There is a new ICM poll of marginals in tomorrow’s News of the World. The poll covered 96 Labour held seats where the Conservatives need a swing of between 4% and 10% to win (so like MORI’s marginal polling, it straddles the 7% or so swing the Conservatives would need to win an overall majority – the Conservatives would need to take about half of these to win, if they won them all they would have a majority of about 100).

These are the same seats that ICM polled back in January (report here). The topline figures now, with changes since January, are CON 36%(-4), LAB 37%(nc), LDEM 19%(+5). This equates to a swing of 6.3%, so slightly less than the 6.9% the Conservatives require in marginal seats.

The most recent ICM poll showed a national swing of only 3.5%, so theoretically this poll shows the swing in the marginals is quite considerably more than nationwide – however, the previous ICM poll did seem rather out of place, showing only a 4 point lead in a poll conducted over the weekend. I suspect the national lead is actually greater than that, and therefore the Conservative outperformance in marginals seats is less than this poll would imply.

UPDATE: The next in tonight’s cavaclade of polling should be ComRes in the Independent on Sunday, should be out quite soon.

52 Responses to “New ICM poll of marginals”

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  1. TrevorsDen
    Con 30.8%, Lab 44.5%, LDem 17.7%’
    In fact, the most striking statistic is the rise of LIb Dem votes in Lab-Con marginals.

    Why should we conclude that their vote will fall in their own marginals ?

  2. Frank G.

    Basically, I am simply advocating that we go back to the old days in relation to postal and proxy voting. In those days, postal votes were, more or less, available only to the sick and those unavoidably away on business, including Government business. And postal votes had to be certified as cast in secret by a responsible person such as a GP or a JP.

    You didn’t get a postal vote for being on holiday.

    Of course those abroad on Government business, such as diplomats, got postal votes. And in exceptional cases, of which being abroad on miltary duty was the chief case, there were proxy votes. But these would only apply in a few thousand cases, if that.

    I cannot see any reason why ballot boxes should not be set up in major armed forces centres abroad, such as Camp Bastion if things continue as at present (I hope they will not). I believe that ballot boxes were set up overseas in 1945, when communications were far more difficult than they are to e.g. Afghanistan now. In 1945, soliders voted, for instance, in the jungle whilst fighting the Japanese.

    In cases where fit people know they are going to be away on polling day, and I would include holidaymakers in this, I think they should go in advance to the returning officer’s physical office and put their votes into a ballot box set up for the purpose, thus ensuring secrecy.

    I am unhappy about UK citizens who are long-term overseas residents getting the vote, as they have no real stake in the outcome.

    FranK G, I am quite with you when you say that arrangements must be made for people serving the UK abroad, not least brave soliders in positions of considerable danger, must be enabled to participate in the voting process.

    But I am equally concerned that literally millions of votes will be cast in the General Election using procedures which either are not secret, in the case of proxy votes, or whode secrecy is impossible to establish, in the case of postal votes. Both as a matter of basic democratic prinicple, and I believe as a consequence of international agreements, the secret ballot is essential. But in recent years this right has not just been eroded at the edges but has been fundamentally undermined. To me, it is imperative that this matter should beput right as soon as possible. Indeed, I think that the poor arangements could be argued to undermine the legitimacy of whatever Government is formed after the election.

    I am sure that it is possible both to have a genuinely secret ballot and enable armed forces personnel, diplomats etc. to vote, for the simple reason that this happened before the Government (the Labour Governmeent as it happens, although the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats did not oppose them as they should have done) loossened the rules concerning postal and proxy votes.

    I have not started in this post on the issue of electoral fraud, which is much harder to prevent with millions of postal and proxy votes.

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