I’m just catching up on the YouGov London poll earlier in the week for LBC – full tabs are here. Last May Labour enjoyed a solid swing in their favour in London and ended up nine points ahead of the Tories, they’ve largely maintained that support – YouGov’s London voting intention figures with changes from the general election are CON 37%(+2), LAB 44%(nc), LDEM 4%(-4), UKIP 11%(+3), GRN 2%(-3).

London mayoral voting intentions are KHAN 45%, GOLDSMITH 35%, WHITTLE 6%, BERRY 5%, PIDGEON 4%, GALLOWAY 2%. Sadiq Khan’s lead over Zac Goldsmith is slightly larger than the Labour lead, but not by very much. There are very few Tories saying they’d vote Khan or Labour voters saying they’d vote Goldsmith – essentially it looks like an electorate splitting along their normal partisan loyalties and in a city that tends to vote Labour that’s a good sign for Sadiq Khan.

In the last two mayoral elections Boris Johnson managed to reach out beyond the usual Conservative vote, but he is a rather unique politician and it remains to be seen if Zac Goldsmith can do the same. It may be that current polls are just picking up people’s default partisan loyalties, and that as we get closer to the election people people’s votes will become more influenced by their attitudes towards Goldsmith and Khan. If they don’t, Khan will have an obvious advantage in a city where Labour romped home in 2015 and where the direction of political movement is towards Labour.


158 Responses to “YouGov London poll shows Khan ahead”

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  1. @Graham – “With the exception of France the rest of Europe is perfectly content to shelter under the US umbrella …..”

    While these things are not necessarily governed by strict logic, your point aptly demonstrates quite why UK unilateral disarmament is quite so unpopular.

    To go into a British election saying ‘lets be like the Belgians or Spanish’ would be to fundamentally misread the UK electorate, whether we like it or not.

  2. @Carfrew

    The ‘Empire Hangover’ is a factor in my view.

    I think many Brits still the UK a great power, striding the globe.

    I think that ship sailed a long ago, and the sooner we accept that, the better.

    Perhaps if people think we have nuclear weapons, if gives a reach beyond what we have otherwise.

    Basically, I am saying that having nuclear weapons is no more that w***y waving.

    The true challenge for country (and our forces) would be better met by a larger, better equipped and highly flexible military, rather than by having big weapons that can never really be used.

  3. Some interesting You Gov polling on Trident reported in this Fact Check piece:

    http://blogs.channel4.com/factcheck/factcheck-britain-scrap-trident/21868

    As always, how the question is framed is of greatest significance.

  4. People tell me that Squeeze were good on the Andrew Marr programme this morning.

    Did anyone see them?

    :-)

  5. Alec,
    I don’t disagree really but when the list includes the Norwegians , Swedes , Austrians and the Swiss, I would have thought that many might be inclined to ponder why such well developed and sophisticated countries appear so content to do without their own A bombs!

  6. @ Robert newark

    The headline refering to Dan Jarvis suggesting he may quit the Labour Party originates from his interview published in the Graun on saturday, and taken up by the rest of the media.

    If you can point out where in the interview ( or indeed anywhere else ) he actually says he may leave the Labour party, then I’m more than willing to be corrected.

  7. From an electoral point of view getting rid of Trident may well be a bad idea. So too may be any departure from the idea that deficit reduction is the preeminent criterion of economic probity. Nevertheless it is far from obvious that in these respects good electoral politics is good for the country in the long run. Corbyn’s wants to have a debate which genuinely needs to be had and where it is not at all obvious that he is in the wrong,

    The issue on which I would like the polls to casti light is how he can set about getting his point of view heard. Methodologically I suspect that politicians rely more on qualitative data when faced with this kind of problem. It would be interesting to discuss whether they are right.

  8. Charles
    If JC is wanting a debate, why is he getting rid of those who disagree with him. The debate thing is wearing thin. In fact he only wants people in his own image and he is slowly getting there.

    Kentdallon
    I quoted what the st reported, as you quoted the g. We only read what is reported in the papers we take. Maybe they lie, who knows? The fact that it is plausible is enough for me. as a military man I would expect him to resign if his boss and party surrendered our defence strategy. You are free to believe it or not. It bothers me not.

  9. Am I right in thinking that there hasn’t been a national party poll since the Labour reshuffle?

  10. @CROSSBAT11

    Squeeze were very good – but they don’t look the same as they did in 1979. Fortunately, their politics have not changed in the same way :)

  11. @ Robert Newark

    what you or I believe to be the case is irrelevant, it’s a simple matter of fact.

    Whilst expressing his grave reservations and explaining the difficulties he would have Dan Jarvis said ..” To my core I have always been Labour and always will be, ”

    This was later repeated by an “aide” in the Huff Post.

    Headlines In The Graun , the ST, and many other outlets to the effect that he may leave the Labour Party over the issue is willfull misreporting of what he said.

    He may well find standing as a Labour candidate untenable at some point in the future, but so far he has not indicated that is so.

    It seems to me a clear cut case of newspapers trying to create a story where there isn’t one.

  12. Coincidentally, my 14 year old son just asked me if I have heard of Squeeze then played me a clip with the altered lyrics – he found it on his phone via an App called TheLADbible, this is how our youngsters get their news these days.

  13. Re Jarvis,
    Seems to me that if the policy changes one route is for him tell his local party that he will not support that part of the manifesto.
    It is then up to them how they react; my guess is that if he is well regarded enough they will still not trigger the selection process with even some unilateralists taking voting for an unopposed nomination in the trigger vote.

  14. @ jim jam

    remaining in the party and fighting to change a policy he strongly disagrees with is a perfectly honourable course of action.

  15. I agree

  16. Kaslo, BC
    Canada

    January 10th, 2016

    TNS in Scotland published, in December, regional polling figures that showed a considerable difference for the Green Party than for their constituency results.

    Are there any polling numbers for London that shows the top up numbers as against the constituency numbers for the London Assembly?

  17. @Robert Newark
    If JC is wanting a debate, why is he getting rid of those who disagree with him. The debate thing is wearing thin. In fact he only wants people in his own image and he is slowly getting there.

    Corbyn can hardly challenge the government on Trident with a shadow defense minister who agreed with them. Leaving Hilary Benn and Maria Eagle in the shadow cabinet hardly looks as if he has succeeded in filling his shadow Cabinet with yes men/women.

    His problem is that insofar as he does not move those who disagree with him he is seen as weak (much ado about nothing). Insofar as he does move people who disagree with him he is seen as ruthlessly installing a sect.

    Like Alec I don’t think he has shown brilliant skills at party management. But his is not yet a lost cause.

  18. ANDY SHADRACK

    Are there any polling numbers for London that shows the top up numbers as against the constituency numbers for the London Assembly?

    Not that I know of. In 2012 YouGov only started asking about Assembly voting intentions less than a month before the election date. As is often the way in Britain, the media tend to concentrate on the personalities of the Mayoral candidates to the exclusion of everything else. The best guide would probably be the London polling results for Westminster, but they don’t necessarily match.

    For example, if you look at the last poll before the 2012 election:

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/dom2smbrfs/YG-Archives-EveningStandard-MayoralElection-030512finalplustabs.pdf

    Party / West VI / Assembly List VI / Actual

    Con / 34 / 32 / 32.0

    Lab / 47 / 42 / 41.1

    Lib Dem / 7 / 9 / 6.8

    Green / 3 / 7 / 8.5

    UKIP / 7 / 8 / 4.5[1]

    BNP / 1 / 1 / 2.1

    As you can see the polling was actually pretty accurate. But from their Westminster totals, both Labour and the Lib Dems lose votes to the Greens and the Conservatives lose some (though not as many) to UKIP and maybe the ‘long tail’ of small Parties I haven’t shown (Christians etc).

    So if you want to you could take the London Westminster VI figures I posted earlier in the thread and apply the same sort of ‘correction’ to those.

    Nice to hear from you again – at least the Canadian pollsters managed to acquit themselves fairly well in the federal election.

    [1] UKIP’s figures may be distorted by the fact that their Mayoral candidate was not described as UKIP on the ballot paper. There is a minimum 5%, so they did not receive any Assembly members.

  19. @Catman

    See, thing is, unlike Austria, we do have these rather strategically handy overseas territories to protect. And that seat on the security council.

    Sure, we can give up these advantages, but you can argue they’re worth the money. And should America do it all?

  20. @Catman

    Incidentally, the fact we may never use the weapons is not an argument against. One might never need one’s insurance, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth having insurance.

  21. @carfrew

    I am not sure what strategic overseas territories we have to protect, St Helena and the like? Assuming we have them, might it not be better to put our money into some up market aircraft carriers etc? Otherwise our dastardly foes might assume that they could get away with an incursion or so, gambling that we would not feel that this was a matter of sufficient moment for us to use our nuclear weapons. After all Argentina must have calculated precisely thus.

    As to our seat on the security council, is it a condition of that that we have a nuclear weapon. And if it is do we want to have it? Unlike the nuclear deterrent I can conceive of circumstances when we might use this option (and indeed when I might use an insurance policy). However, I am not sure that this does not encourage us in bad habits – the belief that we had at Suez that we could get away with going ahead with options where we have neither the Americans nor the rest of the world behind us.

    The truth is that we do not argue for or against the deterrent because of what our reason tells us but because of ill-formulated fears or a wish for clean hands that we can’t have and for which no one will thank us. It seems to me that polling can document the current state of opinion on these matters but it is less good at pointing to its emotional drivers.

  22. @Charles

    Strategic assets? Falklands (and possibly the oil). Gibraltar. Ascension. Garcia. etc. Berwick…

    Plus… looking after the Commonwealth?

    I have the feeling that stuff like the permanent seat in the council is just dismissed out of hand, instead of properly considering the potential value.

    It’s possible nuclear might encourage bad habits, or it can encourage some good ones since not wanting to get sucked into a nuclear conflict.

    And again, should we just leave it all to the Americans?

    I dunno, I’m quite happy to be rational about the matter rather than emotive. It isn’t clear cut to me one way or the other. I just don’t think it helps to just dismiss certain advantages.

  23. @Charles

    Strategic assets? Falklands (and possibly the oil). Gibraltar. Ascension. Garcia. etc. Berwick…

    Plus… looking after the Commonwealth?

    I have the feeling that stuff like the permanent seat in the council is just dismissed out of hand, instead of properly considering the potential value.

  24. @ Charles

    It’s possible nuclear might encourage bad habits, or it can encourage some good ones since not wanting to get drawn into a nuclear conflict.

    And again, should we just leave it all to the Americans?

    I dunno, I’m quite happy to be reasoned about the matter rather than emotive. It isn’t clear cut to me one way or the other. I just don’t think it helps to just dismiss certain advantages.

  25. @Syzygy

    Yep, I figured you’d know the difference between fission and fusion, and just put it in in case anyone else was reading it and wanted to know (well it could happen!!)

    WHY there’s a difference is rather harder to explain, of course…

    Yes, avoiding degradation due to neutron bombardment is a major challenge for fusion. Controlling the plasma is another, and also keeping it hot enough, since just injecting a pellet of fuel can cool the plasma and kill the reaction.

    The Polywell elegantly sidesteps a lot of these issues, and I love elegant, complete solutions, however it has not always been clear what’s going on with the Polywell. Initially a defence programme that got canned in the cuts, whereupon the researchers could go public with it, but then the U.S. Navy took it on again whereby secrecy returns…

  26. @ROBERT NEWARK

    ‘If JC is wanting a debate, why is he getting rid of those who disagree with him. The debate thing is wearing thin. In fact he only wants people in his own image and he is slowly getting there.’

    JC sacked Michael Dugher and Pat McFadden for attacking his leadership in a very public manner. What they did could hardly be called debating. In fact, in the Syria debate, Pat McFadden and a number of backbenchers appeared to have coordinated a battery of questions which were designed to humiliate and specifically undermine JC’s leadership.

    In so doing, Pat McFadden and those backbenchers were not just being disloyal to the leadership but also to 75% of the PLP, a majority of the Shadow Cabinet and an overwhelming majority of the membership who opposed bombing in Syria. His position as a Minister after such a display was completely untenable and I think that the honourable thing for him to have done would have been to resigned after the vote, when it must have become clear to him that he was out on a limb in taking such action.

    There is an enormous difference between an honest debate/disagreement and deliberately putting the boot in to cause trouble for the democratically elected leader.

  27. SYZYGY

    @”Pat McFadden and a number of backbenchers appeared to have coordinated a battery of questions which were designed to humiliate and specifically undermine JC’s leadership.”

    Pat McFadden asked this question :-

    ““Can I ask the Prime Minister to reject the view that sees terrorist acts as always being a response or a reaction to what we in the West do? Does he agree with me that such an approach risks infantilising the terrorists and treating them as children when the truth is they are adults entirely responsible for what they do. No one forces them to kill innocent people in Paris or Beirut and unless we are clear about that we will fail even to be able to understand the threat we face let alone confront it and ultimately overcome it.”

    This was thought to be a reference to Stop the War Coalition’s website statement that Paris had “reaped the whirlwind of western support for extremist violence in Middle East”.
    Caroline Lucas quit that organisation for the same reason-releasing this statement :-
    “Caroline was specifically troubled by some Stop the War Coalition statements after the Paris atrocities. Though the pieces were subsequently taken down she felt unable to associate herself with them.
    “She was also concerned that some Syrian voices were not given an opportunity to speak at a recent meeting organised by the StWC in Parliament.”

    How did McFadden’s question “humiliate & undermine JC’s leadership” -and would you claim that Lucas’s action had a similar effect ?

  28. Good Morning All.
    Squeeze on yesterday.

    Jeremy on Today

  29. Graham

    “I have acknowledged that. It does not,however, answer the question as to why British citizens feel that way whilst in the other states people are happy to rely on the US umbrella without having their own deterrent.”

    The answer to that question is irrelevant, the fact is the voters do and will vote accordingly.

  30. Colin
    I agree with your post entirely. McFadden had done nothing wrong other than debate with a different point of view. Corbyn doesn’t want debate unless it is encompassing similar views to himself. I would add that Dugher probably had it coming as he was more sniping from the sidelines.
    It is all a bit like a soap opera with all our attention on, ‘what will Jeremy do next?’ It isn’t good for the Labour Party and it isn’t good for the country but if the LP is really determined to destroy itself, then that is up to them. Labour will never win a GE with a unilateral disarmament policy no matter how bad the Tories are. They tried it once before and failed miserably.

  31. Irrespective of the pros and cons of the case for nuclear deterrence, I am not convinced that an anti-Trident line is necessarily a vote-loser.

    If Corbyn can drop the stance of outright pacifism, and the Stop the War baggage, he has the time to develop a more sophisticated anti-Trident position, exploring the cost, the conventional alternatives, and the new post-Cold War threats that we face. Maybe Labour’s policy review will raise the standard of debate.

    As others have posted, we really have avoided that kind of discussion in recent years, and it is unhealthy.

    Whilst I would presently probably support Trident renewal, I think I am right in the mainstream when I say I would be happy to consider less expensive and more realistic options.

    In the absence of reliable polling evidence, we should be careful of stereotypical perceptions of the voter.

  32. @ToH and Robert N.

    Thing is, things change. The data Syzygy linked to earlier indicates that while the nuclear issue was massively salient during the Cold War, it has declined considerably in salience since then…

  33. TOH

    Labour fought the 1964 election on a non – nuclear manifesto – and won!

  34. @Syzygy

    I enjoyed your explanation of ‘gas-lighting’ but you did neglect to point out that probably the most successful example of gaslighting in UK politics at the moment has been the rewriting of 30 years of Labour Party history by the supporters of the current Labour leader.

    I take my hat off to the way that Corbyn’s supporters have painted even Neil Kinnock as being terribly right-wing (although my personal favourite is the way so many of them seem to believe Gordon Brown is/was a ‘Blairite’), and no-one should not be terribly upset if their political opponents use their own tools against them.

    The crucial factor is the polling. It would appear that regardless of whether Corbyn feels he is winning the internal argument he appears to prize above all other, he is losing the argument with the electorate. None of his Labour Party opponents are preventing him putting across a coherent, popular policy platform effectively in the media.

  35. ROBERT

    I tend to agree with you about Dugher-and he seems the sort of punchy individual who will have expected it .

    McFadden though is one of those understated studious people who always gives measured responses to questions. I think the Corbyn camp condemns itself if it sees that question as “disloyalty”.

  36. Graham

    I have already made my first firm prediction for the 2020 election, that Labour will not win if Corbyn is still leader.

  37. TOH

    That is a separate issue!

  38. Graham

    It’s not a separate issue, since one of the reasons Labour would fail, is the leaders attitudes to defense and terrorism IMO.

    Re the 1964 election, they did not act on it in Government.

  39. GRAHAM

    The 1964 labour manifesto was FAR worse than mere unilateral disarmament, it proposed that somehow, someone at NATO should have control over the nuclear arsenal:

    We are against the development of national nuclear deterrents and oppose the current American proposal for a new mixed-manned nuclear surface fleet (MLF). We believe in the inter-dependence of the western alliance and will put forward constructive proposals for integrating all Nato’s nuclear weapons under effective political control so that all the partners in the alliance have a proper share in their deployment and control.

    I hope Ken Livingston has a better idea than this up his sleeve.

  40. “I have already made my first firm prediction for the 2020 election, that Labour will not win if Corbyn is still leader.”

    ——-

    OK, but you need to control the variables. So, would Labour win if Corbyn led the Tories?

  41. CARFREW

    :-)

    Flying pigs comes to mind.

  42. @ToH

    What if Osborne led Labour?

  43. Polywells and the similar Farnsworth fusor are used in labs as a neutron source. The us military might want them as fission bomb initiators.
    My fav possible fusion method is the z pinch. A giant circular super high current magnet that squashes stuff so fast that fusion can occur.
    Still all thirty years away, as has been said now for fifty years.

  44. TOH
    The point is that the manifesto pledge and the prominence given to the issue by the Tories in the campaign did not stop Labour winning the election!

  45. GRAHAM

    I’m certain Labour won’t in 2020 on that platform. Times have moved on.

    CARFREW

    Same pigs, still flying.

  46. TOH

    Times have indeed moved on – but 1964 was at the height of the Cold War – just two years after the Cuban Missile Crisis and three years after the Berlin Wall was built! Prima Facie it should have been a far more salient issue in 1964 than it is likely to prove in 2020!

  47. Kevin McGuire on DP today said that if existing policy making procedure remains unaltered, ditching Trident won’t get through Conference.

    So it may not happen-which is what Lucy Powell said on Sunday Politics.

  48. 1964 election. I must admit that I Don’t remember it really as I was only 14 and more interested in the fortunes of York City and Yorkshire cricket. However, Wilson only just won and it was against a backdrop of Tory sleaze, Profumo and a weak Tory leader under Alec Douglas.

  49. …….but his R4 interview this morning is being interpreted as an indication that existing policy making procedure will not remain unaltered :-

    “Corbyn confirmed on Monday that the NEC was examining plans to allow Labour party members to decide party policy on Trident. The Labour leader, who has been a member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament for 50 years, said: “I want members to have a big say in it, whether that comes as a vote of individual members or a vote at conference that will be decided. I haven’t made up my mind about that.”
    Asked whether he wanted to change the policy-making process so that the Labour conference and the shadow cabinet did not have a veto, Corbyn said: “My whole election programme was based on the need for ordinary people to be able to participate much more in politics so that leaders don’t go away and write policy, that executive groups don’t go off and decide what the policy is, that ordinary people do. There is brilliance in everybody who has got some ideas. That was the whole basis. That is why I think our party membership has got so much bigger, because people are enthused by the idea that they can participate.”

    Guardian

  50. I remember the 1964 election very well – despite being only 10 at the time! Never into sport but was already quite obsessed with elections and polls. Recall the first GLC elections in April that year which Labour won comfortably and the Opposition’s clear poll lead gradually disappearing by the end of the Summer. When Parliament was dissolved in mid-September the Tories were actually favoured to be re-elected, but Labour managed to regain a small lead in the last two weeks of the campaign.

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