Redfield & Wilton Strategies’ latest London Mayoral voting intention poll finds Sadiq Khan leading the Conservative candidate Shaun Bailey by 25% in the first preference vote, an increase of 6% since our last London poll in January. Altogether, our latest voting intention result (with changes from 13-14 January in parentheses) is as follows:
Sadiq Khan (Labour) 51% (+2)
Shaun Bailey (Conservative) 25% (-3)
Luisa Porritt (Liberal Democrat) 8% (-2)
Sian Berry (Green Party) 6% (-3)
Peter Gammons (UKIP) 2% (-)
Mandu Reid (Women’s Equality Party) 4% (NEW)
Other 3% (-)
Support for Khan is much stronger among younger voters, with 68% of those aged 18 to 24 saying they will vote for Khan as their first preference, compared to only 9% who plan to vote for Bailey as their first preference. The only age group where Shaun Bailey narrowly beats Sadiq Khan is among those 65 or older, of whom 42% plan to vote for Bailey and 38% for Khan.
Our polling finds that only 67% of Londoners who voted Conservative in the 2019 General Election plan to vote for Shaun Bailey, whereas as many as 17% will vote for Sadiq Khan. On the other hand, 81% of 2019 Labour voters say they will vote for Sadiq Khan as their first preference.
When including those who say they do not know how they will vote, Sadiq Khan leads by 21% rather than by 25%. Overall, a very significant 18% of likely voters in London say they still don’t know who they will vote for as their first preference, a slight 2% decline since January.
Likelihood to vote is relatively low, with only 40% saying they are “certain” to vote in the Mayoral Election—a significant 7% decline since January. Meanwhile, 25% say they will “probably” vote (2% more than in January), and a further 14% are “leaning towards voting but might not vote” (also 2% more than in January). Self-declared likelihood to vote increases with age, with only 28% of those aged 18 to 24 saying they are “certain” to vote, compared to 46% of those aged 65 or older.
Those who say they will vote for Shaun Bailey are noticeably more likely to say they are ‘certain to vote’ (65%) than those who say they will vote for Sadiq Khan (45%). Even a more aggressive turnout weighting that only includes respondents who say they are ‘certain to vote,’ however, still finds Sadiq Khan leading considerably––by 17% when excluding those who say they do not know how they would vote and 15% when including those who say they do not know how they would vote.
Despite the overall worsening numbers for the Conservatives in London, approval of Boris Johnson in London has risen sharply since January. At present, 34% of Londoners approve and 41% disapprove of Boris Johnson’s overall job performance since becoming Prime Minister. These figures—a net -7% approval rate—represent an improvement from his net approval rating in January, which was at -12% net approval. In other words, Johnson’s net approval rate in London has improved by 5% since January.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak enjoys a net +25% approval rate among Londoners, with 44% approving and 19% disapproving of his job performance since becoming Chancellor. The Chancellor’s current net approval represents a 3% rise since January.
Londoners’ approval of Labour Leader Keir Starmer remains high, although it has fallen since January. At present, 35% approve and 18% disapprove of Starmer’s performance as Labour Leader; although this constitutes a net +17% approval rate, it is nonetheless a decline when compared to Starmer’s net +22% approval rate in January.
As for London Mayor Sadiq Khan, 46% of London voters approve and 21% disapprove of his job performance. These figures represent a net +25% approval rate for the Mayor—a five-point increase since January, when his net approval stood at +20%. Therefore, our research suggests that, at the national level, Londoners increasingly approve of Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak and increasingly disapprove of Keir Starmer, yet at the local level their approval of Sadiq Khan continues to rise.
Despite the current challenges for the Conservatives in London politics, our research indicates that a majority of Londoners are not actually averse to voting Conservative, with 34% saying they would “definitely” be willing to vote Conservative and 37% saying they would “maybe” vote Conservative. Only 29% of London voters say they would “not at all” consider ever voting Conservative in an election, whether for Mayor, Parliament, or their local council.
Overall, despite the recovery staged by the Conservatives at the UK level in the past few weeks, Labour continues to push ahead in London, with Sadiq Khan widening his lead over Shaun Bailey, and with Khan’s net approval rating in London currently being equal to that of Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who has gained widespread popularity during the coronavirus pandemic for his generous spending schemes to boost the British economy. Without having authorised expenditure anywhere as high as what Sunak has launched, Khan remains immensely popular among Londoners and appears poised for re-election.