London mayoral election poll shows Susan Hall closing gap on Sadiq Khan as City Hall race hots up

Susan Hall is closing the gap on Sadiq Khan as the mayoral race hots up with dramatic shifts in voting intentions in Inner and Outer London, a new poll reveals.

The exclusive YouGov survey puts the Tory contender on 27 per cent, up three points from February, and her Labour rival on 46 per cent, down three points.

So Mr Khan still leads by 19 points.

But this is down from a 25-point gap in February.

Green Party candidate Zoe Garbett is on nine per cent, Liberal Democrat Rob Blackie eight per cent and Reform UK’s Howard Cox six per cent.

Election experts expected the polls to narrow around this time as Londoners focus more on the contest after receiving leaflets from candidates, campaigns revving up, and the May 2 polling day approaching, rather than tending to voice their opinions more on national politics.

The survey showed Ms Hall knocking six points off Mr Khan’s lead despite the gap in Westminster voting intentions between Labour and the Tories in London widening.

But far more striking is the comparison between Inner and Outer London.

Ms Hall has significantly recovered ground on Mr Khan in Outer London, where the Ultra Low Emission Zone expansion is far more controversial.

In February, the Labour contender was ahead by 46 per cent to 27 per cent, or 19 points.

But now the Tory challenger is just five points behind, on 33 per cent compared to Mr Khan’s 38 per cent.

However, he has boosted his lead in Inner London, from 54 per cent to 19 per cent in February, to 64 per cent to 14 per cent, a gap of 50 points compared to 35 two months ago.

Inner London is traditionally strong Labour territory, while in the past the “donut” of Outer London has more favoured the Tories.

Anthony Wells, Head of Political Research at YouGov, said: “Away from the election mayoral voting intentions are similar to people’s Westminster voting intention.

“But as we get closer to polling day the polls are starting to diverge as people start thinking about the actual race at hand.

“The mayoral race is tightening a bit, while at the same time Labour’s lead in Westminster voting intentions is ever stronger.

“That may well also be the reason behind the changing patterns in Inner and Outer London – Sadiq Khan is far more popular in Inner London than Outer London, as is his prominent ULEZ policy.”

However, he added: “Even after that narrowing, Mr Khan still has a commanding lead. With only two weeks left, we would need much more dramatic shifts than these to put the result in question.”

The Conservatives are on just 16 per cent in the capital in Westminster voting intention, down one point from February, and Labour is up three points to 55 per cent.

Reform UK and the Green Party are both on nine per cent, and Lib-Dems eight per cent.

The shift in mayoral voting intentions also appears more driven by views on Mr Khan, and possibly Ulez, than by Ms Hall who seems yet to have made an impact on many Londoners.

Friday’s Standard front page (ES Composite)
Friday’s Standard front page (ES Composite)

Just 18 per cent have a favourable view of her, 28 per cent an unfavourable one, and strikingly 53 per cent say “don’t know”.

In contrast, Londoners have far firmer views on Mr Khan as he seeks a third term.

Forty-nine per cent regard him unfavourably, 39 per cent favourably, with 13 per cent “don’t knows”.

Fifty-two per cent say Mr Khan is doing badly as mayor, with 36 per cent saying well.

Londoners as a whole are split over the Ulez expansion last August across the capital, with 42 per cent supporting it and 44 per cent opposed.

But in Inner London support is at 55 per cent and Outer London 36 per cent, while opposition is the reverse 27 per cent to 53 per cent.

Fity-two per cent in Outer London back cancelling the Ulez expansion, a key Ms Hall policy, but 46 per cent in Inner London oppose such a move.

A quarter of Londoners believe Mr Khan is strong, 30 per cent weak, 34 per cent “neither” and 11 per cent “don’t know”.

For Ms Hall, ten per cent say strong, 18 per cent weak, 14 per cent “neither” and 58 per cent “don’t know”.

A third of Londoners believe if Mr Khan wins the election it would have a negative impact on their quality of life, 19 per cent a positive one, 37 per cent would make no real difference, and ten per cent “don’t know”.

 (Evening Standard)
(Evening Standard)

For Ms Hall, 26 per cent say negative impact, 14 per cent positive, 21 per cent no real difference, and 39 per cent “don’t know”.

Detailed data showed if Mr Khan wins, Londoners’ “go up” expectations are:

* 71 per cent say cost of driving a car in London

* 62 per cent Tube fares

* 39 per cent crime

* 33 per cent new affordable housing

* 34 per cent air quality

When the same question is asked about Ms Hall, about four in ten Londoners say “don’t know”, compared to figures in the teens for Mr Khan.

For the Tory contender, “go up” expectations are:

* 28 per cent cost of driving a car in London

* 42 per cent Tube fares

* 22 cent crime

* 16 per cent new affordable housing

* 12 per air quality

When people polled were asked to select up to three issues most important in deciding how they would vote, 59 per cent said cost of living, 41 per cent crime and policing, 34 per cent housing, 29 per cent health, 26 per transport, 22 per cent London’s economy, 19 per cent environment and air quality, 18 per cent council tax and 10 per cent education.

* YouGov interviewed 1,157 adults online in London between April 9 and 17. Data are weighted.