Khan’s Decision to Run for a Third Term Opens Himself to Criticism

June 27, 2023
R&WS Research Team
Approval Rating | Local Elections | London | London Mayoral Election 2024 | Sadiq Khan | UK Elections | Voting Intention

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Next May, Londoners will head to the polls to elect their next mayor and a new Greater London Assembly. The current mayor, Labour’s Sadiq Khan, is running for a third term, an unprecedented decision in the 23 year history of the position.

Given that we are just under a year out from the election, we at Redfield & Wilton strategies asked Londoners about how they feel about the man who is asking them to put their trust in him for a third time.

Overall, Londoners approve of the job Sadiq Khan has done, with 53% approving of his job performance and 26% disapproving.

A majority of Londoners believe that Khan has kept his promises. 55% of respondents say that Khan has made either a significant (26%) or fair (29%) amount of progress towards achieving his campaign promises since his re-election in 2021. Meanwhile, 37% feel that he has made little (24%) or no (13%) progress towards achieving his campaign promises. 

The London Mayor has a net satisfaction rating of +8% on the economy, with 39% of voters expressing satisfaction with his performance and 31% dissatisfaction. On policing and crime, a plurality (43%) are also satisfied with the Mayor’s work, against 37% who are dissatisfied, for a net satisfaction rating of +6%.

On other issues, however, dissatisfaction with Khan is higher. Londoners give him low marks on housing, a major preoccupation for Londoners given the city’s housing crisis. 38% of voters are dissatisfied with his policies on housing, while only 34% are satisfied.

40% are also dissatisfied with Khan’s policies on transport.

Dissatisfaction on transport, in particular, may be a liability for Khan, as Londoners are more likely to think that the London Mayor and Assembly currently have more power and responsibility on this issue than Westminster.

Broadly speaking, after eight years in office, Khan’s chances for re-election look strong, with the important caveat that the election is still a year away and the Conservatives are yet to pick their nominee. 50% of Londoners say they support the Mayor running for a third term, while 25% oppose him doing so.

At the same time, a majority (56%) of Londoners would support Khan stepping down and allowing Labour to run a different candidate in the upcoming election.

In fact, a plurality (45%) would prefer that he stand aside and allow Labour to run a different candidate, rather than run for re-election for a third term (the preferred choice of 40% of voters).

Moreover, a majority (58%) of respondents’ would support imposing a limit of two four-year terms on the office of Mayor. Except for those aged 45-54 (among whom 39% would support term limits) majorities of every age group would also support such term limits being introduced.

As such, while our Mayoral Voting Intention poll last week found that a plurality of Londoners (41%) would vote for Khan and that a majority approve of his performance, his decision to run for a third term is still one that is open to criticism from his opponents. A plurality of Londoners would prefer that he not run for a third time and let someone else from Labour run instead, and a majority would support imposing US Presidential-style term limits on the Mayor’s office.

To find out more information about this research contact our research team. Redfield & Wilton Strategies is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Follow us on Twitter

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