YouGov London polling

Over the last couple of days the Evening Standard have been reporting the contents of a new YouGov London poll – yesterday here and today here.

YouGov found London voting intentions of CON 35%(nc), LAB 45%(+3), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 8%(-2), GRN 4%(nc). Labour are up three since June, but this poll would still suggest Labour doing slightly worse in London than elsewhere (a ten point lead for Labour in London is a 4 point swing since the general election, whereas GB polls are currently showing a 5 1/2 point swing to Labour.)

YouGov also repeated a batch of questions about Boris Johnson returning to Parliament. 37% of Londonders now think it is reasonable for him to seek to return to Parliament in 2015, but 43% think he should not consider doing so until he has completed his term as mayor. If he were to be elected as an MP in 2015 50% think he should stand down as mayor immediately, 34% think it would be okay for him to do both for a year.

Finally today’s poll looked at the possible Labour candidates for London mayor. Tessa Jowell comes top… but only on 12%, narrowly ahead of Diane Abbott on 8%. Amongst London Labour voters Jowell also comes top, but still only on 16%. I think the reality is that questions like this are largely just a recognition contest… and none of the candidates are particularly well known (I haven’t seen anyone even bother asking who should succeed Boris as the Conservative candidate!)

454 Responses to “YouGov London polling”

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  1. On the world at One,Johnson was asked several times about that 50%.Each
    Time he refused to answer..I think that tells us that Cameron should be afraid,
    very afraid.

  2. Good grief,I was first!

  3. The question on having another job started off with ‘As Ken Livingstone did’ or something like that.

    Struck me as designed to give a better result for Johnson.

  4. Good Evening All.
    Does anyone know how Simon Hughes is doing, poll wise?

  5. From what I have seen of London politics since the mayor function was created, it seemed to be very important for the incumbent that his party was in power at the time. It led me to the conclusion that the function was simply an extension of government, London being *the* centre of growth. I appreciate that when Johnson won it was otherwise, but Labour, in the form of Lord Adonis, was on board anyway.

    So if, as seems likely on this poll, a Labour candidate is to be successful, it strikes me that he/she will need a favourable result in 2015 at national level.

  6. Looks to me with this poll and last night’s that Labour have turned the corner despite Mr Milliband’s rating and they are well on their way to Government. God knows how they relish the huge debts that Osborne has left them! The National Debt as a percentage of GDP is likely to be around 80%. Hell that is big. And the Americans are just as bad. Reckless economics. Another crash on the way?

  7. YG:
    LAB – 35% (-4)
    CON – 34% (+1)
    UKIP – 12% (=)
    LD – 8% (=)

    Alright, what’s going on? Answer: Probably nothing.

  8. RAY J.
    One point lead tonight; see Sun Twitter.

  9. YouGov is taking a leaf from the Ashcroft book, I see…

  10. Ray J,
    I agree,whoever “wins”will have terrible problems to face.

  11. LD looks a bit high. What do you think, Chris?

  12. it’s still about 3-4 labour lead…there are still huge doubts about miliband’s fitness for the PM role…i think he’s the only thing holding labour back, because cameron and osborne are not popular at all.

    Under a semi-decent leader, labour would have had this in the bag by now.

  13. @MrNameless

    “Alright, what’s going on?”

    Responses are low because everyone is away on their summer holidays. To compensate their drawing coloured balls out of a box.

  14. NORBOLD.
    That is such a perceptive comment on the LD figure; thank you.

  15. Peter Crawford,
    On the contrary according to the polls Cameron is popular in his role as PM.
    Your comments regarding EM are your personal opinion.

  16. The 35% is likely an outlier but worth watching, I’ve just gone bogeyed looking back to when Yougov last had Labour as low as that. Unless I missed one it was May 27th so a couple of months ago.

  17. @AU
    “To compensate their drawing coloured balls out of a box”

    Well, I’m stumped. They’re, there, or their?

  18. Bantams
    I think we can only think ‘outli*r’ when there is a crossover (at present)..

  19. ‘they’re’

  20. @ Bantams,

    27th of May, yeah: 34%.

    OTOH, their last 39% was in mid-April, so…

    I think I’ll go with the coloured balls hypothesis.

  21. I think Anthony has possibly missed something quite significant from his report on the London poll. At first glance, the 4% swing doesn’t look at good as the 5.5% swing nationally, but that doesn’t necessarily tell the full story.

    In 2010, the swing against Labour was half the national swing – 2.5% compared to 5%. Factor that in, and the ‘total’ swing in London is +1.5%, nationally +0.5% (from 2005, I suppose) – an altogether healthier look for Labour in London.

    Not really too sure how significant this is in seat terms, but to get a majority, Tories have to overcome a relative poor showing in London in 2010 – I’m not sure this poll suggests that they have managed to do this yet.

  22. @Spearmint – if you’ve got coloured balls, it’s not called hypothesis.

  23. H.
    There ain’t no crossover. Labour, their VI is still a little in front of the Tories.
    They’re very close though.

  24. @ Spearmint

    Does this “coloured balls” phrase belong to Ooh Ahh Cantona. I was just reading Sheffield Wednesday apparently turned him down after a trial! Not recently though.

    My team is trialling a Frenchman with the colourful name of Achille Campion, he’s been playing in the MLS. Scored a hat-trick tonight so might be worth a shot.

    Had to laugh at one of Cantona’s famous comments,

    “My best moment? I have a lot of good moments but the one I prefer is when I kicked the hooligan.”

  25. Bantams
    Yes, indeed. The Wayne Rooney-ish facial expression of the spectator is not easily forgotten.

  26. To repeat part of my comment of some 23 hours ago on the London polling:
    “Lots of polling also about Boris Johnson, but who cares about such froth?”

    It seems that no-one cares apart from AW, based on the (lack of) comments on Johnson’s polling on this thread.

  27. HOWARD – The London Mayor just an extension of govt? Not as simple as that. Livingstone was loathed by Blair AND Brown, and still managed to get much done they hated.

    Boris has been nowhere near as bold, but still goes against the leadership often.

    The London mayor doesn’t have much power compared to mayors in almost all cities in the developed world. Blair made it so when drawing up the plans in the late 90s.

    Whitehall’s control freakery is alive and well now, as it was then, and Mayors are heavily hamstrung yet they have managed to push things through Whitehall doesn’t like and would likely not happen. London Overground etc. A very worthy position it is, and needed throughout the UK to empower regional cities. If it’s good enough for pretty much every other developed nation…

  28. Ed

    “needed throughout the UK to empower regional cities”

    So which powers would you transfer from Whitehall to Belfast or Derry?

  29. As a Londoner I struggle to notice or recall anything that Boris has done, other than preserve Kens legacy.

    The bikes were ordered by Ken in his final year in office. Crossrail was Ken. London Overground was Ken. Oyster, congestion charge… both Ken. Free bus travel for children… yes, you guessed it – Ken.

    Boris is responsible for that cable car no-one uses though… is there anything else he has done in the last 6 odd years?

  30. drmibbles

    Boris is a Conservative. As I understand it, that means they don’t actually ‘do’ much except to run as steady a ship as possible – keep finanaces stable etc. The idea of continual revolution is Maoist, I believe.

    On the polls, it’s striking that Labour have, and have had in the past, a huge lead in London yet elected a Conservative mayor.

  31. Pete B

    “On the polls, it’s striking that Labour have, and have had in the past, a huge lead in London yet elected a Conservative mayor.”

    Do you mean that Labour have a huge lead in Westminster VI?

    If so, then the apparent contradiction would only be striking if Londoners were uniquely incapable of voting differently for different levels of government.

  32. On these London figures (35/45/8) Electoral Calculus shows Labour gaining six seats off the Conservatives (Hendon, Enfield N, Harrow E, Brentford, Croydon C, Ealing C) and three off the Lib Dems (Brent C, Hornsey, Bermondsey).

    However it also shows the Conservatives gaining three off the Lib Dems (Kingston, Carshalton, Sutton). But we know from Ashcroft and the Locals that the nominally most vulnerable of these, Sutton, would probably be held and the same may be true for the other two (and possibly Bermondsey).

    It also repeat Alec’s point about the strong performance of Labour in London in 2010 having to be taken into account, though of course you can’t gain the same seats twice. I’ve always suspected that this might be due to Labour’s very strong membership in the capital and it’s possible that this might help them to do better than expected next time too, maybe picking up the odd extra seat.

  33. I presume the London Mayor is elected by the voters on the Local Government, as opposed to Westminster, electoral roll.

    Given London’s role as a major international city [1], it would seem likely that it has a higher proportion of its population entitled to vote for Local Government than Westminster, than most other areas.

    How many of these EU/Commonwealth citizens are actually registered to vote? Do they vote? What effect does that have on Local Govt, as opposed to Westminster election results? Does YG measure any such variation>

    [1] Obviously, the City of London is somewhat different, as foreign governments and financial institutions have a surrogate vote in deciding its government.

    That the UK then allows such foreign influence a unique role in the form of the City Remembrancer – “an official lobbyist who sits behind the Speaker’s chair and ensures that, whatever our elected representatives might think, the City’s rights and privileges are protected” is one of the least democratic aspects of a somewhat undemocratic constitution.

  34. Oldnat
    You seem to be implying that EU/Commonwealth citizens are the reason that the Conservatives do better in London in mayoral elections than in Westminster elections. If that’s correct it’s very interesting because the reason that many commentators gave for UKIP’s relatively poor showing in London in the EU and local elections was the same high proportion of of foreign voters.
    As UKIP and Cons are generally considered right-wing parties this seems anomalous. Is it all down to Johnson’s personality?

  35. Anthony

    Do you know where the tables actually are for the London results? The only ones in the archive are Labour candidate ones.

    On which topic can I agree that the choices for a Labour candidate are merely a matter of name recognition at the moment, though I’m not convinced that Tessa Jowell is the most scintillating candidate, nor indeed the most invulnerable to attacks.

    Obviously by far the best of that list is Christian Wolmar, who would at least continue the tradition of being A Bit Mad But In A Good Way that goes back to at least Horace Cutler (assuming Boris’s persona isn’t entirely confected).

  36. Pete B

    I’m not “implying”. I”m “asking”!

    I don’t know what the differences are in the London electoral rolls. I just thought it an aspect that might be worth investigating.

  37. OldNat

    There must be at least some EU citizens (less Ireland, Malta, Cyprus[1]) willing to go on the roll and use their votes as there were rows about them not being able to vote for the Euros due to (at best) confusing administration[2] and they usually said that they had been able to vote in the locals at the same time. How efficient councils are at getting them registered is another matter. That said there has been a clear increase in EU registrations in Scotland in the run up to the Referendum (at a greater rate than others).

    So which powers would you transfer from Whitehall to Belfast or Derry[3]?

    Surely that is a matter for Stormont? Or are you suggesting that London should intervene to tell Holyrood which powers it should devolve to Glasgow?

    [1] All Commonwealth (and Irish) citizens have full voting rights providing they have permanent leave to remain

    [2] Incidentally was I the only person to notice that Our Nigel turned up to vote on 22 May without the usual appendage conventional for Party leaders in the UK of the Beaming Spouse? Was this because:

    (a) They’d also been unable to to beat the no-foreigners bureaucracy

    (b) Mrs F had already voted for the AfD by post

    (c) She sneaked in later and voted for the Greens

    (d) He doesn’t think women should be able to vote

    [3] Obviously this should be Londonderry. You should always use that for the City and Derry for the County on the grounds that (a) it is historically correct; (b) it annoys the maximum number of people – usually a guarantee of being right in NI.

  38. Roger Mexico

    Obviously it is a matter for Stormont.

    I was just interested in Ed’s idea of empowering regional cities across the UK, when the political structures across the UK are so different. With a separate Civil Service from the UK, Northern Ireland seemed a challenge for the concept.

    Sadly, I haven’t seen what he suggests.

    As to the naming of Northern Ireland’s 2nd city, I prefer the full name that the council uses in the 3rd of its languages – Derry Cittie Cooncil. That will annoy even more folk.

  39. Every time someone mentions Stormont I have to do a double take to check they didn’t say “Stormfront”. There’s a good headline to be written there if any NI MLAs go a bit extremist.

  40. mrnameless

    […]if any NI MLAs go a bit extremist.

    Gosh. Who could imagine that ever happening?

  41. Alec made the key point here – Labour did relatively well in London in 2010 and that inevitably means their swing is likely to be lower in London than elsewhere in 2015.

    As to today’s YouGov poll hasn’t it long been accepted that ‘daily rolling polls’ aren’t worth the paper they are printed on (bar keeping pollsters in their daily crust of course – which I don’t begrudge them!)

  42. Roger Mexico.

    Only NI MLAs who believe in evolution are capable of “going” extremist.

    Those who believe in (and want the kids in NI taught about creationism and the “Young Earth”) are self-defined as being incapable of changing their views. Their views are divinely inspired.


    “it’s still about 3-4 labour lead…there are still huge doubts about miliband’s fitness for the PM role…i think he’s the only thing holding labour back”


    There’s a chance there are other things holding Labour back, like immigration, perceptions on who’s responsible for the national debt etc.

  44. “Boris is responsible for that cable car no-one uses though… is there anything else he has done in the last 6 odd years?”


    Wasn’t he supposed to be doing something about bendy buses? I seem to recall bendy buses being involved…

  45. Latest YouGov / The Sun results 29th July – , Lab 35%, Con 34%, UKIP 12%, LD 8%,, Greens 6%, SNP 3%, BNP 1%; APP -21

    Greens a cracking 6% in this one, their on a charge and the BNP jumping in there as well

    As for Lab, well the cross breaks don’t look too odd, except for the younger voters, in which Lab have lost a 40% lead in a day.

    Cons, LD and UKIP cross breaks look perfectly normal

    But seriously,surely parties don’t in reality gain 3% in a day and then lose 4% the next day. I can see a party getting a bounce after a big success or dropping substantially after a disaster – but one after another, with nothing happening – don’t think so!

    I think it is all those Lab supporting teachers going on holiday

    Still think it s a 3% to 5% Lab lead – maybe 37.5% to 33.5% on Yougov

  46. Today’s YouGov –

    Con 34
    Lab 35
    LDem 8
    UKIP 12
    Green 6
    SNP/PCY 3
    BNP 1
    Others 0

    Approval – 21

    Questions about the Lib/Lab/Con leaders’ qualities in which there’s not much change and none of them come off particularly well.

    Is that the first 6 for the Greens in YouGov? Certainly hasn’t happened often. The age crossbreaks are striking again – Greens ahead of UKIP with under 40s in this poll.

    Tabs –

  47. @Wes

    Yes Cons, Lab and Ld leaders are all unpopular to different degrees and in different ways, but Nigel F and Alex S are popular so it is not universal

    No good qualities

    Dave C 45%
    ED M 53%
    Nick C 61%

    Which is not fair to any of them, so about half the voters think that the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minisert and the Leader of the Opposition have no good qualities at all – voters seem very cross and disenchanted and unreasonable.

    *their should be they’re on my previous post, typing too fast.

  48. In vew of results for labour in 2010 surely not surprising that current swing is somewhat lower than national figure


    Carry on regardless.

    Howard likes to tell people what is & is not “of interest”. or “important” to people. He’s an expert on these things-plus his Time in Holland, and his Holidays.

    Carry on till AW says stop . :-)

  50. Bantams

    Thanks. Where do you live in ‘druth?

    My wife was borne there. I went to school in Helston & worked in Camborne.

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