This month’s ICM poll for the Guardian has voting intention figures of CON 31%(+2), LAB 39%(-2), LDEM 15%(+2), UKIP 7%(-2). The topline figures suggest a narrowing of the Labour lead, but this probably a reversion to the mean after what looked like a rogue poll last month. ICM have shown Labour with an eight point lead in four of their last six polls (ICM typically show lower Labour leads and higher Lib Dem scores than some other pollsters for methodological reasons to do with how they treat don’t knows).

The rest of the poll is reported as showing that the Conservatives would do better if they were more anti-European, or were more anti-immigration, or were more on the side of traditional families (whether people thought being more supportive of apple pie would help them was not, alas, polled upon).

I shall only repeat my normal grumbles about polls purporting to show that people would be more or less likely to vote for a party if they did x, y or z. They really don’t, people just use the questions to show their opinion of the issues being asked about regardless of whether or not it would actually shift their vote or increase/decrease their likelihood of voting for a party. Hence what the poll actually shows is most people don’t like immigration or the European Union much and do like families.


232 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 31, LAB 39, LD 15, UKIP 7”

1 2 3 5
  1. I recall a month ago wondering if the Guardian would report ‘Labour lead narrowing’ or some such when the next one (this) probably reverted to . We shall see?

  2. Oops reverted to norm

  3. @” (whether people thought being more supportive of apple pie would help them was not, alas, polled upon).

    Very funny AW-smilies all round.

  4. Apple pie is for yanks, its apple crumble where I come from

  5. Surprised the G hasn’t said that the poll may reopen speculation about Ed’s future.

    What a horredeous week it must have been.since Eastleigh for the Guardian. All that speculation about the fate of their darling Cameron (the speculation is nonsense btw).

    That aside I think the poll is a pretty accurate snapshot of where we currently are when the Q is how voters will cast their ballots in a GE.

  6. Can I also say that I admire the contrition shown today by Chris Huhne.

  7. AW
    Regarding Europe, immigration or anti-it, families and apple pie, as being electable (or delectable, rather than the Conservatives), taken as a whole, with a dash of tax reduction and investment for growth, and a spot of improved jobs figures, plus a soupcon of increased winter fuel allowance, and hey presto! – the tory story becomes a different kettle of fish.

  8. @John Pilgrim

    Mixed metaphors are not particularly appetising, but can supply food for thought

  9. By the way, Frankel’s first in-foal mare! One every three days at 100,000 smackers a go. That’s the way to retire, I tend to think.

  10. RAF
    There’s nothing like imminent incarceration to concentrate a man’s conscience.

  11. Good old ICM; as maverick and out of step as ever. Just when every other pollster has picked up increased support for UKIP, especially post Eastleigh, ICM has them subsiding by 2% to 7%!

    Guardian headline tomorrow: “Cameron’s Referendum pledge pays dividends as Tories surge and UKIP fade!”

    I’d like to be a fly on the wall if and when Opinium and ICM ever got together in a small room to discuss the accuracy of their respective polling methodologies. 17% or 7% chaps, what do we think??

    I’m as guilty as anyone else on here, discussing polling minutiae as if we were being handed down tablets of stone from on high, but has it ever occurred to any of us how often we may be having solemn and serious discussions based on data that is complete and utter horlicks??

  12. CROSSBAT11
    Do you think there might be room on the market for a UKPR brand sleepy-time beverage? MOELICKS has a good ring to it.

  13. Gaby Hinsliff in the Guardian/Observer yesterday:

    “Recently, a Tory MP with deep pockets hired a leading pollster to conduct a strictly private bespoke survey on his chances of keeping his seat. The verdict: his 1,500 majority would vanish in a landslide, leaving Labour 7,000 votes ahead.”

    Mike Smithson thinks this could be Bedford MP Richard Fuller, the pollster Populus… and that the poll was conducted in Autumn last year.

  14. Any news of Las Malvinas???

    How does it take 2 days for 1600 people to vote?
    I hear turnout is only 70% thats not good at all is it?

  15. Could be a coincidence, but Mike Smithson declares that he was polled in Bedford and responded “Lib Dem”.

    I notice that a person named Michael Smithson was Lib Dem candidate for the old North Bedfordshire constituency in 1992.

  16. @Richard in Norway

    “…Apple pie is for yanks, its apple crumble where I come from…”

    Norway is part of Yorkshire, now?

    @CrossBat11

    “…Good old ICM; as maverick and out of step as ever. Just when every other pollster has picked up increased support for UKIP, especially post Eastleigh, ICM has them subsiding by 2% to 7%!…”

    Consider the following hypothesis. Since the veto-that-wasn’t, support for UKIP has risen much. Cameron’s referendum pledge halted it and sent it into a slight reverse, but the gay marriage kerfuffle has sent UKIP’s share rising again. Given the timings and the MOE, the ICM and YouGov are consistent with this hypothesis.

    rgdsm

  17. (reposted with closed tag)

    @Richard in Norway

    “…Apple pie is for yanks, its apple crumble where I come from…”

    Norway is part of Yorkshire, now?

    @CrossBat11

    “…Good old ICM; as maverick and out of step as ever. Just when every other pollster has picked up increased support for UKIP, especially post Eastleigh, ICM has them subsiding by 2% to 7%!…”

    Consider the following hypothesis. Since the veto-that-wasn’t, support for UKIP has risen much. Cameron’s referendum pledge halted it and sent it into a slight reverse, but the gay marriage kerfuffle has sent UKIP’s share rising again. Given the timings and the MOE, the ICM and YouGov are consistent with this hypothesis.

    rgdsm

  18. Martyn

    I got it anyway, thanks. :-)

  19. Billy Bob
    I thought Smithson had told everyone yonks ago he was LD?

  20. @Howard

    I don’t follow PB that closely… being LD is one thing, but was he a parliamentary candidate?

  21. Anthony will know, he knows everything, he told me MS was LD.

  22. MS and AW are non-partisan commenting peas in a pod.

    I only do not read PB because of the betting loonies and the other loonies.

  23. CB11

    @”has it ever occurred to any of us how often we may be having solemn and serious discussions based on data that is complete and utter horlicks??”

    The UKPR addict’s brain suppresses that kind of thought.

    It would utterly destroy the point of being here.

    Like asking an Archbishop if it has ever occurred to him that there might be no God.

  24. The way the Guardian is reporting this poll:
    “Large majority of voters say hard line on Europe and immigration would make Conservative party more appealing ‘,
    makes one wonder whether they want the Tories to take the vote and swing rightwards.

  25. Yes CC you got it in one. Somewhat transparent I thought.

  26. Oops, that was supposed to read ‘want the Tories to take the bait and swing rightwards’.

  27. One more social democrat PM in the EU. In Saturday’s Maltese GE, Labour won by a landslide: 55% to 43% for the National Party (EPP). Joseph Muscat, age 39, is now the youngest PM in the entire EU. The score of Labour is their best since 1955 and the score of the Nationals is their worst since 1962. It is also the highest score for a single party in the EU. Labour was in the opposition since 1981, except from two years, 1996-1998. It is the 23th (!!!) defeat of an outgoing EU government since 2010, with only two exceptions (Estonia and Poland in 2011). I believe this is the worst period for incumbent governments ever, probably a result of the financial crisis. Moreover, yet another EU government collapsed recently, the 5-party center-right coalition of Slovenia under J. Jansa (EPP). The two centrist parties abandoned the coalition formed in late 2011 and sided with the center-left opposition. Alenka Bratusek, leader of center-left Positive Slovenia, is the new designate PM and she has the support of the Social Democrats (who won by a landslide the Presidential Election of 2012), the centrist Pensioner’s Party and probably the Liberals of Citizen List. If the latter does not join the new coalition, a snap election within 2013 is possible, and VI polls give the SD as first party (it was 3d in 2011). Also Bulgaria will probably have a technical government till the snap election of May caused by the recent resignation of center-right B. Borisev (EPP), and for the first time since 2009 GE the Socialists lead the VI polls.

  28. Virgilio

    Forget how many socialist govts there are in europe what we want is the low down on grillo!!! Well at least I do

  29. Possibly big news, the BoJ is considering extending its asset purchasing to derivatives probably interest rate swaps the so called weapons of financial mass destruction. If they do then the fed might feel compelled to follow suit. Happy times for the banks if they can offload even more of their toxic sludge

  30. “A gender gap in voting intentions is again a feature of the monthly poll. Caution is required in reading too much into sub-samples of the survey but, before ICM’s final adjustments are applied to the headline figures, Labour leads the Tories by eight points among men, 39%-31%, but by 19 points (45%-26%) among women.”

    Graun Reporting.

    Presumably the above was raw, unweighted data i.e. before any adjustments not before “final” adjustments.

  31. From that we can safely assume the unadjusted figures, as usual, show a larger Labour lead than the published VI (Lib Dems look a bit high on 15%).

    @Virgilio
    I enjoy your analysis, but I don’t know how you gather the enthusiasm to do it. From what I’ve read Malta’s Labour isn’t much different from the Nationalists these days, like just about every other ‘socialist’ party in Europe. As such their victories are fairly meaningless.

  32. @Richard in Norway
    My point was not so much to count the socialist PMs in EU (nevertheless, the fact that they are now 9, whilst in February 2012 they were only 4, is significant, no other political family had such an increase in just a year) as to point out that almost every GE since the beginning of 2010 leads to the ousting of the incumbent government, which is totally unprecedented and of course a very bad sign for the actual UK coalition, unless the financial climate changes drastically till 2015. As far as the Italian situation is concerned, things are still very unclear, there are conflicting signals emitted by the 5 Star Movement, and this is only natural since it is not a political party in the conventional sense of the term, but an internet-based social anti-party and populist movement. I know that there are talks “under the table” for a possible repartition of powers between the Center-Left coalition and the Grillo movement, there are propositions on giving them the presidency of the Parliament in exchange of their (external) support of a C-L government and there is now a petition by famous actors, writers etc urging the two sides to cooperate, and this is being signed by thousands of people. On the other hand, Grillo must think that it is better for him to go to a new GE, where he will win even more votes and probably be 1st party, but in this case Bersani will probably step down as leader of C-L and will be replaced by Renzi, the mayor of Florence, who is much more popular. Anyway the new gvt. formation has been somewhat eclipsed by two major events, the Berlusconi process for the Rubygate prostitution scandal and the election of the new Pope….. It is one of the most uncertain and fluctuating periods in the history of modern Italy…

  33. ..and I’d guess the tumultuous pattern and incumbents dropping like flies is probably explained by their lack of answers beyond austerity so voters are reflexively voting elsewhere, and then despairing when that does nothing as well (for instance the Spanish PSOE to PP took the biscuit for that).

  34. @Amber

    “Labour leads the Tories by eight points among men, 39%-31%, but by 19 points (45%-26%) among women.”

    Am I correct in thinking that only a few years ago the opposite was true, ie. Con had much greater support from women than from men.

  35. @CRAIG
    Yes, you are right, and this is why various populist, extremist (on both edges of the political spectrum), anti-party and all sorts of “anti” movements are flourishing everywhere, since traditional parties do not seem to have the “answer” to the crisis…. of course these various movements do not have it either, but their main attraction force is the rejection of all the others….. It is also significant that when these parties or formations or whatever are involved in power, they also lose steam, as it happened in 2012 in the Netherlands with the PVV of Wilders, in the Czech Republic with Public Affairs (11% in 2010, now almost extinct) and so on…

  36. VIRGILIO

    So how would you place the SNP within the range of parties that are outwith the traditional spectrum?

    In Scottish polling, they remain the most popular party after 6 years in government.

  37. @ Peter Bell

    Yes. Labour used to be seen as the Party for men; possibly because the unions were predominantly male. That has changed significantly & I think Union membership is now almost equal numbers; & there are a lot of women representing the unions now.

  38. Amber

    As long as I can remember, Labour has had a lead among women in Scotland.

    Does the Union influence differ here?

  39. Ashcroft’s vague about his methodology as ever, but looking at the order in the tables for his mega marginals poll, I think the questions on VI are asked in the following order:
    1. Standard VI question
    2. Standard turnout question
    3. A question on whether or not you will vote tactically
    4. The constituency question on VI “thinking specifically about your own constituency and the candidates who are likely to stand there, which party’s candidate do you think you will vote for in your own constituency”

    The order of those questions seems leading, given that all of the analysis has been around Q4. The reminder in Q3 that “many other people vote tactically” is almost an inducement to change intended VI. So as evidence of this, I think the responses to Q4 would be more accurate if Q3 had been dispensed with.

    Note also the outcome in Con-Lab marginals where the LDs are hopelessly squeezed and polling 5% on Q1 and yet their vote rises to 7% in Q4 after the prompt in Q3 about voting tactically. I suggest that in reality Q3 may be inducing people to compromise in Q4 on their preferred choice regardless of the tactical situation, and that being in the middle of the spectrum of options the LDs invariably tend to be the beneficiaries of such inducements to compromise. Another reason to be a bit wary of accepting the results of Q4 at face value.

  40. PHIL HAINES

    Though an analysis of the Scottish data included an analysis of the tactical voting effect.

    http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-politics/6902-new-poll-suggests-lib-dems-face-scottish-mainland-wipeout

  41. CROSSBAT11
    I believe you referred to the huge cost of private institutional care for an aged relative in a previous thread. By contrast, we had our Japanese grandma with us for thirty years, during the last ten of which she suffered increasing dementia. The last years were a burden to my wife but the benefit to the kids during the pleasant years of her company were the recompense – she never spoke a word of English; when severely demented she would wander off up the lane or along the main road to the neighbouring village, but always accompanied by Cleo, our shaggy old retriever, plodding along together, until brought back in the police car by our country bobbies, Cleo trotting behind.
    To repeat a previous post to @Charles:
    Rather than 8k per person across the board, my solution to two or three problems is to provide it to individual carers in families keeping their aged parent at home. This would be accompanied by provision of IT support and additional heating and disabled bathroom provision for households caring for the aged. A national program of employment of hoodies of both sexes to care for old people in the high street and supermarkets would be accompanied by training in social care and IT literacy. Carers and the hoodies payment would be calculated at levels to ensure that they came off the unemployed statistics.

  42. Richard in Norway

    Re: Beppe Grillo – The collective of novelists Wu Ming think he is an anarcho-capitalist. Think-left.org just wrote a post about him with some video clips. There is a very scary one (IMO anyway) about the New World Order.. that plus his anti stance on unions, homosexuals, government, bureaucracy, semitism, gypsies etc sound very reminiscent of the pre-WW2 era but with an IT veneer. Dangerous man I think but reports in the MSM all present a picture of a naive Occupy-type character.

  43. @Turk

    “We’ve had the bedroom tax and now the mummy tax does this mean any effort to control the welfare bill will now be called a tax by the opposition”

    ——————–

    Why do some people keep complaining that calling the “under occupancy charge” a tax is somehow unfair?

    It isn’t. That’s exactly what it is. A tax. A tax is a charge, levied by some public body, that is not voluntary and has legal force behind it. Like income tax, like VAT, like the bedroom tax.

    Look it up in Miriam’s or Oxford dictionaries or even on wiki if this is somehow news.

    MIRIAM

    “Main Entry: 2tax
    Function: noun
    Usage: often attributive
    Date: 14th century
    1 a : a charge usually of money imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes b : a sum levied on members of an organization to defray expenses 2 : a heavy demand”

    WIKI

    “According to Black’s Law Dictionary, a tax is a “pecuniary burden laid upon individuals or property owners to support the government […] a payment exacted by legislative authority.” It “is not a voluntary payment or donation, but an enforced contribution, exacted pursuant to legislative authority” and is “any contribution imposed by government […] whether under the name of toll, tribute, tallage, gabel, impost, duty, custom, excise, subsidy, aid, supply, or other name.”[1]”

    Of course, you can choose to avoid taxes legally by going without. Eg taking a job with less pay, not buying stuff that carries VAT, or moving to a place in the private sector where the rent is higher and you keep a spare room but now housing benefit goes up (as if that makes any sense).

    Which only serves to underline the point. It’s a tax. It’s also a charge. The only difference is that a charge may be voluntary or not have legal force behind it. Tax is therefore more accurate.

    Now on the other hand, if you want to complain about the “mummy tax” meme, that doesn’t really seem so much like a tax. It’s not a “charge” as such…

  44. @OLDNAT
    I don’t think I’d put SNP (or Welsh PC, or Catalonian CIU, Basque PNV, Galician BNG) in the same category as Grillo, True Finns, PVV, Independent Greeks, UKIP and so on. For me these are “mainstream” parties, they exist for decades (so they are not byproducts of the crisis) and their common trait is that they seek greater autonomy and//or independence of the historical region where they operate. If Scotland, Catalonia etc were independent states, the aforementioned parties would be completely “normal”. Most of them are part of the European Free Alliance, which in EP collaborates with the Greens, one of the most pro-European families of the EU. Their perception as “out of the spectrum” parties stems from the fact that they operate against the interests of the major political families in their respective countries, but if they do this it is not because they are racists, anarchists, anti-party or whatever, but only because they want to achieve what other European nations has already achieved, i.e. national independence.

  45. Falklands – 98.5% in favour of remaining part of Britain

  46. @ Old Nat

    As long as I can remember, Labour has had a lead among women in Scotland.

    Does the Union influence differ here?
    ——————–
    I was trying to find some files I had with all this information but it looks like they didn’t copy over from my previous laptop. My memory is that Scotland’s women have always been ahead of the rest of the UK regarding joining unions; I think there are currently, working in Scotland, more women than men who are members of a union.

  47. @ Old Nat

    As long as I can remember, Labour has had a lead among women in Scotland.

    Does the Union influence differ here?
    ——————–
    I was trying to find some files I had with all this information but it looks like they didn’t copy over from my previous laptop. My memory is that Scotland’s women have always been ahead of the rest of the UK regarding joining unions; I think there are currently, working in Scotland, more women than men who are members of a union.

  48. I have no idea why that comment posted twice!

  49. @”Why do some people keep complaining that calling the “under occupancy charge” a tax is somehow unfair?”

    Because it isn’t a tax.

    It is cessation of part of a welfare benefit.

    If you are taxed-you have to pay something to the taxation authority.

    If you receive a Welfare benefit , which is reduced -you are receiving a smaller Welfare benefit.

    Is the 1% pa cap on Welfare Benefit increases a “tax” ?

1 2 3 5