The latest YouGov poll on the London Mayoral race has Ken Livingstone trailing Boris Johnson by six percent – 53/47 – (five percent on fir
st preferences), but a remarkable 78% of voters believe that Johnson is a “mayor for the rich” – and believe that he is “fighting on behalf of the wealthy more than any other group, including commuters and the poor” – according to the Evening Standard. Only 4% of voters believe that Johnson would focus on the poor – compared to 40% for Livingstone. (Update: Turns out it’s a third of Londoners who believe Boris would be “a Mayor for the rich”. An embarrassing error for a paper that has been so keen to back the incumbent…) The Standard also report that Livingstone is “seen as “particularly keen” to help Muslims, black and Asian Londoners”.
The Livingstone campaign has been focussed on the financial benefits of a Ken win – especially his headline 7% transport fare cut. More Londoners believe that theywill be better off under Livingstone than Boris, but neither candidate is trusted by the electorate – when asked 25% said Johnson was the most “honest and truthworthy” compared to 19% for Livingstone.
That trust problem clearly has a knock on effect for Livingstone’s major pledge – with 45% saying they didn’t believe he would deliver his fare cut (compared to 43% who think he will), despite 56% of those polled saying that “any extra transport funding should be spent on cutting fares”. Voters agree with the policy, but don’t believe it will happen. That’s despite Ken saying he’ll resign if it doesn’t happen. I’m not sure he can go any further than that.
However there is good news for Labour candidates for the London Assembly. YouGov predict that Labour will pick up four seats, moving up to 12 from 8, whilst the Tories will lose 1 seat. The BNP and the Greens are also expected to lose their seats – and UKIP could capitalise by picking up an Assembly seat of their own.