Sadiq Khan poll lead due to ‘lack of opposition’ as London rejects Shaun Bailey for mayor

Sadiq Khan pledges new 'drugs commission' if re-elected

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Sadiq Khan, the current Labour mayor of London, is running for another term in City Hall, going head-to-head at the ballot box with the Conservatives’ Shaun Bailey. Mr Bailey has, on Monday, unveiled plans to increase police patrols and boost stop-and-search to cut crime during the “first 100 days” of his mayorship if he is to be elected on May 6. Mr Bailey vowed to “double foot patrols” in the capital as he launched his party’s manifesto this week. The Tory frontman said: “Everyone except Sadiq Khan knows that rising crime is the biggest challenge facing London.” He added: “And while he says it will take 10 years to fix, we can’t afford to wait even 10 months, and that’s why I will use my first 100 days as mayor to visibly make a difference to crime on our streets.”

The Tory mayoral runner promised to “boost intelligence-led stop and search”.

In his manifesto, he also vowed to increase the availability of metal detecting “knife wands” in an attempt to come down hard on knife crime.

In response to Mr Bailey’s announcement, a London Labour spokesperson described the numbers presented in the manifesto as “fantasy figures”.

He added: “Londoners haven’t forgotten that he [Bailey] was the youth and crime adviser in Downing Street who personally oversaw huge cuts to London’s police and youth services.

“Don’t give the keys of the car to the person who crashed it in the first place.”

But despite Mr Bailey’s pledge to crack down on crime in the capital, Londoners aren’t taking too keenly to the Conservative candidate.

Polling company Opinium recently conducted an online survey of 1,093 Londoners aged 18 and over, from April 7 to April 10, 2021, and Mr Khan is coming out strong on all fronts.

When asked how Londoners feel about another term of the Labour mayor, Head of Political Polling at Opinium, Adam Drummond told there is an interesting interval in the results.

Mr Drummond said: “There’s an interesting gap between the 51 percent Khan gets in our voting intention poll and the 41 percent of Londoners who say they approve of the job he is doing.

“This suggests that, rather than thinking Mr Khan has been an overwhelming success, his large poll lead is as much down to a lack of opposition and the fact that London is increasingly a Labour-leaning city.

“Londoners generally seem to feel that Mr Khan has been good enough as mayor, and even if they’re not singing his praises from the rooftops, they don’t feel the need to replace him with a Conservative candidate.”

In terms of whether Londoners are really happy with Mr Khan’s track record, 34 percent are displeased with his performance in the job.

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Mr Drummond explained: “In the same poll [as above], 51 percent of those voting [in the election] plan to vote for Mr Khan, but his approval numbers are more modest at 41 percent approving and 34 percent disapproving.

“This is still more popular than either Boris Johnson (38 percent approve, 41 percent disapprove), or Keir Starmer (36 percent approve, 25 percent disapprove) in the capital, but it’s more modest than the 22-point lead he has in voting intention.”

When asked about how Mr Khan is doing in terms of issues facing London, Mr Drummons said Mr Khan is leading on almost everything.

He said: “Apart from how they’re handling coronavirus, we’ve only asked about the various issues in the context of which candidate you trust most to handle them – and on every issue Mr Khan leads Mr Bailey by significant numbers.

“On the pandemic, we’ve asked whether people approve or disapprove of the job the mayor has done, and the numbers are similar to the Government which, when you consider London’s Labour lean overall, is interesting.

“42 percent approve the UK Government’s handling of the pandemic, 17 percent say neither, and 39 percent disapprove.

“For the mayor, these figures are 35 percent approve, 24 percent neither and 30 percent disapprove.

“As I say, given that Labour are 10 points ahead here despite being eight points behind nationally, these figures show the gaps between Mr Khan’s performance and his poll share.

“Although it is worth mentioning that the pandemic is seen as more of a national issue, so the role of the mayor is perhaps less clear.”

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