London mayoral race now too close to call (but Boris is leading on paper)

Alex Hern reports on the latest opinion poll to come out on the race to be the mayor of london.


The latest YouGov opinion poll, released today, shows Boris Johnson scraping back into the lead in the race for the London mayoralty.

When pitted head to head, the incumbent mayor emerges with 51 per cent support, to 49 per cent for Ken Livingstone. With a margin of error of two per cent, however, the race is literally too close to call.

However, just as with last time we ran a report about opinion polls for the London mayoralty, the most interesting findings are the secondary ones.

Assessing Livingstone’s recent bounce, the Evening Standard report:

Mr Livingstone’s promise to cut fares was the secret of his comeback. The promise was approved by 68 per cent of Londoners with more than a third naming it the one election pledge so far that most appealed to them.

However, the survey of 1,106 Londoners found that fewer than half the voters, 46 per cent, think Mr Livingstone would fulfil the promise.

The 22 per cent of Londoners who approve of the promise but don’t believe it will be kept do not seem to be a surprise to Ken’s campaign, however; two weeks ago, he was already making overtures to them, telling LabourList:

Fares will be cut and today I’m setting the date for London’s liberation from the high fares of the current mayor.

My commitment to carrying out this cut is such that I give my word that if I do not cut the fares on or by October 7th I will resign the office of Mayor immediately and cause a by-election.

In other mayoral race news, BBC London’s politics show revealed yesterday that miscounting by the mayor’s office had led to over £2 billion being wrongly added to the overall GLA budget.

A statement blamed:

A clerical error arising from issues of presentation of Crossrail spending and double counting of capital spending for TFL.

Responding to the news, a spokesman for Ken Livingstone told Left Foot Forward:

Now we have seen Boris Johnson’s failure to get a grip of the most basic details of the GLA’s finances and it’s Londoners who are paying the price for his incompetence.

See also:

Ken stays ahead as Boris doubles-down on blaming young people for youth unemploymentAlex Hern, January 23rd 2012

Boris Johnson’s words show he doesn’t care about young peopleVal Shawcross AM, January 20th 2012

Ken pulls ahead of “increasingly out of touch” BorisShamik Das, January 19th 2012

Boris’s retreat from accountability over the Met should worry us allJanuary 16th 2012, Joanne McCartney AM

It’s official: the 50p tax rate raises revenueAlex Hern, January 9th 2012

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