A fellow Hackneyite arrives at my local polling station which I visited shortly after I'd filed the following to Londonist this morning:
Vote, vote, vote! That's the partisan message from Londonist today as Londoners go to the polling stations to choose their next mayor and members of the London Assembly. As we write we are reliably informed that a new YouGov poll for today's Evening Standard will show Boris Johnson heading for victory over Ken Livingstone by six percent of the vote after electors' second preferences are taken into account. But any news stand message on our streets later today implying that the Tory is coasting to victory should be ignored.
Here are the new YouGov findings - showing a six point lead for Johnson after second preferences are taken into account - and the Standard's report on them. Team Ken's response?
"Throughout this election the Evening Standard/YouGov polls have given the appearance not so much of providing information on Londoners’ views but rather of trying to influence voters and the media by showing big leads for Boris Johnson when every other conventional poll has shown Livingstone and Johnson to be neck and neck, and indeed, Livingstone ahead.
"The Ken v Boris battle in London is a key one for the parties but it is also a big test for pollsters as the capital’s diverse population is proving hard to read...According to a mayoral poll for The Sunday Times by Mruk Cello today, the contest is too close to call. On first preferences Ken Livingstone polled 44%, followed by Boris Johnson on 43% and Brian Paddick, the Liberal Democrat on 9%. When second preferences were assigned, Livingstone got 51%, Johnson 49%. Livingstone leads Johnson on strong leadership (53%-26%), public transport (50%-29%) and housing (39%-27%). Johnson is ahead on crime reduction (36%-32%). The poll suggests Livingstone is doing better than his party, Johnson worse. The Tories overall have a nine-point lead among London voters."
I think the crime reduction figure is the most interesting: Johnson, if memory serves, isn't as far ahead as in previous surveys.
Also in the Sunday Times is a leader favouring Johnson that is less crude than that in its daily counterpart yesterday but makes an equally unconvincing case. It too barely mentions Johnson's policies and only does this to make the point that they aren't very memorable. It too says that Livingstone hasn't been so bad, but reckons it's time for a change anyway. Tone apart, the two leaders are remarkably similar, almost as if written - or ghost-written - by the same person. A person called Rupert, possibly.