Latest London Mayoral and General Elections Voting Intentions
(13 – 14 January 2021)

January 15, 2021
R&WS Research Team
Approval Rating | GB Politics | London | London Mayoral Election 2021 | Sadiq Khan | Shaun Bailey | Voting Intention

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Redfield & Wilton Strategies’ latest London Mayoral election voting intention poll finds Sadiq Khan leading the Conservative candidate Shaun Bailey by 19% in the first preference vote, a marginal decrease of 3% since our October poll. Altogether, our latest voting intention result (with changes from 15 – 17 October in parentheses) is as follows:

Sadiq Khan (Labour) 49% (-1)

Shaun Bailey (Conservative) 28% (–)

Luisa Porritt (Liberal Democrat) 10% (–)

Sian Berry (Green Party) 9% (-1)

Peter Gammons (UKIP) 2% (NEW)

Other 3% (+1)

The incumbent Mayor continues to poll similarly well across the city. 51% of those who will vote from an inner London borough and 48% of those who will vote from an outer London borough will select Sadiq Khan with their first preference. Moreover, 14% of those who voted for the Conservatives in the 2019 General Election intend to vote for Sadiq Khan, the same proportion as in October.

When including those who say they do not know how they will vote, Sadiq Khan leads by 17%. Altogether, a considerable 20% of respondents say they do not know how they will vote.

Londoners are more likely to vote for candidates from smaller parties rather than Conservative or Labour for their second preference: 30% say they will vote for Green Party candidate Sian Berry with their second choice, while 26% will select Liberal Democrat Luisa Porritt.

Certainty to vote has declined by three points as the Election draws closer. Currently, less than half (47%) of Londoners say they are certain they will vote in next May’s election. 23% now consider that they probably will vote, an increase of 3 points. Only 5% will definitely not vote and 6% will probably not vote, the exact same results as in October.[1] Those that intend to vote for Shaun Bailey are somewhat more likely to be certain that they will vote (59%), than those who say they will vote for Sadiq Khan (54%).

Similarly, in our General Election voting intention for London, Labour leads the Conservative by 21% in the capital, yet this result represents a 6% decline in Labour’s London lead since October. Altogether, our results are as follows:

Conservatives 27% (+1)

Labour 48% (-5)

Liberal Democrat 14% (+2)

Green 8% (+2)

Reform UK 2% (NEW)

Other 2% (-1)

While the Conservative Party has not made any significant gains in the capital during the last three months, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party appear to have made slight inroads into Labour’s support.

Although a clear plurality of Londoners (44%) disapproves of former London mayor Boris Johnson’s job performance as Prime Minister, his net approval rate now stands at -12%, a notable 9% improvement since October.

Interestingly, despite the Prime Minister clawing back some support in general, a quarter (25%) of those in London who voted Conservative in the 2019 General Election now disapprove of Boris Johnson’s performance––an increase of 2 points since October. Disapproval regarding Boris Johnson’s performance is at the same level (45%) in both inner and outer boroughs of London. Male respondents (35%) are substantially more likely to approve of Boris Johnson’s job performance than female respondents (29%).

Meanwhile, a clear plurality (42%) of Londoners continues to approve of Rishi Sunak’s job performance since he became Chancellor in February, while a fifth (20%) disapprove. Overall, however, Rishi Sunak’s net approval rating has dropped by a significant 8% since October, and 16% since September.

On the local level, Sadiq Khan holds a +20% approval rating among Londoners, an increase of 6% since October. At this point, 45% approve of Sadiq Khan’s performance since becoming Mayor of London, while only a quarter (25%) disapprove.

Meanwhile, Labour Leader Keir Starmer holds a net approval rating of +22%, a noticeable 5% decrease since October. Overall, 41% of Londoners currently approve of Starmer’s job performance since he became leader of the Labour Party, while 19% disapprove. The proportion who neither approve nor disapprove of Starmer has dropped to below a third (31%). Despite the overall decline in approval rating, Keir Starmer has improved his net approval rating among those who voted for the Conservative in the 2019 General Election by 1 point to +7%.

Thinking about the institutions of national and local government with authority over the city, a clear plurality of Londoners think the Government (45%) is incompetent. Notably, a slight plurality (27%) now “don’t know” whether the current Greater London Authority is competent, which may reflect their limited presence in shaping policy during the coronavirus era.

Labour’s continued dominance in London is spearheaded by high public trust in the Party to deliver across all areas of policy. At this stage, almost half (46% to 49%) trust the Labour Party the most to reduce poverty, support public transport networks, and support the NHS, while only approximately a fifth (19-20%) support the Conservative Party on these areas. Furthermore, a clear plurality (39%) trusts the Labour Party the most to tackle the coronavirus, while only 21% trust the Conservatives. These results are almost identical to those from our previous London polling. Nevertheless, the proportion who trust Labour the most to build the best housing has decreased by 6 points in the last three months to 40%.

The Conservatives continue to perform relatively better on certain issues. In particular, while a slight plurality (35%) trusts the Labour Party to strengthen the economy the most, 30% now favour the Conservatives. Furthermore, over a quarter (27%) continue to trust the Conservatives the most in regard to tackling crime. Meanwhile, a clear plurality (37%) views the Green Party as the political party which can be trusted the most to protect the environment. As the UK gets set to host COP26 later this year, the Green Party could benefit from the increased attention on environmental issues and ultimately make gains in local elections.

Finally, when asked whether they could see themselves voting for a given party, 32% of members of the London public said they could ‘definitely’ see themselves voting Conservative in the future and another 34% said they could ‘maybe’ see themselves voting Conservative. Altogether, only about a third of Londoners polled said they could ‘not at all’ see themselves voting for the Conservative Party in the future, including just under half (48%) of 2019 Labour voters. As such, while Sadiq Khan continues to hold a commanding lead in the Mayoral Race, the voting public might not be as rigid as it appears.

Of course, even more of the London public could see itself voting for Labour in the future. Only 38% of those who voted Conservative in 2019 ruled out the possibility of voting for Labour in the future.

Overall, Sadiq Khan and the Labour Party retain a comfortable lead in London, both in terms of voting intention and trust on key issues. The Conservatives have maintained the same level of support in the capital in the past three months, although the Prime Minister’s approval ratings have improved somewhat. A slight decline in support for Labour appears to have benefited the smaller parties, although Sadiq Khan’s personal popularity has increased since October. By contrast, Rishi Sunak approval rating has continued to decline, and is now much lower than in late summer. As coronavirus cases and deaths continue to increase rapidly, the UK Government is generally perceived to be incompetent, yet many also have no positive opinion of the Greater London Authority.

[1] Note: voting intention polls tend to sample respondents who are typically more likely than the general population to be voters and to be politically engaged.

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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