Support for Mayor Khan Crashes After Summer of Violence

London Mayor Sadiq Khan
BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty

The London Mayor’s approval rating has slumped to its lowest level on record after a summer of surging violence in the capital, crashing to just a fifth of its previous level earlier in the year.

Sadiq Khan’s personal ratings plummeted from +22 in May this year to just +4 this month, according to a YouGov poll for Queen Mary University of London.

He now has a negative rating among older voters aged over 50, white voters, the working classes — so-called C2DE lower socioeconomic groups — and “doughnut dwellers” living in London’s outskirts.

The poll found that less than half, or 44 percent, of voters say he is doing well compared to 52 percent in April 2018. And almost as many, 40 percent, say he is doing badly — a ten point jump since April.

In April, Khan was +12 with white Londoners and now has an approval rating of -5. He was +14 in outer London, also sinking to  -5, and with working-class C2DE voters, he has slipped from +5 to -7 over the summer.

Philip Cowley, Professor of Politics at Queen Mary and Director of the Mile End Institute, commented on the findings:

“In April 2018, Sadiq Khan was still ahead among those aged 50-64, working class Londoners, those living in outer London and white voters. He’s now behind among all of these groups.”

He added: “When we first started polling, he was one of the most popular politicians in Britain. Such was his cross-party support, he even had net positive support from Conservative voters. Those days are long gone.”

Speaking on social media, the professor argued Mr Khan can be beaten at the next mayoral election in May 2020 if he faces a strong Tory candidate.

One of the defining issues of Mr Khan’s term has been crime, with the Mayor attracting a succession of negative headlines.

In the last 12 months, 137 people were murdered or violently killed in London, compared to 97 in the year that ended as Sadiq Khan became Mayor, with him coming to power in May 2016.

From May 2010 until March 2015, there were 400 or fewer offences in London involving a weapon every month apart from three.

However, since March 2015, the monthly numbers have risen, peaking at 710 in May last year, under the leadership of Khan. Moped crime, acid attacks, and sex crimes, in particular, are rising.

Mr Khan has repeatedly denied responsibility and deflected blame for the problem on to the Tories and central government, saying in January that he “can not solve knife crime by [him]self” when pressed on the issue.

Meanwhile, he has taken a strong stance on politically correct cultural issues, moving to ban attractive images of women on the Tube, fast food adverts, and campaigning against a clean Brexit and U.S. President Donald J. Trump.

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