With one week to go until the London Mayoral election, the race couldn’t be tighter.
Results from a new survey released this morning by pollsters Comm Res for the Evening Standard, shows that Tory Boris Johnson has extended his lead over Labour’s Ken Livingstone 54 to 46, giving the Conservative candidate an 8 point lead over his rival.
But at a special MHP Mayoral Election breakfast hosted this morning, our expert panellists Joe Murphy, Political Editor of the Evening Standard, and Ben Duckworth, Editor of Total Politics, were keen to underline that the battle for City Hall is far from decided.
Our guests shared their insights from the campaign trail and offered insight into how the result – still far from secure – is set to impact Londoners and the interests of London business.
But the resounding message from this morning’s briefing is that, despite Boris’ strong polling, Ken is far from defeated. If trust is, as many commentators have suggested, the deciding issue of the Mayoral election, then Livingstone’s now infamous tax arrangements have not impacted on public perception as much as the headlines might have you believe, or perhaps as much as Boris’ campaign guru, Lynton Crosby, might have hoped.
Instead, voter turnout will be crucial to the result. Boris’ lead in the polls, even with just one week to go, could be crucially undermined by an often-forgotten political truth: London a traditionally Labour city. If Conservative voters in the suburbs don’t get out and vote, this could bring Boris down.
One thing is for sure: come the evening of 3 May, aides on both sides will be writing two very different speeches and prepping their candidates for two very different outcomes.