A lot of words have been written about this week’s YouGov poll for the Evening Standard which has Boris on 49% of first preferences, Livingstone on 37%, Paddick on 13%, most of them predicting the end of Ken.
At the risk of upsetting everyone, the poll is wrong.
Looking back at the 2004 results it’s clear that it undercounts the appeal of smaller parties giving them just 3% of first preference votes when last time around they scored more than 18%.
Even allowing for the possibility that Respect’s showing of 3.21% was abnormally high because of anti-war sentiment it’s hard to see how support for UKIP (6.02%), BNP (3.04%) and Green (2.99%) could have collapsed so dramatically.
I don’t pretend to know what the final results will look like on May 1st but I’ll confidently predict they won’t look much like any of the polls conducted in the next few weeks.