Since the local elections we’ve seen polls from YouGov, MORI, ComRes and Opinium that have all shown a further shift towards Labour. ICM’s monthly poll for the Guardian is out, and is a departure from the trend – topline figures are CON 36%(+3), LAB 41%(nc), LDEM 11%(-4), Others 13%(+1).

Where they are showing a similar trend to other companies is in the leader ratings: David Cameron’s approval rating is down to minus 11, Ed Miliband’s up to minus 12. Note that while the eleven point score for the Lib Dems would be unremarkable from any other company, ICM tend to give them their highest scores and 11 is the lowest in an ICM/Guardian poll since 1997.

ICM also asked about the Euro crisis and the economy. 74% expect Greece to leave the Eurozone, 52% expect other countries to do so, 26% expect the Euro to collapse completely. ICM’s findings suggest that the deteriorating situation in the Eurozone meant people were more inclined to blame Britain’s continuing economic problems on the Eurozone rather than the government. They repeated a question last asked in November on what people blamed for the continuing downturn. The last Labour government’s debts were blamed by 29% (down 1 from November), this government’s cuts 17% (down 7 from November), banks not lending 21% (up 2), troubles in the Eurozone 24% (up by 6).

38 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 36, LAB 41, LDEM 11”

  1. Is there any way of telling if the 29% that still blame the last Labour Government for the UK’s economic troubles are hardcore Tory supporters?

  2. BigD – there certainly is, when the tables are published on ICM’s website (normally in a couple of days) you can look at the cross tabs by current voting intention.

    I suppose you can’t tell how “hardcore” they are, but you can tell who they’d vote for!

  3. If i supported Labour i would not be happy as i think 15 % lead would be a minimum lead at the MO ( i don’t support any of them – Its who i hate most or least

  4. BIGD

    I’d be surprised if there wasn’t deep division on party lines about the “who do you blame”? The style of question lends itself to that.

    As noone seems to ask “are you hardcore?” your question is rather strange (and they don’t tend to ask how did you vote in the previous 5 elections to determine how “hardcore” a voter is).

    It sounds like you are trying to excuse the fact that labour is “ahead” on this issue on partisan nature and can be discounted. (Of course when polls show good news it’s because the public are intelligent and wise should be taken very seriously indeed).

    It’s a strange poll, it might be the end of the “bad news deluge” dip, with a bit of MOE shenanigans making it appear to be purely at LD expense. It might just be extreme MOE favouring Tories. We might only find out next month by which time other stories will interfere with the picture, monthly polls are a pain to interpret.

  5. You’ve probably talked about this many times before, but is there are reason why ICM is showing so much more tory support?

  6. Poppy

    Statements like “They should be 15% ahead” are rarely helpful or lend any insight. It usually ends up in partisan drivel so is generally discouraged.

    That said, if the 5% is genuinely 5% (after sampling and methodological errors) it should be a cause for concern, although a lead so easily gained is probably easily lost as well.

  7. To judge by all the polls – bar this one – Labour are around 9% to 11% in front of the Tories at the moment.

    To judge by this one poll, they are only 5% ahead.

    Judge by a batch of polls or just one poll.

    Choose as you will.

  8. Big Tim

    Yougov do pretty much daily polls, which helps reduce the MOE errors as outliers are easier to spot, however systematic errors due to their models not reflecting reality perfectly will remain unchanged.

    If ICMs methodology is “better” then you could well have a case that you get a “large batch” of polls with a systematic error against a single poll with a smaller systematic error.

    How pollsters assign things like likelihood to vote and don’t knows are pretty much educated guess to try and get the data reflecting reality as best they think. In different times different methodology might be better than others than at other times.

    Discounting other pollsters because they don’t take daily polls is one of personal choice although probably a flawed one. Yougovs polls are less susceptible to MOE due to the daily nature of them, it’s hard to know if they are “right”.

    It’s normally best to look at the direction of the polls as it’s rare that one pollster will get a significant movement of the polls in one direction which the other pollsters don’t pick up than looking at the absolute magnitude of the polls and picking the one you like the look of best!

  9. If this poll is to be believed, it shows that Cameron/Osbourn are running out of steam with the voters, unless they can hatch something good soon.
    It also shows, ( if believable ) that Labour have not been forgiven and are only attractive because they are not the coalition.

  10. Is the “approval” rating “doing well/badly”? If so its perfectly reasonable to think that Ed M is “doing well” as leader of the Opposition, but would do badly as PM.

  11. @ROLY1
    Your one post I can agree to a great extent with…Though Europe blowing up slightly muddles the picture.

  12. The headline figures apart, all the underlying scores are in Labour’s direction. The trend is clear.

  13. @POPPY
    Despite Alan’s rather strict rebuttal of your point, I kinda agree with you. I have preached a 10/12 % Labour lead for months. When it happened, brought on by entirely self inflicted wounds, I did not like it, but expected it. If we begin to see these results as a trend, then we will know that Labour’s surge was rather impermanent and superficial.

  14. What`s interesting is that Labour`s 38-40% has withstood consistent criticism of it`s leader and generally a hostile press…But at the slightest hint of hostile press coverage post-budget,conservative voters deserted to the left and right.

    Probably why the conservatives would keep News International close,no matter what!

  15. Roly

    I’m not sure where you get “If this poll is to be believed, it shows that Cameron/Osbourn[e] are running out of steam with the voters” from.

    Significantly less people (about 1/3) blame them for the economic mess than in November, whereas pretty much the same amount blame labour. I’m not sure how this, (or a gain of 3 points compared to last month) shows the public turning against Cameron/Osbourne.

  16. David Anthony – ICM don’t typically show a higher score for the Conservatives. They regularly show a lower score for Labour and a higher score for the Lib Dems, but their level of Tory support is normally quite similar – suggesting this may be a bit of a rogue.

    Alternatively, it may be their reallocation of don’t knows. This has hitherto favoured the Lib Dems, but it doesn’t have to. If a lot of past Tory voters are now saying don’t know to pollsters then you would expect ICM (and Populus) to start showing higher Tory scores than other companies.

  17. ICM always show lower Lab figures and higher LD figures (usually anyway). What’s odd about this one is the Tories grabbing LD deserters.

    The higher Tory score is probably.due to reallocation of DK’s to the party they voted for last time. If so this suggests a fairB percentage of disgruntled (but not lost) Tory voters out there.

    Reallocatinf in this way.though harms a party that is improving (Lab) that did badly last time.

  18. Didn’t ICM in the Guardian have the Tories ahead by 3% on March 18th at a time when all the other pollsters were showing Labour between 4-8% ahead? On that basis, ICM showing a Labour lead of 5% when all the other pollsters have it between 9 and 14% seems about par for the course, doesn’t it?

    Just a thought.

  19. @CROSSBAT11

    ` On that basis, ICM showing a Labour lead of 5% when all the other pollsters have it between 9 and 14% seems about par for the course, doesn’t it?`

    They did show a 8 point Lab lead last month,on that basis,there`s been movement towards the Tories.

  20. 33/41/10

    New Populus figures according to Mike Smithson.

  21. @smukesh

    Or a massive movement away from the LD (who usually benefit from reallocation) which the Tories have,benefited from due to reallocation.

    Lab are on the same,figure as last month.

  22. Eurobonds & EZ debt mutualisation gaining support:-

  23. @Woodman

    Smithson’s a good source. Populus and ICM are currently the best for Tories. So consistent with an overall lead around 10%

  24. @Colin


  25. @COLIN
    Not convinced Merkel will give in yet,but let`s wait and see.

  26. @Smukesh

    Merkel could have done this months ago. Indeed it was the logical next step after agreeing the fiscal plan. Germany.doesn’t appear to have a lot of choice.

  27. Roland , I quite agree with your thinking, though doubtless I will be
    moderated for saying so.

  28. ICM & Populus both have Labour on 41; that’s more important to me than whatever the current gap is. Up 12 points since 2010 is a solid achievement.

  29. Colin

    Apart from in the one country that matters. Perhaps a minipact without Germany/Netherlands/Finland is a solution?

  30. @RAF
    `Merkel could have done this months ago.`

    Exactly…Merkel has withstood this since August 2011…Maybe she will give in because of the overwhelming pressure,but there was no inkling of this in the G-8 statement recently.

  31. O Dear Alan you are one of these dreadful bores who puts people like me down and then adds to my point !! I’m just a Teen who enjoys political chat !
    I wouldn’t pretend i’m as smart / clever / or POMPUS as you

  32. @Alan

    I wasn’t being partisan. It seems that if anyone says anything you don’t like you throw around “you’re being partisan”. The point I was trying to make is that the Tories got low 30’s in 1997 and 2001 and I’d class that as hardcore Tories. It seems to me anyone who voted Tory in those two elections would be highly likely to believe that Labour are evil and completely messed up the country. Given a chance to blame them for anything and they will. If the 29% that blame Labour the for economic woes of the country always vote Tory then I’d say Labour has nothing to worry about.

  33. @BIGD
    `If the 29% that blame Labour the for economic woes of the country always vote Tory then I’d say Labour has nothing to worry about`

    But opinion polls in the 1990`s showed the Tory vote slip to below 25 at times,yet their voteshare didn`t go lower than 31%.Shows that in a GE,the Tories would poll more than 31% for sure.

  34. The Political Betting “gold standard” / “Rolls Royce” of polling bites back!

    Or not:as sampling error might indicate!

  35. @Smukesh

    You’re missing my point. In this poll the Tories are on 36%. If the 29% who blame Labour for the country’s economic problems are all core Tory voters then Labour doesn’t need them to win. It won 3 elections without them. It will certainly win an election if only 29% vote Tory (which is highly unlikely given their vote share at the most unpopular in 1997 and 2001).

    People seem to be missing a big thing here. A small number of Tory voters from 2010 have converted to Labour. A large chunk, probably 2/3 of Lib Dem voters have converted to Labour. If the vast majority of people in this country today who tell a pollster such as ICM that they will vote Tory at the next election also say they blame Labour for the country’s economic problems that doesn’t matter. There are enough people who blame someone/something else and are prepared to vote Labour to more than make up for it, hence they are on 41% in this poll.

  36. I normally give ICM as much credence as other polls, but I don’t see why Labour’s lead would be likely to be narrower than in the local elections. Sure, many Tories stayed at home, but there are always a large number of voters who vote Labour (or, generally somewhat less often, Conservative) nationally but LD locally. I suspect that Anthony’s UKPR average isn’t far off the correct position at the moment.

  37. @BIGD
    `There are enough people who blame someone/something else and are prepared to vote Labour to more than make up for it, hence they are on 41% in this poll.`

    Ofcourse once the tables are out,it might be possible to verify whether the 29% were all Tories…I suspect there`ll be a mix of the three with a pre-eminence of Tory voters.

  38. Theres also quite a few Labour nationally tory locally in places like Tynemouth and some Birmingham areas. Some parts of London too.