You can read my commentary on the London mayoral race for Progress magazine here. Alas the publication deadline for the article was before the two polls released this week, so half of what I said is out of date – such is life.

A very full list of candidates for the mayoral election is on the election guide here – though I wouldn’t expect all of them to actually reach the starting line!

Candidates for most of the assembly seats are here, and list candidates announced so far are here.

Finally, I’ve put up a page to keep track of polls for the mayoral election here.

The full tables for the Ipsos MORI for the Labour party are now out.

Asking ALL respondents, the figures were Livingstone 44%, Johnson 33%, Paddick 16%, Berry 4%. Once all but the top two candidates were elminated and second preferences re-allocated the result becomes Livingstone 51%, Johnson 41% (the figures don’t sum to 100% because some people were not reallocated, presumably because they gave second preference votes to candidates that had already been eliminated).

Using MORI’s standard filter on likelihood to vote, which is to take only those 10/10 certain to vote, the figures are LIVINGSTONE 42%, JOHNSON 38%, PADDICK 16%, BERRY 2%. When the second preferences of those certain to vote are reallocated, the final result becomes LIVINGSTONE 48%, JOHNSON 46%.

Interestingly these don’t tally with the figures released by the press yesterday – I think that’s because those figures had not been repercentaged to exclude don’t knows and won’t votes.

As I said this morning the poll is already a fortnight old and was conducted prior to Lee Jasper’s suspension and the negative publicity that brought Ken Livingstone (though I suspect the contrast with the more recent YouGov poll that showed Boris ahead on first preferences is more to do with methodology than a shift in support). Either way, with only 2% between them on the second count, the race appears to be very, very close.


(For all polls on the London mayoral election go here)

After waiting months for a proper poll on the London mayoral election, two come along at once (I’ve resisted a bendy bus metaphor!). Firstly there is a new YouGov poll for London Tonight, and unlike the January YouGov poll with the sorry sample of under 400, this one has a respectable sample size of 1,000.

The topline figures, with changes from the last decent sized YouGov poll back in December, are JOHNSON 44%(-1), LIVINGSTONE 39%(-5), PADDICK 12%(+5).

While that’s good news for Boris, Ken Livingstone has hit back by releasing some of the Labour party’s private polling for the campaign by Ipsos MORI. Their polling has topline figures of Ken 37%, Boris 28%, Brian Paddick 14% and Sian Berry 3% taking all those expressing a preference and using only those certain to vote – the filter MORI use for their standing voting intention questions – LIVINGSTONE 38%, JOHNSON 35%, PADDICK 14%. Asked to pick just between Boris and Ken, Livingstone leads by 2 points. Corrected figures for this poll are now here.

Neither of these seem to have been officially released yet, so no news on fieldwork dates and so on.

UPDATE: On Livingstone’s website he is busy dismissing ICM’s recent survey for Porsche on the congestion charge by – with quite unbelievable chutzpah – referring to TfL’s “mystery poll”. Here’s the difference, whatever the sample size of the ICM poll, the full question order and wording are visible for all to see and judge if the questions are fair and just…

UPDATE 2: The YouGov poll was conducted between the 19th and 21st February. No news of when the MORI poll was done – they are working out exactly what data has entered the public domain before releasing the relevant tables.

UPDATE 3: And the MORI fieldwork was done between the 8th-12th of February, so about a week and a half earlier. In between the two polls Lee Jasper was suspended by Ken Livingstone, which did result in some negative publicity and could have damaged his ratings – though it is equally as likely that the difference between the two polls is down to the very different methodologies used, or simple random variation between different samples.

ComRes’s monthly poll has topline voting intention figures, with changes from their January poll, of CON 41%(+3), LAB 30%(nc), LDEM 17%(nc). The poll was taken between February 22nd and February 24th and the full tables are available here.

ComRes tend to produce the strongest figures for the Conservative party, largely because their weighting is more favourable to them than that of ICM and Populus (equally, they tend to give the poorest figures to Labour), but it remains a substantial lead and the direction of the trend doesn’t support that intriguing YouGov/Economist poll that hinted at Northern Rock’s nationalisation having helped Labour.

UPDATE: The morning after and I’ve had chance to look at the detailed tables. This month ComRes’s weighting isn’t actually unduly favourable to the Conservatives – the target weighting figures that ComRes use are based on a rolling average of only 4 polls, compared to 10 for Populus and 20 for ICM. This means ComRes’s weighting is far more volatile, and this month they are actually weighting past Conservative support to exactly the same level as ICM did in their last poll. Some of the difference between the companies’ figures may still be down to methodology, likelihood of voting, the spiral of silence adjustment, ComRes’s “squeeze question” or Lib Dem weighting, which is different…. but it’s not as simple this month as ComRes weighting the Tories more highly.

Today sees the first polls taken since the nationalisation of Northern Rock. A snap Populus poll with a small sample size for the Times found that 49% of people agreed that it was right for the government to nationalise Northern Rock, with 40% disagreeing -although 69% thought they should have tried harder to find a private buyer. 58% of people said the government was to blame for the problems affecting Northern Rock to some extent, but this was lower than the proportion of people who blamed the credit crunch, the city authorities or the management of Northern Rock itself.

The poll appears to show Brown and Darling back ahead of Cameron and Osborne on economic trust, though it’s worth noting that the poll doesn’t appear to have been politically weighted. Answers to questions like that are often extremely party partisan, so this shift will be largely to do with weighting, rather than a change in public opinion.

While there is support for nationalisation, it doesn’t mean that Labour’s handling of the issue is a positive for them, it may simply be a recognition that it is only practical opinion at this stage, the public could still think the overall way the problem was handled is poor. A second poll, this time by YouGov for the Economist, found only 11% thought the government’s handling of Northern Rock over the last few months was excellent or good, 51% think it has been poor or awful.

Does this benefit the Conservatives? In the short term at least, not at all: if anything, their reaction appears to have backfired on them. 59% of people agreed the Conservatives would have done much the same and they are just playing politics. That may reflect no more than a low opinion of all politicans rather than the Conservatives specifically, but the proof of the pudding is in the voting intentions – and the figures for the Economist show a marginal shift from the Conservatives to Labour in the wake of the nationalisation – the topline figures with changes from the last YouGov poll were CON 40%(-1), LAB 34%(+2), LDEM 16%(nc). As ever, we shouldn’t read too much into small changes in a single poll, but it looks like this hasn’t damaged Labour.