Sadiq Khan has received a significant boost after it emerged that Londoners support the withdrawal of Uber’s licence.
The capital’s mayor was criticised by Theresa May for backing the decision by Transport for London (TfL), saying that it had put thousands of jobs at risk.
However, more Londoners agree than disagree with the ruling, while the mayor’s popularity appears to be undamaged by the row. According to a YouGov poll for Queen Mary University of London, 43% back the decision, while 31% oppose it. Only voters aged between 18 and 24 are against the move, with 47% disapproving and 30% approving. Among Uber customers, 49% say TfL was wrong 31% say it was right.
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Khan’s personal ratings remain extremely high. His net approval rating is at plus-35, similar to the level throughout his mayoralty so far.
Uber’s chief executive has since apologised for “mistakes” after TfL rejected its licence application because of a “lack of corporate responsibility” in relation to reporting criminal offences, obtaining medical certificates and driver background checks.
In a worrying sign for May, the Tories have fallen even further behind in London since the June election and are now 25 points behind Labour. The poll puts Labour on 55% support, with the Tories three points further back compared with the election, on 30%. Asked who would make the best prime minister, 35% of Londoners say Jeremy Corbyn, while only 22% say May. Khan also won approval for his handling of the Grenfell tragedy. Most Londoners (55%) think he handled it well, while 24% said he handled it badly while only 20% think the same of the prime minister.Even among Conservative voters, Khan is seen to have done better at dealing with Grenfell (with a net approval rating of +6) than May (+1).
“Labour’s vote is still at stratospheric levels,” said Philip Cowley, professor of politics at Queen Mary. “At the general election, Labour polled 55% of the vote in London, the Conservatives on 33%. This poll has Labour slightly extending their lead.
“We also asked about how Londoners would vote in a council election. These are due in London next year. Excluding don’t knows and would not votes, we have Labour on 53%, and the Conservatives on 29%.
“This would represent the best performance by any party in London elections since Harold Wilson’s Labour in 1971, and put Labour on course for significant gains.
“Sadiq Khan continues to poll extremely well. We have now asked a question about his approval four times since March 2017, and he polls as highly now as he did then. His net satisfaction rating – those who think he is doing well minus those who think he is doing badly – is +35, with 58% thinking he is doing well, just 23% badly.”