Ken trails by 4 points in latest poll (but there are more concerning numbers below the top line)

10th April, 2012 10:02 am

The latest poll on the London mayoral race has Ken Livingstone trailing Tory incumbent Boris Johnson by 4 points (in the all important second round) and 5 points in the first round. Considering last week was a tough one (to say the least) for Livingstone, a four point deficit isn’t too bad (considering a recent YouGov poll placed Johnson 8 points ahead of Ken), and keeps Livingstone in the race. Although you wouldn’t necessarily believe that if you read the somewhat partial write up in the Evening Standard.

However below the top line figures there are still some numbers that should concern Labour supporters.

The “Doughnut” effect lives on

Ken leads by 58% to 38% in Inner London, but trails Boris 57% to 39% in Outer London. The much heralded “doughnut effect” which was so crucial in 2008 still appears to be the norm. That’s despite extensive work by Livingstone’s team on outer London boroughs, including visits from the candidate and deploying organisers across the capital. And of course there are more voters in Outer London than Inner London too.

The “Ken effect” has reversed (and there’s still a “Boris effect”)

Where once Ken Livingstone gave a percentage bump to the Labour vote, now the effect has reversed. Whilst 14% of Londoners like Ken but not Labour, 17% like Labour but not Ken. Meanwhile 28% like Boris but not the Tories. If this were a straight Labour vs Tory clash Labour would have a comfortable lead. Of course there’s no such thing as generic Labour vs Tory in a mayoral race, but making the focus party not candidate might help close the gap in the weeks ahead.

Today Labour activists were out across the capital campaigning on Livingstone’s fare cut pledge. The last time that happened the Ken vote increased. Such a focus on policies (and party) rather than personality will clearly be necessary in the final weeks.

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  • stunning that Ken is behind in current political climate.

    • JoeDM

       I’m surprised he’s not further behind given his hypocricy on tax avoidance.

    • Given the recent trouble over his taxes, I’d say being only 4 points behind is rather lucky

      • treborc

         I suspect the reason is simple people I suspect think Boris extra jobs will work against him.

        • Hugh

           List of Boris’s “extra jobs”:

          -weekly 1,000 column for the Telegraph.
          – er, have I said he writes for the Telegraph?

        • They didn’t work against Ken when he wrote for the Independent/remained an MP whilst Mayor.

  • Jmoo

    Stunning that people in Labour refuse to support Ken. We lose this, it falls on Ed’s shoulders, we end up with bigger problems.

    • AlanGiles

      Which is what, I expect, some people on the right-wing of Labour are hoping for. With all due respect to Jon Roberts and co., I suspect they sense blood and hope they can get Miniblair into the leadership PDQ. Everytime a KL article comes up JR is first out of the trap.

      Don’t get me wrong, if Jon is saying The Only Way Is Ethics, I support him 100% but that has to include every politician in every party in every wing of their party

      • I do. See my response to your other post.

        • AlanGiles

          I am delighted to hear it Jon, but you know very well that keep writing this sort of comment, here and on Uncut you are handing ammunition to the COnservatives don’t you, and that Livingstone losing might well result in Ed Miliband having to resign or be overthrown?

          I m not a fan of the Mayoral system and never have been – far too much showbiz and razzamatazz and cronyism – not my style. And those of us of a certain age will remember what Ken did to a man called Andy Mackintosh when AM won the GLC election many years ago. I wouldn’t choose KL as a personal friend, and I would be cautious if I had to deal with him – but in that regard Boris Johnson is just as bad as him.

          In the end it comes down to put it crudely, as to who you dislike least, because sadly, Jenny Jones for the Greens and Brian Paddick for the LibDems stand no chance and the other candidates are hardly mentioned.

          Either Johnson or Livingstone win: if BJ wins as Dave says above the Tories will take that as an endorfsement of their policies affecting the whole country.

          • Alexwilliamz

            The whole thing has become overtaken with celebrity politics anyway, hence the two candidates. The fact Labour could not come up with an alternative credible candidate says it all really. We need to get more Labour politicians onto Have I got News for You, clearly.

    • AlanGiles

      Exactly. Mr Marchant seems to be saying to the unions, “give us your money and keep your mouths shut”. Given that the Dick Turpin approach will not work, can he seriously imagine Tory donors would continue to give the Conservative Party money if the party didn’t listen to them?

  • neil nerva

    Still all to play for . The campaign needs a  quick re launch that highlights key policy differences between the Labour – Ken and Tory – Boris visions for London . The Labour campaign  needs to  face up to the Ken / Boris effect . Need to   emphasize   that the  campaign has not been franchised – Ken is part of the Labour team .  Ken needs to re assure doubting electors,  and repeat widely the comments he made in his article published in the Jewish Chronicle that ” its about not promoting one faith or community over another” 

  • Holly

    Going by the recent mood of the public, I doubt if either will win.
    The ‘newby’ girl could bag the prize, if she plays it right and doesn’t start slating her rivals.
    All she needs to do is run on a ‘I will do what is in the interests of Londoners’ ticket.
    I wish her luck. Hope she does well, and can stand all the flack heading her way. 

    • treborc

      It will be Boris or Ken, I doubt the others are even known to most in London,

  • The tax issue will haunt him until he releases ALL his earnings (not just partial like he did last week).  He has to come clean, apologise and pay any extra tax he owes where appropriate.  Then he has a chance of at least coming out of this with some integrity and the debate to be shifted.

    Then he has to explain why every fact-checking organisation has labelled his Fare Deal policy as ‘fiction’ – and if that means a change in policy so be it.

    Then, as part of his pledge to seize the moral highground and pledge a clean campaign – he has to explain why he  compared Boris to Hitler, and his Chief of Staff to Ratko Maldic – and explain how that is ‘clean’.  If necessary, he needs to apologise regardless of what Boris has said – if he wants to own the moral highground, he needs to earn it. Most people do not believe that purely by being Labour, you are morally superior.

    He has less than a month to turn this around, and until questions remain as to his honesty, decency and integrity, he will continue to face these problems.  Not everyone in the electorate is blinded by dumb loyalty, and not everyone can have their votes bought be unfunded giveaway policies.  He needs to tackle these problems urgently – or we’ll be stuck with Boris.  And if we are, he’ll only have himself to blame.

    • treborc

      Suck with Boris I would have thought you would have been happy, Boris and Blair got on very well, it was ken and Blair that did not get on so well.

      • No comment on the substance then Treborc? I’m shocked!

        • treborc

          I will leave it until I see who wins, I cannot be bothered helping Boris mate.

        • john Reid

          Blair sue Boris once and threatened to A second time Over Boris article in the spectator “Blair tries to cash in On the queen Mum’ s Funeral
           Except Black rod said he couldn’t give evidence in Court as it was bias, Even the Sun criticsed black rod for not giving evidnece in court that Blair hadn’t ried to get a bigger role in the Queen mum’s funeral, And No i’m not voting for Ken for my first choice either.

    • AlanGiles

      “He has less than a month to turn this around, and until questions remain as to his honesty, decency and integrity, ”

      Jon what a pity you don’t worry over-much about the “honesty, decency and integrity”
      of shadow ministers like Liam Byrne, and the former PM who gives expensive speeches for despots,

      This is what concerns me: why is it important for left wing figures to have these qualities and not the Hazel Blears and  david Milibands. And talking of “decency” what about Blunkett supplying free travel passes at our expense to one of his tarts?

      • I do worry about the integrity of all politicians.  But the Ken thing is a prevalent issue now because he is standing for election now.  It is important for ALL politicians to act with honest, decency and integrity and I don’t discriminate between differing political viewpoints.  I do not abandon my principles just because I happen to generally like one particular individual. Too many on LL can not say the same thing. 

        Do you disagree with anything I said in my original post?

        • AlanGiles

          Jon you know my views on both the concept of the Mayoral system and questionable behaviour whereever it occurs, but it does seem to me, if you will allow me to say so, that you do tend to overlook the behaviour of people on the “right” side of the party (in both respects) and I get the impression that you have another purpose – in short, Boris Johnson remaining Mayor of London would be a small price to pay for a more “congenial” leader for Labour.

          You have never said a word about some of the questionable people Blair has consorted with – you might say he is not standing for election (thank God), but there is a swathe of people in Labour who would like to see his protegee, who endorsed the Iraq war just as much as Blair, who protects his outside earnings through a company to avoid tax, and didn’t even follow the normal procedure to adopt two children. Don’t you find that sort of behaviour equally as dubious?

          • If an article appears on here offering strong evidence as to questionable behaviour from DM or any other, I will look at it and criticise if appropriate. But this is an article about Ken – and with respect, you do try and twist every article on LL into a debate on Blair/David Miliband et al.

            By the way – as I have previously said, my problem with Ken on tax isn’t necessarily the avoidance itself (although I disagree with the practice in general), but the hypocrisy of his criticism of others who do the same.

            I’ve offered Ken some practical advice which to me seems reasonable.  But as I say, feel free to write an article for Mark offering indisputable evidence as to the lack of integrity of any other politician and if appropriate I’ll join you in the criticism.  But this is an article on Ken…

            I actually think we’re on the same side here Alan – integrity is everything.

          • AlanGiles

            I certainly endorse the last three words of your post, Jon, but I don’t think it would be politic for me to offer an article to Mark, when you consider that, at the time of the expenses scandal only THREE cabinet ministers – Ed Miliband Hilary Benn, and to my honest shame, I can’t recall the third name had not misbehaved themselves over their expense claims, and their home flipping. Three out of, what, 26? Shocking and of course we won’t even bother to mention the snivelling back benchers, with their excuses of OCD etc.

            I actually think (though it will upset many Conservatives) that a great many tax avoidance schemes should be closed down, then there will not be any temptation, and like Oscar Wilde, most politicians can avoid anything but temptation! 🙂

          • AlanGiles

            Sorry – “resist” temptation isn’t it, not “avoid”. Bang goes my chance of being on “Quote Unquote”!

          • ha! I knew what you meant mate!

          • GuyM

            If you have a system grow up that was designed to increase MP pay on the quiet through expenses because the public would not happily accept maintaining their pay levels. Then what do you expect?

            I find it quite shocking that the public believe paying a new MP considerably less my I get paid is the way to get quality MPs.

            In all in things in life you get what you pay for and we have the MPs we deserve at this time.

          • Hugh

            It shouldn’t be terribly shocking given that there seem to be no shortage of applicants from top universities with top degrees. Furthermore, the present system would under your logic encourage prospective to get experience elsewhere to earn their fortune before choosing to become an MP – no bad thing presumably.

            Furthermore, if you know of other jobs requiring no formal qualifications or training that pay £60k+, leave time for you to have a significant second job and provide extensive benefits could you please let me know.

            Added to that can you point me to any evidence at all – from other countries perhaps – that higher pay leads to better quality representatives?

            And, finally, in many things in life its quite apparent you significantly overpay, particularly when it’s not your money: one obvious lesson from the scandal and the fees office’s role.

          • GuyM

            The problem you outline is due to the conveyor belt of career politicians, partly due to the pay levels and insecurity dont attract many to jump mid career from well paid, secure jobs with privacy into one of the most hated professions in the UK.

            You may not always get what you pay for, but under payment rarely leads to good end results.

            I tend to look upon governmental laws with flexibility, largely due to the endless number of semi-intelligent muppets who are elected to the HoC on all sides.

          • Hugh

            That doesn’t make sense, I’m afraid. There seem to be plenty of Oxbridge graduates with good degrees who could go an make money in the private sector who decide to go to into career politics despite that. So how would whacking up the pay change that?

            And given you earn over 100k as a minister, who exactly do you think is being put off applying? And why does  a backbencher need to have skills that are so highly valued; what exactly is so complicated about the job? And are the likes of Rachel Reeves and Vince Cable really noticeably better than the rest?

            Finally, whatever the pay, the MPs are going to be determined by the slection process and the prejudices and whims of voters. The evidence that paying MPs double or triple would result in fewer “semi-intelligent muppets” is entirely lacking.

            And if that doesn’t convince you this is nonsense, consider this: Italy has Europe’s highest paid MPs.

          • GuyM

            I’m not talking about ministers or the select few MPs who have the ability to function well at ministerial level.

            I refering to the vast majority of MPs who are not destined to reach ministerial rank and rightly so, not least as they seem to often have either their foot stuck firmly in mouth or have lent their brains to medical research for the last few years.

            In the end I suspect having seen too many up close, my view of politicians will never be favourable, henc e why I feel comfortable ignoring them as i see fit.

          • Hugh

             “I’m refering to the vast majority of MPs who are not destined to reach ministerial rank”

            Given that, why on earth do we need to pay them more (including benefits) than people in many well-paid professions.

          • GuyM

            To perhaps get a higher quality candidate, however unlikely that is.

    • “The tax issue will haunt him ”

      The day after the election the tax issue will be yesterday’s news.

      You appear to be concerned about being “stuck with Boris” but there’s one way to reduce that likelihood: vote Ken.
      Voting for Ken need not be motivated by “dumb loyalty” but rather the certainty that a victory for Johnson will be accepted by the Tories as a vindication of their policies nationally.

      I accept that differences of opinion are valid but the reality of electoral politics is complex and no matter how hypocritical you think Ken is it seems to me that the Tories are far worse, just consider their deceit regarding the top down reorganisation/privatisation of the health service, their withdrawal of the EMA, their maxing-out of tuition fees and the mis-management of the economy.

      Do your duty. Your party needs you.

      • Rufus D

        I don’t want to be stuck with Boris, but to be stuck with Ken is even worse.  Red rosette or no, I refuse to vote for him and will give the same support he gave Labour in Tower Hamlets; fair’s fair

        • AlanGiles

          But you will be stuck with one or the other, Rufus. None of the other candidates get a look in, in radio or TV broadcasts – just occassional short spots for Ms Jones and Mr Paddick, apart from the name of Laurence Webb (UKIP) I couldn’t even tell you the name of the other cadidates because I have not seen them.

          • Rufus D

             Too true!  I think I’m going down the pub

        • Lucidus

          “will give the same support he gave Labour in Tower Hamlets; fair’s fair”

          Ken said you should vote for the Labour candidate first in Tower Hamlets and give Lutfur Rahman the second preference.

          So you’ll be voting Labour then?

      • Bill Lockhart

        ” their deceit regarding the top down reorganisation/privatisation of the
        health service, their withdrawal of the EMA, their maxing-out of
        tuition fees and the mis-management of the economy.”

        How are any of these related to the London mayoralty?

        • Alexwilliamz

          How are they related to local council elections? Yet it is often the national politics which affect which way people vote, often as an opportunity to tell the national parties if they support them. Party political systems, you have got to love them.

          Whether that is right or wrong is another matter. Of course if we asked Boris if he was in favour of these things which all directly affect Londoners what response would he have to make?

    • Alexwilliamz

      I’d agree with your first paragraph but it is probably best to move on from trying to undo the other analogies he used within specific contexts. Ill judged but no worse than what goes on in campaigns, it is more how they have subsequently been presented by others that is the issue. There is no moral high ground left in this contest so probably better to return to getting the message across of what he will actually do and the vision he has for London.

  • Hugh

    Also interesting that those predicting the lift row would benefit Johnson appear to have been  correct: those interview after news of the row broke were more likely to vote for Johnson.

    And another nugget: Only about a quarter of Londoners believe Ken Livingtone can deliver on his pledge to cut fares in London by 7%.

  • Rob

    Ken will lose, and deserves to lose, because he represents nothing but a small clique of ultra leftieswho are obsessed by multi culturalism and are more than happy to appease Islamic fascists. Ken Lvingstone, don’t forget, is the man who lost Barking and Dagenham to the Tories at the last mayoral election, a feat of such specatular incompetence, that one hoped it wouldn’t be repeated.

    If you support making “London a beacon for Islam” over gay rights, women’s rights, Jews, secularists and atheists, then quite frankly, you shouldn’t be the Labour candidate. After his support for Lutfur Rahman in Tower Hamlets, Livingstone should have been kicked out of the Labour Party. 

    I’ll be voting for Labour candidates in the Assembly, but not for Ken. I suspect many London Labour members will make the same choice.

    PS, this is nothing to do with Ed Miliband, JMoo and others


    • AlanGiles

      Are you sure about that Rob? As far as I was aware Labour in Barking & Dagenham regained wards it had lost to the BNP, and all but three of it’s current group of councillors are Labour (there are three Independents, formerly Labour) It was a clean sweep and they of course have a Labour MP (Margaret Hodge Barking, Jon Cruddas Dagenham)

    • There’s no reason why London shouldn’t be a beacon for any faith that promotes tolerance and respect. Just listen to Ken’s “make London a beacon of Islam” speech – it’s an agenda for all humanity. We need more understanding and more compassion.

      There’s nothing to disagree with: 

      • GuyM

        At the same time as stating Jews are rich and won’t vote for him, after his associations with fundamentalist Islamic preachers and after years when London was known as Londonistan, I’d ahve thought Ken would be a little more circumspect and subtle.

        But his tactic seems to be divide and conquer, as some erswhile supporters have made clear.

        He is totally inappropriate to be Mayor given his dealings, opinions and history.

        • derek

          That seem seems a bit of an erroneous statement?

          Does “God” only do by the rich? and will the second coming mean the poor carpenter will be replaced as a “rich”  banker?

        • AlanGiles

          The hatred many people feel for Muslims today, to the extent that “they” are all tarred with the same brush, reminds me of the London of the early 70s, when it wasn’t Muslims but “The Irish” who were hated and vilified and treated as if they were all the same. This was at the height of the IRA mainland bombing campaign, and non-Irish people vented their anger in places like Kilburn which had a large Irish population, where quite blameless Irish men, women and children were insulted, spat at, sworn at etc.

          There is nothing more repulsive than mob mass outrage. If it had been suggested in the London of 1972 or 1973 that a senior politician should sit down and talk to representitives of the IRA there would have been outrage, and it took another 25 years before John Major and Tony Blair did just that.

          Prior to that, though, Livingstone had incurred the wrath of the Conservative press and his opponents for doing what it would take the Prime Minister another decade or more to do.

          The avant-garde in all walks of life incurs derision, it is on with hindsight we can see there was a purpose for early experiments, and just as we don’t castigate Blair, Major or Livingstone now for talking to Gerry Adams, in a few years time, I suspect (whether you like it or not) you will have the leaders of the day talking to leaders of Islamic groups quite openly. That is not to say they will agree on everything – I doubt that Adams/Blair/Major could ever be bosom pals, but you have to start somewhere.

          It doesn’t help to use pejorative terms like “Londonistan”

          • Hugh

             The IRA wanted a united Ireland, and quite apparently could be met half way with greater self-rule. (They were also encouraged to be pragmatic according to most accounts I’ve seen by having their military efforts significantly undermined by security efforts.)

            Islamist terrorists, meanwhile, are after establishment of a worldwide Caliphate, wiping Israel off the map, death to the great Satan etc.

            What do you reckon we should offer?

            Furthermore, one thing more repulsive to my thinking than mob mass outrage that extends to harsh words are real attacks that kill indiscriminately.

            Thank you, though, for defining Ken as avant-garde. It made my day. It’s amazing how what was avant-garde when the left first took these positions in the 70s and 80s still qualifies as such today.

          • AlanGiles

            Hugh: It is a fact that Livingstone incurred the wrath of the Establishment, crusty old ex-army Officers hurrumphing over their Daily Telegraph by talking to Gerry Adams and co years before the PMs of the day – it was considered beyond the  pale (remember these were the days when the BBc were not allowed to broadcast Adams voice and had to use actors), so avant-garde, i the sense of being ahead of the times (and public opinion) is quite accurate.

            As for Islam. Not every Muslim is a potential terrorist, but they are treated as such by sections of the public and media, which is exactly how the Irish were demonised in the seventies.

          • Hugh

            Could that “wrath” and “hurrumphing” not be also accurately termed criticism and disagreement. Some woudl allow, perhaps, an ethical quandary in speaking to someone responsible for the murder of British people and soldiers about which people could reasonably come to different conclusions.

            As for Islam, I’m not sure of the relevance of your observation; it certainly doesn’t address the point that there is nothing we can reasonably negotiate about with those people whose aims are, broadly, our annihilation. There’s nothing avant garde about taking a decades old approach to dealing with our enemies and repeating it irrespective of the circumstances.

          • AlanGiles

            Hugh: Major and Blair were talking to the IRA while they were still killing British soldiers and citizens – the point is by the time they came along, a decade after Livingstone talked to them, the public hostility had largely disappeared.

          • jaime taurosangastre candelas

            @ AlanGiles,

            are you trying to make Ken out to be some form of visionary peacemaker, years ahead of his time?You will find that senior Ministers of Heath’s Government met repeatedly with the IRA in secret in 1972.  See

            That is 11 years before Ken first met them, it was in 1972 when you state above there would be outrage and yet it happened, and surprisingly it was Tories who found the flexibility to do this.

            I recommend the BBC series “Talking to Terrorists” with Peter Taylor presenting it.  He is one of very few journalists who covered the whole conflict and has written many books on it.

            Taylor is quite clear on two points:  that in 1972 the IRA were close to military defeat (they had not received the weapons and money from America, and most were in prison), and secondly that in 1983 Ken Livingstone was regarded as a “useful idiot” because he was an outspoken MP who wanted to embarrass Margaret Thatcher.  That is why the IRA met with him, not because as MP for Brent East and in opposition he could do anything about the conflict.

            At the same time as they were meeting Ken, the IRA were forging links with Gaddafi to get weapons supplied by him (and also to those disgusting Basque terrorists).

          • AlanGiles

            I confess Jaime, I didn’t know about the 1972 meetings, but the point is Livingstone conducted his meetings openly. I have no doubt that Ted Heath would have been in even more trouble had his team done the same.
            I had better not say too much about Gadaffi -p after all he was a friend of Tony’s, and I get into enough trouble with the Blairites as it is!

          • Hugh

            Yes, and some disagreed – not petulantly or small mindedly, I’d argue, but simply because it’s a stance where there’s much to find disagreeable.

            Of course, another difference is that when Ken talked to them they had absolutely no intention whatever of giving up or suspending violence nor looked likely to move that way.

            And, at the risk of repeating myself, what exactly would we have to talk about with Islamist terrorists? Do you want to discuss with them the minimum rolling back of religious, social and sexual freedoms and equalities they’d accept?

      • Rob

        Dave, firstly, it is not the role of a Mayor in a secular country (but based on Christian heritage) to make the city a beacon for any faith. The Archbishop of Canterbury might want to promote religion, but it has nothing to do with the Mayor.

        Secondly, Islam is neither tolerant of, nor respectful towards, other faiths or those with no faith. Some of the more literal adherents to the “religion of peace” think that non believers should be killed.

        The more I understand of Islam, I’m afraid the less i like it, and the more obvious it becomes that, firstly, Islamism in not compatible with secular deomocracy and, secondly, any politician who claims to be on the Left should oppose what islamism is about, not support it.

        I’d like a Labour mayor of London and that does not mean supporting a divisive, culturally obsessed apologist for misogynists and anti semites.     

        • When Islamic values of tolerance and respect are shared by those of other faiths and by those of no faith, to the benefit of all, then there is no reason why those values shouldn’t feature prominently in civic life and help underpin the plurality of a liberal democracy.

          Your monolithic characterisation of Islam is nonsense and doesn’t deserve a response.

          • Rob

            Well Dave, remember the bombings on the Underground? Fancy joining a gay pride march through Tower Hamlets?

            Tolerence and respect? They are not “Islamic values” I don’t think they belong to any faith. If you wish to claim them for Islam in particular, I suggest that you are totally deluded.

          • GuyM

            I was in NYC for 9/11 (sitting in an AA plane on a JFK airport runway watching the towers burn) and in London for 7/7 (getting on a Tube for Moorgate close to Aldgate).

            Islam is riven between those promoting peace and understanding and far too many globally and in the UK who desire Caliphate, Umma and sharia fundamentalism.

            Most of the UK will look upon Livingstone as a main cause for Londonistan and the mess the UK made in handling islamic fundamentalists.

          • Those qualities are integral to many faiths (and other perspectives), including Islam – as you’d find out if you watch the clip.

            Hatred can also be present. People have a choice, and you appear to have made yours.

          • Bill Lockhart

            So why did Livingstone not aspire to making London a beacon for peace and understanding? Why did he only mention Islam?
            The answer really isn’t all that difficult to deduce. He remains, as he has always been, a repugnant opportunist.

          • Alexwilliamz

            Repugnant opportunist = modern poltician. Come on Bill please list the huge number of politicians you could not level this at. I would agree that Ken should have been more saavy in his use of words. For example ‘a beacon for all those faiths like Islam which promote peace and understanding’. For example.

          • Bill Lockhart

            Gisela Stuart? Simon Hughes? Ken Clarke?

      • Bill Lockhart

        I might beg leave to disagree with this :-

        “It’s about what I can do to educate the mass of Londoners who have no understanding of Islam”

        Of course- it’s everyone else’s fault. Scepticism about the reality of Islam is a thought crime. We need compulsory re-education.

        • Hugh

           The great mass of Londoners have precious little understanding of Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism or, frankly, Christianity, yet I don’t see Ken keen to educate them on any of those.

  • GuyM

    Reaffirms the point that the should not be one Mayor for both the centre and the “doughnut”.

    The centre on the whole is largely Labour territory with a high ethnic minority population, the doughnut largely tory or LibDem with a smaller ethnic minority population.

    Forcing either side to accept the political leadership the majority clearly doesn’t want seems to be an act of stupidity or spite. Let inner London have a Labour mayor and let the doughnut areas revert back to their council control.

  • GuyM

    The “make London a beacon for Islam” on it’s own ought to see him massively defeated.

  • Johnthebarrister

    Taxing times for ken. Can’t possibly vote for him now burnt all his London bridges to the soft left.

  • Annoyed

    I have one thing to say to Jonathan Roberts. I am ashamed he was a Labour candidate at the last election. His comments are a snub to every Labour activist in London, working hard for a Labour victory. He’s a disgrace. His repeating of Tory smears is despicable. 

    • GuyM

      Using the word “smear” to try to cover clear statement Ken Livingstone has made is simply “smearing” anyone (in this case Jonathan Roberts) who points out that Ken isn’t a very nice chap, mixes with some not very nice other chaps and has a problem with criticising people who seem to be doing exactly what he is doing on the quiet.

      Reality can be a hard thing to deal with  for you I guess.

  • Mark, good article, but a correction: if this is the COMRES poll, the initial release of the results was messed up, it’s a six point Boris lead (53%-47%), not 4, I’m afraid. UK Polling Report has good analysis on it:

    I’m glad they included the party/personality questions for Ken and Boris, it’s interesting to read about. One thing they confirm is that any griping about Ken & assertions that another candidate would be better are most likely incorrect. The poll shows that 44% of people like the Labour Party (with 42% against), so consider 44% the “generic Labour candidate” baseline. Meanwhile, the Tories have 36% (with 64% against), giving Labour a clear edge on any generic Tory, as you’d expect in London. However, Boris has a net 21% “him but not his party” personal vote on top of that 36%, giving him a potential pool of 57%, which any Labour candidate would struggle against. As Mark said in the article, emphasing party & issues, as well as Boris’ record, is Ken’s best hope.

  • Alan Grandmaster

    Ken may well loose but Ed will pay the ultimate price

  • Hugh

    Funniest news so far today: The “Londoners” in Ken’s latest election broadcast – the one reducing him to tears – were, in fact, actors.

    As Atul Hatwal puts it: “When looking again at Livingstone’s reaction, it’s hard to know which
    explanation is worse – that he forced himself to eke out some tears for
    political affectation, or that he was moved to tears listening to sweet
    words of flattery that he had practically written himself.
    Calculated cynicism or rampant narcissism. Maybe a bit of both?”

    I suspect team Ken will soon be looking at a 4 point deficit with some degree of nostalgia.


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