Jonathan Jones

Boris extends his lead

Boris extends his lead
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As we enter the final stretch of the campaign for London Mayor, YouGov have a new poll putting Boris four points ahead of Ken. It’s a touch better for the blue team than the 2 point lead YouGov found last week, but not as comfortable as the 8- and 10-point leads shown by ComRes and Survation respectively.

Despite dropping a bit further behind Boris, Ken does not seem to be suffering from Labour supporters turning their backs on him. Indeed, he now gets 92 per cent of those Labour general election voters who express a preference between him and Boris — the highest level of party loyalty YouGov have found for him yet. Instead, Ken’s numbers are dented by lower support for Labour generally: today’s poll has Labour on 47 per cent in London, down from 50 per cent last week.

Some of the below-the-line figures give a little insight into why Boris looks poised for victory. For example, while Ken leads him 26-23 on the question of ‘Which candidate do you think best understands the concerns of people like you?’, Boris enjoys a big 35-16 lead on ‘Which of the candidates would you most like to go for a drink with?’ On the two issues Londoners think are most important for the Mayor, the candidates score one apiece: Ken has a slight lead on transport, while Boris is seen as best to tackle crime. And, despite the bad economic news for the Coalition last week, 28 per cent trust Boris most to ‘help London out of recession’ to Ken’s 23 per cent.

YouGov also asked Londoners to pick the three or four policies they’d most like to see implemented, without specifying who has proposed them. The four that came out on top included one each from Boris (1,000 more officers on the beat), Ken (reduce fares by 7 per cent), Brian Paddick (one hour bus tickets) and Green candidate Jenny Jones (jobs or apprenticeships for all young, unemployed Londoners). That won’t be of much consolation for Paddick or Jones, though, who are down on 6 per cent and 3 per cent of first preferences respectively. It seems Londoners like the policies they propose, but aren’t voting for them — probably because this race is all about Boris v Ken.