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. Anarchists Unite

    :-)

    Sadly, that post omits the only aspect of the “identity” debate that matters on this site – its effect on VI.

    Of course a “nation” is a human construct – unless you choose to define people by selective use of male Y chromosome DNA (most probably) or female mitochondrial DNA (less likely since such constructs are normally produced by men).

    Political ideologies or parties are also human constructs. That doesn’t stop people voting (or even killing) for them.

    Social class and economic interest groups are human constructs too. England’s two main political parties are based on a pretended war between them! :-)

    People are free to believe (like Lord Braxfield) that the constitution under which they live is the “best that could be”, or (like the Whig historians) that the end of history was the creation of the pre-WWI British constitution.

    Others, throughout history, have wanted to change systems of government to more represent “people like them” – no matter how much of an artificial human construct such a grouping might be.

    Polling exists to measure public opinion on all kinds of matters that people think are important to them – no matter how trivial such things might appear to Tories – or Anarchists. :-)

  2. “Landlords – never the original tenants, all those have sold out – are interested in maximising income and minimising expenditure so things like front gardens and fences are woefully neglected, often with stuff dumped on what was once the lawn. ”

    This is getting a bit parochial but why should landlords be responsible for ‘stuff dumped on what was once the lawn’.

    I note that no-one has (yet) responded to my point about recent immigrants being less integrated than earlier generations. I’m off to bed soon, so will see in the morning.

  3. @Candy

    “By drawing attention to something personal, she crossed an invisible line.”

    Ah. I see, “Lady Nugee” dares to cross an invisible line by taking a photograph of a house and it’s national news and cause for sacking.

    Boris insults the President of the US, invokes Churchill’s memory and irks his grandson and … tumbleweed.

    It’s interesting how some on here are keen to dig up Thornberry’s indiscretions from the past but keep mum about Mr Johnson.

    My point was a VI one on this – ultimately a very small electorate – Conservative MPs – will decide Johnson’s fate, I wonder how this plays with them and if we will get one of those micro polls to enlighten us at some point.

    And as a side order – what would / will happen to Johnson’s personal ratings when he ceases to be a figure of fun and has to be taken seriously, when these things can’t be glossed over, when he has to do interviews (which he avoids at all costs). Will he prove to be the electoral asset he’s thought to be?

    Perhaps it’s time to launch ‘full Boris’ on the public and see how they like him before the Tory party buy him as their next leader?

  4. @Lurking Gherkin

    Thanks for the link.

    :-)

  5. @AC

    But someone who is 60 today would have seen the arrival of the migrants from the Caribbean and Africa and South Asia over a long period of time. If they’d been born in the previous 60 years they’d have seen two world wars and the blitz and the destruction and dislocation of people that brought about. The previous 60, it’s Victorian London and all that ‘Sherlock Holmes’ stuff you accuse me f talking about – Jews and the last hugenots, opium dens, endemic disease and poverty unimaginable to us.

    Take your pick.

    It’s the conceit of every age that it witnesses more change than any other, that’s my central point.

  6. @assiduosity

    I’ll agree to disagree…though as this is an area that’s unsurprisingly been studied (geographers and historians etc), and the general conclusion is that it isn’t even close, that’s a bit of an awkward disagreement. This isn’t the site, or the time of night…and I’m not the person, for bringing the discussion any further however. Something I mentioned in passing replying to something someone else questioned of what they’d mistakenly thought yet another person had said as an aside to an off topic post…
    Night all.

  7. @Assiduosity

    The person whose house she photographed wasn’t too happy about it.That’s enough for it to have been a faux pas.

    You also seem to be very worked up about Boris. Calm yourself – as I’ve pointed out before, front runners never get the Tory crown. Thatcher, Major, Hague, IDS and Cameron were not front-runners – they were clean hands with no baggage. Boris is unlikely to become Tory leader and Prime Minister. My feeling is that if Remain wins, Cameron will hold on till 2019, and the Conservatives will then elect a fresh face with no baggage and who can thus run as a change candidate, even though the same party will be in power (much like John Major did so successfully). Even if Remain loses, Boris is unlikely to grab the crown – he doesn’t have a deep base among the MPs whose vote he needs on the first ballot.

  8. “Current Immigrants are less integrated”

    Integrated into what? In comparison with when? Which immigrants, all of them or a specific sub-group?

    This is one of those “political” statements, that you can retroactively support by finding some example then pick and choose a comparison point. It’s totally meaningless in actual sociological and anthropological terms.

  9. @Laszlo

    The treatment of Boris is qualitatively different.

    Even members of his current and previous professions agree he is given an incredibly easy ride.

    Today’s story – and it had story written all over it – was an ABC number – Boris wrote a potentially inflammatory article in a newspaper, Soames went public with his strident criticism on broadcast media and the clincher was that Obama was asked about it at a press conference and responded firmly with a rebuttal and even made a veiled slight to Johnson. It’s the kind of story journalists pray for. Most of it was on tape ready for broadcast.

    You say that the Mayor of London has racist views is a known fact and therefore not news- I’m not sure either that he does or that it is a known fact – the point is he is not being called to question for an embarrassing and potentially insulting episode. Moreover he is no longer simply the Mayor of London but the leading light in Vote Leave and potential PM in waiting.

    It’s not the normal pro-Conservative bias of the press at work here, it’s specific pro-Boris bias that is no doubt wound up with the Brexit campaign.

    The problem for us all is that it reveals just how acquiescent and subject to manipulation the media has become and also for the Tories that they may end up, almost by default, with such a ‘live wire’ as their leader.

    I wonder whether Cameron’s intemperate attempts at slapping him down, which at the time seemed so poorly judged, weren’t perhaps an efforts to damage him to save his party.

    A micro poll of Conservative MPs would be fascinating.

  10. P.S. I meant to add – it’s hard to talk about the polls because we don’t yet know whether the changes in polling have made them more accurate – we won’t know until the May election results have come in.

    The May election results will also affect what Labour does – a good result and Corbyn stays. Not so good result and his future is up in the air.

    No matter how much internal strife there is, the tories will hesitate to change leader till they know who they are facing in Labour. My guess is that they’ll wait till Lab makes it’s move before deciding on Cameron’s successor. Conservatives don’t have to do anything till 2019, no matter how excited various factions get.

  11. @Candy

    If we all got upset about our houses being photographed that would spell a bit of a problem for Google.

    Yes, I can imagine I do seem to be getting worked up about Boris – and you may well be right about front runners never getting the Tory leadership, though my recollection is that Major wasn’t quite the outsider you recall him as being, nor Hague for that matter.

    I suppose what I find measurably different about Boris is that – apart from being sacked by The Times and Cameron, both times for lying – he seems to possess a Ronald Reagan like quality that could well carry him through to leadership without ever properly being tested. He has certainly never been tested as Mayor by the acquiescent media and toothless tiger of the GLA.

    To get all the way to the top without really ever having to account for himself would be quite extraordinary, and a failure of the system.

  12. @ Candy

    “Conservatives don’t have to do anything till 2019, no matter how excited various factions get.”

    So long as Remain win reasonably convincingly.

    Anything less than a 10% margin and it could be tough for Cameron to control the 50% of the parliamentary party who were Brexit and seem to have taken such great umbridge at ‘that leaflet’.

    He could well be seen by them as responsible for ‘their defeat’.

  13. @Pete B

    “I note that no-one has (yet) responded to my point about recent immigrants being less integrated than earlier generations. I’m off to bed soon, so will see in the morning.”

    All the evidence is to the contrary.

    The bulk of new migrants (in the last few years) have been exercising freedom of movement under EU rules.

    Traditional measures of integration are: employment, learning English, adult participation in education and training, civil participation and geographical dispersal etc etc

    As we all know from the well rehearsed debates – EU migrants to the UK are more likely to be in work, they are younger and most surveys indicate that their language skills are developing quickly (often as a precondition or result of work). As many of them are younger they have started families and therefore are engaging well with civil society through the education system (but also the Catholic church in some instances).

    Though there are some clusters of young (predominantly though not exclusively male) groups concentrated in service, agricultural, food processing and construction sectors, as a whole this population group displays a far lower tendency to group in geographical areas than previous migratory communities.

    This is the largest group of new arrivals, if you had other specific groups in mind the answer might be different.

  14. “Maybe it’s because you are Londoners
    That you talk of London so.” :-)

    Discussion of the situation in one of the world’s greatest international cities doesn’t have very much to illuminate the questions that internal English Labour researchers are asking.

    It’s a bit like discussing the US Presidential election solely on the performance in New York City.

    Maybe complacency and arrogance weren’t restricted to Labour in Scotland after all. :-)

  15. Assiduosity – “Anything less than a 10% margin and it could be tough for Cameron to control the 50% of the parliamentary party who were Brexit and seem to have taken such great umbridge at ‘that leaflet’.”

    True – but it still doesn’t follow that Boris will succeed.

    Did you see that character assassination that Matthew Parris did of Boris, a few months ago? That kind of thing doesn’t happen to people who have a chance of being PM because it hands unnecessary ammunition to the opposition if the person gets the role. Which means the Tories have no intention of making Boris leader. I don’t think Osborne will get it either, though his chances improve if Corbyn stays. I think the likely Tory successor is someone who is not yet in the frame – the Tories like fresh starts.

  16. @Pete B

    I note that no-one has (yet) responded to my point about recent immigrants being less integrated than earlier generations. I’m off to bed soon, so will see in the morning.

    It may feel like that, but in a sense everyone is perhaps less integrated with each other.

    We are more diverse nation than the one our grand parents knew, but I think it is due to globalisation and much greater personal freedoms, driven by our economic system and technological change.

    Personally, I don’t intergrate much my work colleagues and neighbours.

    Why?

    Firstly, I work far from home, so I don’t socialise and live near to work colleagues.

    Secondly, my wife and I have very different values to most people, so we choose to quietly live our lives as we wish for ourselves.

    Thirdly, today it is much easier to live our lives as we see fit due the choices we have and way technology makes this easier than ever before.

    I think ‘intergration’ historically was living in closed world with less choices and freedom. Society was neatly split into a few blocks. Today, that has been blown away. I almost see the rose-tinted view of the past as a yearning for something that has gone. That is a very ‘human’ reaction.

    So perhaps people are less integrated now. However, don’t blame recent immigrants for that. It’s just the way society has moved.

    I am very grateful for that.

  17. Happy St George’s Day.

    Just listened to Crown Imperial by Walton, wonderful stirring stuff which to me says it all about the England and it’s history that I love best.

  18. Very interesting piece by Mathew Paris this morning on UK political parties after the Referendum. He touches on the intriguing reports that Farage wants to make UKIP an on-line protest movement a la Five Star in Italy.

    If it is 55/45 to Remain-what indeed will all those the Leavers do about their Westminster VI ?

  19. TOH
    A stirring piece of music. Wonderful.

  20. Colin
    Farage’s made reference to that on This Week, this week.

  21. @OldNat

    ‘Maybe it’s because you are Londoners
    That you talk of London so.” :-)’

    Or maybe because it’s a thread about the election for the mayor of…. London ;-)

  22. Not sure that Scotties pay much attention to thread topics…

  23. or nationalist Scotties, anyway…

  24. ROBERT

    Missed that. If the anti-Corbyns decide to go for it after the May elections & Stay win the Referendum , we could see some of old Prescott’s “tectonic plates” moving later this year ?

  25. @Colin

    ‘If it is 55/45 to Remain-what indeed will all those the Leavers do about their Westminster VI ?’

    This is an interesting question.

    Farrage would no doubt like to emulate the Five Star Movement – it has significant representation in both houses of the Italian parliament.

    FPTP will make it much more difficult for an insurgent force in the UK without a significant realignment, which as the SDP/Liberal Alliance – and UKIP – have proved is extremely difficult to achieve.

    If the polls are correct, then the bulk of the leave votes will be coming from existing UKIP and Conservative voters. Corbyn seems to have crafted a position of Euro – ambivalence that might keep Labour Brexiters in the fold – also the domestic policies of any UK five star may be tricky for them.

    The quandary seems to be for the Conservatives who will have an awful lot of leave voters in their ranks. Do they ultimately choose a leaver as leader – an odd position when the PM would be I’m favour of out but the public wants in (though the SNP have made it work in Scotland). Or they choose a remainer who is at odds with half the parliamentary party and a large chunk of voters.

    Whether the Tories can pick a leader who can unite the party and craft a coherent policy towards Europe may well dictate the fortunes of Farrage’s Five Star more than anything he does.

  26. ASSIDUOSITY

    @”This is an interesting question.”

    Yes-it is.

  27. @ Colin

    Arguably one of the two crucial questions in determining the 2020 GE.

    The other being?

    Who will lead the Labour party and politically where will they lead them?

    Though that has been rather done to death. As you and others point out the answers to both may lie in the result of the referendum and the reaction to it.

    I wonder if there are Conservatives in favour of exit who would rather that if they are going to lose that they do so conclusively in order to maintain party unity.

  28. “Arguably one of the two crucial questions in determining the 2020 GE.

    The other being?”

    ————

    Emacs or Vi(m)?

  29. @Carfrew

    “To be or not to be?”

    That, surely, is always the question ;-)

  30. @Carfrew

    You are entirely correct.

    This debate is as sadly neglected as the Thorium issue.

  31. Assiduosity: “So yes, London is a different country.”

    Although you meant this in the sense of accepting that London is socially and culturally distinct from the rest of the country, I think it would also make sense to take it literally when considering necessary constitutional reform.

    As many have discussed, the UK is a bit of an odd mishmash, subject to increasing centrifugal forces. Federalism is the obvious alternative to separation or trying to maintain the status quo. But the overwhelming preponderance of England in wealth and population makes this tricky.

    But extract London from England and make it one of five federal states and the federal union becomes much more balanced.

  32. @Assiduous

    Nah, that’s a bit too narcissistic for my tastes, like the endless wrangling over one’s identity.

    There are other questions, see next post for details!!!!

  33. SOMERJOHN.
    Good Morning to you.
    The London question is interesting in terms of domestic politics.

    Labour is doing well in London and a couple of London-like places such as Hove and Norwich South.
    Elsewhere in England it is doing well in its shrinking core heartlands based on the old Staple Industries.

    Apart from those places Labour seems to be falling back.

  34. @Catman

    Indeed. Along with other such legendary questions, like Gnome or KDE, Perl or PHP (or… Ruby!!) etc. etc.

  35. @Carfrew

    Heresy… and on The Bard’s anniversary!

    Mash or chips perhaps?

  36. In my day it was FORTRAN or COBOL.

  37. @Assiduous

    Ah, well, I’m still getting over the excitement of Liz’s birthday…

    (And it depends how you make the mash…)

  38. @Chrislane

    Labour is doing well in London and a couple of London-like places such as Hove and Norwich South.
    Elsewhere in England it is doing well in its shrinking core heartlands based on the old Staple Industries.

    Apart from those places Labour seems to be falling back.’

    What about Cambridge – Oxford – Exeter?

  39. @Pete B

    Did they cause peeps dilemmas? Cos they seemed targeted at different things, Fortran for handling scientific data, numerical analysis and stuff, COBOL more of a business thing, handling data for reports etc.?

  40. @AW

    Very perceptive – as ever – reflections on the forces at work shaping VI for the referendum in the piece you were part of on R4’s Week In Westminster.

    Labour will indeed need to get the remain vote out.

  41. Chrislane1945

    Good morning to you, too (though actually it’s afternoon where I am).

    Yes, having a Labour capital in a Tory country is interesting. Of course, if there were a 5-state federation, probably only one of them would have a Tory government. But presumably a new federal constitutional settlement would include a PR-elected federal assembly, opening a very interesting new can of electoral worms.

    And where would the assembly sit? I’d favour somewhere near the centre of gravity of the country (we’d better not call it the Federal United Kingdom). Richmond in Yorkshire would be nice, but maybe Leeds would make more sense.

  42. Colin
    Re techtonic plates shifting. Perhaps less likely without PR being introduced and that isnt going to happen any time soon. (Thankfully) More likely Labour and Conservatives will remain very broad churches. I would like to think that Europe becomes a non issue after the ref. Whichever way it goes. That maybe wishful thinking but it must be on Farage’s mind, hence his appreciation that UKIP has to broaden its appeal beyond a one issue protest group and become much more professional in the way it is run, formulates policies, etc. That of course pre-supposes that he will accept that he cannot continue to run the party like some medieval kingdom.

    In my view both Corbyn and Cameron will remain in place, whatever the results of all the elections taking place. JC is in a strong position viz the membership and the Blairites have no big hitter to dislodge him (unless they can rig it so he is excluded from the ballot paper). Labour probably will lose seats in the locals but they can say that’s because they were on a high, when many of the seats were last contested. Khan looks to be a shoe in now, despite all the controversy over who he has meetings with. Scotland is lost to them so that’s almost a non issue.

    As for the Tories, Cameron is going anyway in 2017/2018, so why have a bloodbath now. Providing he includes some key ‘outers’ in any negotiating team for Brexit, if that’s the way it goes and doesn’t purge ‘outers’ from the cabinet, maybe even promote a few, whichever way it goes, then that ought to keep all but small number of rabid dogs on his back benches happy. The party would be mad to force Cameron out at this juncture but then they have done mad things before.
    In the end though, remain will win. I predict at least 55 to 45, edging towards 60/40.

  43. GRAHAM.
    Thank you, as ever, for adding some examples.
    OK:
    apart from Oxford, Exeter and Cambridge? liberal places all.

    Basildon, Loughborough, Plymouth Sutton and Plymouth Moor View, Gower.

  44. Chrislane,

    Labour was very unlucky in Plymouth in 2015 – a big swing in their favour in the Plymouth Sutton & Devonport seat where the Greens almost certainly cost them the seat. In Moor View they were victims of Tory dirty tricks which did lead to a complaint to the police.

  45. To sum up – Labour is doing well in the places it is doing well, and it is not doing well in the places it is not doing well.

  46. PETE B

    I still use FORTRAN. A lot.

    CARFREW

    Or Nano, Gedit or Notepad++

    I sometimes use vi, but emacs is just….weird, couldn’t get on with it.

  47. I have long thought the one of the main drivers of immigration, making the UK more attractive than other destinations, isn’t benefits but “English”.

    Although more people might speak Manderin or something else, English really is the worlds only global language and London is it’s Capital.

    Hard to get figures but I suspect that the proportion of immigrants to the UK who speak “English” is probably high compared to immigrants speaking the native language of elsewhere.

    It’s also the effect of Colonialism and Empire where so many Countries have English as their first language (US, Canada, Australia) or second (India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa).

    Not something the MSM point to often but well you can have your own ideas as to why that might be.

    From this I would suggest that the number of immigrants who “Can’t even speak English” probably isn’t as much of an issue as some suggest or dare I say it some like to suggest!

    Peter.

  48. Robert

    “In the end though, remain will win. I predict at least 55 to 45, edging towards 60/40.”

    We are of one mind in our prediction, mores the pity result wise.

  49. @ LURKINGGHERKIN

    “YouGov: Support for the idea of a World Government in the UK. 41% of respondents strongly support or tend to support. 29% strongly oppose or tend to oppose (with roughly the same level feeling ‘strongly’ in both camps, 10-11%).”

    The question was then repeated:

    Do you support the idea of a World Government with its headquarters in Brussels?

    Contributors are asked to give their opinions on what answers to this question the poll elicited in the format Strongly Support, Support, Oppose, Strongly Oppose

  50. According to the Mirror on line (hardly the Encyclopedia Britanica) their are 140k people in the UK that speak no English…0.3%. Hardly the Apocalypse!

    Peter.

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