ICM’s monthly poll for the Guardian, which we had expected yesterday, is out on their website now. The topline figures, with changes from ICM’s last poll, are CON 38%(-7), LAB 33%(+3), LDEM 19%(+1). The poll was conducted between the 12th and 14th December.
As with Ipsos MORI, the other pollster that had shown a double point Conservative lead in the direct aftermath of the pre-budget report, this ICM polls shows Labour increasing, the Conservatives dropping back and the lead narrowing back into single figures. Unlike MORI and YouGov ICM has the Conservatives below the symbolic 40 percent level, but I suspect the diference between the polls there is a knock on effect of the much higher level of Liberal Democrat support ICM invariably report.
A lot of the media seem to be getting themselves up into early electon fever again, now the final double point lead for the Conservatives has fallen and all the polls are showing the Tory lead down to single figures I’d expect that to continue (Julian Glover and Martin Kettle both respond to the poll in tomorrow’s Guardian by focusing squarely on what it means for an early election), though luckily for the government the media bandwagon effect will be broken by Christmas itself – few political stories have the momentum to perpetuate themselves across that (that said, before someone else points it out, it doesn’t mean the same story won’t fire itself up again as soon as some January polls show a tight race).