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

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

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

 

Heathrow decision soon but survey says most unconcerned by aircraft noise

© Olilee2 | Dreamstime.com - Heathrow Congestion Photo

Picture: © Olilee2 | Dreamstime.com

Aircraft noise has no impact on the majority of Londoners who took part in a survey conducted by the GLA, but most of those taking part were aware of the proposal to expand Heathrow, currently awaiting government approval.

The GLA used its regular phone poll of 1,000 people to ask to what extent daily life is affected by aircraft noise. A third said not at all and a further 28% said that they hardly noticed it.

7% of those asked said it had an adverse impact, with 3% saying it caused very significant impact, sometimes disrupting their sleep. If that 7% is converted into a proportion of the current population that’s around 600,000 people

Aircraft noise survey

But the low rate of concern about noise from the majority will be unwelcome to those campaigning against the expansion of Heathrow. The Airport Commission, set up to determine the expansion of airport provision for London and the South East recommended in July that Heathrow should grow.

The Mayor, Boris Johnson, is opposed to the plan and the Conservative chosen to try to replace him, Zac Goldsmith, has been a leading critic. Mr Goldsmith, who is the MP for Richmond Park, an area on the flight path, published a map which he said showed how noise from an expanded Heathrow could affect around 1 million Londoners. The results of this survey suggest that concern may currently be falling on deaf ears.

In delivering its verdict the Airport Commission acknowledged the noise pollution problems of a bigger Heathrow where a plane currently takes off or lands every 45 seconds. While is said that expansion of Heathrow was the clear choice because it delivered far larger economic benefits it hedged it bets by saying that Gatwick’s expansion plan was also “credible’.

The decision was given to the Government and is expected this autumn.

Source data

Heathrow gets the nod to expand, but it’s already Europe’s noisiest airport

Amid Heathrow-Gatwick battle smaller airports fuel passenger growth

Neck and neck in the race to replace Boris

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

 

 

Lib Dem’s London collapse a consolation prize for Labour

Voters in London © Slawekkozaks | Dreamstime.com

Voters in London © Slawekkozaks | Dreamstime.com

As the Labour Party picks over the disaster of election night London offers some small consolation.   Labour bucked the national trend in the capital to increase its MPs by 7, taking 45 of the 73 seats.  Those gains came largely at the expense of the Liberal Democrats as Labour not the Conservatives became beneficiaries of the Lib Dem collapse.

Labour’s success and the calamity for the Lib Dems is underlined in the voting share.  Labour’s share was up by 24%, the Lib Dems share plummeted by 64%. Ukip quadrupled their vote and the Greens doubled theirs from last time.  The Conservatives had a modest increase in votes but were down by one seat at the end of the night.

 

Voting share 2015

3.5 million people turned out to vote.  That’s up by 100,000 on 2010 and is a 65.6% turnout, a little below the national figure. The way votes were cast across the capital gives an insight into the politics of the city, more complex than the simple, first past the post constituency results. If seats were decided by a simple proportion of the share of the vote London MPs would look a lot different

 

General Election seats and shareVoting shares within constituencies give an insight into the spread of polical support in the city. The most fervent Labour supporting place is East Ham, where Stephen Timms romped home with 77% of the vote and the largest majority of any London MP.  The most Conservative constituency is Richmond Park where 34,404 people voted to re-elect Zac Goldsmith.

Ukip support is strongest in Hornchurch and Upminster, where Lawrence Webb got 13,977 votes and one of the party’s many second places.  Ukip also polled strongly in Barking, and Dagenham and Rainham.

Highest turnout in the capital was 77% in Twickenham where the senior Liberal Democrat Cabinet minister, Vince Cable, lost the seat he had held for 18 years. Lowest turnout was 54% in Ilford South.

The spread of voting patterns meant tight battles in many constituencies.  None tighter than Croydon Central where Conservative Gavin Barwell squeaked in with a majority of 165.

The capital also showed an enthusiasm for political diversity.  499 candidates put themselves up for election. Voters in Bethnal Green and Bow, Camberwell and Peckham, and Hackney South and Shoreditch had 11 candidates to choose from.  In Uxbridge and South Ruislip there was a choice of 13, among them London’s least successful candidate, Independent James Jackson who got just 14 votes.

Source data