Boris ahead of Ken in latest poll

Boris is now ahead of Ken in our exclusive poll Credit: ComRes

It seems Boris Johnson has edged ahead of Ken Livingstone after the so-called lift-gate incident. An exclusive poll, commissioned by London Tonight, the Evening Standard and LBC, suggests the Mayor is now ahead of his Labour rival.

This shows which candidates people would prefer as Mayor if Londoners went to the polls right now:

Since our last poll in January, Boris is back in front, both on first preference (46% Boris vs. 41% Ken) and also after reallocating second preferences. In January, Ken had a 8% point lead over Boris on first preference votes. The poll suggests the Conservative candidate has 53% support compared to 47% for his Labour counterpart on the second round of voting, with no winner after the first round. Boris also leads by six points following the first round of voting.

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The results of the latest poll follow a bitter row over candidates' tax affairs with the rivals clashing over the publication of details of their personal finances.

The move by both Tory incumbent Boris Johnson and Liberal Democrat hopeful Brian Paddick to meet a pledge of openness about income piled pressure on Labour's Ken Livingstone to follow suit.

But although he has published some figures, the ex-mayor said he would only give full details of his earnings if others agreed to disclose information concerning spouses and partners.

Mr Livingstone, who is fighting to wrest back the job he lost in 2008, has come under fire for channelling earnings through a company so that they are liable for corporation not income tax.

Last week Mr Johnson refused to apologise for calling his City hall predecessor a "f** liar" during a bust up in a lift over on-air allegations that he operated a similar arrangement.

Interestingly, before ‘Liftgate’, Boris and Ken were neck and neck (50% Boris vs. 50% Ken after second preference reallocation). But after ‘Liftgate’ – after 10am on 3rd April – the balance tips to Boris.

The same inner / outer London splits occur, with Boris ahead in outer boroughs (60%), and Ken ahead in inner London (60% after second preference reallocated). However, it is notable that Ken has slipped in his inner London stronghold, but 8 percentage points since January (60% now, compared to 68% in January).

Boris still struggles to win support among younger Londoners (aged 18-44), while Ken struggles to gain the support of those in older age brackets.