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

Broader positive data behind the pollution near primary schools row

aerial river dawn

The revelation that a quarter of London’s primary schools are in areas that had dangerous levels of nitrogen dioxide in 2010 is a deeply worrying statistic and led to accusations from the newly elected mayor, Sadiq Khan, that his predecessor, Boris Johnson, had buried a 2013 report.

It was commissioned by the Greater London Authority and its findings make alarming reading, especially for those living and working in inner London. More than 2.2 million people were exposed to level of NO₂ above the EU safe limit in 2010 and this included 137,000 children in 433 primary schools.

But the report also contained some surprisingly positive projections on the speed at which the exposure levels will fall by 2020. The projections were based on emissions data from the GLA and pollution mapping data from the Environmental Research Group at King’s College.  The report concluded that by the end of 2015 the population exposed to harmful levels of NO₂ will have fallen to just over a million and will drop significantly further by 2020 with air quality objectives achieved in outer London, at least.

Pollution population no2-2

NO₂ is particularly harmful to children and the report identified 433 schools, mostly in central London, where levels were unsafe in 2010 – the red dots on the map below.

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 19.56.37-2

From Analysing Air Pollution Exposure in London

The situation is considerably better now, if the projections made by the researchers are correct. In 2010, 137,000 children aged 4-11 were affected but that should now be below 50,000. By 2020 the situation will improve further.

NO2 near primaries-2

The researchers also looked at pollution compared to deprivation levels, giving the report added political potency. They found that most of the schools with the highest levels of NO₂ were in districts with the highest levels of deprivation.

This is not due to any causal link between deprivation and pollution but due to the location of the schools near to very busy main roads. These areas may be home to more deprived families because property and rental costs are lower close to busy highways.

Many of the worst affected schools are in areas where poor people are resident but they’re also very close to where bankers and brokers work or where theatre-goers flock each evening – this is a central London problem. High nitrogen dioxide levels are bad for everyone, and as previously reported by Urbs, responsible for thousands of deaths.

There’s a lot of politics in this row over whether the bad news in the report was suppressed.  The new mayor is seeking to show himself as the new broom.  He has hit the ground running on the environment saying that he’ll extend the Ultra Low Emission Zone beyond the Congestion Charge area, as far as the North and South Circular roads, and he’ll introduce it early, in 2017.  Drivers of polluting vehicles will face an extra charge for entering the zone.

As the ‘buried’ report shows, London has a big pollution problem but is heading in the right direction. The task for the mayor will be balancing that progress with the economic growth of the capital as more jobs and people add to the environmental challenge.

Source data

See also

Don’t just blame drivers for harmful NO2 pollution

Election Issues: Balancing economic success with green ambitions

Nearly 9,500 deaths a year – study reveals impact of air pollution

Tests suggest NO2 pollution levels may be higher at child height

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

How London’s population boom helped Sadiq Khan to victory

Khan Goldsmith 2-2.jpeg

A large Labour vote from a growing central London population gave Sadiq Khan a resounding win in some constituencies and helped propel him into office.

In the large City and East,  and North East constituencies Khan’s first preference votes outnumbered Conservative Zac Goldsmith by three to one and he added 56,000 votes to the Labour performance in 2012.   In both these areas Khan won 60% of the first preference votes. On a similar turnout in 2008 Ken Livingstone only managed 52% and 49% of first preferences in these London Labour heartlands.

In Greenwich and Lewisham, and Enfield and Haringey Khan beat Goldsmith by roughly two votes to one.  Goldsmith only managed to fight back with that degree of margin over Khan in Bexley and Bromley.

Khan also managed to reshape the traditional election map that has Labour support in the centre of the city and Conservative areas at its edges. He won Merton and Wandsworth, which includes his home ground of Tooting, and Ealing and Hillingdon.

Mayor How London voted-2

The election saw a record-equalling turnout of 45% and more people voting than ever  thanks to the growing population. This has given Sadiq Khan the most votes secured by any winning candidate since the city began electing mayors at the start of the century.

Mayor London result-2

Sadiq Khan secured victory with the biggest share of the vote since Ken Livingstone swept into office as the first elected mayor in 2000. He won 56.8% of the vote compared to Livingstone’s 57.9% in 2000.

He did well on first preference votes winning 44%, matched only by Boris Johnson in 2012. But in the end the contest was decided on second preferences and Khan had a clear advantage here winning 161,427, almost twice the number cast for Goldsmith by those giving their first votes to the other candidates.

The full data on second preferences shows the Green’s Sian Berry as the most favoured second choice candidate.  She won 468,318 second choice votes, beating Sadiq Khan.

Berry came third overall in the poll, and secured third place in 10 of the 14 London Assembly constituencies.  The Liberal Democrats Caroline Pidgeon was fourth but picked up third place in 2 areas – West Central and South West. UKIP’s Peter Whittle managed fifth place overall but came third in Bexley and Bromley, and Havering and Redbridge.

It was an uncomfortable result for George Galloway and his Respect Party.  The former MP managed only seventh place behind Sophie Walker and the newly formed Women’s Equality Party.  Even in his old London stamping ground as an MP in the east of the city he managed only sixth place.

Source data

See also

Mayoral Election Issues: The Economy and Jobs

Mayoral Election Issues: The homes affordability crisis

The shifting population story of the fall and rise of inner London

Mayoral Election Issues: The homes affordability crisis

Flats Tom Gowanlockshutterstock_134424665-1-2-1-2-2

Photo: Tom Gowan ┃Shutterstock

London may like to see itself as a forward looking and progressive city but when it comes to property it is heading back to the 70s. Owning your own home is a long-held aspiration for millions of people that was realised in the property booms of the 80s and 90s, assisted by the Right to Buy scheme where tenants were allowed to purchase their council-provided property.

But the data on property tenure across London reveals that trend is being rapidly reversed and the pattern of ownership, private rental, and social housing now resemble London in the 70s.

After climbing to its peak in the 90s owner-occupation had fallen to 50% by 2011.   For the majority of younger Londoners, buying a home is no longer an option and those in their 30s appear resigned to belonging to what has been labelled “generation rent”.  In 1990 nearly 60% of people aged 25-34 owned their own home, by the end of 2014 that had dropped to 26%[1].

For those under 25 the picture is even starker.  Just 6% of this age group own their own property. In 1990 it was nearly a quarter of them.

The data shows that the only group where home ownership is climbing is the over 65s.  These people mostly own their own home outright, having paid off their mortgage.

Property ownership by age

The proportion of homes owned outright now exceeds those owned with a mortgage across England and Wales according to the English Housing Survey carried out by the Department for Communities and Local Government[2].  According to the figures collected in 2014/15, 33% of homes in England are mortgage free compared to 30% households that are still paying the mortgage.  61% of those who own their home outright are over 65.  London is the only place where this tipping point is yet to be reached and mortgaged homes (27%) still outnumber wholly owned ones (23%), but the gap is closing as the number of properties owned with mortgage falls.

The problem for young Londoners seeking a mortgage is not just one of meeting the monthly payments but in raising the funds in the first place.  The median property price in the capital is now 11 times average earnings, compared to 7 times across England.

The price to earnings ratio is at the national average in Barking but in Wandsworth it is 17 times earnings, in Hackney nearly 15 and in Kensington and Chelsea 38 times earnings[3].

house to earnings map

This situation is worsening more rapidly in London than elsewhere in the UK.  In 1997 the median house cost 4 times the median salary. That ratio has since more than doubled across the country, but nearly tripled in London.

The reduction in home ownership in London, particularly for under 35s has fuelled the growth in the private rental sector.  The most recent English Housing Survey revealed that 1 in 4 of the private rented houses in England are in the capital and the private rented sector increased from 14% to 30% in the 10 years between 2004 and 2014-15[4].

As the population of the capital grows, demand is outstripping supply and the affordability of rent has become a problem for people who were already priced out of the ability to buy a property.

For these people, rent takes up a very large proportion of their income. The English Housing Survey revealed that London households were paying 72% of their gross income in rent. This was reduced to 60% when housing benefit was included. By comparison, rent accounts for 52% of income for households across England.

The plight for young people under 24 was worse. The survey found that they were handing over 88% of their income in housing costs when benefits are excluded.

The latest data from the Valuation Agency Office[5], a body that advises the government on property prices, shows the high level of London premiums in the private rental sector.

We looked at median prices to iron out the highs and lows that affect averages.  The proportion of the price difference between London and the rest of England is biggest for 2 and 3 bedroom houses – the types of property that families need.

Median monthly rental
London England
Room only £550 £350
Studio £875 £500
1 Bedroom £1,200 £540
2 Bedroom £1,450 £595
3 Bedroom £1,750 £695
4+ Bedroom £2,700 £1,200

Across London there are distinct variations with the highest median rate for all properties in Westminster, and only 4 boroughs – Sutton, Havering, Barking and Dagenham and Bexley, where it is below £1,000.

Rental all prop map

The rise in rents seems relentless. Data from the ONS’s Index of Private Housing Rental Prices, a quarterly index that tracks the prices paid for renting from private landlords shows a 4% rise in Feb 2016[6] compared to the same period last year. Over a 10-year period prices in London have risen by 35% compared to 17% for the rest of England.

Faced with high costs in the private sector there has been a growing demand for Londoners for rental property at an affordable price.  Previously this fell into the category of social housing – property provided by a council or a housing association with long, secure tenancies and rents at around 50% of the market rates.

In 2010 the government introduced a new category, which it confusingly called Affordable Rent.  This aimed to give social landlords a route to maintaining or increasing the amount of lower cost rental while relying less on public funding. It allows them to charge more and have less restrictive tenancies.  Affordable Rent properties can charge up to 80% of the market rate.

The problem for London is that for many, Affordable Rents are not affordable.  Let’s look at the numbers if we apply the social and affordable rent rules to the median monthly market rates we saw above from the VOA.

Market Rate Affordable Rent (80%) Social Rent (50%)
1 Bedroom £1,155 £924 £577.50
2 Bedroom £1,400 £1,120 £700
3 Bedroom £1,695 £1,356 £847.50
4 Bedroom + £2,500 £2,000 £1,250

A family that needs a 3 or 4-bedroom house would require a substantial income to afford an Affordable Rent and in many areas of central London the cost will be much higher.

Some families may be able to claim Housing Benefit to bridge the gap but the Benefit Cap introduced in 2013 means that the total claim for all benefits for a family is £500 a week – the amount needed just for rent of a 4-bedroom house in these calculations.

Increasing the supply of housing is one key to solving the affordability crisis. All mayoral candidates in the election are promising to do this but after years in which house-building failed to keep pace with demand this will be a mammoth task.

See also

Mayoral Election Issues: The Housing Shortage

Source data

[1] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/housing-london

[2]https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/501065/EHS_Headline_report_2014-15.pdf

[3] http://data.london.gov.uk/dataset/ratio-house-prices-earnings-borough/resource/122ea18a-cb44-466e-a314-e0c62a32529e

[4]https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/501065/EHS_Headline_report_2014-15.pdf

[6] http://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/inflationandpriceindices/bulletins/indexofprivatehousingrentalprices/february2016

This report was produced in association with London Live’s special election programme, London Votes.

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

Boris Johnson copy-2As the clock ticks down to the end of Boris Johnson’s time as London Mayor a survey has shown the level of satisfaction with his performance has hit the lowest point in 7 years.

Since April 2009 the GLA has been doing a quarterly survey of 1,000 Londoners. It asks about a range of issues and in each survey it also asks one consistent questions: “Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the job Boris Johnson is doing as Mayor of London?”

The latest survey was completed in the middle of March and shows that 48% of people said they were satisfied and 22% dissatisfied.  This is a sharp decrease on the previous quarter.  In January Boris’s satisfaction rating soared to it highest ever level of 66% when he was more in the news for his involvement in the EU Referendum debate than his role as Mayor. That’s even higher than the post Olympics glow of success when he scored 64%.

Boris was elected in May 2008 with 53% of the vote. His average satisfaction rating across the 29 quarterly surveys since April 2009 has been 55%. It has only dipped below 50% in two previous surveys, in April 2010 and in September last year.

Boris poll-2

 

Most politician would be happy with this consistent level of support and it underlines the job facing the candidates to replace him in matching his popular appeal.

The latest polling by YouGov says that Labour’s Sadiq Khan is leading the Conservative Zac Goldsmith by 32% to 25%.  There are still many undecided voters but the hopefuls have some way to go to match Boris’s 53%.

Source data

 

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

 

 

London wins plaudits for support of tech sector growth.

City Hall and Tower BridgeLondon has won praise for its “energetic advocacy” of the tech sector and secured second place behind New York in an assessment of initiatives to promote innovation and entrepreneurship among 40 cities globally.

London lost out to its American rival for a lack of leadership and digital capability. There’s no chief technology officer for the city and no consistent digital channel for Londoners to interact with services, which are split across different boroughs.

But the city authorities are praised for support for the Tech City initiative, backing apprenticeships in the tech sector and the Mayor gets a mention for including start-ups on international trade visits, such as the one to Boston in February this year.

The assessment is made in the City Initiatives for Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a project aimed at helping policy makers in cities across the world develop the best strategies to foster new enterprises to deliver jobs and economic growth.


See also

London flies flag for West as East leads global growth ranking

Tech start ups more diverse than Silicon Valley but women struggle for funding


The researchers looked at three main categories – how open a city is to new business and ideas, how is the infrastructure optimised for business growth, and how a city offers leadership by building innovation into its own activities.

London was the highest overall performer when it came to openness, which considered how the cities operated as regulators of business; how they promoted themselves and their firms; and how they performed as customers through making their procurement processes open to small businesses.

The report says, “High-performing city governments lead by example, by taking a clear view on how they want to support innovation, and then using data and engaging with citizens to do so.

“London only narrowly lost out to New York City at the top of the rankings. It was a consistently strong performer across all areas of analysis, and its silver medal is well deserved.”

The top 5 cities were:

  1. New York
  2. London
  3. Helsinki
  4. Barcelona
  5. Amsterdam

The City Initiatives for Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship is carried out in partnership by NESTA, Accenture and Future Cities Catapult.

Source data