Yesterday’s Observer had a new YouGov poll of London, commissioned by Queen Mary University London. Full tables for the poll are here.

Labour performed very strongly in London at the general election this year. There was six point swing to Labour compared to a two pooint swing in Britain as a whole, presumably related to London being younger and more pro-European than the rest of England. The first post-election poll of London shows Labour holding on to that dominant position – topline figures with changes since the general election are CON 30%(-3), LAB 55%(nc), LDEM 8%(-1).

Sadiq Khan also continues to enjoy strong support. 58% of Londoners think he is doing well as mayor, and asked a comparative question he rates more positively than either of his predecessors. 58% think Khan is doing a good good, compared to 47% who thought Ken Livingstone did and 46% who think Boris Johnson did.

The poll also asked about TfL declining Uber’s application for a licence renewal. When this was first announced there was a very negative reaction on social media… but of course, that over-represents exactly the sort of people who regularly use Uber. The poll finds that people who regularly use Uber do indeed think it was the wrong decision (by 63% to 27%)… but the majority of Londoners use Uber rarely or never and they approve of the decision. Overall 43% of people think it was right to take away Uber’s licence, 31% think it was wrong. Even among those regular Uber users there’s no obvious sign of a backlash against Khan or Labour. 66% of them still say Khan is doing a good job, 63% say they would vote Labour in an election tomorrow. Personally I’d be extremely surprised if the whole thing didn’t end up with a compromise between TfL and Uber allowing them to renew their licence, but for the moment the polling suggests that the public back Sadiq Khan on the issue.

629 Responses to “YouGov/QMUL poll of London”

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  1. Very impressive figures for Labour.
    Sad news about Tom Petty this evening.

  2. The net movement in London is right in line with national Polling showing a 1-to-2% swing since the general Election in June.

    While it looks like the Greens and UKIP picking up support, there is no guarantee that they would contest all constituencies – and of course they didn’t in June.

  3. @ Mike Pearce

    “Sad news about Tom Petty this evening.”

    I’d missed that in all the other things going on. Just Bob Dylan and Jeff Lynne left of the Traveling Wilburys now. Bob will out-live all the legends, I suspect he must have made a pact with the Devil at some point.

  4. “The poll finds that people who regularly use Uber do indeed think it was the wrong decision (by 63% to 27%)…”


    So out of regular Uber users more than a quarter were also happy with Uber’s licence being withheld?

  5. Good evening all from Winchester, England’s capital.

    Great poll for Labour in London but how much of this support is for metropolitan Labour aka Sadiq Khan and how much of it is genuinely for provincial ol Corby? Maybe the London yoofs have ditched the dreadlocks and tambourine get togethers in gentrified bars and clubs and have actually realised that their futures are more secure under ol Corby than the metro elite sponsored by Abercrombie fitch snobs.

    As for Urber….Correct decision. A lot of their drivers don’t speak good English and are glued to their satnavs for the smallest of journeys. The company I work for will not pay out expenses to colleagues who use Urber and only recommend the traditional black cabs because they are more likely to get to their destination in one piece.


    Loved Petty’s work. So many good songs and so under rated in this country. Only 66 and had been touring this year.

  7. @ToH

    “i’ve run out of storage space for CD’s and books, hundreds of the former and thousands of the latter.”


    I feel a storage unit coming on…

  8. Fe Tom Petty. Not yet officially confirmed ?

    Re Hammond talking about fighting Labour dinosaurs. Does he not realise that the youth love dinosaurs ! More reason to vote Labour ?

  9. So assuming this was the election result the same as polling which seats would fall? Putney for certain, chingford? But Boris’s seat probably not?

  10. I think the take home from the poll for me is that Labour are mostly gaining from LibDem since the GE (which also reflects the national position). I don’t see any good news for LibDems in recent polls. In London, they might still be OK in the few constitutencies where they are currently the more popular ABT vote, but elsewhere, they look to be in big trouble.

    The rating of Sadiq Khan vs previous mayors is not really fair at this stage, he’s not been there as long as the others were. The shine might fade, but maybe he has what it takes to retain his popularity? Only time will tell.

  11. “Tom Petty dead-66!”

    Apparently not, or at least, not yet.

  12. ALEC

    Lots of retractions from newscast agencies. There is some hope that Tom Petty is still alive. I really hope he can pull through

  13. Perhaps BoJo should recall the behaviour of the foreign secretary of the UK of GB&I in 1809. – George Canning, and the duel in Putney.

  14. 58% think Khan is doing a good good, compared to 47% who thought Ken Livingstone did and 46% who think Boris Johnson did.

    It has to be pointed out that Boris was getting a 58% approval rating only four months before he left office:

    it actually seems quite difficult to get a bad rating as Mayor.

    Mind you while his approval seems high his nett figure is less impressive:

    Livingstone 47 – 27 = +20

    Khan 58 – 24 = +34

    Johnson 46 – 40 = +6

    It was +29 in that previous pol, so his reputation seems to suffering in London as much as elsewhere.

    52% of under-25s had no opinion of Livingstone (which I suppose makes sense as we’re talking nine years ago). They do take Ubers at least fairly often, though. 42% do as opposed to 7% of the over-65’s.

    In fact only 22% of respondents said they take Uber at least fairly often and 51% said they had never used them. Despite all the talk of the ban disadvantaging women there waslittle difference between the sexes. Things that matter to journalists (and especially to journalists personally) aren’t always those that engage trhe public.

    There’s another good example of this in the survey. Asked:
    Recently, the Mayor announced that plans for “The Garden Bridge” – a proposed bridge between the South Bank and the Victoria Embankment – was to be scrapped. Were you pleased or disappointed about this?
    only 33% were pleased and 20% disappointed – the rest said ‘Neither’ or Don’t Know. And yet this was a topic that raised a lot of emotion and had a lot of coverage in the press.

  15. @ToH

    “I would try to be welcoming if Labour held it’s conference in Epsom despite the fact that I loath it in its present form.”


    What have you got against Epsom???

    It will be interesting to see whether Khan beats the gun on urban project style investment of the kind which the EC has provded and is used in overseas urban and commercial development by the Bretton Woods institutions and by the UK;s CDC. To borrow a post which I just sent post-new Fred in response to your ““, the State may seek to assist markets in a hands-off way via investment banks but it’s still state involvement innit.’
    Yeah, but it’s like good, hands- off state involvement: strictly done on commercial banking terms, covering costs of the money and a mark-up to make the investment institution viable, and can provide value-added, forgeing linkages with supply and marketing chains or providing,technical support and training,tapping into competitive specialist private or civil sector suppy, which can be written into the loan agreement.
    The multilateral development finance institution system (to which DfiD provides about a fifth of all UK aid, bases all lending on detailed feasibility studies including social cost benefit analysis and technical asssistance during the loan period, designed a projects, with specific purposes and independent M&E. i.e. it doesnot leave the proposition “investment banking is economically viable”, to conjecture.

  17. Re: Tom Petty
    He is dead now unfortunately.

  18. Triguy

    “Labour are gaining mainly from the Lib Dems”

    That is a very strange conclusion to make from a poll where the Tories are down 3%, the Lib Dems down 1%, and Labour not gaining at all! In fact UKIP are the only party that are up, and everything is within margin of error anyway. If you do take the figures literally the Lib Dems would gain Richmond Park and hold all their other London seats.

  19. CARFREW (from y’day) – so why have the Welsh now put in a means tested approach? Maybe the influence of the 1 LDEM AM in the devolved WLAB coalition?

  20. TM
    Despite the media agenda to make this a bad conference for TM speaking quietly I think she has been alright. This might be because expectations were low but she does not seem on the verge of quitting and might indeed be spoiling for a rematch against jezza.

    For those who say it is clutching at straws well at least there is still straw to clutch.

    “I feel a storage unit coming on…”

    Sadly we would need to move house if I bought another CD cabinet or bookcase and we really are too old to want the hassle of moving to a larger house.

    “What have you got against Epsom???”
    You know exactly what I mean. I’ve even joined the Conservatives to help stop Labour at the next election.

    Can you help, who is Tom Petty? I assume some sort of entertainer?

  22. TOH
    Thomas Earl Petty[1] (October 20, 1950 – October 2, 2017) was an American musician, singer, songwriter, multi instrumentalist and record producer. He was best known as the lead singer of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, but was also a member and co-founder of the late 1980s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys, and his early band Mudcrutch.(Wiki)

  23. John Pilgrim

    Thanks, not an area of music I am at all familar with.

  24. ToH
    Shelves in the loft?
    We did that, but it also meant putting in wooden steps rather than a loft ladder.

  25. @ S THOMAS – expectations were low but they do appear to have papered over the leadership challenge for now which was the biggest risk in most peoples eyes. I’m back on the fence there. I think it is inevitable that May will be replaced and hence would rather have it sooner but can see the damage it might cause.

    Most disappointing IMHO was May seems to be aware of the problem (low youth vote, etc) but doing very little about it – no real headline grabber ‘new’ approach.

    In many ways similar to LAB conference. The existing voters will be happy but nothing to really pull in swing voters

    Whispers that Hammond might be saving his ammo for the budget – he has around 13bn extra he could spend looking at the books. If he just uses that to speed up balancing the budget then next govt will be LAB for sure.

    If he doesn’t make a serious move on public sector pay we will have a Winter of discontent and CON will have handed LAB a PR coup. If pubic sector pay gets a decent boost (LAB now only promising inflation level pay rises) but Unite etc still strike then the PR damage falls on LAB.

    I doubt the Jurassic World digs at LAB will win over the youth vote. The youth don’t seem to care as they have no recollection of the 1970s, ‘free stuff’ sounds great and they do not understand how vulnerable our economy will be in the years immediately following Brexit.

    Once Brexit is fully over maybe that makes a lot of Remain sat in LAB VI reconsider their vote but I’d rather CON had a message of hope and not re-run a ‘fear’ approach relying on young voters to believe ‘the other lot are worse’

    Despite the daily rehashing of Project Fear, Brexit offers great potential to this country but no one is making a pitch for the positive aspects – Hammond says he is ‘realistic’ when we need a CoE who is ‘cautiously optimistic’.

    I think the leadership issue will likely come back in early Dec. If Hammond delivers a damp squib budget and EC delay further on sufficient progress hoping to keep us locked in transition then I expect Boris will make a more serious attempt at power. DD might have quietly given notice to May that he’ll back Boris so the right are quietly uniting around Boris. Behind the scenes the scorecard would have been added up and my guess is a lot of ‘yes, but not yet’ and ‘maybe, but give her once last chance’ MPs that could easily be persuaded to drop May if she doesn’t seriously up her game in the coming months.

    All IMHO of course.

  26. I currently rent two storage units for all my books…..

  27. P.S. ‘Right’ is the wrong phrase. Boris is far more liberal on most policies than ‘mid-CON’. He is ‘right’ on Brexit which isn’t really a left-right thing anyway. In 2D politics he is centre ideologically but prefers a ‘harder’ Brexit.
    Prefer ‘cleaner’ to ‘harder’ but you have to accept some social constructs become social norms.

  28. “David Davis plans to retire in 2019 and leave Boris Johnson to steer the UK through the transitional period, The Telegraph can reveal.

    The Brexit secretary told friends that Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, “needs this to work more than I do” because he plans to step aside in June 2019 whereas Mr Barnier will still be in post.

    Mr Davis believes Brexit will be his “last big job”, friends told this newspaper.”



  29. @Colin

    It is being whispered (and not very quietly at that) that Davies now realises his big EU crusade was a mistake.

    He wants out in a way that doesn’t wreck his reputation and his chances of a peerage. Dishing Boris Johnson would be the icing on that cake.

    It really is notable quite how many prominent Brexiteers have fled the stage. Davies won’t be the last.

  30. Is London to Labour today as Scotland was to Labour in the 1980’s and 1990’s?

  31. Trevor Warne

    There is no formal Lab/LD coalition in the Welsh Assembly. The 1 LD AM agreed to serve as Education Minister in an otherwise Lab cabinet but has no role in other subjects. The latest budget is a Lab/Plaid Cymru agreement. All very complicated but it shows that various parties are prepared to work together in Wales, except no one wants to work with the Conservatives or UKIP. The circular layout of the chamber was an attempt to encourage a cooperative approach.

  32. If you don’t read Stephen Bush you are making a mistake. Yes, he’s left-wing (moderately), but he is also the shrewdest current political writer and is very, very good on data.

    Here he is on why Hammond’s speech was a failure. Note it.

    “… the under-40s (or the under-30s or the 18 to 24s or whatever metric for “young voters” you wish to use) simply aren’t more inclined to be anti-capitalist than the over-40s. Quite the reverse, in fact. They are less supportive of Labour’s programme of renationalisations and of nationalisation generally, have a slightly less negative view of capitalism than the over-40s, and in general their policy asks – a bigger pay packet, a home of their own – are not exactly socialist in tooth and claw.

    The Conservatives lost their majority because they did very badly among three groups who are actually more sympathetic to capitalism as a concept than the voters they kept: affluent ethnic minorities, the socially liberal, and the young. What unites all three of these blocs is they are uneasy about culture wars and they tend to live in places where the housing crisis has become acute. Something else unites them too: the fruitlessness of trying to win them over by talking about the 1970s. “

  33. I am not sure quite what to make of the story about Davis (I’ve only got the R4 summary and Colin’s comment to go on), but surely one way of reading it is that DD is saying that he plans to step away from the top table and hence hasn’t got much stake in doing a good job of the negotiations, or at least in being perceived to have done a good job. On the positive side, if he’s not concerned about reputational consequences he may be more likely to do what he thinks is best for the country in the long-term. On the negative side he may not care enough about the outcome to go the extra mile when necessary.

    Another way of reading it is that he’s seen the writing on the wall and is already preparing his escape and trying to minimise the blame that will attach to him when it all goes unmistably pear-shaped.

    It’s very curious that ‘friends of’ would choose to give the media this story. Surely politicians have learned by now that talking about the timing of their departure from high office had devastating consequences for their power? It’s probably this that make me see the story as an attempt at damage limitation. It also makes him look irresponsible, from the point of view of the national interest.

  34. Bush again:

    “The strange thing is that all the Tories have to do to win is stop talking as if affluent ethnic minorities are the enemy and as if everyone who voted Remain should be sent to camp, and to turn their energies towards house-building. The future could yet be blue.

    But Labour’s great joy is that the Tories are already acting as if the last election has been fought and lost. “

  35. Chris Riley

    Do you have a link for the Stephen Bush article? Sounds interesting.

  36. @ Andrew

    ” “Labour are gaining mainly from the Lib Dems”

    That is a very strange conclusion to make.. ”

    Sorry, I should have been more clear. I meant since the GE. The only really significant shift in VI (when you look at the Vote in 2017 GE vs current VI*) is in the number of people who voted LD in the GE, but currently intend to vote Labour. That’s what I meant.

    * Page 1 of tables

  37. Chris Riley

    Ta, I shall take a look.

    I think the leadership issue will likely come back in early Dec

    Do not think it will ever go away, it will be with us every week of every month until she is gone. Every time Boris or JRM or Hammond or any number of others make comments it will be there, continually being picked at.
    It is a running sore and Brexit will only irritate it further

  39. I think one of the main reasons for the drop in Conservative support is the number of Conservative 2017 voters now in don’t know (18). Also surprises me that amongst current Conservative VI there is a bigger proportion in ‘total well’ for Sadiq Khan (48%) compared to ‘Total badly’ (41%). With the drop in conservative support i would have thought that the current Conservative voters would be likely to have more hard core Conservative supporters who would be negative against a Labour mayor. Maybe this is a short-term reaction to the Uber ban which Tories were more likely to approve of, or a longer term reaction to his reaction to terrorist attacks, grenfell (cons had net approval of him on that).

    Re: the garden bridge – someone said that it was a big talking point but living in south London the only people i mentioned it to were neutral/bored of it. Might have hit the headlines but am not sure it hits the person in the street much.

  40. Uh oh. Just seen the construction figures. That’s bad.

  41. Did anyone else hear T. May say on Today this morning in the Nick Robinson interview, “Too many died in the Grenfell fire”. How many was OK?!


    @”the Tories have to do to win is stop talking as if affluent ethnic minorities are the enemy”

    Who has said that? I don’t understand Bush’s reference.

    @” and as if everyone who voted Remain should be sent to camp”

    Is there that sort of attitude at Conference?. Did he not hear Ruth Davidson say “it’s time we in this party made it clear – that we’re not Leavers or Remainers anymore – we’re just Brits.” Did he not hear the ovation she received. Did he not see the banners OUTSIDE the Conference equation Tories with “Leave”?

    @”, and to turn their energies towards house-building. ”

    Did he not listen to Javid’s speech?……the minister responsible for housing?

    If this is an example of his “analytical” skill-I’m not inclined to rush to read him..

  43. @ BAZINWALES – thank you, no disrespect to Wales but I don’t really follow the devolved policies. Do you have any link or view to why the universal grant system was replaced with a means tested approach?

    Lot of folks on UKPR hate means testing so curious why Wales implemented it.

  44. One, highly optimistic, view on why Hammond, Greening, etc have been so boring is that May is going to spread some jam on their dried bread?

    Words I want to hear from her:
    “End of public sector pay cap”
    “Review of grants assistance for poorer students” (avoid the baggage label!)
    “Prepare for a no-deal Brexit” (hopefully worded better)

    If I’m allowed to really dream for a second then how about:
    ” a one time bonus of 500 for our highly valued front-line public service workers” (roughly costed as 400mm)

    Unlikely, but here’s hoping :)

  45. Tories

    The sign of a party that has lost confidence in itself is that it cannot resist the London centric media agenda. Examples are that they themselves believe in some strange way that they lost the election, that brexit is something to be endured and that they must recapture the youth vote.
    The tories do not need to capture the youth and student vote. They never had it in the first place. The key number is 47. that is the age when more people vote tory than labour/others.
    the tories need to reduce that to about 40 and think about the policies that can bring that about:

    a. Student fees. Never mind the ungrateful tykes go for their parents; there has to be a massive reduction to around 3k for parents to balance a untried labour offer aginst a certain tory offer; Allow debt buyout as well just for good measure.
    b. housing . build .build. bulid.
    c. Rental. Allow assured tenancies to be for 5 years; Remove buy to let obstacles.
    d. Lower taxes.
    e. good schools
    f. A properly funded care scheme for their parents who this group are just beginning to worry about.

    ooh and leave the eU in march 2019.And forget about Jezza McFly.

  46. Colin

    Interesting to read your reaction to the Bush articles. I was interested mainly because he seemed to be saying that the voters the Tories have lost don’t really look like converts to socialism, which is certainly consistent with some of the ‘bribes’ that Corbyn has offered and what seem like some curious priorities.

    I read the article not as an attack on the Tories, but a warning to Labour, that if they want to sell a genuinely leftwing programme to the voters they’ve still got a lot of work to do. Perhaps also as an invitation to examine the relationship between Labour’s leftwing mood music and their actual policies ( I was hoping Bush would do this, no such luck).

    Incidently – did Ruth Davidson really say it was time for the Tories to ‘man up’ or was I half-asleep when I heard this?

  47. @ TW

    Wales and grants. The change in policy is a little complex. The previous system provided a universal payment towards tuition fees and a grant system for maintenance which was means tested. The change has been to continue the grants system for maintenance, but at much higher levels of maintenance payments and for those poorer students to take on the full fees as a loan. Therefore there has been a shift towards means tested maintenance grants, the policy is meant to encourage those with poor family backgrounds to accept paying loans for tuition in the future in order to get grants for day to day living now.

  48. @ TW

    found this report which is reasonable explanation of the policy and the reasoning behind it

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