Panel says government omnishambles have hit Boris’s shot at a second term – but he’ll still win

 
Elizabeth Fournier
MORE than 70 per cent of our readers’ panel think that recent political turmoil – including the Conservative party’s slipping poll scores and the UK’s return to recession – have harmed Boris Johnson’s chances of re-election as London Mayor.

According to the results of our latest Voice of the City poll, run in association with PoliticsHome.com, 71 per cent of respondents said the poorer opinion of Boris’ Conservative party, together with the shrinking GDP figures and so-called Budget “omnishambles”, had hit his campaign – though just 14 per cent thought the pressure has “strongly weakened” his chances.

Despite this, the percentage that think Boris will win re-election later this week slipped by just two per cent from our last survey on 15 April, with 88 per cent still identifying the incumbent mayor as a clear winner.

When questioned on specific policy areas, Boris is also well ahead in our readers’ opinions, dominating every category in which we asked who was stronger of the two main candidates.

Though challenger Ken Livingstone edged closest on housing and the environment – where 28 per cent and 36 per cent respectively ranked each candidate the same – Boris was still ahead in both categories.

His clearest victories came when our panellists, made up of business and finance professionals across the capital, were asked about London’s budget, with just four per cent saying Ken would handle the finances better, versus 61 per cent strongly in favour of keeping the coffers under Boris’s control.

And our panel deemed Boris to be the better ambassador for the capital, with 56 per cent saying he makes a “much stronger” candidate to promote London internationally. Just six per cent felt Ken would do a better job.

It also seems as if recent controversies over Ken Livingstone’s tax affairs and health care provisions have dented voters’ trust in his candidacy. Just three per cent said they were more inclined to trust Ken going into the election, compared to 82 per cent who felt Boris came out on top.

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