Reality of Labour mayoral race is closer than polls suggest
8 April 2015, Blog
A new poll released on 2 April has suggested that Tessa Jowell has increased her lead in popularity to become Labour’s candidate for London mayor. According to the YouGov poll for the Evening Standard, once ‘don’t know’ answers are excluded, Jowell holds the support of 40% of Londoners.
Despite the supposed strength of Jowell’s lead, the statistics cannot be taken at face value. The numbers are skewed by the inclusion of a ‘don’t know’ question in the poll. If the ‘don’t knows’ are included, the gap between the top candidates – Tessa Jowell, Diane Abbot, Sadiq Khan and David Lammy – becomes much closer. It is also significant that 57% of Londoners either don’t know who Labour should pick or don’t think they should pick any of them There is still a lot to play for.
The second point to realise is that it is not the general London public, but Labour party members who decide who will stand in the election. Labour will hold a primary in July 2015 to select a candidate. In fact, Sadiq Khan, who has a strong union following, is expected to benefit most from this process.
It seems that Tessa Jowell should not be too bolstered by the polls, as there are more factors to the race than initially meet the eye.