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London Olympics Chief Coe Backed as Tory Mayor Candidate

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Aug. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Sebastian Coe, who headed the organizing committee for the 2012 Olympic Games, has most support among London voters to be the Conservative Party candidate for mayor to succeed Boris Johnson, a poll showed.

Coe, a former Olympic gold medal-winning middle-distance runner who’s a Tory member of the unelected upper house of Parliament, had the backing of 24 percent of respondents in a YouGov Plc poll for today’s Evening Standard newspaper.

Businesswoman Karren Brady, who was also given a seat in the House of Lords this month, had 12 percent support, with Zac Goldsmith, who represents the Richmond Park district in southwest London in the House of Commons, getting the backing of 8 percent. Among intending Tory voters, Coe had a lead of 36 percent to 21 percent over Brady.

Johnson said two weeks ago he plans to run for a seat in Parliament in next year’s election, stoking speculation he wants to succeed David Cameron as prime minister. Johnson, who bucked the national voting trend by winning a second term in 2012, said he will still serve out his time as mayor, which ends in 2016.

The poll of 1,200 adults in London conducted from Aug. 8 to Aug. 13 found support for the Tories at 34 percent, down 1 percentage point from a July 21-24 previous poll and trailing Labour’s 41 percent, down four points. The Liberal Democrats gained two points to 10 percent, with other parties gathering 14 percent support. Labour gained most votes in London in 2010 even as the Tories topped the polls across the country.

YouGov didn’t specify a margin of error.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eddie Buckle in London at ebuckle@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Crawford at acrawford6@bloomberg.net Mark Williams

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