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Posted: 13.04.22

Labour opens up big lead as cost-of-living crisis hits Londoners

Keir Starmer’s party on 54% in the capital, well ahead of Conservatives on 24%, Lib Dems on 9% and Greens on 5% in exclusive London Communications Agency poll.

  • Keir Starmer’s party on 54% in the capital, well ahead of Conservatives on 24%, Lib Dems on 9% and Greens on 5% in exclusive London Communications Agency poll.

  • More than half of all Londoners say rising prices are among top issues they face.

  • All of the capital’s 32 boroughs go to the polls on 5 May.

Labour has opened up a 30-point lead over the Conservatives in a new poll out today, the first major test of opinion ahead of the 5 May local council elections in the capital.

The poll, conducted for London Communications Agency (LCA) by Deltapoll, puts Keir Starmer’s party on 54% with the Tories on 24%, the Liberal Democrats on 9% and the Greens on 5%. Other parties score a combined 9%.

The findings also saw Londoners point to the cost of living as their major cause of concern by a wide margin – at 5%, compared with housing availability and affordability at 29%, the war in Ukraine at 26%, policing and crime at 25% and inflation at 23%. Deltapoll asked respondents to nominate their top two or three from a list of 13 pressing issues.

Labour’s high score will boost the party’s campaigners in the run-up to election day, but experts at LCA warned that its leadership should be cautious.

In the last borough elections in 2018, Labour won 44% of the vote overall (winning 1,123 seats and outright control of 21 boroughs). The Conservatives won 29% (511 seats and seven boroughs), while the Lib Dems managed 12.7% (154 seats and three boroughs) and the Greens 8.7% (11 seats and no boroughs). One council, Havering, remained under no overall control.

Previous polling in the run-up to recent London-wide elections – including the borough elections in 2018 and the 2021 Mayoral vote – has tended to over-exaggerate support for the Labour Party.

Interest is likely to focus on a few key potential ‘swing’ boroughs, including Labour’s two main Tory-held targets of Barnet and Wandsworth. The Tories will look to make gains in Harrow and Croydon, both currently held by Labour. Croydon voters are also choosing a directly elected mayor for the first time, opening up the possibility of the mayor belonging to one major party while the council is held by the other.

Even in boroughs where the ruling party is likely to remain the same, there are intriguing battles being fought. These are either between factions of the same party – like Labour in Haringey – or where majorities could be eroded to the point of a real shift of political balance.

Jenna Goldberg, Board Director at LCA, said: “From this poll, Labour would appear to be approaching May’s elections in the capital from a position of strength – not least because London’s voters could blame the government for the cost-of-living crisis.

“However, a whole range of factors could easily combine to chip away at this considerable lead and the Conservatives will presumably be looking to campaign on local issues as much as possible.”

Paddy Hennessy, a Senior Advisor at LCA and former director of communications for Sadiq Khan, said: “The Tory vote was more resilient in 2018 and 2021 than many predicted.

“Furthermore, Labour strategists may ignore London, where the party’s success has been priced-in, in favour of seeking a narrative of winning back areas of the ‘Red Wall in’ the midlands and the north.”

Notes to editors

Deltapoll interviewed a representative sample of 1026 Londoners aged 18+ online, between 3 and 7 March 2022. Deltapoll is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

See here for the final voting intention poll before the last local election in 2018 (by YouGov for the Mile End Institute in April 2018) which overestimated both the Labour and Tory vote. Similarly, polling in advance of the very last election in London, the delayed Mayoral election in May 2021, also tended to exaggerate Labour’s polling lead (examples here from YouGov and Opinium).

Jenna and Paddy are available for comment

About Jenna Goldberg: Jenna is a Board Director at LCA and a member of the agency’s management team, leading projects for FTSE 100 developers, local authorities and housing associations. She is the lead editor of LCA’s award-winning news bulletin LDN – London in Short. She is also an experienced speaker and chair at industry events and conferences, primarily talking about London politics and planning issues.

You can contact Jenna at or 0780 3503578

About Paddy Hennessy: Paddy has spent more than three decades in journalism, communications and politics, including eight years on the Evening Standard and 10 years as political editor of the Sunday Telegraph, before becoming deputy director of communications for the Labour Party. He was Sadiq Khan’s director of communications at City Hall for five years from May 2021 before joining LCA as a Senior Advisor, offering clients a full range of communications services

You can contact Paddy at or 07836 256662

About LCA: London Communications Agency is a full-service PR consultancy delivering campaigns, consultations and content to clients across the built environment sector. LCA’s insight and intelligence sets it apart, ensuring that advice is informed by our knowledge and experience. LCA’s dedicated Insight Team deliver political and issues monitoring and analysis every day for our team and clients; crafting specialist, tailored briefings and commentary and helping us to anticipate trends.


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