There is a new ICM poll in the Sunday Telegraph and it doesn’t suggest any great damage for Labour from their leadership ructions this week. The topline figures from ICM’s previous poll for the Guardian in mid-December are CON 40%(nc), LAB 30%(-1), LDEM 18%(nc). So while Labour are down one point, this is clearly within the margin of error. The poll was conducted on the 6th and 7th, so the vast majority of responses were likely to have been after the news of the Hoon-Hewitt plot had broken.

I’m always slightly wary of polls like this and the second YouGov one this week that are carried out immediately after an event, are they too soon to measure it properly. Nevertheless, the two polls since the coup have both shown a small drop in Labour support, but nothing to get excited about and, indeed, nothing that may not turn out to be just movements within the margin of error.

The Sunday Telegraph reports the poll as Week of bungled plots boosts Labour in poll, committing my pet hate of pretending more recent polls carried out by the same pollster using identical methodology don’t exist just because a different newspaper commissioned them. (I’m not sure a one point difference would qualify as a boost anyway!)

The poll also included a question on the Labour leadership (perhaps suggesting it didn’t going into the field until after the Hoon-Hewitt news had broken), which found 41% of people thought Labour would do better without Brown, 35% that they would get worse.

They also asked if people trusted Cameron or Brown more on the issues of Education, the NHS and the economy. Cameron lead on all three, by 12, 8 and 7 points respectively.


185 Responses to “Latest ICM poll shows little impact from Hoon-Hewitt”

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  1. @OLDNAT
    “On a poll of that size, they could have conducted demographically balanced samples for areas of GB. What a waste not to have!”

    I don’t think the Sun is interested in that. It has an agenga and opinion polls are conducted mainly to elicit answers they like.

    For example, one question had the following answers:

    16 – Good

    40 – Fair

    44 – Bad

    The Sun reports the above as “Just one in six reckoned it had been “good” or “excellent”. The Fair bit was conveniently ignored.

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  2. All of the comments on this site assume that all the parties want to win or at least gain some power in a hung Parliament. I doubt if that’s the case.

    This is a terrible election to win. Whoever wins is going to be punished for the brutal cost-cutting & tax increases that are going to be needed over the next Parliament.

    The ideal result for Labour & LibDem will be a small but workable majority (20 to 30) for the Tories, so they can avoid blame for the nasty measures that the Tories will be forced to take. Labour will be happy with 30% to 32% (& Brown out) and LibDem 18% to 20%.

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  3. Hey guys, sorry for the really amateur question, but I’m very new to this and just want to ask; when talk about the split between the three major parties in numeric terms e.g. 42-30-16 or 40-30-18 or whatever, what is the figure that the Conservatives need in order to have a majority government?

    Does it have to be as high as 51? So more than everyone else put together?

    I’m just trying to learn about majority and minority governments and what the polls say about the likelihood of them are etc.

    If anyone can help I’d be very grateful, thank you.

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  4. @AMATEUR

    On the front page of this web site it shows an average of 41-30-17 would give a majority of 38 to the Tories. The Yougov Poll showing 42-30-16 would probably give rise to nearly a 50 majority.

    Not sure of the science behind it but if you work off the average on the home page you cant go far wrong.

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  5. Just assume that the Tories need 40% and a 10% lead to have a decent majority. That’s not exactly right, but a fair rule of thumb.

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  6. Well it would appear that its not only the Tories that are having to back track on some of their plans (marriage allowances) but Nick Clegg has had to downgrade some of the Lib Dem plans as aspirations now. Just shows you how much our financial crisis has caused yet more uncertainity.

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  7. @ Amatuer,
    The swingometer is very useful too!

    Can anyone tell me what the present labour majority is AND if there is any news on the Leicstershire by-election?

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  8. Have the UUP joined forces with the Conservatives now? Given the problems with the DUP is it possible that they might gain a seat or two? Or would the DUP tend to help a minority or small majority C government anyway?

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  9. There has been a non-aggression pact between the Ulster Unionists and the Tories for some time now.

    The DUP are a bit of a law unto themselves and can’t be automatically relied on as allies of a Tory government, even though they can be placed firmly on the political right. When Neil Kinnock tabled a vote of no confidence in Margaret Thatcher’s government they voted in favour of it.

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  10. Huge YouGov poll in The Sun this am.
    It shows the Tories on 42, Lab 30, LD 16.

    According to posters on pb, they all did it before the snow coup and certainly before Watts/MoS.

    Anyone know?

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  11. When Anthony puts it up, 4 of the five Polls in his weighted average will be YouGov.

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  12. @ANTHONY WELLS
    Forgive me if someone has asked this already, the questions SUN/YG ask re have Labour done a good job/bad job/terrible job
    ect. Do they have any real significance do you think? And are they to be trusted?

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  13. I think that many Labour voters won’t vote and may have said they would vote Labour. Many Labour voters don’t like new Labour but will not vote against them. This may well be why most Polls predicted Labour 2 % higher in the 2005 election.

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  14. Colin – I’ll do a proper post on it later, but as far as I am aware this data contains those last two YouGov polls, so I wouldn’t be putting it in the average as a separate poll.

    Don’t take that as gospel though, I haven’t double checked with Peter.

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  15. @BARNABY JL MARDER
    I think the DUP voting with Labour was an Ulster specific statement against the Tory policy there at the time. They are old natural Tories a bit like many UKIP members who are Tory with a Europe fixation.
    I well remember J Enoch Powell’s comment when he became an Ulster MP, “no longer a Conservative but always a Tory”.

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  16. Anthony:

    This might be a silly question, but don’t you get news about YouGov polls at least as quickly as the papers?

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  17. Isn’t the YouGov Poll in the Sun people are talking about already up there from the other day that has already been discussed in a previous thread?

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  18. Yes as Anthony says above it seems to be an aggregate of previous polls, not an entirely new one. There may be some new respondents in it though.

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  19. Thanks Barnaby. James

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  20. Quincel -

    Depends if I’m in the office. More importantly, I often know a lot more about the polls, but can’t pre-empt the client by saying anything about them.

    Essentially I operate my own little chinese walls, on the blog I only analyse publicly available information about the poll, not other stuff I may know by virtue of working here.

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  21. Sun published the wrong headline figures!

    Detailed tables show 40/30/17 not 42/30/16.

    Bad error!

    E&W numbers Con 42% : Lab 30% : LD 17% : Other 11%

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  22. @ OLDNAT

    Where are the ‘tables’

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  23. Barry P

    On the YouGov website

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  24. @ OLDNAT

    Many thanks.

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  25. Peter Kellner has now said “Last week’s stories were subsets of today’s poll data.

    So VI (voting intention) on whole 10000 is 40-30; but on the most recent, post-putch, data 42-30?

    That is interesting.

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  26. Just read over the Sun article, and the actual published poll from YouGov. I’m pretty shocked that a national newspaper thinks they can get away with fudging the figures to give the Conservatives a two point benefit.

    It’s clear that they have reported the 42 Con figure from their special one-day poll just after the “flopped plot”, rather than the 40 Con figure that the polling the article claims to report on provided.

    I will no longer use The Sun commissioned polling in my model. I consider this a breach of the public trust.

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  27. Yes OldNat it’s interesting but we already knew that. See article below.

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  28. @OLD NAT
    Much appreciation for “ferreting” that information Nat. I did not feel to badly about being confused as Mike Smithson was equally
    bemused.

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  29. @ JAY

    “I will no longer use The Sun commissioned polling in my model. I consider this a breach of the public trust”

    I understand where you are coming from but isnt that going to make your model a bit biased and inaccurate?

    Not making any excuses for the Sun but mistakes can and do happen especially where human error is involved.

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  30. I’ve been in contact with the Press Complaints Commission, and they agree it needs to be investigated. I urge others to make independent complaints to them as well, to highlight how seriously we take publishing misleading polling results.

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  31. @Mark Rose

    I’m not excluding YouGov polling, only polls commissioned by The Sun, as they have clearly played silly games with publication of figures. I will accept YouGov polling commissioned from other newspapers.

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  32. @ Jay Blanc

    Thanks for that. Understood

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  33. @Anthony

    That all makes sense, cheers.

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  34. @Barnaby

    I read that DUP also sat with Labour for a time when Tony Blair became PM.

    That would be interesting who they would back in a hung parliament. Even with their problems they could still retain most of the 9 seats and still have almost the same representation as a party like SNP.

    Northern Ireland seats will also be a little different this time with TUV also splitting the vote.

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  35. Craig U

    “John B Dick I will think you are grabbing on to some serious false hope there.”

    Not at all. I was just trying to wind up partisan Conservatives who pollute this site with their “Labour (allegedly) have done/not done X which is important to people who think as I do therefore the electorate will give the Conservatives a landslide” arguments. That says more about them than it does about the polls.

    If Labour are (relatively) as bad as they say, it would be understandable for Labour supporters to be “shy”. If there are many shy Labour voters instead of shy Tories, that makes a difference to the interpretation of the polls and the same poster’s optimistic assessments of the outcome are unrealistic.

    They can’t have it both ways. That’s why I think their analysis is rubbish.

    Your own partisan position has misled you into thinking that I am a Labour supporter.

    I have never been a member of a political party and in the last two rounds of elections (10 years) I have voted for candidates of four parties and an independent, but always in accordance with the same principle. I never vote for a party or a candidate and vote negatively, in practice for the preferred choice between the incumbent (or the incumbent’s party successor), and the challenger, but potentially could vote for a minor party candidate pour encourager les autres.

    I won’t be voting Labour in this election and last voted Labour in 2002 SP elections and then only as a direct consequence of being canvassed by a SNP councillor.

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