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Tue, 27 October 2020

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Sadiq Khan on track for decisive re-election as London mayor, new poll finds

Sadiq Khan on track for decisive re-election as London mayor, new poll finds
3 min read

Labour’s Sadiq Khan is heading for a decisive re-election as Mayor of London, according to a fresh poll.


A new study by Queen Mary University of London suggests the former Shadow Cabinet minister is on course to scoop up 49% in the first round of voting - just shy of the threshold needed to avoid second preferences coming into play on the 7 May vote.

The study is a major blow for Conservative hopeful Shaun Bailey, who is trailing in second place on 24% of first preferences.

Meanwhile independent candidate Rory Stewart, a former Conservative Cabinet minister, is on just 13%, and Green Party candidate Siân Berry is polling at seven percent.

London’s mayoral elections take place under the supplementary vote system, with voters picking a first and second choice when they cast their ballot.

If no candidate gets more than 50% of first choice votes, the contest switches to a straight head-to-head between the two most popular candidates, with second choice votes of those who backed eliminated candidates then taken into account.

The Queen Mary poll - carried out by YouGov - finds that once second preference votes are taken into account, Mr Khan is on course to beat Mr Bailey by 67% to 33% - sealing a second term at City Hall.

The study reveals that Mr Khan is also managing to pick up support from voters outside of the Labour Party, while his Tory rival is struggling to win the backing of those outside his party’s base.

Professor Philip Cowley, Professor of Politics at Queen Mary University of London said: “Khan manages to attract 84 per cent of those who would support Labour in a general election but also almost half of Westminster Liberal Democrat voters (47 per cent), whereas Bailey attracts the support of 76 per cent of Conservative Westminster voters and almost no support from elsewhere.”

Mr Stewart meanwhile picks up support from 19% of Liberal Democrat voters and 15% of Conservative voters. 

But the poll shows he has so far failed to cut through with Labour-voters in a city that has increasingly become a stronghold for the left-wing party - picking up just six percent support.

Mr Khan, who has represented London since 2016, recently threw his weight behind Labour leadership contender Sir Keir Starmer in the race to succeed Jeremy Corbyn.

The poll finds that he has picked up support among “almost all” demographic groups, leading among men and women, white and BAME voters, inner and outer London and middle and working class voters. 

But he is neck-and-neck with his Conservative challenger when it comes to pensioners.

The pollsters said: “He also enjoys leads amongst Londoners of all ages, up to the age of 65. His lead amongst those aged 18-24 is a staggering 66 percentage points. 

“Of those over the age of 65, Khan and Bailey share the lead.”

YouGov spoke to 1,002 adults between 2 and 6 March 2020.

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