Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Four More Years of Boris, Says Poll; Mayor Eight Points Ahead of Livingstone in Standard Survey but He Could Lose Votes over Transport Policy Exclusive

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Four More Years of Boris, Says Poll; Mayor Eight Points Ahead of Livingstone in Standard Survey but He Could Lose Votes over Transport Policy Exclusive

Article excerpt

Byline: Peter Dominiczak City Hall Correspondent

LONDON will be run by Boris Johnson for another four years, according to an exclusive Evening Standard poll.

The Mayor is eight points ahead of Ken Livingstone but is still in danger of losing tens of thousands of votes because of his Tube, bus and rail policies.

An election held today would see Mr Johnson remain in City Hall with 54 per cent of the vote. But the survey for the Standard, ITN and LBC reveals that while Londoners trust the Mayor on the economy and crime, they are overwhelmingly backing Mr Livingstone's pledge to cut transport fares. Tony Travers of the London School of Economics said: "The Tube risks being Boris Johnson's nemesis. This poll shows that transport is the one thing letting him down. There is still much to play for. It will be a fight to the finish." The election will be held next May 3. The findings by pollsters ComRes will put added pressure on the Mayor as Chancellor George Osborne prepares to announce he is giving Transport for London [pounds sterling]130 million so increases in rail fares in the capital can be capped at one per cent above inflation. Mr Osborne's intervention means that rail fares will now go up by an average of six per cent in the capital. Mr Livingstone has promised to reduce transport fares by an average of five per cent if he becomes Mayor.

Today's poll shows that a massive 70 per cent of voters are not prepared to pay higher fares to fund improvement programmes on the transport network, with 38 per cent saying it makes them more likely to vote for Mr Livingstone.

But even with a wave of support for Mr Livingstone's fares policy, the poll shows that Mr Johnson is still the favourite. It found 54 per cent say they are currently most likely to vote for Mr Johnson with Mr Livingstone on 46 per cent.

The figures represent an increase in Mr Johnson's popularity since the last election when he was six points ahead of Mr Livingstone on first preferences, at 42 per cent to 36, with Lib-Dem Brian Paddick on 10.

In the final round, Mr Johnson won 53 per cent (1,168,738) of Londoners' votes to Mr Livingstone's 47 per cent (1,028,966). …

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