|Polls Point To First Round Victory for Sadiq Khan|
Incumbent Mayor has commanding lead with six weeks to go until vote
Sadiq Khan could be on course for a historic victory in the London Mayoral election with just 45 days to go until polls open.
Two recent opinion polls have put the current Mayor of London on more than 50 per cent of first preference votes, which would be enough for him to be declared the winner without the need for a second round if the result were replicated on May 6.
Every London Mayoral election since the first in 2000 has gone to a second round, with no candidate receiving the minimum 50 per cent of first preference votes to win outright.
Sadiq Khan came closest in 2016 when he secured 44.2 per cent of first preference votes, eventually beating Conservative candidate Zac Goldsmith with 56.8 per cent of second round votes.
But the most recent polls from Redfield and Wilton and Opinium have put the current mayor on 51 per cent and 53 per cent respectively.
Mr Khan’s closest challenger is the Conservative candidate Shaun Bailey, who is currently polling at between 25 and 28 per cent of first preference votes.
The Mayor of London has repeatedly said that the election is a “two-horse race” between himself and his Conservative rival, but this was rejected by Liberal Democrat candidate Luisa Porritt who said that “it is clearly not” the case “because Shaun Bailey is so far behind Sadiq Khan” in the polls.
While Redfield and Wilton put Luisa Porritt in third place on eight per cent of first preference votes, the latest Opinium poll puts her in joint third place with Green Party candidate Sian Berry, both on seven per cent.
All candidates can now be expected to step up their campaigning efforts as this Monday (22 March) marks the start of the official pre-election period known as “purdah”.
Although Londoners will head to the polls on Thursday 6 May, they will have to wait until Saturday 8 May to find out the results of the London Mayor and London Assembly elections, with counts taking place over two days to allow for social distancing.
Joe Talora - Local Democracy Reporter