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An inconvenient fact for Boris backers is that more people tell pollsters they’ll support him than actually give him their vote

August 8th, 2014

Why we should be sceptical about all Boris polling

For those like me who love watching political battles the ongoing tussle for the Tory leadership between Boris Johnson and George Osborne will be a pleasure to behold.

Both have their strong points and both, it is said, have set their hearts on being Dave’s successor. If the Tories don’t hold on in government next May then that intriguing confrontation could be only nine months away.

One factor that apparently is a plus for the mayor is that he polls well – certainty he hammers the Chancellor by big margins whenever comparative questions are asked.

    But looking at what happened the last time that Boris polling was tested in a real election, the 2012 mayoral race, the striking fact is that all pollsters overstated him, some, as the chart shows, by considerable margins

I wonder whether there’s a strong celebrity factor here. Boris gets good poll numbers because of his high level of recognition which when last tested are not backed up by real votes being cast.

There’s likely to be a fair bit of “how would CON do with Boris as leader” polling in the run up to the conferences. Treat the results with a pinch of salt.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble