Poll: Boris and Ken now neck-and-neck

Ken Livingstone has said a vote Boris Johnson is a "green light" for government austerity policies, as Boris accused his Labour challenger of being untrustworthy.
Ken Livingstone has said a vote Boris Johnson is a "green light" for government austerity policies, as Boris accused his Labour challenger of being untrustworthy.

By Oliver Hotham

The race for mayor of London is now closer than ever, with new results putting Livingstone just two points behind Johnson.

Incumbent Boris Johnson had been enjoying a six-point lead over Livingstone in recent weeks, but new statistics collected by YouGov suggest the Labour candidate is gaining ground ten days ahead of the vote.

The fight for the top job at City Hall is taking on an increasingly personal tone as polling day approaches.


Ken Livingstone has said a vote Boris Johnson is a "green light" for government austerity policies, as Boris accused his Labour challenger of being untrustworthy.

In a major 'state of the race' speech this morning, Ken Livingstone stressed: "A vote for the Conservative candidate in such a vital election is, in the end, a vote for what the Tories are doing to our country and our city."

He continued: "A victory for the Tories in ten days time will be used as a green light for deepening the Tory onslaught."

While the speech criticised the emphasis beingplaced on personality during the race, Mr Livingstone said that "some may find one of us funnier than the other" - a swipe at Boris Johnson's multiple appearances on comedy panel show Have I Got News for You.

The Conservative campaign fought back, describing Ken Livingstone as "desperate".

The Back Boris campaign said that Ken Livingstone "has shown time and again he cannot be trusted to keep his word or deliver on his promises", attacking him on his record as mayor and his failure to publish his personal accounts to quell accusations of tax avoidance.

"If he cannot honour his promises made on national television about tax he cannot honour his promises on fares or anything else," the campaign said.

With the race so close the candidates have everything to fight for.

If Boris Johnson wins it will be seen as a huge boost to the government, which has struggled in recent weeks due to an unpopular Budget and the failure to deport radical cleric Abu Qatada.

If Ken Livingstone wins it will be seen as a major victory for Labour under Ed Miliband after the loss of the safe seat of Bradford West to George Galloway.  

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