Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Boris Johnson has bet all his money on a loser

So the results are in. After spending an entire month campaigning on a cut to his council tax precept, Boris Johnson now knows what Londoners think of it.

According to YouGov:

So Boris's "game-changing" £3 giveaway is the least appealing of all the major policies proposed so far. Even Brian Paddick's 'early bird' fares policy is ranked higher.

Meanwhile Ken Livingstone's proposal to cut fares (which Boris described as "the last thing that Londoners want or deserve") is ranked as the most appealing.

Asked whether they support or oppose a cut to bus fares, 68% of Londoners give it their backing with just 16% saying they're against it.

It would seem that  Tony Arbour's claim that fare rises don't matter because most Londoners don't use public transport was slightly off the mark.

And while Boris's campaign have made much of Ken being untrustworthy, the poll shows that even more people mistrust Boris Johnson to fulfil his promises than Ken Livingstone:

The character questions are also bad for Boris with just 13% believing that he is "in touch with the concerns of ordinary people." A disastrous score.

However, there is one area in the poll where Boris is still massively ahead of Ken and that is "charisma."

In a personality-based contest like the Mayoral election this is incredibly important, and does more to explain Boris's headline lead than anything else.

On policies, Boris has put all of his money on a loser. The only thing that's keeping him in the race is his personality versus Ken's.

If Ken's campaign can turn that around then they can win the election. If they can't then they won't.


Anonymous said...

Boris is a legend!!!

Appealing of Ealing said...

1. The percentages polled on the question about trust are essentially the same for each candidate, assuming there's a margin of error. We can only reasonably conclude from it that the public don't really believe politicians. Gee, I didn't know that.

No one trusts Livingstone to deliver on his fares promise, at least not without fleecing everyone in some other, equally unpleasant, way. Do you?

2. The three pounds reduction in council tax should be compared with Livingstone's record of putting tax up significantly, year on year. After your token effort at balanced reporting yesterday, it seems you somehow overlooked that important comparison today.

Why anyone would want to vote for such an unpleasant character as Livingstone boggles the mind.

Toodle pip.

AdamB said...

If the GLA precept was so outrageously high under Livingstone as you claim, then why?

1) Does almost nobody seem to care about such an outrage? And more importantly

2) Is BorIs only taking £3 off of it?

Appealing of Ealing said...

"...then why?

1) Does almost nobody seem to care about such an outrage?"

You don't remember? People cared a lot about inflation-busting council tax hikes under Labour, and Livingstone. I can remember the protests; I can remember the pensioners hauled before the courts for taking a principled stand -- and not paying up.

"2) Is BorIs only taking £3 off of it?"

When you factor in the coalition's UK-wide council tax freeze together with Johnson's nominal cut, and take that against a background of relatively high inflation over the same period, the real effect is worth more than three pounds in people's pockets.

Maybe that's why the public isn't so exercised about the issue these days. N'est-ce pas?

AdamB said...

The fact is the majority of the rise under Livingstone was to pay for more police officers and new functions that the GLA group took on over that time. Despite all the outrage from the Tories, Boris has largely kept that settlement.

The freeze over the last few years been paid for by central government not by any Boris efficiencies. Almost every local authority, Labour, Tory and Lib Dem has had one and while it adds up to a significant amount on a council tax bill, it doesn't on the GLA precept. We're still talking pennies a week.

Appealing of Ealing said...

That's as may be.

The point I wanted to make is:

Johnson didn't put the tax up, Livingstone probably would have.

It's hypocritical, (not to mention irrational), to criticize Johnson for not bringing the tax down enough, if you don't criticize the other guy for putting it up so significantly in the first place.

All the jokes about what you're all going to spend your extra three pounds on this year, although mildly humorous, point to that contradiction.

AdamB said...

No I'm criticising him for pretending to save me money whilst costing me far far more in fare rises. The overall cost of the GLA group to most Londoners now is bigger in real terms than it was under that supposedly dreadful spendthrift Livingstone.