The full results of ICM’s monthly Guardian poll are now up (tabs are here). Topline voting intention figures with changes from last month are CON 35%(-2), LAB 39%(+1), LDEM 13%(-1). Changes since last month are within the margin of error, but the movement is towards Labour compared to ICM’s polls in July and August which, unlike other companies, had been showing a Tory lead.


99 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 35, LAB 39, LD 13”

1 2
  1. So like Angels dancing in the heads of pins the polls dance around a 4% lead….

  2. I have been predicting a falling off of support for the Tories. I think my first post on the previous thread said “oh well, it ain’t so bad”. However, on reflection, with this particular pollster, ICM, it is a reverse. Intriguingly, YOU GOV, whilst similar numbers to ICM, is a small improvement for the Tories, from a few weeks ago, change of modus operandi I guess.
    The question which one cannot help asking, is, when every poster from Mike N, for instance, to myself, agree that the economy is paramount, both in the eye of the public and in fact, why are the poll results, as they are?
    Labour 4 point lead in VI. Cameron/Osborn 11 point lead over Miliband/Balls.

  3. I notice the first question on likelihood of turnout. The 6-10s come to 80%.

    Either we’re on the cusp of re-igniting the electorate’s turnout, or the people are fibbing, or people who bother with polls are those who bother to vote.

  4. Table 3 (excluding DKs) – Scottish cross break (a massive 42 repondents :) ):

    Con: 20%
    Lab: 18%
    Lib: 8%
    SNP: 53%

    Who’s going to run off to Scotland Votes to see the results? :)

  5. @ chouenlai

    I think the 16 point lead of DC and GO over EM and EB hides the fact that in reality neither is trusted with the economy. I believe that GO and DC have less than 40% support – ( 38) and EM and EB are at around 20%(22) . This translates as Tories still trust DC and GO – only about half of Labour voters trust Labour, Therefore given that the electorate believe that boith are either incapable or unable to sort out the economy ( all garbage essentially) then the VI is based on other priorities. Many labour voters on VI believe both parties to be useless on the economy but are left leaning individuals who decide intention on other issues, It does mean that for the Tories to win next time they need to improve the economy and we need to see sustained discernible growth by 2015. I suspect they need figures of 45 -50% on competence to give a realistic chance of an OM at next GE. Tough but not wholly impossible. Labour need to raise their competence to about parity ( or Tories decline to their level) to give a strong likelihood of as Labour government next time. I suspect that as the economy stutters then GO and Dc will decline towards Labour levels on competence. I see nothing to suggest an improvement in Labour’s perception of being economically competent any time soon.

    My theory for what its worth.

  6. so that’s 22 SNP. 9 tories, 8 labour and 3 libs

    Proves what exactly!!

  7. @CHOUENLAI

    Because they differentiate between the party’s programme and its leaders’?

    Perhaps, the electorate would prefer a more even-handed “we are all in this together” approach they think they may get from Labour but doubt the competence of its leadership to deliver anything other than a shambles? And they think the programme the Tory membership/MPs have in mind would be significantly more evil than that actually pursued by the Cameron/Osborne? I’d say the electorate is planning on delivering another stalemate to avoid these less favoured outcomes – whether they can stomach voting LD to achieve that is another question altogether.

  8. @STATGEEK & DH
    Thank you for your idea’s. Neither of which would cause violent disagreement from me. The electorate voted for a coalition last time, now they don’t seem to thrilled with what they have got. It does seem very difficult to make the children understand that now Dad’s getting no overtime and Mummy’s on short time, the sweets and treats are just unaffordable.

  9. @ICEMAN
    So sorry, it is you I should be thanking for your excellent veiw point. I beg your pardon. Mind you, Statgeek is not a bad chap to be confused with.

  10. Whilst I would very much love to see Lab ten to twenty points ahead of Cons in VI…let’s be realistic.

    Lab are still blamed for much of the economic mess.

    Lab was in office for 13 years. It takes time for people to change their attitudes to a party that held office for so long. (We shoudl remember that generally parties are voted out of office rather then into office – case in point was 2010 GE.)

    To be fair, DC is (currently) more charismatic and communicates more effectively than EM. He also has access to all the media levers available to no 10.

    And we should keep in mind that we have a coalition gov that must affect LD supporters (whose party has historically always been in opposition) – they can now associate with their two glorious leader(s) and may be moved to feel generous and supportive to DC than otherwise they would have done.

    I have also said consistently that 2011 will be as good as it gets for the Cons. I have seen nothing to change my view.

  11. Mike N,

    I think it’s also worthwhile noting that the 35-40% in the Tory VI are those that fundamentally agree with the Tories’ most controversial policies, so precisely what alienates many from the Tory part attracts their current VI. The Tories will win in 2015 if and only if they can extend their appeal to swing voters currently keen on Labour.

    That’s while the priority for EM should be solidifying Labour’s support, rather than focusing on cheap Hague-style gimmick attacks. On this standard, he’s been strategically very smart thus far.

  12. As I see it:

    1. The Crisis of 2008 was not all Labour’s fault- much was from factors far beyond GB or TB’s control
    2. The Getting us out of the Mess 2009-2010 (or lack thereof) was Labour’s fault.
    3. The Crisis of 2011 is not the government’s fault, but rather crisis in the Eurozone, American credit rating etc etc.
    4. It remains to be seen whether the Getting us out of the Mess 2011-2012/13/14/15 will be accomplished by the current government.

  13. And it is on the basis of number 4 that the election will be won or lost.

    One interesting side-effect of this will be the LDs. Will their support remain <15% if the government is successful? or more if it is not successful? Or vice versa? Or will the coalition last?

    Sigh. Wish we could skip ahead a few years just to find out what happens. Then the world would be sunny, Britain would be far along the road to recovery, and we would all look back on this time period with a knowing smile and a laugh.

    I hope.

  14. For those Tory posters currently luxuriating in Ed Miliband’s admittedly poor personal ratings in the opinion polls, here’s an extract from an article that the Tory blogger, Tim Montgomerie, wrote in this morning’s Guardian. It makes interesting reading: –

    “After this evening Cameron needs to relaunch his whole style of governing. We are only 18 months into the parliament but problems that normally characterise senile governments are already evident. If he does not reconcile with the unhappy squad on his backbenches, the next few years will get a lot unhappier. Ed Miliband may not look like a prime minister in waiting, but Tory strategists are in danger of gambling too many chips on the Labour leader’s weaknesses. Voters hate divided parties but the Conservative party is in serious danger of getting a reputation for disunity again. Add in the prospect of many years of declining incomes for many families and you have a dangerous political recipe.”

    I find Montgomerie consistently interesting reading. He has plenty of critical things to say about Labour, as you’d expect, but he seems one of the few leading Tory thinkers that I’ve read who isn’t in denial about their ongoing electoral weaknesses and the fragility of Cameron’s leadership. Candid friends, I always think, are more valuable than deluded partisans, even if they do air inconvenient truths from time to time.

  15. Bill Patrick

    good points.

    “The Tories will win in 2015 if and only if they can extend their appeal to swing voters currently keen on Labour.”

    Or LD voters perhaps?

  16. Mike N,

    I don’t think that the Lib Dem is going to be below 11% at the next GE. There’s not much pasture in that field. On the other hand, there is still that 5-10% or so that was keen on the Tories from about 2008-2009, and then turned away when the Tories started talking about cuts, before Darling & co. won the internal war against Brown and Labour agreed that cuts were necessary.

    When the Tories started talking seriously about major cuts around late 2009, I argued that it would at best be a long-term strategy: if a Lab/Lib-Lab government won in 2010, it would be obliterated by a sense of betrayal as it was forced into making harsh moves that centre-left voters would tolerate less than centre-right voters, and the Tories could say “We told you so”. Contrariwise, if the Tories got into office, they could say (and are saying) “We told you it would be tough”, which is a much better long-term position for them than promising Blairism and delivering Thatcherism.

    The long-run Tory hope has to be that (a) existing Tory voters in 2015 won’t feel betrayed because of the cuts and (b) they will be able to actually sell something close to Cameron’s old “Heir to Blair” agenda in 2015, which could well win over voters lost in late 2009.

    Ed’s strategy has to be to keep those voters, fix the party finances by building up grassroots membership, and to get turnout up. That’s a huge task, but he’s going about it in the right way. At the very least, I suspect he’ll be more Michael Howard than Hague, and 258 seats is a perfectly workable starting point* even if Labour’s share of the vote in 2010 was pathetic.

    He’s also turned down his old anti-Lib Dem rhetoric, which is a shrewd move: he can’t be certain that he won’t need them or some sort of Rainbow Coalition in 2015!

    * Incumbents obviously have advantages under normal circumstances.

  17. @Crossbat,

    Yes, very interesting to read Tim Montgomerie’s article, who I too respect very deeply. But remember that this does come just after a large backbench rebellion, so it’s hardly surprising to see it. I quite agree with him that ‘ the Conservative party is in serious danger of getting a reputation for disunity again’, but I do not believe that this issue is seriously splitting the party at this stage. First, Tory MPs aren’t stupid and they know the consequences of a split over Europe. Second, this was only one motion which will not stay an issue non stop for the next five years, and as the PM says, ”There is no bad blood and no bitterness” between the party leadership and the backbenchers.

    I disagree about the ‘ongoing electoral weaknesses and the fragility of Cameron’s leadership’. Cameron did actually win the 2010 election, and I think surprised everyone by how well the Tories did in May in the local elections. And Cameron is in no real danger of his leadership falling apart. So I take your point, but I am yet to be convinced that the Tory party is falling apart and the Labour party sticking together as if superglued.

  18. @Stanley

    Welcome to these pages, by the way! You make some fair points but, ironically, Montgomerie takes a completely opposite view to yours in terms of his assessment of Cameron’s performance at the last election. Here’s another extract from his article in today’s Guardian: –

    “The reasons are many. He didn’t win the general election. The economy is faltering. Because of the coalition he is unable to deliver on large parts of the Conservative manifesto. Even on his own terms, things are not going well.”

    This has been a theme of Montgomerie’s analysis for some time; the Tories underperformed badly in May 2010 when political circumstances could hardly have been more propitious for them and a significant section of the party blame Cameron for this failure. This lingering resentment at the failure to win outright that has led to the need to form a coalition with a party that, whatever some may now say, is deeply antipathetic to raw meat Conservatism, has weakened position almost from the outset of his Premiership.

    Montgomerie readily accepts that the Tories haven’t wholly decontaminated the brand and still face surprising levels of hostility amongst significant sections of the electorate. Therein lies their electoral weakness, borne out by the stubborn glass ceiling of 36% support that they keep banging their heads on, both in real elections and most opinion polls..

  19. As you might expect, I am on Tim Montgomerie’s E Mail list if not his Christmas list. He often gives DC a major
    rollocking for something or other. This is where my political Dr Jekell and Mr Hyde persona comes into play.
    I am 65 and have grown old during times of great social change, the old Tory party that I belonged to would certainly not be elected again. Some people don’t seem to understand that. Cameron has changed the image of the party, not enough, but a great deal. Montbomerie should remember that.

  20. If I came 1st in seats and votes, forming the government and became the prime minister I would consider it a victory personally

  21. Crossbat11,

    It’s worth noting that that glass ceiling didn’t exist until the Tories decided that their key policy for the 2010 election would be “tough talk” about cuts.

  22. @Joe

    “If I came 1st in seats and votes, forming the government and became the prime minister I would consider it a victory personally”

    A victory of sorts, I agree, but a pyrrhic one if I’d been light years ahead in the polls only a month or so before the election and was running against an unpopular PM and a tired and exhausted party that had been in office for 13 years. It wasn’t what either he, or more importantly, his party had in mind.

    @Chouenlai

    “I am 65 and have grown old during times of great social change, the old Tory party that I belonged to would certainly not be elected again. Some people don’t seem to understand that. Cameron has changed the image of the party, not enough, but a great deal. Montbomerie should remember that.”

    I agree with some of what you say but I think, indirectly, you point to the dilemma that lies at the heart of the party you support. There is a significant element inside the party who DO think that old style Conservatism can triumph and who deeply resent the need to share power, and compromise, with the Lib Dems. Cameron, Gove and Osborne may be sanguine, even happy, with this situation but a lot of the true believers aren’t, as evidenced by the rebellion last night.

    One or two wise old owls on these pages, at the time that the Coalition was formed, advised us not to look to the Lib Dem left for the seeds of the coalition’s eventual destruction, but to the unreconstructed Tory Right. I have a feeling they may have been right.

  23. @CROSSBAT
    I really think it is you who is banging your head against something hard. We do not need Tim Montgomerie to tell us we did not win outright, therefore we have a coalition agreement with the LDs. From where Cameron started from the gain in seats was huge, one of the biggest gains since before the Great War. Do you know the state the Tories were in during the Blair years? However, Cameron brokered a deal with the LD’s and is now a very safe PM.
    To pretend otherwise is just partisan silliness.
    You mention the Tory glee because Miliband has not achieved the status modern politics demands. Well he just hasn’t. You cannot expect the Tories on this board to take any other view.

  24. Despite Political Compass results, I am sure most people on this board would consider me to be rather right wing. Furthermore, I have been banned from this board for heated arguments about the EU and not for supporting it.
    And yet, I totally support David Cameron’s view, that for all the warts on the EU’s backside, “now is not the time for a referendum”. I can understand the views of the Tory rebels, so much of the edicts and pan – national guff, French, German, Dutch & Belgian suits come up with, make me feel sick , But in the present circumstances, a referendum, in or out, is not helpful or wise. Having said all that, if Labour and the LD’s think the EU is great, that is their prerogative, but it is the Tories prerogative to, at some point give the electorate what they ask for.

  25. CHOUENLAI:

    “but it is the Tories prerogative to, at some point give the electorate what they ask for.”

    I’m sure you would be the last person to usurp the rights of the Queen in Parliament but I think the prerogative is theirs….

  26. @Crossbat11

    ‘Therein lies their electoral weakness, borne out by the stubborn glass ceiling of 36% support that they keep banging their heads on, both in real elections and most opinion polls..’

    Personally, I think one of the issues the Tory’s have is the loss/disappearance of the ‘One Nation Tory Voters’. When I was growing up in the 1980’s over half of my family were in this group – now they are all either Labour or Lib Dem voters. A number of friends and colleagues I have, who traditionally by background and profession traditionally would have been ‘One Nation Tory Voters’ are motivated by an-anti Tory instinct in their voting intentions. In the long term, the Tory’s will need to appeal to these types of people if they are going to attain the success they did in the 80’s.

    I also believe Labour have issues with appealing to elements of their traditional working class support – which could explain why we are not seeing leads of 8-10 points for Labour despite the economic situation and cuts etc.

  27. ‘@JOHN MURPHY

    I think it is unlikely that a future Labour government, or Lib Lab coalition would do anything which give the British people a choice about Europe.

  28. @redrich
    You mean One Nation Tories in the 80’s such as Margaret Thatcher and Norman Tebbit.

  29. @chouenlai
    You mean One Nation Tories in the 80?s such as Margaret Thatcher and Norman Tebbit.

    No One Nation Tories who supported MacMillan and Butler – who then became derided as the ‘wets’

  30. CHOUENLAI:

    “I think it is unlikely that a future Labour government, or Lib Lab coalition would do anything which give the British people a choice about Europe.”

    My point was that The Prerogative belongs to Parliament….or rather the Queen in Parliament. Any referenda in the UK can only be advisory….Parliament remains alone omni-competent….

    That aside….I fear you are probably destined to serial disappointment since the re-negotiation of any terms of membership of the EU will tinker at the edges of what’s already agreed to by treaty…and the centrifugal political forces driving Europe into a greater political union now are being reinforced by the UK government.

    If the Euro group draws together into a semi federal union for the UK it will be an exact replay of the 1950s and 1960s…we’ll stay out until events force us into the very political and economic union…and as usual we’ll have to swallow policies that aren’t in our immediate interest….CAP in ’72….

    BTW I speak wholly as a pragmatist and historian not remotely as one who takes a particular view of the EU and its bizarre institutions one way or another….

  31. @Chou

    I assume you are describing Thatch as a “one nation” Tory with your tongue firmly in your cheek!

    I can only assume you don’t venture north of the Wash very often! 8-)

  32. @JOHN MURHY
    My point was that The Prerogative belongs to Parliament….or rather the Queen in Parliament. Any referenda in the UK can only be advisory….Parliament remains alone omni-competent….

    Yes, I know.

  33. @VALERIE
    I get nose bleeds north of Watford Val.

  34. Chouenlai

    well, if you go into Northern pubs and praise Thatcher, then I’m not surprised you get nose bleeds ….. and broken teeth.

  35. @Chou

    You’ll be fine as I’m sure you’ve got private medical insurance. 8-)

  36. @ Chou
    Because of course, by the time you get here all the NHS Hospitals will have been shut down!

  37. @old nat
    It was praising Gordon Brown in southern pubs that did it.

  38. Okay, referendum on EU membership. In or out. I wonder if the losing side will accept the result?

    What about referendums on the following:

    Death penalty?
    Nationalisation of energy suppliers?
    Nationalisation of Railways?
    Banks?

    I wonder if the losing side would accept the results?

  39. Chouenlai

    Praising Gordon Brown would get you a doing [1] in some of the pubs in Scotland that I know!

    [1] A “doing” = physical violence – a term used in Parliament, only by particularly disreputable people.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-15451876

  40. I can’t believe some think it acceptable for a person’s politics as a good reason for a hiding.

    Maybe too much of :

    h ttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-15451876

  41. Nick P,

    Sadly, the electorate are largely incapable of making an informed decision about such matters. I don’t mean that unkindly. As much as politicians are distrusted and maligned I would still rather that elected MPs took decisions on matters such as the death penalty, and indeed the Euro in/out question. Arguably, there are parallels – we abolished the death penalty and entered Europe (rightly on both counts IMO, FWIW) yet people are still keen to see both decisions “reversed”. But we have moved on, neither decision can be unpicked without huge ramifications. On matters such as this, (most) politicians remain largely pragmatic and sensible, while the electorate enjoy their “grass is greener” clamourings……….

  42. NICKP

    What do you mean nationalisation of energy suppliers?

    Take gas and oil

    If you mean some company that buys gas/energy from a producer and then pays someone else to transmit the gas to your door, then that is feasible, but won’t bring down the price. It may go up as the real energy suppliers may feel miffed with the heavy handed approach and charge the nationalised company more than theyn charged the private companies.

    The companies that control the actual price of gas/oil are either foreign owned and/or are global companies. Perhaps they do not want to lose UK as a client, but they need us far less than we need them.

    I do not disagree thyat energy prices need to be addressed, but a promise to nationalise is a false promise which will deliver nothing.

  43. NickP

    Banks – most of our money went to shoring up 2 banks – Lloyds and RBS; these now have a Govt majority share holding.

    I do nopt understand why these banks do not pay their directors sensible rather than monopoly money, perhaps no-one earning more than the PM would be a start, why they do not lend to small businesses, and why they pay saverssuch low interst.

    I assume the Govt is trying to maximise the assets of these two companies with the aim of selling back into the private sector before the next election, or if DC reckons he can win the next election, waiting three or four more years and then selling off for billions, which will be given back to middle/lower income workers in massive tax reduction, thus ensuring a Tory (I would like to think a Coalition Govt but I am not hopeful) until at least 2025.

  44. Statgeek

    I see we’ve both seen the same story!

  45. Nick p

    Death penalty for what? If its for stealing a loaf of bread you can count me out but if its for large scale tax fiddling or public corruption then I’m most defiantly in

  46. Of course the death penalty has never been abolished as far as I know. It still applies to high treason!! Now what’s the definition of high treason

  47. It occurs to me that this poll may actually underestimate the LibDem support level.

    If we consider for a moment the rise of a ‘shy LibDem’ factor in key areas on the country (i.e. Scotland) we could then see a couple of % points added to the 13%

    Coalition may have damaged them so far, but perhaps it has more driven their natural base underground?

  48. “Of course the death penalty has never been abolished as far as I know. It still applies to high treason!! Now what’s the definition of high treason”

    “However hanging remained available until 1998 when, under a House of Lords amendment to the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, proposed by Lord Archer of Sandwell, the death penalty was abolished for treason and piracy with violence, replacing it with a discretionary maximum sentence of life imprisonment. These were the last civilian offences punishable by death.”

    “On 20 May 1998 the House of Commons voted to ratify the 6th Protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights prohibiting capital punishment except “in time of war or imminent threat of war.” The last remaining provisions for the death penalty under military jurisdiction (including in wartime) were removed when section 21(5) of the Human Rights Act 1998 came into force on 9 November 1998. On 10 October 2003, effective from 1 February 2004,[20] the UK acceded to the 13th Protocol, which prohibits the death penalty under all circumstances,[21] so that the UK may no longer legislate to restore the death penalty while it is subject to the Convention. It can only now restore it if it withdraws from the Council of Europe.”

    Abolished completely in the UK

  49. DEFINITION OF HIGH TREASON
    That a Conservative Member of Parliament did vote to have a referendum, vis, IN or OUT of the EUROPEAN UNION.
    and that all 81 shall be taken to another place and hanged by the neck until they are dead.

1 2