Ken wins poll lead in campaign’s final stages

With less than a week to go until Londoners choose their next mayor incumbent Ken Livingstone has won a lead in the latest poll.

The survey of 1,010 adults in London carried out on Wednesday and Thursday by Ipsos Mori handed Mr Livingstone a four-point lead over main challenger Boris Johnson.

According to the poll the Conservative candidate, with second-preference votes included, is on 48 per cent compared to Mr Livingstone’s 52 per cent.

The poll was carried out for Unison, whose London regional secretary Linda Perks explained the union was concerned by “seriously flawed” polling used by the Evening Standard newspaper.

Today’s poll concentrates on those registered to vote, rather than all voters. It shows a narrower race on first-preference votes alone, with Mr Livingstone on 41 per cent to Mr Johnson’s 38 per cent.

Liberal Democrat candidate Brian Paddick trails on 12 per cent while the Green party’s Sian Berry is on three per cent.

After months of trailing behind Mr Johnson the Livingstone campaign has expressed its relief at the news.

“This poll shows that after week of debate Londoners are considering the stakes for them in this mayoral election and, while the contest remains close, Ken Livingstone is moving into a clear lead,” a spokesperson said.

A Sunday Times poll published last weekend also showed Mr Johnson’s advantage had been severely eroded. The Tory favourite was on 45 per cent, just one point ahead of Mr Livingstone.