The Guardian have published their monthly poll from ICM. Topline figures with changes from December’s poll are CON 33%(+1), LAB 38%(-2), LDEM 15(+2), UKIP 6%(-1). None of the changes are outside the normal margin of error, so are nothing to get particularly excited about, although for the record it is ICM’s lowest Labour lead since last August (ICM do, anyway, tend to show some of the lower Labour leads because of their reallocation of don’t knows, which tends to help the Liberal Democrats and hinder Labour).
The other question in the survey is yet another contrasting result on capping the increases in benefits – this time showing only 36% of people thinking that “squeezing benefits” is fair and 58% thinking it is unfair. As we have seen earlier, polling on this policy has produced some sharply contrasting results with no easy explanation for the variations. The suggestion in the Guardian that the contrast is a result of opinions changing after the autumn statement doesn’t hold up as YouGov was showing continuing support for a cap this month. It seems to be one of those issues that really does depend entirely on how it is framed, and with no obviously superior or more neutral wording to go far, I don’t think we can conclude much more than that how the public react to the policy probably will depend on how the political parties manage to frame it in the media.