A new YouGov poll for the Evening Standard shows an increased lead for Boris Johnson over Ken Livingstone of 4% in the Mayor of London election – 52% to 48% after second preferences are included. That is up from a 2% lead for Boris by YouGov a week ago. But, as Tony Travers says, if the latest poll is accurate it is still "too close to call." Especially give the advantage to Livingstone over multiple voting in east London – you can hardly blame the pollsters for not being able to account for that.
In the first preferences round the Lib Dem candidate Brian Paddick is on 6%, independent Siobhan Benita and UKIp's Lawrence Webb are on 4% each and the Green Party's Jenny Jones is on 3%.
So far as the 25-strong London Assembly is concerned the poll shows the Conservatives going down to eight with UKIP gaining two, Labour gaining four and the Green Party losing one.
Incidentally the Survation poll last week that was supposedly showing a 8% Boris lead turned out to be a 10% Boris lead. There was another Survation poll, reported in the Mail on Sunday yesterday which apparently shows a Boris lead of 24% – 62% to 38%. But I have not been able to find confirmation of that.
Without being able to count on the support of a third of London Assembly. I wondered if Boris would have his budget blocked. However Charlotte quite rightly pointed out that two thirds of the London Assembly would have to agree on an amendment to the budget. They couldn't just vote to block it without agreeing on an alternative. Would the Green Party, UKIP, etc, be likely to agree?
See London Assembly Kit Malthouse giving a robust performance when interviewed by left wing presenter Tim Donovan on BBC London. (About 30 minutes in.) Kit is angry with BBC bias and rightly so – especially when achievements in reducing youth reoffending rates are sneered at. I hope this strong response will have left viewers a bit more sceptical about the claims that Donovan makes.
Also do take a look at the excellent "50 reasons not to vote for Ken" blog by Boris Backer.