Ex-Mayor Livingstone

Londoners tell the Mayor he is wrong on emissions charging

Congestion Charge consultation graphicIf you are a regular reader you will know that I have been fulminating about the £1.4 million cost of the Mayor’s bogus consultation on his ideas around emissions related congestion charging since last autumn.

It was only today, thanks to Gary Dunion, Chief Press Officer of the Green Party funnily enough, that I finally got hold of the report, follow this link.

This expensive piece of work from Ipsos MORI takes 104 pages to try to hide the following central facts.

When asked “Do you think the proposed discount would be effective as an incentive to use a lower CO2 emitting car?” 57% said it would be ‘not very’ or ‘not at all’ effective as an incentive as against 39% respondents who said the low CO2 discount would be ‘very’ or ‘a little’ effective as an incentive to use a lower CO2 emitting car. In other words most Londoners think that the Mayor is wrong.

When asked “Do you think the proposed higher charge would be an effective incentive to use a lower CO2 emitting car?” 60% said it would not be effective as against just 38% who thought it would be an effective incentive to use a lower CO2 emitting car. Ooops, the Mayor is even more wrong.

No wonder the Mayor and his Green allies have been hiding this report. The authors tried to use a truly shocking form of words in the management summary to hide the truth:

A very wide range of views was expressed during the course of the consultation, and it is apparent that opinions are divided on the issue of the proposed scheme. While over half of respondents thought that the proposals would have at least some effect as an incentive to use a lower CO2 emitting car, through use of a higher charge and discount, these are divided between those who say it will be “very” effective, “a little” effective and “not very” effective. Around one in three consider the scheme will be “not at all” effective.

Note they have taken those who thought the scheme would be “not very” effective and made them in favour of the scheme. They also call 41% “around one in three”. Ipsos MORI should be ashamed of themselves as should TfL, the Mayor and the Green Party.

Gary, do the Green Party really want to associate themselves with this rubbish?

The consultation elicited 4,831 responses and cost £1.4 million. That is £290 per response. Good value for money or just another £1 million towards the Mayor’s £100 million self-promotion budget?

10 replies on “Londoners tell the Mayor he is wrong on emissions charging”

Hi Phil,

As a former MORI pollster myself, I can honestly say: if you want to start a conversation without end, ask two pollsters if “not very effective” means “effective” or “not effective”.

What’s interesting (and disappointing) is that the Mayor didn’t get IpsosMORI to ask the crucial question we’re all now wondering about: are you in favour of the changes?

Asking people their predictions as to what effect a policy will have is fine, but obviously most respondents aren’t experts and not in a position to make that judgment. They didn’t even ask whether the respondent thought it would be effective on his or her own behaviour – only about people’s behaviour in general (which raises another favourite pollsters’ debate about what question a respondent is actually answering. Certainly some will have treated that question as ‘will this change your behaviour?’ others as ‘will this change you neighbour’s behaviour?’)

On balance, I’d find it hard to argue that “not very effective” means “this will have no effect.” In my experience, it usually means “there will be an effect, but I think it will be a small one.”

The only poll on the topic of raw support that I’m aware of was conducted in Oxford Street by the Alliance Against Urban 4x4s. It’s different from the card consultation (96% in favour) recorded in the MORI report, which was biased in favour by being an opt-in campaign promoted at green events. This street survey recorded a figure of 85% respondents in favour of higher charges for gas-guzzlers.

I suppose the only definitive poll on this will be the one on May 1st.


Gary Dunion
Chief Press Officer
Green Party

Polling – asking the right questions for the desired answers, then manipulate.
Consultation – a combined process of asking supporters for their opinions, and ignoring the rest. Thereby consultation completed as required for political correctness.

A poll against urban 4×4’s in a restricted street, that is used in the main by “gas guzzling” buses using a gallon of fuel every five miles?

The Mayor is wrong. But in Livingstonia, he is always right, and he has manipulated popular ‘PC’ groups to support him. ‘Green’ for Gullible.

While no fan of the present Conservative Administration of Ealing Council (while have aspects of self-interest to it that have been endemic for a long time) nothing quite matches the scale of what has been revealed in this blog over the past few years. I used to be a fan of Ken Livingstone’s in my student days when I participated in HIS “Fare’s Fair” campaign; having watched his volte-face on this topic a while ago I am now convinced that he will say whatever HE THINKS the audience wants to hear: I am intrigued by the format of the questionning; has anyone seen what MORI were ACTUALLY contracted to ask, as opposed to what was published?
Unfortunately, the Conservative Party has failed to find a credible alternative to Ken Livingstone; Boris doesn’t quite fit the bill: he is not a statesman, and certainly not the “Thatcher-like” figure that we need to sell of London Unerground, break the tube Unions, etc. etc.
If the Conservatives are to gain credibility they must be whiter than white…

[…] The POLITICALBETTING.COM blog ran this story yesterday about how the polling data published by the Mayor in December (see previous posting) is going to be reviewed by a body called the British Polling Council. Ipsos MORI have enough to be ashamed about given the way they wrote the management of the consultation, see previous posting. […]

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