In Defence of Liberty

Driven by data; ridden with liberty.

Khan Stays, Goldsmith Decays


Mr Khan now has an impressive lead in the final weeks of the campaign, with Mr Goldsmith’s support falling. (Edited: City Metric)

The race for the London mayoralty continues. YouGov conducted a poll of 1,017 London adults from its online panel, conducted between 15th and 19th April 2016 [1].

When asked who they would vote for, 31% of respondents said Sadiq Khan MP (Labour, Tooting), and 20% answered Zac Goldsmith MP (Conservative, Richmond Park). 8% said they would not vote, and 25% responded they didn’t know. Weighted by likelihood to vote, and excluding those who would not vote or don’t know, Sadiq Khan stands on 48%, and Zac Goldsmith is on 32% [2].


This is following the weighting by turnout. (Source: YouGov)

It should be noted that Sadiq Khan’s polling figures have not moved in a statistically discernible fashion, oscillating from 31% in January to 32% in March, and then returning to 31% in the April poll [3].

Zac Goldsmith’s polling results — before the turnout model is applied and non-affirmative responses are removed — have fallen from 25% in March to 20% in the latest poll. It is Mr Goldsmith’s position that has deteriorated, rather than Mr Khan being elevated.


Mr Goldsmith’s support has substantially fallen. (Source: YouGov)

Song for Ten

Under YouGov’s turnout model, Peter Whittle of UKIP is on 7%, closely followed by the Green’s Sian Berry (6%) and the Liberal Democrat’s Caroline Pidgeon (5%).

The remaining prompted candidates — meaning they are offered by the polling company — have very small polling responses. Britain First’s Paul Golding has managed to poll 1%, with David Furness of the British National Party and George Galloway of Respect both receiving 0%.


The non-prompted candidates — Sophie Walker (Women’s Equality Party), Lee Harris (Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol), Ankit Love (Love), Prince Zylinksi (Independent) — polled in total 1%, as “some other candidate”.

Three Descriptions

After second preferences are distributed, as per the London Mayoral election’s supplementary vote system, Sadiq Khan wins, with 60% of the total vote, and Zac Goldsmith receiving 40%. This means there are three legitimate descriptions of Mr Khan’s lead: 11 points (including ‘Don’t Know’ and ‘Won’t Vote’), 16 points (excluding non-affirmative responses and applying a turnout weighting on first preferences), and 20 points (after the distribution of second preferences).

Mr Goldsmith has been accused of running a “divisive” campaign, that has turned “into a full-blown racist scream”, according to Labour MP Yvette Cooper [4]. 18% of respondents believe the description of “divisive” applies more to Zac Goldsmith, with 12% thinking it applies more to Sadiq Khan. Generally, Londoners ascribe more positive qualities to Mr Khan.

In terms of their actions, 19% believe that Sadiq Khan will “modernise the transport network” more than his main opponent, with 14% believing the same of Mr Goldsmith. Despite the prominence of housing in the mayoral campaign, there was no direct question on which candidate would be better for such issues.


Londoners typically apply more positive qualities to Mr Khan, and more negative ones to Mr Goldsmith. (Source: YouGov)

The 2016 London Mayoral election will be held on 5th May 2016, along with London Assembly elections, the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly, some local authorities and the second elections for the Police and Crime Commissioners.


[1] Dahlgreen, W., 2016. Sadiq Khan leads by 20 in London Mayoral race. YouGov. Available from: [Accessed: 21st April 2016]

[2] YouGov, 2016. YouGov/Evening Standard Results 15th – 19th April 2016. Available from: [Accessed: 21st April 2016]

[3] Masters, A., 2016. London Mayoral Election. In Defence of Liberty. Available from: [Accessed: 21st April 2016]

[4] Sky News, 2016. Zac Goldsmith Denies Racist Campaign Claim. Available from: [Accessed: 21st April 2016]



This entry was posted on April 27, 2016 by in Local Politics and tagged , , , , .
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