You may have heard radio and TV coverage over the weekend of a survey from an outfit called the London Policy Institute. They asked the YouGov polling organisation to quiz a thousand plus Londoners on what they thought the issues will be in next year’s Mayoral election, see their press release.
There were three interesting findings.
Firstly, it looks like Londoners will decide on the issues. The poll said 39% stated that they will vote for the candidate who provides the best policies for London ahead of the personal qualities of the candidates (20%) or which party they supported (19%). This does not surprise me. Both leading candidates are big characters who are well known. Love ’em or hate ’em people know who they are. They will be straining to hear what they will actually do. Livingstone can slag off Boris’ journalistic past and call him a buffoon whilst Boris can highlight the appalling waste at City Hall and the Mayor’s tendency to puff himself but people know this stuff already. Instead they will be asking “where is the beef?”.
Secondly, the pecking order of people’s concerns was striking. When asked what was important to people when voting in next year’s mayoral elections:
82% cited public transport provision
80% health provision
78% levels of council tax
74% protection from terrorism
64% availability of affordable housing
64% economic sustainability
58% education provision
58% planning policy
49% arts and culture
At the other end of the scale two areas were identified as not being significant:
51% cited preparation for the 2012 Olympics
44% cited congestion charging
Finally, there is little appetite for the Mayor to have more power. 41% of Londoners stated that the Mayor of London should have less power, 16% think the Mayor of London should have more power and 27% said they are happy with the status quo.