The weekly YouGov London poll for the Evening Standard shows the race for the London mayor elections now neck-and-neck, with Boris’s lead on the second round down to 2 points. First round voting intention figures, with changes from last week, are JOHNSON 43%(-2), LIVINGSTONE 41%(+1), PADDICK 8%(+1), WEBB 3%(nc), BENITA 3%(+1), JONES 2%(nc), CORTIGLIA (1%). Once second round preferences are re-allocated the figures are JOHNSON 51%, LIVINGSTONE 49%.

The changes are within the margin of error, so I’ll add my normal caveat about not reading too much into it. That said, if the narrowing is genuine, why might it be? Looking at the rest of the trackers, Ken really hasn’t made much progress since last week. The percentage of people thinking he did a good job as Mayor is down, the percentage thinking he did a better job than Boris is down, he is down across the board on the question about each candidates’s qualities. Most of the changes are not significant in themselves, but the increase in voting support isn’t mirrored by an increase in his other figures. My guess, therefore, is that the narrowing of the polls is Ken gaining from the rising national tide of Labour support and the coalition government’s troubles, rather than any improvement in the public’s perception of him personally.

On other questions in previous polls we saw that people were pretty divided over whether Ken would actually deliver on his pledge to reduce bus fares by 7%. This week YouGov asked the same question about Boris’s pledge to reduce council tax, and found similar levels of belief and disbelief – 39% think Boris probably would keep the pledge, 38% think he wouldn’t.

YouGov also asked whether people think Boris and Ken were the right candidates for their parties. Amongst Conservative votes 86% thought Boris was the right choice for the party, with 4% disagreeing. Amongst Labour voters 60% thought that Ken was the right choice, with 25% thinking he was not.

Finally to wrap up the tax story, YouGov asked if people thought the three main candidates had or had not paid as much tax as they should. 27% thought Boris had paid enough tax, 24% thought he hadn’t, 49% didn’t know. For Ken 18% thought he had paid enough tax, 39% thought he hadn’t, 43% didn’t know.

Firstly, note how high the don’t knows are – the row over tax was the biggest issue in the mayoral election for a couple of weeks, and yet over 40% of people don’t really know whether or not the candidates did pay the right amount of tax. Secondly, while Ken scores worse than Boris (the proportion of people thinking he didn’t pay his taxes is 15 points higher than Boris), Boris is not perceived as particularly clean either. Thirdly, even amongst people voting for Ken 27% of them think he hasn’t paid as much tax as he should… yet it’s clearly not something they care about enough to stop them voting for him.

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119 Responses to “YouGov have Boris’s lead down to 2 points”

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  1. @COLIN
    `Are you?`

    Don`t get me into trouble with AW

  2. A few things –
    First, I agree with Max, the mayoral poll is within MOE and I’d be very surprised if the actual result is that close.
    It’s still looking like a clear Boris win.

    On Nadine Dorries – as much as I dislike her politics, I wish the house of commons were stuffed with more people like her. She’s willing to speak against her own party’s narrative and back what she actually believes in.

    And on the ICM poll –
    ICM have been up and down like a yo-yo recently – and while I the trend is in keeping with the rest of the polls (a decline in Tory VI), it’s probably not the best idea to compare just to the last poll.

    If we take the December poll as the ‘veto bounce’ poll, Con 37, Lab 36 – which was the beginning of the neck & neck period, then the other polls can be judged by a margin of error in that.

    Compared to Dec –
    Jan – Con +3, Lab -1
    Feb – Con -1, Lab +1
    Mar – Con +2, Lab nc
    So if we assume that Con VI was fairly stable over that period (as it was under YouGov), then the result would be –
    Apr – Con -4, Lab +5 as opposed to Con -6, Lab +5.

    But even the 41 for Lab seems too high, given that it’s the highest post-election figure from ICM/Guardian since the election and I’d suspect the ‘true’ figure would be closer to it’s highs of 39 that it has enjoyed before.
    So assuming that, the change would be Con -4, Lab +3, which seems a more reasonable trend, IMHO.

  3. This poll seems all over the place and no way do I believe LD are anywhere near 15%.

  4. @Colin

    I agree that DC wants to serve. I do not see why there is cynicism when a member of the aristocracy becomes a public servant. In many cases (take the Royal Family’s tendency to join the military) there appears to be a desire to earn respect on their own merits.

    Of.course there is a belief that the Tories are by the rich for the rich. But surely Osborne is perceived as more afflicted by this than Cameron?

  5. @Colin”I thought you were Blue too?”
    I’m a Conservative supporter.

    Yeah so why did you say you hoped I turned red?


    Nor me.

    RE :-“Nadine Dorries obviously is bothered, otherwise she would not have made the comments. “-

    if you saw DP today , as I did-you will see that the interviewer asked her if she thought they were “posh boys”. She readily stated that they were.

    I thought it was a very leading question, using interesting words, asked on a significant day, of ……..shall we say…..a receptive interviewee.

  7. R Huckle
    “It is a real shame that we don’t have a minimum age for MP’s of say 40, with them having to have had atleast 10 years experience of working in business or public service, that might inform their works as MP’s. As this is unlikely to be something that can be legislated for, it should be up to the parties to make sure candidates are of the right quality.”

    I agree with this whole heartedly and have said as much previously. How on earth you make it happen, I haven’t a clue. Perhaps Parliament should have an HR career planning dept. :)

    Colin – You can be foregiven your 1997 transgression, Gisela is a good MP & one of two labour MP’s I really respect. (Kate Hoey being the other) They always speak common sense & don’t make boring party point scoring with every sentence.

    BT – I agree with you, that I believe Cameron’s motives to be genuine. I wouldn’t accuse any MP for going into parliament for an ‘ego trip’. They do it because they think they can make a difference. I just wish they would stop spending MY MONEY whilst doing it and spend a bit more of their own.

  8. @Ozwald

    Yes, but LDs always do better under ICM due to the eay they.reallocate DKs.

  9. MAX

    @”Yeah so why did you say you hoped I turned red?”

    It seemed a good idea at the time Max-but I can’t remember why now.

  10. RAF


    I don’t believe it is a significant factor in voting intention.

    We could examine the relative wealth levels of politicians from all parties & draw useless conclusions about how it does or does not affect their political raison d’etres.

    They put themselves up as candidates-if they get elected , they might finish up in government. That’s the way it works.

    There are good politicians & appalling politicians across the wealth , income & social bands.

  11. new thread started

  12. ROBERT

    Thanks for the absolution-it means a lot :-)

    The irony is that , if I had still been living there, & if Gisela stands for Mayor, I could have made amends in the By election …….after 15 years !

  13. @ Colin

    “It seemed a good idea at the time Max-but I can’t remember why now.”

    I have always wondered why you were a staunch Tory. I now know. Terrible thing. Age and memory loss ! I often go upstairs and then can’t think for what purpose.

    This may be the reason for the over 60’s in polling often preferring the Tories. I am worried that when I reach that age that I might also turn into a true blue.

  14. Well, think that this is a significant intervention.For a start
    it has taken the gloss off Camerons fight back after all the
    “gates”.Secondly Cameron does have problems with
    his rank and file and it is beginning to show.Thirdly she
    has used an image that resonates,the price of a pint of milk.Following on from the ,kitchen suppers,this is not
    I do not know who raised the point,but surely KL will use this against BJ.

  15. “Whether or not DC himself meant it that way, it was very clear that many Tory MPs instantly had that thought – and DC showed no puzzlement at all at the reaction, suggesting he understood very well how his remarks were being taken. ”

    “Nick P, sometimes it is not what you say but how you say it.The Tory guffaws that greeted this crass comment said.”

    Exactly, along with giving the smug little chuckle he often does at pmqs. Bleurghh.

    Robert Newark:

    “A Woman of a certain age, frustrated by the fact that the ‘young blood’ women, of the last intake, are streets ahead of her in ability. She’s bitter and cares not what damage she does to her own, in her quest for revenge.”


    Casual misogyny ftw.


    “I lived in Edgbaston then.”

    Were you at University? I seem to remember you saying you were, but I could be thinking of someone else.

    @R Huckle.

    “This is sometimes what you get, when you have people that have wanted to become PM, since they [were] children. ”

    Yes, being a student, I have much experience of this type. They infest student politics. Although you may be wrong about Cameron, I’ve always said that Labour student politicians have wanted to be PM since they were 12, and will do almost anything to get there, Tory student politicians have known they’re going to be PM since they were 12.

  16. R HUCKLE

    Thanks-actually it was a small episode of oblivio opportunitas.


  17. Hannah

    @”Were you at University? ”

    No, I was at work.


  18. I do think that DC wanted to rejuvenate the Conservative party and succeeded.As HANNAH says.he may have had prime ministerial ambitions all along…He made his pitch in 2005 with the idea that it would serve him well for the next leadership contest but won…He did well against Brown and is now PM but has little idea as to where to take the country now.

  19. @ Amber Star

    “I should’ve been clearer, it’s not a full-on drivers’ strike.
    It’s a maintenance workers strike, which could affect 3 lines for 3 days. If it was a big strike, I think Ken would not get the chance to recover the situation.”

    I see. Those kinds of strikes can create snarlups but they won’t shut the whole thing down and create massive problems for the city. If a labor union strikes and causes problems for everyone else, do Labour candidates take the blame even if they’ve got nothing to do with the strike simply because they are associated with being a union friendly party?

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