The monthly ICM poll for the Guardian is out already on their website here. The topline figures with changes from last month are CON 32%(-1), LAB 40%(-1), LDEM 13%(-1), UKIP 7%(+2).

The UKIP score of 7% is lower than we’ve seen in many online polls, but is actually the highest that ICM have ever had them in their polls for the Guardian, presumably an effect of the coverage from the police elections (the poll was conducted between Friday and Sunday, so after results from the elections had started to appear).

ICM also asked a Best Prime Minister question, finding figures very much in line with the more regular YouGov tracker version of the question. David Cameron leads Ed Miliband by 33% to 25%, with Nick Clegg on 7% and 21% saying none.

239 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 32, LAB 40, LD 13, UKIP 7”

1 3 4 5
  1. @Tinged F

    “Can we have the EU veto now, so that the polls shift?”

    It seems to have gone unnoticed, but there has already been a slight shift in terms of perceptions of the parties’ policies on Europe. In the penultimate YouGov, Labour had drawn marginally ahead of the Conservatives (by 3%) as the party best able to handle the problem of Europe.

  2. Obama’s lead in the popular vote now up to 3.2% and still growing as the final votes are tallied.

    Clearly the national polls were wrong – the margin is far greater than the 1% or so average lead for Obama suggested in the final polls. Had they been wrong in the opposite direction, Romney would have won.

  3. Amber

    The 1% also talk loudly about the tyranny of the majority. They are worried that the 99% will steal “their” money by voting for tax rises on the 1%

  4. Crossed post alert

  5. Amber
    Alternatively a ‘elite’ could decide on things that would be extremely negative for us – like massive spending cuts that are potentially dampening growth.
    I’d much prefer constitutional rights, if you’re worried about the tyranny of the majority – than an elite that may or may not be good for us.

    New Ashcroft Poll! (8103 respondents)
    Massive sub-samples for regions and 2010 vote – esp useful for seeing 2010 Lib voters.

    All giving voting intention (6238) –
    Con 31, Lab 42, Lib 9, UKIP 9, Green 3

    2010 Libs (1148) –
    Con 3, Lab 36, Lib 37, UKIP 7, Green 6

    Weighted based on turn-out (4882) –
    Con 32, Lab 41, Lib 9, UKIP 9, Green 3

    Which parties would you seriously consider? (3157)
    Con 37, Lab 43, Lib 25, Other 36
    So Lab is close to it’s maximum vote, according to serious considerers.

    Best PM –
    Cameron – 48
    Miliband – 40
    Clegg – 12

    Could you ever see yourself voting Con?
    2010 Lab –
    Never – 79
    Maybe – 21

    Voting LibDem? (2010 Lab)
    Never – 65
    Maybe – 35

    UKIP? (2010 Lab)
    Never – 78
    Maybe – 22

    Which sort of government would you prefer in 2015? (8103)
    Con Majority – 31
    Con/Lib coalition – 13
    Total Con Gov – 44
    Lab/Lib coalition – 20
    Lab Majority – 36
    Total Lab Gov – 56

    Modified VI question –
    Taking everything into account, including the performance of the coalition, the other parties, and your MP and the candidates in your local area, which party do you think you are most likely to end up voting for at the next general election?
    All Giving VI –
    Con 32 (+1), Lab 42 (nc), Lib 10 (+1)

    Weighted –
    Con 33 (+1), Lab 41 (nc), Lib 9 (nc)

    Regional VIs for original weighted question (not the modified one) –
    South East –
    Con 38, Lab 38, Lib 11
    Midlands –
    Con 36, Lab 39, Lib 9

    Weighted (modified Q)
    South East –
    Con 39, Lab 38, Lib 11
    Midlands –
    Con 37, Lab 40, Lib 8

  6. @RiN and John B

    Thanks – nice to see such an interesting thinker can still make it in politics, bit surprised it took me this long to put 2 and 2 together.

    Her 1987 “bankruptcy policy” (1) paper is well worth a read for those of us who like that sort of thing and kicked off a good 20 year argument about the role of empiricism in the law. One of the first people to succesfully point out that the laissez-faire purists (2) didn’t, erm, actually have any proof for their models – which was fundamental in establishing the more evidence led approach taken by international organisations and more sane researchers today.

    So you might say that even if she does manage to get rid of filibustering this will far from represent her most signficiant impact on national policy.

    I feel I should make some sort of comment about Copé’s election as head of the UMP but I’m still rather in shock. Plenty of centerists wondering what the heck had happened to their party and talking about jumping ship (just left wondering what ship there is to jump to) – excellent article on le petit journal highlighting the extraordinary similarities between Copé’s rallies and those of the FN – throw on top of that the suggestions of electoral fraud and it has been a busy week for French politics.

    (1) 54 U. Chi. l Review 775

    (2) i’m talking about the really out there people like Baird and Schwartz, extraordinary writers as they were, not anybody who has ever applied market theory.

  7. Amber
    Alternatively, if you’re worried about a tyranny of the majority, you could also set up regional representatives and require consensus decision making at a national level (in a similar way to the EU works – each region has a veto) – you could have multiple overlapping legal zones – you could require super-majorities in certain circumstances (like for constitutional changes), etc
    There’s plenty of options for protecting against the tyranny of the majority without resorting to a soviet elite.. err.. liberal elite.. err… elite that I happen to agree with.

  8. Alec

    I did of course miss the post GE10 honeymoon when Tory VI bobbed around 40% for 6 months or so. But if anything, that emphasises the long-term hole that the Tories are in. Only 3 victorious Govts have had such an anaemic honeymoon VI in the last 40 years. Two (Lab 05, Con 92) got pasted at the next Election. The other (Con79) would surely have done in the absence of the Grear Centre Left Schism and the help from General Galtieri.

    We have now had low popularity (by historical standards) for the Tory party for a generation. There is no evidence that they have come to terms with just why they lost that popularity, still less have a long-term strategy for regaining it. Cameron’s [snip – AW] “let’s be socially liberal and see what happens” was unable to radically change their popularity, even in the most propitious circumstances imaginable. And now all the momentum is rightwards, which would be self-indulgent electoral suicide.

    Barring a big change inbthe next 24 months, by 2020, the Natural Party of Government will have had one wafer thin majority and one minority Election “victories” in the previous 28 years. I wonder when the serious internal soul searching will start?

  9. Looking at Lib dem and labour VI since the election, both stayed pretty much exactly the same since the start of 2011 – Lib Dems going down from 12% to 10%, labour in the low 40s – becoming more consistent since the omnishambles budget.

    Again – that suggests a pretty solid and consistent base for labour.

    Interesting poll results from tinged fringe as well. Definitely seems to support the idea that the lib dems deserters are likely to remain labour.

    We’ve talked about what Labour strategy should be – but I was thinking that its very much in the tories interests to boost those lib dem numbers!

    If Clegg is replaced and the tories gift the lib dems with some serious political victories and start saying about how the lib dems are now preventing them from doing lost of nasty horrible tory things – then maybe enough deserters will come back to the lib dems brings labours ratings into the hung parliament zone.

    Cameron would be lynched by his own party of course – but its probably their best hope of remaining in government. (shhh – nobody tell them!)

    For both tories and labour the key area they need to work on is 2010 ‘s lib dem voters. Weird stuff eh?

  10. Peter Kellner’s analyses are usually sharp in the facts. But his latest You Gov piece makes one glaring error.

    He gives his opinion that, in all probability,

    “…Labour won’t be able to hold on to all their mid-term gains from the Lib Dems.”

    But the point is that the gains were absolutely NOT “mid-term”. Mid-term gains (as I understand the concept) are changes that come about slowly, as voters either get bored with the incumbent, or slowly start to resent long-term policy effects (and of course, they can slowly start to re-wind as policy comes good).

    But the LD-Lab switch was a more or less immediate response to the forming if the Coalition. Half of the swing occurred within a month of GE10. The other half had happened within 4-5 months.

    That is not a normal mid-term swing. It is a sudden lurch. My take has always been that it represents the 2 million soft-headed centre-lefties who thought that the LDs were a genuinely nicey-nicey centre-left alternative to Labour. They didn’t really think about the consequences of their not voting Labour. And they were horrified to find out what they had done. They went through a rapid process of political maturing and the vast majority of them will NEVER make the same mistake again.

  11. …Errr isn’t Tyranny of the Majority also known as democracy? Perhaps we should ditch that and try something radical like feudalism – with Baron Cameron and Baron Miliband extorting money from us poor serfs.

    Or perhaps they’ve already sneaked that one in without us noticing?

  12. Leftylampton

    One explanation could be that for a generation or more larger and larger numbers of the elctorate have been given and therefore become to some extent dependant on Government handouts of one sort or another. In Labour’s case i am sure this was a deliberate policy. Of course in the long term this approach leads to economic ruin which most of Europe is seeing now.

  13. “In Labour’s case i am sure this was a deliberate policy. ”

    I’m sure that redistribution of wealth is some part of Labour’s policy and I hope it remains so.

    I tend to agree with you that the logical end point of redistribution carries to farcical levels would be economic ruin (although I hardly think that is the cause of our current woes), but equally free market capitalism completely unregulated would very soon lead to economic ruin also (indeed I would argue, it has done so).

    What caused the crash in western economies? High levels of welfare or unregulated banks? Answers on a postcard to George Osborne please.

  14. Nick p

    The real question is how did we get such high levels of welfare, the other Howard believes that it was because it benefits labour but then why did the 18 years of conservative rule have even higher levels of welfare dependence(if we exclude pensioners) indeed there is a strong connection between “free markets”, tax cuts, increasing levels of private debt and increased welfare dependency which is seen in all countries.

  15. @Richard in Norway

    I agree the Tories were also guilty of trying to “bribe” the electorate and I damn them as much for it as I do Labour possibly more so as they did not seem to see what would result.

  16. Public borrowing has risen £2.8b in the latest monthly figures, and the BoE minutes have indicated they are expecting a Q4 contraction. Not great news for anyone.

  17. Oh I forgot to mention the connection to declining real incomes for the bottom 50% of wage earners

  18. @Richard in Norway

    I do not share your view that free markets and tax cuts (when affordable) lead to welfare dependancy but public and private debt certainly do.

  19. the other howard

    I’d be interested to see how your free market would work without borrowing.

  20. TOH

    You think that welfare dependency was a deliberate policy, well as far as declining wages and a minimum of 5% unemployment were deliberate policy you would be correct. But I think it would be more correct to describe it as a side effect, in the same way that inflation was considered to be a side effect of the post war full employment policies

  21. ToH.

    You may well say that if you wish to engage in partisan banter rather than intelligent discussion of polling issues.

  22. ToH
    But of course, you’d have to explain why the decline in Tory VI set in before a left foot had stepped over the Downing Street doormat.

  23. Interesting poll Mr. Fringe.

    Just looking at the Scottish data, and the vote shares translate to Westminster seats of (intention to vote with weighted turnouts table 4 – Page 4):

    SNP 39% (+19.1%) – 28 seats (+22)
    Lab 33% (-8.9%) – 27 seats (-14)
    Con 16% (-0.4%) – 2 seats (+1)
    Lib 6% (-12.8%) – 2 seats (-9)

    (Wow!)…However, see table 67, page 77 –

    Lab 38% (-3.9%)
    SNP 38% (+18.1%)
    Con 18% (+1.6%)
    Lib 7% (-11.8%)

    Unfortunately these percentages add up to 101%, so prediction sites don’t allow them. Based on other tables, I’ll take 1% from the SNP to make 100%.

    Lab 38% – 39 seats (-2)
    SNP 37% – 15 seats (+9)
    Con 18% – 2 (+1)
    Lib 7% – 3 (-8)

    Can someone explain the difference between the two tables? Why these polls don’t have a simple list of contents and explanatory notes is beyond me.

    Way off compared to YG polling:

    Lab 41.2% – 42 (+1)
    SNP 25.9% – 7 (+1)
    Con 20.3% – 5 (+4)
    Lib 6.7% – 5 (-6)

    I should point out that 27% of Scottish respondents said they voted SNP in 2010, compared to the election share of 19.9%…hmm. :)

  24. PeteB
    Tyranny of the majority is otherwise known as democracy.
    The problem is that democracy can infringe on individual liberty. Hence the tyranny part.

    There are a few solutions – Amber seems to support the ‘revolutionary vanguard’ model where an elite, who know what’s good for us better than we do, defends our liberty.
    An alternative adopted by the US, France, etc post-revolution is to have a constitutional declaration of the rights of man (e.g the ECHR).
    Separation of powers also works fairly well – except when you have to make swift decisions (which is a boon for conservatives).

    Personally I think that bottom-up local overlapping federalised democracy with guaranteed civil (and limited property) rights would work best but I’m not a part of the liberal elite, so what would I know. ;)

  25. Statgeek
    On a mobile device so can’t check but is the second table (67)the one that’s the ‘thinking about your constituency’ while Table 4 is your bog standard VI question?

    So people might support other parties in the abstract but tactically vote Lab in their area.
    It could also be demographic weighting where they’re weighting based on UK weight which messes up the Scottish figures (which is what happens with YouGov and London), but this I have no idea if it’s actually true or not.

  26. TINGED

    @”The problem is that democracy can infringe on individual liberty. Hence the tyranny part.”

    And what about the tyranny of the liberal elite ?

    Do we need lessons just now, of all times, on the effects of the doctrine of no boundaries liberty without responsibility ,on society?

    Added to the uncontrollable power of open access to the internet on mobile devices , the doctrine of no boundaries liberty is producing the effects we now see from recent NSPCC comments & Police action.

  27. Tinged,

    I think we’re on the same track, but I hope your “bottom-up local overlapping federalised democracy with guaranteed civil (and limited property) rights” is a joke!

    It sounds incredibly cumbersome and bureaucratic to my serf’s ear.

    Whatever the system, I think one of the major problems with the two main parties today (and possible others as well) is that most of the MPs come from a very similar background. This often seems to involve Oxbridge degree, job as an intern or party hack of some kind and then MP-ship. There are still honourable exceptions of course, but I think it would be better if there were more people in the House who had spent a significant part of their careers in real jobs, whether it be in business or even working their way up in a union career.

  28. I’m a little confused by this term “liberal elite” to my mind the elite is never liberal unless forced into, elites are always reactionary, classic example being Russia which didn’t take long to fall back into reactionary ways after the 1917 revolution

    Both “2 million soft-headed centre-lefties who thought that the LDs were a genuinely nicey-nicey centre-left alternative to Labour” and ToH’s references to Labour handouts to win these welfare dependent plebs seem to me to be a poor analysis of why LD offered a social democratic alternative which has attrracted votes in the past. In the South West especially, which i know well from campaigning, the LD and Labour manifestos on Europe and on specific aspects of working and human rights and the purposive use of free trade to achieve balance in world wealth distribution, market access and production capacity, have tended to be identical. A specific characteristic of the South West vote, however, akin to nationalistic policies in Scotland and Wales, is that of dislike of the manners of and rule by the Home Counties. Thus the rapid defection of LD voters following the formation of the Coalition, which I believe may in consequence have a permanent effect on VI and has done terminal damage to the LD as a party in a loss of activists and their grass roots.

  30. @NickP

    Borrowing is not the same as debt. I borrow on my credit card every month and pay it back as soon as i receive the bill, therfore I bowrrow but i do not have debt.

  31. Back to intelligent discussion about polling.

    Peter Kellner makes the observation that the recent polls and elections are more or less identical to the GE10 result in terms of aggregated Lab/LD/PC and Con/UKIP votes. He comments that we have two blocs of votes which are simply being internally re-shuffled, with few voters crossing the house as it were.
    These may well be extraordinary times, with very few people moving between the blocs of voters. But there is a history to the steady Lab+LD vote share.

    Combined Lab+LD vote has been remarkably stable since WWII. In 18 post-War General Elections, the combined Lab+LD vote share has never once strayed outside the range 49-60%. The average of those 18 results is 55%, with a SD of 3%.

    The historical record is quite fascinating and very strongly supports the thesis that the voting blocs that Kellner observes go back a long way. I’d suggest that the core, “true believer” Lib/SDLP/LD vote increased from ~3-4% in the post -war decades to perhaps 7-9% after the rise of the SDP. The other 6-16% of voters that the centre party has picked up at various GEs since the late 70s were rootless centre-lefties, who moved between Labour and the centre party, depending on the perceived competence of the Labour party.

    We are now in a situation where the centre-left vote has almost completely left the centre party and it is down to its post SDP core of 7-9%. That’s not to say that there won’t be something a shift before GE15, but that will require the LDs to appeal more than Labour to the centre-left voters. As long as Labour don’t implode, that will be a big thing to achieve.

    I see absolutely no reason to expect any change from this range in 15. Assuming the combined vote was at the low end of the range, say 52-53%, The LD’s would probably need to pick up 15% of the vote to prevent Labour being the largest party in Parliament.

  32. John P

    Forgive me. That description was unnecessarily simplistic and contentious. I’m perhaps guilty of basing my stereotypes on some of the wooly headed centre-lefties in my own social group in the urban North – ones who said that they were voting LD in 05 and 10 to “teach Labour a lesson” over Iraq, and were horrified to realise that by doing so they had let the Tories in.

    And yet. The numerical argument is persuasive. The fact that Lab+Centre Party support has been so stable for 70 years suggests that there is a very solid centre-left bloc that simply divvies itself up between Labour and the Centre Party. And if it is unfair to label the centre-left switchers as “soft headed” it is undeniable that they moved en masse to Labour within weeks of GE10. That suggests that there was mass surprise and revulsion over what the consequences of voting LD rather than Labour turned out to be.

  33. ToH

    And running a national economy is not the same as running a personal budget, however common-sensical such homely little analogies like “maxing out the national credit card” might be

  34. LL:

    Am absolutely with you on this and the stats are intriguing. Is it true to say that the “centre/left” bloc has grown slightly over the years?

    I do think that there were many [myself included] who saw the LD’s as a left leaning alternative to Brown’s Labour party and – as I keep banging on – won’t get fooled again.

    I’ve read “Lord” wotsit’s latest poll and think he over-analyses and uses too much jargon and detailed questions: I don’t believe that is how the majority will vote; it is more instictive and reactive with relly very little understanding of the details of individual issues.

    The bottom line I keep hitting is that its unlikely that Tories will go above 2010 and unlikely that LD to Lab will reverse.

    Taken together that means the Tories need a minor miracle to stop Labour getting a majority in 2015, probably an overall one.

    I’ve always felt that LD, once it DID join Govt, should have done so in a more dispassionate way rather than seem more anti Labour than some Tories, given where there vote had come from. I think they thought five years would entrench them – I suppose in a way it is doing!

  35. I’m not sure that the liberals were considered left wing before the 70s which makes this split of the left vote a bit dodgy, indeed it was expected that Jeremy Thorpe would go into coalition with heath and many were surprised by the lib/lab pact, it true that with the rightwards shift of the Tories under thatcher the liberals were left looking leftwing in comparison but only if you were not looking at labour who had gone farther to the left. I don’t think that the centre left split was the fault of the liberals and the remedy was always to hand, proportional representation and an electoral pact. But we see clearly from the extreme rightwards shift of Blair and nu labour that in fact labourites never believed in a left of centre majority in the population. If they had of believed that then an electoral pact would have given them a chance to have a more leftwing govt than Blair’s

  36. Also

    It is conceivable that if the last election had been fought under PR, we would now have a con/lib govt more anchored in the centre as the seat numbers would be split 60/40 instead of 85/15 and of course with the fact that a lib/lab govt was a practical possibility the live would have had a better bargaining postion

  37. RiN
    “I’m not sure that the liberals were considered left wing before the 70s which makes this split of the left vote a bit dodgy”

    Forgive me if I didn’t make the thesis clear. I am absolutely NOT saying that all Lib/LDs are/were left-leaning. The point is that the combination of Lab+LD support is remarkably stable, even when the constituent parts vary dramatically.

    That suggests that there has been a group of people who have moved between the two parties at different times.

    Pre-1974, there were precious few who moved between Lab & Lib. That of course, was the era of really quite stable votes for the main parties – the Lab vote averaged 46% from 1950-1970, and never moved by more than 3% either side of that mean. Similarly the Tories – 45.5% and never moved by more than 4%.

    The most salient feature of the post 74 and particularly, post 79 era, has been the big shifts from Lab to the centre party. The COMBINED Lab+LD vote stayed within the same tight limits, but the vote was split.

    Blair won in 97 predominantly by taking votes from the Tories. He took some, but relatively few from the LDs and by 05, those had entirely drifted back to the LDs.

    The point today is that there is still a strong set of voices in the Labour party claiming that Labour needs to repeat Blair’s appeal to the centre-right. But that is not backed up by the numbers. If Labour can hold on the the centre-lefties who spent 20-odd years dabbling with the LDs, but who threw-up in horror when they realised what they’d done in 2010, Labour is stuck-on to be the largest party, probably with a majority, in 15.

    And the point is, of course, that the policies that Blair used to woo the centre-right are very much those that alienated the liberal centre-left. So the debate and the decisions emerging from it are absolutely crucial.

  38. RiN
    ” But we see clearly from the extreme rightwards shift of Blair and nu labour that in fact labourites never believed in a left of centre majority in the population. If they had of believed that then an electoral pact would have given them a chance to have a more leftwing govt than Blair’s”


    If you can criticise a man who won three elections on the spin, that was Blair’s great folly. It was taken as read that Labour could not win without dragging votes from the Tories. He did this spectacularly well of course, but in doing so, hardened the opposition of the liberal centre-left.

    Maybe it was always going to take a slap in the face like the outcome of GE10 to make the liberal centre-left decide where its allegiances really lay – that (under FPTP at any rate) they couldn’t salve their consciences and vote LD without running the risk of the LDs then supporting a party that they personally would never ever vote in.


    But certainly the outcome of GE10 and the subsequent ending of the Great Centre Left Schism has transformed the political landscape. It has killed off entirely the Blairite idea that Labour had to triangulate to win a majority. The majority is there – it just needs to be cemented, not alienated.

    Don’t mention it. I agree with the main basis of your analysis of the continuity evident in a centre-left bloc, but would argue for more recognition of content and origin of policies: for instance, the recognition of the need for a social market, for freedom of information, for free trade, and for a Keynesian strategy of public sector investment in infrastructure development to create emplloyment and stimulatre the economy are Liberal inheritances, but fundamental to Labour policies since WWII, and form a shared approach to the lowering of trade barriers and the enactment of common labour laws and related women’s rigfhts in both parties approach to the EU. I find the assumption sometimes expressed in this blog that VI are not influenced by a knowledge of party policies v. tedious.

1 3 4 5