Most Londoners ‘concerned’ by Hall’s past statements on climate change

Latest poll suggests Sadiq Khan has a 17-point lead over his Conservative rival, reports Noah Vickers, Local Democracy Reporter

Susan Hall (credit LDRS/Noah Vickers)
Susan Hall (credit LDRS/Noah Vickers)

A majority of Londoners are “concerned” that Susan Hall’s past statements on climate change could affect her “ability to take on the role of Mayor of London”, a survey has found.

The finding comes alongside polling which suggests Sadiq Khan has a 17-point lead over his Conservative rival, with less than a week until the mayoral election.

The poll, commissioned by Greenpeace and conducted by Survation, found that Khan is on 44%, with Hall on 27%. Lib Dem Rob Blackie has 11%, the Greens’ Zoe Garbett 6%, and Reform UK’s Howard Cox 5%.

Greenpeace argues that voters’ environmental concerns are an important factor giving the Labour mayor “an edge” over his closest competitor.

The polling found 62% of Londoners were “very” or “somewhat” concerned when told that Hall:

  • In a 2020 social media post criticised efforts to improve walking and cycling at Bank Junction, saying “The ‘green’ agenda is causing havoc in our City”.
  • In 2022 shared an article from the Daily Sceptic which dismissed the role of human-made greenhouse gas emissions on climate change. She urged then-PM Boris Johnson to “please review the net zero agenda – especially now in times of financial hardship”.
  • In an LBC interview this year said she did not know the price of a London bus fare.

By contrast, 28% of Londoners were “not at all” or “not that” concerned by the comments. Nine per cent said they “don’t know”.

The survey separately showed that almost twice as many Londoners believe Khan is a “champion of climate and nature issues” than say the same of Hall. Some 42% described the mayor as such, compared with 22% for his Tory opponent.

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Overall, 65% of Londoners say they will consider candidates’ positions on climate change when they vote.

Greenpeace UK’s head of climate, Mel Evans, said: “The poll suggests Sadiq Khan is heading for a landslide victory in next week’s mayoral election, and it’s voters’ concern over the climate and the environment that is giving him an edge.

“It was always a questionable move to put Susan Hall forward as the Tory candidate, given her penchant for peddling climate conspiracy theories and history of opposing environmental policies.

“But if it wasn’t already evident to the Conservative Party, this poll clearly demonstrates that climate denial and weak environmental policies could lose you votes.”

Hall’s spokesman declined to comment in response. Her team has previously said however that she “believes in a fair and practical transition to net zero, while Sadiq Khan believes in hitting motorists in the pocket with Ulez and pay-per-mile taxes”.

Khan denies that he will introduce a “pay-per-mile” charge.

Hall told the Local Democracy Reporting Service earlier this week that she would like to see net zero carbon emissions achieved in London “as quickly as possible”, while adding: “What you will get from me is things that are realistic, things that can be done without charging the poorest a tax, and looking to see how we can all contribute to it, without it absolutely making us all bankrupt, quite frankly.”

The new Survation poll showed that Khan has leads over Hall in both inner and outer London. In the inner boroughs, he has 47% to her 22% – a lead of 25 points. In outer London, his lead narrows to eleven points, with 42% to her 31%.

While other polls have shown narrower overall leads for Khan, direct comparisons should be treated with caution due to differing methodologies used.

The London mayoral election is on Thursday, 2nd May, along with elections to the London Assembly.

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