YouGov’s final poll for the London mayoral election gives Boris a six point lead over Ken Livingstone. Full tabs are here. On the first round voting intention stands at JOHNSON 43%, LIVINGSTONE 38%, PADDICK 7%, WEBB 4%, BENITA 4%, JONES 3%, CORTIGLIA 1%. Once second preferences are reallocated we have JOHNSON 53%, LIVINGSTONE 47% in the final round, the same lead as Boris won upon back in 2008. Note that the lead is mostly down to higher turnout amongst Boris supporters, prior to filtering by likelihood to vote the two candidates are neck and neck.

The poll also has voting intention for the London Assembly, which stands at CON 33%, LAB 44%, LDEM 9%, Others 14% in the constituency vote and CON 32%, LAB 42%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 8%, GRN 7%, BNP 1% in the list vote. This would translate into 11 seats for Labour, 8 for the Conservatives, 2 for the Lib Dems, 2 UKIP and 2 Greens.

There is also a first and final Opinium poll on the London contest here – they have first round preferences at JOHNSON 43%, LIVINGSTONE 37%, PADDICK 7%, JONES 6%, WEBB 3%, BENITA 3%, CORTIGLIA 1%. Once second preferences are reallocated it becomes JOHNSON 52%, LIVINGSTONE 48%.

I am not aware of any other final polls for the London mayoral election. The full list of polls conducted in the campaign are here. The only other polls conducted in the final week of the campaign were the previous poll for YouGov, and a Populus/Times poll which had a substantially larger lead for Boris.

There is no new polling for other elections today – YouGov carried out a poll on the Welsh local elections last month (report here) suggesting a good advance for Labour, Survation published a poll on all the locals here. For Scotland there is a distinct shortage of any polling whatsoever in recent months.

I previewed all of today’s polls at the weekend here, looking at exactly what was up for grabs in each contest. For those watching the results tonight, the English locals should start coming in around midnight, Welsh results also start coming in overnight but will be slower. The Scottish counts start on Friday, while the London results will start coming in Friday afternoon, with the mayoral result hopefully being announced late afternoon or evening.

UPDATE: One more prediction, Roger Mortimore of MORI has adapted his famous Sweet FA election prediction model to predict a Boris win (yes, it’s tongue in cheek, but it has an important lesson as Roger mentions in the footnote. There are a relatively small number of elections since the war, so it is very easy to come up with rules that fit the pattern and give them undue importance. It was logic along those lines that led a few unfortunate pundicts to predict a hung Parliament in 1997, as past history suggested a swing big enough for Labour to win overall was impossible)


187 Responses to “YouGov’s final London poll has Boris ahead by 6”

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  1. Monday afternoon for London?

    I thought it was Friday afternoon we could expect results coming in?

    [Sorry – don’t know what I was thinking – still Friday afternoon! – AW]

  2. So, good day today for sellers of coffee and Pringles?

  3. Could a poll change voters’ minds?

  4. UPDATE: One more prediction, Roger Mortimore of MORI has adapted his famous Sweet FA election prediction model to predict a Boris win (yes, it’s tongue in cheek, but it has an important lesson as Roger mentions in the footnote. There are a relatively small number of elections since the war, so it is very easy to come up with rules that fit the pattern and give them undue importance. It was logic along those lines that led a few unfortunate pundicts to predict a hung Parliament in 1997, as past history suggested a swing big enough for Labour to win overall was impossible)

  5. QUOTES TOMORROW.
    E Miliband ; “We took over 300 seats from an over privileged, out of touch, corrupt government.”
    TRUTH ; You should have taken 900 seats.
    D Cameron ; “Boris was brilliant and won the contest on policies and personal support.”
    TRUTH ; Now the blond bastard will be after my job.
    N Clegg ; “Our results leave us at the heart of government”.
    TRUTH ; Trouble is the punters have left us as well.

  6. “I must reluctantly point out that the Sweet FA Prediction model© is not entirely serious. As should be obvious if you read to the end of the original article, it nevertheless had a serious purpose, to point out the pitfalls of assigning undue significance to patterns in past events when there is no reasonable excuse for assuming a causal link, and to distinguish between measurement (what opinion pollsters do) and prediction (what pundits and astrologers do).

    Those who have been paying attention will have noticed that I subtly amended the interpretation of the data after the 2010 election so as to ensure that the model correctly “predicted” its result. (According to the original model, the Cup should have been won by a team in stripes in 2009, since the 2010 election produced a hung Parliament.) This is what is technically known as “moving the goalposts”.

    And to make the Mayoral prediction work, I’ve had to “forget” that Ken Livingstone wasn’t the Labour candidate in 2000. (I’m not sure what colours the Cup winners ought to wear to predict an Independent win! Perhaps that infamous grey second-strip that Manchester United once sported?)

    Too much that passes that for political analysis these days, especially on the Internet, is entirely dependent on reading deep significance into coincidental associations between events. Unless you know why they coincide, that there really is a causal link between the two, such associations may well be meaningless.

    Much as I love the Sweet FA model, that does not mean that if Plymouth Argyle should win the 2014 FA Cup final I will be expecting to see Caroline Lucas as the next Prime Minister.”

    Well said!

  7. Some strange and amusing internals (not that they mean much) – the BNP candidate gets 1% of the white vote, but 2% of the non-white vote.

  8. Usually, central banks try to raise the amount of lending and activity in the economy indirectly, by cutting interest rates.

    Lower interest rates encourage people to spend, not save. But when interest rates can go no lower, a central bank’s only option is to pump money into the economy directly. That is quantitative easing (QE).

    The way the central bank does this is by buying assets – usually financial assets such as government and corporate bonds – using money it has simply created out of thin air.

    The institutions selling those assets (either commercial banks or other financial businesses such as insurance companies) will then have “new” money in their accounts, which then boosts the money supply.

    QE had never been tried before in the UK. BBC

    So far UK has magicked up £325bn in non-Zimbabwe stye money printing.

  9. Sorry wrong thread, meant to say:

    In 2000 and 2004 when Ken won, there was a team from London in the Cup Final.

    There was no team from London in 2008, hence Boris stole the Mayorship.

    Fortunately for Ken, Chelsea are in the Cup Final this year, and thus he is a shoo-in to get that Mayor’s chain back again.

  10. AW – care to comment on this note on the YG poll (on the YG site?

    Technical note: YouGov polled 2,119 London electors online between Monday and Wednesday. Our final voting prediction is based on the 1,238 respondents who told us they were certain to vote. Among all respondents, the result is virtually a dead heat, with Boris a fraction over 50% and Ken a fraction under 50%. But whereas 68% of Boris’s supporters say they are certain to vote, the figure for Ken’s supporters is only 62%.

  11. Do you think likelihood to vote might be affected by the polling?

    So Yougov ask 2000 people who they will vote for and half say Boris and half say Ken.

    But the voters have seen lots of polls saying Boris s miles ahead, so the Ken camp might not bother. So on likelihood to vote they poll lower.

    The next day the same poll is done…50/50 again, but havving seen the previous poll the Ken voters are even less enthusiastic, so this time the poll gap widens.

    And so on.

    Question is…will the Boris camp actually turn out and the Ken camp stay at home?

  12. @Nick P

    What cocerns me is that we’re eing asked to compare YG’s final poll with their others when the criteria is different. A 6% lead on 10/10 is not the same as a 6% lead on an incremental likelihood to vote model. So Boris isn’t “further ahead” as som are saying. He may have lost some support since Monday.

    Also the 63/68% certainty to vote for Ken/Boris is not a big difference. This could be very close.

  13. @Raf

    This is from what looks like a Republican site:

    “… sometimes LV [likely voter] models drill too far down and exclude too many people. The 2000 election is a prime example of this. The final polls in 2000 were, quite interestingly, split: those which utilized RV [registered voter] models mostly predicted a Gore victory by a few points, and those which used LV models mostly predicted a Bush victory by a couple points. Of course, the final result was a tiny 0.5% margin in favor of Gore – which meant the RV models most likely did not exclude enough people while the LV models excluded too many. So just because a pollster filters responses through a likely voter screen does not make a poll automatically more accurate, it just gives it the potential to be more accurate.”

    h
    ttp://race42012.com/2012/04/30/polling-101-voter-models/

  14. AW thanks for the very complete report.

    I though that if Labour could up its vote in the inner boroughs it might have made the outcome competitive. In a sense that then remains true….but elections do sometimes surprise and the papabile enter the conclave pope and leave it still a cardinal….

    But generally election surprises are fewer and further between than we like to remember….

  15. @NickP

    Yes, if the polling had been reported as “Ken/Boris neck and neck, but we predict a Boris win due to differential turnout”, that might have provided encouragement for *both* sides.

    It may well come down to whose side does better at getting their vote out on the day – a combination of voter identification, postal vote registration, and giving lifts to the polling station.

    [Reminds me of the story of the elderly lady who every year accepted a lift to the polling station from the Conservatives, until one day she was asked about her vote and said she was really grateful for their kindness but she was sure they understood how she couldn’t possibly ever vote anything but Labour…]

  16. @Raf

    This is from what looks like a Republican site:

    “… sometimes LV [likely voter] models drill too far down and exclude too many people. The 2000 election is a prime example of this. The final polls in 2000 were, quite interestingly, split: those which utilized RV [registered voter] models mostly predicted a Gore victory by a few points, and those which used LV models mostly predicted a Bush victory by a couple points. Of course, the final result was a tiny 0.5% margin in favor of Gore – which meant the RV models most likely did not exclude enough people while the LV models excluded too many. So just because a pollster filters responses through a likely voter screen does not make a poll automatically more accurate, it just gives it the potential to be more accurate.”

    (Web address contains a bad word?)

  17. “But generally election surprises are fewer and further between than we like to remember….”

    I tend to agree. Making pseudo-psephological predictions about elections years away is voodoo forecasting in my view but, when you’re a few days away from voting, opinion polls usually accurately predict the outcome. That’s not to say that there aren’t occasional turn ups for the book, but they are rare now, such have been the improvements in polling methodology.

    I would imagine, therefore, that the London Mayoral race, and the French Presidential election, will work out pretty close to the latest polls. However, such are the vagaries of differential turnout and local issues, I don’t expect today’s local elections to replicate the current national polls. I think the major parties, particularly the Tories this time, will struggle to get their vote out. I expect the Lib Dems to significantly out-perform their national opinion poll ratings and a very significant vote also for the nationalist and minor parties.

    My vote share prediction is Labour 38, Tories 32, Lib Dems 17, Others 13. What the hell this means for council and assembly control, is difficult to assess, but I expect Labour to gain about 400 councillors on the night and the Tories to lose significant numbers as the mid-term wobbles start to have their inevitable impact in the ballot box.

  18. Okay, I’ve checked in my office. Most aren’t voting for anybody, one said “anybody but Ken” but thinks she’ll vote Green. When i asked if Boris would be second she said no.

    Everybody else is Ken…but that amounts to exactly four.

    Don’t you dare call that a voodoo poll. It’s a landslide.

  19. @NickP

    Sounds a pretty comprehensive survey to me.

  20. @ A. Wells
    “Robbie – right about now its around 35,000 pageviews a day from about 11,000 different users.
    In the run up to a general election it goes completely nuts – on election day 2010 there were 312,000 page views from 72,000 different people. In the month leading up to the 2010 general election there were 6 million page views from 700,000 different people.”

    Belated thanks for these startling data!

    Hard to say how far the data affect the argument re partisanship attracting or repelling visitors.
    All spectator sports thrive on controversy. At the risk of lowering the tone with sporting analogies, where would football & cricket be without the interminable natter about disputed offsides & LBWs? But I appreciate the difference between controvery & abuse.

    I would like more female posters as most of ’em punch above their weight.

    My ingrained good manners & natural tact preclude enquiries about revenues.

  21. You shouldn’t announce those results, Nick. If Ken’s supporters think he has it in the bag, they might stay at home.

  22. First time poster, long time lurker here!

    The London Mayoral election was always going to be a disappointment for me. I’m traditionally Labour, so couldn’t stand voting for a Tory, but then I really dislike Ken. My only chance of any sort of salvation is to see Siobhan take 4th place and question why the BBC denied her the right to partake in debate.

    I have high hopes for local councils however, although there are none in my area, I think it is obvious to all that both the tories and lib dems are going to get a kicking, I believe all the polls I’ve seen show this. I also believe Labour will take control of Birmingham, and narrowly hold on in Glasgow.

    I can’t see UKIP making many gains either,

  23. Michael

    I don’t think anybody here ever looks at UKPR except me.

    Might be surprised though!

  24. @Nick P

    “Most aren’t voting for anybody..”

    If that’s what your sample are saying to you, then it’s likely to be a very representative one! lol

    My guesss is for a sub 40% turnout in the London Mayoral election.

    @Robbiealive

    “I would like more female posters as most of ‘em punch above their weight.”

    Yes, where is the legendary Boo Boo when you need her? I reckon she left us when the Labour leads got above 5%. This surprised me because I thought she had a higher “Labour Lead Threshold” than old Roly! lol

  25. UKIP had much more of a right to be there than Benita.

  26. I think its because all the tories hang out on the consitutancy threads and all Labour here, which is a bit sad.

  27. In think Ken could gain an unlikely win. Unlikely because of the polling and the barrage of unfair (?) media coverage he has received. BUT if Labour voters tempted to support Boris change their minds, we could see Ken win by a very small margin. Plus how many Lib Dems will switch from Paddick to either Boris or Ken or add either a second preference.

  28. Doesn’t ‘punching above your weight’ mean you’re out of your depth?

  29. @BillyBob

    Depends how successful you are. Ali was small for a heavyweight, but thry call him The Greatest.

  30. An unknown is the relative likelihood of supporters of minor party candidates remembering/wishing to give a second preference. In practice, there is quite a high attrition rate so that a lot of voters don’t express a valid second pref – completing a ballot is different from completing a survey where you are actively prompted for your second pref.

    But Ken’s best chance does seem to be an unexpected downpour in Bromley, starting about now and continuing until 10pm…

  31. Hailstones the size of dinnerplates being reported in Bromley (somebody says they saw a red biplane tipping something out overhead). Residents advised to stay at home till the morning.

  32. PinkNews reader poll shows London mayoral race too close to call

  33. Just back from voting Bojo in, polling station empty of punters but I was offered a biscuit, which was nice. I haven’t met a single Ken supporter, either in the pub or the office, I know it’s anecdotal but, blimey, everyone seems to have their BoJo workin’ :-)

  34. @Robin @Nick P

    You would say that.when I am on a work lunch break miles away from home (although.on course to make the vote later)

  35. “PinkNews reader poll shows London mayoral race too close to call”

    Isn’t that a gay site??? Bit of an unrepresentative sample you got there. gays usually favour Labour, well anything on the left really, over conservatives so if Ken cant even win the gays, decisively he’s in trouble.

  36. I’ve just returned from the polling station, I was the only person voting, the staff there seemed bored and were hoping for things to pick up. Obviously my vote went to Boris, and I think he has got momentum, the polls seem a little bit tighter than I would have expected, but a 6 point lead is ok, I predict 8+ in the final analysis. :-)

  37. Max – more importantly, it’s a voodoo poll, not a proper poll of LGBT Londoners. Ignore.

  38. In contrast to Nickp’s biased and unscientific poll I conducted my own, I spoke to friends on facebook that I’m good friends with but never spoken to politics about before, just casually asking if they were gonna vote today, 4 said Boris 1 said Ken (rather reluctantly) 2 of the 4 that said Boris voted Conservative in the assemblys, the other 2 voted Ukip, the Ken supporter went green for the assembly.

    Surprisingly, he likes greens and doesnt really like ken, but gave ken his first pref instead of the obvious, jenny jones 1st, then ken 2nd. The 4 boris ones all gave their support to Boris in the 1st round too, none of them used the 2nd preference.

  39. @CROSSBAT
    What is a Labour lead threshold ? Labour currently have a poll position which I have been banging on about for months, (perhaps a year). “They should have a 10% lead” I have cried. “Why ?” you have cried back, now it has finally occurred, you seem to accept it . The Tory party have had to behave like mental retards to achieve this breakthrough, they really should not have bothered, just to prove me right.

  40. Max

    You presume the poll in Pink News is purely from their readership. And to say that people who read such publications are ‘left of centre’ and so vote Labour is a massive generalisation. You could have gone on to say that Gays must hate wars and so would vote Lib Dem, as they were against the Iraq invasion.

    Have you looked at the number of gay Tory MP’s that are in parliament. They almost have the same number as Labour. You cannot stereotype peoples politics, based on their sexual preference.

  41. Voted Green for the local council and “no” to an elected mayor. Although, they didn’t ask that as a straightforward yes/no question. They asked whether I wanted a leader of the council elected by councillors (the current system) or a directly elected mayor (a change from the current system. This struck me as an odd way of asking the question so I’m wondering whether this is an attempt to influence the result.

  42. @ Sarah,

    Welcome to the site – great to have a new poster!

    If Ken could get his vote out he’d be in with a sniff, but the weather really isn’t helping and I don’t think he’s exactly lit up the campaign – I do think Labour could have done with a fresher, younger face.

  43. Indeed Roly, the sad fate of polticis globally seems to a vote against someone rather than a vote for.

    Labour are currently leading, by a huge margin, not because they’ve suddenly fallen in love with labour, or labour doing anything to win votes, it’s just the coalition have been hemoraging supporters left right and centre. Labours level of support is relatively firm, what’s different is the number of tories libs and ukip.

    Same in America, polls show such disatisfaction with Obama now, and a generic republican wins in a match against obama, but people will support Obama because they dont like romney (or any of the field actually) and will vote to keep them out. Same in France, people don’t love Hollande, or his policies, they just really dislike Sarkozy.

    The one who bucks this trend is the same man who bucks the trend for his party, and that’s Boris, sure there are some voting so ken doesnt get back in, but a lot of his supporters do genuinely like him, and as we constantly see in opinion polls a significant portion of Labour voters do too.

  44. @AW

    “more importantly, it’s a voodoo poll, not a proper poll of LGBT Londoners. Ignore.”

    Please yourself I’m sure dear. Flounce!!!!

  45. @R Huckle

    Are you trying to suggest that Gays dont overwhelmingly favour the left??? Are you seriously trying to put forward that argument?

    “Have you looked at the number of gay Tory MP’s that are in parliament. They almost have the same number as Labour. You cannot stereotype peoples politics, based on their sexual preference.”

    Well the fact we have a lot more MP’s than Labour and yet have less gays, would clearly imply proportionally your a lot more likely to find a gay who supports labour than conservative. Also, a lot of them are just token gestures, an attempt by Cameron to make the party look all loveable and lefty.

    I remember before the expenses scandal whenever a tory said something homophobic, Alan Duncan appeared on tv the next day as if by magic.

  46. I find myself wishing the Evening Standard had simply gone bust long ago. I think Ken would be on for victory if the ES hadn’t panicked at the poll that showed him leading a few months back and set out to smear him almost daily. I do wonder what would happen if, for a short period of time prior to elections, papers were held to the same impartiality rules as TV. I think people underestimate the undue influence a paper like the ES can have. People pick it up on the tube, read it and idly absorb the soundbites without thinking critically enough about what they’re reading and where any bias might lie.

  47. Didn’t Ken say the Tories were riddled with gays?

    Mind you, I don’t think it got him many votes…

  48. @Raf

    I know next to nothing about boxing… but that won’t stop me getting into an argument. ;)

    Clay started at 188lbs… Ali went up to 237lbs.

    The limit for Light heavyweight was/is175lbs, an intermediate Cruiserweight (175-200lbs) class did not come into being until 1980.

    ‘Punching above one’s weight’ is open to interpretation though. Mass x velocity would seem to be the determining factor in Ali’s case.

  49. @NICKP

    Yes but Labour has always been popular with minorities or anything out of the mainstream even when it attacks them or their beliefs, like all labour voters they display a great deal of loyalty. The other example about jews for example, Ken said that they were rich so wouldnt vote for him, but he got it so wrong, they are rich and yet they STILL vote for him.

    Same with Catholics, I’m Catholic, and I don’t see how any Catholic can justify voting for Labour. But apparently many do, despite Labour’s repeated attacks on Catholicism and Catholic beliefs. Although we do have the problem of people calling themselves Catholic, while not being Catholic in the slightest.

  50. @RG
    What a sound opinion. If the Guardian had been declared bankrupt in 2009 then Cameron would have won a proper majority. If the Mirror had been burned down in 2008, the Tories would have a 100 plus majority. Can you see what bollox we are both talking ?

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