There are three new polls out tonight.

ICM in the Guardian have topline figures of CON 39%(-1), LAB 36%(nc), LDEM 16%(nc). Changes are from the ICM/News of the World poll yesterday so, as you’d expect, there are no significant changes. This does confirm the lowest Lib Dem score from ICM since the election wasn’t just a freak result though.

Interestingly in yesterday’s ICM poll 2 of those 16 percentage points for the Lib Dems were from the re-allocation of don’t knows – only 14% of people said they’d vote Lib Dem, the rest was people who said don’t know who ICM re-allocated according to how they voted at the last elecion. Of course, it doesn’t follow that the same applies to this one!

Moving to questions about the cuts themselves, 48% of people thought cuts went too far, 44% thought they were right or didn’t go far enough (36% and 8% respectively). 52% thought that the cuts were unfair, compared to 44% who thought they were fair.

Meanwhile Populus in the Times (£) has topline figures of CON 37%(-2), LAB 38%(+1), LDEM 15%(+1). Changes are since Populus’s last poll in mid-September. This is the first time Populus have shown a Labour lead since the election-that-never-was in 2007, though ICM, YouGov and Angus Reid have all shown more recent Labour leads and BPIX had one at the weekend. Looking at the spending review questions in Populus’s poll 58% thought the effects of the cuts would be unfair, a majority (but no actual figure) said that the cuts are too large.

While on the face of it the voting intention figures look somewhat conflicting, with trends apparently in opposite directions, I think the polling picture from the spending review is still pretty consistent. Nothing here conflicts with my conclusions yesterday – support or opposition to the cuts seems quite well balanced or even slightly positive; there is roughly even balance between people thinking cuts are too deep or about right/too shallow; people see the cuts as unavoidable and more Labour’s fault than the coalition. On the more negative size for the government, the polling suggests most people think the cuts are too fast, and across the board the polls are showing that people see the cuts as being done in an unfair way.

And voting intention? While the changes in ICM and Populus are in different directions, they are within the margin of error and looking at the broad spread of polls from different companies my impression is that there is a slight tightening – with a couple of polls showing Labour ahead, and YouGov’s daily tracker showing the Conservative lead dropping from 4 points or so to just one, I think the spending review may have led to a genuine narrowing in the polls.

Third poll tonight will be YouGov’s normal tracker in Sun at 10pm.

UPDATE: YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 40%, LAB 40%, LDEM 11%. That’s the first time YouGov have shown Labour catching the Tories since the end of the Labour conference.

213 Responses to “New ICM and Populus polls”

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  1. Eoin/Cozmo

    Not Gaelic, but Scots

    h ttp://

  2. oldnat @ Eoin

    But you will know that in US politics voters regularly condemn “attack ads” but polling suggests it works.

    Really? I’d like Anthony’s take on that for marketing exprerts have a different view.

  3. Oldnat

    Here is one did earlier on 683130 which had several Scottish Comments. my commentson other’s ‘comments incudes theanswer to a specific question you asked.

    “The LD vote in Scotland was always going to collapse. I’m a little surprised at the low vote for the Greens. I expected quite a pick up for them.”

    If the Greens, as predicted, get back the three they lost last time on AS for FM they should be pleased enough with that.


    “As for the LD’s up in scotland – I don’t think they’ll vanish, but will struggle not to be regarded as effectively part of the Conservative party.”

    Locally, the SNP claim in this LibDem Westminster constituency, that they can find no LibDems. All are anti-Con, anti-Lab, anti-Con+Lab or anti-SNP.

    Jay Blanc @Mike

    “…. make the final break over strained relations with Central Office, perhaps re-brand themselves as ‘Celtic Conservatives’, and aim at hoovering up the Scottish Lib Dems?”

    Christian Democrats (Scottish Protestant version) aka Conservative and Unionists used to have a majority of the popular vote in Scotland.

    The could have been in government with the SNP in 2007 if they had re-branded at devolution.

    Eoin Clarke @ Steve

    ” – these will go. 2 are shoot outs between SNP & Lab. One will go blue and the others red.

    4. Argyll & Bute”

    No. See above @ Keith.

    The retiring incumbent must be one of the best constituency MP/MSP’s around and would certainly have increased his majority.

    The SNP took a lot of votes off LibDem for the UK election. LibDem have been on the way down here recently.

    In Scotland, Cons are going nowhere execpt the crematorium.

    Labour held up their vote depite a weak candidate in the general election because many see the SNP as irrelevant to a parliamet they want to leave and a Labour vote could prevent a Con government.

    The SNP candidate is the right-wing Minister for Education, formerly Culture, and one time leadership challenger. A strong and local candidate, likely to have wide appeal to non-partisan voters.

    Despite the tiny majority, SNP hold.

  4. @OLDNAT
    Thanks for the link. Really interesting. A couple of snippets :-

    “The leader of the Liberal Democrats rejoices in the name of Clegg, which, in Scots, means a horse-fly. The usual spelling of the word now is cleg, but clegg and gleg are alternative spellings.”

    “A horse-fly sounds a relatively harmless, if unhygienic, creature but there is nothing at all harmless about a cleg. It has a fearsome bite and causes a great deal of pain as it pierces the skin in search of blood, and a great deal of discomfort for quite a time thereafter.”

    My next question – what is the collective noun for several cleggs?

  5. “In our culture ‘to clegg’ is to gather the mucus, saliva etc.. at the back of your thraot (particularly in winter) and spit it out violently and as far and nosily as you can.”

    I’m struggling to let go of the image of spitting out nosily.

    I’m also tempted to try it.

    Must be suitable for the Guiness Book of Rrecords surely?

  6. Mike N,

    Well you start off by gargling in a mouthwash kinda way.. then you blow it out in a whistling manner to generate that hurtling sound… most unpleasant but there you have it…

  7. Eoin

    Er, thanks for that.

  8. @ John B Dick

    Crematoriums still have seats and the Cons & LD’s will help themselves to a few, admittedly not many. Some of The Scots will come to their senses eventually, Lab are just trying to frighten everybody at the moment, they don’t seem to have any policies so maybe that’s why.

  9. Welsh Yougov poll results, Octocber 2010
    Constituency Voting Intention
    Oct (Sep) Change
    Lab 44% (44%) –
    PC 21% (19%) +2%
    Con 19% (22%) -3%
    Lib Dem 9% (11%) -2%
    Oth 8% (5%) +3%

    List voting Intention
    Lab 40% (41%) -1%
    PC 23% (19%) +4%
    Con 18% (20%) -2%
    Lib Dem 9% (12%) -3%
    Oth 11% (8%) +3%

    Yes 52% (49%) +3%
    No 29% (30%) -1%
    DK 20% (20%) –

  10. Amid the background noise from the big bang…..

    I’d like to quietly whisper into the ether that the ‘spend spend spend’ policies, as some characterise the previous administration’s bugetary policy is largely responsible for the two consecutive quarters of growth….

    By this time next year we will be able to see clearly what the coalition’s budgetary policies have contributed to the general level of economic activity.

    ….in the interim I’m curious to know why an increase in the age at which the pension may be claimed effective from 2019 can possibly have anything to do with cutting the budget deficit by 2015….

    Do you think the chancellor isn’t telling us something? I find that hard to credit….almost as difficult to credit as a Greek gilt….

    ….but I don’t want to make anyone shout in annoyance ay my obvious niave stupidity….

  11. As with all these schemes, it’s how it works out in practice. What if the family (I assume there are children) can’t move, refuse to move. Do the children come into care at a cost of £700-800 each? Do the family get shipped out to Margate or somewhere? Who actually moves them? What if they won’t get on the train or into the van?

    If they get there who is going to support them? I can’t see Margate council being to pleased with this sudden influx and of course Council tax will be frozen.
    I believe there will be an enormous fuss about all this and the cash saved will be miniscule.

  12. @John Murphy

    “I’d like to quietly whisper into the ether that the ‘spend spend spend’ policies, as some characterise the previous administration’s bugetary policy is largely responsible for the two consecutive quarters of growth….

    It should be SHOUTED, John, IMO. But well said.

    “By this time next year we will be able to see clearly what the coalition’s budgetary policies have contributed to the general level of economic activity.”


  13. @Mike N

    I know my views seem eccentric on here sometimes! It’s nice to know others think the same! John

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