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. Good morning Chris. Is 8 still too high for the Dems?

  2. @Colin @Turk

    Absolutely brilliant by Broad, the best I think I have seen him bowl. A real spring in the step this morning!!!

  3. Red rag

    I think starving trolls is disgraceful, of course we should feed the poor things

  4. TOH

    Yes great game, and another cracking 40 for Labour.

    Largely agreed. And AMBER Thanks,
    What I regret is the loss of the presence which we have traditionally had of researchers and research institutions with long-term presence in “developing” economies and the environments which condition them. I mean this not from “within my bubble” as STATGEEK usefully put it, but in the political management of trade and aid, in which, for example in agriculture and health, the UK has had an instiitutional capacity going back to the 18C. This was largely lost in the Thatcher years, but should still be informing any serious intention to “eradicate world poverty”

  6. This crop of polls shows some encouragement for both main parties, but I suspect Labour will be pleased in particular that they have seen a boost with two 40+, another healthy lead in Populus and ICM returning Tories to the low 30’s.

    The next couple of months will be significant. Against what appears likely to be an improving economic backdrop, at least for a while, Labour reports suggest Ed is going to use the conference as his launch platform. The internal politics look more shaky for him, so this really has to be good. I think we are about to find out whether those who say Ed is useless or those who say don’t underestimate Ed are correct.

    After Chris Bryant’s foray in policy, Labour need to be sharper in their delivery. The weekend migrant workers thing might be one of those funny issues where lots of commentators roll their eyes and say how badly it went, but viewers and readers see a party talking about something that maters, without really paying attention to the detail. Who knows, but over time, policy delivery has got to be better than this.

    We’re not approaching crunch time – that’s election day 2015 – but I think we are now approaching the time when the battleground for crunch time is defined, so this is an important few weeks all round.

  7. Thanks LizH for that link to AW’s methodology update.

    In the linke, AW says it has reduced LD support by 0.5% and increased UKIP support by 0.8%.

    So the methodology change is not responsible for the fact that for a second day Labour is above the 38%-39% range it seemed to have settled into.

  8. @ Alec

    a ghost of – ‘it is not the end, it is not the beginning oif the end, but it is the end of the beginning.’

    no doubt misquoted – no correction required.

  9. TURK & TOH

    Yes-a fantastic effort by Broad-not forgetting Bell.

    And with Christine Ohurugu winning that terrific gold in Moscow yesterday-a great day.

    Don’t know if you both saw this-It seems encouraging .:-

    It’s going to be an interesting run in to 2015 on the political front.

  10. Well done Rosie & Daisy for predicting todays lead.

  11. Another great story from China’s economic changes:-

    I hope DC is on the look out for this sort of thing in Whitehall-and at the BBC .

  12. Despite the fact that Labour appears to be on a bit of an upward trajectory at the moment in the polls this didn’t prevent Sky News permitting Andrew Pierce in their press review last night to imply (not for the first time) that the Conservatives were surging ahead in recent polls, which of course as regular UKPR attendees we know is not true

    There appears to be a trend in media outlets to belittle the Labour party ( more of a way of life with some outlets) at the moments particularly when they are referring to opinion polls where a selective element from the poll is taken to show the Tories in the best possible light while ignoring the overall result which invariably places Labour in the lead.

  13. Worth remembering that YouGov will, I imagine, be tweaking things in the last few weeks before a general election.

    Comparing today’s YouGov with YouGov for May 5th 2010:

    Con 33%~35%(-2), Lab 40%~28%(+12), LD 8%~28%(-20), Others 20%~7%(+13).

  14. Overestimating LDs at the expense of 2 points from both the other parties, I see. I suspect they’ll have to try to avoid that this time.

  15. Interestingly, on that vote share a Lib-Lab coalition with 328 seats would have been possible.

  16. All the cross breaks in the latest YouGov poll are where you would expect them to be yippee

  17. Thanks to Liz H for picking up on the methodology change (though Anthony would probably have mentioned it later). I’m feeling mildly smug as I mentioned this potential problem with post-GE panel joiners a few days back, unaware that it was already being discussed by YouGov. According to Anthony’s piece, the changes:

    […]reduce Liberal Democrat support by around 0.5%,[1] and increase UKIP support by around 0.8%. Using our old weighting targets today’s poll would have shown topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 40%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 12%, Others 7%, as opposed to CON 33%, LAB 40%, LD 8%, UKIP 13%, Others 7% using the new weights.

    I’m slightly surprised that YouGov haven’t decided to move to weighting UKIP separately though. It is true that weighting them in with them with Others (including Greens, BNP, Respect, and ‘Other Party’) will have helped in the past because medium-term movements of right-wingers from BNP and ‘None of the Above’ types will not have required adjustment. However I can’t help feeling that UKIP are looking like they are here to stay at a higher level for a while yet, and controlling them separately will be more transparent and perhaps stabilise movements.

    [1] Obviously he means 0.5 (percentage) points.

  18. Steve,

    Two differences I wouldn’t expect – Labour lead with the over 60s, UKIP more popular with women than men.

  19. @Phil Haines @ Roger Mexico

    I am feeling all smug now.

  20. High end of polling for labour and cross break lead in over 60’s looks a bit iffy. Still decent lead given the headlines over the past few weeks – tory’s hardly having any impact on labour numbers – looking rather firm to me.

  21. I don’t think these latest polls change very much. Weighted Moving Average is pretty stable at 32 38 10 12. Recently the Lab lead has been quite sticky at 6% though the trend from June is definitely down.

    Is there any evidence that August polls tend to favour Labour? One might have thought that C voters are more likely to be away on holiday.

  22. How volatile is that economic competence question? (If, that is, it’s been asked often enough to create a data series rather than just a factoid.)

  23. The polls are all over the place at the moment, but the Labour lead is certainly lower than earlier in the year. Unemployment figures are out tomorrow so it’ll be interesting to see if they have an effect, I can’t imagine them being bad considering the positive economic news recently.

  24. Colin

    Another splendid (and rather surreal) example of the previously-ignored behaviour of the Chinese mega-rich from today’s Guardian:

    In this case the head of a traditional Chinese medicine business and former member of the district’s political advisory body who rather delightfully claimed it was “just an ornamental garden”.

    It will be interesting to see if Xi can genuinely crack down on the corruption that is so intertwined with the Chinese power structure or whether action will be limited to a few gestures and show-trials.

  25. The rationale for the methodology change is that YouGov have found evidence that the link between party identification and recalled 2010 vote is different for recent entrants to their panel than to those for whom the question was asked back in 2010. It’s reassuring that YouGov appear to have sufficient data to identify such a divergence since the longitudinal panel they use is a key strength and new entrants risked diluting that.

    On the other hand, the fact that YouGov feel it necessary to do this should reinforce doubts about the treatment of UKIP and the Lib Dems by Populus, because of the fact that 100% of their panel are by definition new entrants and yet they take a leap of faith by reweighting these based on party identification in the 2010 British Social Attitudes survey, as if those new entrants were somehow answering a question on party identification in they way they would have in 2010.

    On previous threads, Roger Mexico had suggested that YouGov might suffer from a much diluted version of the Populus problem with UKIP, because a minority of the YouGov panel were post 2010 entrants. I’d suggested that Populus’s ludicrous downweighting of UKIP identifiers was not the only problem, in that their upweighting of Lib Dems was also suspiciously large.

    YouGov have now addressed the new entrant problem identified by Roger, and the correction is in a direction fully consistent with my earlier comments – a significant upweighting for UKIP and a smaller downweighting for the LDs.

    On that basis, it’s reasonable to infer that the corrections that Populus need to make are much bigger than a 0.8% uplift for UKIP and a 0.5% reduction for the LDs, given that 100% of their panel are new entrants.[Also, Roger’s comment about YouGov still lumping in UKIP with all of the Others may be relevant as this might conceivably have served to dilute YouGov’s UKIP correction slightly to the benefit of the other minor parties.]

    Based on this, until Populus explain themselves further or change their methodology, I’m going to read each of their polls on the assumption that (a) their UKIP VI will always be understated by many % points and that (b) their LD VI will always be overstated by 1% or perhaps even 2%.

  26. Morning everyone,

    Polls all over the place but I recon in General they are:

    Con 33
    Lab 38
    LDs 11
    UKIP 10

    So an average Labour lead of say 5-7% but no more!

  27. NBeale

    Is there any evidence that August polls tend to favour Labour? One might have thought that C voters are more likely to be away on holiday.

    I suspect it doesn’t make much difference. It’s probably worth pointing out that those obliged to go on holiday in August are those with children of school age, groups more pro-Labour, while the over-60s may be looking after grandchildren and so at home. So that might counter any effects of differences in affluence.

  28. NBeale
    “Is there any evidence that August polls tend to favour Labour? One might have thought that C voters are more likely to be away on holiday.”

    I find it quite sad that you appear to think Labour voters don’t go on holiday.

  29. @LIZH
    “Good morning Chris. Is 8 still too high for the Dems?”


    One wonders where the Libdems would be were it not for people gritting teeth to vote for them tactically. Wonder what percentage they would be getting if in fact they were now to achieve their dream of PR…

  30. Train fares to rise by 4.1%. Given it’s one of few bits of politics that clearly and directly affect the state of millions of voters, I suspect this will dominate the news for a bit. No idea if or how it will affect polls. Depends if any party hints at renationalisation or price rise limits during conferences, I suppose.

  31. ROGER


    Yes- I saw that one too !!

    It isn’tjust the mega -rich -it is the higher echelons of the party too who have exploited the huge monetary stimulus of years ago-particularly in office building & lavish working conditions.

    THe idea that this is a “planned economy” is a bit of a joke at present & I don’t know if Xi can control it in such a vast country.
    Edicts are one thing-but its prison which concentrates the mind. There have been some big trials-the Rail Chief sentenced to death-but as you say can he really prosecute everyone involved.

    It is certainly important for the rest of us that Xi doesn’t crash the Chinese economy as he attempts to stop excessive infrastructure spending , over capacity , and corruption.

  32. Carfrew, I think it’s perhaps interesting to look at by-elections and local elections where they aren’t in contention. Scores of 2%> are not uncommon.

    “Train fares to rise by 4.1%. Given it’s one of few bits of politics that clearly and directly affect the state of millions of voters, I suspect this will dominate the news for a bit.”


    Yes, an example of “economic recovery” we might well do without: companies doing better but at our expense…

  34. “It’s seven-woofs-city here tonight.”



    “Well done Rosie & Daisy for predicting todays lead.”


    Thankyou: I’ll tellum.



    Do you have any political functions, brain-storming sessions etc.,to which you would like to invite the girls to expain their wuffology?

  35. A day of test cricket to remember. I will vote for whichever party brings back full coverage on BBC.

  36. PaulCroft

    Do they wuff ‘I reckon’ beforehand – it would support Sine Nomine’s view of the polls if they did?

    Would like to see some comments on the house price rises – it was something thrown at Brown that he did not control house price inflation form 200 or so onwards.

    What is now the view of the same commentators on another housing bubble in making purposely engineered by the Government.

    I know that the housing market has been surpressed for a while but so have wages so there has not been that much of a correction.

    When do we expect to start to see wage increases moving more in line with consensus? – I am beginning to sense inflationary pressures building in essentials (fuel, energies, water, food, rail etc.), only being hidden by cuts in consumer goods.

    If wages don’t start to increase in line with inflation we could see another 5% cut in living standards by the next election.

    This point was raised in the Guardian ICM poll where half of people thought that their situation would get worse in the next year and less than a quarter thought it would improve. The focus was on headlines on economic competence but I think that may evaporate quickly if there is a message of a growing economy with rising inflation but no commensurate increase in wages.

  37. “council staff were paid more than £2m to “twiddle their thumbs”. ”

    Why do you never see these jobs advertised?

  38. I have to confess I may have made a YouGov poll slightly weird by reporting that my household income had dropped 60% in the last year. It has, but because my mum’s moved out rather than economic catastrophe.

  39. That’s the sort of thing that makes for the extremes in polls (though of course, the probability is there are also a proportionate number of people saying their household income has rocketed… because their mother’s just moved in with them)

    ” my household income had dropped 60% in the last year. It has, but because my mum’s moved out rather than economic catastrophe”
    I hesitate to advise on domestic economics, but do you think you should be encouraging some immigration? The girl next door….?

  41. We’re selling the house and all going our separate ways soon, so the household income will go even further south!

  42. @Amber

    “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?”

    If the quote was referenced to a reliable source, it would be for someone to give Anthony the opportunity to consider the points and agree/disagree, then for the debate to move forward.

    As I said, Wiki is the medium, rather than the source (if only people would remember that, and check referenced quotations).

  43. New thread :-)

  44. It’s now pretty obvious, and has been becoming so for 18 months, that the Guardian’s political team has some fixed editorial agenda to attack the current Labour leadership opportunistically whenever prevailing circumstances seem to show even the slightest excuse. This poll Is so-so for Labour and certainly in keeping with recent polling. Crucially they’re still ahead, yet the Guardian report is headlined “Labour in trouble, poll shows” and “public confidence in Tories’ economic policy surges.”

    The standard explanation you see in the comments section is that the Guardian is bizarrely trying to prop up Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems. I think the more likely explanation is internecine. As MIchael Meacher said in a blog post during the last Ed Miliband open season in early 2012, “the Blairites wait in the wings, biding their time till there’s a slippage in the polls for Labour… and then use the opportunity to snipe at the leadership.”

    h ttp://

    Sunny Hundal also commented on the same pattern of boosting minor internecine controversies and discussions into major crises:

    h ttp://

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