There is also a new ICM poll tonight, carried out for the Sunday Telegraph. The topline figures, with changes from ICM’s poll a week ago, are CON 41%(+2), LAB 35%(+4), LDEM 16%(-5). The figures are pretty much in line with those from YouGov tonight, with the Liberal Democrats pushed down into the mid teens while both the Conservatives and Labour are considerably up on their general election support.

The full tables don’t seem to be available yet, but the Sunday Telegraph report suggests similar findings to YouGov when it comes to the budget. 47% thought the budget would improve the economy, compared to 19% expecting it to make things worse. Once again, almost all the measures of the budget recieved majority support with the exception of the VAT rise, which ICM found 60% of people opposed (including 55% of remaining Liberal Democrat voters).

52% of people thought the cuts were necessary, 43% thought that it was tougher than necessary and the government were “using it as an excuse to introduce measures it had always wanted to”.

341 Responses to “ICM/Sunday Telegraph have Lib Dems down to 16%”

1 2 3 4 7
  1. John F,

    But I do like pragmatists, they are much more affable than the Charlei Whelan’s of this world :)

  2. @ Eoin

    What do you think about the anouncements comming out of the G8.

    I am pretty sure the end game in Afganistan is already being plotted.

    And not a moment too soon IMO.

  3. @Eoin,

    I think it’s a little unfair (not to say psephelogically unsound) to use 34% as the LibDems poll comparator. Until the campaign began, with all that entails, they were regularly failing to hit 20%. What we’re seeing is a downswing, not their demise. And my point is that it would be astonishing if a party with a support base that is mostly on the centre-left didn’t suffer to some extent when they’ve just voted to make tens if not hundreds of thousands of public sector workers unemployed.

    Personally my take is that so far the LibDem leadership are probably fairly relieved that their colleagues are for the most part holding steady and that most of their supporters are still on board.

    The big potential gain for the LibDems would be to increase their attractiveness to the centre-right. Some moderate Tories (like me) and probably some of the more managerialist Blairites (like, *cough*, Hutton) might be attracted to a socially conscious party that puts people, not unions, first.

  4. @ Neil A

    Personally my take is that so far the LibDem leadership are probably fairly relieved that their colleagues are for the most part holding steady and that most of their supporters are still on board.


    I agree that Lib Dem MPs are holding at the moment, but my reading is that 1/3 of the Membership are happy, 1/3 are on just on board with reservations and 1/3 are seriously mutinous.

    Things will only get worse when the Lib Dems get a pasting at the next Local Elections, and Nurses and Dinner Ladies start getting sacked.

  5. Neil,

    It is good to see you back.

    I disagree. 6 polls had the LDs in joint first or first place with % above 30. It would unsound to ignore the 34%.

    Polls are not a la carte any more than democracy is.

    If you return to the comments at the time of the 34% (I have).

    Your take so far is of course skewed I am sure by your own admission.

    remember the LDs have 57 MPs so any dissent you mentally multiply by 6ish to get a similar impact in the blue camp. also it is very early days, by most pollsters admission it is a honey moon period.

    NC relieved? You bet your bottom dollar he is bricking it.

    There were more than 600 comments and none called it a rogue poll.

    post-labelling of polls simply because the LDs fell back so quickly is to put it mildly disingenuous.

  6. As a Libdem member I can assure GARRYK that the % of LibDem membership mutinous about the coalition is negligible . A number have reservations about individual policies but even so they differ about which policies they are unhappy with . Local byelections are happening all the time there are 31 at least in July to come . The byelections in June did not show any sign of LibDems getting a pasting , overall the LibDem vote slightly increased to when the seats were last fought . At the end of July we will have a better picture .

  7. john F,

    Brazil and giethner’s comments on fiscal stimulus must give Gordon Brown some element of satisfaction. It is nice to see not every country in the world is dancing to Merkel’s tune.

    In reference to foreign policy- Afghan etc, have I missed something?

    Iran, NK and Gaza seemed fairly standard statements, I am not sure they pave the way for any coordinated response, although Iran’s day must surely be nearing.

  8. Do LDs forget John Pugh’s interview post coalition? Or Charlie K’s guardian article? Or Simon Hughes – Deputy Leader’s contender post budget?

    That is three that we know of.

    David Steel, campbell are also on record as being very uncomfortable with the coalition.

    These are not insignificant people. It would be unwise to dismiss them. Obviously junior MPs would be more reticent- they have a career in politics to think about…

    Also a significant no. are now bound by collective responsibility… VC is one example

  9. @ Mark Senior

    Thanks for that response.

    Surely any reaction to the budget remains to be seen. I am sure any impact will be known by the end of July’s results.

    I have read a lot of blogs and there is a large amount of bad feeling. Is it a case of a small number making a lot of noise?

    In which part of the country are from Mark? I live in West Yorkshire, and here the Lib Dem vote is vulnerable to The Labour Party. I realise that in places like the South West this may not be the case.

    Like my post suggested, cuts in theory (the current position) are one thing, once people have lost jobs and services have been cut, it is quite another.

  10. As I’ve said on comments on previous polls this sort of movement is pretty normal post-GE: the two main Parties pick up votes at the expense of the Lib Dems and others. Of course we’ve not seen a formal coalition before and there seems to be a bit of an absorption effect from the Lib Dems to the Tories. On the other hand as Sue Marsh pointed out on the previous thread, it may be that this softens up regular Tory voters to switch to Lib Dems when things go bad.

    The ICM figure of 16% may be a bit of a worry however – it’s the lowest that the Lib Dems ever went on ICM in the last parliament. I say “may” partly because you always need to see several figure from the same pollster till you are sure, but mainly because I suspect ICM may have made weighting and methodological changes since the GE, and this may be affecting the figures.

    Being a pollster must be like being a particle physicist. You spend ages refining your models; making adjustments; carrying out tests and so on. But you only get a real chance to test your theories every four or five years. And even then you usually end up with more new questions than answers.

  11. @ Eoin
    In reference to foreign policy- Afghan etc, have I missed something?

    I was refering to DC saying that he did not envisage troops being there in 5 years time and after BO sacking McCrystal confirming he would start his draw down middle of next year.

    I think both of them see Afganistan as their pedecesors war and are looking for a way out asap.

    The fiction that we are there to prevent the setting up of terrorist training is wearing thin, given that there are plenty of other failed muslim states with such camps already eg Sudan & South Yemen.

  12. Sue – I am in that silent majority that can and does see good and bad policies in all parties, unfortunately you and others tend (although not always) to defend your party at all costs. If you look at what the 5 leadership candidates are saying now to 7 weeks ago, you would realise the debacle in apparent principles and loyalty of policies……. Is it such a crime to acknowledge Lab left this country in a mess, and to find policies in the coalition you fundamentally agree with.

    Lab should be happy at their number of seats given how unpopular they were. And the cuts the coalition will (and justified imop) make could see them sweeping back in power / or staying out of power as the electorate decides.

    IMO DC has been brave and true in large part to his party’s policies. The coalition will take immense stick, but i for one will applaud them for good policies which are in the nations interest.

  13. @Mark Senior

    Agree absolutely my reading of LD members is the same .I have been very surprised at how unified members are and remain.

    As a party that espouses PR and Coalition politics it would be absurd if we had refused to do a deal with the Tories where we get a significant proportion of our manifesto into govt.

    We have done the right thing for the country re stable govt though it will be a rocky road especially after budget and the cuts start to bite.

    In the end though most voters will realise we did the right thing and reward us accordingly.

    I think Clegg et al knew exactly what risks they were taking and the short term electoral consequences.

    The attacks on LD and falling poll ratings will simply draw two partners closer together .

    At 16% I am not at all alarmed that is close to our core support .I expect us to drop to about 10-12% in the next 12 moths or so .Give it 2 years and we’ll see some of those who have left us for now coming back and Tory leaning voters in LD-Lab contests coming on board too.

    Thats before we even take the effect of AV and redrawn constituencies into account.

  14. John f,

    Very interesting. thank you. And very good news.

    I think david cameron’s leadership on the afghan issue has been nothing short of outstanding. I would not be surprised if he took up residence in afghan until the the conflict was sorted (tongue in cheek). It must hearten the troops no end to finally have a gov. who backs them.

    Personally, I would never send them in the first place. Brown people are perfectly capable of sorting their own affiars. They are highly intelligent and capable accross the arab world. But if you are going to send young men and women over their then at least give their lives your full and constant concern.

    It must be most reassuring to parents who have children out there.

  15. When the LibDems last sank to the 12 – 15% range for an extended period the effect was to undermine Ming Campbell’s Leadership – eventually bringing about his demise. Could the same thing now happen to Clegg?

  16. @ Eoin

    Brown people are perfectly capable of sorting their own affiars.

    Obviously we have to fight terrorism directed towards us, but it is a basic premis of warfare that you fight on ground of your choosing and not the enemies choosing.

    And where do we go to fight them. Helmand. Duuuhhh!!!

    We should be playing to our strengths in technology and finance to prevent them from launching attacks by use of intelligence and restricting their abilty to move the funds they need to support their infrastructure.

    And the why not simply buy the product of the poppy for our own medical use. Did you know poppies are grown under licence in Oxfordshaire for just that purpose.

  17. All this drop in LD figure got me thinking about core vote -just looked at the core vote figures again re Party ID as found by YG recently.
    h t tp://

    I thought core vote for LD was about 12 % but Tory figure at 28.5% surprised me

  18. John F,

    Agreed! buy every last ounce of the stuff! T’wud be cheaper.

    a family friend is due to marry in Feb. He is going on one last tour with the .38s to pay for his wedding.

    Fingers crossed eh?

  19. How nice to read you again Neil A. I too have been away and will be a lot I am afraid.

    I too detect no wavering among LD members.

    Only gripe so far is about Academies (remember how many teachers are LD and left leaning).

    I wrote a while back that it will only be the economic situation next March that will possibly change matters.

    The BBC page on unemployment includes a map whereby you can graphically follow why the SE and SW and vast swathes of rural England are not concerned about ‘double dip’ – they’ve never had it so good, even in the cities.

    See (putting the usual in front or Google finds it anyway)) and see bottom interactive map.

  20. @Eoin

    Fingers crossed eh?

    Bless Him.

    The whole thing reminds me of the line from “Where have all the flowers gone”

    When will they ever learn !!!

    So terribly sad. Each generation seems to have to learn the hard way.

  21. Re LibDem/Lab marginals – under FPTP the LDs will effectively need to win 2 votes from the Tories for every 1 they lose to Labour.
    To take Norwich South as an example – won by the LibDems wit a 310 majority over Labour.If 300 LDs switch back to Labour – likely I would have thought – the LDs would find themselves nearly 6000 adrift. How likely are those 6000 Tory votes needed to bridge the gap?

  22. GARRYK – I live in Worthing , I concede it is far from West Yorks .
    ROGER MEXICO – The lowest ICM LibDem figure in the last parliament was in fact 14% .

  23. John F,

    If you get a chance- “The green fields of France” is a very apt musical piece.

  24. Sorry – my last post was meant to be ‘If 3000 LDs switch back to Labour..’

  25. @Eoin

    Will do, but after the F1 and the footie. Got to get things in priority :D

  26. John F,

    Ahhhh…. loud engines and loud horns what a tranquil Sunday.

    I’ll console myself in some Soviet History scripts ;)

    good luck to Rooney and Co. :)

  27. @ Mark Senior

    “The byelections in June did not show any sign of LibDems getting a pasting , overall the LibDem vote slightly increased to when the seats were last fought .”

    I’m not quite sure where do you have this information. On the Association of LibDem Councillors’ website (which seems to be the most comprehensive) in most cases there are no change figures. In any case these are rather sporadic results and various obscure things happen (in one of the LibDem losses in the previous election, they were unopposed, now they were and lost).

    So, I would rather not draw any conclusion from these.

    The link: ht tp://

  28. @ Mark Senior

    My bad. I only checked the Guardian/ICM figures for ease so I assume that 13% was one of the Sunday Telegraph ones (the S Tel site keeps freezing on me).

    The general points remain however. Being on or just above their core vote (I reckon it’s 14% ish) for a prolonged period would be a bad sign for the Lib Dems. Also ICM tended to be the kindest poll to the Lib Dems in the period (not to say that it was wrong) and I was wondering if changes had been made that made ICM less favourable to them.

  29. In my opinion the consistent close proximity between ICM and YG’s polls marks them out as the two most reliable of the polling companies. ICM keeps its repuation as the gold standard but YG consistently show that online panels provide the methodology is rigorous are an excellent way to gauge public support.

  30. richard D

    in the end though most voters will realise we did the right thing and reward us accordingly.

    i agree

    this will form the basis for the next campaign

    also now we can “re-brand”

    from wishy washy to……….. brave and decisive, willing to put the interests of the country before those of the party

    from nice but naive to …………ruthless in pursuit of our gaols, pragmatic and patient

    i could go on but you get the general idea

    i’ve been a libdem for 30 years, 30 years of being patronized by the blues and reds. being reviled has come as a shock but after the shock has worn off, i believe that being reviled is much better than being patted on the head

    the important thing now is to make a lot of noise about being unhappy but not to revolt. we know that the tory right wing will revolt sometime in near future they can’t help themselves such is the nature of ideologues, we
    of course will benefit hugely

    clegg should instruct known left wingers to be carefully vocal thus putting pressure on david C while at the same time reminding the public that we are not real Tories

  31. @Eoin,

    I think there was quite a lot of scepticism about the LibDem “First Debate Surge” actually. I for one said that sudden and dramatic changes in polling numbers tend to be more likely to reverse than slow and steady ones.

    If the LibDems had actually polled 34% in the GE, or even 30%, I would have been pretty gobsmacked.

    I still think the “X Factor” effect was extremely strong in that polling. Ask people who the X Factor finalists were in 2007 and they probably can’t remember. At the time they probably talked about nothing else for a month.

    Now we’re back to people giving their tribal responses with a sprinkling of “Don’t Know / Won’t Votes” I think.

    I’d say the odds of the LibDems getting a 22% score from ICM at some point in the next five years are better than the odds of them getting 10%.

    Of course everything depends on the outcome of any PR/AV referendum. If the LibDems get electoral reform they won’t really give a monkeys about their week by week polling. Clegg will have achieved more for his party than any other leader in his lifetime.

    PS: Thanks to all of those welcoming me back. I’m about halfway through a massive operation to put a couple of dozen drug traffickers in prison. Still very busy and won’t be on here much for another few months I expect.

  32. @ Richard in Norway

    i believe that being reviled is much better than being patted on the head
    You’ll change your mind about this. Dem voters, as opposed to LD members, were giving you a pat on the head. If they want to vote for a ‘reviled’ party, they have any number to chose from. 8-)

  33. @ Neil A

    I’d say the odds of the LibDems getting a 22% score from ICM at some point in the next five years are better than the odds of them getting 10%.
    It’s nice to see you back. Good luck with your ongoing endeavour.

    I must say, I’d take that bet. I’d think 10% is more likely. But if the Dems can take enough Tory votes to get them back up to 22%, I won’t be unhappy.

    As for AV, there is almost zero chance of the Dems getting this without solid Labour support. And Labour are only going to support AV if it set up in such a way that it will benefit us.

    The Dems only hope is to structure AV in the bill so that it greatly benefits Labour & hope that the Tories are so confident of a referendum “No” that they let it through. Is such a scenario likely? I think not. 8-)

  34. Neil A,

    Always good to get those ragamuffins off the streets. all the very best of luck with it. :) :)

    we’ll have a yellow 10% before xmas.

  35. The Liberal Democrats only warned of the dangers of a VAT hike during the General Election because they were trying to “score points” over the Tories, Business Secretary Vince Cable has admitted.
    Vince Cable trashes the ‘New Politics’ image that won a lot of votes for the Dems.

    Any chance of VC being voted the UK’s favourite politician now? I think not. 8-)

  36. @ Amber Star

    Any chance of VC being voted the UK’s favourite politician now? I think not. 8-)
    I am confident that VC will be voted the UK’s favourite politician as soon as England win the World Cup

  37. If it is true that winning the World Cup reinforces the government in place, then we center-lefties must wish that Brazil be the winner, since it is the only center-left country (among those who continue in the WC) facing an important election this year. The race is still too close to call between Serra and Roussef, and maybe the 6th world title will be a plus for the latter. I remind that all important (in economic or demographic terms) democratic countries outside Europe are ruled by center-left: USA, Brazil, India, Japan, Australia, South Africa, the only exceptions being Canada and Mexico (but there also the center-right governments are minority in parliament, dominated by the center-left). So, if center-right candidate wins in Brazil, it will be a significant loss.
    Other than that, I of course support England over Germany. I write from Greece, my birth country, where I live in the summer, and maybe I am influenced by the anti-German feelings here. Sadly, all three countries to which I am connected (Greece by birth, Italy by ancestry and France by citizenship and studies) have been eliminated. Imagine disappointment x 3!!!

  38. @ GARRY K

    I agree :-) LOL :-)

    However, even as a Scot, I am dismayed that England’s 2nd goal against Germany was not counted.


    I wonder what percentage of the LibDem vote are actually LibDem members – 2.5%?

    I’m sure the activists will keep the faith – but may be not much longer – but that means nothing in terms of actual votes.

    I’m Chair of the local fabians and there are many seats around here where the Tories are first and LibDems second and it has been like that for years.

    We are really looking forward to getting stuck in from now on – lessons can be learned from the LibDems on how to build up a base through targetting local government wards. Many local authorities round here haven’t had a Labour councillor for years either but we know that our best bets are LibDem wards and we are looking forward to going after them there.

    This may not have much impact on the national situation but the ipact of the coaition on the LibDems has given us something to go for and for that we are really grateful.

  40. @Eoin,

    The sort of people I deal with aren’t exactly ragamuffins. Small businessmen, and Flash Harrys in Range Rover Vogues etc more like. The people who sell drugs to the people who sell drugs to the ragamuffins….

  41. Neil A,

    In Ireland we had a different way of dealing with those characters. I could tell you some stories but I guess your way is best.

    Legalising them might go a long way to solving the problem. That way we can treat the crakc heads and not drive it underground. Of course, the same characters would simply find another fix.

    All the same, these boys probably have resources to rival the London met so I wish you all the best….

  42. So some Lib Dem supporters are holding the line. The one’s I know will not be renewing their membership.
    We can all post anecdotal evidence. It doesnt prove anything.

  43. Amber,

    Long time no speak so hi first of all…. been in England for a week and was too busy to stay in much touch.

    I think a lot of progressives believed the hype about VC. I was never taken by him I must say. He dislodged John Pugh as economics spokeperson for the LDs which was a disastrous move. If you read up on Pugh you will find much about him that you would agree with. NC selected VC for a reason. His co-authorship of free-market pamplets rivalled David Laws. One of the most misunderstood politicians I think.

    As a general rule, stars that rise the fastest fall the fastest…. where would we put VC on a “Boston Matrix” ;)

  44. One’s

    Sorry about the misplaced apostrophe. Standards are slipping. Like England’s defence!

  45. Neil A
    Your comments supported and of course depend on the success of the Long March to PR starting with AV.

    Amber ‘As for AV, there is almost zero chance of the Dems getting this without solid Labour support. And Labour are only going to support AV if it set up in such a way that it will benefit us’.

    Good to know that Lab supporters are developing a hard edge to policy Amber – none of this airy fairy sense of justice stuff!

  46. Howard,

    Howya Howard!

    Comisserations in the footy but well done in predicitng the outcome of the Dutch elections you were precise as precise can be!

    AV does not benefit yellow… I predict if they pass it they will end up with less MPs than 2005 and quite possibly 2010.

    I would support a referndum on STV.


    Its a pleasure to hear your views and they echo most of the other LDs I talk to/

    @Amber Star

    Can’t see labour resisting AV myself given that they had it in their manifesto,it benefits them ,if they want to be seen as an alternative home for LDs etc and not just focus their core support then electoral reform should be a cause they use.
    I can see the next labour leader continuing the plea to LDs to ‘come and join us as we espouse true LD values inc Electoral Reform ‘
    In fact isnt that what Ed Balls said last week ?

    Another issue AV wise is the rather unexpected stirrings of support for AV from Tories especially if you combine it with redrawn boundaries.Seen several postings now on Conservative Home supporting it.

    Attacks on LDs and the need in George Osbournes words to give the LDs ‘a hug’may accelerate this !!

    Tories are coming round to this coalition malarky despite initially vehement opposition .

    You also ignore the role of the Greens and the Electoral Reform Society in campaigning for change and rather exaggerate the importance of Labour in an AV campaign.

    Finally on AV I would point you at the polling evidence on AV (which is what this site is about) which shows strong support for electoral reform of which AV is the first step.Would a future leader really want to play politics on this and be behind public opinion when they stood for it at the GE ?

  48. @DAVID B
    You clearly live in an area like my own. True Blue with LD opposition (hitherto nationally) and still locally. As you say no Labour councillors since Keir Hardy was a boy, and so on. Why you think things will change now I can’t imagine. You guys are getting over excited about VAT I suppose. If some LDs in some areas turn to Labour it wont amount to much. The majority will accept the reasons for cuts and either stay loyal or vote for us horrid nasties. Its nice to be kind, but its no good being kind but broke.

  49. In a broader European perspective, one observes a tendency of liberal parties (regrouped in the ELDR), to support (or lead) center-right governments. This is the case in Ireland, Estonia, Finland and Denmark (senior partners) and Germany, UK, Sweden and Lithuania (junior partners). The only exception now is Slovenia, where both ELDR parties, i.e. LDS and Zares, participate in a government led by Social Democrats. The danger for ELDR is that they might cease to be perceived as a “middle” group forming alliances with either the moderate right or the center-left. And since in politics there is a horror vacui, this role might come to the European Greens, headed by May 68 star Danny Cohn-Bendit: already in Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Sweden and Austria they are in many local and regional governments with the socialists and other center-left forces, while in other countries (Finland, Ireland) they support the moderate right governments, and in the Netherlands they are ready to enter in coalition with both the right-wing liberals and Labour.

  50. @ Virgilio

    “If it is true that winning the World Cup reinforces the government in place, ” – sorry for the out of context quotation.

    The loosing of the 1954 WC final contributed to some extent to the 1956 uprising in Hungary, while West Germany perceived it as the beginning of the road to rehabilitation (nevertheless, the correspondent of France Football wrote that he left Bern as soon as he could as he had enough of the German national anthem. The title of the article was: Europe be alert). Mussolinin tried to use the 1934 and 1938 winning and winning the WC helped the junta in Argentina in 1978.

    I don’t know of any other credible influence.

1 2 3 4 7