The Evening Standard had a new YouGov London poll today, showing a commanding lead for Sadiq Khan in the mayoral race. First round voting intentions are KHAN 48%, GOLDSMITH 32%, WHITTLE 7%, BERRY 6%, PIDGEON 5%. After reallocating the second preferences of eliminated candidates Sadiq Khan wins by twenty points on the second round. Full tabs are here

The huge Labour lead looks startling, but it is actually broadly in line with YouGov’s national polling. Their last couple of GB polls had Labour and the Conservatives very close in their levels of support, which is the equivalent of a CON=>LAB swing of 3.5% since the general election. Last year Labour outpolled the Conservatives by nine percent in the capital, doing much better there than in the rest of Britain. Add on a national swing of 3.5% to Labour’s 2015 lead in London and you’d expect to find them about 16 points ahead, which is exactly where they are.

The 2016 London mayoral election looks like one of voting along ordinary party lines. The first two directly elected mayors of London were very unusual “showbiz” politicians, widely known by just their first names. Ken Livingstone initially ran an an independent and even after rejoining was clearly always semi-detached from and not reliant upon London Labour. Boris was Boris – the paltry link between his electoral success and that of his nominal party underlined by the voting figures at the last mayoral election. Boris was four points ahead of Ken in the first round of the mayoral vote, but Labour were nine points ahead of the Conservatives in the simultaeneous vote for the London Assembly – a gap of 13 points between their performance in the mayoral vote and the assembly vote.

There is no such gap in this mayoral election. If you compare mayoral voting intentions and London assembly voting intentions this time round there is no significant contrast – Sadiq Khan is 16 points head in the mayoral vote, Labour are 16 points ahead in the London Assembly vote.

If we put aside the personality driven politics of the mayoral election, London is an increasingly Labour city. Labour won hefty victories in every other electoral contest in London in the last Parliament – they won the European election by 14 points, the local elections by 13 points, the London assembly by 9 points, the general election by 9 points. If Zac Goldsmith was to be competitive he needed to appeal to non-Conservative voters, and while he is getting some support from Liberal Democrat and UKIP supporters it really isn’t enough. With only a fortnight to go. Sadiq Khan’s position is looking very comfortable.

379 Responses to “YouGov/Standard London poll gives Khan a commanding lead”

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  1. Unsurprising.

  2. Tom

  3. The tabs show one UKIP voter intending to vote Galloway. I wonder if his name is Mr. P. I. Staker.

  4. Looks like a “Khan do” situation!


  5. Repeating from last thread (less what Anthony has covered)

    Khan even leads (just 51-49) in Outer London. The one hope for the Conservatives is the extraordinary difference in age groups. In the 60-40 split, Kahn leads by 76% to 24% among the under-25s but Goldsmith 69% to 31% among the over-65s.

    There are also figures for the London Assembly as well. The regional figures (LTV weighted) are:

    Conservative 29% (-3)

    Labour 45% (+4)

    Liberal Democrat 8% (+1)

    UK Independence Party 9% (+4)

    Green Party 7% (-2)

    British National Party 0% (-2)

    Women’s Equality Party 1% (+1)

    English Democrats 0% (-1)

    Some other party 0% (-2)

    Figures in brackets actual result in 2012.

  6. YouGov also asked about Westminster voting intention in London:

    Con 30% (35%)

    Lab 46% (44%)

    Lib Dem 7% (8%)

    UKIP 13% (8%)

    Green 4% (5%)

    Other 1% (*%)

    () figures are the percentages last May in London.

    It’s worth pointing out that unlike previous YouGov practice, but like their latest national VI figures, these are after LTV adjustment. In fact it makes little difference, normally the pre-LTV figures are more favourable to Labour, but not only do Conservative voters last May show a higher tendency to say DK/WNV those giving a preference seem less enthusiastic than normal. This is a similar pattern to most national polls including the YouGov one.

    The big gainers of course are UKIP, normally poor performers in London, though still lagging behind GB polling by 4 points as before. Their strength as expected is older (over 40 though not just 65) C2DE and Outer London. Whether this will hold for them after the referendum and where the voters will then go will be interesting.

    But both UKIP and the Greens have been surprisingly strong in holding onto the vote they got last year, despite lack of parliamentary advance and the changes in Labour which has attracted some Greens but also caused at least as many Labour voters to return ‘home’ as Tories. Though more than balanced by defections the other way, the Conservatives have fared much worse.

  7. In defence of the Gorgeous One, I should point out that, as far as I can tell three people in the survey did say that they would vote for him (or at least managed to click the wrong box). So maybe I should have given him *% in the last thread.

    YouGov also asked their panellists to judge the two leading candidates on a variety of qualities (14 of them no less). This mainly demonstrated widespread indifference and cynicism with around 40% saying Don’t Know on each question and many others saying it applied to them both (if it was a negative quality) or to neither (for the positive ones). The remaining 30% or so mainly split on partisan lines. It’s not a great advert for the candidates nor indeed the office.

    In so far as it matters the most revealing of these were “Will tackle Islamic extremism” and “Will keep Londoners safe”. Both of which were led by Khan, though only by 16-13 and 17-13. Which suggests the dog-whistle isn’t having and effect of more likely isn’t even being heard. The only one which goes against this minor partisanship is “Changes their mind on issues” where Khan is ahead 12-10. I suspect the flip-flop on the Garden Bridge may have damaged him a little (not many know/care but those that do, do a lot). But Goldsmith’s 28% on “Out of touch” andn 21-10 lag on “Will improve my quality of life” suggest he’s making little impact beyond ‘posh boy’.

    One odd little thing about this poll is that it shows, even on the final split, Khan’s vote slightly more ‘middle class’ (ABC1)[1] where he leads 61-39 than ‘working-class’ (C2DE) where he leads 58-42. I suspect this may be because of age bias (look at the figures I quote above) with manual workers under 40 simply priced out of London completely, often being replaced by non-voting and maybe transitory immigrants. So the C2DEs in YouGov’s panel will be older and more Conservative than you would get outside the capital.

    [1] Obviously in real terms, if middle-class means being able to buy your own house, this should probably be used to describe to top 10% of A only

  8. Further to @Roger Mexico above.

    It is worth noting that London’s age profile is noticeably different and younger than the rest of the UK.

    This is particularly the case in the inner London boroughs, but is also the case to an extent in outer parts of the capital.

    This graph illustrates the demographics:

    Though differential turnout between the age groups often hampers Labour quite badly elsewhere (as younger citizens tend not to exercise their right to vote), the weight of youthful Londoners largely compensates for that fact.

    As such there is not as much cause for comfort among Conservatives from the healthy lead enjoyed by Goldsmith among the over 65s as there would be if this were a national poll.

  9. Galloway tweeted that he used to “hang out” with Prince 25 years ago.

    Will this –

    (a) increase his vote among those who believe him?

    (b) depress his vote because people assume he meant Prince Charles?


    Thank you for your posts.
    There is danger here for Labour. I think. Labour seems to be doing well in areas where the ‘demographic’ is liberal, middle class and also where there are many members of ethnic Minorities.

    Down the ‘spine’ of England and won the eastern side of England the demographic make up is not like this. Basildon, Norwich North and Loughborough are three such places.
    It will be interesting to see how Labour does in places such as those in next month’s elections.

  11. @ Robert Newark et al

    On the issue of whether UKIP voters are more or less racially prejudiced than the supporters of other political parties, there’s actually quite a lot of work.

    A good summary piece was done by Robert Ford who led University of Manchester research into the area.

    It’s a little old, but as the UKIP vote seems to be – contrary to many people’s expectations – remaining stable, is probably still of relevance.

    The key quote is probably the following:

    “Ukip were less likely to hold intolerant views than the BNP, but more likely than the supporters of any of the three mainstream parties.”

    YouGov did some much more recent work (2015) on whether UKIP supporters regarded themselves as racially prejudiced or even inherently racist. You can find the data at:

    Again the finding was that UKIP supporters self-identified as being prejudiced or racist in higher proportions than supporters of other parties. 48% said they are prejudiced, 28% said they held at least some racist views.

    These figures are marked in comparison with Labour and LibDem supporters, less so in relation to Conservatives.

    On antisemitism, though the numbers are small, UKIP has more people prepared to express this prejudice; however, it’s the LIbDems (at 9%), who come out ‘top’.

    Unfortunately, I can find no similar testing of the opinions of SNP supporters, but it is clear from the polling done thus far that by their own measure and using ‘indicator questions’ a higher proportion of UKIP supporters are racially prejudiced than those who back Con, Lab or LibDem.

  12. Tomorrow’s papers should be interesting if only for how they balance the two big stories:




  13. I think there is a very different way of looking at Ken and Boris – Ken first time round was independent yes with Frank Dobson standing as the Labour Candidate. He won and then got re-elected next time. Boris has always had the support of the tory party.

  14. And I suppose I have to say – are there really 32% of Londoners who will vote tory? No surely not.

  15. ChrisLane1945

    “Down the ‘spine’ of England and won the eastern side of England the demographic make up is not like this.”

    That does rather tie in with the research of Ian Warren – as reported by John Denham on Labour list.

    English members were asked to place themselves on a spectrum ranging from entirely British to entirely English. The same questions were put to 20,000 voters by last year’s British Election Study. Even though national identity data tends to vary from survey to survey, by comparing the two we can still get a pretty good idea of how the national identities reported by Labour members compared with those of the English public.

    The result is striking. Labour members simply feel much more British and much less English than voters as a whole. Only 6 per cent of party members are ‘’entirely English’; less than half the 15 per cent of voters with the same identity.

    In total, just 13 per cent of members are entirely or mostly English, while a quarter of voter prioritise their English identity. Nearly half the wider population are equally British and English, but only 36 per cent of Labour activists. While only 21 per cent of the public are either British or more British than English, 39 per cent of the party has these stronger British identities.

    In England, ethnic minorities identify much more as British rather than English (presumably because of their perceptions of Englishness as being more EDL than Britishness).

    As long as people don’t imagine that those sharing their chosen national identity are somehow “better” than other choices then there is no problem with those (in the UK) identifying as British, English, Scots, Welsh, Irish, Cornish, or anything else and wanting governmental structures that represent “them”.

    Equally it’s fine for folk to have no national identity at all and/or not give a damn as to whether their government is run from Westminster, anywhere else in the UK, somewhere in Europe, Dublin, or Canberra for that matter!

    As Denham (and other Labour folk) point out, one of Labour’s problems is that too many folk think ‘Labour doesn’t stand for people like me anymore’.

  16. @Oldnat,

    I’m not so sure it’s about “EDL” ness.

    One of the things I like about “Britain” and “Britishness” is that it’s an inherently non-racial, purely geographic term. To be British is to be of the island of Britain.

    Both “English” and “Scottish” are concepts that have their origins in ethnicity rather than geography. That’s faded somewhat perhaps in Scotland, where there is a greater sense of geographic isolation. But to be “English” in England is still rather perceived as a statement of ones ethnic origin rather than one’s nationality.

  17. Neil A

    “But to be “English” in England is still rather perceived as a statement of ones ethnic origin rather than one’s nationality.”

    That’s certainly how it comes over to an outsider. Hence my previous comments that the English haven’t yet had that internal debate about what being “English” means.

    Actually debating what identity means – and being challenged by those on “your own side” – does tend to shift lots of views.

  18. New Survation/Daily Record poll on Holyrood

    Party : Const VI : List VI : SV Seat Pred : Cutbot Seat Pred

    SNP : 53% : 43% : 70 : 67
    Lab : 18% : 17% : 20 : 21
    Con : 17% : 18% : 21 : 21
    Grn : —- : 11% : 12 : 13
    LD : 7% : 7% : 6 : 6
    UK : —– : 4% : 0 : 1

  19. ON
    Do the figures that you quote suggest that more Scots consider themselves Scottish rather than British?

  20. @ON,

    Yup I agree the English are a little conflicted.

    I think it’s probably shifting. The sight of ethnic minority sportsmen and women battling in England’s colours helps, as does a new generation of ethnic minorities who speak with the regional accents of their places of birth, and little or no trace of the accent of their ancestors’ homelands.

    I am reminded of a fantastic gag, many years ago, by a young Lenny Henry.

    “I hear that Enoch Powell wants to pay everyone £2,000 to go back to where they were born. I think it’s brilliant! It’s only 5p on the bus to Dudley!” (delivered in thick, high pitched, fluent West Mids accent).

    I have to say, Scottish nationalism has probably provided a spur to the English coming to terms with no longer being just a Germanic tribe with some French bolted on. So, thanks for that at least!

  21. Pete B

    If you look at the research that I quoted, the survey was of Labour party members in England, compared with census data – so they don’t include Scotland, Wales or Ireland at all.

    The importance of debating the meaning of such trigger words as national identity descriptions was well demonstrated by Pete Wishart’s (SNP MP) contribution on the subject.

    “Britishness is as much about geography as it is about identity and history. Coming from Perth in the northern part of the island of Greater Britain I am as much British as someone from Stockholm is Scandinavian.
    So there you go, that’s me, British and proud of it in an independent Scotland.”

  22. Anthony,
    From looking at the tables of the Comres Phone poll which appeared in the Daily Mail this week it appears that GE Voting Intention questions were asked in addition to the Referendum questions. Any sign of the relevant % figures?

  23. Mr. Khan will walk it ! Why ?

    London has a huge immigrant population.

    The Tories are perceived as relatively anti immigration and welfare / benefits.
    Labour are perceived as pro immigration and welfare / benefits.

    Add to this the younger number of voters , it’s a slam dunk for Mr. Khan.

  24. Robin Holden,

    Not quite as simple as that – most immigrants won’t have a vote and those who do very often don’t cast it. It’s still conceivable Khan could lose, albeit looking unlikely.

    As I mentioned elsewhere on this site, the extremist attack line against Khan probably won’t work in London, and the Tories probably know that. But it might be an attempt to get in the national news cycle associating Labour with extremism, which may stick rather better among voters in the English marginals -particularly with the county council elections coming next year.

  25. OLDNAT

    @” Hence my previous comments that the English haven’t yet had that internal debate about what being “English” means.”

    This seems such an alien statement to me. I don’t know how typical I am of the population of England-but its just not a thing which looms large in the mind.
    It seems so typically Scottish these days, to be constantly obsessed with ones own “identity”-and indeed that of others!

    Victoria Wood knew how to draw out the essentials of “identity”-certainly for her fellow Northeners-and it had to do with the small , everyday, parochial things which make a life. It is why we all recognised them imediately and laughed at ourselves in the mirror she held up for us.

    But there are no flags or slogans involved.

  26. Colin

    You make my point rather well. Well done. :-)

  27. OLDNAT

    ……and you mine-unsurprisingly :-)

  28. Neil A/Oldnat

    Is it that the English are conflicted, or that there are two ‘England’s’?

    First, In the small towns and villages of the shires, where the effects of the mass immigration of the last 60 years has been felt less, it is still possible to find many examples of the kind of things which people might identify as to, what being English means. Village fetes, Morris dancing, battle re enactment societies, cricket on the village green, bring and buy sales, village pub games and all that kind of stuff. In short, there has been much less outside influence to change what has gone on for decades/centuries. Penelope Keith did a documentary series last year on the subject on the Beeb.

    Second, you have the large towns and cities which have been forever changed as new ethnic groups have settled there in vast numbers and any English identity lost long ago. In a number, such as London, Leicester, Birmingham, etc, the indigenous, white population is now in the minority.

    So if you want ‘English’, escape to the country.

  29. Good morning all from cold breezy rural Hampshire. Long weekend? Don’t mind if I do.


    “Mr. Khan will walk it ! Why ?
    London has a huge immigrant population”
    London does have a huge immigrant population but I wouldn’t say it’s detrimental (most can’t vote) to the outcome of any election however London does have a massive ethnic minority population and that does have a detrimental impact on elections and will favour Labour.

    If you click on this link (Thanks to UKPR)
    and scroll down to parliamentary seats it lists all of the London Westminster constituency’s .Click on any seat and then scroll down to the last graph headed “Demographics” and the last two pie charts gives the ethnic make up and religion statistics for the constituency.

    In most cases the constituency with the higher white British population will be Tory and the smaller the white British will be Labour. In fact it looks to be the rule of thumb in London.

    Labour for whatever reasons (in London) appeals more to the ethnic minority vote than the Tories but one interesting seat stands out..City of Westminster White British 42% White other 27.%
    Clearly the majority of the population are none white British but this seat is a safe Tory one so maybe the Tories are appealing more (in this seat) to White British and to other white minorities such as Germans, Americans, Canadians who I would expect make up the bulk of this Westminster seat due to location and wealth.

  30. OLDNAT
    You make my point rather well. Well done. :-)
    ……and you mine-unsurprisingly :-)

    What is this?……..the new Chuckle brothers? :-)

  31. ALLAN


    Both from Rotherham-so that will be considered a racist slur in Ultima Thule :-)


    I agree with your post in all its entirety.

    When travel back home from London to my part of Hampshire each day its like travelling back to an entire different country and I also have a sense of relief.

    Apart from the few short months I stayed in London I’ve always lived in areas where white British/Scottish make up the vast majority of the population so I’ve not really been exposed to areas with high ethnic diversity populations.

    Wokingham (Town), Clarkston (Eastrenfrewshire) and now rural Hampshire, all have high proportions of white British/Scottish.
    In saying this my mother is an immigrant from Italy but you would hardly notice this unless you’ve been naughty and she shouts something in Italian.

    Anyway am I more comfortable living in less ethic diverse areas? Yes I probably am but its what I’ve been used to.

  33. COLIN

    LOL… :-)

  34. @robertnewark

    Your description suggests that there are separate Englands now but there has been since the Industrial Revolution transformed England from a predominantly rural country to an urban one.

  35. White equates to English? Ridiculous, and offensive.

  36. Mark W

    Oh dear.

  37. Hi All

    Well with two weeks to go till the Scottish Parliament elections it looks like my prediction of the Tories coming second made last summer may prove correct. On Scottish politics I am the seer.

    For Scottish Labour the crossover of unionist No voters and people that want tax rises is too small & in tax rises are generally not an election winner. So not looking good,

    Ruth Davidson the Tory leader is distancing herself from the ‘Conservative Party’. But she has a number of unpopular Conservative policies tuition fees & prescription charges which will put a cap on her vote,

    The Greens will probably do very well on the list as there is a ‘wasted vote’ campaign in the MSM and by the smaller pro-indy parties to convince SNP constituency voters to give their list vote to a pro-indy party.

    Why by the MSM you may well ask. Well the MSM is very unionist and the only way to prevent an SNP majority is to hope they lose enough constituencies & that the list vote is too low to give them list MSPs in compensation – it’s a long shot but it’s all they’ve got.

  38. Hireton
    “Your description suggests that there are separate Englands now but there has been since the Industrial Revolution transformed England from a predominantly rural country to an urban one.”

    Yes I would agree with that entirely.

  39. Good Afternoon everyone from a wet Bournemouth with a long weekend ahead for me too.

    The new book by Richard Tombs about ‘The English’ was prescient.

    He forecast that English identity would become big issue, and shows it was like this in previous eras too.

    OLD NAT: Thanks for your contribution.

    Martin Pugh’s wonderfully clear and detailed Labour Party History shows that ‘The Party’ does well when it ‘speaks to England’

  40. CHRIS

    Thanks for the book tip-looks very interesting :-

    This review draws out some of the complexity surrounding English “identity”.-I like the first part of the final paragraph :-)

  41. It’s really looking like Sadiq’s race to lose now, although I expect it will be a little closer than the polls suggest due to the old “shy Tories” effect.

    What’s interesting to me is how dominant the two main parties are in the first choice votes; despite the fact that we can use them as a safe second choice, I keep talking to people who are so worried about the “other party” winning that they’re planning to put either Lab or Con first even though the candidate up for election from said party isn’t their favourite mayoral candidate.

  42. @Mark W,

    I don’t think anyone is asserting that to be English you must be white, but I think there is still a linkage in the public subconscious.

    If I were to read on paper that someone’s background was “British Indian”, I would have a very clear notion that they meant that they were ethnically Indian, but were either born in the UK or had lived most of their life here.

    If they were described as “English Indian” I think my mind would conjure them as of mixed parentage. It’s not that I think that someone with no English blood can’t consider themselves fully English. It’s just that every English person of non-English ethnicity I’ve ever met would describe themselves as British XXXXX rather than English XXXXX.

    It’s probably similar with the other home countries. “Irish Indian” also sounds to me like a description of mixed parentage.

    There’s something about “British” that doesn’t imply race somehow. I suppose because it’s always been a “multi-racial” concept (even when the “races” concerned were restricted to Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Danish and French).

    Interestingly, “European” doesn’t have that same sense of geography. If someone were to describe themself as “of European origin” I would immediately imagine a white person. In fact, in many race-choosing lists in official documents there is a “White European” (or indeed a “Northern European” and “Southern European” combo, like the old police IC1 and IC2 codes). That doesn’t mean that someone who grew up in France with mixed Senegalese and Vietnamese ethnicity couldn’t rightfully describe themself as “European”. Just that it might cause some confusion.

    I remember a conversation with a tearful (and drunk) young black policewoman in a West End nightclub in which she said she had never felt English, despite being born and brought up in London.

  43. There are no clear and neat ways of defining ethnicity and separating it from nationality or sub-national descriptions. It is an ongoing conversation and journey and best not to get too hung up on details, but instead seek to be friendly and inclusive. Its always been that way.

    I agree that British is inherently more inclusive that Scottish or English or Cornish or whatever, but none of it is set in stone, and attempts to do so seem doomed to failure, just as attempts to define British or English or Scottish culture (or any other) always are.

    Countries and people are not really made by shared values IMHO but by shared stories and identifications. Newcomers gradually become absorbed and accepted and in time ignored as the stories become more intertwined over the years..

  44. I suppose I’m English but I have always seen myself as British.
    I would also observe that many English people seem to be vaguely ashamed of it and to be eager to point out that their grandmother was Welsh or that they have Irish blood or once visited Scotland. This was as true when I was growing up in rural Cheshire in the 1950s as it is now in the fantastic melting pot that is outer London.

  45. “I don’t think anyone is asserting that to be English you must be white, but I think there is still a linkage in the public subconscious.”

    An interesting point – I wonder if there’s any polling on it, I’ve not found any.

    Also interesting is the fact that the same thing doesn’t seem as powerfully to apply in other parts of the UK.

    Think of the nationality of Shirley Bassey or Colin Jackson and the majority of people would have no hesitation in describing them as Welsh – including themselves, or other Welsh people.

  46. I think ‘ethnic minorities’ identify as ‘British’ because in the Commonwealth (speaking as someone who grew up in Barbados here), the ‘Mother Country’ was ‘Britain’ and we were previously a part of the ‘British Empire’. It’s just more habitual to refer to ex pats as ‘Brits’ (and to wonder about whether you can get a ‘british’ (or UK) passport one day)

  47. @Colin

    “Victoria Wood knew how to draw out the essentials of “identity”-certainly for her fellow Northeners-and it had to do with the small , everyday, parochial things which make a life. It is why we all recognised them imediately and laughed at ourselves in the mirror she held up for us.”

    Something we can certainly agree on.

    A woman with a unique ‘voice’ that was at once her own an somehow universal.

  48. In the Richard Tombs book (Professor of History in Cambridge) there is evidence produced that Englishness has been fully accepted by most people from the Afro-Caribbean communities.

    The Emily Thornberry ‘tweet’ couple of years ago from Clacton my well have revealed and was perceived s revealing, sneering attitude from the London ‘liberals’ to the ‘old’ white Labour base. It went to UKIP in large numbers.

  49. Khan’s win will be depicted in the media (or at least the less rabidly right-wing parts of it) as a result of Goldsmith’s dogwhistle politics. I’m not sure he could have won the campaign by being a thoroughly nice chap though. London will vote for Sadiq because London votes Labour.

    A shame for Zac Goldsmith though. He could have kept his hands clean, finished second, claimed quite fairly that the result was beyond his control, and looked forward to an increased profile and maybe a ministerial post or the chair of a select committee (probably in the environmental office, given his past). As it is, his reputation may have been damaged.

  50. CL1945,

    Just to correct, it was Rochester and Strood, not Clacton. I was with in the car with a certain 2015 Labour candidate when it happened – he swore very loudly when the story came on the radio.

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