Jonathan Jones

Boris wins the popularity contest

Boris wins the popularity contest
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So, after all that, it looks like today’s London Mayoral will be just a little bit of history repeating. YouGov’s final poll predicts that Boris will defeat Ken in the second round by 53 to 47 — exactly the same result we saw four years ago. The third place finisher will probably be the same too: the poll has Brian Paddick getting 7 per cent in the first round, ahead of Siobhan Benita and UKIP’s Lawrence Webb on 4 and Green Jenny Jones on 3.

If Boris does overcome Labour’s partisan advantage in London, it won’t be mainly down to his achievements in office. In fact, voters are split 39-38 between Ken and Boris on who’s achieved more as Mayor (although Ken did, of course, have four more years than Boris has so far). Nor will it be because Londoners think they’d be better off with Boris or that he better understands their needs — they don’t. No, it’s because they just like Boris more than Ken.

Ken’s main vote-winning quality is that he’s Labour not Tory. Boris’s is that he’s Boris not Ken.