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Boris Johnson Leads Livingstone in Mayor of London Election

16th April 2012

The Guardian reports that current London Mayor Boris Johnson is ahead of Ken Livingstone in polls, according to ComRes.

“A ComRes poll for the Evening Standard, London Tonight and LBC, suggests the Conservative candidate has 53% support compared with 47% for his Labour counterpart on a second round of voting in an election conducted under the supplementary vote system, with polling showing no winner after the first round in a closely fought contest between the two leading contenders.

“With just over three weeks to go until polling day, Johnson has widened his lead despite the unveiling of an unpopular budget by the Conservative chancellor George Osborne last month, which confirmed that the 50p top rate of tax would be scrapped next year – something which Johnson has strongly advocated.

“The findings give Johnson a 4% swing on the last Comres poll in mid-January when Livingstone had enjoyed a narrow two percentage point lead, indicating that his popular pledge to cut fares by 7% was playing well with Londoners just after they were slapped by transport fare rises averaging 5.6% under Johnson's mayoral watch.

In inner London, Livingstone is ahead on 60%, compared with Johnson's 40%, but this represents a drop since January when the Labour candidate was on 68%. Much will depend on the propensity of voters in inner and outer London to turn out to vote. Labour claims to have a better "get out the vote" operation.

Johnson is still well ahead in outer London, polling 60% to his rival's 40%. Johnson appears to be outperforming the Conservative party as a whole among his voters, with 28% of those polled saying they liked the mayor but not his party.

Among Lib Dem voters at the last general election, Livingstone is more popular than Johnson by 55% to 45% – a concern for Johnson's campaign, given the historical importance of second preference votes.

The poll suggests that in the first round of voting, 46% of Londoners would back Johnson, 41% Livingstone, 6% Liberal Democrat Brian Paddick and 4% Green party candidate Jenny Jones. The independent candidate Siobhan Benita is also standing, as are Ukip and BNP candidates.

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