Mayor's Opinion Polls

MQT on 2006-09-13
Session date: 
September 13, 2006
Question By: 
Peter Hulme Cross
One London Party
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


In your latest opinion poll you ask leading questions about Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs), the results of which you then trumpeted as 'proving' that most Londoners support your anti-4x4 policies. If you had wanted to get a different answer, you could equally well hva ephrased the question as follows:

"Some say that SUVs are environmentally friendly, because, despite the increase in sales, CO2 from them has fallen 17.3 per cent. They also argue that, far from taking up road space, the three best-selling 4x4s on the market are actually shorter than a Ford Mondeo or a Vauxhall Vectra.

Do you agree or disagree that the Mayor is unfairly demonising SUVs as a means to generate more revenue for his failing congestion charge?"

Would the Mayor undertake that future opinion polls will not preface questions with leading comments?


Answer for Mayor's Opinion Polls

Answer for Mayor's Opinion Polls

Answered By: 
The Mayor

My proposals to introduce differential rates for vehicles entering the Congestion Charge based on their vehicle emissions is not a means of generating more revenue, or unfairly demonising SUVs. Rather, it is a further way of reducing pollution within the zone. 18% of Congestion Charge-paying vehicles that enter the zone are currently in the highest vehicle excise duty band G. SUVs make up 31% of band G cars registered in London, significantly more than any other type of vehicle. Band G vehicles emit over 225 grams per kilometre of C0² compared to the average emissions of new cars in the UK, which were 169 grams per kilometre. With grants opinion surveys, all questions asked are developed in conjunction with the research agency ' in this case Ipsos MORI ' who are bound by the market research guidelines to ensure the questions are clear, objective and unambiguous. On occasion, to ensure respondents understand the context of the question, this may require them to develop a balanced preamble. I am sure the agencies we commissioned will continue to abide by these standards.