ICM have a new poll out in tomorrow’s Guardian showing Labour in the lead. Topline figures, with changes from ICM’s last poll a month ago, are CON 35%(-2), LAB 37%(nc), LDEM 18%(nc). The poll was conducted directly after Ed Miliband’s conference speech, on Tuesday and Wednesday.

This is the lowest any poll from any company has put the Conservatives since the general election, though that’s probably connected to the high Liberal Democrat score. There is a significant spread in Lib Dem support across different pollsters – YouGov tend to show them between 12-14%, the most recent polls from Populus, MORI and ComRes all had the Lib Dems at 14-15%, ICM have them steady up at 18%.

In other findings, concerns about the spending cuts continue to creep upwards 43% said they thought cuts had gone too far as opposed to 37% who think the balance is about right, slightly less supportive since than in July. However, the coalition continues to be trusted more on the economy than Labour – 50% think they are best to ensure a prosperous future compared to 31% for Labour.

On Ed Miliband, 28% think he will move the Labour party to the left, 41% think he will keep it in the centre and 8% think he will move it rightwards.

A final intriguing point was ICM’s question on what people would like to happen at the next election. The overall picture was that 40% wanted a Conservative led government (19% on their own, 21% with the Lib Dems), 39% a Labour led government (26% on their own, 13% with the Lib Dems). The interesting bit was that amongst Conservative voters only 50% wanted the Conservatives on their own, 41% prefered a Con-LD coalition. In contrast, when YouGov have asked the same question they have found 72% of Conservatives would prefer the party to rule alone, 25% prefer the Con-LD coalition.


317 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – 35/37/18”

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  1. Roger Mexico

    I trust that you aren’t assuming that the term “middle class” resonates in exactly the same way in America as in Southern England – or indeed that the latter’s use of the term is understood in the same way in Scotland.

    Garry K

    Of course, it wasn’t offensive – it was a compliment.

  2. Alec

    “over rapid growth based on undertaxation of business is one of the key factors that stoked up the bubble. ”

    Well I have read acres of commentary on the ROI disaster-and corporation tax rates don’t feature in any of them.

    THese do though

    Cheap interest rates.
    Crazy lending into the Real Estate Market.
    Poor regulation.

    Full Stop really.

    This is typical I would say :-

    “How did this disaster happen? Well, blame is being variously apportioned to profligate lenders, official low interest-rate policy, demographic trends, a venal real-estate industry, lax regulators and an easy-going central bank.
    The real culprits though, harsh as it may sound, are the mortgagees. After all, nobody was forcing them to borrow money off the banks and mortgage themselves to the hilt. They plunged lemming-like into residential real estate in such numbers and with such gay abandon for the basic principles of investment that house prices were driven to levels that defied gravity.

    As a great economist observed about share prices just before the Crash of 1929, they were discounting not only the future but the great hereafter. And it’s the collapse of house (and commercial property) prices that has triggered Ireland’s economic woes.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with investing in real estate including one’s own home, but along the way Ireland as a whole forgot the golden rule of diversification. Had people been able to pick the moment and diversify into alternative investments before it all blew up, they wouldn’t be footing hefty interest payments on shrinking assets.

    15 years of huge gains
    Meantime Ireland’s housing splurge provides a salutary lesson in how bubbles can so easily trick us.

    Until prices slowed in 2007 and burst in 2008, houses had risen steadily in value for an astonishing 15 years, confounding most economists and reinforcing home-owners in the conviction they were investment geniuses.

    By 2006, prices had soared by an incredible 270 per cent in the last ten years, compared with a 30 per cent rise in the consumer price index over the same period. The average cost of a house jumped from €75,000 [£65,000] to €280,000 [£243,000].

    As the leading house price barometer tsb/ESRI index pointed out at the time, prices averaged just under 15 per cent growth a year. Self-certification was rife, with 100 per cent mortgages quite common.

    Everybody involved was stoking the fire; agents reportedly agreed to foot the first six months’ of mortgage payments to keep up recorded prices.

    As in all bubbles, values defied rationality. They kept rising despite the dire warnings of economists including a party-pooping IMF report in 2000 that predicted ruination for many. However, Armageddon was only delayed.

    By mid-2010, values had collapsed 35 per cent on the same period in 2007 and were down by around 6.4 per cent for the year.”

  3. Alec,

    If you are going to label me as being facutally inaccurate, whcih you have done many times, I would prefer to keep the discussion to corporation tax, which is the point you first contested. However it appears you want to widen the critque of ROI economics. I accept that is your wish so I will leave corp. but I do appreciate that you accept it successfully attracted high tech investment.

    Your wider comments:

    Your comments on the wider ROI economy resonate. Politically, it might require a translation from Roger or someone but northern Catholics (crude term i accpet but that is what I am) are as critical of southern (or as I would call them Free State) economics, as anyone you would be likely to find. when they had money, they failed to invest in health and social housing. Breast Screening equipement for example is sparse and faulty… Herceptin is available only to the very wealthy… Infant care, pregancny support and care for the elderly is akin to a third world country… so not only are they in the mess that you describe but it is actually much much worse than that. They level of derison I have for the ROI economic governance knows no bounds I can assure you… I have witnessed the human cost of that from my southern relatives, the pain in real terms is much more advanced than the UK. They are more rampant in the capitalism than even the US and they all bought into it. Your critique of the Euro is slight red herring, when you consider the old Púnt. It would have undoubtedly collapsed. Thus, the free State is lucky to be in the Euro.

    Aside from all of that, they will bounce back Alec. This is not the end of the world scenario, that many righties predict. The high tech companies are staying in Ireland. Its agri-foods sector is still well placed.. diageo, ryanair and other companies perform well… The only area of ustainable long term damage is their banking and insurance sectors. And yes, I am in aggreement with you- better to be in bogland than indebted to banks.

    As a complete pie in the sky idea, I wonder about a national insolvency scheme to press the reset button on much of the consumer debt… Perhaps convert it into an annual state payment Just an idea, but your the man to run them past.

  4. Eoin

    Yes, the answer is no. I will however continue to give all and sundry my unsolicited advice, whether they want it or not.

    Cozmo

    I was thinking of things such as the “seriously relaxed about people getting rich” attitude. Personally I think that it’s who loses least between the Parties that win elections – the swing voters tend to pick the least-worst option. New Labour’s long reign was due to distrust of the Tories outweighing the increasing disenchantment of its own supporters. The New Labour brand had little to do with anything except self belief.

    Colin

    Thanks for the Wikipedia reference – more discursive than most entries.

    I was exaggerating of course about the range of the self-identified middle class in the US and I’m sure there are interesting regional variations, but even some in the professional classes (airline pilots would be a good example) are now beginning to be seriously hit. And of course class mobility is now even lower in the US than in the UK.

    Labour tried to find a local equivalent with its “hard-working families”; but that always sounded to be like they were sending the children up chimneys.

  5. Alec,

    If you are going to label me as being facutally inaccurate, whcih you have done many times, I would prefer to keep the discussion to corporation tax, which is the point you first contested. However it appears you want to widen the critque of ROI economics. I accept that is your wish so I will leave corp. but I do appreciate that you accept it successfully attracted high tech investment. I teach 19 and 20 century economic Irish history so I do resent your factual inaccuracy when it comes to corp. Whether any of is like it or not, and you know by instinct I favour higher taxes, in Eire’s case it works.

    Your wider comments:

    Your comments on the wider ROI economy resonate. Politically, it might require a translation from Roger or someone but northern Catholics (blunt term i accept but that is what I am) are as critical of southern (or as I would call them Free State) economics, as anyone you would be likely to find. when they had money, they failed to invest in health and social housing. Screening equipement for example is sparse and faulty… Herceptin is available only to the very wealthy… Infant care, pregancny support and care for the elderly is akin to a third world country… so not only are they in the mess that you describe but it is actually much much worse than that. They level of derison I have for the ROI economic governance knows no bounds I can assure you… I have witnessed the human cost of that from my southern relatives, the pain in real terms is much more advanced than the UK. They are more extreme in the capitalism than even the US and they all bought into it. Your critique of the Euro is slight red herring, when you consider the old Púnt. It would have undoubtedly collapsed. Thus, the free State is lucky to be in the Euro.

    Aside from all of that, they will bounce back Alec. This is not the end of the world scenario, that many righties predict. The high tech companies are staying in Ireland. Its agri-foods sector is still well placed.. diageo, ryanair and other companies perform well… The only area of ustainable long term damage is their banking and insurance sectors. And yes, I am in aggreement with you- better to be in bogland than indebted to banks.

    As a complete pie in the sky idea, I wonder about a national insolvency scheme to press the reset button on much of the consumer debt… Perhaps convert it into an annual state payment Just an idea, but your the man to run them past.

  6. alec,

    I have typed you a rather long reply that is in mod. Maybe Anthony will pop it out later…

    Roger,

    I did not think so but keep the advice coming, I find it very useful.

  7. Rob,

    Of course Ed would need to use some media, but I would suggest the following:

    1. Interviews with the Beeb, ITV and C4 are good, as despite what is said, it is broadly neutral I think. While Sky is biased overall, it is not as overtly hostile as the print media

    2. Avoid doing specials for The Daily Mail and the other print media guaranteed to be hostile. Time spent trying to persuade those who will never support you is a waste if time.

    3. The younger generations live their lives by Facebook and the internet. Labour could develop a strategy of using this form of communication to be in direct touch with supporters. This would require a major change on the ground and really upgrading Voter ID. Didn’t Obama use internet contact strategies to help his campaign?

    4. Activists on the ground could use old-fashion leafleting to send regular updates to the Electorate. Good grass roots campaigns really boosted the support of the BNP and LDs, who did not get the media coverage Labour and Conservatives get.

    So Ed has options. Sucking up to the enemies propagandists (like Blair did) is futile.

  8. @Garry K

    I said that ward meetings, marches et al and the internet were vehicles that can assist. Though they don’t close the gap once in power as Obama has shown the last 18 months. Also he squeaked the candidacy via the help- in the earlier ‘open’ primary/ caucus elections- of the right hoping to propel him to nomination as they thought he’d never win.

    But I would not ever rule out any media outlet whatsoever.

    Giving an interview to the Mail or the Sun or the NOW (or Sky news)-as Obama has done with FN Bill O’reilly/ his wife has done with FN Huckabee- is NOT ‘sucking up to your enemies’.

    It is getting the message out to as many people as possible.

    If we don’t do that we will lose.

  9. Rob,

    The strategy outlined would only be an opposition one.

    Once in Government, the responsibility to the whole nation kicks in, and of course you would need a new approach.

  10. Jack – “New Labour did not win Tony the first election.
    In that election anybody could have won promising anything;”

    Sorry. Perhaps anyone could have beaten the Tories at that point.

    But only Tony could have won with a 179 seat majority :)

  11. As you’re all discussing Ed’s potential way forward, us activists got a direct mail today.

    Movement for change X 10!!

    All about invigorating the grassroots, training, local party organisers, connecting with the electorate on a personal level.

    As you all know, I fell for DM because I loved the idea of Labour becoming the movement it began as. We saved a worse defeat because we pounded the streets til our feet hurt.

    If there were 2, 3 ,4 times as many of us, all trained to do the job well, all singing from the same hymnsheet, Labour would be unstoppable.

    Why? Because we’d be out there, talking to the people we want to represent – middle class, working class or little green alien. Just like we were 90 years ago :)

  12. @eoin – “If you are going to label me as being facutally inaccurate, whcih you have done many times..”

    Not sure I accused you of inaccuracy over corporation tax? I may have accused you of inaccuracy on other occasions, but only when justified. Like me, you’re not always right you know.

    I never doubted ROI had low rates – I merely observed that there are few, if any, observers looking at Ireland now who would give them any credit whatsoever for knowing how to run a successful economy in the long term.

    @Colin – I agree that corporation tax in itself has not been identified as a contributing factor to the crash. What I have been trying to explain is that a suite of government policies, including the flagship CT regime, contributed to unsustainable economic growth that led directly to a major bust. They could have had low CT but alongside a range of balancing mechanisms, but they were blinded by their own apparent success and the irish taxpayers are now paying the price.

  13. Alec

    “They could have had low CT but alongside a range of balancing mechanisms, but they were blinded by their own apparent success and the irish taxpayers are now paying the price.”

    The irish taxpayers are now paying to rescue Irish Banks which lent like crazy on real estate, and grew to a size beyond compatible with Irish State & economy, whilst the Irish Government looked on.

    It is the bailout of depositors AND bondholders in Allied Irish Banks & the others which has brought the country to the brink.

    Corporation Tax is a red herring.

    Competitive corporation tax rates are neccessary if you want to attract inward investment.
    Banks bigger than your countries economy are not.

  14. @SUE
    That’s good news. IMO, the Movement for Change was one of the most important ideas in Labour for a long time.

  15. @Colin – “Corporation Tax is a red herring.
    Competitive corporation tax rates are neccessary if you want to attract inward investment.
    Banks bigger than your countries economy are not.”

    Not it’s not – where did the demand for credit come from in the first place? It’s part of the long term picture.

  16. Alec

    “where did the demand for credit come from in the first place?”

    Low interest rates & push from unscrupulous bankers.

    …or , to refer you back to the analysis I posted earlier :

    “profligate lenders, official low interest-rate policy, demographic trends, a venal real-estate industry, lax regulators and an easy-going central bank.
    ……..and the mortgagees”

    I recommend David Davis’ speech to the Legatum Institute-and a man called Minsky-who was new to me.

    Very interesting.

  17. @colin – I don’t disagree with any of that, but the CT regime also sucked in money that the economy couldn’t deal with. While Eoin is right that productive industries were enticed in by the ridiculously low taxes it also encouraged companies to move their financial centres to Dublin for purely tax reasons. The boom in Dublin was in part based on this and was a contributer to the whole economic overheating. The Irish government failed to get sufficient compensating revenue from the low tax rates to help pay for the mes when it all crashed, which was another of the points I was making about CT.

    The sad thing for Ireland is that it is very unlikely they will be allowed to kep these low rates – the political pressure from the Germans will be huge, and while Eoin seems confident that Ireland will pull through this, I suspect the damage will be immense and they will have to raise CT ates both to generate income and keep the people baling them out happy. With the return of out migration and a collapse in social and educational spending brought on by the crash in due course I can see a few of the big companies pulling out of Ireland in the years to come.

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