A BMG Research exclusive poll for City A.M. has found that almost 6 in 10 Brits who live outside London want to ‘level-down’ the capital by moving jobs and government funding away from the city to the rest of the UK.

Fewer than half of those polled outside London also saw the city as a force for good for the UK at large, contrasting with just over 6 in 10 from London. A slightly higher proportion of non-Londoners viewed the financial services based in London specifically as a positive for the UK economy.

Responding to the poll, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan warned that “dragging London down is not the answer to the critical challenge of how we unlock the potential of all our towns, cities and regions”.

Elsewhere, the poll shows:

  • Share the prosperity: 60% of non-Londoners believe too much funding, jobs and opportunities are concentrated in London compared to the rest of the UK, compared with just 34% in London.
  • Attention deficit: 34% of non-Londoners think politicians pay much too much attention to what is happening in London compared to other areas of the UK, and a further 33% believe politicians pay slightly too much attention to London compared to other areas of the UK.
  • The grass is greener: 18% of Londoners surveyed thought there was too little funding, jobs and opportunities concentrated in London compared to the rest of the UK, with 34% believing there was a good balance.

One of the key aspects of this Government’s agenda since it was elected in 2019 has been its aim to ‘level up’ areas, addressing geographic inequalities across the UK. This was detailed in the recent publication of the Levelling Up White Paper. Our polling shows that the majority of the British public believe there is an imbalance.

While the Government says that levelling up is about making historically neglected areas better without reducing funding for more prosperous areas, 6 in 10 would support a reduction in funding, jobs and opportunities for London to allow an increase in the rest of the UK.

This is felt most strongly by those aged over 55, who are more likely to see too much attention being paid to London. Despite this, older Brits are more likely to see the financial services in London as a force for economic good than London in general, suggesting a divide between the cultural and financial benefits of the capital on the economy.

Voting intention

Exclusive BMG Research figures for City A.M. also found Labour had taken a 7-point lead over the Conservatives with local elections just around the corner.

40% of those polled said they would vote Labour in the next General Election, with 33% choosing the Conservative and 8% Liberal Democrats.

Net approval for Sir Keir Starmer currently stands at -4%, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson at -34%.

Additional details

An article by City A.M. about the figures related to London can be found here

An article by City A.M. about the figures related to vote intention can be found here

Methodology, fieldwork dates, and a full breakdown of these results can be found here

For a more detailed breakdown of results from this poll, or any other results from our polling series, please get in touch by email or phone.

polling@bmgresearch.co.uk

@BMGResearch

0121 333 6006

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