How the South West was won – Khan shifted his own backyard to Labour

Khan Goldsmith 2-2.jpegIn his campaign to become Mayor Sadiq Khan seldom missed an opportunity to drop into his speeches that he was a bus driver’s son from Tooting.

The detailed breakdown of votes from the election shows how that ‘local boy’ status helped him secure the job by taking traditional Tory territory in South West London.

Merton and Wandsworth are boroughs that could previously be relied upon to vote for a Conservative Mayor.  They helped form the doughnut of outer London Conservative blue around the Labour red of central London on the political map.  But in last month’s poll, the jam squirted out of the political doughnut in this corner of London.

The borough of Wandsworth proved an intriguing backyard battleground for the local boy from Tooting.  His Conservative opponent, Zac Goldsmith, managed to win 11 of the 20 wards and was ahead in postal votes from the borough.  But Sadiq Khan took 9 wards compared to the 5 won by Labour’s Ken Livingstone in 2012. In his home neighbourhood of Tooting he increased the Labour share of the vote from 53% to 66%.  He did the same in the Graveney ward, and in Furzedown took the share up to 69%.

Although taking fewer wards, Khan won the battle for votes taking 42% of first preferences to Goldsmith’s 40% in the borough.  But Wandsworth demonstrates not just how Khan increased the Labour vote but how Goldsmith lost the broader contest.

The Conservative candidate lacked the popular appeal of Boris Johnson, who in 2012 managed to win 53% of first preference votes in the borough.

In the neighbouring borough of Merton there was a direct turnaround in political fortunes.    In 2012, Johnson won the borough and secured 44% of first preference votes with Ken Livingstone scoring 37%.   Last month, Zac Goldsmith’s share sank to the Livingstone level, 36%, against 42% of first preferences for Khan.

The battle for Mayor was largely won through the large Labour vote in central area, as previously reported by Urbs. But the switch in the South West shows how the local boy factor may have helped some Conservative inclined voters to lean left.

Source data

See also

Left turn – the election shows further shift in the way the capital votes

How London’s population boom helped Sadiq Khan to victory

The election in numbers

The election in numbers

City Hall and Tower Bridge-22,596,961  The total number of votes cast, the largest ever for Mayor of London

1,310,143  Sadiq Khan’s winning number – the biggest haul by a winning candidate

468,318  Second preference votes for Sian Berry.  The Green Party candidate established herself as the Becks beer of politicians – the default second choice for most people

381,862  The people who forgot or decided against a second choice.  There’s also the 220,311 who were so certain they voted for the first choice as their second choice too

4941 London couldn’t find the love for the One Love Party and its candidate Ankit Love trailed in last with the lowest vote recorded by a candidate since mayoral elections began in 2000.

45 The percentage turnout, matching the record set in 2008

Source data

Left turn – the election shows further shift in the way the capital votes

How London’s population boom helped Sadiq Khan to victory

A last verdict on Boris shows satisfaction at its lowest ever level

Left turn – the election shows further shift in the way the capital votes

look left-2The election of Sadiq Khan as Mayor of London proved some general truths about the way London votes but also suggests that as the city grows it will lean more to the left.

On the political map of Britain, London has long been an island of Labour red in a South East sea of Conservative blue.  London has traditionally been Labour at its centre and Tory on its fringes.

The mayoral elections underlined that pattern, with some significant additional wins for Sadiq Khan in previously Conservative ground of Merton and Wandsworth, and Ealing and Hillingdon.

The other significant change is the increase in Labour support in the central areas that have seen the fastest population rise.  The constituency of City and East is a good example.  It contains Tower Hamlets and Newham, the boroughs forecast to grow fastest in the coming decade. In these areas Sadiq Khan achieved 60% of first preference votes and the greater population and high turnout delivered nearly 20,000 more Labour voters than in 2012.

It was a similar story in the North East constituency which covers Islington, Hackney and Waltham Forest. Khan again achieved a 60% share and added 36,000 votes on 2012.

Zac Goldsmiths best performance was in the Bexley and Bromley.  He out-polled Sadiq Khan here by two votes to one, but his number of votes was down on Boris Johnson’s haul in 2012 and his share was 51% compared to 62% for the Conservatives four years ago.

In Havering and Redbridge, and his home South West constituency, which includes Richmond, Hounslow and Kingston, he increased the number of votes, but not in Croydon and Sutton or the West Central constituency covering Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, and Hammersmith and Fulham.

In all 5 areas won by the Goldsmith, the Conservative share of the vote was down on 2012.  This might be attributed to the success of Boris Johnson as a larger-than-life character who worked across traditional party loyalties. Many, including leading Conservatives, have criticised the Goldsmith campaign, with its attacks on Khan, as negative and off putting for voters.

But the voting patterns indicate something more than personality politics and suggest an underlying sentiment.  A breakdown of all first preference votes into blocks representing broad party positions shows that parties of the left out-performed the parties of the right.

London's political balance-2

And the second preference votes also tell a story.  In the final run off Khan and Goldsmith were awarded the second preference votes of all the other candidates. Khan won convincingly here.  But we can also see from the data how the second preferences of Khan and Goldsmith voters would have been deployed if either had not made the final round. A quarter of Goldsmith voters marked Khan as their second preference.  Only 14% of Khan voters put a second cross next to Goldsmith. The main beneficiary of second votes were the Greens, who sit on the left.

After two terms of a Tory mayor the capital has a Labour politician as leader again.  The city population is forecast to be over 9 million by the time he is up for re-election.  The evidence from this election is that a growing number of people is central London is good news for Labour and Sadiq Khan.

Source data

See also

How London’s population boom helped Sadiq Khan to victory

Election Issues: Balancing economic success with green ambitions

A last verdict on Boris shows satisfaction at its lowest ever level

Neck and neck in the race to replace Boris

Labour’s Sadiq Khan and the Conservative’s Zac Goldsmith are running neck and neck in the race to be London Mayor, according to polling organisation You Gov.

A survey of a little over 1,000 Londoners gave Khan 29% of the support to Goldsmith’s 28%. But with 44% saying they were not sure who would make the best Mayor it is all to play for in the race to replace Boris. When the don’t knows are factored out it is 51/49 in Khan’s favour.

Looking at the detailed breakdown, Sadiq Khan gets a more favourable response from women. Zac Goldsmith has more support among older voters.

With a margin or error of 3 points it is hard to separate Khan and Goldsmith in a number of the survey responses. They score closely on who would be best in a crisis and votes appear to find them equally likeable.

It is only when it comes to who is most in touch with ordinary people that there is some clear air between the candidate. Here Khan, the MP for Tooting and the son of a bus driver scores much better than Goldsmith, the MP for Richmond Park and son of a multi-millionaire.

The current Mayor, the Conservative Boris Johnson, has retained his popularity according to the GLA’s own polling, as reported here. But whether this legacy will rub off on Zac Goldsmith, also a bit of an outsider on a number of issues in the Conservative camp, will be key in the city which remained a Labour stronghold during the election in May.

The poll by YouGov, on behalf of the Evening Standard, is the first to be carried out since both the  candidates for the larger parties were confirmed. There are 6 others in the field including the Lib Dem Caroline Pidgeon, the Greens’ Sian Berry, Peter Whittle for UKIP, and 3 others. The election is on 5th May next year.

Poll data

See also

As Boris enter his final months, how happy have we been with the Mayor?

Lib Dem’s London collapse a consolation prize for Labour

Photo Zac Goldsmith, courtesy Policy Exchange

Photo Sadiq Khan, courtesy National Archive

 

 

 

 

As Boris enter his final months, how happy have we been with the Mayor?

Boris Johnson-2The Mayor appears to be as popular today as he was on the day he was first elected in May 2008. Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, or Boris as the city knows him, won 53.2% of the vote to beat Labour’s Ken Livingstone to the job over 7 years ago. His satisfaction rating last month, according to GLA polling, was 53%.

For an elected politician to maintain his rating with the public might be seen as something of an achievement, but there have been a few peaks and troughs along the way. The GLA has been commissioning the polling company ICM to ask questions of a panel of 1,000 Londoners since April 2009 and in each poll they ask about satisfaction with the Mayor.

Back in April 2009 Boris was less than a year into the role and his satisfaction rating had risen slightly above his share of the vote to 55%. But 12 months later things were on the slide. In March 2010 he hit his rating low point with just 49% of survey respondents saying they were satisfied or fairly satisfied with the job he was doing.

That job, as London’s chief executive is defined as promoting economic development and wealth creation, social development, and improvement of the environment. He also has responsibilities for culture and tourism.

March 2010 was the only time in the polling that the Mayor’s rating has dipped below 50%. He was re-elected to office in May 2012, though his share of the vote was shaved to 51.5%.

Boris popularity

 

But help was on the horizon in the shape of the London Olympics. His prominent role led to a huge ratings boost and his highest score of 64% satisfied with the job he was doing was achieved in the autumn after the Olympics.

Boris has now descended from those Olympian heights and is currently sitting at 53% again. He will leave office next spring and the battle lines are being drawn to replace him with the election in May. The survey data over the past 6 years shows that the Mayor’s popularity tends to dip during the 2nd quarter of the year – April to June.

Boris per Q

Whether that dip will have an impact on the man who wants to carry the Conservative flag after the Mayor, Zac Goldsmith, or whether it impacts all politician, including Labour’s Sadiq Khan, the Lib Dem Caroline Pidgeon, the Greens’ Sian Berry and the 4 other candidates, is not clear.

One thing is certain from London’s relationship with the Mayor however – after a Ken and a Boris, whoever gets the job will need to be high profile enough that just a first name will do.

Source data

See also

Lib Dem’s London collapse a consolation prize for Labour

Financial sector’s post election confidence helps city pip NY to top ranking

 

 

Election 2015: London’s jobs record

With election campaigning underway the economy is a key battleground and the prospects for employment growth a key feature. So what happened to job creation in the capital during the Cameron government?

Urbs analysis of data on the London workforce by sector shows that from 2009  (the last full year of dreamstime_s_50768526 copythe previous Labour government) to 2013 (the most recent data) 440,000 jobs were created in London, a growth of 9%.

There was a broad increase across most sectors with strongest growth in professional, scientific and technical roles, in line with the long term trend.  (See Urbs.London on job market trends)

 

The big fall was in the public administration jobs, such as the civil service, where 20,000 were lost. 6000 jobs also went in manufacturing, continuing the decline seen in London over the last 30 years.

Some sectors of the job market also proved stubbornly sluggish with little growth in retail, finance and transport.

Data source