, the timescale that we are currently in). So I’m a bit confused as to what you are claiming for those numbers. Are you saying that because Labour are not CURRENTLY 15-20% ahead of the Tories, history shows that they won’t be the largest party in 15?

    I’d suggest that a quick look at the situation 23 months after the previous GEs might be instructive. The polling lead for the Opposition was typically:
    83-85: -4%
    87-89: 0%
    92-94: +16% (wildly fluctuating between +10 – +30 which casts doubts on the accuracy of the polls)
    05-07: +7%

    So, we’re I simplistic enough to assume that we could draw a prediction from the point 24-36 months ahead of a subsequent GE, I’d suggest that the erosion in the Opposition’s position might be somewhere in the range 0-8%. Which ought to set Tory sphincters a-trembling.

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  9. It is naive in the extreme to assume that a defeat for Ken would not be a disaster for Labour. It would dominate the headlines and probably negate any progress elsewhere on the night. Ken has lost his appeal – a maverick in 2000, a respected voice in 2004 – he was washed out by 2008. A catastrophic choice by London Labour. I suspect Oona King would be beating Boris by now. She would appear new and reasoned against a fading, ridiculous showman.

    By 2015 who knows. i suspect labour lead to grow by default over next 18 months as UKIP eat up disgruntled Tories. By 2015 I can’t see Tories getting more than 38% – unless some economic miracle happens and I can’t see Labour getting more than 42 – or less than 36 unless some disaster befalls.

    All to play for. best result for Cameron would be biggest party again – just short of Om and best for Ed a small majority. I would guess most likely result is Labour as biggest party falling inches short but could be miles out.

    I would suggest any result which puts Labour ahead of Tories in number of seats would be a success for Ed and failure for David. And vice versa – I can’t see both surviving after next GE

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  10. @Top Hat

    I wouldn’t worry, I get it all the time. I’m also a former LD. Funnily.enough.I’m currently homeless politically. Will and voting:

    Ken for Mayor

    Green (big issues locally) in the List; and

    Undecided in the Constituency election. The local LD has made all the running here (2 flyers and a visit) and is prowling Bromley town centre to.hoover up as many Labour switchers as possible to oust the Tories. He’s directly asking for tactical votes.

    I did promise to myself I would never vote LD again while NC remains leader and the LDs remain in coalition with the Tories. Howevet, I.would be willing to give this guy a try if I could get a cast iron guarantee to Cons and LDs would.not co-operate on the Assembly.

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  11. @Max;

    At a guess I’d say it’s because people who happen to be leftwing are not one giant homogeneous group with only single opinion, and that those saying “the only poll that matters is the one on the day” are very different from the leftwingers commenting here on this site now. Simple, surely?

    @Raf;

    My constituency is bluer than blue, rarely for a Welsh constituency… Thankfully, my university constituency (assuming I meet the grades) is a rather pleasing shade of red.

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  12. MAX KING OF THE FANTASTIC COUNTY OF KENT
    @Lefty

    If you don’t understand that these practices are the normal spin conducted by every party, then I would respectfully suggest that, while you may be chronologically older than Top Hat, you are considerably less politically mature than him.

    Alternatively, your post was simply silly partisan posting. I don’t come on this site to read such stuff.

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  13. COLIN.
    Thank you.
    I got the date wrong, saying it was 1973. It was 1981.

    GRAHAM.
    1969 Devlin victory:
    The Unionists split their vote.

    The Nationalists and Republicans put up one candidate.

    As with Galloway, Bernadette capitalised on anger from a minority community: lack of equality on voting, housing and jobs.

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  14. TOP HAT

    Actually, it matters little what colour the constituency you live in happens to be. With a few exceptions, the service you get from your MP/AM (or rather from their staff, who do most of the work) will be same regardless of the party label.

    All that matters is the number of Members from each party elected to the Parliament/Assembly, as that determines who holds the reins of power.

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  15. @Oldnat

    Every party spins that is true, but I do genuinely admire the Labour spin machine. I would love to have such creativity. Even when they suffer a humiliating loss, they can shameless try and spin it to be a big victory, whereas other parties do eventually come to a point where they run out of ideas and simply have to accept “yeah we got beat”

    Also, me and Tophat aren’t in a “Who can be popular with the left contest” I’m sure he’d win by a mile.

    “Alternatively, your post was simply silly partisan posting. I don’t come on this site to read such stuff.”

    Which post would that be pet? I clearly stated in the one about polls and spinning, that I wasn’t trying to be partisan, I was trying to get the Labour view on the subject, which I have now.

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  16. @Old Nat;

    I know, I know! I did my work experience with a Conservative MP, I’m aware MPs of all colours put in their bit. I just derive some small satisfaction from knowing my MP would happen to agree with me.

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  17. I agree with Top Hat. I want to live in a constituency where the MP is my colour etc. One thing about my Uni that I dislike is that it’s in a Labour seat. (and it shows) I much prefer being in the safe Conservative bosom that is the Fantastic County of Kent :)

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  18. Max

    ” I clearly stated in the one about polls and spinning, that I wasn’t trying to be partisan” I rather suspect that you know very well that making such a statement is itself “spin”.

    I agree that you don’t spin very creatively – so better not to try.

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  19. Top Hat

    ” I just derive some small satisfaction from knowing my MP would happen to agree with me.”

    And exactly what would your MP actually agree with you on, other than his/her lot should be in power, rather than the other lot? :-)

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  20. CHRISLANE
    ‘1969 Devlin victory:
    The Unionists split their vote.

    The Nationalists and Republicans put up one candidate.’

    Not so – the byelection was a straight fight between Devlin and the widow of the deceased Ulster Unionist. On a poll of 91.5% the result was:
    Devlin, Bernadette (Unity) 33,648
    Forrest, Anna (Unionist Party) 29,437

    Unity majority: 4,211

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  21. @Oldnat

    if you don’t like my comments, please just ignore them. I don’t want to waste my time on someone who thinks that every comment made is some partisan attack in disguise.

    I was interested in their view, which has been explained to me, and that was that.

    I have questions I’d like to ask someone with an SNP perspective, but shall save my breath (ink?) and not bother as you would clearly perceive it as an attack, even though I assure you it wouldn’t be.

    My question, if you do want to answer it, is “What is the SNP’s reasoning for wanting to open up the independence vote to 16 and 17 year olds.”

    Again, the cynical view would be that you were just trying to alter the demographics as the young are more in favour. But I’m sure the party doesn’t say this, and has another reason, can you tell me what this is.

    And if you do want to shout “partisan” please remember, I agree with the SNP on independence and support their overall aim and goal.

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  22. Seeing as it would be Andrew Smith, a fair amount.

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  23. John Harris, who I suggest should be compulsive reading for anyone of a left-leaning persuasion, wrote an excellent piece on mayoral elections in general in the Guardian this morning. He’s of the same view as me; City Mayors are largely symbolic and titular roles, devoid of real political and civic purpose and, accordingly, appeal to people whose egos greatly exceed their abilities. He cites Manchester as a classic example of one of our major cities that has regenerated and transformed itself over the last 15 years without the need for an elected Mayor, thank you very much. They did it with a boring old elected Council and a Leader emerging from the controlling group. It worked for them.

    I particularly liked Harris’s reference to the “narcissistic tedium” of the current London contest and his words of warning about the risks to democracy when two very dangerous factors collide: low and unrepresentative turnouts and powers that can be exercised with surprisingly little scrutiny, let alone checks and balances. He refers to Doncaster as an example of this where, in 2009, they elected Peter Davies of the English Democrats as their Mayor. He won the job with 22% of first preferences on a 36% turnout (that is, 8% of the total electorate). Johnson’s figures were slightly better than this in 2008, but the turnout was only 45% and he got 42% of first preferences. That’s a lot of Londoners who either didn’t want him or couldn’t be bothered either way. I suspect the winner on May 3rd will receive a similarly underwhelming endorsement.

    Harris finished his article with these wise words: –

    ” What the great mayoral delusion really highlights is the modern establishment’s talent for messing with things for the sake of it, with no sense of history, experience, or even clarity about what exactly they want. All that, and dangers that have barely even been talked about.”

    Quite so, John

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  24. I have only a passing interest in the London mayoral elections, and living up here in the lovely north west I find the media’s preoccupation with it does grate.
    I’ve also found some of the postings on this thread to be atypically partisan and deliberately antagonistic. I guess that’s what happens when when the weather’s too bad to spend a bank holiday weekend outside – UKPR turns into Nick Robinson’s blog over at the beeb.
    FWIW, an outsider’s point of view:
    1. spinning and interpreting the result, however it might yet turn out, is not the prerogative of any one side – you’re all doing it
    2. some comparisons between a single local election and national polls are valid, others are wilfully misleading – the situation in London is different, the situation in Bradford is different, etc. It’s interesting to speculate how local results might extrapolate to the national situation and whether predicting GE results from the overall polling figures might be very misleading. It’s not interesting to speculate over which party leader will resign if their mayor loses: none of them will, get over it.
    3. Ken and Boris have both distanced themselves from their national parties when it suits them, and traded on their personalities more than their policies. I get the impression that it’s Ken vs. Boris not Labour vs. Tory, which will allow both national parties to spin the result in whatever manner suits them.
    4. Like most people in the UK, the mayor of London is just not important to me. The loser however, will doubtlessly pop up to entertain me on panel shows over the next few years, so please vote LD or Green or BNP or whoever, and keep the comedians on telly and out of politics.

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  25. “What the great mayoral delusion really highlights is the modern establishment’s talent for messing with things for the sake of it, with no sense of history, experience, or even clarity about what exactly they want. ”

    I agree with this, and you say its from a left wing perspective. Personally, I can’t see why all these cities need Mayors. The London Mayor has very little powers outside of police and transport.

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  26. Max.

    Oh be still my aching sides. But I’ll forgive you. I well remember that the certainties of youth extend to tastes in humour too.

    Anyway, onto matters substantive.

    1) Forgive me for labouring under the mus-apprehension that this was a no -partisan site for discussing polling, when it clearly is a site for political spin.

    2) I’m struggling to pin down which of the facts that I presented you construe as partisan. (Partisan facts. There’s a concept.) They were posted merely to show how one-dimensional it is to claim that a lead of X is required to achieve a GE result of Y.

    In all honesty, I am rather bored with the witless quoting of out-of-context poll figures on here, chosen to highlight a particular political position, with contra-indications, historical context etc conveniently ignored. This place can be and frequently is on a far higher plane than that and I make no apologies for being rather off hand in dismissing those who want to use the “A led to B in certain circumstances in previous parliaments, therefore A will lead to B this time” style arguments, ignoring what lessons can be drawn from causes and effects C to Z.

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  27. @Max

    By the way, I’ve read a lot of comments on this thread, and others, criticising your posts, both in terms of their content and frequency.

    I don’t agree at all. More strength to your keyboard and your championing of all things right wing and Labour-baiting. Rather like sipping a much needed tonic, just when my political juices might be abating, one of your posts comes along and my political beliefs are galvanised once more!

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  28. @AW

    Is there a YG poll tonight?

    Also when will YG be publishing their final London poll?

    Finally, are YG doing any work for the Sky News Mayor Debate on 19 April?

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  29. “I make no apologies for being rather off hand in dismissing those who want to use the “A led to B in certain circumstances in previous parliaments, therefore A will lead to B this time””

    I’ve never said “will” but when you see patterns emerge it is interesting to point them out no? I’m sure we’re all guilty of seeing something favourable for our own parties and wishing to point it out.

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  30. @Crossbat

    I’m glad I get your juices flowing ;)

    And like someone famous once said “I may not agree with your opinion, but I will fight for your right to say it.” I do need to be slightly less partisan though, but similar to you, when I read some people’s posts, it get’s my juices flowing, like my comments get yours flowing, and I must point out the flaws I perceive in their arguments. Also when I see someone being partisan, I do have a tendency to strike back.

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  31. Latest YouGov/The Sun results 10th April CON 36%, LAB 40%, LD 9%; APP -30

    right back to the old polldrums…

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  32. CON 36%, LAB 40%, LD 9%; APP -30

    mmmm :-)

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  33. Raf,

    Yes, TBC and No (or at least, not yet)

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  34. Max

    Reducing the voting age to 16 for all elections and referendums is SNP policy, and has been since 2007. It’s a policy shared by many politicians of other parties too, and something that has already been implemented in the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey within the British Isles. Austria , Brazil, Cuba, Nicaragua also have voting at 16.

    Some countries still have the franchise restricted to those over 21 (as it was in the UK until 1970).

    There’s nothing magical about 16, 18, 21, 30 or any other age.

    The very limited polling evidence does not suggest that lowering the voting age would help the Independence vote, so the cynical view has little to support it.

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  35. Tonight’s YouGov.

    It would appear that our resident guru, the good Rob Sheffield, is being proved right yet again!

    Rob, I salute you!

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  36. @Max
    “Why is it that in the run up to 2010 Labour was constantly saying polls don’t matter, and the only opinion poll that counts is the one on polling day, but now that they are in the lead, opinion polls have become gospel that are the be all and end all of politics.”
    “My question, if you do want to answer it, is “What is the SNP’s reasoning for wanting to open up the independence vote to 16 and 17 year olds.””
    Far be it from me to point out that you’re at the wrong site if you’re looking for someone who thinks that polls are not important.
    But obvious answers to your questions:
    Unpopular people will always dismiss the importance of popularity contests.
    People seeking votes will always want to include voters who support them and exclude those who don’t.
    You pose the question as if Labour and SNP are the villains of the piece, but turning it round:
    “Why did the tories and LDs think polls were important before May 2010 but not now?”
    “Why do the unionists want to exclude voters under the age of 18 who will be affected by the outcome, and who are old enough to marry, to consent to sex, to defend their country in the armed forces, to pay income tax, .. (but not all at the same time!)”

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  37. PEEWEE

    “who are old enough to marry, to consent to sex, to defend their country in the armed forces, to pay income tax, .. (but not all at the same time!)”

    I can think of some former pupils who did all those at the same time! :-)

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  38. Crossbat,

    Partly a fair point re titularity, but given 5m people are entitled to a vote in the election and given that the mayor does have some direct powers over transport, policing, planning, environment, development and culture as well as influence on tourism and local economic factors for example, the mayoral election has as much, if not more impact than 70-odd thousand potential voters exercising their right to democracy in a by-election in ‘Dunny-on-the-Wold’. But come that by-election, there’s no shortage of opinions expressed on a minuscule swing from x party to y party, and the potential national consequences thereof……..

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  39. I’ve waited until the end of this thread to comment on the actual subject of the thread because it is a partisan prediction which flies in the face of the polling.

    I still think Ken can win. This -5/-6 was polled at what I think will be Ken’s lowest point. He can still nick it from Boris, IMO.
    8-)

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