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.

106 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 33, LAB 38, LD 15, UKIP 6”

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  1. Good ole “Hessletine”.

    I missed the bit where ” can’t trust them to say ‘in’ ” became official labour and Lib Dem poliicy though…….

  2. Are referendums a good idea ? Not sure they are, as we elect 650 MP’s to carefully consider often very complex issues, so they can decide for us. If referendums are now going to happen more often, perhaps we should cut the pay of MP’s by say £5k for each one they want to hold.

    I am not in favour of any referendum on the EU, as those who are anti are much more likely to vote, than those who are generally in favour of UK membership. You could therefore end up with a referendum result that the government did not really want, but they then feel they need to honour.

    So Cameron calls a referendum on negotiations to repatriate powers from the EU, asking whether people are happy or not, with the indication that an in/out referendum would follow if they were not. The government campaigns for a yes but lose and they then have to hold an in/out referendum. The government would then have a fight to win a yes vote to stay in the EU, with all the consequences of holding such a vote.

    Not a good idea to start holding referendums, as it takes you down a path where you are likely to get into a mess. If there was a massive change suggested such as joining the EURO, that would be a different matter and a referendum would have to be held.

  3. RH

    Exactly so – but even more so when we wi be asked to vote in a party to govern us on PRECISELY the proposition they want to then put to a referendum! I.E.”We will negotiate and then ask your opinion.”

    In the unlikely event they win an outright majority then, de facto, we’d have already said yes, thankyou, go ahead.

    I don’t think enough people are yet aware of what a stupid and wasteful plan this is and the unnecessary problems it will cause us internationally.

  4. Agree entirely RHuckle and PaulCroft.

    Germany has said this morning that the UK is its biggest trading partner with the total value of £124bn being traded in the first 9 months of 2012. The UK apparently exports a lot of medical and car parts.

  5. CB11

    Thanks for the Kettle article.

    A very interesting & thoughtful analysis, I agree.

    I agree with him that when the EU hoohaa dies down we are back to the primacy of the economy for voters.

    But I think DC knows that too. In a way. it seems to me, he is trying to tie the economy ( important to voters) in with EU membership ( important to his party) .

    Kettle says :-
    “And rebuilding a viable UK economy is simply not compatible with leaving the EU. Leaving the EU makes the economic task far harder. Even creating uncertainty about it has that consequence, too. Most people know this, and even the opinion polls on Europe, which are currently quite volatile, recognise it. That is why Cameron’s weakness in allowing the Tory party to become so obsessed with Europe is ultimately so significant and, for him, so damaging.”

    But this is imo to misunderstand DC’s intention.

    DC will campaign for an “IN” vote-on the grounds that his renegotiation has enabled UK to be more competitive ( less burdened with Brussels stuff blah blah) -and that our continued membership will be used to urge completion of the Single Market, improving the economies of EZ countries-our customers.

    So , unlike Kettle I see no incompatibility -the one proviso being if DC fails utterly to achieve anything in renegotiation , which he can present as a reason for voting “In”. And even then, having read up on 1975, Wilson managed to swing it, with no visible gains from his “renegotiation”. The concern which gave him his “In ” vote WAS the economy.

    And I think it could be the same again.

    ……….Having said that the referendum isn’t going to be in this Parliament-this speech is an initiative connected with re-election in 2015. UK’s economy will be in a quite different phase come the referendum. Will that play to an “IN” -or an “Out” vote?

    I think this whole thing can only be thought through with any meaning & relevance at present, in the context of the next GE-not perversly, the actual outcome of the referendum if/when it happens.

    My brain is now closing down.

  6. What a fantastic speech by DC, reminds me of the song, “you say it best when you say nothing at all” but seriously it seems to have satisfied everyone. And every slight movement in the polls is heralded as a reward for Cameron’s hard line on Europe. If I was DC I would keep my mouth shut until after the election, a surefire winning tactic.

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