In our first poll on who the Conservative candidate should be, Zac Goldsmith won 56 per cent of the total. In the second the month after, he gained the same total. This third time, he has 62 per cent of the vote.
Syed Kamall went from 28 per cent to 32 per cent and is now on 26 per cent. Andrew Boff has 7 per cent this month and Stephen Greenhalgh 6 per cent.
You may wonder why Goldsmith’s lead has been so large so consistently, particularly since none of the candidates have fully set out their stalls yet.
My own answer is that it is widely assumed that he will win the selection, and that this view is being fed back into the polls’ findings.
Whatever the merits of the four candidates may be – and each has some – this doesn’t strike me as an unreasonable assumption.
The usual caveat applies: our survey of Conservative Party members who read this site is national, not restricted to those in London.
My best guess is that a London-only survey would find a slightly lower figure for Goldsmith and a slightly higher figure for the others, but your own guess is as good as mine.
If you lump in the replies of non-Party member respondents, the figures scarcely move. That’s mainly because there are very few of them this month.
The reason? Doubtless because we undertook a Party Reform survey special. This is obviously of special interest to our Party member readers, over 900 of whom have completed it – a very healthy return.
In usual circumstances, they would be part of an overall return of about 1500. This time round, it’s lower, at about 1300: many of our non-party member readers have decided to steer clear.
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This footnote is a plug for a Conservative Mayoral hustings event with all four candidates – Boff, Goldsmith, Greenhalgh and Kamall. Date: Tuesday September 15. Place: Wandsworth Civic Suite, Wandsworth High Street, London SW18 2PU. Time: 19.30 for 20.00. I will be chairing it, and am grateful to Wandsworth and Wimbledon Conservatives for the invitation. Details of how to register are here.