ICM’s monthly poll for the Guardian has been released here. Topline figures with changes from May are CON 37%(+1), LAB 39%(+2), LDEM 12%(-3), Others 12%(+1).

The Lib Dem score is the lowest ICM have recorded for 14 years according to the Guardian, though of course, it would be a comparatively good score for the Lib Dems were it from Populus, MORI or (especially) YouGov. ICM have, for reasons which are not obvious, tended to show a higher Lib Dem score than other companies, even Populus who have very similar methods.

ICM also asked leadership approval ratings. David Cameron’s stand at minus 5, Nick Clegg’s at minus 20 and Ed Miliband’s at minus 21. According to the Guardian his ratings are lower than Hague and Howard scored as opposition leader in ICM polls, and on a par with the doomed IDS. This follows recent polls by ComRes and YouGov which have also shown increasingly bad ratings for Miliband, though is the first one to show him with worse ratings than Clegg.

ICM also asked about the reforms to public sector pensions and found 49% in support and 41% opposed, so slightly more in favour than against, compared to the YouGov/Sunday Times findings at the weekend which were marginally against. The difference will probably be down to the question itself, since it takes quite a lot of text to explain the actual proposals, but either way the public are pretty evenly divided.

17 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 37, LAB 39, LD 12”

  1. “The difference will probably be down to the question itself, since it takes quite a lot of text to explain the actual proposal”

    Does it explain that not all public sector pensions are the same and some of them that are being targeted by the government already reformed in 2007 to make them sustainable?

    The question can explain the government’s proposal but without context it’s still a loaded question.

  2. Is the Labour percentage one of(or the) highest Labour percentage in an ICM poll since the election?

  3. JoshC – I should certainly hope not, since it would be a grossly biased poll if it did unless it were also balanced by arguments in favour of the policies.

    As a rule of thumb, polling questions should give the minimal information necessary for people to answer it, it should not seek to educate respondents about the issue, since the sample then becomes unrepresentative of the wider public. If the public are not aware of the arguments for and against and issue, neither should the sample be – a poll is designed to measure what the public think, and if the public are ill-informed or downright wrongheaded, that is what the poll should show. It should measure public opinion as it is, not as we may like it to be.

  4. RedRag – it equals it, they were at 39% in December and January as well

  5. Well, hey ho and away we go again. Miliband’s personal ratings plumb new depths, yet more people declare they would vote Labour than in the last poll when Miliband was polling more positively. To a lesser extent, ditto Cameron. His personal ratings slide and the Tories are up 1%. Then we have the bizarre case of the redoubtable Mr Clegg. His party’s support hits an ICM nadir at a time when his personal ratings recover slightly! What a bizarre political world we live in.

    What are we to make of it all? Slightly tongue-in-cheek, we may be tempted to conclude that for Labour to open up a double digit lead they need Miliband at -40 or worse and when not a single adult in Britain can stand the sight of him, Labour’s victory is virtually assured! More seriously, his deteriorating ratings may well be down in part to typical Pavlovian poll respondent behaviour. Defined another way, it could be called a herd instinct. A universal and unremitting media narrative is formed and this causes many people to accept, maybe temporarily, a received wisdom that, at its core, is devoid of hard evidence. Man leans on bar and holds court. “That Miliband is useless, isn’t he?”. Man also leaning on bar asks” Why do you think that?”. Original man responds, “Well, I read that he looks like a panda, can’t speak properly and is a right geek.” Right, OK, the nation’s view is formed.

    Of course, if Miliband is still -21% in the late part of 2014, then he has a problem, but I don’t buy this “once the electorate has formed it’s view, then that’s it” nonsense. It’s another received wisdom, whispered in hushed reverential tones as if the Wisdom of Solomon was being shared. Just look back 13 months for contra-evidence . Cameron’s favourite joke, Nick Clegg, transformed his image and standing in the course of one 90 minute TV debate. Zero to hero in the wink of an eye as he played the dog eared old “plague on all your houses” card to maximum effect. He caught a mood in the public and was swept along by it, albeit temporarily.

    I’m probably a relatively lone voice on this, and don’t we all love to hunt in packs on this, but I can see Miliband getting lucky on an issue and seizing a moment to turn things around. Way, way to early to panic.

  6. Still time for Miliband to turn things around, but I see this as bad news for Labour. Only having a 2% lead over the Tories (according to this poll) after 13+ months straight of negative headlines for the Government doesn’t seem too good. Plus Tory support is still at around the same level as at the general election (according to most polls, inc this one) – all that’s really happened is that the left-of-centre LD voters have switched to Labour. Worrying for Labour, IMO – they don’t seem to have taken any Tory support at all.

    And I see that the Guardian are spinnng this poll, but they are right that Cameron’s approval rating suggest an end to any ‘honeymoon’ bounce the Tories have had (which makes the tiny Labour lead all the more baffling).

    Interesting times.

  7. @Tristan Perry
    “all that’s really happened is that the left-of-centre LD voters have switched to Labour”

    I think that’s right. Many of them will be soft Lib supporters who voted tactically in their constituency to keep the Tories out. Since that implies that Lab were 3rd in those constituencies last time, the damage to the Tories may be minimal, and the change may even make some seats safer.

  8. Poor Mr Milliband. Under appreciated, under valued yet still riding high-ish in the polls.
    I wonder how Labours poll rating would be if his brother were leader. It would be interesting to see if one of the polling companies would one of those polls “How would you vote if X was leader” I remember them doing one back in 2008.

  9. “Worrying for Labour, IMO – they don’t seem to have taken any Tory support at all.”
    Although if they keep the ‘left-LDs’ until the next election, they’ll have a ‘base’ of about 40% (if you voted Lab in 2010, you’d probably vote Lab no matter what).
    Which will mean the possibility of the next GE not being defined by the success of Labour but by a ‘split right’ (between the Tories and LDs).

    This assumes that the LDs are so entangled in coalition policy by the next GE that those who’ve left because of the LD’s ‘swing to the right’ stay with Lab.

  10. Latest yougov –
    Con 37, Lab 43, Lib 9, Approval -26

  11. 30 day Weighted –
    Con – 37.03, Lab 42.25, Lib 9.10, Approval -23.29

    Lab VI average still on the rise, approval still showing a downward trend.

    Rounded –
    37, 42, 9, -23
    Same as the past 4 polls.

  12. @Rob Sheffield – “It seems as though the EdM decline continues apace but that DC also has been dropping. Something that does not square with the ‘zero sum game’ explanation of leaders ratings proposed by some posters on here the weekend before last…..” [from previous thread]

    That was something I suggested, but only as a tentative theory. I think it isn’t completely ruled out by this single poll either. If Cameron’s ratings continue to fall (I think this is the first time ICM have him in negative since the GE) then it is possible that Ed’s ratings may rise. But, as I say, it is only a suggestion and I never claimed it as a fact or a prediction.

  13. Labour at 43% in tonight’s YouGov so one can only assume that Miliband’s personal ratings have dived yet further.

    Apparently, those surveyed were asked which furry animal they thought Miliband most closely resembled. They were given four options; a panda, a weasel, a rat or a Cheshire cat. Tory supporters went for a rat in rather large numbers, whereas Lib Dem supporters, those few that there were, broke fifty fifty between panda and weasel. Labour supporters preferred the benign and rather cuddly Cheshire cat although some, rather surprisingly, went for weasel. Many declined to express an opinion at all and, when shown a picture of Miliband, identified him as Bernie Winters.

    I think these findings have deep significance. It would appear that the settled view of the electorate is that our man is a cross between a rat and a weasel. I can’t see this changing much now, although it’s quite possible that they may eventually liken him to a dodo!

  14. @TingedFringe,

    If you compare the Lab lead (last 30 days) to the 30 days around, up to, and after the local elections then the Labour lead is, indeed, on the rise. If, however, you compare it to previous months (earlier this year), when Labour was consistently hitting 43s, 44s, and 45s, then the trend is not an increasing one. In other words, it depends if you are analysing the longer term (i.e. 4-6 month trend), or a shorter-term (i.e. 2 month trend).

    I think most reasonable people would have predicted the Labour lead to increase again after the local elections. However, the ICM, Populus and COMRES polls will all be of serious concern to Labour IMO. Having said that, I expect Labour’s good polling times still lie ahead, in the not too distant future. Here’s hoping.

  15. “Only having a 2% lead over the Tories (according to this poll) after 13+ months straight of negative headlines for the Government doesn’t seem too good.”

    13+ months of negative headlines? That is a bit of an unfair summary of media coverage over that time.

    Have you read any of the Murdoch press recently to see what it has to say about Labour and the unions? Now that is what I call negative coverage!

    Apart from the small readership Guardian and the fast fading Daily Mirror and the tedious and unloved Independent, the print media is extremely hostile to Labour. The big hitters: the Sun, the Mail, the Times and the Telegraph are anti-Labour almost all of the time. The Express is somewhere to the right of the Tory Party and the Star is also right wing insofar as it covers a political view.

    Personally, I think Labour’s recovery from one of its worst ever defeats to be leading is pretty remarkable in this context. Also, Labour is virtually bankrupt.

    The fact that Labour is not taking votes from Tories shows the strength of the Tory argument on the economy. Those who voted for them in May 2010 are still giving them the benefit of the doubt over this and that is the main thing.

    I don’t think we should ever underestimate Murdoch’s influence. He has never been on the losing side.

  16. @iananthonyjames – I’m right wing economically (and socially liberal), but I tend to avoid the Murdoch press (same goes for the Guardian who – whenever I read their articles – always seem militant in their views).

    You might well be right however. It does seem that – in general – there hasn’t been much positive news re: the Government, but it certainly might be the case that the Murdoch press have been hammering away mainly at Labour.

    @Tingedfringe – Yep, I do agree with that. Personally I think that the Lib Dems will see their support rise and I can’t imagine Labour sticking at 40%+ of the VI going into 2015, but a base of at least 35% for them does look fairly assured.

  17. @Crossbath

    Original man responds, “Well, I read that he looks like a panda, can’t speak properly and is a right geek.”

    That’s a little disingenuous. He’s trying very hard to come across as a left geek. ;)