Ten weeks to London’s election: where Ken needs to improve


by Leo Barasi    
2:40 pm - February 23rd 2012

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Since we’ve now had three polls on the London mayoral election since mid-January, now seems a good time to look at what they tell us about the race.

Two of the three put Ken narrowly ahead, and the third gives it to Boris – but all are within the margin of error.

There also continues to be a ‘Labour for Boris’ vote as well as a ‘Tories for Ken’ crowd. But the ComRes poll in particular demonstrates an interesting point about where the polls might go from here.

A set of questions about each candidate suggest stark differences in their strengths and weaknesses.

While Ken is seen as understanding ordinary Londoners’ concerns, it is Boris who is seen as the man with the plan, and the ability to deliver on his promises. This is reflected not just among the whole sample, but also in the opinions of each candidates’ own supporters:

This could be very interesting to watch. Were there to be an election tomorrow, Boris would be seen as the candidate who could actually make a difference. Ken would be seen as well meaning but ultimately a disappointment in the making.

But the election isn’t tomorrow: it’s in 10 weeks. Over that time, the Labour campaign will have the opportunity to argue that they do indeed have plans for the economy and to bring down crime.

Election coverage and ground campaigns will give them an opportunity to communicate those plans.

Since Boris’ weakness is an intangible – that he doesn’t understand ordinary people’s concerns – it might be harder for him to change his ratings in a couple of months.

If Ken is able to overcome Labour voters’ doubts about what he wants to do and whether he has the ability to do it, the campaign could go a long way to reducing the ‘Labour for Boris’ vote.

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A longer version is at Noise of the Crowd

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About the author
Leo is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He manages communications for a small policy organisation, and writes about polling and info from public opinion surveys at Noise of the Crowd
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Reader comments


Personality, personality, personality.
I’ll vote Conservative for the first time in my life. That should be telling enough.

There is no link to “Tories for Ken”…are there such people?

I am wondering whether 10 weeks would be enough to shift the popular impression of Ken Livingstone in peoples heads. Those 10+% differences are significant, and the Johnson campaign will be well aware of the need to play on these as well, so it is not as if Mr Livingstone is going to be able to alter these without challenge.

Furthermore, it would require Mr Livingstone to show he had policies that could convince people of this – if he does not, he pushes more people to Mr Johnson. Are we sure that Mr Livingstone really does have policies that can convince enough people of this – he has policies, but are they appealing enough?

If the people of london are stupid enough to reelect the bankers friend then they deserve all they get.

I seem to recall KL was very keen on bankers (and developers) in his time!

6. sackcloth and ashes

How can Ken improve? He can stop cosying up to extremist scum like Qaradawi and Rahman, stop being an anti-Semite, and stop making homophobic remarks, That would be a start.

In the light of the biggest cycling debate in parliament today for 15 years, i’d be interested to know what you think of this campaign:

http://www.londonersonbikes.org.uk/

I’m afraid Ken’s moves to attract what is now feasibly called ‘the cyclist lobby’ have been pretty pathetic. Pledging free use of the Barclays hire bikes to all people with a Freedom Pass is a bit of a joke seeing as the majority of users are either rich central London dwelling professionals, out of town commuters or tourists.

Boris can hardly say to be doing any better, what with his ill advised comments that cycling safely in London just takes a bit of ‘common sense’ in the face of multiple cycle deaths this year and many many crap junctions, even after redesigns.

Maybe Boris and Ken should form a Mayoral Coalition !

If you want Ken to be elected you’re going to have to surpress the public awareness of his past record concerning Tower Hamlets, Quaradawi, and the LDA (to name a few). Thanks to the Evening Standard, many more than before know the real Ken.

The Mayoral elections remind me why I like living in the North West so much.

11. So Much For Subtlety

4. Paul

If the people of london are stupid enough to reelect the bankers friend then they deserve all they get.

If the people of London are stupid enough to re-elect Lee Jasper’s friend then they deserve all they get. At least the banks provide a service and have made us rich.

sackcloth and ashes

How can Ken improve? He can stop cosying up to extremist scum like Qaradawi and Rahman, stop being an anti-Semite, and stop making homophobic remarks, That would be a start.

In fairness, now George W. has defeated Islamism and it is dying as an ideology, it is no longer cool to suck up to Islamists. So the Guardian no longer regularly turns its editorial pages over to defenders of suicide bombing and so on. And I expect that Ken no longer feels much need to appeal to the Islamist demographic. The question is whether the London voters have forgiven and forgotten. I hope not.

So the Guardian no longer regularly turns its editorial pages over to defenders of suicide bombing and so on.”

Ahem.

http://hurryupharry.org/2012/02/22/is-this-a-new-low-for-the-guardian/

What is so important (really) about this election?
Ken Livingstone is well past his sell by date. Boris doesn’t do that much for anoyone either as far as I can tell. It’s a really uninspiring choice.
Paddick is really annoying and attention seeking I find btw.

I thought Zoe Williams had some good points in the Guardian the other day.

This Coriolanus-style fight to be London’s mayor does nothing for politics
A vote for the London mayor could be between the true left and the true right.
But they’d rather squabble over our wallets

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/feb/22/london-mayor-mavericks-election

Personality, personality, personality. I’ll vote Conservative for the first time in my life. That should be telling enough.

Yes, that sure does tell us a lot about your personality.

How can Ken improve? …stop being an anti-Semite
Ken Livingstone is not an anti-semite, you complete asshole.

Liberal Conspiracy, we go to Beijing Government to ask them about we stop the 8 Country rates dollars up: New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Oceania, Southeast Asia, South Asia and Western Asia, and then United States, China, Europe and Japan have a biggest fight to get all the money out from 10 and all Country: New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Oceania, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Western Asia, Central Asia, Africa and more Country into 4 Country: United States, China, Europe and Japan. So now Liberal Conspiracy, you can tell New York Government.


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