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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    I really don’t know why yo posted that comment?? I wrote “So without going into the actual pay per annum (we would all love a bit more) the issue appears to be around the classification of Saturday and Sunday working going from anti-social hours to that of being part of a normal working week”
    I was on about the classification of anti social working hours which appears to be the sticking point not the overall salary which regardless of what profession must of us would like a bit more.

    And to CARFREW….I’m sympathetic to your thoughts on bankers and as I have said before it;s those who work in the retail banking who usually end up having to pay with their jobs when the bloated yins at the top male a hash of things.

    Please don’t mistaken me for Corporate Christie. I’m more in favour of the small and medium size business community.

    Okay I’m done for now. Have a nice evening peeps.

  2. I’m broadly of the view that junior doctors deserve significantly more money, however that would be financed (tax rises, cuts in other NHS spending or cuts in other government spending). I suspect that their pretty low salaries are at the root of the bad feeling, rather than the specifics of anti-social hours payments. Recruitment and retention would also improve, although I see that also as a problem with too many art colleges and not enough medical schools.

    However I do also think that the government has a point and that there is a case for providing non-emergency care over a wider window of time, and for providing more comprehensive emergency care than is currently available at night and weekends.

    I’m with the government on creating a pay structure that doesn’t create perverse incentives to dispense with all but the most skeleton coverage at weekends.

    I’m with the doctors on believing that a 24 hour NHS can’t be delivered without significant spending.

    What I am definitely against them on is the entire question of strike action. Emergency workers should never strike, under any circumstances.

    The one part of Dr Hammond’s argument I didn’t quite follow was the idea that extending NHS treatment beyond the current “9-5 Monday to Friday” model would “stretch” the services thinly.

    I don’t think anyone is suggesting that the patients who would be treated during the evening and at weekends are extra patients, that would otherwise not exist and would add to the overall workload on top of those seen during the “bank hours” NHS.

    Surely the point is that the current system has a number of negative effects.

    1) People have to take time off work for routine treatment – this can cause people to delay seeking treatment, either through cost concerns or simply “not getting around to it”. Delays in seeking treatment are a finely balanced thing, resources wise. Some people may “get better on their own”, but others may end up needing far greater (and more expensive) treatment as a result. And if it is the middle of the night or a weekend when their condition deteriorates, they may well die.

    2) “Emergency” care provision is provided with very poor infrastructure, with delays in blood tests, radiography etc adding to the lack of qualified staff.

    3) Office hours create a “come back next week” attitude in staff. This certainly happens in the police. If something happens on a Friday, it’s the Devil’s work trying to get anyone to do anything about it. The consequences of that attitude in medical care are potentially frightening.

    I think the problem now is that this has become a test of strength. An almighty p***ing contest where too much political capital has been expended for either side to back down.

    It’s a pity Hunt ruled out the compromise of pilot schemes, which both provide a political way out (or at least a breathing space) and are probably an inherently good idea even if you support the government’s aims and policies.

  3. I just caught this..

    “Disgraceful that no one wants to be available when it suits you. Not even your your clients. Perhaps if you offered better rates at weekends as an inducement, market forces etc”

    LOL..CARFREW.. Without saying who I actually work for it is impossible for us to work at weekends, many of the clients are local authorities who’s departments we work with are closed at weekends and the remainder of the clients we deal with are also closed at the weekend.
    It would be so much easier for us if we could spread our work load over 7 days and not 5.

  4. Ooops sorry for all the typos.

  5. @AU

    Yes, horses for courses, like operating systems and open source. For me, neither left nor right capture the complexity. Neither are optimal. You can see this when some defend public sector automatically and others generally lambast. Truth is, it can be good, or it can be a bit carp, that’s the true reality. Same with the private sector. Sometimes great, (like Apple!!) sometimes it goes a bit subprime.

    Markets, sometimes work great, sometimes not so good. Sometimes state action works well, sometimes not. Private education had some good aspects, some less good and so on. The aim is to have ones cake and eat it and a polarised approach doesn’t cut it.

  6. Two new referendum polls

    ORB – Remain 51% (- 1) Leave 46% (+ 3) Phone poll

    ICM – Remain 44% (+ 1) Leave 46% (+2) Online poll

  7. Here is a link to academic research that is scathing about Thatcher policies and the neoliberal policies adopted by the governments that succeeded Thatcher.

    It is no doubt, for some, just nonsense. Others may think it has relevance to the politics of today (see Marmot Review 2010) and the current junior doctors’ strike.

    “Given what we know about the impact of Thatcher’s neoliberal reforms on the social and economic landscape of Britain, it seems clear that Thatcher’s legacy includes the unnecessary and unjust premature death of many British citizens, together with a
    substantial and continuing burden of suffering and loss of well-being.

    There can be no doubt that Thatcherism had a major impact on the health and well-being of the British population. Although overall population health continued to improve by many measures (e.g., in terms of mean mortality rates and infant mortality), it improved more slowly than in comparable countries (65). Meanwhile,
    within-country health inequalities increased, in terms of both class and geography. Post-industrial areas, notably in Scotland, fared particularly badly (65).
    The aggressive promotion of free-market policies under Thatcher was accompanied by the growing influence of business interests; a commitment to reduce the size of the welfare state; acceptance of widespread, unequally distributed unemployment; and implementation of a range of authoritarian social policies. All of
    this suggests Thatcherism contributed to ensuring Britain became a less healthy and more unequal place than it might otherwise have been. Thatcher’s neoliberal project was subsequently strengthened and more firmly embedded by her successors
    in Conservative (Major) and Labor (Blair and Brown) governments. Its legacy is especially visible in the policies currently being pursued by the post- 2010 Conservative-Liberal Democrat United Kingdom coalition government (26).”

  8. @Allan C

    It’s OK, I can understand if no one wants seven day access to ya and five is more that enough!! Too much of a good thing etc…

    On banking, well there were peeps in the retail side pushing the dodgy sub prime mortgages and indeed other stuff like PPI etc., but anyways…

  9. @Neil A

    “I don’t think anyone is suggesting that the patients who would be treated during the evening and at weekends are extra patients, that would otherwise not exist and would add to the overall workload on top of those seen during the “bank hours” NHS.”


    It’s partly an availability issue innit. If you went to seven day working, you’d either have to work seven days or employ someone else for the weekends. Crim’s won’t schedule their crimes so you can be less available in the week to compensate, say only having to work some weekday mornings.

  10. @Neil

    Or putting it another way a junior doctors will have to be on call whether lots come in cos theres been a big accident or hardly anyone’s ill that evening.

  11. Colin
    “There hasn’t been a Health Sec who hasn’t faced this BMA intransigence in my memory.”

    Including the one who introduced the NHS all those years ago.

    Of course there is a hidden privatisation agenda. It’s imminent and has been for 50 years according to the tamboreen bashers. (Quite ignoring the fact that the biggest privatisation push was under a Labour government.) But, hey, ho, the Tories (toorees) are the wicked pantomime villains.

  12. @Neil

    Or putting it another way, if you’re a heart specialist and your employer said “Neil” we’re going from predictable employment and want you to work two hours on Monday morning, and three Tuesday afternoon and seven on Weds and 12 on Saturday etc. and next week it’ll be different because that’s what our customers want and how they are distributing their requests, you’d be fine with that?

  13. Robert

    Wot have you guys got against tambourines??!!!

  14. @Robert

    “(Quite ignoring the fact that the biggest privatisation push was under a Labour government.)”


    Is anyone ignoring that? It’s just that they’re not in power en ce moment. But privatisation can have an appeal to politicians of many stripes in terms of some nicely paying gigs thereafter sat on the boards and stuff…

  15. @Neil

    Is it efficient to pull whole teams together specifically for elective procedures at a time of the customer’s choosing for a couple hours then send them home again? Only to bring some back a few hours later?

  16. ROBERT

    Yep-the Doctors’ word is Holy Writ.

    They who must be obeyed.

    As I said-if Hunt ever tries to make the Consultants’ Contract more patient friendly he will soon find out where the priorities of these people really lies.

  17. It appears that 22% of junior doctors, who were scheduled to work, actually did so. I wonder if that will increase tomorrow as those who disagree with withdrawal of emergency cover get a little bolder.

    Personally I think that doctors are fairly well remunerated. They have a guaranteed career path and a good pension to look forward to. They are not poor. They are lucky to work in a career of their choice. Many don’t have that choice. Like many people who run small businesses, I worked weekends for most of my working life. My family were supportive and I even managed to fit in a social life. I enjoyed it and would do it all again. If the doctors want more money for less work then they are at liberty to seek another career. Medicine, at least the UK version, is obviously not for them.

  18. @Neil A

    Having thought some more, this analogy might make it clearer.

    OK, so the total amount of work may be the same, if you go from five to seven days, so you may think “what’s the problem?”

    Here’s the problem. Imagine you ran a shop for someone that opened five days a week, and they said they wanted to move to seven day opening. “Will there be any more custom?” No, the same amount will be sold as before, just now spread over seven days.

    “Will I be paid for seven days?” No, because it’s the same amount of work as before. You don’t have to be present the whole time, if there’s no customers for an hour or two you can go and read a magazine but make sure you’re back in time. You can get someone else to cover some of it but there’ll be no pay for you for that.

    (Eventually down this road you’d wind up with doctors on zero hours contracts, but anyways…)

    Point is, your idea, that it basically means just rescheduling so a doctor still only works five days, it’s just that it includes weekends, works OK for a procedure that is commonplace, hundreds or more times a week and there are plenty of doctors doing it. You have lots of permutations.

    But if you have a scenario where there’s enough work for a single specialist over five days, and then try and stretch it over seven… See the problem? In practice, either they make themselves effectively available over seven days or they don’t and forego some pay. Even worse if trying to assemble teams.

  19. “As I said-if Hunt ever tries to make the Consultants’ Contract more patient friendly he will soon find out where the priorities of these people really lies.”


    But that’s the thing, isn’t it Colin. There are a range of potential interests, doctors, politicians, patients etc.

    And a range of genuine interests, seven day access for patients, proper funding, safety whatever.

    And the idea is to optimise across all of them. Various interests will try and get the focus just onto the bit that suits them while we need to consider all of it.

    So yes, the doctors may be interested in their pay, but then you ask: is it worth the extra? Given the importance and the shortage anyway?

    And if you don’t pay extra, what’s the hit on safety of the extra availability in practice?

  20. @RMJ

    “Personally I think that doctors are fairly well remunerated. They have a guaranteed career path and a good pension to look forward to. They are not poor.”


    It’s a political smokescreen. Doctor’s remuneration is a side issue, even if they were all selfish. Given that they are working below market rates given the shortage, and out themselves at risk of infection etc., churlish to complain, but regardless of their pay its not much use if the burden on doctors is increased.

  21. @ Colin

    About 8,000 people earn more than 100 grands in the NHS (with big variation). I don’t think it is a massive argument if one considers the scale of the organisation (it was interesting from Labour today emphasising other employee groups)

    By the way, there is a much hotter debate about junior doctors in Pakistan right now with extremely biased reporting in the local media.

  22. ICM EU poll also has VI figures

    Con 33 Lab 32 UKIP 17 LD 7 Others 11

  23. On the NHS and democracy

    There are limited resources (they are that always). Moreover, in hospitals the allocation of the personnel is defined by the hospital beds and similar factors. There is a random admission (although past trends give some indication). There is a random length of staying or examination (again past trends give some indication).

    As a result, you have four possibilities (or the combinations of these):
    1) increasing the only stretchable resource, the human resource by increasing the working time. This obviously wears out the employees quicker (after a while extra free time must be given) or we can expect quality errors (misjudgements and alike).
    2) increasing the intensity of work (i.e. reducing the time spent on a patient). The problems are the same as in point 1.
    3) introducing queuing. The problem is that some patients cannot be queued, and there is a limited public tolerance.
    4) turning away the patients (in Britain in most hospital in most months it exceeds 10%).
    The first modeling of these constraints was developed in the 1970s (actually for parking slots), but this is not an optimisation problem, but the objective constraints in which the political, professional and ethical struggles are fought through.

    The problem is that the increase in resources is not proportionate to the outcome. That is, if your increase the available resources by a 100%, it won’t double the patient output (and therefore the quality of care), although you will see obvious improvements. However, you will still see queues and turning away patients. If you keep on increasing the resources, there is a diminishing return, and you will see increasing unused time of the medical staff, and overused time at other occasions. Politically it’s very difficult to manage (I very rarely can convince managers in manufacturing that it’s perfectly acceptable).
    So, the pressure will be put on the doctors instead. The pressure comes from two main directions. Firstly an appeal to the ethical values (and that the appeal is successful is clear from the responses to various related posts). Secondly by introducing a certain level of automation (testing, electronic data bases, best practice (which is actually set for the best doctors, so inevitably it will have unwanted side effects), etc.). The latter one helps making the process Fordist (and you know that it is becoming more and more Fordist). The trouble are two-fold. One is that you can create a Fordist structure only if the situation is very analysable (and no unforseen problems) and low variety – neither are characteristic to the medical situation (even if there are many cases where both analysability is high and variety is low – hence the increased use of nurses for routine medical issues, which can of course backfire). Secondly, Fordism alienates the employees (burning out, disgruntlement, etc.), which then contradicts to the appeal to goodwill, the medical ethics. You need then an effectively infinite supply of new doctors.

    So the whole thing is about the level of resources with a trade off. This would require a democratic process, but instead we have Jeremy Hunt, and his lies, and a somewhat defensive stance of the BMA (although they at least think of the generations that will next fill in the hospitals).

  24. @CARFREW

    It is difficult to be sure of market rates when the NHS is most of the market. Of course they could earn more in private practice once they reach a reasonable level but the pension and early retirement age would either disappear or have to be paid for. The locum route pays more in the short term but stymies career progression. Let’s face it, they do pretty well in comparison to most people and they have an interesting job.

  25. @RMJ

    Yeah, my point is that what pay the doctors “deserve” is a bit of a sideshow. If you go by the shortage, they could press for more. One could argue that also if we want the best in that role, then pay still more.

    But the main issue, is that regardless of their pay, the way it’s going is that some of them may have to be available for longer hours. Focusing on pay avoids this rather important aspect. (Also, have you noticed how some who like to accuse others of politics of envy tend to be not entirely happy about how well doctors get paid and other perks of the job etc.)

  26. @Allan Christie
    ‘Oh dear I see some of the peeps on the left are regurgitating the tired old Callaghan thing. Way before my time but I’ve read quite a bit on this and from what I can gather the old bugger was on his last legs and the SNP just accelerated the inevitable.’

    Even in Spring 1979 it was far from inevitable that Thatcher would gain power. Had Callaghan called the election for June 7th – to coincide with the first direct elections to the European Parliament – the Tory lead over Labour would probably have been more like 3 /4% rather than the 7.1% margin on May 3rd. That would have given Labour over 20 additional seats and the SNP might well have managed 4 or 5 rather than 2. As a result Thatcher would probably headed a minority Government needing Unionist support to survive.

  27. @CARFREW

    “But the main issue, is that regardless of their pay, the way it’s going is that some of them may have to be available for longer hours. Focusing on pay avoids this rather important aspect. (Also, have you noticed how some who like to accuse others of politics of envy tend to be not entirely happy about how well doctors get paid and other perks of the job etc.)”

    Very well put. As an aside, many are put off medicine by the prospect of around £70,000 student debt.

  28. LASZLO

    @”About 8,000 people earn more than 100 grands in the NHS (with big variation).”

    Not sure why you make this point to me.

    If its in response to my comment on Consultants-I didn’t have pay in mind.

    I had availability to NHS in mind. Most of them work both for NHS & a local Private Hospital(s). And its the Private work which seems to get priority. Think of the number of consultants you have seen( if like me you are unfortunate enough to be a regular customer) whoyou are told by appointments people-Mr X’s surgery is on a Friday-or on a Tuesday,-ie once per week.

    I’m sorry, but I no longer buy the story of senior medics slaving away in their “dedicated” mission to commit their lives to the care of their ( NHS) patients.

    Recently I have used the system to get a quick appointment-to see Consultant A in a matter of days -the same man who I have an NHS appointment with in five weeks time. It costs of course-and that is the point.

    The Producer Interest in the NHS far outweighs the Customer Interest in my view-because the system is built around the prioritries of the former, & not the latter.

    To the extent that Hunt has set his stall out to correct this imbalance I absolutely applaud him. But he will not win, like those before him could not.-they are too powerful.

  29. @Graham

    Couple of points:

    First the reason the SNP voted against the Callaghan Government was because Labour had denied Scotland a parliament by putting in place a 40% rule amendment to the Referendum Bill. So in effect Labour denied Scotland a parliament which might have protected against Thatcher. So not the smartest point for Labour to bring up.

    Second it was 37 years ago! Where only 18 months ago Labour were shoulder to shoulder with the Tories in the Better Together campaign – How long will it take for Scotland to forget that? 37 years +++

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