Khan and Hall ‘neck and neck’ in 2024 race for City Hall, according to new poll

Survey of 1,100 Londoners puts Labour incumbent on 33% and Conservative challenger on 32%, reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

Labour's Sadiq Khan (left) and Tory Susan Hall (right)
Labour’s Sadiq Khan (left) and Tory Susan Hall (right)

A new poll has suggested that mayor Sadiq Khan is neck and neck with his Tory rival Susan Hall in the race for City Hall next year.

The survey, published in The Times and conducted by Redfield and Wilton Strategies, shows the Labour incumbent winning just 33% of the vote, with Conservative candidate Susan Hall close behind on 32%.

The polling of 1,100 London voters also showed that if Jeremy Corbyn decides to run as an independent, it could cause Khan to lose to Hall, with her winning 30% and the mayor taking 25%. The former Labour leader would win 15%.

Corbyn, who has been barred from standing for Labour in his parliamentary seat of Islington North at the next general election, has refused to rule out a run for the mayoralty.

It is widely thought, however, that he is more likely to run to be an independent MP in his North London constituency.

The mayoral election – due to be held on 2nd May 2024 – will be the first one fought under the first-past-the-post voting system. Elections to City Hall previously used the supplementary vote system, with voters able to give a first and second preference for mayor.

If Corbyn does not stand, Khan’s suggested vote share would be a drop of seven points from his result in the 2021 election, where he received 40% of first preference votes.

Hall would also perform less well on vote share than previous Tory candidate Shaun Bailey, coming three points lower than Bailey’s 35%. But she would come considerably closer than her predecessor to unseating Khan, indicating a tighter election than any seen since the mayoralty began in 2000.

Neil Garratt, the London Assembly’s Tory group leader, said the poll showed “the Labour mayor’s bombastic smugness coming home to roost, as Londoners look to a Conservative mayor who will focus on doing a good job for our city.”

Khan dismissed suggestions that he was worried. “Polls go up and down,” he said. “I have been in politics long enough to realise: never get too excited when you are miles ahead; never get too despondent when you are behind.

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“The key thing is this: this is a reminder that the next mayoral election is going to be a two-horse race. Only two people can win this – me or the Conservative candidate. That is why I am encouraging Londoners to lend me their vote if they want a city that is greener, fairer and safer.”

Khan pointed to the Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) expansion across London, the free school meals he is funding for a year for all primary school children in London and the rollout of 4G and 5G on the tube and Elizabeth Line as policies on which he planned to campaign.

He said: “Whether you used to vote Conservative, used to vote Lib Dem, used to vote Green – whatever party you used to vote for in the past, lend me your vote to make sure we can build on the progress we have made.”

The pollsters also asked the same set of Londoners how they will vote in a general election. The poll showed 47% support for Labour and 27% support for the Conservatives – suggesting that in the capital, Khan is much less popular than his party, while Hall is more popular than hers.

The poll also showed the Liberal Democrats winning their best result since 2004, and coming ahead of the Greens for the first time in more than a decade. It projects the party on 16%, or 15% if Corbyn stands.

The Greens appear meanwhile set to be pushed into fourth place on 9% or 6% respectively.

Reform UK – formerly known as the Brexit Party – would win 4% or 5% respectively.

The survey also reveals that Londoners remain divided over Khan’s Ulez expansion, with 39% saying they are in favour, and 38% opposed.

Nearly half of Londoners — 49% — meanwhile said they agreed with the former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith’s endorsement of Ulez enforcement cameras being sabotaged.

The Daily Mail published quotes from the Chingford and Woodford Green MP in which he said he was “happy” for his constituents to “cement up the cameras or put plastic bags over them” because “they are facing an imposition that no-one wants and they have been lied to about it”. Sir Iain later told the Evening Standard he “does not condone law breaking of any kind”.

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