ICM’s monthly poll for the Guardian has been released. The topline voting intention figures, with changes from their last poll a week and a half ago, are CON 41%(-2), LAB 25%(-1), LDEM 19%(nc).
The Conservatives are down slightly from the 43% they enjoyed in the last ICM poll, but that itself was a rise from their previous poll (hence the Guardian’s report of this poll showing the Conservatives unchanged), so I think what we are actually seeing here is the same as the other polls in August so far – little or no change.
Asking specifically about the NHS, 48% thought it would improve under a Conservative government, compared to 41% who think it would be worse (I’m assuming, given those rather high figures, that people were not given the option of saying it would make no difference). Asked which party would be better on health Labour still lead, but by only 3 points, compared to 8 back in February and 13 back in 2005. Far from the row over the NHS damaging people’s perception of whether the Conservatives can be trusted with it, it looks as though they are continuing to move ahead.
ICM also asked about alternative Labour leaders. It isn’t clear exactly what they asked, but their report says David Miliband was the only one to match Brown, while Harriet Harman performed the worst.