If life in London is going downhill, why is Sadiq Khan on course for a third term?

  • 23 November, 2023
  • Politics
  • Polling

Most Londoners think life in the capital is getting worse and many think they have little to show for Sadiq Khan’s seven years in the Mayor’s office – so why, with six months to go, does he seem to be cruising to re-election? My latest polling of nearly 3,500 Londoners, together with focus groups around the capital, helps explain.

We found four areas in which Londoners were more likely to think things were improving than deteriorating: public transport, entertainment and leisure, arts and culture, and the city’s environment, such as green spaces.

But many more thought day-to-day life was getting worse, and majorities thought things were going downhill in four crucial areas. Living costs were recognised as a universal problem not confined to London, but others were more specific. Worsening traffic congestion often seemed not to be caused by the volume of cars but by Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, parking restrictions and other initiatives whose effect was to exacerbate problems or shift things to other areas, and which seemed designed to rake in cash from charges and fines rather than address practical problems.

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