The monthly ICM poll for the Guardian has topline figures of CON 29%(-4), LAB 41%(+3), LD 13%(-2), UKIP 9%(+3), changes are from their poll last month.

The 12 point lead is not too dissimilar from what other companies are showing, but ICM normally tend to show smaller Labour leads thanks to the reallocation of some don’t knows to the parties they voted for in 2010 (an adjustment that these days tends to help the Lib Dems and hinder Labour). The trend is the thing to watch… and the trend here shows a sharp movement towards Labour. It’s not something we have seen reflected in other polls over the last couple of days, so usual caveats apply – sure, it could be the first sign of a further swing towards Labour… or it could be normal sample error.

UPDATE: Meanwhile the weekly TNS-BMRB poll has topline figures of CON 31%(+3), LAB 41%(nc), LDEM 10%(nc), UKIP 10%(-1). No obvious sign of any big swing towards Labour there.


371 Responses to “New ICM and TNS-BMRB polls”

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  1. Graun are heading the poll with:

    “Guardian/ICM poll gives Ed Miliband’s party 41% of vote and David Cameron’s 29% – the biggest gap in almost a decade.”

  2. HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    [Non partisan genera cheering ‘cos I am happy]

  3. Only the economy can save the Tories now.

    The ‘EU’ hardly gave any meaningful poll improvement.

  4. I wonder how the £75,000 cap on eldery care costs will come across. Two things leap out

    -doesn’t include board and lodging (eh?)

    -Billionaires will only have to find £75,000, while I will lose every penny of savings I have.

    Doesn’t look anything but a dreadful vote loser to me, but we’ll wait and see what the polls do.

  5. This is very significant.

    After last month’s coalition proposals to shake up childcare provision, the gender breakdown of the vote will further worry the prime minister. Whereas among men Labour enjoys a 7-point lead over the Tories (36%-29%), among women it is 26 points (51%-25%).

    What on earth can the Tories do to get women back?

  6. Gor blimey, won’t the Guardian just have the most almighty fun with this poll, especially now that Julian Glover no longer provides the commentary that accompanies the monthly poll results. He’s busy writing speeches for Cameron now.

  7. @NickP: “Billionaires will only have to find £75,000, while I will lose every penny of savings I have”

    Do you live in a caravan?

  8. @ David

    What on earth can the Tories do to get women back?
    ————-
    Is that you, Mr Cameron? ;-)

  9. @Bail: “Only the economy can save the Tories now.”

    And the absence of any realistic economic policy from Labour.

  10. Anothr really febrile response to its poll by the Graun. I suppose they’re paying for and want to get good value for their money but they’ve over-done it here.

    Interesting thing for me is that it’s really only the Tory number that’s unusual – they’ve had Labour on 41% a few times last year an the same is true of the LD 13%. The drama comes from the Tory slump in favour of UKIP. How that can be described as Labour “forging a lead of 12%” I don’t know, unless Labour is secretly funding Farage!

  11. @ Steve2

    And the absence of any realistic economic policy from Labour.
    ————
    Agree. If Labour presents an attractive & credible economic policy platform, those who say the Labour vote is soft will be forced to wind their necks in a little.

  12. @Crossbat
    Julian Glover has been a “Spad” at Transport since September last year. Have you not noticed the improvement in Dave’s speeches since then?

  13. @PostageIncluded

    “Have you not noticed the improvement in Dave’s speeches since then?”

    No, I can’t say I have.

  14. @Crossbat
    Nor I.

  15. @Postage Included

    “Interesting thing for me is that it’s really only the Tory number that’s unusual – they’ve had Labour on 41% a few times last year an the same is true of the LD 13%”

    True to some extent, but you may be in danger of spinning the results too far the other way. The last ICM/Guardian poll had Labour on 38% and with only a 5% lead over the Tories on 33%. This poll has Labour up 3, Tories down 4 and when you think of some of the very significant political events that have occurred since the last poll was conducted three weeks ago, I’d say that this poll is, unlike many others, is worthy of some attention, especially since ICM, as Anthony observes, tend historically to understate the Labour VI.

  16. Papal Matters – my understanding is that the reason behind the papal resignation is that he wishes to spend more time with his family.

    On the polls – one poll does not an election make, so lets keep this is perspective. Inherently one would assume that such a big swing between polls suggests an outlier, but there are some reasons for possibly thinking otherwise.

    The last four ICM polls have been 33/38, 32/40, 32/40, 33/41 and 31/41. This looks more like a reversion to the mean, particular for the Labour vote, which barring the January 38% seems to have been remarkably stable with ICM.

    So this poll appears to be in line with previous ICM polls as far as Labour goes, with the Tory score either being an outlier or showing a small but significant drop from their long term average.

  17. The “gender gap” is puzzling though. YouGov never shows anywhere near that level of difference between the sexes. Is this a methodolgical thing? And will Individual Voter Registration amplify or mute the disparity? (IE will more men register than women or vice versa?)

  18. Great to see Labour forging ahead on 41%. I mean when was the last time you saw them on 41% and between 10-12 percent ahead.

  19. @Steve2

    It appears you believe everybody owns their house.

  20. @Alec
    Haha. Shades of Father Ted. I can just see him rolling on the beach with the kids in full regalia.

  21. @Alec
    Ratzinger in full regalia, I mean. Not the kids, that would be weird.

  22. Craig,

    The country cannot afford to provide free, or even low-cost, care for the baby-boom generation and beyond.

    To expect otherwise is entirely unrealistic.

  23. One always sits up when an ICM poll is delivered. The women voting intention figure is highly suspicious suggesting an overall outlier.

    Can people remember when men used to be more Labour than women?

  24. @Steve2

    Exactly, which is why it should be funded through taxation like the NHS, with those who can most afford to being taxed most, rather than a regressive cap like this.

  25. @turk – “Great to see Labour forging ahead on 41%. I mean when was the last time you saw them on 41% and between 10-12 percent ahead.”

    Well the last time ICM had a Labour lead this big (and a Tory score this low) was in 2003, just after the fall of Saddam.

    What exactly was your point?

    @Postageincluded – “Ratzinger in full regalia, I mean. Not the kids, that would be weird.”

    Thanks for the clarification, but I got there.

  26. Postage I disagree. The guardian poll is usually the worst for Labour so a 12 point lead is surprising.

  27. Had the £75k limit been fully funded from a hike in IHT compared to previously announced plans, I could happily go along with it, at least as a start. But as it happens, it’s not. Quite a lot of this is going to be funded from the government’s previously announced fiscal plans.

    So, basically, general taxation is going to stump up much of the cash needed to fund a policy which will benefit disproportionately those owning the highest value property.
    Looks to me like a means tested benefit targeted at the well off rather than the least well off.

  28. Turk you don’t see such large leads for Labour in the guardian poll.

  29. @Alec

    And remember too that while ICM were regularly recording smaller Labour leads than other pollsters, and even Tory leads on occasions, we were regularly told they were the “Gold Standard” of polling organisations. [Snip]

  30. £75,000 cap on elder-care forces pope’s resignation….

    God moves in mysterious ways….though I cannot help but suspect BXVI’s abdication is a means to influence the next conclave & will favour a conservative candidate.

    Meanwhile ICM is quite a surprising poll & seems so out of line that surely is slightly to one end of the spectrum….as there seems no sign of others moving in this direction. But given the prevailing winds in Eastleigh Ed needs all the help he can get…

  31. Strip out the ICM “don’t know/won’t say” adjustment and I reckon we’ll be looking at another 15% lead.

  32. I particularly liked this from the Guardian’s papal reporting:

    “Cardinals over 80 do not have a vote in the election of the next pope, which means Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the former leader of the Catholic church in England and Wales, will not be involved. But the Catholic church is stressing that English and Welsh Catholics will still have input since cardinals talk to each other – and anyway the whole process is guided by the holy spirit.”

    If only everything in life was so simple!…

    Perhaps all elections should be barred from the over-80’s and we could just trust the holy spirit to deliver us the perfect candidate?

  33. Why is there still no new thread on PB about the ICM poll? Very tardy for them. Has PB become a Lib Dem spin machine?

  34. IMO to whatever Labour are registering in mid-term you can take off five percentage points to get close to their actual share at the next election. So this poll is signifying something like 36%.

  35. @Paul
    I think it was ur-pollmeister Bob Worcester who advised “look at the percentages, not the lead”, and I tend to look at results that way. The important change here is the Tories’ apparent loss to UKIP at a time when “The Great Europe Speech” was supposed to have sorted their UKIP problem. This is good news for Labour if it persists, better, imho, that a mere numerical boost in the Labour lead.

  36. Phil –

    Tables are now up, it would in fact have been a 16 point lead without the adjustment.

    http://www.icmresearch.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2013/02/OmBPC-short-Feb13.pdf

  37. @ Alec

    “Papal Matters – my understanding is that the reason behind the papal resignation is that he wishes to spend more time with his family”

    That made me laugh! Especially after the Vatican council statement the week before had said ‘The Directors have every confidence in the manager despite a bad run of results’.

  38. Very surprised at these polls. I did think the tories would show a rise on the back of ‘their’ EU budget cut. Maybe a bit early for this to reflect in the polls but the last few weeks polls have been a bit hard for a simpleton like me to understand- especially the referendum bounce that lasted a few days. Maybe we are just dealing with MOE.

  39. @Craig: “Exactly, which is why it should be funded through taxation like the NHS, with those who can most afford to being taxed most, rather than a regressive cap like this.”

    That’s the problem. There is no more cash in the Treasury and to do what you suggest would mean significantly raising taxes.

    As I said, the days of the all-embracing welfare state are over.

    No-one likes this but it has to be done.

  40. Craig @ Steve2

    “Exactly, which is why it should be funded through taxation like the NHS, with those who can most afford to being taxed most, rather than a regressive cap like this.”

    The SNP will at least try to do that, independence or not but they are on the far left like Harold Macmillan who built social housing faster than Labour.

  41. @AW
    Indeed. Ta.

  42. Steve2 @ Craig:

    “No-one likes this but it has to be done.”

    I do not believe either part of that statemnt to be true,

  43. @Steve2 – I think there is a general recognition that care costs cannot be funded from general taxation, which is why the various options are all to one degree or another looking at asset taxes post mortality. In this, the Tories appear to have accepted Labour’s ‘death tax’ in principle, but have applied it differently.

    This proposal allows the state to tax the estates of those needing care up to £75K after death to recover care costs, with some rather complex protection for the poorer section that will require some kind of means testing. In effect, they are placing more of the burden onto those 20% or so of people who need this help, leaving the rest of the population largely unscathed.

    Labour, by contrast, asked everyone to contribute up to £20K post death, less if you were poor. For this everyone gets free care, with no need for complex and expensive means testing.

    This is simpler, and much closer to how the NHS is funded, and I thought it was quite a good approach, although I recognise that there are other valid approaches that could also work well.

    The key point is that we can easily afford free care, if we target asset taxes post mortality. It seems a fair price to pay to guarantee everyone a little dignity in old age.

  44. I probably should have addressed my last post to @Craig as well.

  45. One issue I have with care costs from personal experience, which I am not clear has been addressed in any way, is the right to choose a care home. To my mind this is more important than how much you are forced to pay or lose from your inheritance.

    We were faced with a choice of care homes including some very poor ones when my dad had to move into one. The one we ended up chosing cost more than others we looked at, although nearly every one we looked at in the area came to more than the government funding available even if you had no money at all.

    So I would be more concerned about what happens when you pass this £75k limit and whether the government then makes you move. I am also more concerned about the standard of care anyway if you have no money.

    I appreciate people want to pass their money onto their children and also that this seems to be part of the modern economics for children even to be able to think about buying a house, but this should be secondary to standard of care which no-one seems willing to address.

  46. So ICM before DK adjustment –
    Con 27, Lab 43, Lib 11, UKIP 10
    And after –
    Con 29 (+2), Lab 41 (-2), Lib 13 (+2), UKIP 9 (-1)

    So still making quite a large difference to both VI and lead.

    And err.. AW, when is the TNS-BRMB poll from that you’re reporting in the main post?
    Latest one on their website (fieldwork 31st Jan – 4th Feb) has Con 28 (-3), Lab 41 (nc), Lib 10 (+2), UKIP 11 (-1).

  47. Howard
    “Can people remember when men used to be more Labour than women?”
    It hasn’t been that way since 1997 – that was a while ago. ;)

  48. I’m generally in favour of hypothcated(please correct spelling) taxes but even linking IHT with any type of spending make me nervous, because IHT should never be seen as a revenue raising tax, of course the money is welcome but the major purpose of inheritance tax is increase the efficiency of capitalism by weeding out useless member of the elite thereby making room for more talented folk.

  49. @shevii

    You misunderstand. The proposal is that you still have to pay everything up to the £75k limit, then the government pays for the rest of the cost over that.

  50. Of course if the younger generation accepted their responsibilities and looked after the older generation as they aged, as happens in many other cultures, then the demand for rest & care homes would be much lower. How many Asian elderly, do you find dumped into care homes in the UK?

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