Abbott could be next London mayor

Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington could be set to replace Boris

Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington could be set to replace Boris - Credit: Archant

Diane Abbott could be the next Labour candidate for Mayor of London, according to a new YouGov poll.

The MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington beat out frontrunner Dame Tessa Jowell in the poll, where 17 per cent of Labour voters said they’d back Abbott in the 2016 mayoral election.

Ex-Olympics minister Jowell got 14 per cent of the vote, the lowest the MP for Dulwich and West Norwood has come in polls of this kind.

Abbott’s chances may have been helped by popular comedian Eddie Izzard ruling himself out of the race for 2016, instead deciding to stand in 2020, which Tanya Abraham of YouGov said had “opened the field” for other candidates.

Stand-up comedian Izzard told the Labour party conference last year that he would run in 2020, a move welcomed by leader Ed Miliband, who often cites Mr Izzard as his preferred candidate.

Despite a rise in popularity among people planning to vote Labour in 2015, Ms Abbott came behind Ms Jowell as the preferred candidate of Conservative and Liberal Democrat voters.

Abbott said she “certainly doesn’t rule out running for Mayor” but added that it’s still more than a year until Labour votes for their candidate.

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During the primary vote for a mayoral candidate the vote will be cast completely by party members and supporters for the first time, after the old system where trade unions had 50 per cent of the vote was scrapped by Mr Miliband in May.

Tottenham MP David Lammy came third in the poll with nine per cent of the vote, and Baroness Lawrence got six per cent.