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It is good you are printing articles like this - it will stop people being too complacent to go out and vote on 1st May!

Boris the Turk

I wonder if Boris's "I'm a Muslim" and "Lets give all illegal immigrants an amnesty" have made him look to many nautral Tory supporters a real Buffoon and they have either gone elsewhere or just won't be bothering. Immigation levels must be very high in London if everyone has to pander to them in order to get elected so might say. Prehaps Enoch was right after all.


The Times are a Labour apologist rag and would be very scepticle of any polls between now and 1st May, very conveniently giving Livingslime a 1 point lead.


I don't live in London, but work in Canary Wharf. Spoke to two of my traders over lunch and they were voting Paddick first and then Johnson. Both very high earners: loathed Ken and want him to go, but have no liking for Boris as he apparently does not come across as remotely interested in / up to the job.

Makes me wonder sadly if Ken will scrape back in on Polling Day.


With so many people in London wanting Livingstone out - Boris will only have himeself to blame if he does not win. Pity they did not make a muzzel for Borris to wear for Newsnight and other high profile events! "Lets give all illegal immigrants an amnesty" I bet that went down like a cup of cold vomit in some parts of London and in Conservative HQ - Jesus Christ!


This from PoliticalBetting which puts this poll in perspective:

new London survey tonight from a firm that is not listed as a member of the British Polling Council provides a big boost to Ken as he seeks to defend his mayoralty.

The firm, MRUK, found first preference figures of Ken 45%: Boris 44%: Paddick 9%. After second preferences are taken into account Boris and Ken are on 50:50.

The survey took place from April 7th to the 14th and the results were weighted to“match the electorate”. There is no indication whether likelihood to vote was factored in or whether the firm sought to ensure a politically balanced sample. The fact that this is not mentioned leads me to assume that these elements were not part of the methodology.

We last saw MRUK at the Scottish elections last year when they over-estimated the Labour and SNP shares and grossly underestimated the Conservative and Liberal Democrat positions. This was their prediction in the constituency section with comparisons on the actual result: LAB 34% (actual 32.2%): SNP 38% (32.9%): CON 11% (16.6%): LD 13% (16.2%)

When the firm’s Scottish poll was published in April 2007 I offered them a wager of £1000 that they would be overstating the Labour vote. Sadly for my bank balance they, nor the paper that published the survey, took me up. I am prepared to repeat that with this London poll. How about it Mr. Sunday Times?
These latest London numbers are very much in line with what MORI found last week - BEFORE the firm applied its turnout filter. After that calculation had taken place MORI reported a 6% deficit for Ken on first preferences.

If I am right about the methodology this survey is good news for Boris and bad news for Ken. The real issue with an election like the one on May 1st is turnout and unless this has been measured and applied to the figures then this looks like one of those old fashioned surveys that got the 1992 general election result so wrong.

It is a real shame that the Sunday Times has not commissioned a firm that is a British Polling Council member which would have given us greater confidence in its findings.

UPDATE: The story about the poll has now appeared on the Sunday Times website and does suggest that the question of likelihood to vote was put. What we do not know is whether this was factored into their figures.

There’s a quote from a director of MRUK that “Turnout looks like the key - Ken can win if his natural followers make it to the polling booth, whereas the support for Boris seems slightly more solid in terms of likelihood to vote”. But how was this applied to the figures that have been published? Did they ask whether respondents were even registered to vote - something that the other pollsters will be doing in the next few days?

If MRUK was a member of the BPC then the full detail would have to be made available within two working days and we could come to a proper assessment. Let’s hope the firm does make information available.

It is perhaps worth reiterating that every single telephone poll ahead of the 2000 and 2004 mayoral elections overstated Ken’s position by a considerable degree.



Also Mike Smithson just wrote about this new poll:

"Perhaps we ought to note that in 2004, when Labour was doing so much better nationally, Ken got just 37.7% of the first preferences. MRUK is projecting 45%.



The answer MB to your last point is the weakness of the LibDems compared to four years ago.

The BJ source quoted by ConHome hits the nail on the head. Let's not worry about these polls and just get on with some leafletting and door knocking....

Andrew Ian Dodge

There are too many vested interests tied up with Ken; they will muster their vote on 1 May. The left are worried about "an evil Tory Toff" beating Ken so they will make sure Ken gets in. It will be a squeeker but Ken'll pull it out alas.

Alan S

It will be a disaster if Boris doesn't win now.
The party machine has done almost nothing to manage expectations.


Alan S
The recent polls have done that for us. Its better they do than us. Managing expectations is easier if you know you are going to lose.

James Harper

Sadly, Boris Johnson isn't ready for prime time.

Ulster Tory

'two of my traders over lunch and they were voting Paddick first and then Johnson. Both very high earners: loathed Ken and want him to go, but have no liking for Boris as he apparently does not come across as remotely interested in / up to the job.'
If your traders are so lacking in knowledge as to doubt Boris' ability I would get 2 new traders if I was you

West London Tory

Boris performed very badly on Newsnight. He was unable or unwilling to answer reasonable questions on policy details. Boris struggles when he does not have a set script. There is no evidence to support his claim, in an interview this weekend, that he is obsessed with detail. He does not even know, or is unwilling to reveal, how much his new Routemaster policy will cost. Several of my friends, even loyal Conservatives, are worried that Boris is not up to the job.

Paddick has flatlined on around 10% but that may reflect the fact that Lib Dem supporters believe that he has no chance. Paddick will do better on first preferences as Lib Dem supporters focus on the second preference choice of Ken or Boris. My view is that Lib Dems are switching their crucial second preference votes from Boris to Ken because Boris is not performing well in the televised debates.


So from the views on this thread, I take it that Livingstone has won?


I wouldn't be too sure, MB!

West London Tory

The Mayoral race is too close call. Livingstone is catching up. The polls will have a larger than normal margin of error because turnout in the London elections is lower than at general elections. Differential turnout will decide who wins in such a close race.

James Cleverly


You make an interesting point, but it is worth remembering that unless their first preference is for Livingstone their second preference will count towards Boris' total.


After their performance last year making us money, Ulster Tory, I think I'll be offering them guarantees to stay rather than canning them. A tiny straw poll, I know, but insightful. I think Ken sadly will scrape home.

David Bullingdon

What happens if Boris does not win after all? Couldn't a better candidate have been found?

Edison Smith

There's no doubt in my mind that Livingstone is now back in the lead, and is now favourite to be London Mayor on May 2nd.

The polls were always going to close once Boris came under closer scrutiny. Now his campaign must produce some eye-catching, headline-grabbing reasons in the final 10 days for Londoners to actually get out and vote for him; then somewhow make sure they do.

Jamie Bowers

Livingstone will benefit from a higher than usual turn out, which looks like it's on the cards. People are paying attention to the election, and to the issues, and what the candidates can deliver now.


"There's no doubt in my mind that Livingstone is now back in the lead, and is now favourite to be London Mayor on May 2nd."

Gosh, I dread to think how depressing the YouGov poll is going to be tomorrow (Monday 22 April).

From reading all the comments on today, with less than two weeks to go, its seems the Livingstone will be getting his third term with, if anything, an increased majority.

anthony scholefield

Sorry Boris-I have returned my vote and it is not for you. The irrational and insulting idea of an amnesty-really a reward of residence and not an amnesty at all -to illegal immigrants was so insulting to hardworking British people facing wage competition and to immigrants queuing legally for admission and is an out right call to ignore the law. What part of illegal does he not understand?


10 days is a very long time in politics...those that are undecided will only make up their minds in the last few days.

Johnson has put out a good election broadcast and he can come across well at QT and other interviews/debates from now on .I saw a March 11 performance in front of a House of Commons Transport Committee where he made perfect sense, had all the facts, kept his hand more or less still and did not ramble- God knows why he does not do this when faced by Joe Soap the voter.

Keep in mind, many of the low paid Labour voters in the London inner Eastern and Southern boroughs will also have a look at their pay cheque just before voting day and see that Labour have stolen money off them.

If Livingstone and labour decide to play dirty in the last week, well then the Conservatives can do likewise, just more effectively- after all, Boris never warmly invited a guy who praises suicide bombers to London.

Boris can win- easily and he quite probably will. However, there is no room for messing around and 'being Boris' in the next 10 days.

Malcolm Dunn

Boris was both on top of his brief and remarkably patient with Eddie Mair in his interview on Drive Time on Friday. Mair was both unskilful and obnoxious in his questions but a plainly irritated Boris dealt with them all easily.
It has been an unspiring campaign from all the candidates sadly but the best of the bunch by quite a margin is Boris. He'll win I think.


The traders quoted above who are voting Paddick then Boris second preference are just fine. Sure one would rather they put him first preference, but their votes will count just the same for Boris as his most enthusiastic supporters' votes will in the decisive count of the non-Ken, non-Boris second preferences.

There are enthusiasts for Boris and I am one of them. But the key to him winning is not the personal enthusiasts but: (a) whether the Tory-inclined are much more likely to vote (this is the first London election since 1981 that there's a sniff of chance of defeating Labour in a London-wide election - they don't need much incentive do they, particularly when Brown is so ripe for a kicking?) and (b) Boris getting a good share of the second preferences, of which by far the largest part will come from Lib Dems.

With regard to immigration, it may be difficult for people outside London to understand this, even those who live outside but work here (and therefore do not have a vote here or really understand the place), but the Tories and floating voters who choose to live in London don't mind about the racial and cultural diversity - if we did, we would have left for the home counties like most of those who do. In fact we regard it as a plus in terms of the buzz it gives (although, sure, we can see the pressure it puts on things like schools).

So Boris is perfectly in tune on this, and certainly in tune with the crucial centrist voters whose second preferences will decide it. UKIP voters with perhaps 2% don't really cut it compared with the 10% or 12% Lib Dems.

There is also another factor, under the radar, which I wonder has been considered. I am not in that part of London but I trust that in places like RBK&C and the better parts of Westminster and Hampstead that the local parties are making very sure that all the middle class professional EU citizens who are entitled to vote in this (local) election do so. And that they know that Boris welcomes them, like most other Londoners.

Now, can the doubters stop posting here and let's spend all of the next ten days ensuring we get our vote out. It is the highest stakes of any election that the party has fought since 1992.

South West GLA seat Tory

I'm afraid I think Boris is making a bit of a mess of his media interviews. The Politics Show today was a bit better than Newsnight but I'm astounded he hadn't prepared better in the light of that.
It's too close to call.
About 2 weeks ago, I thought the Tory turnout from the outer London Boroughs such as Barnet, Redbridge, Bexley, Bromley, Havering, aswell Wandsworth and K&C would outvote Labour turnout which is likely to be a bit depressed at present.
But I think Ken could be catching up.

Yet Another Anon

It will be a disaster if Boris doesn't win now.
What it would mean would be that Ken Livingstone would get another 4 years as Mayor, which seems most likely.

It wouldn't reflect badly on Boris Johnson, he just isn't suitable for high office that's all - he makes an excellent backbencher and editor of a publication such as the Spectator, but he was the wrong candidate and he's just too out of touch and unfocused to realise it. I think that Ken Livingstone is going to be dumped by Labour before too long, and not only by New Labour, but by many of his more historic supporters who think he is past it and will look to bring in someone new, if he goes back to standing as an Independent then he will be humiliated, probably coming 4th or lower.

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