Matthew Dancona

On Boris and that poll lead

On Boris and that poll lead
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Who’s laughing now? Boris has stormed ahead in the polls today, with a 12 point lead over Ken in the Standard’s YouGov survey. With 45 days to go, 49 per cent versus 37 is a strong position – and quite remarkable for a Tory candidate in a city that Livingstone has run (to use his own phrase) as a “personal fiefdom” on and off for more than a quarter century. 

The especially good news is that Our Man is ahead on second preference votes, although here the margin is narrower (20 to 17). But the evidence is clear both that Ken’s City Hall scandals and Boris’s star quality are bringing in floating voters: key in a contest where differential turnout has always been a huge problem for the Tories (people bother to vote in Lewisham, but don’t in Kensington). 

Having gone head to head with the Mayor on Any Questions recently, I still regard him as a formidable operator, with the same implacable stamina that makes Gordon Brown such a tough opponent. But – today at least – the auguries for a fresh start in London could scarcely be better.