There has been a fair bit of talked about a possible “Bradley effect in the London mayoral election on May 5th. This refers to the well observed effect of people telling pollsters that they will support a non-white candidate when in fact they don’t end up doing so.
There are two reasons to believe why this might not be significant in the London mayoral election even though the Labour candidate, Sadiq Khan,is a Muslim whose parents emigrated to Britain from Pakistan.
Firstly this is generally seen in phone calls where the interviewer effect can come into play. Well almost all the surveys so far who is London election have been online and so one would not expect the same impact.
The second reason why it might not be important is the nature of London electorate. It has the highest proportion of people who were not born in the UK of anywhere in the country and significantly large Asian and Muslim communities.
Interesting the latest ComRes poll, featured in the chart above broke down the sample by ethnic origin and the results are there to see. Zac Goldsmith is clearly winning the white vote but this is more than compensated for by Sadiq’s support from London BME voters.
A major uncertainty about the election and the polling is whether turnout is being properly reflected. This is of course the old polling problem and one that we are only too aware off because of what happened in May last year.
Another feature of the Com poll is that Zac Goldsmith’s background as an environmental campaigner does not appear to be winning Green party second preference votes. Of the 19 GRN first choice responders in the poll not one placed Zac as 2nd preference,