Latest London Mayoral Election Voting Intention
(15-16 April 2021)

April 21, 2021
R&WS Research Team
Approval Rating | Boris Johnson | Conservative Party | GB Politics | Keir Starmer | Labour Party | London Mayoral Election 2021 | Rishi Sunak | 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 21% in the first preference vote, a decrease of 4% since our last London poll in March. Altogether, our latest voting intention result (with changes from 6-8 March in parentheses) is as follows:

Sadiq Khan (Labour) 47% (-3)

Shaun Bailey (Conservative) 26% (+1)

Luisa Porritt (Liberal Democrat) 9% (+1)

Sian Berry (Green Party) 6% (–)

Peter Gammons (UKIP) 3% (+1)

Mandu Reid (Women’s Equality Party) 4% (–)

Other 6% (+3)

While Shaun Bailey narrowly beat Sadiq Khan among those 65 and older in March, Sadiq Khan now finds plurality support across all age groups. Shaun Bailey finds slightly more support among younger voters than he did in March but significantly less support among older voters. 51% of 18-to-24-year-olds say they will vote for Khan as their first preference (down 17 %) and 14% say they will vote for Shaun Bailey as their first preference (up 5%). 41% of those 65 and over say they will vote for Sadiq Khan (up 3%) and 32% say they will vote for Shaun Bailey (down 10%). While older voters are still more likely to say they will vote for Shaun Bailey as their first preference, age disparities in voting intention are not as stark as they were a month ago.

Our polling finds that 69% of Londoners who voted Conservative in the 2019 General Election plan to vote for Shaun Bailey (up 2%) and 14% say they will vote for Sadiq Khan. On the other hand, 72% 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 17% rather than by 21%. Overall, a considerable 16% 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 March.

As we saw in our January and March polls, Londoners are more likely to vote for smaller parties as their second preference, with 14% saying they will choose Liberal Democrat candidate Luisa Porritt as their second preference and 17% saying they will pick Green Party candidate Sian Berry. Second preference support for Luisa Porritt originates from both 2019 Conservative voters and 2019 Labour voters, with 11% and 13% respectively saying they will choose her as their second preference. Alternatively, those who will choose Berry as their second preference are far more likely to have voted for Labour in 2019 (22%) than for the Conservatives (8%). Overall, 22% say they will not select a second preference.

54% of our sample say they are “certain” to vote in the Mayoral Election—a significantly rise from early March when just 40% said they were “certain” to vote. Meanwhile, 19% say they will “probably” vote (6% less than in March), and a further 11% are “leaning towards voting but might not vote” (3% less than in March).

Voters aged 18 to 24 are 18 points more likely to say they are “certain” to vote than in March (an increase from 28% to 46%). Other age groups have seen similar rises in likelihood to vote except the 45 to 54 age group, which has decreased by a marginal 1%. Nevertheless, self-declared likelihood to vote still increases with age, with 46% of those aged 18 to 24 saying they are “certain” to vote, compared to 62% of 55-to-64-year-olds and 59% of those aged 65 or older.

Those who say they will vote for Sadiq Khan are now noticeably more likely to say they are “certain” to vote (77%) than those who say they will vote for Shaun Bailey (64%). Respondents who say they will vote for Sadiq Khan are significantly more likely to say they are “certain to vote” now than in March, when just 45% said they were “certain” to vote. On the other hand, self-declared likelihood to vote among those who say they will vote for Shaun Bailey has remained the same.

On the national level, 39% of Londoners approve and 35% disapprove of Boris Johnson’s overall job performance since becoming Prime Minister. These figures—a net +4% approval rate—represent a striking reversal of his net approval rating in January, which was at -9% net approval, and represent a marginal 1% increase since March. In other words, Johnson’s approval rate in London has increased by 13 points since January.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak again enjoys a net +25% approval rate among Londoners, with 44% approving and 19% disapproving of his job performance since becoming Chancellor, on par with his net approval rating in March.

Londoners’ approval of Labour Leader Keir Starmer remains high, but has fallen. At present, 36% approve and 22% disapprove of Starmer’s performance as Labour Leader. While this latest figure constitutes a healthy net +14% approval rate, it is nonetheless a decline when compared to Starmer’s net +17% approval rating in March, net +22% in January, and net +29% in August and September.

As for London Mayor Sadiq Khan, 47% of London voters approve and 26% disapprove of his job performance. These figures represent a net +21% approval rating for the Mayor.

With regard to specific policy areas, Londoners are most dissatisfied with Sadiq Khan’s approach towards housing, where there is just +4% net satisfaction. On policing, an area often criticised by his opponent Shaun Bailey, Sadiq Khan enjoys a +20% satisfaction.

Even so, the Labour Party is considerably more trusted in London to ‘build the best housing’ (39% to 21%). With regard to crime, the Conservative do score better, reducing Labour’s lead in that area to single digits.

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 36% saying they would “definitely” be willing to vote Conservative and 34% saying they would “maybe” vote Conservative. Only 30% 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 national level in recent months, Labour continues to be the dominant political party in London, though Sadiq Khan’s lead over Shaun Bailey has decreased slightly. The proportion of Londoners who say they are “certain” to vote in the upcoming election has significantly increased since March, especially among those who say they will vote for Sadiq Khan as their first preference. Sadiq Khan’s approval rating has decreased slightly since March, but with the election just weeks away, he remains poised for re-election.

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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