With a week to go ComRes have a new London mayoral poll out this morning showing a more comfortable lead for Boris Johnson, and Brian Paddick being pushed into fourth place. First preference figures with changes from their last poll are JOHNSON 45%(-1), LIVINGSTONE 36%(-5), JONES 6%(+2), PADDICK 5%(-1), BENITA 3%(+3), WEBB 2%(+1), CORTIGLIA 2%(+1). Once second preferences are re-allocated, the projected second round figures are BORIS 54%(+1), LIVINGSTONE 46%(-1).

Unlike the YouGov London poll at the start of the week ComRes are not showing the government’s troubles having any obvious knock-on effect upon Boris support. There is no vast methodological difference between the way ComRes and YouGov are polling the race, and so far their figures have been extremely close to one another, so I expect the difference here is simply down to sample variation, and that the underlying picture is still a small Boris lead. We’ll have a better idea when we get the next YouGov poll on Monday.

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60 Responses to “ComRes show Boris eight points ahead”

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  1. dammit

  2. Disappointing. What exactly will it take for Boris to not get this seat? Could the tories have possibly had a worse month?

  3. Im not at all enamoured with the idea of Boris for the next four years, but Ill be very happy if the Greens make it to third in reality. Jen then Ken for me.

  4. I’m sorry Anthony, but this poll is so out of line with current local and.national trends that I find it difficult to believe. You’d have to believe that Boris is outpolling the Tories nationally by 13%, and Ken underpolling Labour by 6-8%. That’s simply not credible.

    Also, take into.account that Ken has been steadily closing the gap, with hos support.stable and boris’s falling, yet know he has suddenly.lost 5%? How exactly?

    I’m not sure if YG has started it’s fieldwork for Monday, but I will say this. I expect it to show the race level.

  5. See i said things can only get better :)

  6. It is quite important , at present, for DC that Boris wins-so this is a welcome poll.

    If Boris does in fact win , it will emphasise how well he has differentiated himself from the Westminster Conservative fold…..and what a truly terrible candidate KL has turned out to be.

    When I think back to the sneering , class based criticism of the very idea of Boris Johnson thinking he could be Mayor of London, it speaks volumes about his personality, and bubbling, boundless optimism.

    When one reads of KL sullenly muttering that one of his problems is that Boris is “liked” , it really shows the shallowness of those initial reactions to Boris’s first candidacy, and how the ludicrous obsession with “class” in UK politics can be overcome .

  7. I don’t believe this poll. Boris ahead in Camden, Barking and Dagenham? Not credible. Also can’t believe he is beating Ken 55-45% amongst men but only 53-47% amongst women. I thought every other poll showed Boris doing better amongst women than men by a long way! To suddenly have a big surge in support amongst men is not credible. Tories always do better amongst women than men. Indeed I believe if only men had been able to vote we’d have had a Labour Government for most of the 20th century!

  8. From lastv thread:
    My Dad was a betting shop manager for a number of years for a local bookie. He taught me about laying bets off and how the dynamics work etc.
    I did run a couple of books on pool comps when i was at Polytechnic a long time ago and used the principle myself one time as i stood to b/e in if one finalist won but make £50 if the other did so i set the odds to get to around £20 whoever won.
    Best thing about my Dad doing that job is that he warned me off gambling and I rarely bet myself.

    Alternativelt maybe the bookies had early sight of this poll. (poor joke I assure you)

  9. Great post Colin, very well put

  10. Your dad is a wise man jim jam, you wont beat a bookie.

  11. @Colin

    BJ has had an awful lot of help fron the ES. He would not have won last time without it, and would not be in this position without it.

    As far as class is concerned, what class owns the media? What class is dominant in politics and most influential in society? It should be easier, not harder for people like DC and BJ to win elections.

    Ken is a very good candidate, who had a very impressive record of achievements as mayor. Boris does not. The trouble is that the media in london want to talk about anything but policy, so as to make it a matter of celebrity rather than ideas. They know boris can’t win on ideas.

    Most of Boris’s policies don’t even come from Boris but by his very rigjt wing cabinet. These people are far to the rigjt of cameron, City worshippers. But never mind, eh? Boris had personality…

  12. Interesting.

    Let’s say Boris wins and SNP take Glasgow. Those results will be disappointing for Labour and no doubt we’ll see the PM et al mentioning them ad nauseum.

    But in General election terms will it matter a jot? Will it help Cameron?

  13. @JimJam

    They must have had sight of it, as Ken was shortening last night, and is now lengthening (slightly), and vice versa for boris.

  14. I sense people are backing Boris because of his personality, rather than his performance in office or policies.

    Ken is seen as a creature of the past and has been smeared during the campaign. Labour should have gone for a ‘personality’ and not an old politician, if they wanted to win.

  15. I don’t know how many contributing to this site can actually vote in London. I can. I live in the heart of London. This poll comes as no surprise to me.

    Tom Watson said this morning Lab supporters should hole their nose and vote for Ken.

    That pretty much sums it up. Ken is almost universally mistrusted, Boris on the other hand is loved by some, liked by many and grudgingly admired by the remainder if only for bucking the national polls.

  16. Well the second round figure is firmly in line with the previous poll – only minimal movement. The first round? It looks as if people are doing a Max and getting their second votes in…

    On a wider note: yes it looks like picking a celebrity is a better bet than picking a politician if you want to win an election. Is this news? No amount of good policies can beat high visibility these days.

  17. Is it compulsary to be left wing on this part of the site. All there is now is back slapping and in jokes, and now even posts saying yougov must have it wrong if Boris is winning.

  18. I wonder how much of this is also down to the fact that Ken Livingstone fiddles his taxes and this being made public in the media?

    Either way, I don’t think the lead is as strong as in this ComRes poll. It seems that Boris is ahead but probably by a smaller amount of, say, 2 or so points.

  19. RAF

    My feeling is that there is such a huge gulf between you & I that responding to your post in any detail would be pretty pointless.

    So very briefly :-

    I don’t read the ES. If what you describe as “help” was political support-then so be it-that’s the way it is in this country with our papers-they support one side or the other.

    I think you should be asking questions like -what does this person believe, say, do-how do they conduct their lives?………..rather than , what is their accent like ,which school did they go to, and how much money have they got.?

    And I think that an examination of the higher realms of UK Industry, & Entrepreneurship would indicate that “upper class” is not a determinant of success.

    We won’t agree on Ken LIvingstone. My opinion of him is very different to your own I expect.

    As for Boris the “City worshipper”-given the importance of the City of London to the economy of that city, I would expect the Mayor to do all he can to ensure it’s continued success in providing jobs there.

  20. @Joe,

    Most posters on here are Labour supporters, it seems.

  21. I’m a Tory canvasser.

    If you mention the Tories, or the Government,
    people are still polite,
    but they blink or look slightly away,
    or you get a bewildered stare.

    If you mention Boris,
    or have a Boris sticker,
    people smile.

  22. JOE

    @”Is it compulsary to be left wing on this part of the site.”

    No-but it helps just a the moment :-)

    Things can change though .

  23. I totally agree with the other Joe.

  24. @Joe,

    Just post everything that Labourites want to here (i.e. that current polling/political events show that Labour are on course for a landslide victory at the next GE) and you should be fine. If not, you’ll be accused of bias.

  25. Correction: *hear

  26. @TheSheep

    “On a wider note: yes it looks like picking a celebrity is a better bet than picking a politician if you want to win an election. Is this news? No amount of good policies can beat high visibility these days.”

    And having the backing of a free daily newspaper helps.

  27. I agree about the whole personality issue. That’s why leadership ratings become much more important during a GE campaign.

  28. It’s a pity we’ve only effectively had polls using on-line methods as a telephone one would flesh out the picture. This ComRes does look a bit odd though, particularly the Paddick and Jones figures.

    One thing I do wonder about some of these polls. Both ComRes and TNS seem to require panel members to say they live in London as part of the process (I presume YouGov with its own panel already has location information). You wonder if some panelists decide to fill in the survey even if they aren’t Londoners – either for political reason or just for the credits.

    Speaking of London, Anthony was wondering if the coverage of the 1990 locals and the pro-Tory spin was a bit a bit of a myth (obviously it was way past his then bedtime). I’ve already commented on this, but I can assure him it wasn’t. I remember watching the BBC coverage open-mouthed as everything not five miles from Big Ben was ignored except for the ticker along the bottom.

    Anyway off the vote in the local elections. I have to choose up to 9 from 16 independent candidates for the Commissioners (and Max dares to complains about his choices being complicated ;) ).

  29. So, we have another name in the frame. Not just the Boris, Ken and Brian beauty parade now, but Jenny too!

    I rather like the name Jenny, so I’m going to back her in this momentous and epoch-changing election. The name Boris is so passée and as for Ken and Brian; frightfully lower middle class for me.

    Go Jenny go!!

  30. @Joe

    My advice is to let the Lefties on here have their moments. Your turn will come when we get a majority Conservative Government in 2015.

  31. I hate to point out the obvious, but for some months now Boris has been consistently ahead of Ken in the polls. So this new poll really isn’t a surprise, it’s just a continuation of the polling status-quo. I know that it is difficult to reconcile Boris’s poll stability with the drop in the UK Conservative polls, but that’s just life and people are weird that way.

    Regards, Martyn

  32. Excsue me, but could someone direct me to the UKPR forums? I seem to have walked into the Pripyat Marshes during 1941.

  33. I think that the ES portrays the candidates for Mayor in a balanced way, I often don’t agree with their negative portrayal of BJ, or their support for some of KL’s initiatives, unlike the Left leaners, I am not a paranoid conspiracy theorist, I call it as I see it. So, don’t get carried away with the idea that the ES is anti Ken, it isn’t, but it does show him for what he is, an insane maverick.
    Great poll for BoJo incidentally, of course it won’t satisfy some, who having already concluded that the ES is a creature of the Right, will now draw the same conclusion of YouGov. :-)

  34. @Ambivalent, @Joe and @Joe James B

    “Most posters on here are Labour supporters, it seems.”

    For those of us with slightly longer memories we can see that this is just a phase. Good polls for one side or another bring out the supporters. For a long period in 2008/09 the site was mainly blue, and any non blue posters took a pasting.

    I was there, not as a red, but took a good deal of flak from all sides by daring to suggest that Cameron wasn’t as good as many thought (‘transformational’ was the word @Colin used on many occasions, although I will be scrupulously fair to him and not place him anywhere near the box marked ‘Frothing at the Mouth Blues’ – he has always been interesting, erudite and polite and I’m so glad he is still posting).

    It’s just the way it goes when your side is down, and boy, is your side down at the moment.

    On the polls – huge, huge sighs of relief from Team Cameron over polls like this. Frankly, I really don’t think they give two hoots right now about who wins London, save for one critical factor. They want Boris to have a job that keeps him busy until beyond 2015. The very, very last thing they need right now is a redundant Boris, looking for a Westminster seat in a safe by election, just when Tory troops are wondering what the point of Cameron is.

  35. Lol, Labour supporters, I love you, I really really do. I think you have the best imaginations ever. I joked last night with Smukesh that if Boris won would you try and blame it on the Evening Standard, now some of you actually are.

    The ES is one paper, it can not influence the outcome of an election, Cameron had all the papers bar 2 backing him and was unable to get a majority, so what makes you think one paper on its own could be the cause for a Boris win.

    Could the real reason for Boris success be that he has distanced himself from his party, is well liked by all sides of the aisle, and has remained relatively scandal free throughout his time in office. As opposed to Ken, who yes has done a lot, but has been going for the job of running London since the 80’s (i think that’s right) was involved and still is involved in countless scandals, and is disliked because he shoots his mouth off.

    Take Jewish people for example, traditional Labour supporters, your asking a lot of them to turn up and vote for Ken, when he’s already used the sort of rhetoric against them that was prevalent in 1930’s germany. Singling out Jews because of their wealth, and discriminating, and dismissing their views by trying to say their views are motivated by wealth and greed etc.

    Labour could have won this easily with a better candidate. When you say it’s all about personality, it’s about being likable, Ken isn’t liked, someone like Oona King, is quite well liked, I personally don’t have a bad word to say and I’m tory. Also Boris is very popular with the young, who often don’t even usually vote, Oona could have eaten into this and stole some of that youth vote back for Labour.

  36. I suspect there are one or two posters on this thread who perhaps ought to read Anthony’s excellent piece on the validity of opinion polls.

  37. I really think there is a sense among reds here that Boris can’t win because he’s a Tory and a Toff. As some others have pointed out though, the polls have been clear for some time.

    To me this seems the same kind of slack thinking that typified Labour in Scotland. If they are to win power back, they simply have to get a grip and recognise that votes need to be worked for – forget excuses about how misled voters are or what the nasty papers say, and start getting the right candidates with the right policies.

    In many ways I’m reminded of some of my more radical revolutionary left colleagues at college, who were insistent that the working classes were suffering from false consciousness as they didn’t agree with the Marxist analysis.

    As far as I can tell, as an outside observer, Boris’ delivery on promises has been pretty woeful, and while he is popular, he is a Tory, in a region where the Tories performed poorly against the national trend in 2010, and at a time when they have slumped in the national polls.

    The obvious message from this for Reds here should be to stop deluding yourselves, accept that whether you like him or not (and I actually rather like Ken) you’ve chosen the wrong candidate, and start realising that voters, not party members are the people you need to keep happy.

  38. “Your turn will come when we get a majority Conservative Government in 2015.”

    But Labour will point out that our majority wasn’t as huge as the one we got in 83 and 87, thus declaring it a win for the Labour party. And any seat they lose narrowly will be declared a tory heartland that they are within reaching distance of winning back. Then when they win a by election in a Liverpool seat they already own declare it as a sign that they are making a comeback and the gov is in trouble.

  39. Alec: “As far as I can tell, as an outside observer, Boris’ delivery on promises has been pretty woeful…”

    I would disagree – on many of his key pledges, such as the scrapping of the western extension of the CC zone, bendy buses and keeping his precept low, he has delivered.

  40. Labour Supporter on May 4th

    “Yes we may have lost in Scotland and again in London, but the point your missing is that Labour now controls bin collection day in local councils up and down this country, that’s a real sign that people are coming back to Labour, as if they can trust us to empty their bins on time, they can trust us on the economy.”

  41. @Jason – fair enough, but there are other promises where he has completely failed – like community trust housing, where absolutely nothing has happened. Are bendy buses really that bad?

  42. @ Max King and Alec,

    It says much that two people from opposite sides of the spectra can concur that Labour would have stood a much better chance of success had they selected another candidate.

    FWIW I repeat my view that in this campaign, Ken has shown himself to be unfit for office, and many others including Labour supporters have also picked up on this.

    What should have been a comfortable Labour win is now looking a Tory one unless there is a dramatic late shift in VI.

  43. As I say @Max – be very careful about dismissing local results. Losing at locals is what eventually destroys parties at Westminster. Always.

  44. “Are bendy buses really that bad?”

    Well yeah looking at all the accidents they caused, and how unsafe they were judged to be.

  45. It never ceases to amaze me how blinkered and one-eyed people are when it comes to impressing their own prejudices upon opinion polls. Saw all this guff before the last election.

    Polls are ONLY credible when they tell us news we agree with – right? WRONG.

  46. @Alec – spot on, great post.

  47. Jason – you mean this one?


    And can we please not get into a partisan debate over whether buses are any good or not. Max, you seem to be involved in far too many debates on here – it’s not a venue for political debate, take it outside, as it were.

  48. “Losing at locals is what eventually destroys parties at Westminster. Always.”

    Didn’t the Conservatives lose local elections in 1990 and 1991, but still win the GE in 92? On the flip side, Conservatives had been destroying Labour in local elections for years before 2010, still didn’t manage to win an OM.

  49. Max – Alec said *eventually*. Local councillors tend to be the footsoldiers of the party, who deliver the leaflets, do the doorknocking, etc. Losing more and more of them takes its toll eventually.

  50. We all know its Boris or Ken, but 3rd place is looking increasingly interesting.

    Jenny Jones has done well in the debates and the very fact she has been “allowed” to take part shows that if smaller parties are given a reasonable share of coverage, people are more likely to support them at the polls.

    As well as this poll showing Jenny 3rd on 1st pref., she continues to do well on 2nd pref. – just behind Ken and Boris.

    Given the continued move away from the “3 main parties” – which has been going on for many years – surely polls should now prompt Con Lab LD Green UKIP and the nationalist parties with MPs.

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