Both Populus and ICM have new polls out tonight – two phone pollsters who have broadly similar methods, but today show somewhat differing results.

ICM in the Guardian have topline figures, with changes from December, of CON 40%(+3), LAB 35%(-1), LDEM 16%(+1), Others 9%. In this Parliament ICM have tended to show by far the highest scores for the Liberal Democrats and, as a result, some of the lowest scores for the Labour party. This is partially to do with their reallocation of don’t knows (ICM, and to a lesser extent Populus, assume that half of those people who say don’t know will end up voting for the party they backed last time. This gives a big boost to the Lib Dems)

Meanwhile Populus in the Times has topline figures of CON 37%(+2), LAB 38%(-1), LDEM 13%(+1). Still to come tonight we also have YouGov’s daily poll in the Sun.

Looking at the rest of the questions in the polls, Populus also reasked a question from September on whether people thought it was difficult to imagine Ed Miliband running the country as Prime Minister – 68% of people agreed, up from 63% in September. Populus went on to ask those who said yes why they had done so – 38% said because he wasn’t up to the job, 33% because they didn’t know enough about him, 9% because Labour are unlikely to win.

On Labour’s economic policy, ICM had one of my much disliked “will X make you more or less likely to vote for party Y” questions on it. 10% said the change in policy made htem more likely to vote Labour, 13% less likely. They also asked who people trusted more on the economy, Cameron & Osborne were on 46%(+2) to Miliband & Balls on 28%(+5).

UPDATE: YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 39%, LAB 40%, LDEM 8%, so Labour back in the lead again after the 5 point Tory lead in the Sunday Times. My impression taking into account today’s polls, YouGov’s recent numbers and the ComRes at the weekend showing the two main parties neck-and-neck is that the underlying position is probably a very small Tory lead of a point or so.

Also worth noting is the sheer contrast between different pollsters’ Lib Dem figures, with YouGov at one end with the Lib Dems at 7-10, ICM at the other extreme with the Lib Dems at 14-16, and the other regular polling companies somewhere inbetween, mostly showing them at 10-13. Some of this is down to how don’t knows are treated, but it probably also involves the minutae of weighting, when party ID or past vote data is collected and so on.


287 Responses to “New ICM, Populus & YouGov polls”

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  1. These polls are all over the place but at least the LDs will be happy.

  2. Almost makes up for the tragedy of Spurs’ defeat on Sunday..

  3. Surely what matters is the comparison of each poll against the last, using the same methodology.

    ICM, Populus and Yougov show the Conservatives gains and Labour slipping back.

    Perhaps the two Ed double right shuffle wasn’t too bright.

  4. CATMANJEFF
    `Perhaps the two Ed double right shuffle wasn’t too bright`
    You may be right or wrong…Their economic credibility has increased according to ICM(23 TO 28%)

  5. More inclined towards the populus poll because ICM tends to have suspect weighting. Still in hung parliament territory. Nobody wholly trusts one party!

  6. These polls certainly don’t ease the pressure on Ed Miliband’s leadership.

  7. Also with Populus still think 13 pc is generous to the Lib Dems.

  8. @CATMANJEFF
    “two Ed double right shuffle wasn’t too bright”

    People are only reading the misleading headlines of the Tory press. They did not shuffle to the right. What they said was that they didn’t know which cuts they would be able to reverse. It would all depend on the finances at the time.

  9. ANDY JS
    `These polls certainly don’t ease the pressure on Ed Miliband’s leadership.`
    One of the polls show that more men than women have doubts about Prime Minister Milliband…He needs to overcome his `man` problem…He needs to punch somebody

  10. Well the general commentary has changed from:

    “Labour are ahead, anything else is an outlier.”

    to

    “Labour is probably ahead, while closer polls are difficult to assess, a Conservative lead is probably an outlier.”

    to

    “It appears to be neck and neck. Anything that resembles a Conservative lead is probably an outlier.”

    to

    “Those large Conservative leads are probably outliers.”

    :)

  11. These polls are consistent with a small Conservative lead of 1 or 2 points.

  12. The Tories have done a Gingrich, and no mistake

  13. Neil A

    Yes it was tragic

  14. Have some flirting with UKIP moved to the Tories?

  15. The misery continues !

    All the benefit thus far of the garbled half-announced third-explained Labour economic policy shift has gone to the Conservatives.

    The policy review will shed light/ put meat on the bones and mark out some distance between the full throttled approach to deficit reduction of ConLib and more nuanced ‘two Eds’ approach. Though that is MONTHS away. Until then I can’t see the polls changing that much from recent/ current position.

    I’ve been saying consistently since late 2010 that we were not in for a ‘large lead’ scenario (by any party) in this parliament- coalition realpolitik. Anyone posting with the lyrics “Labour should be 15-20 points in front at this stage….” etc etc ad nauseam is always simply just either mischief making or not looking at the current political and electoral context/ facts. However I did not expect the lead to be held so solidly by the Tories- maybe the odd upturn but not what is now more than a month long trend!

    Though I do think we will likely end up by end of March with a m.o.e dead heat which will hold all the way to policy review…..whenever that is.

    At the moment- far in advance admittedly- those English locals are NOT looking good for Labour…

  16. Liz H,

    I do not fall for ‘misleading Tory press’.

    Take these things:

    1. Labour’s acceptance of the orthodoxy that the Coalition are following when alternatives are available.

    2. Labour’s decision to basically support in a weasly way the benefits cap.

    3. The article by Liam Byrne about his mis-reading of Beveridge’s idea for the modern welfare state.

    Where is the radical vision to challenge neo-liberalism?

  17. Raf

    ” The Tories have done a Gingrich, and no mistake”

    That’s a bit harsh, have they left two wife’s for younger, healthier women and refused to pay child support while at the same time preaching moral values and trying to impeach the opposition leader for similar indiscretions

    Have they criticised lobbying only to be found with their own fingers in the till. I could go on and on and on……

  18. Catmanjeff

    “Where is the radical vision to challenge neo-liberalism?”

    There is not one that will get more than 30-35% of the vote: utterly pointless to propose one. Right wing (*real* right wing NOT social democracy or even Blairism) majorities for ever ad infinittum as long as you propose that.

    Been there done that got the 1980’s blodeied T-shirt !

    We have an interlinked internationalised global economy with a financial sector that is enforcing orthodoxy.

    If you were to say “we need a global tier of government on a geographical-spatial par with ‘capital’ “….then I’d agree with you. We will have that eventually: but not for a good 100 years ;-)

    BTW the vote swing away from Labour to the Tories is because the economic shift message has been garbled and is not clear/ has not been explained. As the Yanks would say NFL style: ‘Labour fumbled the ball which has resulted in a turnover’.

    The vote swing to the Tories is NOT the message itself.

    That’s just far left posturing/ scare mongering!

  19. @RiN
    ””The Tories have done a Gingrich, and no mistake””

    “That’s a bit harsh, have they left two wife’s for younger, healthier women and refused to pay child support while at the same time preaching moral values and trying to impeach the opposition leader for similar indiscretions

    Have they criticised lobbying only to be found with their own fingers in the till. I could go on and on…”

    :) You see what you just did? You made me laugh out loud on the bus home.

  20. @CATMANJEFF

    Surely that doesn’t make them anymore right wing than before.

  21. Rob S,

    There is not one that will get more than 30-35% of the vote: utterly pointless to propose one. Right wing (*real* right wing NOT social democracy or even Blairism) majorities for ever ad infinittum as long as you propose that.

    I believe it’s worth fighting for, and will fight for while I have strength in my body. I used to accept the soft left (an neo-liberal economic system with sticking plasters like a minimum wage and tax credits to cover the inequality cracks.)

    I’m getting too old an bloody minded to accept that now. If no-one fights for it, then we might as well hand the control of our lives wholesale to the likes of Goldman-Sachs.

    Other countries in Europe have far more equal societies, are better places for bringing up children and have coherent industrial policies. We don’t in the UK.

    We can be different.

  22. Neil A, it was indeed a heartbreaker. However, I have noticed that 30+ years of supporting England have made me a little sanguine about last minute calamities.

    Things could be worse. In 2005 my friend (Chelsea fan) proclaimed “The Tories will never be in power, and Spurs will never play in the Champions’ League”. I believed him. Things have thankfully improved since then – albeit incrementally.

  23. I know Anthony hates the more or less questions but:

    10% more likely
    13% less likely
    -3% on likely to vote Labour due to the policy shift.

    But Ed & Ed are +5 more on ‘trusted with economy’.

    So, it is understood enough to change the way people vote; & it has p*ssed off Labour voters but people who will never vote Labour ‘trust’ us more on the economy. So well done us.

    But still… some folks reckon it’ll be worth it in about 6 months time, so that’s all right then. :twisted:

  24. Liz H,

    @CATMANJEFF
    Surely that doesn’t make them anymore right wing than before.”

    Sadly, you are right.

  25. @catmanfeff
    “Other countries in Europe have far more equal societies, are better places for bringing up children and have coherent industrial policies. We don’t in the UK.”

    So what policies would help us move towards them, in your opinion?

  26. Interesting that the Populus poll paints a different picture for EdM compared to the message from other polls; it looks like the subtle difference in questions is actually very important. So only 38% of 68% can’t imagine him as PM because he isn’t up to it, but that’s less than the number of people who would never vote Labour anyway. It looks like a large majority either can see him as PM or don’t know enough to have an opinion.

    So maybe when people say in other polls that they don’t think he should be leader, it’s because they think other people think he’s no good, not they they actually do themselves…

  27. @ Rob

    The vote swing to the Tories is NOT the message itself.

    That’s just far left posturing/ scare mongering!
    ———————————-
    Do you think I am ‘far’ left? I don’t think so, I’d say I’m center left.
    8-)

  28. @CATMANJEFF

    I am on your side and hope once they come into power they will make the changes we all want. I just don’t believe that their announcement was reported accurately in the press.

  29. Great news for Labour supporters: a poll has at last shown them ahead.

  30. Pete B

    You have to start with PR, folk misunderstand and think that PR is a voting reform, of course it is on a superficial level but its really an economic and social reform.

  31. Pete B,

    1) A more progressive tax system – currently lower income people pay too much, and high income earners too little.

    2) More high quality housing built for renting. For decades we have built too few houses, and sold off good quality rental properties.

    3) A real investment in sustainable energy.

    4) An industrial policy that promotes long-term investment and employment (don’t forget neo-liberals love unemployment)

    5) A more cohesive education and health care system. People’s life chances are too dependant on the circumstances present an birth, and even before then.

    That’s just a start..

  32. C 39
    L 40
    LD 8

    App -25

    :-)

  33. Latest YouGov/Sun results 23rd? Jan CON 39%, LAB 40%, LD 8%; APP -25

  34. Latest YouGov/Sun results 23rd? Jan CON 39%, LAB 40%, LD 8%; APP -25

    I was about to say that the Populus poll was looking lonely & then along comes a YG to keep it company. :-)

  35. Today’s polls:

    Con 40 37 39 = 39 +/- 2
    Lab 35 38 40 = 38 +/- 3
    LD 16 13 8 = 12 +/- 4

    Con ahead by a nose. Lots of negative press for Ed yet Labour polling holds up.

  36. Catmanjeff
    Thanks for that. It’s very interesting how different people can see the same situation, but have completely different reactions to it.

    1) The tax system is already ‘progressive’ by the fact that tax rates are a percentage. For instance, if there was a flat rate tax of say 20%, someone with £10,000 of taxable income would pay £2,000 tax, while someone with £100,000 of taxable income would pay £20,000 for more or less the same services. 10 times the pay, 10 times the tax. A flat rate tax would also reduce the need for the very high salaries that cause so much consternation.

    2) Too few houses have been built to cope with the mass immigration that has occurred recently. So another solution would be to properly control immigration.

    3) Though this might be a good thing, I don’t see the relevance to a more equal society.

    4) Agreed, though we might have different ways of achieving it.

    5) If you mean trying to even out the disparities in health and education in different areas, it would inevitably lead to the lowest common denominator. Better surely to keep the best, and try to drag the rest up to that level.

    RiN
    PR might be ok, so long as you are prepared for permanent coalition government and the presence of BNP, Socialist Workers etc in Parliament.

  37. 48% think the cuts are being done too quickly. The EDs need to tap into this. In my opinion the EDs are too intelligent for their own good and go into too much detail trying to explain things. They just need to give out short, sharp soundbites.

  38. More good news for Labour supporters: YouGov has Labour once more in front!

    Three cheers for the Eds – the ‘lurch to the right’ strategy is paying off!

  39. LEFTYLAMPTON

    LOL as kids say now.
    ‘And also with you’ has gone now, we are back to ‘And with your spirit’- the correct translation, pre 1965!

    BILL PATRICK.
    ‘Are you a Tory in disguise’ is a football chant I think.

    Ramsay Mac (I wish people could spell his first name- Ramsey was a footballer) was a great Labour leader, who went a bit wrong in 1931.
    David Marquand says it all in 700 pages biography, but in brief,
    He came from real poverty in Lossiemouth.
    Then a pupil teacher, and auto didact of the highest quality.
    Then leader in the Feb 27 1900 meeting in Farringdon Street
    Then signed the Lib Lab Pact 1903-1906
    Then built the network of CLP’s
    Then he courageously opposed World War One
    Then took TIGMOO into power in 1923/24 and 1929
    He was a wonderful speaker who spoke for his class and impressed others outside of his class. George V loved him and the King told a rude person that he himself would have been a left winger if he had had Macdonald’s background.

    My father’s father worked on his Abervaon campaign, and my family still sing the song about Macdonald to the tune of Men of Harlech, concluding the phrase, How we’ll prove to Aberavon Ramsay is the man’

    In the King’s diary George V wrote: 23 years ago today dear Grandmama died, I wonder what she would have made of a Labour Government. Mr Macdonald and his Labour Ministers. They are good men and mean to do well.

    Clynes wrote in his diary of that kissing of hands ceremony of ‘the strange turn of fortune’s wheel’ which brought these working men to power.

    Giants they were. Unlike today’s leaders, they came from ‘the people’ and were driven by passion and a philosophy

    Gordon Brown, by the way, wrote his PHD thesis and first book about fellow scot Maxton from the same era.

    Macdonald was defeated in 1935 by Manny Shinwell, who called him The Prince of Labour’

  40. Amber, it’s good to see your smile return.

  41. Really odd to see the “Hah hah, ICM proves us right, Labour have fallen back” line…

    Regular readers should by now know that the trend across a series of polls from the same company is more important. And ICM showing a lead doesn’t mean the YouGov lead is any less likely to be an outlier, ICM has been showing leads while other polling hasn’t for ages. The difference between their polling actually gives more information, that of a mild improvement for Conservatives and a slight drop for Labour that is within rounding error let alone statistical error. Something repeated in the Populous poll that shows Labour retaining a slim lead.

    Seems to be, that per usual, people pick and chose what they want to see in polling. In this case, comparing ICM’s poll with YouGov’s, when ICM has consistently provided smaller figures for Labour than anyone else.

    The 5 point YouGov lead is still an outlier until other polling from YouGov comes in showing the same results, or other polls show a similar movement against their own polling.

  42. And of course, now we have a YouGov poll that very much suggest the Conservative Lead was an outlier.

  43. Labour should be quite happy with a policy shift giving them roughly zero change in the polls.

    Their old policy of waiting for which Tory cuts was unpopular and attacking them was always going to be popular in the short term, but they’d have stored up huge problems for the next election when challenged on how they intended to halve the deficit whilst not supporting any particular cuts or tax rises. They needed to change direction without causing too much of an upset in the polls, and it looks like they’ve done what they needed to do.

    However, that may well be a side show for now. The situation in the EU is still unpredictable, both on what happens within the Eurozone and how this affects UK politics. Until we know how this will pan out, it remains the wildcard that could throw the next election either way, and swamp any effect of Labour’s latest move.

  44. Amber

    “Do you think I am ‘far’ left? I don’t think so, I’d say I’m center left.”

    No scare mongering 8-)

    But I had read that you felt the half-baked presentation of the change was the problem- which I agree with.

    If you are saying we should not say we are going to continue the deficit reduction after 2015 (if the parliament lasts that long) then I just think you are completely wrong rather than far left.

    Though often these two are linked !

    Catmanjeff

    That programme (all points 1 thru 5) is straight out of the heterodox economics/ social democrat play-book and I wholeheartedly endorse it. It is about as far from a far left platform as Cameron himself is ;-)

    But first we have to reduce the deficit significantly.

    If we don’t say (and do) that then we are toast at the next election- whatever a few fluffy bunny ‘socialists’ on here might think. That means uber-rightist anti-statism is in power for another 5 years.

    Anyone listen to radio phone in shows or watch TV news today on the welfare cuts/ cap and get the public consensus…..??

  45. @ Sergio,

    That’s so sweet; thank you :-)

  46. 27% now blame both the coalition government and Labour for the cuts. With time this figure can only go up and will benefit Labour eventually when people are feeling the government’s cuts.

  47. 68% are worried they will suffer from cuts in health, education and welfare. A lot of worried people out there. Will be interesting to see how this affects future polls.

  48. What could have been fatal for Labour was if the coalition had proved to be a genuine realignment on the centre-right.

    The real danger though is that the goverment, rather than having a genuine pause for thought on the “Maoist revolution” will Instead will take comfort from the support for one or two populist policy moves and press ahead with renewed confidence.

    One or two people have mentioned Alastair Campbell recently. His opinion is that the lack of strategy, as opposed to tactics, will sooner or later become evident – he quotes a senior civil servant:

    “… one of the worst things about the Chancellor and other ministers is that they have next to no interest in hard analysis of the impact of policy. They want analysis that confirms their ideology, nothing else.”

  49. @Rob S
    “At the moment- far in advance admittedly- those English locals are NOT looking good for Labour…”

    I’m not so sure. Away from the national opinion polls, recent evidence is providing some succour for Labour. Consider:
    1. Four by-elections so far in 2012. Lab hold 1 and gain 2 off the LDs, the other being a Con hold. Of the 2 gains on Thursday, both saw double digit increase in Lab share over May 2011 (note not May 2010).
    2. Two London mayor polls, confirming a swing back to Livingstone compared to mid 2011.

    For want of a better explanation, if Miliband/Balls are currently a drag on Labour’s national poll appeal, maybe it’s not a significant factor when there’s more of a local focus?

  50. Pete B

    I would welcome the presence of the SWP and the BNP in parliment, I believe that all opinions should be heard, need to be heard, but I wouldn’t vote for anyone who was prepared to sit in coalition govt with either of them

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