The last monthly poll of the year that was still outstanding, ICM for the Guardian, turned up on Christmas Day of all times. Topline figures were CON 32%(nc), LAB 40%(nc), LDEM 13%(nc) – the figures are all typical of ICM’s polling of late (the comparatively high Liberal Democrat level of support is methodological, and normally due to the reallocation of a proportion of don’t knows to the party they voted for last time, which usually produces a higher Lib Dem score and a lower Labour lead).

Depending on what TNS BMRB and Opinium are doing with their regular polls over the Christmas break, this may well be our last poll of the year.

324 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 32%, LAB 40%, LDEM 13%”

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  1. MiM

    Should not read ‘can see only silver linings to your situation’. Should read ‘can see only two silver linings’. Apologies!

  2. Happy New years Eve to all UKPR men and women of goodwill.

    OLD NAT.
    Thanks for that recent poll, Dec 27>

    I think the 8% figure seems high for the LD’s. Do you agree?

  3. Interesting to see IDS effectively blame subsidies for low pay on the poor, deception and the previous government.

    Of Course if wages Had been at living rates then in work benefits wouldn’t have been paid in the first place.

    Together with Cameron’s frankly rather ludicrous things can only get better Christmas message does this indicate a new policy amongst the Tories based on reality management?

  4. @Steve

    Why not actually take the trouble to read exactly what IDS said. Your comment is a travesty of what he said about the subject.

    Your comment re Cameron is just partisan.

  5. If you ask me, losing only £10b out of £171b in tax credits means that a remarkable figure of over £160 billion pounds was being successfully diverted to those who needed it the most (and would certainly spend it).

    A (qualified) success story about to be dismantled with a bit of Crosby scripted spin about welfare fraud abd error to soften up the electorate.

    Surely we should be looking to reduce the £10 bn lost in error and fraud, not freeze the benefit for everybody?

  6. Good Afternoon ‘TOH’

    The Tax Credit system, which had good intentions has been a vote loser among potential Labour voters, as well as being open to fraud and error- about which Frank Field warned.

    Potential Labour voters often resented the fact that some neighbours were being ‘topped up’ by credits for working 15 hours a week, while they were working full time on low wages.
    Universalism is something which Labourites should welcome. It was always a fundamental tenet of ‘tigmoo;

  7. @Nick

    What we should be doing is stopping the Country going bankrupt. That seems to be the Governments general aim, “power to its elbow”.

  8. howard

    We can’t go bankrupt. I wish you’d stop pretending we can.

    And if it IS this Government’s general aim to reduce borrowing, then they are actually failing at that.

  9. @Nick P

    Of course we can.
    The reason progress is so slow is because they have not cut deep enough as i have said many times on here.

  10. chrislane1945

    I’m never much impressed by Opinium.

  11. “The Tax Credit system, which had good intentions has been a vote loser among potential Labour voters”
    I love these sorts of claims – but polling?

    The only person I know who has polled potential Labour voters (those considering Labour but not voting Labour) is Lord Ashcroft (a sample size of 805) and the only questions to do with the benefit system is whether Labour would be able to get ‘scroungers’ in to work when compared to the current government [1] and who would best reform the benefit system to stop scroungers abusing it.

    But given that people on tax credits are already in work, this doesn’t really apply.

    So err.. polling?

    [1] Interestingly, Labour considerers do not think Labour would be better at getting ‘scroungers’ in to work, but do think that Labour would be better at reducing unemployment.
    How’s that for a more complex view?

  12. TOH

    Why do you think my Comment regarding Cameron is partisan?

    I would have made the same comment irrespective of His political allegiance. IMO His statement is not born out by the economic indicators and is at best overly optimistic.

    Regarding your other point. I have read the published statement and as far as I can see IDS (an individual I normally have quite a lot of time for ) has based His fraud figure on what appears to be a guess of the actual levels. His assertion being as far as I can tell that additional anti fraud policies would have resulted in greater detection or prevention.

    Government’s of all colours have been making the same assertions for decades.

  13. @Nick P

    It is interesting how the “country is going bust” meme has taken hold, despite all the evidence that is it people going bust, not the country.

    I wonder what it will take to get past it? Will it just be forgotten eventually when it has outlived its political usefulness?

  14. May I ask where the actual poll is? I have been searching ICM’s website since the poll was reported on and the more recent poll I can find was a poll on attitudes to drinking over Christmas on December 21st?

  15. Harry Hayfield
    This is a spreadsheet updated by the Guardian themselves.

  16. If we do go bust we can borrow a few quid from the queen.

  17. That’s useful tingedfringe but I’m looking for the detail (i.e how much of that 16% is UKIP, Green, BNP, SNP and Plaid)

  18. I have read the IDS interview about tax credit several times & nowhere can I find any evidence for the £10Bn figure; not even the basis for extrapolating it from a sample or estimating it based on underlying assumptions.

  19. Paul

    I think if we go bust the queen will be one of the big losers. I’m guessing we owe her a lot of money, and that’s the real problem with going bust, its that some very wealthy people won’t get paid. You could call national bankruptcy a form of super tax, of course we can easily avoid bankruptcy by printing up the money we need, but that could lead to an inflation tax, and if that was combined with wages rising as fast as prices, that would be really bad for those that hold their wealth as other peoples debts. Of course inflation without wage increase is very very bad for those in debt and eventually those folk holding those debts as wealth, when people start defaulting on those debts.

  20. Harry,
    Mike Smithson reported the UKIP figure at 7% so 8% for all others.
    Given that means no change from November for UKIP, Labour, Conservatives and LibDems, we can probably assume no change for the others.

    Unfortunately the tables for ICM don’t actually give the post-DK adjustment figures for any non-major party but given that it makes little difference to the Other figures (it reduces Others by 1, but UKIP is the same on 7%), we can assume that SNP on about 4% and Green/Plaid on around 2% each.

  21. RiN

    I was thinking of just ME borrowing from her maj – not every other bugger – just enough to tide me over for the rest of myl life is all I’d need.


    If the LD’s were on 0.5% I think you’d still write “seems a bit high for the Lds”

  22. Amber

    10 billion just happens to be the amount that IDS has to find in savings. But I’m sure that’s just a coincidence, especially considering that tax credits are not part of his dept AT THE MOMENT.

  23. Wasn’t IDS the politician who, when in the political wilderness, and to misquote Nye Bevan, hawked his conscience around the council estates of Great Britain to emerge as a reinvented born-again warrior against poverty and social breakdown? He even seemed cuddly and non-partisan for a while; the Frank Field of the Tory Party, prepared to think the unthinkable and challenge old Tory shibboleths on welfare and social policy.

    What happened to that version of IDS? He seems to have reverted to his old right of centre hard line self, pre-occupied with scoring petty party political points at the expense of his opponents whilst staring dolefully and forlornly at the world from the comfort of George Osborne’s pocket.

    Very sad.

  24. @ RiN
    I’ve just now read that on Radio 4 this morning it was revealed, by Mr Duncan Smith’s office, that the ‘evidence’ for £10Bn lost to fraud & error is anecdotal. Not based on sample extrapolation or calculation.

  25. It seems clear to me that the IDS statements are part of a new Tory strategy, they seem to be concentrating on their core vote. I’m guessing that not only have they written off the next election but they are worried about a complete rout, which is why they have brought in the dog whistler. The aim is to shore up the base vote. Which means going head to head with ukip, but paradoxically, blowing those dog whistles could increase support for ukip. All good fun for the lefties on here, but it does mean that ed doesn’t need a new message, why take the chance?!

  26. I have read the IDS interview about tax credit several times & nowhere can I find any evidence for the £10Bn figure; not even the basis for extrapolating it from a sample or estimating it based on underlying assumptions.

    -Hi Amber

    My point exactly it appears, being charitable to IDS to be a guess!

    Which rather indicates the Labour response that it was simple politicking to cover cuts might have some merit.

    We will probably be accused of being partisan for suggesting that some facts might be nice.

  27. The classic error the tories are making is appearing to tar everyone with the same brush. If, instead, they stated that their policies were intended to focus support where it is most needed the rest could take care of itself. Instead there is so much emphasis on scroungers and fiddling etc that too many people feel they are being caught up in this general barrage of criticism.

  28. @ Steve, RiN

    I am wondering: Are the Tories are worried that Osborne’s budget ‘trap’ of calling a vote on the social security freeze is going to ensnare themselves rather than Labour?

    I think the Tories expected the benefit freeze to poll much more strongly on their side of the argument than it has done so far.

    IDS’s fraud accusation seems to be directed towards undermining support for in-work benefits. This may be ‘good’ political jousting but the lower income voters who the Tories need to attract (the strivers, as Ashcroft calls them) will eventually judge by the amount they have on their own pay-slip, not by what IDS says in the Telegraph.

  29. So fed up with UK parties, their New Year messages all infuriated me. Could we not just set up a new party, with left wing ideals but one with a sensible policy on immigration and international aid, ie less of those things. I’d set it up myself but in the UK it’;s just too hard for new parties to emerge, it’s taken Ukip 2 decades to get to 4th place.

    (Just found out UKIP were born in the same year as me, a shame most of its members were born the century before :P

  30. @Welsh Borderer

    I’m firmly of the belief that those Labour figures (by now a majority in the party) obsessing over Southern seats, arguing that it’s all important for them to win those relatively few seats and to shift their platform to better appeal to them, is actually because, in reality, they’re much more comfortable governing as a Blairite/Tory-lite option, and this is merely the best way to convince their supporters.

  31. @ Craig

    It’s perhaps not as ideological as you make it seem.

    To be a ‘one nation’ party, you need to find decent candidates for every seat. Why would smart, able people dedicate months of their life to standing as Labour candidates in seats where they haven’t a snowflake’s chance in hell of making a decent showing, never mind winning?

  32. I think you can still be a One Nation Party in terms of policy without having representation across the nation. NI hasn’t got any representation in Gov since when (if ever?)

    I don’t think the geogrpaphy topic is a problem, its common in a lot of countries for one ideology to be more popular in one part of the country. Southern States are more Conservative in the US, I think the South of France, south east at least is much more Conservative, theirs a regional divide in Italy as well, but dont remember which side is to which ideology.

  33. Firstly, it must be said the One Nation is part of the same Tory-lite direction. Northern Labour seats, as you well know, regularly host Southerners, justified by the very same reasoning. I don’t think Labour are in any short supply of Southerners, and have already devised a way to get more elected, so I’m not convinced by that. Besides which, there’d still be Southern MPs even without all that, anyway.

  34. I do think IDS is something of an enigmatic figure. I am impressed by his apparently sincerely held beliefs about making work pay and seeking to tackle some of the thorny issues around benefits, work and entitlement. He is also at loggerheads with the Treasury – almost always a sign that the DWP is at least thinking along the right lines. He genuinely could be a politician who crosses party boundaries and delivers widely supported reform.

    However, some of the ‘research’ he quotes from his own CSJ think tank is questionable, with a number of question marks being raised over the personal and organisational bias of much of this work, undermining a strong theoretical underpinning.

    Unfortunately he also makes substantial errors and becomes overly partisan when trying to make the political running. His claims this morning are being dismantled within hours by the press from both left and right, and he has also shown the same blind faith as Cameron and Osborne in the ‘strivers v scroungers’ narrative. They have all forgotten that the vast majority of people are fundamentally honest and want to work, and the fact that a large proportion of welfare monies goes to hard working strivers.

    I don’t have any doubt that the welfare system as a whole needs a once in a lifetime overhaul, to strip out as many anomalies as possible, simplify, improve incentives to work and reduce the risks of benefit dependency, but you will not achieve public support for this by setting your stall to appear to criticise those on benefits.

    This may be Crosby’s message, but it has been launched previously by Osborne anyway, and I suspect it’s a more general sentiment regarding benefits held by most Tories. IDS swam against this tide within his own party previously, but he now risks discrediting his reformist agenda and falling back in old toxic Tory traps by appearing to believe in his own rhetoric.

    It really is possible for politicians to have an honest approach about issues, to highlight there complexity, to explain why no welfare system will ever be completely perfect, and to deal with the relative merits and problems with alternative approaches. IDS is rapidly turning back into a politician, rather than a social reformer, and if this continues, the one best chance for this government to make a real difference is fast diminishing.

  35. @Craig:

    I think for “South” read Midlands and London. That’s where the bulk of the marginals are.

  36. @HAL

    Nah, the very fact they’re marginals means they’re not the seats in question. London and the Midlands are pretty strong for Labour. By South they mean the actual South – the Tory heartlands (seem to remember a report promoting the importance of Essex for Labour!), hence their prescription for the necessity of Blairite dilution, as that’s the only way they’ll win there.

  37. @ Craig

    It’s the physical seats of which I speak; not the MP’s ‘region of origin’.

    I don’t think ‘one-nation’ is Tory-lite but we’ll need to see how it translates into policies.

    @ MiM

    I think Labour may decide to have candidates standing in NI in 2015.

  38. The very fact it’s now so important to have geographical equity in seats – even if it means adopting a Tory-lite platform – all in the name of ‘One Nation’ does wonders in showing it already!

  39. @ Craig

    The very fact it’s now so important to have geographical equity in seats
    Do you mean that policies ought not to be geared towards Labour winning Southern marginals, if it risks diluting the over-all Labour policy platform?

  40. Steve:

    “I have read the IDS interview re tax credits several times”

    You certainly know how to bring the new year in with a bang Steve – wish we’d thought of that.

  41. @ Paul C

    I think Steve was quoting me… & yes, reading IDS interviews is not everybody’s idea of a good time… actually, it’s probably not anybody’s idea of a good time but I did it anyway. :-)


    A sensible left wing party would be internationalist, judging people on their worth not where they came from, so on immigration it would be for the free flow of people based on both talent and need.

    Equally it would believe firmly in the principle of contributing on the basis of ability and receiving on the basis of need which would by definition support wider and larger foreign aid.

    I think what your after is a self righteous sudo-socialist party that says all the right things but only pays lip service to them.

    It could campaign on the slogan;

    “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, as long as someone else pays!”


  43. No Peter what I’m after is a government that looks after its people, and not big business.

  44. @ Peter Cairns

    It could campaign on the slogan;

    “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, as long as someone else pays!”
    Isn’t that what people accuse the SNP of doing?

  45. Think of the UK as a kids birthday party, but instead of cake, toys and gimicks in the goody bag we have healthcare, education and jobs.

    Now theres 20 kids at the party, but we’ve only got 15 goody bags, the left wing are going out onto the streets and inviting even more kids to the party saying it’d be wrong to exclude anyone as well as giving out some of the goodybags to kids not even at the party and the right are suggesting we get rid of the goodybags altogether as they cost too much money.

    Surely the more sensible solution is to try and cater for the children we’ve already got at the party then maybe if we can get more goody bags together, we can invite more people in.

  46. I don’t know about “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” but can I have a hard boiled egg??

  47. MinM:

    Can I have TWO goody bags please?

  48. Paul

    Can I have TWO goody bags please?”

    Typical floating voter!!

  49. Paul interesting concept.

    If kids did try and take 2, you’d take the 2nd one off of them and redistribute it to someone else, but the right wing suggest we should let them keep it for fear they and their popular friends might leave the birthday party altogether.

  50. @ MiM

    Nice analogy & I now know I’m a true leftie. I used to take my goody bag home & share it with my brothers & sister, if they hadn’t been invited to the party.

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