After two months of polls showing consistent significant Conservative leads, an ICM poll in the Sunday Telegraph has the lead dropping to just 1 point as support shifts from the Lib Dems to Labour. The topline figures with changes from the ICM poll in the Guardian a fortnight ago are CON 36%(-1), LAB 35%(+3), LDEM 18%(-3).

As ever, it’s worth treating any poll that looks out of place with the trend or that seems counter-intuitive with some scepticism until changes are confirmed by other polls. This poll was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, so people would have been responding to it prior to the Blaenau Gwent and Bromley & Chislehurst by-elections. With this in mind, it’s difficult to see what might have caused such a shift from the Lib Dems to Labour – certainly the YouGov poll that was carried out just a day or so earlier showed no such trend.

Populus should have a poll later in the week, which could shed some light on what the real picture is – although since Populus’s poll will include whatever effect the by-election results have had on party support, it might well simply report new trends! It is, I should hasten to add, only the trends in this poll that are somewhat unexpected – the shares of the vote are perfectly within the margin of error of what most recent polls have been showing: the Conservatives at around 38%, Labour around 33% and the Lib Dems at around 18% – in fact all 4 main pollsters now show the Lib Dems at 18%.

The poll also includes a series of detailed questions on crime, which I’ll report on tomorrow.


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