The second new poll of the day is ICM’s monthly tracker for the Guardian. This is has topline figures, with changes from their last poll, of CON 42%(nc), LAB 30%(nc), LDEM 20%(+2).

Clearly, as with the YouGov poll at the weekend, there is very little change indeed here. If one assumes this mornings MORI poll is something of a return to normalcy after some outlying figures, we really do have a very static and very uniform picture across the pollsters, with the Tories in the low 40s and Labour at or just above 30. The variation, as usual, is in the level of Lib Dem support, which differs for various reasons (not least, 13% of ICM’s sample was made up of people who claim they voted Lib Dem in 2005, while only 9.3% of MORI’s was – there are 40% more Lib Dems in the sample to begin with).

Putting the voting intention question aside though, there is a possibly more important finding – ICM’s semi-regular “time for change” question. As I’ve said here before, that’s a powerful message, the sort of narrative that sweeps governments from office (ICM’s Nick Sparrow once wrote that there were only really four really powerful messages in politics and all election campaigns boiled down to them – “Let us finish the job”, “Their policies won’t work”, “Don’t let them ruin it” and “Time for a change”).

Back in September 2006 70% of people thought it was time for a change. After the handover to Gordon Brown ICM asked the same question in August 2007 and found 55% thought it was time for a change, still high, but a significant drop: clearly some people’s desire for change had been met. In November 2008 the question was asked again during the “second Brown bounce” and 58% thought it was time for a change. Today the figure stands at 69% – pretty much back where it was before Tony Blair’s resignation.

113 Responses to “69% think it’s time for a change”

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  1. @John TT – oh dear we do have issues don’t we…John I doubt you can truthfully state your last comment. Unless of course they have massively altered the definition of a friend….It must be more delusional twaddle

    “It’s a shame, but elections are won on lost on the basis of gut reactions rather than understanding. ”

    I hope your “freinds” have a few more brain cells than you credit the rest of us with. Most people will vote because they understand the mass effect of policy on their personal bottom line. What you do not understand is that THESE are the issues that people understand no matter what their background, education or political bias. That’s why people will vote for change because they understand that what they have now does not work.

  2. Keir – sorry I touched a nerve! To my mind “geek” is a by-word for some-one who analyses data to the nth degree. You must admit there’s nothing whatsoever approaching “geekness” in the opinions you express.

    I credit the voters with an awful lot of intelligence, but not enough to have a sufficient grasp of the issues – that says something about the issues, not the voters (though your own personal grasp of what you read is another matter)

    Of course it comes down to how things affect people – I can’t think of anything more obvious, or less Geek-like to say.

  3. try this – 50% of the poeple in this conversation think you do not credit normal people with enough intelligence to grasp what they need to grasp day to day to choose between a party who has failed and a change. The other 50% have an overinflated oppinion of themselves and need to review there next words carefully or the other 50% (more than enough to win a majority since I imagine they’re the only ones likely to show for a vote) may ask for a referrendum on the matter :-) – you do of course have the right not to listen to the 50% and ignore the call for a refferendum even though you made it a manifesto pledge.

  4. Keir,

    To a certain extent John TT is right in that many of the issues involved are too complex to be capable of quick and simple definition – let alone solution – and thus large numbers of voters may indeed be unwilling, or dare we even say it – incapable – of grappling with them. It is certainly true to say that in our media driven age most people are unwilling to devote the attention required to properly analyse the issues and evaluate the alternative solutions and their consequences.

    It is after all for this reason that we elect deputies to represent our interests in Parliament / Government in order that they can devote the necessary time to deal with these issues.

    However, it is at this point that I part company with John. While we do expect our politicians to be able to deal with the problems, it does not prevent each and every voter from having a gut instinct for what is right or wrong. In my view, the public are generally capable of spotting when they are being lied to, or taken for fools; when an MP is misusing public funds for personal gain; and also when a Minister is out of his/her depth.

    When all of the above are on evident display from top to bottom of a government, then it is clearly time for a change, and the relative efficacy of the solutions proposed by Government or opposition to complex problems are no longer the crucial issue. Once the idea that “the other lot could hardly be worse” takes hold tehre is no way back for the government – however “right” they may be in their prescriptions.

    Were it not for the tribal loyalty of Labour’s core support, not to mention the client state that Brown has carefully nurtured for more than a decade, they may well find themselves scoring below 20% in the polls.

  5. Not much to disagree with there Paul, apart from the last bit. The “core ” Labour vote might just correspond with the notion that as a nation we’re slightly leftist by gut instinct, but the reason why Labor is unlikely to go catastophically lower than the tories is down partly to the nature of the recession.

    Who broke the system, and who is going to fix it. Only the most deluded would deny that free-marketeers broke it (and I include Brown and Darling and Blair among their number) and say that other free-marketeers are certainly the right people to fix it.are the right people to fix it.

    As far as your reasons to vote against particular MPs for not being any good, I can’t disagree – all I’d say is what an indictment of our system it is that the alternative lot are as they are.

    Keir – spot on, I’m not listening to you!

  6. @John TT – then why did you respond, that statement was at the end of my comment. Thanks for reading!

  7. There’s a difference between hearing and listening. Your sound is more than tolerable, but the words don’t bear much analysis. Like a tuneful, meaningless song.

    Time for a change of record though. It’s been a pleasure.

  8. “Like a tuneful, meaningless song”

    “Time for a change of record”

    A succinct encapsulation of our political times-I feel sure Keir would agree.

    And there are indeed more tuneful -not to say meaningfull- songs being heard if one listens very carefully.

    I think the Queen may have heard one yesterday ?

  9. Excellent – who’s up to replace him then? Clarke? Davis? Boris?

  10. Eh??

    Re change of record-it seems the Byers bird is also to be heard in the Backwoods with a very refreshing little ditty-hope Gordon is listening to these Sounds of Spring.

  11. @John TT – “Time for a change of record though. It’s been a pleasure.” I could not have said it better myself. Finally I agree with you – Gordon out in 2010 or sooner.

    PS Thanks for listening, it’s nice to see I finally got through to you :-)

  12. If the Tories win on the scale predicted by many [30 seat majority -therefore gaining approximately 100 seats] is it logical to assume that they’ll take 1-100 of the marginals listed
    on this web site.? Does the swing % more or less dictate the constituencies that will fall?
    Or,Alternatively are there significant regional factors at play? Might the Tories fail to gain seats such as Redditch[41], Harrow East [56] and Bedford [67] but succeed in winning Gloucester, [119], Sefton C.[127] or even outsiders such as Chorlley.[152] for example.

    I’m on a steep learning curve here and would be interested in your thoughts on possible shocks .ie. Labour holds against the odds or Conservative gains out of the blue…

    I know about sporting upsets……..
    What about politics ?

    Education required here please guys!
    [email protected]

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