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”

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  1. @maninthemiddle – “Labour didn’t have a long recovery after 2009, in 2010 at some stages they were in 3rd. ”

    Beg to differ.

    Have a look at this and check out the trend of the red line from around May 2009. This trend was only halted by the onset of Cleggmania,

  2. @ManInTheMiddle

    If you know when you are going to die then it is a good idea to save for your retirement by putting some money away every month, because you know how much money you will need

    However, if you don’t know when you are going to die, then you have a problem: you don’t know how much you need to save.

    We solve this by grouping people together into a large pile. We don’t know when an individual is going to die, but we can guess statistically when 10% of the group are going to die. Ditto 20%, 30%, etc. So we know for the group how much we will need to pay and how much we need to save.

    That greater certainty (and the greater money) means the money can be invested more efficiently- (the group can get better rates than you can because there’s more of them

    And that’s why we have pensions.

    There are three things I advise my nieces and nephews:
    1) Get a pension ASAP
    2) Buy property ASAP
    3) Learn to drive ASAP

    If you get those things right, you will have fewer money worries. If not… :-(


  3. @Ken

    Um… How do you respond to the idea that GDP improvement in 2014 does nothing to benefit opinion towards the Conservatives because it will be too late to bring standards of living back up before the election?

    GO can promise the moon on a stick, but those promises *will not be believable*. GO promised that Austerity would mean the ‘structural deficit’ would be corrected within the parliament, that’s not going to happen. “Labour will wreck all my good work” is simply not going to be accepted by people who are highly dubious of if GO was doing good work.

    Perhaps if GO is jettisoned before the election?

  4. @Turk
    “as for Corby well it was a good win for Labour but it was set against local people being deeply upset about the previous MP leaving them high and dry with a lot of Tory voters, voting UKIP instead of Tory as a protest vote, a position that may be reversed in the next GE.”

    This has become something of a myth in my opinion. I don’t think people vote on the basis of why the previous MP resigned; they vote on current issues. The vote in Corby to a large extent reflected what we have been seeing in the polls and I think the result would have been much the same whatever the reason for the by-election.

    Having said that, I agree with those who say it is far too early to say what is going to happen at the next GE. All sorts of things could happen by then. I’m sure that the Coalition will pull out something like an EU referendum or some easing of austerity measures to show that their policy is working. On the other hand, given his performance at the Labour Party Conference this year, Ed could easily outshine the other leaders at any leader debates – or there might not be any leader debates. Who knows? 2015 is a long way off!

    Personally I’m hoping that as the Council elections will be on the same day and the fact there will therefore be a higher turnout than normal for local elections and people will be more concentrated on voting for a party, I can defeat the Independent who just pipped me last time!

    Talking of Billy Fury, I saw an excellent show last week – Michael King, “The Billy Fury Years”. Any Fury fans should certainly try and catch it if it comes to a theatre near you!

  5. ” I’ll live with a treasured memory of Billy Fury in a gold lame jump suit”
    You are welcome I am sure. Each to their own.

  6. Is the E Warren who has just won election to the senate the same as the professor E Warren of multi-value bankruptcy theory fame? If so her victory is a genuine loss to academia :-(

  7. Martyn thanks for the sound financial advice. I wonder if you could offer some more, you said

    “1) Get a pension ASAP
    2) Buy property ASAP
    3) Learn to drive ASAP”

    The thing is I don’t see how I can do any of these. I was learning to drive but had to give up as my parents could no longer afford the lessons, my lessons were one of the first things to be cut (rightly so) as other things are more important like the food budget.

    Then as for the first two, I’m currently unemployed but waiting on a very promising job I had an interview for last thursday, it went really well and to cut a long story short, ONE (not all) of the people deciding is a friend of the family, so lets say I get this job, it pays 17k a year. Now even at 5x my income, that’s a mortgage of 85k, you can not buy a house, for 85k here in the London commuter belt, plus 17 isn’t much to live on, how on earth am I going to be able to afford pension contributions as well?

  8. Also Anthony W, do you have any control over the adverts that appear on your site? I’m sick and tired of seeing bigoted One Man One Woman, Coalition For Marriage adverts.

  9. @ MitM

    Best wishes for the potential job!

  10. Stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before.

    There is a really, really important issue on Tory vote potential.

    In the last 23 years, they have only had 3 fleeting periods in which their polling VI has been above 40%.

    In the brief dawn after Thatcher was disposed of and as the Gulf War came to a quick and satisfactory conclusion.

    In the immediate run-up to GE92, until the ERM debacle.

    For 15 months or so during the Hadean depths of the 08-09 crash and Brown self-immolation.

    In that light, and given that by any non-partisan analysis, the current Govt has not been a rip-roaring, unqualified success, I fail to see how anyone can seriously expect them to significantly increase on the GE10 performance in 15.

    In fact, I am truly bemused at any analysis that concludes that the Tories can expect to get 40+% again in the absence of some big, blonde, shambling, wise-cracking game-changer of an event.

  11. @Turk

    Agree with most of your post, except I still think the Tories could get an overall majority in 2015 if the economic improvement is better than currently forecast. Certainly ruling out any result out at this stage in a Parliament is nonesense.

  12. @Amber

    Thanks :)


    “in the absence of some big, blonde, shambling, wise-cracking game-changer.”

    Is that a reference to Boris? I genuinely think right now he is the Tories only hope in 2015, but I don’t think they will go through with it.

    He says he’s commited to staying as London Mayor until 2016, maybe after the Tory defeat in 2015 Boris steps us as Leader in 2016, to try and piece the party back together for a shot at 2020, which might be winnable for the Tories if Labour has to make unpopular decisions between 2015 and 2020.

  13. @Turk
    “The PCC is not a good example because of the poor turnout but I expected the Tory’s to be thrashed out of sight, I certainly didn’t expect them to lead Labour at the end”

    You showed some foresight then, because they didn’t.

    Labour was 4.4% ahead of the Conservatives on first preference total votes. And that was without any votes being cast in Scotland and London.

  14. Phil I think he meant in seats won, Conservatives beat Labour in seats 16 to 13. Also if you remove the 12 independents, they break 9-3 in favour of the Conservative party (assuming independent voters are as likely to go Con as Lab.)

    Also the absence of Scotland and London could be balanced out by the Midterm Bonus that all opposition parties receive. Labour gained because it was a midterm but lost because of London and Scotland missing.
    Also don’t forget there was an election for a London PCC, but it was back in May and the Conservatives won it.

  15. @Man In The Middle

    And if we remove all the other seats the Conservatives lost, then they won them all.


    Yes I believe so, yes she was a brilliant academic but after seeing her rip timothy gienter to peices over his role in regulating or rather not regulating the banks, I believe having her in the senate is more important

  17. @ManInTheMiddle.

    I genuinely don’t know the answer to that one. Any answer I could give would be glib and not immediately helpful to you. Although I appreciate it isn’t any practical help, you do have my sympathy.


  18. Boris as a prime minister candidate would be a disaster, he would soon get found out as having no substance, at least I would hope so. If he became prime minister we really would be in trouble, I’m really not sure if he can do basic maths

  19. Martyn

    I’m a heavy smoker, do a physically demanding job with above average chances of suffering serious accidents, do you really believe that investing in a pension would be a smart choice for me? Life insurance I have through work and that does make sense

  20. RIN

    I’d hate to see those Premiums

  21. MinM

    Bon chance avec le job.

  22. MinM,read your post with great interest.Firstly you have managed to hold your
    Own in a very sensible and convincing manner on a site where there are many
    Highly intelligent and clever contributors.Myself not included I may say.So it
    Will not be too long before other people realise your potential.So take it in easy
    Stages,go for the driving test first .

  23. thank you Paul :)

  24. @JAYBLANC………….Labour have the same credibility problem, ‘ no return to boom and bust, spend as much as you like’, doesn’t resonate positively.
    By 2014 LDs might have new leader, ( VC ?), the Coalition will be ready to split up, freeing VC to show suitable remorse and promise a return to traditional caring Lib values, the grudging but naturally forgiving Lib/left diaspora returns from, for them, an unnaturally right wing environment.
    As for the Tories, freed of the constraints of the Left they become energised and confident, harness their buddies in the media…..promise, ‘ the moon on a stick ‘ , as will Labour, I could go on, and on, and Miliband….. I am moving towards the naughty step again. :-)
    MITM……….Good luck, Crossrail are recruiting very actively at the moment, all departments have vacancies and apprenticeships.

  25. Thank you Ann and Ken as well :)

  26. ‘Labour have the same credibility problem, ‘ no return to boom and bust, spend as much as you like’, doesn’t resonate positively.
    By 2014 LDs might have new leader, ( VC ?’

    Seriously? A week is a long time in politics ‘New Labour’ is dead in the water and no-one has used that term for ages.

    Libs with an ancient leader? No way. Ask Ming Campbell how well that idea works.

    Your view does not work…

  27. @Reggieside – “Thinking about it in retrospect – it might have been a better idea for cameron not to have gone into a coalition, but instead gone for a minority administration and then calling a second election in the Autumn so as to exploit the ‘halo’ effect. ”

    Several people have suggested that Cameron should have gone for that option , but I don’t think it was really quite that simple. Had Cameron tried to call a second election so soon , Labour and the LibDems could effectively have sought to block it by agreeing to form an alternative Government from the existing House of Commons.This would have required some support from the smaller parties, but I suspect this would have been forthcoming.I am not suggested such a Government would have lasted all that long, but it would probably have delayed a further election until late 2011 or early 2012. – and denied Cameron the advantages of incumbency.

  28. Graham

    “Had Cameron tried to call a second election so soon , Labour and the LibDems could effectively have sought to block it by agreeing to form an alternative Government from the existing House of Commons.”

    That may be the case now under the new rules about fixed term parliaments, but correct me if I am wrong under the old rules, it didn’t matter whether there was a viable alternative government, parliament was dissolved under the power of the queen, acting on request of whoever was Prime Minister at the time.

    I don’t think the strategy would work because similar to how Brown backed out from the early election in 2007, I think Cammy would have suffered the same. By November 2010 they had already suffered a major loss in popularity, I doubt they would have been confident of an overall majority, especially as they had failed in May despite a lot being in their favour.

    I think Cameron will be a one term Prime Minister, and he probably thought better to serve 1 whole term, than serve just 6 months and lose it all in a gamble.

  29. Maninthemiddle,
    No ! The Monarch in practice agrees to a PM’s request for a dissolution when it is obvious that nobody else can form a Government from the existing House of Commons. When one party has an overall majority, it follows that the Monarch will assent to the PM’s request – simply because it is obvious that no alternative Government is possible. However, in the event of a Hung Parliament the Monarch is likely to want to explore all possibilities before granting a further dissolution so soon after the first.

  30. Ok Graham thanks for the lesson. :) Either way I think we agree Cameron wouldn’t have tried to pull this stunt.

  31. @MitM
    “Phil I think he meant in seats won…..”

    Yes, I’d sussed that. And looking at it that way, when the police authorities are so vastly different in size, is about as sensible as it would be to judge the result of the US presidential election through an electoral college where every state had one vote i.e. California and North Dakota had equal effect on the outcome. Not that it’s stopped some who should no better from doing so.

    Hence I prefer the practice of adding up the total votes cast.

  32. Trofimovspocketwatch

    “Is the E Warren who has just won election to the senate the same as the professor E Warren of multi-value bankruptcy theory fame? If so her victory is a genuine loss to academia”

    Yes she is.

    Since she gave her Berkely celebrity lecture her ame has been mentioned as the ideal candidate for top level postions in goverment , law or regulation not excluding president

    A blogger said “she’s so bright, he’s sexy”. That may be but its the direct way she tells it.

    Her opening joke about Powerpoint has a sort of Tommy Cooper style to it. It isn’t just a warmup, it’s the message. The images really are worth a thousand words. She doesn’t need to talk about it.

    If what she shows is where, in Education and Health r-UK are going where Scotland is not, then if she were here she could be an advocate for Independence more effective than any in the SNP.

    I reckon her chance of being President or murdered is pretty high.

  33. Norbold

    I was very lucky to have met Billy Fury when he was on location making the film “That will be the day” in the early seventies, my then girlfriend was a extra in the film she knew I was a fan and asked me along as she knew him slightly. He was very pleasant and talked about the old day’s in the late fifties and early sixties, and his songs, and surprisingly his interest in British birds of the feathered kind at least I think I remember he talked about being a twitcher, it was a long time ago and I was only a lad. Incidentally Ringo Starr was on the same set but I didn’t have a chance to speak to him as we got turfed out by security.

  34. @MitM

    If you add up the total votes cast in 2010 in the same parts of GB as voted in the PCC elections (that is, England and Wales excluding London), the Conservatives got 39.4% and Labour 27.3%. Last Thursday, the figures were Conservatives 27.6% and Labour 32.0%.

    So that’s a net 8.2% swing against the Conservatives, although personally I don’t think we can draw much in the way of conclusions from the PCC elections, given the abysmal turnout and much else. The point of the above calculations is only to debunk the myths about the result based on a simplistic seat count.

    By contrast, the Corby result is a lot more interesting. And Cameron now needs an extra 2 votes if he’s looking to do any deals to try and push the boundary changes through.

  35. “Boris for PM”

    For the little it is worth these are my views on Boris,

    He is far too irrational to be a good PM.
    He would be a poor leader as he is too much a maverick.
    He would have trouble leading or uniting a cabinet.
    None of that matters.

    One of the things that come out strongly from last weeks elections is that a large part of the population have no interst in politics. Indeed probably about two in five are effectively not really engaged at all.

    I think Boris could be what the Tories need because to quote the old Beamer add he “Reaches the parts others don’t reach”.

    Much like Ronald Reagan who appealed to middle America who liked his folkie almost anti intellectual stance, Boris appeals to people who don’t like politics or even politicians and there are plenty of them.

    A very rough breakdown

    100% of the electorate might break down as.

    20% Will not vote.
    20% Don’t vote but might
    20% Will vote Tory
    10% Might vote Tory
    25% Will vote Labour
    10% Might vote Labour
    5% Will vote LibDem
    5% Might vote LibDem
    10% Will vote Others
    10% might vote Others

    In short if the Tories can get a leader who appeals to the might voters and the large number of if you like casual voters then they can win.

    Would he be a good choice as Tory PM…. No
    Would he be a good choice for Tory PM…… Yes


  36. @Richard In Norway

    Can I assume that’s a rhetorical question?


  37. John B

    “I reckon her chance of being President or murdered is pretty high”

    Well I hate to think about her chances of being murdered but unfortunately her chances of being president are slim. Time is not on her side, she is 63 now and will be 67 in 2016, now I don’t believe that 67 is too old to be pres but it will count against her, but 2016 is likely to be a difficult election for a democrat to win and running in 2020 when she is 71 is just not feasible. So given the age factor I think her only shot is 2016, but then she has two obstacles to overcome, the first is Hilary Clinton who many believe will run in 16 and the second will be the economy. Already some democrats have been talking about a Clinton/warren ticket in 16 but only in the context of warren being vice pres and I really can’t see the economy improving enough to prevent the republicans taking the white house in 16.

  38. Martyn

    Yes you can

  39. Just checked Clinton’s age, she is two years older than warren so 2020 is her last chance as well

  40. Graham/Man in the Middle –

    We discussed this at great length at the time (well, I discussed it at great length. I think other people may have fallen asleep at some point).

    The Queen normally dissolves Parliament on request of the Prime Minister. However, there are circumstances where she would refuse such as request. These are determined in the Lascelles Principles, which were set out in a pseudonymous letter to the Times in 1950 from Sir Alan Lascalles, the Private Secretary to the King. They said that the monarch would accept a request unless the current Parliament was still “vital, viable and capable of doing its job” and that he could rely on finding “another Prime Minister who could carry on his government, for a reasonable period, with a working majority”. In the original letter there was a third criteria, that an election would damage the economy, but this appears to have been dropped from cabinet office guidance.

    In our scenario, Parliament would still have been vital and viable, but the Queen could not have been confident of finding an alternative Prime Minister *with a working majority* so she would have accepted the request.

    A further, and slightly different, bit of guidance comes from February 1974 and Peter Hennessey’s interviews with palace officials at the time. According to Hennessey’s the Palace’s stance then was that had Heath refused to resign and instead asked for a second dissolution, as was his right, then it would have been refused. Had Wilson asked for an immediate dissolution, rather than waiting 9 months as he did, then the palace would have struggled to refuse it. Basically they took the stance that a Prime Minister was allowed one dissolution, Heath had already had his chance, but they would have given one to Wilson if he asked.

    Again, precedent suggests that had Brown requested a second dissolution it would have been refused, but that if Cameron had asked for one it would have been granted.

  41. @Leftylampton – “Stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before.
    There is a really, really important issue on Tory vote potential…..”

    I must say, that was an impressive bit of digging and a surprising result. I have often posted that I struggle to see a Tory majority in 2015 and beyond, based on the fact that they cannot get enough seats in Scotland and the north.

    What I hadn’t realised is just how restricted their national VI has been, with even the high water marks being surprising modest and short lived.

  42. Anthony,
    I am aware that there are different views amongst constitutional scholars as to how the Monarch would respond to a PM’s request for a Dissolution in the circumstances of a Hung Parliament.
    ‘With a working majority’ at the end of the day would be very much a matter of judgement, but it is very arguable that in the Autumn of 2010 that a Government supported by Labour + LibDem+SDLP + Alliance + Lady Hermon + Green + Plaid + SNP would have enjoyed such a majority !
    In 1974 Harold Wilson was allowed a second Dissolution for a second General Election in October – little more than 7 months after the previous election. However, if in the interim Ted Heath had managed to arrive at an agreement with Jeremy Thorpe’s Liberals. the various Ulster Unionists and – say – the SNP, I believe it is far from certain that Wilson would have been granted such an early Dissolution.
    Going back further still to the early 1920s, when Ramsay Macdonald’s first Labour Government was defeated in September 1924, his request for a Dissolution was only granted after George V had held discussions with both Baldwin – the Tory leader – and Asquith – the Liberal leader. Only after both opposition leaders had indicated that they were not in a position to form an alternative Government was Macdonald’s request agreed to.
    To a large extent , I believe we are in uncharted waters here – but I lean to those who take the view that the Monarch would seek to exhaust all possibilities before agreeing to an early Dissolution.

  43. Paul Croft

    “If you get close enough to the Tory Party you can hear it melting, slowly away.”

    Both main parties are. This is the combined Con/Lab vote at GEs as % of electorate:
    1992 59%
    1997 53%
    2001 43%
    2005 42%
    2010 42%

    The decline seems to have slowed recently, but there have been changes such as postal votes for all which will have had an impact.

    Incidentally, in 1951 the percentage was 77%.

    Though at the moment the Tories are ‘melting’ faster, I don’t think either party can take comfort from the figures. The last time either of them got more than 25% of the electorate was Blair’s “landslide” of 1997 when he got 30.9% – still less than a third of the electorate. Both of them need to get their acts together and reflect popular opinion of different sorts rather than what the so-called ‘liberal elite’ think.

  44. No Party having over 50% of the potetial vote prevents a ‘tyranny of the majority’; which is a good thing, IMO

  45. @ Billy Bob and RAF

    Allen West conceded today. It was about two weeks two late but I was surprised that he didn’t try and hang on much longer, especially after managing to harass local elections offices.

    I think Patrick Murphy is kinda cute. Admittedly, not as hot as my favorite Scottish Murphy, your shadow Defense Secretary (and future Prime Minister). But he is more age appropriate and more geographically accessible, and best of all (unlike JM), he’s single. :) Or as Kim Kardashian would say “wink.”

  46. “No Party having over 50% of the potetial vote prevents a ‘tyranny of the majority’; which is a good thing, IMO”
    But can have a majority of seats.. so we end up with tyranny of the minority instead?

    Have I missed something or were you just being silly?

  47. YouGov –
    Con 33, Lab 42, Lib 10, UKIP 8
    Approval -34

    So no real change from what we’ve been consistently seeing for months.
    Can we have the EU veto now, so that the polls shift?

    Do you support or oppose the coalition?
    Support – 27 (-2)
    Oppose – 64 (+2)
    Current Con: 54/41
    2010 Con: 41/55
    Current Lib: 62/30
    2010 Lib: 36/60

  48. Amber

    Since when was you a hard right winger and part of the 1%?

  49. But can have a majority of seats.. so we end up with tyranny of the minority instead?

    Have I missed something or were you just being silly?
    It was a response to Pete B’s: “Both of them [Con & Lab] need to get their acts together and reflect popular opinion of different sorts rather than what the so-called ‘liberal elite’ think.

    On balance, I think I’d prefer to be governed by a ‘liberal elite’ than a tyrannical majority.

    But then, I’m probably one of the people that Pete B would categorise as part of the “so-called ‘liberal elite'”, so I would say that, wouldn’t I.

    IMO, at this time, a populist, tyrannical majority would e.g. bring back capital punishment which I am absolutely against; they’d probably bring back corporal punishment in schools; they certainly think it is okay for parents to smack their own children. And policemen should be allowed to ‘give oung people a clip round the ear’ (as suggested by an actual government minister on national TV before realising he was in the presence of the ‘liberal elite’ & should pretend he didn’t say it)!

    Incarceration without trial for suspected terrorists; why not? And if we’re ‘really sure’ they are terrorists, why not a little bit of torture too? Just a little bit.

    So, do you still think I was being being silly in having the view that I’d rather be governed by a ‘liberal elite’ than a tyrannical majority?

    Obviously, the ideal would be for everybody to agree with me. Then we’d have a lefty-liberal majority. ;-)

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