Thursday, April 03, 2008

 

Stand by for the Bozza and Ken Show


For the last few months political junkies have had to cross the Atlantic for their kicks but now looming on the horizon is the London Mayoral election on May 1st. Recent polls have put 'Bozza' 10 points ahead and he had begun to look like a shoo-in. However, today we read in The Guardian that it's possibly much closer than that.

These figures suggest Boris is only one point ahead of the veteran incumbent: 42% to 41%; after second preferences have been allocated the result is 51-49 in Bozza's favour. The way the poll breaks down provides a potentially exciting backcloth to the
contest.

For Boris
1. 'Do you think Ken or Boris will maintain the highest standards of public life?' Boris 41-37.

2. Who 'is the most honest?' Boris 38-28(males 42, females- maybe influenced by his adulterous activities- 34 ).

3. 'Most likely to reduce crime' Boris 42-34.

For Ken
1. Who 'most likely to get on with the job?' Ken 44-34.

2. 'Has Ken been good or bad for London?' 51-39(non whites 64 to 46 whites).

3. 'Most for the Environment?' Ken(congestion charge worked for him) 44-34.

4. 'Most likely to understand the needs of London?' Ken 46-35.

However a few other crucial factors are in play here:

-Ken is more popular with inner city mixed race voters where he has a lead of some 7%
- Boris draws support from the outer London, traditional Tory country, where he leads by 9%.
- second preferences of Lib Dems show a complete reversal from the last election with Boris favoured 43-30.
-perhaps most crucially, Boris benefits from those certain to vote: 48-40.

So, with a long month to go, Boris's Etonian nose is definitely in front but is by no means out of sight. So it's nicely poised. Does it matter who wins? For Londoners not that much: Ken would continue being Ken of course but I suspect Boris would make quite a decent mayor if for once he took his work seriously. It would matter enormously for David Cameron though as this is the next general election by proxy: if Boris comes though Cameron will receive a big gust of wind into his sails and will continue with confidence hugely enhanced.

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