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. Mind you, it still means that if you pay 40% tax on say £5,000 of your income, you can get that all of that back if you put a £5,000 lump sum into a personal pension. So you get tax relief on the whole sum even though you only paid 40% on a small proportion of your pay.

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  2. @John B Dick

    I’ve explained this to you before.
    If the SNP wins a majority of Scottish seats then Scotand will already be on its way to independence with a tory gvt in place.

    Cllr Peter Cairns (SNP).

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  3. Chou

    @”The thing is, Osborne is on target for his years reduction in spending”

    Yes-the deficit too with a bit of luck.-Its down £11bn on PY for 9 mths-target is for down £10bn by FYE.

    Looking OK-but Jan. tax receipts are critical.

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  4. @ Nick P

    I have been assured that what you & Alec are saying is not correct. Do you have a link to an example of the type of arrangement which you are referring to?

    Thanks 8-)

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  5. @amberstar – that’s very interesting. I wonder if this is paart of recent changes. Otherwise I may need to change my accountant. This was a few years ago so maybe things have altered? It’s also worth mentioning that that Daring changed the rules so that from this April earners over £150,000 will only get basic rate relief.

    Either way, the point still stands that a high earner who puts more than £39,000 into a pension would get more in relief than the proposed benefits cap.

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  6. LEFTYLAMPTON

    @” Darling had then predicted growth of ~3% for 2011. Granted, the EX crisis would have shaved some of that off, but who’s to say that we wouldn’t have come close to that figure?”

    Ummmm-almost everyone I should think.

    12% of UK GDP gone permanently & a recession in EZ.

    And you think AD could have produced 3% by taking an army of people on to the state payroll ?

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  7. @Colin – are we talking Osborne’s old deficit target, or the higher revised target he adopted last year when things started to go wrong?

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  8. ALEC

    @”It’s also worth mentioning that that Daring changed the rules so that from this April earners over £150,000 will only get basic rate relief.”

    Scrapped by GO -and replaced by a cap of £50k in contributions.

    @”the point still stands that a high earner who puts more than £39,000 into a pension would get more in relief than the proposed benefits cap.”

    Not in the case of an employers scheme-as I have already explained-I posted the HMRC explanation for such schemes. You get relief on your contribution at the appropriate tax rate.

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  9. ALEC

    The one in the 2011 Autumn Statement-£127 bn for 2011/12 vs £137 bn outurn for 2010/11

    DEficit forecasts for 2011/12 have moved as follows :-
    AD last Budget-2009 Red Book -£ 140bn
    GO First Budget-2010 Red Book-£ 116bn
    GO second Budget-2011 REd Book-£122 bn
    2011 Autumn Statement- £ 127bn

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  10. @COLIN

    No UK chancellor could have reached anywhere near 3% for 2011 (and especially a Labour chancellor with spending plans). Had Labour won another term, factor in the following:

    – 2010 winter
    – Royal Wedding
    – EU crisis
    – Added debt through additional public sector jobs
    – Continued obfuscation of the figures
    – Growing discontent at a government’s 4th term
    – SNP landslide would have been against the government, rather than against the Labour party.

    All in all I think there would have been every chance ot massive tax increases to afford the lack of cuts, and the response would have made the London Riots pale in significance.

    Looking back over the past 20 months or so, the coalition have made the best of a bad job. The anti-Tories, and those who claim the Lib Dems have betrayed them are imo muddying the waters, rather than having a reasonable argument. Whether we like it or not, we (the voters) are all in this together, even if the politicians are not, adn the public sector workers don’t want to be.

    Again, in my opinion, the worst thing that this country could suffer would be a re-election of any of the previous ilk. The Balls, the Mandelsons, the Campbells. This country has been dragged to the edge and if we manage to avoid disaster it will be with no help from those people.

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  11. STATGEEK

    Agreed.

    I also think taxes would have been the Labour answer.

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  12. IPSOS-MORI for Reuters

    CON 38
    LAB 38
    LD 12

    CAM NETT -1
    MILI NETT-26

    I think the party VI’s are correct, but the piece was so badly written I cannot be 100%. LEADER stats correct.

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  13. Don’t forget that the threat of the massive cuts in spending caused a collapse of confidence which put us backwards well before the eurozone kicked off.

    It wasn’t just the cuts it was the talking them up and the economy down. Fear still rules now as there are more cuts coming and then more after that when the first lot don’t work.

    Fear. That’s what makes a credit crunch.

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  14. @lefty lampton
    The reduction in the coalition vote you refer to is totally LD.
    Indeed as you very well know, the Tories have lifted their vote since the GE. You can squirm all you like, Labour are not performing anywhere near the level they should be achieving, IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT PREVAIL.

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  15. @ Nick P

    Yes, that’s correct.

    If you would have earned £5000 at 40% rate but instead pay £5000 in pension contributions, you won’t pay any tax at 40%. It works as if you are adding £5000 to your personal allowance.

    If you show to the IRS that you paid them net of the 40%, you will need to prove that you are using an unregistered scheme which cannot get tax relief paid directly to them from the government.

    So, in those circumstances you will be allowed to show you have made payments of £3000, which grossed up = £5000. But you & your pension scheme combined will still get ‘only’ £2000 from the government in total tax relief.

    Even for an unregistered scheme, it still works that you cannot get relief at a rate at which you don’t pay tax. If you pay £1 at 40% you will get relief of £1 at 40%. The rest will be at 20%.

    Alec would need to show me something to back up his/ his accountant’s assertion that an individual can get £’000s of relief at 40% by paying £1 at 40% because nobody I know has heard of such a thing & I cannot find anything by Googling either.

    Maybe Alec actually has a company which has its own, unregistered, asset backed scheme. There may be some sort of loophole in those specific circumstances but individuals, whether employed or self-employed cannot get higher rate relief on more contributions than their higher rate earnings.
    8-)

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  16. @nick p

    Don’t forget that the threat of the massive cuts in spending caused a collapse of confidence which put us backwards well before the eurozone kicked off.

    What would you expect Osborne to do? Deny his inheritance from Labour and lie to the electorate to protect their reputation?

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  17. @ Alec

    @amberstar – that’s very interesting. I wonder if this is paart of recent changes. Otherwise I may need to change my accountant. This was a few years ago so maybe things have altered?
    ——————————————
    It’s from the Archives, as you can see from the web-link so I don’t think it is a recent change – but I’m not going to say you are wrong about that because I am not certain.

    I don’t doubt your honesty/ sincerity at all – but I am wondering if your accountant didn’t explain something properly or maybe s/he did get it wrong!

    The other thing to remember is many people don’t claim the additional 20% because they don’t voluntarily complete a tax return.
    8-)

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  18. I was thinking of a Self Invested Personal Pension which allows people to chuck what they like in and get tax relief at the highest rate they pay. i have never heard it limited to only the amount you actually get taxed at the higher rate on, but I know better than to argue with Amber and in any case my limited knowledge is a few years out of date.

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  19. chou

    What would I want Osboene to do?

    Well first admit that cutting back the public sector has not given room for the private sector to grow, and that whole theory has been disproved. Stop the job cuts (pay freezes will need to stay).

    At the time the blame Labour thing was a political tactic not useful to the economy. The new Government could have told the truth…blame Labour for their part in not regulating the Banks. Perfectly valid criticism and the light touch thing was a big mistake. Not that we have seen any heavy touch since the election. Taxes yes, but not regulation.

    If you want to rebalance the economy there must be better ways to do it than putting up VAT and slashing the Public Sector.

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  20. IMF chaps all over the TV saying defecit reduction should be a marathon not a sprint. Over enthusiastic austerity will cause economies to stall… no sh*t, Sherlock. :-)

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  21. I don’t think we’ll see any slowdown in the cuts. It’s as much ideology as to save money.

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  22. @nick p
    No, I am not asking for another seminar on the right way to follow the sunlit path to fairness for all. I am talking about a finance minister taking over a shambles. Is he going to say, “I am introducing savage cuts, because I am a patrician bastard”, or is he going to say, ” the size of the deficit we have inherited is £xyz00000, and I am forced to make serious cuts”.

    I mean one could see Brown and Balls taking things easy on a Tory who had got it all wrong, can one not.

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  23. @ Nick P

    Just to avoid any doubts creeping in – below are the tax relief details for SIPP :

    http ://www.hl.co.uk/pensions/sipp/tax-benefits-of-a-sipp

    If you invest £8,000 in a SIPP, the government automatically adds £2,000 (20%) basic tax relief. You can claim back up to a further £3,000 (30%) higher and additional rate tax relief via your tax return. £10,000 in a SIPP could therefore cost you as little as £5,000.

    You must pay sufficient tax at the higher/additional rate to claim the full tax relief via your tax return. Remember, tax rules can change over time and the relief you receive will depend upon your circumstances.
    —————————————–
    Check the final paragraph of the above.

    Of course your point – & I think Alec’s too – is that relief should be restricted to (at best) the average rate of the tax-payer or (even better) the 20% that average earners get.
    8-)

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  24. IMF chief economist says that countries which can afford to slow the cut backs should do so…This includes Germany and …the UK…What will George do?I am not holding my breath

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  25. @nick p

    PS. Slashing the public sector is the perfect place to start,
    especially the Ministry of Defence, which if in the private sector, would have staff going to prison. It probably is not alone.

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  26. “The IMF praised the efforts of many euro-zone members to reduce their massive debt burdens and bloated budgets, but it warned against further near-term cuts that could worsen their economic woes.

    “Given the large adjustment already in train this year, governments should avoid responding to any unexpected downturn in growth by further tightening policies,” IMF staff said.”

    WSJ

    GO has not introduced “further tightening policies” to compensate for lower growth-he has increased his deficit forecasts…as suggested by IMF.

    GO has not introduced “further tightening policies” to compensate for increased unemployment pay etc-he has allowed automatic stabilisers to operate……as suggested by IMF

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  27. @Colin

    A raft of cuts will however all drop into force between march and may this year. Exactly when an economic shock is the last thing we want. And there is a lot he could do without having to submit new legislation…

    He could, for instance, move the change of the Single Room Rate age threshold back without need for changing the legislation. He could even increase discretionary grant funds for local authorities that have a lot of people unable to meet their rent. (They have actually been reduced, due to the money promised to ‘cover the transitional period’ having been sent off to cover something else instead.)

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  28. CROSSBAT11

    @”Where is it all going wrong? lol”

    Ummm-folks in general are worried sick & pi**ed off with politicians for not making it all go away ?

    Something like that -possibly?

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  29. JAYBLANC

    THanks

    I’m sure there is a shopping list a mile long.

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  30. JAYBLANC

    This years Budget is going to be interesting.

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  31. Peter Cairns. Are you saying that a vote for SNP is a vote for independence by the whole electorate? A curious conclusion, contrary to the poll evidence, and to the intelligence of the electorate.

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  32. @Socal

    “Class resentment”.

    Your term, not something I’ve ever advocated. “Fairness at the top” is how I’d put it.

    “Asking the wealthy to pay their fair share is not about (and never has been about) punishing success.”

    Who could possibly disagree with that? Certainly not I if you read my comments. But the point is that very little of this wealth at the very top end can nowadays be justified as earned rewards for “success”. We’re in an age of austerity which sees exponentially accelerating incomes at the very top end (in the UK they’re up 50% in a year), dubious corporate ethics and widespread corporate tax avoidance.

    So I hope we can agree that it’s about fairness at the top. But if you think that going on to point out such manifest and growing unfairness (and the need for effective measures to tackle it) is somehow not good politics, then we’ll just have to disagree on that.

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  33. collin
    Peter Cairns. Are you saying that a vote for SNP is a vote for independence by the whole electorate? A curious conclusion, contrary to the poll evidence, and to the intelligence of the electorate
    __________

    Or you could argue that a vote for Labour or the Tory party is a vote for the union… contrary to the poll evidence, and to the intelligence of the electorate

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  34. Chou.

    I posted some graphs a week or two back from AW’s excellent data on where voters see themselves on the left-right spectrum. The graphs showed clearly that the Tory voters’ position had moved significantly rightwards since the Election. They also showed that Labour had been very successful in hoovering up the centre/centre-left VI. We appears to be becoming somewhat more polarised in our outlook as an Electorate.

    So I’ll ask you again. What should Labour be doing to sweep up a couple of million Tory supporters who see themselves as being well to the right of centre?

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  35. Cllr Peter Cairns (SNP) @ John B Dick

    “I’ve explained this to you before.
    If the SNP wins a majority of Scottish seats then Scotand will already be on its way to independence with a tory gvt in place”

    Do you mean (a) an SNP majority of Scottish seats isn’t going to happen without also the SNP winning the referendum,

    or

    Regardless of any referendum, its back to the pre-devolution plan: reconvene elsewhere

    or

    You’ll be able to do a deal with the Cons.

    If you mean (a), then I don’t think it is impossible to lose the referendum AND gain a majority if the UK Scottish Constituencies AND even improve on your 2011 record.

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  36. Cllr Peter Cairns (SNP)

    “If the SNP want Independence all they need to do is win a Majority of Scottish seats at Westminster”.

    Bob Boothby said that to my Dad in the 1940s!

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  37. NEIL A.

    Good Morning, and many thanks for the Critical Labour Studies tip off. i will get the book.

    You may well have read John Golding’s ‘Hammer of the Left’ on this period also, as well as Roy Hattersley’s books.

    Yes: Glorious days when Palace went up, and also the day of May 2 1997 when Blessed Tony and Blessed Cherie went to the palace on that bright sunny day.

    OLD NAT.
    Bob Boothby- well there was a character.

    KEN.
    Glasgow Celtic Football Club: the greatest football club in the word, apart from Manchester United Football Club.

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