Jonathan Jones

Boris’ poll lead evaporates

Boris' poll lead evaporates
Text settings

It looks like the May's election for Mayor of London will be a close run thing. A new poll today from YouGov has Ken Livingstone two points ahead of Boris Johnson  a big turnaround from the eight point lead Boris had in June:

Ken shouldn't be popping any champagne corks yet, of course. His lead is well within the poll's margin of error, and there's three and a half months to go before election day. But he's certainly looking more likely to topple Boris than he did seven months ago.

So why the change? YouGov's Peter Kellner has a good article on the poll's details here, but two key points jump out from the numbers:

1. Labour voters are getting behind Ken. In June, 21 per cent of Londoners who said they'd vote Labour in a general election supported Boris over Ken for mayor. Now, that's almost halved to 11 per cent.

2. Boris' out of touch problem is growing. YouGov ask voters which qualities they think each of the candidates have. Boris has a big lead when it comes to ‘charisma’, but he's also seen to be far more out of touch. Just 13 per cent say he's in touch with the concerns of ordinary people  down from 20 per cent in June  while 40 per cent say Ken is.

The poll also gives us an idea of the major issues at play in this election. The top two are crime and transport, followed by the cost of living, creating jobs and affordable housing. Boris may hope he can make crime an even more prominent issue, as that's one area where the numbers tilt in his favour.