Should Ken be hitting the panic button?

Should Ken be hitting the panic button?


    The 16% Tory lead poll – the detail

Reproduced above is an extract from the detailed data from today’s YouGov poll in the Sunday Times showing the Tories with their best figures for a quarter of a century. The paper is leading on the survey this morning.

By any account the figures are sensational and, if repeated at a general election, would see David Cameron returned with a three figure majority. But that could be more than two years away and a lot can happen in between.

The most immediate set of elections are the locals on May 1st together with the votes for the London Assembly and the London Mayoralty. The latter, of course, is being defended by Ken Livingstone for Labour against a vigorous challenge by Boris Johnson.

I have highlighted the responses for London. Even accounting for the fact that these relate to a general election, not the mayoralty, and the huge dangers of taking out a small sub-set from the overall numbers this won’t make pleasant reading for Labour’s campaign team in the capital. Interesting, as well, is the fact that the Lib Dems are doing better in London than in the country as a whole. Could that be a pointer to May 1st?

    Fieldwork for the last YouGov London Mayoralty poll finished on February 21st and had Boris leading by 5% when second preferences were taken into account. A national voting intention survey carried out by YouGov at the same time reported a 6% Conservative lead.

You do your own extrapolation because we can only speculate about how Ken is doing with the Tories so far ahead nationally. My guess is that he is probably doing better – but by how much?

The other interesting features in the survey are the SNP share in Scotland and the massive lead that the poll reports for the Tories amongst the over 55s. The latter group, of course, are much more likely to vote than those in younger age groups.

As soon as the poll came out last night I backed Johnson hard in several betting markets. The best price you can currently get is 0.94/1.

Mike Smithson

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