Today’s Evening Standard carries a new YouGov poll of London. The topline voting intention figures are CON 45%, LAB 33%, LDEM 16%.

This represents a swing of 9.5% from the last general election, which is actually marginally lower than the swing to the Conservatives in the country as a whole, which the last YouGov poll suggested was 10.5%. The giant PoliticsHome poll of marginal seats last year also suggested that London was one of the Conservatives weaker areas.

I can’t see any other questions in the Standard’s report, but in the past they’ve tended to commission polls and then report results over a couple of days, so there may yet be more.

27 Responses to “YouGov poll of Londoners”

  1. It will be interesting to see how this pans out on a borough by borough basis

  2. Speaking of London, do any pollers carry out approval ratings for Boris Johnson whilst he’s in office, or is that the same as this poll?

  3. Billy – if the Evening Standard did commission more questions than just this one, then it’s probably a safe bet some of them are about Boris.

  4. Interesting, but clearly London has a different demographic to the rest of the country, in terms of earning power, “social class”, etc. so I don’t feel that simply comparing the raw swing is useful.

    Is there any way of weighting the groups in the polls to give a comparison to the rest of the country? Or is the data not there (or the sample sizes are too small). I’m not a statistician, so I could only give it a rough go.

    Then we could compare the effects of Boris to the effects of the swings across the country.

  5. Labour probably has a slightly larger base of support in London, mainly because of the 30% ethnic minority population. This poll is quite similar to the 1979 election result in London which was C: 44%, Lab: 37%, L: 17%.

  6. It could well be that Boris will hurt the cons in London, not because he’s terrible or anything, but because being in power by default is bad for your popularity, you get the blame for everything and the credit for little….

  7. This seems very much in line with the polling we got last year, when pollsters were doing regular London polls because of the Mayoral contest. Doesn’t look like Labour position has really improved in the last year?

  8. ‘Labour probably has a slightly larger base of support in London, mainly because of the 30% ethnic minority population’…. Andy S.

    Or does Labour have a slightly larger support group there due to the cosmopolitan nature of the society? (Less rural conservatives in a capital city?)

    Or are we saying ethnic groups are more likely to support Labour? (the implication behind that for the Conservatives is fascinating)

    Or are we saying working class groups (of which a reasonable percentage are ‘ethnic’) support Labour? (An observation which I think no-one would dispute)

  9. BILLY – There were indeed questions about Boris in the ES poll, including potential match ups against Ken Livingstone and Sir Alan Sugar:

  10. “Weaker” is obviously a relative term.

    Conservative swings in London in 2005 were larger than in just about any other part of the country – albeit mainly because of large falls in the Labour vote rather than increases in the Conservative vote. Perhaps there is only so much further for Labour’s vote to fall there.

  11. Well, I would take issue with both Andy Stidwell and Jack on their assumptions, since the true picture is a combination of all the factors mentioned.

    More interesting are the implications of this poll for the Euro Elections – London being one of only two English Euro regions where there are no local elections on 4th June.

    Euro Election result in London 2004 vs National ave:

    Con – 26.8% vs 26.7% = +0.1%
    Lab – 24.8% vs 22.6% = +2.2%
    LD – 15.3% vs 14.9% = +0.4%

    In other words, London was slightly more inclined to Lab in an election where Lab did exceptionally badly at national level, but overall, this region was one of two which most closely mirrored the national result (other was West Midlands).

    Since this poll has only 6% for “others”, low even by standards for Westminster polls, we would need to adjust the headline figures to get a better prediction for Euros, where the “others” are likely to pick up around four times that amount.

    As a crude proxy, 70% of the headline figures would give us:

    Con – 31.5% = +4.7%
    Lab – 23.1% = -1.8%
    LD – 11.2% = -4.1%

    If the Euro result in London is broadly similar to the above, then that would be consistent with these headline figures for GE.

  12. Is this actually a new poll by Yougov or is it merely a London cut from their Sunday Telegraph or Sunday people poll?

  13. I’d be really interested to see approval ratings for the Borisphere.

  14. “Or are we saying ethnic groups are more likely to support Labour? (the implication behind that for the Conservatives is fascinating)”

    What? I thought everyone knew that this is the case.

  15. Overall Summary (London) – (73 Seats)
    Electorate 5010286
    Conservative 1312985 (42 Seats +21)
    Labour 962799 (26 Seats -18)
    Lib. Dem. 466805 (4 Seats -3)
    Others 99160
    Respect 37433 (1 Seat)
    BNP 14815
    NF 3352
    Independent 3202
    Veritas 2755
    Christian Peoples Alliance 1970
    Green 1731
    Malvin Brown, Res 1682
    SocAlt 1415
    English Democrats 1355
    Socialist Labour Party 1115
    George Weiss, RDrm 998
    Babar Ahmad, PeaceProg 665
    UK Independence Party 618
    Workers Revolutionary Party 589
    Loony 561
    Janet Stears, PeoplesChc 394
    Graham Williamson, TW 351
    Benjamin Rae, Lib 307
    Daniel Lambert, SP 234
    Monty Goldman, ComB 196
    Eddie Adams, GreenSoc 95
    Total 2917582 58.23% (73 Seats)
    Con Majority 11 0.00%
    Con Win
    Swing from Labour to Conservative of 9.49%

    based onUKELECT forecast of seats in london on figures con 45% lab 33% ld 16%

  16. Jack:
    Ethnic minorities overwhelmingly back Labour throughout the country, despite the often negative statements about the Labour party made by members of the ethnic minorities. I think something like 70% of EMs were estimated to have voted Labour at the last general election.

  17. The correct figures for the 1979 General Election in London are Con 46.0%, Lab 39.6% and Liberals just above 11%. (swing 6.4%).
    (The swing in east London was larger, starting close in around Islington).

    In 1992 it was Con 45.4%, Labour 37.2%, and Lib Dems between 14 and 15%.

    I’m not surprised that the swing to the Conservatives this time is lower – there is a stickier Labour vote in the capital for various reasons, and we saw it in 2008. A relatively good performance actually although it may not have looked like it because of the change of control.

  18. I took my figures for London from the Times Guide To The House Of Commons 1979. I’ll have to check on the figures. I wonder if they were excluding some seats or something.

  19. That can’t be right Andy – with respect.
    I’ve seen that book some years ago – or certainly an equivalent book.
    Those figures aren’t right – the Tories and Labour were both slightly higher than in 1992.

  20. Right, thanks everyone!

  21. Those were the Oct 1974 figures. I thought the Liberal vote was a bit high.

  22. Oct 74 was Lab 43.8% to Con 37.4%.
    can’t remember the Lib figure.

  23. That was in my original post where I thought the figures were 1979 but were actually Oct 74, so Liberals were 17% in Oct 74.

  24. London

    1974 Oct 43.8% 37.4% 17%
    1979 39.6% 46.0% 11.2%
    1983 29.8% 43.9% 24.7%
    1987 31.5% 46.5% 21.1%
    1992 37.2% 45.4% 14.7%
    1997 49.6% 31.2% 14.3%

  25. Whichever way you cut it, looks like labour are well and truly doomed. I guess everyone is just trying to work out who, exactly, is going to lose their seats at the GE. Once they know, will the likely victims turn on the perp?

  26. My gut feel is the Tories will struggle to get much above 40 in Greater London.
    There are a number of seats like Hornsey and Wood Green and Streatham which are still going to be in a far worse state than in 1992 (or 1983 when their share was a bit less).

    But Brett-Chorley is most likely to be correct, unless there is some unexpected event.

  27. Brett,

    The likely victims will need to make a reasoned assesment of their choices:

    (1) What is the chance of retaining their seat for Labour ?
    (2) To whom are they most likely to lose it ?
    (3) Do they have an alternative career / job lined up ?
    (4) If they defect, would their new party allow them to stand as its candidate ?
    (5) Even if answer to (4) is yes, what is the chance of holding their seat for teh new party ?

    Only those who can get a positive response on (3) and / or (5) have any incentive to jump ship or force an early election.

    Some may calculate that the answer to (1) is better now than later, but if they force an early election, would that backfire on them ?

    One option under (3) is a seat in the Lords – but that will go up in smoke if they rock the boat.

    The answer to (2) could be a major factor which limits their options – especially combined with (4). Some may be tempted to defect to LDs in the hope of standing and defeating a Tory threat. However, the track record of defectors standing in their old constituency is not good, while neither Con nor LD are going to allow some failed Lab MP to carpet-bag their most promising targets, still less a safe seat (not that the LDs have any to offer).

    So, all in all, don’t expect many defectors or Labour MPs willing to vote against Brown on a confidence motion – however bad things look.