London poll reveals election issues that matter - jobs and economy top

08:32 21 March 2012

London mayor Boris Johnson promised to create more than 200,000 jobs in the capital over the next four years if he is re-elected on May 3.

The promise came as a BBC poll, on the first day of the official mayoral campaign, found that jobs and the economy are the most important issues for Londoners.

Some 59% of those questioned said that growth and job creation would be important issues when they decided how to vote, ahead of crime (49%), public transport (38%) and housing (37%).

Mr Johnson, who is seeking a second term at City Hall, said that the Government’s agreement to hand him powers to invest £3 billion in housing would allow him to create 104,000 jobs, while 32,300 would result from investment in transport, 5,500 in redevelopment of the Greenwich Peninsula and Royal Docks and a further 59,500 through a variety of initiatives he is planning.

But his Labour rival Ken Livingstone - mayor from 2000-08 - said that today’s poll showed public support for his proposal to cut public transport fares by 7%. Some 82% of voters taking part in the Ipsos Mori survey said they backed the plan.

However, when asked who had the best policies on transport, they gave Mr Johnson a five-point lead on 36% compared with Livingstone’s 31%.

The two front-runners were neck and neck on the key issue of who would be able to boost growth and employment, with 27% each, while Liberal Democrat candidate Brian Paddick and Green Jenny Jones trailed on 1%.

When pitted against one another, Mr Johnson was better-liked than Mr Livingstone by a margin of 43%-35% and was viewed as the best ambassador for London (by 47%-32%), able to get the best deal for the capital from Government (49%-31%) and best able to spend public money wisely (38%-36%).

Mr Livingstone led as the candidate who most understands ordinary Londoners by a wide margin of 47%-32%, best in a crisis (by 43%-32%) and having the best grasp of detail (44%-28%).

Mr Johnson said: “Through working hard to cut waste in the Greater London Authority, freeing up £3.5 billion for services and securing a better deal for London from Number 10, we will directly create 200,000 jobs for Londoners. We will deliver this by investing. Investing in transport infrastructure, local high streets, house building and a true Olympic legacy.

“But these are only happening because I made the right arguments and took the difficult decisions. Cutting investment now, including pulling £1 billion out of London’s transport budget would be devastating for London’s economy and Londoners’ job prospects.”

Responding to today’s BBC survey, Mr Livingstone said: “After years of rising train, bus and tube fares under the Tory Mayor this poll shows Londoners want a Mayor who will cut the fares and make them better off.

“It’s remarkable that with 82% of Londoners saying they want a fares cut, Boris Johnson wants to continue his policy of above-inflation fare increases.

“If I’m elected on May 3 I will cut the fares, saving Londoners £1,000 on average over four years.”

Mr Paddick accused his two main rivals of ducking debate by failing to attend a Disability Question Time event today.

“Both the current and the former Mayor have failed to provide sufficient access to the city’s transport system for disabled people,” said Mr Paddick. “Half of all bus stops in London do not comply with accessibility legislation, just 10 out of 270 Tube stations are step-free from the street to the train and 347 of Transport for London’s pedestrian crossings are unsafe for blind people because they lack any audible guidance.

“Disabled Londoners just want the same opportunities that other Londoners take for granted. It’s shocking that Johnson and Livingstone do not appear concerned or even willing to listen.”

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London politics news

Tuesday, September 1, 2015
A naval vessel outside the ExCeL exhibition centre at an earlier Defence and Security Exhibition in 2011.  Other exhibits included an F16 fighter jet (Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

One of the world’s biggest arms fairs is coming to the ExCel centre in east London later this month, and more than 1,000 protestors are already planning to oppose it.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015
The eponymous craft beer is not always brewed in the capital (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

If there’s two things London foodies are obsessed with, it’s craft beer and local products, so it’s a surprise to learn that a drink that is named after London and boasts of being “the quintessential English lager” is sometimes brewed in Europe.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015
How should the next generation of Boris bikes look? (Photo by Steve Bardens/ Getty Images for Santander)

Santander Boris bikes as we know them could be a thing of the past after TfL issued a tender for their redesign.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015
New Fathers 4 Justice campaigners altered this local council anti- domestic violence poster in Greenwich Station (Picture: New Fathers 4 Justice)

An anti-domestic violence poster has angered fathers campaign groups and today two activists were ‘removed’ by police from a south-east London train station for defacing the council missive.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Paddy Power reckon it's a dead cert for Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn (Lauren Hurley/PA Wire)

Jeremy Corbyn’s victory in the Labour leadership race is a “done deal” according to one bookmaker which has already started paying out on bets.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Computer class

New figures show, in the face of growing youth unemployment, vacancies for digital jobs is set to widen in the next year.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Get ready to take in the beautiful sights of London from above!

Are you always seeking unique ways to see your favourite city? This one is for you.

Read more
Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Read more
Scones, jam and a cup of Earl Grey anyone?

Luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room, London’s most stylish location for afternoon tea.

Read more