ICM’s final call poll for the AV referendum is very similar to the ComRes poll yesterday. Topline figures are YES 32%, NO 68% – a landside victory for NO.

The poll included respondents from Northern Ireland and was conducted on Monday and Tuesday (the Guardian report says somewhat cryptically “The bank holiday made it more difficult to reach some voters, but figures for the state of the parties have been adjusted to take account of any imbalance in the sample” – which sounds intriguing, but I expect just means “it was weighted”)

ICM also included standing voting intention, with topline figures of CON 36%(+1), LAB 37%(nc), LDEM 15%(nc)


92 Responses to “Final ICM poll shows landslide for NO”

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  1. I can’t believe the margin for No will be that big. Anecdotally, I have heard and sensed people becoming more hostile to AV the more they think about it, but my best guess would be more like a 60/40 split.

  2. Looks like Lab lead is also narrowing a bit. I find that quite astonishing given the nasty decisions made by the coalition government from tuition fees to VAT rise and lots of cuts which are in action.

    My guess is that in four years time when the economy picks up, Tories will be heading for a majority. Questions remain whether it will be a landslide or a small majority.

  3. So we shall remain one of the three western countries with such a regressive voting system. Excellent. Germany here I come!

  4. Incidentally, I think the YouGov one will be out about 10pm (unless the Sun release it first, which they might well do!)

  5. “The bank holiday made it more difficult to reach some voters”

    In other words, there may be all sorts of uncontrolled-for biases in these data. I suspect this might well be true for other pollsters and other types of poll (e.g. Scotland). And of course, with every bit of weighting the effective sample size goes down and the moe increases…

  6. The AV vote will clearly be no. What is of more interest is the share of the vote in England for local elections. This will give a clear indication on how Labour are going etc etc. With some regions not voting it is difficult to predict . But here goes anyway ( England only)

    Labour 38 %
    Tories. 35%
    LD. 14%
    others. 13%

  7. @Timothy
    “Looks like Lab lead is also narrowing a bit. I find that quite astonishing given the nasty decisions made by the coalition government from tuition fees to VAT rise and lots of cuts which are in action.”

    The only thing I find astonishing is the general lack of reporting in the print and broadcast media of those “nasty decisions” and their impact during the past month. Probably for the first time since the coalition was formed. Why is a narrowing lead so astonishing in that context?

  8. Three votes of May 2011, ICM, ComR, YG,

    show the red lead at 1%, 3%, 5% [all released within the last 24 hours]..

    That’s an average lead of 3%.

    I wonder if ICM’s VI poll included NI as well? That would be very rare indeed

  9. What I find especially interesting is the LALA (LAbour and Liberals Added) of the last three polls

    YG
    ICM
    ComR

    all have LALA at 52%.

    Labour strategists should, in my view, keep one eye on that for future seat and vote targeting…

  10. Bit disappointed with this and other polls but will still futilely vote Yes.

    The question I’ll have on Friday is who do I blame for such a poor result – Labour No’s short-sighted partisanship, the LibDems or the poor Yes campaign?
    Tough decision, perhaps I’ll have to rank them. ;)

    Also, has anybody yet looked at the figures and adjusted for what they think is actual likely turnout?
    I can’t see turnout being as high as the polls suggest.

  11. the no campaign, while not even attempting to defend the unfair FPTP system, have done a brilliant job of tapping into the public’s dislike of the Lib Dems.

    The Lib Dems have 10% core support. So that’s 90% of the public that are angry with them for selling out or are more right wing and view them as a wishy washy bunch of liberals.

    I’ve overheard people discussing AV so many timesin the past few days and, without exception, it has always been the same point made: ‘I’m voting no because it’s what the Lib Dems want’.

    I’ve not once heard anyone argue the actual benefits of AV against FPTP.

    So I don’t blame the yes campaign for failing (although the video about expenses cheats seemed absurd); I don’t think the yes campaign was ever going to defeat a no campaign that knew precisely what to tap into.

  12. I’m somewhat surprised that the polling hasn’t appeared to include the differential turnout between the regions and England.

    It is entirely possible for the YES vote to win if they can get only a 45% result in England if the regions which will see higher turnout due to the assemblies elections likely to favour AV as they have forms of PR elections already.

  13. The slight apparent decrease in the Labour lead is probably a combination of factors. Not least, many people are finding that life is not that bad after all, despite the BBC’ s efforts to convince them otherwise. My experience on door steps also shows that the vast majority know in their hearts who ate all the pies and blew all the doe.

  14. Labour slippage is likely the result of three things:

    (a) LDs attacking the Cons in a very direct way in recent days;
    (b) the No bandwagon in full swing shoring up the only main unanimous No party; and
    (c) the LDs and Cons successfully elavating the profile of the AV vote above that of the council elections and hence the cuts.

    Profile wise the Lab local councils campaign has been very anaemic. Friday could be a bumper day for the Tories.

    However…I think Lab will end up with a 6% lead, with the LDs no higher than 11%.

  15. “the no campaign, while not even attempting to defend the unfair FPTP system, have done a brilliant job of tapping into the public’s dislike of the Lib Dems.”

    Almost a quarter od LibDems appear to be supporters of the ‘No’ campaign. And according to last week’s New Statesman poll the strongest support for AV comes from BNP voters. It’s all a bit bizarre.

  16. “Friday could be a bumper day for the Tories.”

    Surely not. Isn’t it mainly a question of whether their losses are more or less than 1000?

  17. It appears that No will win comfortably, which always seemed on the cards, given the small C conservative nature of the British (but in particular English) nature. When the referendum was a long way off, voters indicated they may accept change, but as the referendum came close many voters want to stay with what they have got.

    To achieve change the pro AV people should have run a positive campaign explaining AV, and outlining a number of benefits. Instead ( as with the NO) it stooped to mudslinging. The LIb Dems were the strongest force for AV, and as a LD I am really disappointed with their negativity.

  18. For me the ‘Yes’ campaign went awry when Miliband refused to share a platform with Clegg. The message that that sent out was disastrous.

    If Miliband and Clegg had campaigned together they could have made Cameron look isolated. Instead the ‘Yes’ camp just looked divided and incoherent.

    Huhne can whinge and moan about Tory sniping but Miliband’s slighting of Clegg in this way was much more powerful and vicious.

    I fond it hard to believe that the margin will be more than 20%. But let’s face it anything more than 10% will be abject for the Lib Dems. More than 20% and it will be utterly humiliating. Electoral reform is the LD’s raison d’etre – to have it that roundly rejected by the electorate has to call into question why the LDs exist at all.

  19. For me the ‘Yes’ campaign went awry when Miliband refused to share a platform with Clegg. The message that that sent out was disastrous.

    If Miliband and Clegg had campaigned together they could have made Cameron look isolated. Instead the ‘Yes’ camp just looked divided and incoherent.

    Huhne can whinge and moan about Tory sniping but Miliband’s slighting of Clegg in this way was much more powerful and vicious.

    I still find it hard to believe the margin will be 20% or more. If it is though then the Lib Dems will be humiliated. Electoral reform is their raison d’etre – if it is as roundly rejected as that (and let’s face it anything above 10% would be abject) calls into question why the LDs exist at all.

  20. Sorry for the double post.

  21. I think we can all assume that the AV Referendum is going to be a landslide victory for the NO campaign, lead by NO2AV. Also I think that the margin of victory will be at least 23 percent by my calculations. It’s great that he is dead. Osama Bin Muhammed Bin Awad Bin Laden, I mean.

  22. @Henry
    I totally agree. It might have made a difference if most Labour MPs had been behind it.

    @RogerH
    I think the Tories will be more interested in their overall % share of the vote, and its gap with the Labour share.

  23. Reasons for the No victory tomorrow?

    1/ The yes people just didn’t get over a passion for the change to AV – it may have made sense (eventually, when people explained it – I’m a politics geek and it took many explanations on these threads for me to understand it completely – even John Humphrys doesn’t get it), but it was never many people’s chosen reform.

    2/ Nick Clegg had christened it a “miserable reform” which then made his protestations that it really mattered a little hollow.

    3/ Nick Clegg became the poster boy for the No Camp, praticularly the Labour No to AV camp.

    4/ The entire referendum got drowned out in a frenzy of arguments between the coaltion partners.

    5/ The Yes campaign seemed hopelessly disorganised – today outside my main station there is a No to AV leafleting campaign going on – Yes to AV is nowhere to be seen.

    6/ No to AV could use simple half-truth tactics about being “unfair” and people’s “votes being counted twice” and to defend AV the yes campaign made it sound very complicated.

    7/ AV is not really a brilliant reform. It is marginally more proportional, and marginally leads to more coalitions and makes marginally more seats competetive but hardly at all.

    I will vote Yes and vote yes early to give them a bit of momentum, but this has been an opportunity wasted. Very poor Yes campaign.

  24. @THE LAST FANDANGO

    “Electoral reform is their raison d’etre – if it is as roundly rejected as that (and let’s face it anything above 10% would be abject) calls into question why the LDs exist at all.”

    No, we exist for many different reasons. Electoral reform is only one part of a programme for a better-run, fairer society. It’s like saying the Conservatives only exist for privatisation.

    Anyway, the weight of history is on our side. Sooner or later FPTP will, like all dinosaurs, die out.

  25. I wonder what people’s views are on how the Guardian consistently shows a much higher Lib Dem vote than other polls.

    While in the past I can see that when there is an election the Lib Dem vote has always risen above what the polls were saying but now they have some say in government I would be surprised if that trend continues.

    Is there any voting evidence in by-elections etc to suggest the Guardian has it right and other pollsters have it wrong?

  26. @HENRY
    “It appears that No will win comfortably, which always seemed on the cards, given the small C conservative nature of the British (but in particular English) nature.”

    Nothing whatever to do with a “conservative nature”, everything to do with the power of bankers and the rich to fund nasty, rancid political campaigns aimed at stopping change, plus our right wing reactionary press barons.

  27. ‘For me the ‘Yes’ campaign went awry when Miliband refused to share a platform with Clegg. The message that that sent out was disastrous.

    If Miliband and Clegg had campaigned together they could have made Cameron look isolated. Instead the ‘Yes’ camp just looked divided and incoherent.’

    It does look like that in hindsight and he also should have taken more of a stand although I was more disappointed in Ed M’s interview today – he couldn’t even support AV+ like a few of his colleagues.

  28. The really interesting thing will be whether it affects the actual council results.

    With such a large lead it seems to be that many LDs may stay at home.

    Labour voters are going to turn out in their masses to vote against the coaltion (and many will at the same time vote no to AV).

    Can’t work out whether more Tories will go to the polls to campaign against AV or not, but I think their 2010 vote should bear up rather well (I’d be surprised if they slipped more than to 35%). If Labour can get over 40% that will be a good day for them (although Scotland will be bad).

    So it seems to me that on Thursday it could be:

    OK (but not great) day for Labour – beginnings of a recovery.
    Average day for Tories – big losses in councils, but survived AV scare and have gerrymandered the constituencies.
    Terrible day for LDs – huge council losses and humiliating loss of AV vote.

  29. @Robert C

    “No, we exist for many different reasons.”

    Name one? :-)

  30. The reason I’m voting ‘NO’ is because not a single Yes to AV campaigner has convinced me that AV is in our national interest and FPTP is broken. FPTP is NOT broken…It’s been there for hundreds of years and for me if something is not broken, it aint need fixing and it’s not worth the risk.

    With AV or without AV, Lib Dems are finished for a considerable period of time. We will be back into red-blue politics. I do, however, advocate open primaries for people on the right or left to determine what they want .

  31. @Lewis Cullen

    ‘bin’ means ‘son of’. Arabs seem to like to identify with their ancestors.

  32. This (sadly IMO) reflects what I have been hearing whilst out canvassing- and pointed out 2 weeks ago.

    At that time I still thought ‘yes’ would lose by between 8 and 16 per cent. But since then all the evidence suggests that the position has become even worse (for ‘yes’).

    If the result is actually as terrible (for ‘yes’) as a 30 points or so defeat then I think that this makes the crumbling of the coalition sometime between now and- at the latest- 2013 almost a certainty.

    As many posters have pointed out, its the Lib Dem activists who ultimately will decide whether the coalition continues: not best mates Nick and Dave and what is in their own respective self interests.

    I also think this is the last referendum for decades. Far better to be principled i.e. to have such a promise as an manifesto pledge- as Labour did on AV- and then to implement that should you (and your party platform) be elected to power.

    Labour were perfectly justified in offering AV without a referendum to the Lib Dems- it had been a manifesto pledge.

    If Labour were such a turn off to Nick et al then they should have extracted an option on the referendum paper for PR options as well as the AV and FPTP option.

    I predict- as I have done before- that this failure to secure a referendum on authentic electoral reform (as opposed to the castrated FPTP vs AV version) will be the eventual end of Clegg.

    Retrospective commentaries in future years are going to be absolutely scathing as- for a few days last May- Nicolas and friends had all the power/ held all the cards: so desperate was Dave to get a full coalition.

  33. Winning a referendum can be hard if there is an energized ‘no’ campaign…

    From birth, we all seem to have a good idea about what we don’t want.

    Read most comments, most commetariats, most policy debates… the words ‘no’ or I don’t always feature prominently..

    Reductionism I call it…

    When my students are writing essays they begin paragraphs with

    “one of the most fundamental reforms of the …….”

    I say to them, regardless of how fundamental you think that might have been, it only takes one reductionist and your shot to pieces…

    I send them away to rephrase… perhaps to.. ” One might perhaps argue that x reform was somewhat significant”…

    go find the same reductionist, haul him front of the paragraph and he is bamboozled…

    It was the same when we were teenagers.. you saw a lady you thought was pretty, pointed it out ans sure enough one of your reductionist mates would pick a feature of her beauty he didnt like and run with it, before you know it the damsel you thought was belle is something akin to quasi modo..

    and thus,

    1) Selling change AV was always going to be very very tough…

    You try to pretend its an attractive policy, someone will point it that it has a huge butt,

    You try to paint it as a reform of fundamental importance, some reductionist will point out how little changes…

    People quickly view your claims as over-egged, preposterous, and they get shot to pieces…

    I staged an AV debate on TGB… a few months back.. us in the yes camp were mauled went away with our tail between our legs… Try debating it with Tom Harris MP (I have) he is a reductionist of some standing…

    And so the voting public have never really heard a credible argument for AV… I am not even sure I could give one now… I resorted to appealing to self interest, painting it as ‘good for Labour’…

    The best, and most positive performance was undoubtedly will straw’s he played it smart, protected his kidneys and boxed clever, but he never got invited to any BBC television productions on it…

    Instead we have had Eddie Izzards and the like speeling the kind off stuff that would make one of my student’s paragraphs look like Das Kapital.

    It failed because it never really had a chance..

    voters tell the pollsters they like change but the closer it comes to that change the less the seem to want it… and pro-AV arguments were easy pickings for the reductionists among us..

  34. @Timothy

    “With AV or without AV, Lib Dems are finished for a considerable period of time. We will be back into red-blue politics. I do, however, advocate open primaries for people on the right or left to determine what they want .”

    Yeah, I’ve always thought that was a the most glorious irony: AV was the Lib Dems first big chance to get a decent amount of seats but, because of their determination to get it, theyve set themselves back 20 years. Wonderful

  35. @ Timothy,

    “Questions remain as to whether it will be a landslide or small majority”.

    So many more questions than that remain – like will any party still have the same leader, how long will the coaltion remain intact, will the economy double-dip, will it recover, how much, what will happen with unemployment. We don’t even know when the election will be.

    There is some merit in making a call about what might happen tomorrow, but anyone making any prediction about the 2014 election is simply looking into a crystal ball and guessing.

  36. @Timothy

    Open primaries will make little difference as the Party is now King. It’s been thus for at least 100 years.

    if we accept the reality of the Party machine, then at GEs we are not voting for a representative, but for a government. The voting system should reflect this, but doesn’t.

  37. @ Eoin,

    As always, spot on.

    In 1975 they had already taken the tough step to go into the Common Market, it was just a referendum on whether to stay in.

    If Lab had managed to form a coalition and simply legislated a change to AV (which probably wouldn’t have passed because of their party splits on the issue) and THEN there had been a referendum Stay with AV would have won easily.

  38. JOHN

    Even more incredible in that Brown offered Clegg a referendum on a proper PR system (probably STV in muli member constituencies) but Clegg opted for the poorer Cameron offer.

    Very bad judgement by Clegg who could have worked within a rainbow coalition for a YES vote tomorrow on STV in a referendum to be followed by a GE under the new system this autumn which could have changed the complexion of national politics completely.

    The Lib Dems could fall apart with the recriminations which could follw a 20% plus defeat for YES – the odds on the coalition lasting to 2015 are getting longer and longer

  39. Does anyone know the full timetable of counting tomorrow/ Friday?

    The count start times for English locals/ Welsh assembly and Scots parliament and the Leicester by election and when we are likely to start getting through results for each of these.

  40. Sky news biggin’ up Salmond massively- what a strange alliance.

    Probably explained by it being the one straw they can pluck given that Labour will likely win a majority in Wales, win big in the English locals and walk the Leicester BE ;-)

  41. @TGB
    Very true, but…

    That’s where leadership comes in. if the Yes campaign had soneone as persuasive and charismatic as Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Ghandhi…heck even Muhammad Ali…or Judd Trump (only kidding), then arguments for change xould be won against the odds.

    A bit closer to our era, Bill Clinton and Tony Blair were charismatic communicators who (at least initially) won over the other side.

  42. ROB SHEFFIELD

    “Labour were perfectly justified in offering AV without a referendum to the Lib Dems- it had been a manifesto pledge.”

    Not understood the Labour Manifesto Pledge was to have a Referendum on AV

  43. Raf,

    Perhaps Bono is what we need? :( [Not a fan of Bono]. Freddie Mercury singing we are the champions perhaps? Hmm.. Charisma and UK politics: I’m wrecking my brains…. Most of my heroes do not have much Charisma I have to confess.

  44. @Robert C

    Are you aware that the Yes campaign raised 1/3 more money than the No campaign?

    It might make you feel better to rail against bankers and millionaires but you are deceiving yourself if you think they are the reason for the Yes disaster. The GMB Union is listed as one of the No campaigns biggest donors!

  45. @Rob Sheffield

    Looking at the Wandsworth Council website:

    “The counting of the ballot papers for this Referendum will commence at 4pm, which is the earliest time that the count can start.”

  46. *on Friday 6th May*

  47. @The Green Benches / Eoin

    It looks like your observation some days about a referendum snowball effect was remarkably insightful.

  48. Billy Bob

    ah- I wondered whether some councils would be going for Friday,

    Referendum result apparently released Friday afternoon/ Scots counting on Friday morning. Wales is also starting on Friday morning as well.

    So tomorrow night seems to be only the BE and the majority- but not all- of English locals.

    A good night for Labour then :D

  49. “It’s been there for hundreds of years”

    Really? Our present system was first used in the 1950 General Election. Before that we had all sorts of variables, including university seats using STV, two-seat constituencies and voting restricted to various combinations of the sexes, age groups and householders..

  50. @ Rob,

    It will be a good day for Labour but then it will get completely drowned out by the result of the referendum, and the results from Scotland and Wales.

    By the weekend all the talk will be about the impact of the referendum on the coalition and possible fractures. So any good news for Labour is not going to get much air play.

    It is amazing how when there is a spat between LD and Con Labour get starved of any coverage/oxygen.

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