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London voters never call London City Hall

Just three per cent of Londoners say they have been in touch with the office of the Mayor of London over the last five years. The findings are from the latest instalment of the Polling London project by the Mile End Institute at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) with fieldwork by YouGov.

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Members of the London Assembly are even less connected to voters, with just two per cent of Londoners saying they have been in touch with their assembly member. Londoners are as likely to contact a member of the European Parliament as they are the Mayor’s office or a member of the London Assembly.

MPs remain the most popular port-of-call for Londoners – 25 per cent say they contacted their MP at least once in the last five years, while 12 per cent say they have been in touch with their local councillor. A large majority – 64 per cent – of Londoners say they have not contacted any local or national politician in the last five years.  

How would Londoners like to be governed?

The survey asked Londoners how they would like to be governed. The largest proportion of voters (32 per cent) say they would like things to stay as they are. There is some support (15 per cent) for the Mayor and the Assembly to have more powers, with less support (9 per cent) for their powers to be reduced.

Nine per cent of voters say they would like London to become an independent country, separate from the rest of the UK. But even fewer, just seven per cent, say they would like to see a return to the pre-2000 system with no London-wide government.

Knowledge of the London Assembly

Most London voters do not know anything about members of the London Assembly.

The survey included questions about the four GLA group leaders Siân Berry, Caroline Pidgeon, Len Duvall, and Gareth Bacon, as well as two imaginary politicians – “Adam Wilson” and “Eve Slocombe”. The overwhelming response in every case was for people to say that do did not know who the person is (a figure which ranged from 69 per cent to 84 per cent).

Asked about the effectiveness of the assembly group leaders, 84 per cent of voters say they have never heard of Gareth Bacon (Conservative), while 81 per cent have never heard of Len Duvall (Labour). Four per cent of Londoners think Gareth Bacon is doing a good job, while two per cent think he is doing a bad job. This was exactly the same figures as the imaginary “Adam Wilson”, and almost the same as “Eve Slocombe”. Caroline Pidgeon is the best-known member of the assembly asked about, but still 69 per cent of Londoners have never heard of her.

Professor Philip Cowley of the Mile End Institute said: “Despite almost never contacting the Assembly or Mayor, and despite knowing almost nothing about members of the Assembly, Londoners are relatively satisfied with the set up in London. The institutions established in 2000 have now firmly bedded in, and there is almost no desire to go back to the pre-GLA days”.


All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,044 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 25 and 29 September 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all London adults (aged 18+). YouGov is a member of the British Polling Council and abide by their rules.

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