Writing for City A.M, YouGov’s Stephen Shakespeare says Boris Johnson’s current poll lead is down to Labour supporters who might yet decide to back Ken Livingstone and warns the Mayor “should not be feeling the slightest bit comfortable” about a second term.
Livingstone’s poor polling follows weeks of negative headlines about his tax arrangements but Shakespeare says this story “could start to fade” as voters consider the candidates’ policies.
If this happens, and if Labour voters return to the fold, he says “everything would change” given Labour’s current lead in the national and London Assembly polls.
Last week two leading Labour commentators attempted to rally wavering Labour supporters to Livingstone’s cause by warning that they needed to ignore any misgivings and back him if they wanted to prevent a second term for Johnson.
Livingstone has also been joined on the campaign trail by Labour leader Ed Miliband and Blairite former Transport Secretary Lord Adonis in an apparent attempt to benefit from Labour’s higher polling levels.
After years of distancing himself from the party, it seems Livingstone’s best chances of returning to City Hall rest with hiding behind the Labour rosette.