by Peter Wozniak
In the first poll for the London mayoral election in 2012 Boris Johnson received a significant boost to his campaign for re-election, garnering more support than both potential Labour contenders combined.
The ComRes poll for the Evening Standard gave the incumbent mayor support of 45% of Londoners, compared to 27% for Ken Livingstone and just 9% for Oona King, giving Mr Johnson a comfortable lead.
The poll comes with caveats, however, with the battle lines yet to be drawn in the absence of a single Labour candidate and the lack of a Lib Dem option.
Also important is the distance to the election in 2012, by which time incumbency is unlikely to be of particular benefit to the mayor in the wake of the impact of government spending cuts.
The official Labour candidate has yet to be decided, with former mayor Mr Livingstone and former MP for Bethnal Green and Bow Ms King fighting for the votes of Labour members, with the result of their contest to be announced by the beginning of the Labour conference at the end of this week.
Mr Johnson will however take heart from the fact that his rating outweighs both potential opponents put together and the fact that he is ahead of Mr Livingstone even in the more traditionally Labour supporting areas of inner London, though only by a single percentage point.