The latest poll on the London mayoral election for the Sunday Times by Mruk Cello [sic] puts Ken on 45 per cent, Boris on 44 per cent and Brian Paddick on 9 per cent. This implies a much lower vote for minor party candidates than I would have expected. However, given sampling error and response problems, polls are not good at picking up minor party allegiances - even if the anonymity of a phone poll as this was partially overcomes the problem of declaring a preference for a party that is not seen as 'politically correct'.
It is no surprise that the two main contenders are in a virtual dead heat or that the result may be decided by differential turnout which would probably favour Bozza. What is interesting is Ken's large lead over Boris on strong leadership (52 per cent to 28 per cent). In fact the only issue on which Boris enjoys a lead is crime (38 per cent to 32 per cent).
Moreover, nearly a third of respondents (31 per cent) said that they could not vote for Boris on the grounds that he was not serious, more than the 28 per cent who thought he would be a good mayor. 62 per cent of respondents actually think that Ken has been a good mayor, but nearly half of these (28 per cent) think that it is time for him to go.
What all this confirms is that many Londoners are fed up with Ken but don't really want Boris. A proposed tube strike just before election day will not help Ken and play into the hands of Boris. The distribution of supplementary votes could be crucial.