YouGov’s weekly mayoral election poll for the Evening Standard is out – this will the last Monday poll, though there may yet be a final eve-of-poll effort – and with four days to go shows Boris Johnson with a solid lead. The first round voting intention figures are JOHNSON 46%(+2), LIVINGSTONE 35%(-2) (Brian Paddick’s figure doesn’t seem to be in the Standard’s report). After second preferences are reallocated Boris leads Ken by 55% to 45%, suggesting that second preferences are very marginally in favour of Ken, but not by enough to have a significant effect.

With so little time to go Boris Johnson must be almost assured of victory… if the poll is correct. In contrast to YouGov’s figures the final MORI and mruk polls of the campaign showed very small leads for Ken. It boils down to either Johnson having a secure lead if you believe YouGov, or Livingstone barely ahead if you believe MORI and mruk. I’ll be putting up a post looking at some of the reasons why the polls may be showing such contrasting figures later today.

What I assume is mruk’s final poll on the mayoral election is published in the Sunday Times tomorrow. The topline voting intention figures, with changes from last week, are JOHNSON 43%(-1), LIVINGSTONE 44%(-1), PADDICK 9%(nc). Once second preferences are re-allocated Ken Livingstone is projected to win by 2 points over Boris Johnson, 51% to 49%.

In practice this has Ken and Boris almost neck and neck, an even tighter race than MORI indicated in their final poll of the campaign a few days ago, which had Ken 3 points ahead on the first round and four points ahead on the second round (though MORI had a higher level of support for others and for Brian Paddick – the latter difference almost certainly because mruk did not include Paddick in the question prompt).

In the week ahead there should still be London mayoral polls by ICM (who showed Johnson 1 point ahead in a poll almost a month back now) and YouGov (who have shown large, but narrowing, Boris Johnson leads up until now). It remains to be seen whether all the pollsters converge together as they did before the 2005 general election, or whether they continue to project contrasting results.


Sunday Polls

There are four new polls in the Sunday papers, two national polls, one of marginal seats and one London poll which has a separate thread here.

The first is a a MORI poll due in the Observer which leaked out on Friday, shows a 9 point Tory lead, and has already been covered here. The second is a new ICM poll in the Sunday Telegraph which has topline figures, with changes from the last ICM poll, of CON 39%(nc), LAB 29%(-5), LDEM 20%(+1).

This poll suggests that the last ICM poll which showed a sudden narrowing of the Tory lead to only 5 points was indeed a rogue poll – either that or Labour staged a recovery no one spotted, but then immediately collapsed by 5 points: possible, but it seems to be more likely that the last ICM poll was just one of those outlying polls that all pollsters cannot help but produce from time to time.

A third poll for the News of the World is again by ICM, but this time concentrating on marginal seats. The poll was conducted in the 145 seats where the Tories came closest to beating Labour in 2005 (implying they are using the old boundaries, though in most cases these do tend to be the same seats – though on the other hand the list of Labour marginals that would fall on the News of the World website appears to be drawn from my list here) and show a swing to the Conservatives of 9 percent in these marginal seats. The ICM poll in the Sunday Telegraph, which one assumes was done at roughly the same time, shows a swing of about 6 1/2 percent, so the Conservatives are doing significantly better in CON/LAB marginal seats. The News of the World article suggests the Tory advance is similar in northern marginals as in southern ones.

MORI’s monthly poll

After their mayoral figures apparently leaked out the Guardian, MORI have also accidently put up their monthly monitor figures on their website which were supposed to have turned up in the Observer on Sunday. The topline figures, with changes from their last poll, are CON 40%(nc), LAB 31%(-4), LDEM 19%(+1). The poll was conducted between the 18th and 22nd April.

While it shows a much smaller Tory lead than the YouGov poll which was conducted at almost the same time, the trend the two polls are showing is pretty much the same with the Labour vote crumbling in the face of the 10p tax row, and in sharp contrast to the ICM poll. Like YouGov MORI have also shown a gradual increase in the Lib Dem vote over the last few months. It’s gone unremarked because of the big Tory leads, but they’ve been creeping upwards.

MORI show Ken ahead

A London voting intention poll by Ipsos MORI for Unison has voting intentions has topline voting intentions of JOHNSON 38%, LIVINGSTONE 41%, PADDICK 12%. Once second preferences are reallocated Ken Livingstone leads by 6% over Johnson. It was conducted between the 23rd and 24th April.

Ipsos MORI also asked a question about whether people were actually registered to vote, though bizarrely the implication in this Guardian article is that they were still included in the topline figures, since once they were excluded Livingstone’s lead fell to 4% on second preferences.

No other details yet. There should be more mayoral polls from YouGov, mruk, ICM and – possibly – another Ipsos MORI to come before polling day on Thursday. Unless other pollsters also show a Livingstone lead the race is looking close enough to produce a real embarrassment for at least one pollster.

UPDATE: it appears the poll was leaked to the Guardian, and shouldn’t have been published yet. It’s the Guardian who emphasised the 6 point lead that included people who aren’t eligible to vote, MORI I assume will be correctly excluding them from their topline figures! Over at Mike Smithson’s site he also says that, in response to his comment that this is the poll MORI will be judged upon for the mayoral election, MORI are pointing out “that the fieldwork was carried out more than a week before the election and a third of respondents said they might change their mind.” MORI are quite correct in this – in all fairness a poll does need to be done within a couple of the days of the election to really be compared to the result…but it does sound like they are hedging their bets already. Whether it is entirely fair or not, if polling companies’ final figures are showing different winners for the London election, it is going to reflect very badly on the companies who get it wrong.