Boris Johnson has extended his lead over Ken Livingstone in the race for Mayor of London from 2% to 8% according to the latest YouGov poll.
On first preferences of Boris is on 49%, Livingstone 41%, the Lib Dem candidate Brian Paddick 5%, others on 4% between them. In the second preference, which is what counts, the gap was the same. Boris leading Livingstone by 54% to 46%.
The scandal of Livingstone tax avoidance hypocrisy does seem to have had an impact. Those who think he sticks to what he believes are down six points to 34%. Those who think he is in touch with ordinary people is down five to 32%.
But there has also been the efforts of the Boris campaign to shift attention on which candidate has the better record of keeping promises. This has also had an impact. Last month 40% thought Livingstone had a better record as Mayor against 31% for Boris. Now Boris leads on this measure by 36% to 34% for Livingstone.
A gap of 8% still suggest a tight race – especially with over six weeks to go. It can't just be assumed that the Livingstone campaign will continue to self destruct. All the Livingstone campaign needs to do is to persuade Labour voters to vote for the Labour candidate. Labour are 12% ahead of the Conservatives in London when it comes to a General Election. But only 69% of Labour supporters are planning to vote for Livingstone. Support for Boris among Labour voters is on 10%. The "Tories for Livingstone" campaign reaches a more modest 5% of the Conservative vote.
Another poll today from MORI didn't offer voting intention. But it stressed the importance voters attach to reducing the Council Tax and the popularity of such a policy. 69% support compared with 14% opposed. This is an area when Boris needs to be bolder.