Labour’s Sadiq Khan is leading Conservative rival Zac Goldsmith in the race to succeed Boris Johnson as Mayor according to a new YouGov poll published today.
The poll is the first to be carried out since all four parties currently represented at City Hall selected their candidates for next year’s contest and shows 51% believe the Tooting MP “would make the best Mayor of London” compared to Mr Goldsmith’s 49%.
Although the pair will face challenges from the Greens, Liberal Democrats, UKIP and smaller parties, the final run-off in next year’s election will be between the two candidates with the largest number of votes.
At each of the past three elections this has been the Labour and Conservative candidates and the current political landscape makes this the most likeliest scenario next May.
The poll, which was commissioned by the Evening Standard, shows that on most personal qualities the pair are broadly tied.
27% of respondents say Mr Khan would be best in a crisis, just one point more than Mr Goldsmith’s score.
Khan also leads his opponent by a single point on the issue of whether the two men are “up to the job of Mayor of London” with 39%. Both are ranked as likeable by 41%.
With Labour’s campaign likely to make an issue of Goldsmith’s personal wealth and “posh” background his campaign will be disappointed that the poll shows he’s seen as “in touch with ordinary people” by just 18% of respondents.
Khan enjoys a 23 point lead on this issue with 41% saying this is true of him, although his lead on this issue may not be enough to secure victory.
The final poll carried out by YouGov ahead of the 2012 rematch between Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson placed the two on 40% and 17% respectively on the same issue yet it was Mr Johnson who won the election.