Politics, Government & Current Affairs

How did London Vote? Survation’s Polling – Turnout & The Battle At The Bottom of The List Vote:

London Mayoral, Constituency & List Votes:

Survation have conducted a number of polls relating to London’s current elections, including video polling analysis that Sadiq Khan’s potential candidature would be an asset and culminating in our final poll for the elections in London which was conducted by telephone using landlines and mobiles between 21st-25th of April – some time before polling day, but still a decent guide.

This was a poll of 1,010 London adults aged 18+ which included voting London List Vote intention figures for the London Mayoral election and the London Assembly elections, considering both the list vote and the constituency vote – on a named candidate basis in ballot paper order.

After confirming the borough of the resident, their awareness of the coming election and their likelihood to vote, respondents were worked through the constituency region ballot paper in which they live, their assembly voting intention for political party on the list vote and then the respondents first and second preferences for Mayor.

Data were weighted to the profile of all adults in London and by sex, London region, ethnicity and past vote using ONS 2011 census data and 2015 General Election vote. Data tables for this polling can be found here.


The Constituency Vote – 14 London Assembly Members

14 Constituency London Assembly Members will be elected using the First Past the Post system. The ballot paper lists the names of individual candidates and voters vote once for their preferred candidate. Our polling results in individual regions that are small and subject to a high margin of error (we had 644 Constituency voting intentions) but looking through our constituency figures (where we used a ballot paper  prompt system) we found the following:

9  Labour Wins in the regions of: City & East, Ealing & Hillingdon, Enfield & Haringey, Greenwich & Lewisham, Lambeth & Southwark and North East, Barnet & Camden, Merton & Wandsworth and West Central.

3 Conservative wins in the regions of: South West, Havering & Redbridge and Bexley and Bromley. 1 Conservative win in Brent & Harrow,

Croydon & Sutton was a “toss up” between Labour and the Conservatives.

Taken literally, under first past the post this would give Labour 9 Assembly seats,  and the Conservatives 4  with Croydon & Sutton going either way under the FPTP system – take these figures with a huge pinch of salt give the small sample size.


List Vote Seats?

Eleven seats, which represent the whole city, will be allocated using proportional representation. Candidates are elected in order based on how many votes their party receives, or as an independent.

At the end of the count, all the votes from across London for each party or independent candidate are added together regardless of which constituency they were cast in.To allocate the seats, a mathematical formula – the Modified d’Hondt Formula – is used. The formula uses the votes cast in the London-wide Assembly Member contest and takes account of the number of Constituency London Assembly Member seats that each political party has won. The London-wide Assembly Member seats can therefore not be allocated until all the votes have been counted and all the constituency results have been announced.

With all the political parties and candidates that remain, 11 rounds of calculations take place to fill the 11 vacant Assembly Member seats. The calculation used is:Total number of votes won divided by Seats already won (both Constituency and London-wide seats) + 1

This calculation is carried out for each party for each seat. The party with the highest result at each round is allocated the seat. The ‘+1’ avoids dividing by 0 and ensures the calculations are standardised.

London-wide seats are allocated to the party candidates in the order they appear on their party nomination list. If a candidate is also standing in a Constituency London Assembly Member contest or the Mayoral contest and wins, they are removed from the party’s Assembly list and the next candidate on the list gets the seat.

Our list polling, data from which can now be viewed here: means that considering the above, a complex picture for the potential allocation of list votes between the Greens, Lib Dems and UKIP will ensue, dependent on what turnout “turns out” to be and the results among the constituencies.

Considering the mayoral race, the weighted results generated the following:

First Round – First Preference Mayoral Voting Intention

Normal weightings, likelihood to vote, undecided and refused removed

1st Round

Second Round, after reallocation of first preferences 

Normal weightings & likelihood to vote, removing those without at least one of CON/LAB in their 1st or 2nd preference

Zac Goldsmith (Conservative) – 40%

Sadiq Khan (Labour) – 60%

If these results were repeated in today’s voting, Khan would have almost enough first preference vote intentions to win City Hall back for Labour without needing a second round of voting if turnout for the Tooting MP holds up his way.

So are Conservative hopes of retaining City Hall for a third term over?

To counter this notional opinion poll lead for Sadiq Khan, taken before the final week of aggressive campaigning the Conservative Party campaign would have had to perform what Lynton Crosby deemed in Boris vs. Ken’s London Mayoral “round one” the “doughnut strategy”. This means securing differential turnout in Greater London’s “outer ring” – except should these figures prove to be accurate, an even more extreme version would be required as the sun shone in London today.

Given polling figures that ourselves and other polling companies have been heading in the wrong direction for  Zac Goldsmith since last Autumn, the Conservative Party’s hopes of  London’s third Conservative mayor in what remains a a city more naturally favourable for Labour look unlikely.

It is worth noting that polls conducted more recently to polling day show a slightly tighter picture. These polls are theroretically more likely to capture late swing – especially during the anti-semetism affair and the Conservative party’s attempts to link Sadiq Khan with Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of the affair.

last polls

The pressure today was on the Conservative Party’s well-oiled turnout machine and to the same extent, Labour’s ability to counter that by it’s own strong door knocking and get out the vote operation.

The effect of Labour vs. Conservative Mayoral turnout and the battle for assembly list votes between The Greens, the Lib Dems and UKIP will be fascinating.


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