A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

It's all about turnout

Today's Mori poll has Ken 2% ahead of Boris after transfers. This is within the margin of error of ICM last week that put Boris 2% ahead.

My experience on the ground canvassing bears out what the polls are saying. Obviously I'm working in Hackney which ought to be a banker for Livingstone anyway (a few older residents can even remember when Ken was the GLC member for Hackney North & Stoke Newington), but in the past two weeks I've seen the returns from owner-occupied street properties (AKA Guardian readers) switch from being very wobbly to very solid for Ken. The estates and BME voters in general had been saying Livingstone all along.

My feeling is that for Ken the ground campaign (leaflets etc) and the air campaign in the media only really started to gain traction in the last week, and now that is feeding through into momentum in the polls.

The final result is going to be a cliffhanger, and everything is going to depend on whether Labour can drag the turnout up compared to 2004 in boroughs like Hackney and Newham, and the Labour pockets of more mixed boroughs such as Tottenham and Southall. The raw data of the Mori poll before weighting according to propensity to vote has Ken ahead 45% to 38% because he has a massive lead amongst the lowest turnout groups - BME communities and young people.

So expect to see the reverse to the pattern you would in a General Election, with the safest parliamentary seats for each party getting the most campaigning attention as the parties try to mobilise their core vote - which has to be good for democracy as well as making campaigning in my part of London particularly exciting and worthwhile.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I own a house in Stoke Newington (have done for years) and take great offense at your implication that I could possibly be a reader of the trash that is the Guardian.

Oh, and I'll be voting for Boris. He may be a complete numpty and ruin London, but it can't get any worse than what that complete f**ktard Ken has done

11:18 am, April 09, 2008

Anonymous hughes views said...

I'm sorry to see that Boris is so far ahead amongst the over 55s, makes me rather ashamed to be old! Perhaps, like me, they remember when Routemasters were first introduced (ooh the excitement 42 years ago when one turned up instead of an RT on the 411 route to take me to school) and hope that their possible re-introduction would make them feel young again.

Or perhaps they're daft. Back to the future with Boris...

11:33 am, April 09, 2008

Anonymous Haggerston Paul said...

I really hope your are wrong. Four more years of Ken will destroy London.
But you can always depend on trendy media type new labour loveies and the dole spongers and immigrants on the estates to vote Labour

1:47 pm, April 09, 2008

Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

I don't live in London, but as a Labour Party member I do hope Ken wins. Whilst I don't like him (telling striking workers to cross their picket line and sharing a platform with a homophobic scumbag amung other things), he is our man in London and atleast till now holds a lot of support amungst the voters.

Boris is no light weight however I was surprised at him painting himself as the man of law and order, that could explain why this race is really close.

Ultimately the people of London will choose who they want as mayor and if Wales and Scotland are anything to go by we could lose it, so I hope your canvassing is effective.

2:10 pm, April 09, 2008

Anonymous Clissold Parker said...

Stoke Newington owner-occupied street properties (AKA Guardian readers) and AKA snobs who are campaigning against a Nando's opening in Church Street. They will only be happy when the whole of Stoke Newington is a gated community of sandal wearing, beared lefty, designer buggy pushing, stupid childrens naming, New Labour twats.

p.s Did you hear Jack Straw had a punch up with another Stoke Newington twat Ed Balls-up?

3:34 pm, April 09, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It can't go unremarked that when the polls are running against Ken you don't notice or rather, ignore.

On the other hand, if the pollare running in Ken's favour you can't wait to offer your thoughts.

Ken's support comes principally from BMEs.

That's how desperate the left is these days.

6:44 pm, April 09, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My anectodal evidence - the polls narrowing, general westminster vuillage chit chat, etc is that Ken will win, pehaps slightly more handsomely than others suggest. Most Labour people loath Livingstone - but they cannot let the party down

7:13 pm, April 09, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

actually a Johnson victory will be the shot in the arm that New Labour needs. It will galvanise the party for the next general election - it will schock people into realising that we have to work bloody hard to win a fourth term. And this will not be done any harm by Boris who will show up the Tory party when he puts his foot in it.

7:45 pm, April 09, 2008

Anonymous tim f said...

No-one will notice him put his foot in it outside of London. There are no benefits to Boris Johnson winning, either for London or for the Labour Party.

Personally I think Johnson is probably still ahead (as Luke points out, this poll was within the margin of error) but there is still time to pull it back if LP members in London all get out on the streets knocking doors and delivering leaflets.

8:57 pm, April 09, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can't count on Tottenham. Labour activists, well the few that are left, don't like McCartney (the GLA member). If they're 'old' Labour, they don't like Livingstone's odd alliances with homophobes, anti-Semites and corrupt dictators. New Labour folk, don't like him talking about "smashing the Labour machine". Not a single Labour poster up here (plenty for Boris).

9:43 pm, April 09, 2008

Anonymous Matthew Stiles said...

If Justin is the Tottenham Tory with the Keir Hardie like beard, then I would take his claims with an even larger dose of salt. What parts of Tottenham have Boris posters? I haven't seen any.

10:50 pm, April 09, 2008

Anonymous tim f said...

Justin, how did the Tories do last time there were elections in Tottenham?

Thought so.

11:02 am, April 10, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are at least 20 garden posters up - zero Labour (garden or window). Our canvass returns show us getting a very good result. One of the reasons why people in places like Tottenham and Hackney are going off Labour is because you feel you own them and take their votes for granted.

2:56 pm, April 10, 2008


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