London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s approval rating has sunk to its lowest level since he took office, after the capital endured summer of violent crime. Khan’s support now stands at 44 percent, slipping from 52 percent in May this year.
Backing of the mayor has fallen with the over-50s, white voters, the working-class and those in London’s suburbs, according to research conducted by YouGov and commissioned by Queen Mary University of London.
Some 44 percent of those polled think Khan is doing a good job, compared to 40 percent who believe he is doing badly. In May, just four months ago, Khan had 52 percent support, while only 30 percent disapproved of the job he was doing The fall in the polls is even starker when compared with March 2017 when Khan’s ratings were 58 percent positive and 23 percent negative.
“Sadiq Khan has suffered a noticeable hit in his ratings, down from being the most popular politician in Britain just 18 months ago, to being ahead but not by much,” said Professor Philip Cowley, of Queen Mary’s Mile End Institute.
“The 2020 contest is looking a lot more interesting now than it did even before this summer. Justine Greening and other big Tory beasts might now regret their decision not to have a tilt at him.”
Various high-profile Conservatives have distanced themselves from challenging Khan in 2020. A dearth of right-wing opponents has led to former-UKIP leader Nigel Farage to flirt with the idea. Though the poll might make the Brexiteer think again, 62 percent of Londoners oppose Farage standing for mayor, with just 22 percent are behind the idea. Farage didn’t even muster a majority of support amongst leave voters; 45 per cent are for him with 35 against.
The polling also showed significant decreases in support for both Labour and the Tories, with Liberal Democrats shown to be the biggest winners, polling at 15 percent in the capital, their best since the election. The Tories had just 26 percent support, while Labour were four points down from their 2017 General Election results at 48.
As of September 7, there were 100 murders in the capital with a third of the victims aged 16 to 24. The mayor’s office has a direct responsibility for policing the capital. However, in part due to years of nationwide budget cuts largely implemented by the Tory government, the Metropolitan Police boast the lowest numbers in their ranks since 2001.
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