The Evening Standard have released the lastest YouGov London results. Since we are in the campaign proper, these are now also weighted by people’s likelihood to vote, which will continue right up to the election.

First round voting intention figures now stand at JOHNSON 45%, LIVINGSTONE 40%, PADDICK 7%, WEBB 3%, JONES 2%, BENITA 2%, CORTIGLIA 1%. Once second preferences are re-allocated, this becomes JOHNSON 53%, LIVINGSTONE 47%, a six point lead for Boris. This compares to an eight point lead in the last YouGov poll and a six point lead in the ComRes London poll last week.

YouGov’s previous poll was after the allegations about Livingstone’s tax had been made, but before the only wrangles about the release of tax returns, so that does at least not appear to have done any further damage to him.

The poll also asked about London Assembly voting intention, finding figures of CON 35%, LAB 44%, LDEM 11%, Oth 10% in the constituency vote and CON 35%, LAB 46%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 5%, GRN 3%, BNP 1% in the list vote. There is a five percent threshhold to gain list seats, so if repeated at the actual election this would give UKIP assembly representation but see the Greens lose theirs. Note also the continuing gap between Labour’s performance and Ken’s – in the assembly votes Labour lead by 9 or 11 points, when it comes to the Mayoral vote Ken trails Boris by 5.

UPDATE: Full tabs are now up here

76 Responses to “Boris leads by 6 in latest YouGov/Evening Standard poll”

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  1. Anthony – would love your views on this (and particularly the last question, which is a thorny subject!)

    Looking at this morning’s YouGov poll:
    1) The vast majority of Londoners believe Boris is “Mayor for the rich” (80%).
    2) A slim majority believe they’d be personally financially better off under Ken.
    3) His fares policy is far more popular than it is unpopular.
    4) Ken is seen (marginally) as having achieved more as Mayor than Boris.

    But, nevertheless, Boris is ahead by 6% (!)

    A little bit of me is intrigued whether this has anything to do with it:

    Which, if any, of these groups do you think Ken Livingstone is particularly keen to help? [in order]
    1) Muslims
    2) Black and ethnic minority Londoners
    3) Poor people

    …. does the ‘Muslim’ tag hurt Ken??

  2. I am so glad the tech issues were resolved. Two really useful polls on a Monday! This has really brightened up the start of the working week.

  3. If Ed & the London Labour MPs make a big push to back Ken in the final 2 weeks, maybe he can catch up; 6 points isn’t insurmountable.

  4. My personal view on my question for Andrew is that I think it DOES play badly for Ken in suburbia – one reason why Andrew Gilligan et al bang on about it.

    Bright spots for Ken?

    1) The vast majority of Londoners believe Boris is “Mayor for the rich” (80%).
    2) A slim majority believe they’d be personally financially better off under Ken.
    3) His fares policy is far more popular than it is unpopular.
    4) Ken is seen (marginally) as having achieved more as Mayor than Boris.
    5) The tax row hasn’t damaged him any further- Boris’ lead is down from 8% to 6%
    6)16% of Labour voters are backing Boris. Surely that must be recoverable.
    7) Siobhan Benita is taking 1-2% of the centre-left vote – again, this must be recoverable.

  5. Interestingly all the movement is away from the two big beasts, Johnson is down 4 points, Livingston by 1. The barrage of support for Siobhan Benita in the Press has had a little effect giving her 2%, but she won’t take off from that platform.

    One question which has been much debated is the grounds for voting. Here 74% are saying “I will vote mostly on London issues and which candidate I think will make a better Mayor for London” and that is even stronger among Boris’s (85%) and Ken’s (79%) supporters. However when you ask about the qualities those two candidates actually have, neither scores particularly well, except Boris on ‘charismatic’.

  6. Mike – careful of that first question (and the Ken and the Muslims one).

    The question on which groups Boris favoured only went to those people who said Boris favoured one group over others (and the same for Ken), so it’s 80% of 48% who think Boris favours the rich over other people, so it’s actually 38% of Londoners, not 80%.

  7. Roger – those are the same questions we ask fortnightly about the party leaders’ qualities. Both Boris and Ken poll very well compared to Cameron, Miliband and Clegg.

  8. Thanks Anrew!

    However, is there any polling – or anything in your experience -that says being closely associated with particular minority groups plays badly in the middle-England parts of London (thinking the Bromleys of the world).

    Or is that a stereotype that has no basis in polling evidence?

    I’m just wondering whether this is purely a personality contest, or whether there is something in the fact that you polled those questions?

  9. Too difficult to say –

    It seems likely that if voters think a candidate or party cares about some other group more than themselves then it’s probably a bad thing, particularly if it is a group of people they have a low opinion of, like fatcat bankers, the super rich, benefit scroungers, illegal immigrants, or whatever the Daily Mail’s hate-figure-of-the-day is.

    Whether it is possible to isolate that factor and prove it really makes a difference… no, you can’t.

  10. you have to wonder what the position would be if Labour had picked someone else (I wouldn’t say just anyone else though) – the assembly vote suggests it would be quite different.

  11. I think Ken is the only candidate who had a chance of beating Boris (except maybe Obama). I still think he has every chance.

    The sticks have been flung nad not only is he standing, he is not too far behind.

  12. Mike Hartley,

    London is a very rich city and I would imagine (given the median incomes there) that a lot of Londoners consider themselves rich or expect to be rich at some point in the future.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if a poll in Easterhouse revealed that they mostly thought that both (a) a politician was primarily a politician for the poor and (b) at least 45% of them thought he was a good politician!

  13. @KeithP

    I keep wondering, but I’m not certain of that. The thing is that as the COMRES poll crosstabs showed a few days ago, there’s two sides to the popularity/party coin: Ken’s unpopularity relative to Labour (-3) and Boris’s gaping personal goodwill relative to the Conservative brand (+21!). Further, there’s the complication that that -3 figure for Ken was accounted for in that fact that although 17% of voters were “Labour but not Ken”, there was still a relatively large contingent (14%) who like Ken but *not* Labour, due to his honest, “maverick”, not-an-identikit-politician image. Boris’ lead comes from a similar phenomenon, but it’s more unanimous in his case and allows him to vastly outrun his party.

    Point is, a bland generic Labour politician (and although I like her, Labour’s alternative, Oona King, may well have come across as this to the wider electorate) probably wouldn’t overtly turn off a section of Labour’s core vote in the way Ken seems to have done. However, they would still have had to grapple with Boris’ personal popularity & incumbency, and if seen as more identikit as a figure, would have trouble amassing a personal vote of their own to counter it. In other words, its imaginable that Labour would have been doing at least as well with a different candidate, by virtue of having traded the “Ken but Labour” people for more committed support among Labour’s traditional vote, but would have had less of a pitch for the hearts and minds of those critical few percent of pro-Boris swing voters in the final round. Ken’s statuture and personality do give Labour a chance in this sense, despite his warts, and that’s why he was picked.

  14. If these current polls are right, and I accept that opinion can shift significantly in the 17 days still to go to polling, then Labour is going to have quite a good result in the London Assembly elections, and probably also more generally in the local council elections, but Johnson is going to be re-elected as Mayor. What happens north of the border is still a little uncertain too, but it looks like the party will have much greater representation and political control in swathes of local councils all around the country.

    However, what do you think the big story of the night is likely to be? You guessed it, Johnson’s re-election. Great cover for the Conservatives and a chance to get political momentum from amongst the likely electoral debacle that they will suffer elsewhere. The fact that the tawdry contest is, in meaningful terms, a monumental irrelevance to the people who reside in the good City of London is neither here nor there because the media focus will be on Miliband and Labour’s perceived failure. “If you can’t win London, they’ll ask, how on earth can you win elsewhere?”

    My answer to that predictable question would be to say that the people of London were electing someone on the basis of who amused them more; politics for people who don’t like politics, if you like. When we get to 2015, people can’t afford to mull over such frivolities.

  15. Anthony (or should I call you Andrew?)

    Roger – those are the same questions we ask fortnightly about the party leaders’ qualities. Both Boris and Ken poll very well compared to Cameron, Miliband and Clegg.

    Oh I realise that. It’s just that the Mayoral race is supposed to be about personalities. So the two leading candidates damn well should do better than Party leaders, because that’s what they’re supposed to be about. I mean even Brian Paddick does better than Nick Clegg – and that’s despite 44% saying they don’t know anything about Paddick.

    My point was more that both Ken and Boris should be be doing better in absolute terms than they are at the moment. This may be more a result of negative campaigning from both sides, though even now the response to both is less partisan than it is to Cameron and Miliband. But there doesn’t seem much enthusiasm about the choice.

  16. Roger – I dunno, they are politicians still, and we know the high regard the British public hold politicians in (plus the reluctance many have to accept that those of the opposite political creed don’t eat babies).

    I’d regard the figures as pretty positive for them both!

  17. Anthony, I forgot to say in my last post, do you reckon that party name might have an impact of the UKIP vote, with it so close to the representation line? In the constituencies their candidates are standing as “Fresh Choice for London”, but correct if I’m mistaken, it seems that in YouGove’s poll the 5% were responding specifically to the name “UKIP”. Although the name change was intended to make themselves more appealing and relevant as a local party, I can just as easily see it backfiring, if voters who do intended to vote UKIP don’t realise the change and think there’s no UKIP candidate on their ballot paper. And of course, where they went could conceivably boost another party in the GLA by a point or two- I’d assume the Tories, although the “UKIP voters are non-Tory Tories” assumption is somewhat simplistic.

  18. aw

    I have it on good authority that the Standard is planning to reveal that Ken has been eating babies every week for at least ten years, but they are waiting till just before the actual poll.

  19. @ Roger

    I mean even Brian Paddick does better than Nick Clegg…
    It’s sooo hard not to post a snidey, partisan response when you pitch a soft-ball like that! ;-)

  20. Elliot – I think where they were standing as “Fresh Choice for London” we took the decision to refer to them as “UKIP/Fresh Choice for London”.

    We didn’t want to just use the “Fresh Choice” description in case people looking for UKIP didn’t recognise them (in the actual ballot paper I think they’ll be using their normal UKIP logo, so UKIP supporters will presumably know where to look)

  21. Bit disappointed by the results as I thought Ken would be closer…Boris has been rather quiet and poor in the debates and Ken`s tearjacker has been doing the running…

    There`s definitely one more debate to go,and 2 weeks of campaigning…So Ken can make it closer if he refrains from getting more bad headlines about tax and being associated with one particular community…Infact I think it will get closer if Ken keeps his mouth shut but knowing Ken,that is almost impossible…Also turnout is going to be crucial

  22. I now realize that the vote for the London Assembly is distinct from the mayoral vote, so you can have, say, a Conservative Mayor and a Labour-controlled Assembly. How does this affect the governance of the city? In Italian we used to call it “anatra zoppa” (the lame duck), but this possibility has been eliminated since at least a decade, when the actual system was introduced. In fact, now the various parties have to declare their allegiance to one of the mayoral candidates. So, when the winner is declared, either at first round (if he/she receives 50%+1 votes) or at the runoff, the parties that had supported him/her receive automatically OM of 55% and divide the seats between them proportionally to their scores of the first round. In France and Greece where I vote the things are more straightforward: There are no distinct lists for the parties, the mayoral candidates constitute their own lists (consisting, of course, of members of the party/parties that support them,plus some independents). After the winner is declared (at first round or runoff, as in Italy), his/her list receives majority of 60%, and the remaining 40% is divided proportionally to the other lists. The only difference between Greece and France is that in France the lists are allowed to merge between the two rounds, provided that they have received more than 5%. So if, say, a Green candidate is eliminated at first round with a score higher than 5%,and then wishes to support the socialist candidate for the runoff, their lists can merge in a common allied list, and this list receives the 60% OM.

  23. @

    Boris has been rather quiet


    He does not have to do anything. Just leave it up to Ken to keep putting his foot in his mouth.

    Anyone else and Boris would be toast. Labour really shot themselves in the foot by selecting Ken

    `Anyone else and Boris would be toast. Labour really shot themselves in the foot by selecting Ken`

    To oppose someone of Boris` stature,Labour needed a big personality like Ken…What one din`t expect was for him to be bogged by tax problems…Ken has made it worse for himself by not getting this out of the way weeks ago…Still everyone knows the tax arrangements now and there are two weeks to go with hopefully other issues dominating…The narrowing of the lead shows that this is happening…But as you say Ken`s foot is never far from his mouth

  25. Why do we think the Green vote for the Assembly is so low compared to how it’s been in the past?

  26. Smukesh/John Fletcher/Anthony

    Boris supporter says Boris can only win if he keeps quiet. Ken supporter says Ken can win he stays silent.

    I rest my case, m’lud. :D

    `Boris supporter says Boris can only win if he keeps quiet. Ken supporter says Ken can win he stays silent`

    Boris needs to stay silent because it will avoid attention to his lack of achievement in 4 years

    Ken needs to stay silent on some issues(but won`t) to avoid attention to trust issues(on tax) and closeness to one community

  28. Will tonights YG poll show reduced Tory polling ?

    I have a gut feeling based on some of the recent data, that the Tories may be on or around 30%.

    We will see later.

  29. Green Christian

    Why do we think the Green vote for the Assembly is so low compared to how it’s been in the past?

    It’s difficult to say because there is little polling evidence on the Assembly. The only one from YouGov was just before the 1 May 2008 election (f/w 28-30 April):

    This gave Party percentages as follows. I’ve also shown the actual percentage vote for Constituency and London-wide in brackets after (not sure which YouGov asked or if it was specific)

    Conservative 40 (37,34)

    Labour 33 (28,27)

    Liberal Democrat 14 (14,11)

    Green 4 (8,8)

    British National Party 3 (1,5)

    UK Independence Party 2 (3,2)

    Christian Choice 1 (3,3)

    Left List 1 (1,1)

    Respect (George Galloway) 1 (1,2)

    Abolish the Congestion Charge 1 (n/a,3)

    English Democrats 0 (2,1)

    Percentages via Wikipedia. Not all the small Parties put candidates in every constituency (or any).

    So what evidence there is suggests that YouGov tended to underestimate the Green vote in the Assembly.

    The same poll was pretty accurate in the election for Mayor the same day:

    Conservative 43 to 53 (42 to 53)

    Labour 36 to 47 (36 to 47)

    Liberal Democrat 13 (10)

    Green 2 (3)

    British National Party 2 (3)

    UK Independence Party 1 (1)

    Christian Choice 1 (2)

    Left List 1 (1)

    so it’s not because the poll was inaccurate

  30. @AW

    Any chance of some decimals? Is Boris’s first round lead close to 4% (4.5% say) or 6% (5.4%)?

  31. The figures for the 1st round have shifted, but the figures in the 2nd round remain unchanged, and as you know, it’s the 2nd round that counts most. 6% sounds big, but in actual fact, Ken only needs to gain 3% + 1 to take the win.

    Interesting that the Greens may lose their assembly place. Maybe Jenny Jones should focus less on the mayoral election and more on her assembly seat.

    Also what powers do the assembly have over the mayor? Figures would suggest there will be a Labour assembly, do they need to approve the major’s budget and other policys etc before they can be enacted? If so this is a stupid system as Labour will obviously oppose whatever Boris does.

  32. @Max

    I read recently that the Assembly need 2/3 majority to stop the Mayor’s budget. Fat chance of that happening. On these figures lab will have LAM’s and the Tories 10.

    Ken leads all age groups except 60%, where Boris leads by 2 to 1 (60/30).

  33. Just reposting on this thread, but the previous polls on LD vote share collapse should silence forever the nonsense that “the left has reunited and puts us in a stronger position to defeat the Cons”. The LD collapse (although the numbers have gone to Lab) will benefit the Tories just as much.

    And (contra @ Crossbat) the problem is that Boris has positioned himself well politically over his own party. Ken is running a terrible campaign. So what if the Tories use this one victory to paper over other defeats. It’s exactly what Blair did in 2004. Unfortunately, like that year, I feel the Mayoral election will be a harbinger of the next General Election.

  34. @Max

    In fact, look at the figures. This would give the following seat allocations:

    Lab 12
    Con 10
    LD 2
    UKIP 1

    Given that Con + LD + UKIP will have 13 seats, this block could effectively defeat any Assembly.motion anyway.

  35. @Adrian B.

    I wouldn’t say so, it only looked at 76 out of 600 seats. Many more will between Labour and Consevative, with the LD collapse benefiting Labour.

  36. @RAF
    `Ken leads all age groups except 60%, where Boris leads by 2 to 1 (60/30).`

    Isn`t it proof that the over 60`s are ageist,not voting for Ken :)

    `The LD collapse (although the numbers have gone to Lab) will benefit the Tories just as much.`

    Aren`t you ignoring the Tory-Labour marginals where the Lib Dem collapse will undoubtedly benefit Labour more…I think AW dealt with this in another thread

    Does anyone know what the VI figures for the London Mayor poll were when it wasn`t weighted for turnout?

  37. @Smukesh

    What it proves is that 60+ year olds are unlikely to vote for someone they think will cost them money.

  38. @RAF
    `What it proves is that 60+ year olds are unlikely to vote for someone they think will cost them money.`

    You don`t think the grannies fancy Boris,perhaps

    On a serious note,I can`t think of a way of Ken winning over the over 60`s unless he promises to freeze council tax for 4 years

  39. Supposedly another Tory cash for lobbying scandal is about to break. Will this affect Boris’ chances?

  40. @LIZH
    `Supposedly another Tory cash for lobbying scandal is about to break`

    You can`t be serious…A couple more of those and the government will fall

  41. @LizH

    As the last one didn’t seem to affect Boris, why would another? Unless it’s directly related to the mop headed one I really couldn’t see it having any impact (and even then I’m sure the ES would find a way of blaming Ken).

  42. @SMUKESH
    “You can`t be serious…A couple more of those and the government will fall”

    That is what John Prescott is tweeting.

  43. populus and BMRB both showing big Lab VI leads

  44. @TheSheep
    “As the last one didn’t seem to affect Boris, why would another?”

    The majority of people polled thought Boris was a Mayor for the wealthy and maybe more negative press for the Tories like cash for lobbying will reinforce that opinion.

  45. @LizH

    Not unless it involves a company based in the City, or close to City Hall.

  46. @Big John


  47. Waiting for tonight’s poll. Wonder if the Economist’s article on Skintland has had an effect on Skintland’s VI? :)

  48. @Big John

    Any details or links to those?

  49. Three things:

    * The YouGov poll adds weight to my nearly-two-year old thesis: that the new boundaries plus the desctruction of tactical voting for the Libs will deliver a small majority to the Cons in 15, despite their drop in the polls. Note that although the blue vote in the 70 constituencies studied *fell*, the number of Con seats *rose*.
    * Whilst noting the possibility of last-minute changes and “events, dear boy”, it’s now looking firm that Ken will lose London and Sarkozy will lose France in the upcoming elections
    * Of the upcoming US election, Obama/Romney is looking close with as yet no clear favourite

    Regards, Martyn

  50. The headline figures are on PB…But not the details

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