London Mayoral Election Voting Intention (4-6 September 2023)

September 8, 2023
R&WS Research Team
Local Elections | London | London Mayoral Election 2024 | Sadiq Khan | UK Elections

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The recent high-profile extension of London’s Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) and the result of the Uxbridge & South Ruislip by-election has concentrated minds on the next London Mayoral Election, due to be held on 2 May next year.

Incumbent Mayor Sadiq Khan is running as the Labour candidate, seeking an unprecedented third term as Mayor, while the Conservative Party has named London Assembly member Susan Hall as their nominee.

In June, prior to Hall’s nomination, we at Redfield & Wilton Strategies found Sadiq Khan leading a generic Conservative candidate by eight points (41% vs 33%).

In polling conducted for The Times and Times Radio this week, with the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats having nominated candidates to complete the candidate selection process among the major parties, we find Sadiq Khan leading Susan Hall by just one point, a dramatic narrowing. Altogether the results of our latest poll are as follows:

Sadiq Khan (Labour) 33%
Susan Hall (Conservative) 32%
Rob Blackie (Liberal Democrat) 16%
Zoë Garbett (Green) 9%
Howard Cox (Reform UK) 4%
Another candidate 6%

When those who say they do not know how they would vote in a Mayoral Election are included, Khan maintains his 1% lead over Hall.

After weighting by likelihood to vote, 13% of the sample says they do not know how they would vote, including 8% of those who voted for Sadiq Khan in 2021 in the first round and 9% of those who voted for Shaun Bailey.

Altogether, Khan retains the support of 66% of those who gave him their first preference vote in the 2021 election, when the election was run under a supplementary vote system. 8% of his 2021 supporters are undecided how they would vote if a Mayoral election were held tomorrow, while 6% would now vote for Hall and 8% for Green Party candidate Zoë Garbett.

Jeremy Corbyn may enter the mayoral election as an independent candidate, a decision which the former Labour leader admitted he is thinking about in a recent appearance at the Edinburgh fringe festival. If Jeremy Corbyn were to run, our poll currently finds Susan Hall leading Sadiq Khan by five points:

Susan Hall (Conservative) 30%
Sadiq Khan (Labour) 25%
Jeremy Corbyn (Independent) 15%
Rob Blackie (Liberal Democrat) 15%
Zoë Garbett (Green) 6%
Howard Cox (Reform UK) 5%
Another candidate 3%

When undecided voters are included in this scenario, Khan (22%) still stands in second place, five points behind Hall (27%), with 14% saying they would vote for Corbyn. 11% of voters do not know how they would vote in this scenario.

22% of 2021 Sadiq Khan voters currently say they would vote for Corbyn, leaving the incumbent Mayor retaining the support of just 54% of those who voted for him in 2021.

But Corbyn could win more votes than currently projected, having neither confirmed his candidacy nor commenced a campaign. A plurality of Londoners (43%), including 44% of 2021 Khan voters, think Corbyn should run for Mayor of London, against 34% who think he should not, and 37% of Londoners, also a plurality, think Corbyn would be a good mayor of London. 27% think he would be a bad one. 

For context, it is worth noting that Labour with Jeremy Corbyn as leader attained more than 50% of the vote in London at the 2017 General Election.

Meanwhile, in parallel to the decline in his voting intention lead, Sadiq Khan’s net approval rating is down sharply from our previous London poll in June. Whereas 53% approved of his performance then (and 26% disapproved), 38% approve now (and 33% disapprove). Altogether, Khan’s net approval rating has fallen 22 points from +27% to +5%.

And, finally, in stark contrast to Khan’s narrow lead, Labour retains a healthy twenty point lead over the Conservatives in Westminster voting intention in London, an improvement of four points on the sixteen point margin the party held at the most recent General Election:

Labour 47%
Conservative 27%
Liberal Democrat 17%
Green 4%
Reform 4%
Other 1%

When those who say they do not know how they would vote in a General Election are included, the Labour Party leads by 18%. After weighting by likelihood to vote, 7% of the sample say they do not know how they would vote, including 6% of those who voted Conservative in December 2019 and 3% of those who voted Labour. 

Significantly, as many as 73% of Londoners who voted Conservative in 2019 say they would vote Conservative again, a higher figure than found in national polling or in other regional polls—possibly suggesting that the unique political situation in London, following the exceptional Uxbridge by-election and the expansion of ULEZ by Khan, may have allowed the Conservative Party to hold onto more of their traditional voter base than elsewhere.

However, given Labour’s predominance, London is probably one of the last regions in the United Kingdom (Scotland being another) where the Conservatives would want to hold onto more of their voters compared to elsewhere in the country.

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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