Dobson falls further behind in mayoral race

Labour candidate Frank Dobson is falling further behind in the race for Mayor of London and could struggle to hold onto third place, according to an opinion poll published today.

An ICM survey for London's Evening Standard showed Ken Livingstone tightening his grip on the contest while Mr Dobson lost ground to the Tory Steve Norris, who is now a clear second.

The poll put Mr Norris on 17 per cent, one point up on the last ICM survey two weeks ago and three points clear of Mr Dobson who was down one on 14 per cent.

That left Tony Blair's choice for the mayoralty just two points ahead of the Liberal Democrat Susan Kramer, who was unchanged on 12 per cent.

Independent Mr Livingstone meanwhile remains the clear leader with 51 per cent - two points up on the last poll and a massive 34 points ahead of the chasing pack.

ICM interviewed 1,004 London voters in a telephone survey.

The poll is another bitter blow to Mr Dobson and the Labour Party machine which had predicted Mr Livingstone's big lead would fall away as polling day - May 4 - approached.

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