The monthly ICM poll for the Guardian is out tonight and has topline figures of CON 32%(-4), LAB 35%(-1), LDEM 14%(+1), UKIP 10%(+3). Regular readers will recall that ICM’s poll last month was the headline grabbing poll that showed Labour and the Conservatives equal on 36, so the changes in this month’s poll are likely to be little more than a reversion to the mean after an outlier a month ago. ICM also asked about which team people thought was better able to manage the economy – 40% opted for Cameron and Osborne (up from 28% in June), compared to 24% for Miliband and Balls (from 19% in June).

Also out today was Populus’s twice-weekly voting intention poll, which today had topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 39%, LDEM 12%, UKIP 10%. Full tabs here.

94 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 32, LAB 35, LD 14, UKIP 10”

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  1. Oh, so not only are The Guardian erroneously reporting this as disastrous for Miliband when his lead’s increased, so has his rating on economic competence. Absolutely wonderful reporting from the infinite number of chimps hammering at The Guardian’s typewriters.

  2. Nameless,

    It’s only one poll and the guardian like all the papers treats it’s own polls as fact without error and uses them to generate a running narrative.

    It isn’t unusual for papers to make it up as they go along with limited regard for the figures.


    Is there any reason why Populus seems to give the SNP higher ratings than almost anybody else.


  3. Mrnameless

    No mention of the personal finances question which shows almost half think their personal situation will get worse over the next year. I think that may be something that will pull down the Tories.

    It does help when you have the press over egging the performance of the economy seeing it has been ground down so much and that we have devalued and been chucking money into the system through QE. Interesting to see what happens as inflation edges higher with further suppression of wages for the majority.

  4. The Guardian’s reporting of this poll is truly shameful. They’ve played with the numbers fast and loose.

  5. Be interesting to see what happens if the Fed do start tapering in Sept as some big players are betting, also we got the G20 in Sept with China supported by Russia seeking a new Bretton woods arrangement, but with the US dollar playing a much smaller role

  6. Still a good poll for the Conservatives. 3% lead mid term is nothing, and mounting dissention in the Labour ranks it seems…

  7. Colin

    I’ve been listening on radio 5, I thought we were on a sticky wicket when the Aussies were 168 for 2. Broad’s match figuress 11 for 121 was fantastic achievement.

    Looks like are home team are back in the fight as well.

  8. The last ICM poll was definitely a freak (with the advantage of hindsight) but this poll repeats their trend of a falling Con-Lab lead. Their LD number is very high and questionable given its divergence with the other polls, but then again we don’t have a dataset of coalition governments for comparing and questioning tendencies.

  9. @ Team Labour,

    A 12-point jump in economic competence for the Tories is objectively more interesting than the top line voting figures reverting to the mean.

    What the Guardian is trying to achieve is a mystery even to themselves- we’re talking about a newspaper that doesn’t currently have a business model- but c’mon, let’s get a grip. This is how any reasonable paper would report this poll.

  10. An article on polling and how methodology affects results in a Norwegian tabloid

    I should mention that Norwegian tabloids are not as down market as British ones

  11. Besides which, a 40% preference for Cameron and Osborne on economic competence is a genuine threat to Labour. 28% just means Tory voters like their Tory Chancellor- as long as everyone else thinks both teams are equally bad, it’s not going to decide the election. 40% means they’re cutting through beyond their own base.

    So this result is actually important and interesting, even apart from showing a large movement since June.

  12. While this is one poll, it does highlight a risk to Labour that has always been present, given the lack of a substantial economic alternative being developed.

    Since 2010 economic competence has been pretty low for Labour and the Conservatives. The chance of some economic improvement, however small, was going to boost the Conservative’s economic perception. However, it hard for an opposition to build such perceptions, especially when so quiet on the subject.

    Andy Burnham’s recent comments were quite perceptive. If Labour doesn’t start to shout out a bit more, the next 18 months could get tight for them.

  13. This gives Lab an overall majority of 20 and a highly improbable 37 seats to LD. I suppose such a result might tempt EM into a coalition which would thus deliver a healthier 94 seat ‘landslide’.

  14. Spearmint – actually it’s notably *good* treatment of voting intention. Bad reporting is when newspaper report a freak result as showing some huge shift in opinion, and then when it reverts to the mean reporting it as if there has been another great shift of opinion in the opposite direction. In their coverage the Guardian as good as say last month was a bit odd and this is a bit closer to the general trend.

  15. If the 40 competence figure was maintained (yet to see tables by the way) then I agree with Spearmint (and the Guardian) that this is a very interesting result – if maintained. I wonder what brought it about?,

  16. Have their been studies about the private/public sector distributions of voters for parties OTHER than Labour and the Tories? E.g. do the SNP draw more support from the private sector, the public sector, or more or less equally from both? How about the Lib Dems?

  17. Chris Bryant has hardly helped Labour today in my opinion. Almost looked like a u turn in the space of a day. Very odd.


    MORI’s Scottish Public Attitudes & Opinion Monitor does that. Here’s the May 2013 tables.

  19. “. ICM also asked about which team people thought was better able to manage the economy – 40% opted for Cameron and Osborne (up from 28% in June), compared to 24% for Miliband and Balls (from 19% in June)”

    The economy is the biggest single issue on voters minds and 2015 is not too far away.

  20. @ Rich

    Re Chris Bryant. Actually quite smart politics. What they do is release a copy of the intended speech a day or two before and it creates attention. They may deliberately include information that creates an argument and then appear to offer some concessions.

    Bryant realises that if Labour gets back into government that they will have to work with Next and Tesco, so he is not going to totally p*ss them off. But Next, Tesco and every employer in the country is put on a warning that Labour will expect jobs to be offered to local people before recruitment outside the country.

    In a few months time, voters will only remember that Labour have talked about the issues of immigration affecting employment and want to solve some of the current problems. They won’t remember the rowing back on a speech to lessen criticism of Next and Tesco. Does not mean that Labour will gain, as many people blame them for increased migration to the country, without proper controls. I think the polling will still show that immigration is a policy area, where the Tories are trusted more than Labour.

  21. Oldnat,

    Thanks. So the only significant variations are in the SNP (32% private vs. 40% public) and not surprisingly the Tories (22% private vs. 9% public).

  22. New update to the polls folks, and some focus on topical stuff. Feedback on bias v objectivity welcome (from those outside my own bubble).

  23. So the last ICM poll was an outlier (favouring the Conservatives) and had a 28% economic competence rating.

    This one is more ‘average (?)’ and has a 40% economic competence. Does this show that VI and economic competence opinion have no bearing on each other?

  24. Statgeek – no, the economic Q was last asked in June, so the poll before last

  25. That’s some interesting analysis, Statgeek. Given what you show about the barely-shifting Labour vote and dropping UKIP vote to the benefit of the Tories, is it possible that movement could reverse once we get back into elections? Or do you think UKIP have had their moment already?

    Also noteworthy that Labour VI hasn’t really dropped even while their leader’s has. Could be why we’ve seen quite a bit of the shadow cabinet in the news recently.

    Could all be academic of course, since I’ve been doing a bit of maths with the constituency guide and it seems Labour could become the biggest party on a swing of less than 2%.


    Depends which table you were looking at!

    Table 45 includes all voters – and you need to look at the proportions in work/retired etc as well.

    Party, Working, Not Working, Retired, Private , Public
    Con, 53%, 11%, 35%, 85%, 15%
    Lab, 48%, 18%, 32%, 67%, 33%
    L_D, 67%, 15%, 17%, 69%, 31%
    SNP, 48%, 25%, 26%, 65%, 35%

    The public/private ratio is much the same for the 2 main parties (and the LDs). Only the Tories differ.

  27. @MrNameless

    “Or do you think UKIP have had their moment already?”

    Waiting for the EU elections with interest. WIll they blip and fade, or romp it and scare the other parties half to death? I don’t believe any party is immune, after the council results in Eastleigh, following the by-election, but whether that carries to 2015…

  28. So far the argument between Labour and Conservatives seem to me to have been about GDP, the overall size of the cake if you like. I would have thought the argument we need to have now is about the nature of any growth we are getting, and whether this could or should be more fairly distributed between individuals and regions.

  29. On p2 first two rows, voting intention unweighted base LibDem 131 UKIP 264.

    Next row, voting intention weighted base LibDem 172 UKIP 133

    i.e. LibDems boosted, UKIP halved.

    On p1 Ukip voting intentions stated at higher than LibDem in highest level 10 and in mean.

    Whats going on?

  30. Oldnat,

    I must have been looking at the wrong table.

  31. Oldnat

    “The public/private ratio is much the same for the 2 main parties (and the LDs). Only the Tories differ.”

    This really threw me until I remembered that you come from another country where the Tories aren’t a main party

  32. Anthony

    Bad reporting is when newspaper report a freak result as showing some huge shift in opinion, and then when it reverts to the mean reporting it as if there has been another great shift of opinion in the opposite direction. In their coverage the Guardian as good as say last month was a bit odd and this is a bit closer to the general trend.

    Actually this is worse than your suggested bad reporting. At least if they did that, the Guardian would have had balancing fits of hysteria. There were no “Careful folks, it may all be random” warning last time:

    at best there was the slightly snidy “party supporters may hope to dismiss it as an outlier”, buried deep in the article. So to suddenly re-discover your provisos, is just compounding the offences.

    There is always going to be a problem with ICM (and MORI) because of the small effective sample size used and how it can lead to big swings. The model ICM use is also vulnerable to changed circumstances as we have seen with the rise of UKIP. So the Guardian really ought to be dealing with this more soberly every month. As it is, turning every political article into “Miliband is doooomed, dooooomed” is risking making them a laughing stock.

  33. All systems go for Scottish independence. Good bye to Torydee and Torydum.

  34. Slightly off topic but that was a bit of a shocker at the one time Scottish Tory leader David McLetchie passing away.

    For a Scottish Tory he was alright!!

  35. @OldNat



  36. @Allan Christie – David McLetchie was a Scottish Tory who fought the good fight for the union. He was also a gentleman, a wit and a very able politician. He would have been a real asset to an independent Scottish Parliament. My sincere condolences to his family and many friends.

  37. Bill Cruickshank

    Absolutely agree with you.

    I remember one stunt he did over Labour’s increasing taxes when he went up on a cherry picker and dropped a big banner down the side saying.. “How high will Labour’s taxes go”

    Great sense of humour and fought his corner well.

  38. It’s seven-woofs-city here tonight.

    I’ve tried explaining “economic optimism” to them but they lost interest so I can’t give their data for that stuff.

    Daisie wuffed “Can’t we just play now Daddy?”

    So I aquiesced.

  39. Interesting article in the Scotsman about Nate Silvers views on the referendum.

    Can’t argue with it really as it effectively says that if things don’t change they will remain the same.

    I do think things will change because despite all the effort being put in the referendum still doesn’t register in the top five ( might not even be top 10) concerns of the Scottish public.

    I am less sure if they will change enough, but we can but try.


    Off topic, but may I correct a wrong impression from the last thread. Re the impact of the global financial collapse on developing countries, I was not challenging the validity of your quoting Wiki (Africa, Latin America not affected etc) but rather saying that their facts and analysis in this case, as I am sure they would themselves acknowledge. are not complete and not true for the rapidly emerging economies of SE Asia. 2008/9 saw first massive investments in city construction, then the collapse of the construction sector. Overspill of money sloshing around and looking for a home, in the hands of a wealthy middle and administrative class had a huge impact on land prices and transfers in rural, rice growing areas, particularly of Cambodia. This coincided with government sponsered land concessions for massive rubber, sugar and other industrial crop production to feed the Chinese market, gkving rise over a period of little more than a decade to losses of about half the country’s agricultural land from peasant food production to speculative land holding and industrial plantations and to the creation of a landless agricultural labouring class. Wiki’s account is based on the impact of the financial collapse on commercial and financial sectors, but needs correcting for any impact on the agrarian society, and particularly for SE Asia. Relevance to VI? Which party, or any, would be able to use the 0.7% of GDP to really impact poverty and the causes of poverty and out-migration in the face of forces of this complexity and power?

  41. @ John Pilgrim

    There’s nobody listening except me! And I agree with you: Wiki is great as an introduction to a topic (often pitched at around primary school level) but some folks here think a quick blast through Wiki makes them an expert in a subject.

  42. @JP

    I’m not sure if we can attribute the global recession all of time though. If one nation relies on tourism and it dries up due to folk with money not spending, due to losses, the blame isn’t the recession, but the tourist’s mismanagement of their funds. Which all comes back to who is responsible.

    Yes, the 2nd and 3rd level economies are affected by 1st level downturns, but we have to look at the 1st level issues, rather than just say the issue is global. It wouldn’t have been global if the 1st level economies’ system had had a robust and adhered to framework to prevent the knock on of the problems.

    I’m not looking to invoke Godwin’s Law here, but another analogy would be that if France and the UK had put their foot down over Czechoslovakia, we might not have had a World War (or not one of the sheer global level).

    Safeguards in place and possessing the ability and resolve to use them when the system gets abused. Look at the Basel Accords. If they do get adopted, it is over a long period of time, and with more than a little resistance (the usual reason being that it hurts growth – banker speak for “less profits faster”).

  43. @Amber

    For the purpose of my point in this instance, it was sufficient to furnish someone with the information, to get the gist etc.

    Wikipedia is not essay source material, and forums are not places for the submission of academic essays. One need not be an expert to have an informed opinion, as long as it is generally informed.

  44. @ Statgeek

    One need not be an expert to have an informed opinion, as long as it is generally informed.
    I agree that’s fine when two or more ‘generally informed’ people are discussing a topic – But when a ‘generally informed’ person quotes Wiki in order to contradict an expert, it is a bit of a credibility stretch.

    And, IMO, you weren’t using Wiki to ‘generally inform’ yourself; you were using a wee bit of it selectively to bolster your existing point of view.

    Although we are now discussing your use of Wiki, my remark wasn’t actually specifically directed at you; there are others who more regularly quote Wiki as if it is an accurate, complete, up-to-date source; which it isn’t.

    Let’s say e.g. we quoted something from Wiki regarding polling & Anthony disagreed with it. Who would you think was more accurate & up-to-date, Anthony or Wiki? I’d think it was Anthony; wouldn’t you?

  45. Latest YouGov / The Sun results 12th August – Con 33%, Lab 40%, LD 8%, UKIP 13%; APP -30

    There has been a small adjustment to the weighting process for YouGov’s voting intention.

    That 40% is getting sticky again.

  46. AW, why is my post in moderation. I have only given the YouGov poll results by copying & pasting from their website.

    [If a post has got multiple links in it it normally falls into the moderation queue – AW]

  47. Latest YouGov / The Sun results 12th August – Con 33%, Lab 40%, LD 8%, UKIP 13%; APP -30

    YouGov have made small changes to the weighting process. I gave a link but my post went into moderation.

    All the doom & gloom about Labour but 40% will do nicely for this Labour supporter.

  48. The revised weighting process has reduced LD support. Although AW says it will hardly impact on Con or Lab VI , I think we will see slightly better Lab figures because many of the 2010 LDs are now with Lab.

  49. Good Morning All

    Good Morning Liz H. Labour at 40% ish looks quite firm.

  50. New Yougov sticks to the line Labour are between 36 and 40 which it has for nearly three years. If Labour stays within those boundaries I cannot see a way the Conservatives can form a majority. Again the Conservative percentage this week moves about quite a bit depending what happens to the UKIP vote, however, the Lib Dem 2010 switchers are sticking with Labour limpet like.

    PS – Astroreaper is Anthony Webb under a different name…..don’t feed the troll.

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