ICM’s final Guardian poll of the year has topline figures of CON 37%(+1), LAB 39%(+1), LDEM 13%(-1). Changes are from a month ago, but there is no significant change.

The small Labour lead over the Conservatives is now consistent across all the pollsters – the differences between the different companies remains the Lib Dems and, in some cases the others. ICM normally show the highest level of Lib Dem support, YouGov the lowest – a big chunk of the difference is normally down to the reallocation of don’t knows. ICM and Populus reallocate some of the people who say they don’t know how they’d vote in an election tomorrow to the party they voted for last time, currently this tends to increase the reported level of Lib Dem support by a couple of points since, as you’d expect, there are a significant chunk of Lib Dem voters out there who say they aren’t sure what they’d do in an election.

ICM also asked about voting intention in the AV referendum and found a 6 point lead for AV, 44% to 38%. This is the same margin as the ICM/ERS poll reported on Friday. As I explored in a post earlier today, the exact wording of these things makes a significant difference, though Julian Glover’s report in the Guardian suggests the approach they used in this survey was pretty much the same as in the ICM/ERS survey.


139 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – 37/39/13”

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  1. @ Billy

    “Yes, the tea-party is definitely forcing austerity on America. They just pushed through tax cuts for the richest 10-20% of Americans.”

    I was about to mention that! Thank you for beating me to it. :)

    There is no austerity push. Even the teabaggers were screaming for the government to grow their businesses and give them jobs. Well austerity doesn’t really help with that.

  2. Cable must dearly wish he had resigned & voted “No” to tuitions fees…. he could’ve been a force for a resurgent Lib Dem Party. Now he just looks rather foolish.

    Will he be able to turn this around?
    8-)

  3. @ Amber Star

    “The reasoning behind the Dems grabbing a coaltion opportunity with both hands, instead of confidence & supply, was to show they could govern.”

    You have to feel badly for the Lib Dems. They had a perfect storm in this election. An extremely unpopular incumbent government, an opposition that had some major deficiencies, a disatisfied electorate, and a very popular leader. After the debates, they were flying high and the others were stumbling. Yet they wound up losing seats. How frustrating must that be. I think part of the reason for going into government was the attempt to salvage a loss.

    “The Cable entrapment, followed by a censure from the PM & reduction in VC’s Ministerial role, are a disaster from the perspective of proving the LDs could govern.”

    What did Cable say that was so bad anyway? He doesn’t like Rupert Murdock? He’s not alone. :)

  4. @ Amber Star

    If all the Lib Dems had voted against the tuition fee increases, the measure would have failed right?

    Ot, are some of the Lib Dems signed on to the idea of “big society” as well?

  5. SOCIALLIBERAL

    How a man of Vince’s experience with I suspect an ego to match can possibly not resign anyway is beyond me. He’s now been severely reprimanded in public by both the PM and his own party leader twice in one day.

    He’s now going to have to sit in the cabinet a much diminished man with his self-esteem shot to pieces. One of the great kicks of high office is power and poor old Vince now hasn’t got much of that left either- simply, he’s a lame duck and won’t ever be anything else now in this government.

  6. @Amber Star – “Will he be able to turn this around?”

    Ed just popped up on Sky to say that VC has clearly broken the ministerial code and Cameron is wrong to keep him on.

    Simon Heffer is drawing a comparison with the summary treatment of Lord young a week or two ago.
    (He is also that saying NC was Rawnsley’s source for the “Maoist revolution” piece).

  7. @Anthony

    “I rarely if ever snip anything purely for excessive mentions of Lichfield”

    You should! As a regular visitor to Lichfield C.C as an opposing player over a 40 year period, I rarely scored a run on the ground. My last visit there some 12 years or so ago saw me outrageously given out LBW to the bowling of Lloyd Tennant, the former Leicestershire county cricketer who was running down his career at Lichfield at the time. Always a nice tea though!

    @Richard

    I fear you’re ushering your beloved Tory Party back into a political cul-de-sac by advocating a return to a nakedly right wing and anti Europe agenda. It would delight the diehards, of which there are many no doubt, but it would play badly with the wider public. Hague, Duncan Smith and, to a lesser extent, Howard tried similar approaches and took the party they led to its worst three electoral performance in over 100 years. If I was a Tory and, to quote G &S, thank the Lord I’m not sir, I’d be far more inclined to heed Chris Todd’s sensible advice. As a Labour man who has campaigned in many an election, I know which sort of Tory party I’d like to be fighting and it isn’t a centrist, One Nation one in the tradition of MacMillan, Rab Butler and Sir Ian Gilmour. Now, that was indeed a formidable political and electoral beast, largely slain and consigned to the dustbin of history by the 1980s Thatcherite bulldozer that altered the benign old chameleon-esque Conservatism of almost 100 years and created it the ideologically driven right wing party we see today.

    I think time will tell us that Cameron is no heir to Butlerian Toryism but is a son of Thatcher to his core and bootstraps.

  8. What the Cable affair shows is that there is a world of difference between compromise and acquiescence. He has acquiesced to too many policy demands with which he patently and seriously disagrees. This is not a simple matter of compromise. If it was he would not have blown his top. His conscience has knocked on the door of his heart and is begging to be let in.

    IMHO, of course.

  9. “Cable must dearly wish he had resigned & voted “No” to tuitions fees…. he could’ve been a force for a resurgent Lib Dem Party. Now he just looks rather foolish.”

    That’s right – a great comment Amber.

    Hilarious in retrospect that he had the nerve to call GB Mr. Bean when he has today shown a truly astonishing lack of political nous. What a sad vain old man.

    Murdoch is crowing about how offended he is! Pull the other one Rupert!. He is loving this. He now gets Jeremy C to give him what he wants. Champagne all round in Sky and Tory HQ tonight!

    I have seen a good comment on Guardian CiF – television news isn’t where it’s at now – Murdoch doesn’t get the internet (e.g. Times paywall) and it keeps evading their grasp. So all is not lost even if Murdoch turns Sky News into UK Fox News.

    Also, the coalition is bound to be in crisis from now on. It didn’t take that much. There was never any logic in it for the Lib Dems. I can’t see it lasting 2 years let alone 5.

  10. @Nick Hadley – “… the ideologically driven right wing party we see today.”

    Elements of which are determined to bring a swift end to the coalition, and perhaps risk another Labour administration (which they hope would then be out of power for a generation)?

  11. @ SoCaL

    What did Cable say that was so bad anyway? He doesn’t like Rupert Murdock? He’s not alone. :-)
    ————————————————–

    Vince Cable is ‘alone’ in being the UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills, though. :-)

  12. @ SoCaLiberal

    If all the Lib Dems had voted against the tuition fee increases, the measure would have failed right?
    ————————————————————

    Yes, it would have failed. 8-)

  13. @ Billy Bob

    Ed just popped up on Sky to say that VC has clearly broken the ministerial code and Cameron is wrong to keep him on.
    ————————————————————-
    I’d think it could transpire Ed M has his facts right; if he does, the anti-Coalition Tories will pick up on this fact & force David Cameron’s hand, I’d think.
    8-)

  14. IAN C

    Very well put – if Vince has got any pride left he’would have resigned. Having been severely reprimanded in public twice in one day is thoroughly shaming and how on earth he can continue sitting in Cabinet with all those Tories sniggering behind their hankerchiefs I really don’t know!

  15. Clarification: Ed Miliband’s exact words about Cameron’s error of judgement –

    “VC having *apparently* broken the ministerial code.”

  16. @Billy Bob

    “Elements of which are determined to bring a swift end to the coalition, and perhaps risk another Labour administration (which they hope would then be out of power for a generation)?”

    An interesting thought and, while you may be crediting them with long term strategic skills that they don’t possess, I can see that the scenario you describe may be playing on the minds of the more Machiavellian Tories. If you’re right, then Miliband may be best advised to let the coalition linger a while longer and slowly swing in the wind. His challenge is to get some hitherto teflon Tory fingerprints on the more unpopular coalition policies and their effects. The genius of Cameron, Osborne and Hilton thus far has been to blame their Labour inheritance, incriminate the Lib Dems and remain largely above the fray and blame free. This has bolstered their opinion poll ratings and, if Labour is to deliver telling blows it has to change that political narrative quite soon.

    As for Cable, surely his personal torture must end soon because the cruelty is almost impossible to witness now. A compassionate man of the left, slightly naive and a parvenu to the ruthless world of government he now needs to do the decent thing to salvage what credibility he still retains. Quit the government, return to his party’s backbenches and work on and for that great unfinished project of British politics; the realignment of the left. Clegg has betrayed this great and worthwhile cause and it remains for figures like Cable, Williams, Campbell, Hughes and Kennedy to revive it at a time when the Labour leadership is sending out encouraging, if a little coded, signals.

  17. I’m guessing that Vince Cable’s problem is that his likely decision on the BSkyB issue was commercially sensitive information not publicly available (use of which information would be insider trading, I’d think).

    Now, Vince Cable did not exactly say what his final decision would be; but that is splitting hairs – he certainly gave a clear indication & that will likely be why VC has “apparently broken the ministerial code”.
    8-)

  18. I think this is tonight’s YG

    Latest YouGov/Sun results 21st Dec:
    CON 40%, LAB 42%, LD 9%; APP -19

  19. @David B, Nick Hadley

    “… to have to sit in the cabinet a much diminished man”

    “… return to his party’s backbenches”

    It says a lot for the viability of the coalition that the first option is considered preferable.

  20. 40/42/9 – Approval -19
    Is the lowest to date?

  21. Here’s some commentary by Anthony that is on the YG site – I am going to post it here because he hasn’t, yet & I like it a lot. :-)

    *** Labour have also pulled ahead as people’s preferred party on many of the issues.

    On the NHS Labour are normally the more trusted party, and most of our polls since the election already showed them leading. However, their lead is now up to 9 points on the NHS (35% to 26% for the Conservatives) and they have overtaken the Conservatives on many other issues. Labour are preferred on education by 5 points (32% to 27%), unemployment by 4 points (30% to 26%) and are marginally ahead on taxation (29% to 28%).

    The Conservatives remain people’s preferred party on the economy in general (by 31% to 28% for Labour), law and order (by 33% to 25%) and immigration (by 36% to 16%). ***

  22. @Nick Hadley – “…..he [Vince Cable] now needs to do the decent thing to salvage what credibility he still retains.”

    In terms of credibility, Cameron is the one with the problem. Have you ever seen a PM describe a minister’s behaviour as ‘totally unacceptable and inappropriate’ and then fail to sack him?

    We’ve now got four other Lib Dem minsters being taped making disparaging remarks about the coalition and DC is powerless to act. This will infuriate the Tory rank and file and makes a collapse all the more likely.

    Many people here were fooled by the PR of the rose garden love in back in May, but I said then and I’ll say now, there isn’t much chance of a five year parliament.

  23. @Amberstar – once the Cable affair dies down and the snow melts, watch out for the next government crisis. There are already 300 people in intensive care from H1N1 and in the last 10 days infection rates have rocketed.

    I don’t know the facts, but I have read a number of criticisms that the government failed to initiate a widespread immunisation campaign. If this is true then this will be their first big NHS disaster story, and it only takes one to set the media train steaming.

  24. @Socalliberal – “Even the teabaggers were screaming for the government to grow their businesses and give them jobs.”

    Below is a link to a weekly magazine programme on Radio 4.

    There was some discussion about UK perceptions of public spending in the US being based on the role of federal government… as opposed to the reality at state level. (The Alaskan authorities actually *pay* a proportion of the population to live there.)

    h ttp://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00wnyjb/Americana_19_12_2010/

  25. @Nick

    You said “…An interesting thought and, while you may be crediting them [the ideologically driven right wing] with long term strategic skills that they don’t possess…”

    (Beats own head repeatedly against desk until blood spurts out of my sorely-abused skull and my eyeballs describe a parabolic arc towards the door) Ye gods, I don’t know why I bother posting here, nobody listens… :-( Anyway, to reiterate what Roy Greenslade said on May 12th,[1] that I then posted on this board on August 17th, 2010 at 8:18 pm,[2] and what has been perfectly obvious for months, the right-wing press are actively trying to bring the Coalition down. Like, hello? Bears are walking into the woods carrying toilet paper muttering “The RWP are agin the Govt, y’know”

    * [1] ht tp://www.thisislondon.co.uk/markets/article-23833069-tory-press-will-not-make-life-easy-for-nick-clegg.do
    * [2] ht tp://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/2779#comment-667126

    @Alec

    You said “…I don’t know the facts, but…”

    No comment.

    Regards, Martyn

  26. @Martyn – “You said “…I don’t know the facts, but…”
    No comment.”

    And I then went on to say that if the criticisms of government actions turned out to be true, they would have problems. So I don’t quite follow your point.

  27. @Alec

    Sorry, it’s a stylistic point (and somewhat sarcastically expressed, for which I apologise). If one find oneself starting a sentence with “I don’t know the facts, but….”, then the sentence should be recast.

    Regards, Martyn

  28. @ Alec

    There are already 300 people in intensive care from H1N1 and in the last 10 days infection rates have rocketed.
    —————————————————
    That is awful. These poor people; to be in hospital at Christmas, it is even worse than at a ‘usual’ time. :-(

  29. @ Martyn

    “Ye gods, I don’t know why I bother posting here, nobody listens… ”

    You’re right. They don’t. Possibly becasue they’re reading.

    KeeeRACK! :)

  30. @ Alec

    Whatever mean Martyn’s comment is, there is a problem with your sentence – it would not have been had you not started with “I don’t know the facts”. Then the sentence would have had legs – it would have been from a normative stance, this is why I call Martyn’s comment mean.

    Considering the structure and mechanisms of the UK health system, it is not the government’s job to intiate a campaign like this. 9% of the intensive care beds are used by people with flue currently. It is not desirable, but OK. Since the coalition keeps on fiddling with the health service, they could be blamed though (also the over-ordering of vaccination last time around does not help any government with spending money vaccines).

    Currently the cold weather is sufficient the keep the flue epidemic at bay. If the weather warms to normal temparture plus the parties between Christmas and New Year Eve and the virus is still around, the NHS will be stretched and probably will have higher mortality than last year. Yet, I still don’t think it’s a government issue.

    But it could become an NHS issue and then it will be put at the feet of the government and then you would be right.

  31. @ Socalliberal

    No probs, happy to help.

  32. @Billy

    Bazinga!

    @Laszlo

    Oooh, canny use of the double-meaning of the word “mean”. However, witty word play aside, my point was the phrase “I don’t know the facts, but…” can always be struck out: it’s either obvious from context from the rest of the sentence (in which case it’s superfluous), or it isn’t (in which case it needs to be made obvious in the second part of the sentence).

    Regards, Martyn

  33. @ Martyn

    *tips imaginary cap*

    Thank you :)

  34. @ Billy Bob

    “There was some discussion about UK perceptions of public spending in the US being based on the role of federal government… as opposed to the reality at state level. (The Alaskan authorities actually *pay* a proportion of the population to live there.)”

    I think there is a lot of misperceptions of the U.S. by Europeans. D.C. is not as divided as people think. The Washington Metro demonstrates the integration of D.C. For the first time ever, both the D.C. Council President and the D.C. Mayor are from east of the Anacostia River. There’s a string of communities in D.C. that are all black and are affluent as well.

  35. @Socalliberal – “D.C. is not as divided as people think.”

    Uh huh… you caught the programme then. :)

  36. @ Darren

    Yes, -19 is the lowest the Government approval has been, so far.
    8-)

  37. Nick Hadley @ Richard

    “As a Labour man who has campaigned in many an election, I know which sort of Tory party I’d like to be fighting and it isn’t a centrist, One Nation one in the tradition of MacMillan, Rab Butler and Sir Ian Gilmour. Now, that was indeed a formidable political and electoral beast, ….. ”

    A fomidable electoral beast without precedent (not least in Scotland) and not seen since .

    The short-term perspective in UK politics that can draw comfort from or be depressed by last week’s 1 point moe change and ignore a change of that order over a longer period is astonishing.

    You would think that there would be a body of opinion
    within the Conservative party that would be naming an blaming the guilty people in the same way that New Labour reviles Scargill and Hatton.

    Instead there are calls for the replacement of Ms Goldie who wasn’t old enough to vote when the rot started and who – to use the euphemisim formerly used in hospitals – is “doing as well as can be expected”.

    Actually, I think she is doing a little better than that, but not much. Considering the all the difficulties, contnuing gradual decline is inevitable and the only hope is either independence or Bavarianisation plus re-branding.

  38. @ Billy Bob

    “Uh huh… you caught the programme then”

    I caught the first few minutes of it. I don’t agree with all of the assertions made.

  39. I predicted at the start that the ConDem coalition would last – at most – until Christmas. Two more days – and then what?

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