The monthly ICM poll for the Guardian is out tonight and has topline figures of CON 32%(nc), LAB 36%(+1), LDEM 14%(nc), UKIP 9%(-1), no significant change from last month. Like MORI, NOP and YouGov in recent months, ICM also found an increase in economic confidence – 50% now feel quite or very confident about their economic prospects compared to 49% who are not very or not at all confident.

Meanwhile Populus’s twice weekly poll has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 40%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 9%. Full tabs are here.

295 Responses to “Latest ICM and Populus polls”

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  1. @Ashley
    “Behind the Greens my arse.”

    Misplaced bravado, I think.

    At the depth of Brown’s unpopularity in 2009, and before their fateful decision to give us five years of Conservative government, the LDs could still only pick up 13.7% in the Euros and beat the Greens by just 5.6%.

  2. @ Phil Haines

    And there I was with my acceptance speech all written.

    All for one lousy point in the final poll! Anyway you gave it to Sine last week being the nearest so me and Hucks should get at least 1/2 point each- where’s the rulebook?

    This week’s forecast 5.4%.

  3. Labour is definitely dropping support but where is it going? It’s not going to the Tories, and it’s not going to the libdems, so is it going to Ukip ?

  4. @Colin,

    I think the Libs will go with whoever gives them the required arithmetic. If it’s extremely close between the Lab and Cons seat count and they therefore have a choice, I think they’d probably side with Labour.

  5. RIN,

    I haven’t checked others. Will have to get round to it at some point.

  6. Hung parliaments are rare, I don’t expect to see another in my lifetime. This debate about what the libdems will do is academic

  7. Morning Everyone,

    I suppose we can presume the LD VI will slightly increase by a point or two because of their exposure on TV at their conference and the same could happen next week for Labour of course – then settle back to some kind of a norm by the end of the Conservative conference. -lol

    @Paul Haines – my prediction for the next set of polls is: 4.2%

  8. AMBI

    I disagree-NC said clearly that they will support whoever has “most seats”. They won’t be “choosing”-the voters will.

  9. RiN


    =Hung Parliament-UKPR Basic swingometer.

    Labour is already at 37.
    LDs can do 10
    Cons need 3% or 4% from UKIP

  10. @Colin,

    “I disagree-NC said clearly that they will support whoever has “most seats”. They won’t be “choosing”-the voters will.”

    That’s what I meant….but in the event that both parties are basically (or virtually) tied, the Libs would then opt for Labour.

  11. “I disagree-NC said clearly……”

    And we all know that when NC says something clearly, he really, really means it……..

    Him and ‘Cast Iron’ Dave are so well suited to each other.

  12. @Alec, Colin,

    I think NC has shown already he will do what is best for him (and his party?). He will opt for the party who is best able to give him another term in office, whoever that may be IMO.

    Arithmetic will dictate who this is.

  13. @Ambi
    “I think the Libs will go with whoever gives them the required arithmetic.”

    Nick Clegg assumes that everyone will want the LDs. Cameron would. But Warwick the Kingmaker overrated his powers and eventually met a sticky end when he changed sides.

    Labour simply do not trust Clegg and realise that any supposed 5 year deal could be reneged on at any time were Clegg to see an electoral advantage in cutting lose. A formal coalition would also serve to begin a rehabilitation of the LDs, but as such would risk the benefits to Labour of healing the split in the left-learning vote. A minority Labour government, daring the LDs to confirm their credentials by voting it down in partnership with the Conservatives, might suit Labour better.

    Besides, the “required arithmetic” could also make possible a Labour deal with PC and the SNP, who between them might have perhaps 15 seats to offer. That could either be in formal coalition or more likely in the form of a tacit concessions in return for keeping in place a minority Labour government. The SNP already know all too well the electoral consequences of bringing down a UK government of the left.

  14. “Besides, the “required arithmetic” could also make possible a Labour deal with PC and the SNP, who between them might have perhaps 15 seats to offer.”

    That’d go down really well in England… NOT. It would be electoral suicide and VERY bad politics.

  15. My prediction for the next set of polls – 5.1%

  16. @Phil Haines,

    The problem is that minority governments rarely last very long. That’s why Cameron (and the Tories) were so eager to join the Libs this time – they knew that for things to last, they had to share power and get a healthy majority (coalition) government.

    As for a Lab deal with PC and SNP, it’s possible, but it would rely on Labour being very close to a majority to start with….and even then, the arithmetic would be very tricky. Unlikely to last very long IMO.

  17. @Colin

    “I disagree-NC said clearly that they will support whoever has “most seats”. They won’t be “choosing”-the voters will.”

    The flaw in that argument is the reliance on the words “NC said clearly that….”

  18. Of course, if the Conservatives pile up too many votes in the South outside London, this won’t do them too much good, as there are only a few clear marginals in this region – for example, Labour don’t need to win any seats in Kent or even Hertfordshire to win a majority, and only one in Essex (Thurrock). If Labour does better in Midlands or Northern seats than Southern ones it would result in a greater net of gains than if vice versa.

  19. @Phil Haines,

    ““I disagree-NC said clearly that they will support whoever has “most seats”. They won’t be “choosing”-the voters will.”

    The flaw in that argument is the reliance on the words “NC said clearly that….”

    Good point…but the flaw in the argument that NC won’t go with the arithmetic is that you are implying that the ideology of the party he would be siding with would be more important to NC than re-seizing personal (and party political) power.

  20. Macbethian YG/Times poll tables up.

    Interesting change in YG methodology. For the first time ever(?) they are using recalled vote (Holyrood 2011, and including Labour “disloyalists”) as a weighting factor.


    Are you putting up a thread on this change?

  21. @Phil Haines,

    “The flaw in that argument is the reliance on the words “NC clearly said…”

    Good point…but equally, the flaw in the argument that NC won’t go with the arithmetic is that you are implying that the ideology of the party he would be siding with would be more important to NC than re-seizing personal (and party political) power.

  22. @Phil Haines,

    “Good point…but equally, the flaw in the argument that NC won’t go with the arithmetic is that you are implying that the ideology of the party he would be siding with would be more important to NC than re-seizing personal (and party political) power.”

  23. @Phil Haines,

    Good point…but equally, the weakness in the argument that NC won’t go with the arithmetic is that you are asserting that the ideology of the party he would be siding with would be more important to NC than personal (and party political) power.

  24. I have found the LD conference very disjointed with no clear message coming through.

    Most of the left leaning motions are being defeated (probably not dissimilar to the New Labour years where delegates and MPs seem to have voted for party unity rather than what they feel). It lends itself to a feeling that whatever comments the LD left have been making this week that the LD right may well be currently in control of the party and have possibly even lost a lot of their left wing element which would fit in with party membership dropping. Again similar to what happened to labour during the Blair years.

    Absolutely no sign that they are trying/able to win back the switchers to Labour. I cannot see this conference improving the LD polling one bit as there are many conflicting views being aired but the substance is still a move to the right.

    Re Nick Clegg I don’t think there is any particular game plan- he was stuck the minute he went into coalition and tied to economic fortunes which would have to be way better than they are if LD to Lab switchers were to return (the Tory vote will have a much lower threshold on what they define as economic success). No-one is going to challenge him in advance of the GE so it’s either that he gets another chance in 2015 in coalition with the Tories or he steps down if Lab win outright or are the largest party.

  25. I am looking foward to my unmoderated article on what Mrs T’s legacy was for the UK. Have not written it yet, as I did want to presume my prediction of 4.4% Labour lead would be correct.

    There is no doubt that Labour are pretty much cemented at around 37% and the Tories are stuck at 33%. The Tories only seem to increase when there is a dip in UKIP support. I can see this staying the same until 2015. UKIP are going to receive a boost after the May 2014 EU elections, but it won’t last very long.

    The last few YG polls have been a little odd. I am not convinced by online polling of a group of 400,000 registered people. I wonder how much different it would be if YG conducted a few phone polls of a similar sized sample.

  26. Thanks to Ambivalent Supporter for:

    ”If we take Yougov, you get the following monthly averages:-

    (This month so far): Lab 38.38% Cons 32.84%
    August (full results): Lab 38.47% Cons 32.9%”

    A few days ago, with those 40’s, Lab were doing slightly better. The 40’s meant nothing, however. Nor do the 37’s, I would suggest. The averages you quote are where Lab and the Conservatives are.

    Last August (2012) the Conservatives were on 32.82 and the Labs on 42.61 (overall averages). So the Conservative ‘creep up’ isn’t anything of the kind. They just did very badly in the Spring.

    Lab have lost votes since March, the recipients being UKIP, but the drip-away stopped in June. ‘Ed is rubbish’ has made no appreciable difference at all. It’s no longer news and its impact is blunted. Bribes will be announced at Conference, but my betting is the Lab 38 are people who reject the individualistic, ”There is no society” thinking of the right, which has seen people with very little have it all taken away from them and handed to those with a lot, in order to fix a problem caused by… those wih more than a lot! Will bribes touch those people? Obviously everyone reads the outcome in their own way here.

  27. @Ambi

    It’s a fair point that a minority Lab government might not last very long, but even so that doesn’t mean that it would not be a serious option. That’s due to the electoral advantages to Labour of having a second bite at the cherry fairly early on after:
    1. Being able to dispel some of the myths around Miliband’s capabilities through actually being in government.
    2. Using the May 2015 result to move back into contention as the obvious challenger to the Conservatives in several currently semi-marginal seats where, on the back of its 2010 result, Labour dropped to 3rd place. That’s important in picking up further tactical anti-Conservative votes.
    3 A period short enough to still reap some electoral benefit from the usual honeymoon period.

  28. Glad you loved Turandot and before that Walkure, Other Howard. There’s something I can agree with you about!

  29. The Miliband is not rated/rubbish/not up to the job/not very bright campaign has only just left the station, it will drive on in a sustained manner, Balls will also get hit hard. It will have an impact surely with those 2 not exactly popular to start with.

    My view is Labour have lost support to the Conservatives and the Conservatives to UKIP, unless Miliband is bold with some key Cabinet changes it’s hard to see Labour’s share not steadily go down.

    It’s hard to see UKIP polling more than 5% at a General Election and more likely 2 or 3%, that makes any polls at present hard to read.

  30. @Barnaby

    Yes, this is the argument which I think Lord Ashcroft’s polling suggests might have weight, that the slight increase in Tory VI may be of no real use to them because it’s concentrated in areas where they’re going to win already.

    This is exacerbated at the moment by the current feeling that if there is an economic recovery (and I’m one who thinks there is – it’s late, but it’s there), it’s unevenly distributed and mainly benefits Tory core regions.

    Now, the Tories have never been especially shy of policies that particularly benefit their base – the Tories have tended to be rather better than Labour at not taking their supporters for granted – but I suspect that the 2015 postmortems might include reflective Tories ruing that they did not spend more time trying to convince a potentially soft Labour vote in the Midlands and North to switch and instead concentrated on shoring up a base that, when push comes to shove, will probably vote for them anyway.

  31. Prediction for next five polls: 4.2%


    “considering Rupert the Bear and Bagpuss was more my thing”

    Now you’re talking. Don’t forget Camberwick Green either. Happy days!

  32. Colin Davis

    Thanks, yes great music crosses all boundaries. The ROH live transmissions make it possible for most people to see the new productions, it cost us £14 a head at a local cinema. Of course you don’t get the atmosphere of the ROH audience but the bonus is the close up’s of the great arias. They really have to act those emotions as well as sing them these days.

  33. @Colin Davis,

    You’re welcome.

    @Phil Haines,

    Granted, those are good points.

  34. A bit like the last US Pres election divining the winner will be more about sorting out what is going on in individual seats rather than the overall popular vote. Those people who were consistently saying that the US Pres was too close to call were looking only at the popular vote and ignoring the ground war and who was winning the key states.

    I think, particularly with UKIP in the frame, our FFP voting system is going to through up some strange results in 2015. That is why, to me, Ashcroft’s marginals polling is the most useful data we have,

    If some ex-Lib Dems drift back to them up to 2015 it is crucial to know whether they are voters in seats where the Labour has no chance or whether they are voters in Con-Lab marginals. Where they are will be crucial to the outcome. Labour would not be concerned about the former but very concerned about the latter.

    I find it difficult not to see past Labour being the largest party if they go into the next election facing a very conservative party (UKIP) , a conservative party (Tories) and a conservativ-lite party (Lib Dems under Cleggy).

    The only thing I could see shifting that scenario significantly would be if the Lib Dems ousted Clegg for Cable or Farron and tried repositioning themselves somewhere to the left of Labour again. Even then I am not sure how many people would buy it. I voted Lib Dem for many years up to 2010 and I wouldn’t!

  35. Quite taken with @Colin’s post on the Finkelstein article regarding the threat to the Lib Dems of hitching up with Labour. Can’t read it, as it’s paywalled, but it sounds like it makes sense.

    We’ve seen how angry many Lab supporters are at LD ‘betrayal’ – quite illogically really, as the LD’s are their own party, and never claimed to be part of a grand anti Con coalition, so the cries of foul are really not credible in any logical sense. However, they are deep, and probably terminal, at least for a good long while, in terms of LD’s picking up support again from centre left voters.

    If they then about turn and back Lab, would this not simply repeat the ‘betrayal’ but this time on the right, while at the same time failing to repair trust on the left? Very difficult act for Clegg to pull off to try and convince that they really are able to work with all, yet still keep credibility in a nation not used to coalitions.

    This is where I need some advice from our Europe watchers, but my sense is that three party politics isn’t enough for long term coalition style governments – the small centre party effectively gets power for ever, yet is despised by everyone.

    For the LDs dream of regular coalitions in a much more pluralistic system, we really have to have PR of some form, and then see new parties enter the commons, so we can have the two main power blocks as ever, along with a basket of alternatives from different parts of the spectrum, allowing regular coalitions but without guaranteeing a single small centre party indefinite power.

  36. I’ve had some correspondence from the Hon. Member for North West Leicestershire, for the first time in three years. It has not made me more satisfied with him!

  37. alec

    “probably terminal, at least for a good long while”

    Owr dad would be upset if we wrote daft stuff like that – and Daisie’s not even one till Sunday.

  38. Colin


    However, do you honestly think the Conservative section of the Government will have done enough in the eyes of the electorate to increase it’s vote share from the last Election by at least 2 to 4%?

    Even Mrs Thatcher after successfully repelling then Argentinean Junta from the Falklands saw Her vote Share fall as did the exceptionally popular far more so than Cameron (at the Time) Tony Blair when faced with the not very daunting task of seeing off William Hague.

  39. Prediction for next five polls: 4.6%

  40. Looking at the cross-breaks, this polls looks like a set of little outliers. Example below (with 10-poll average in brackets):

    Con 36 (41)
    Lab 31 (26.8)

    Con 33 (27.8)
    Lab 41 (49.2)

    Con 27 (19.6)
    SNP 21 (26.5)

    And I declare the five-poll competition for this week null and void.


  41. Alec

    The British coalition is so very different from a Norwegian one, for a start, even though the dems had 40% of the coalition’s combined vote share they got none of the big jobs, compare that to the first red/green govt here where the socialists got 20% of the combined vote share but landed the finance ministry and education, or the negotiations for the new right wing govt where even though the liberals only got 10% of the combined vote share the talk is that they will get education. Also the negotiations were part of the election campaign in that voters were very clear that their votes would have a say in the direction of the future govt and then after the election there is a one month period for the negotiations based on electoral strength. But I think the real difference is that everyone knows that they will have to work with other parties in the future, so getting your own way today could have enormous costs in the future if you miss off your colleagues or potential colleagues so much that they refuse to work with you in the future. For this reason the Tories torpedo on AV and lords reform would be unthinkable in Norway, similarly the libdem decision on boundaries would be almost suicidal, also no Norwegian party would be so insulting to a potential coalition partner as Clegg has been to Labour, in fact even if you are never likely to go into coalition with an opposing party insulting them is not a good idea because you might well need their votes on an issue where your allies can’t support you, I think that Norwegian politics is a bit more grown up and civilized

  42. A lot of the discussion on this site is about emotions and the depth or otherwise of people’s reactions to Clegg and others. One would have thought that this was an area where focus groups and other qualitative methodologies might have a role to play, but results of this kind are never quoted. Is that because they are not made available? The effect is that in interpreting the figures I have to rely on my own gut reactions (and those of others on this site when they either display them themselves or discuss views aired in their local pub etc).

    I think that the reason is basically a technical one: qualitative methods like focus groups discussions and key informant interviews can never be aggregated to demonstrate a trend except to reinforce or illustrate results or conclusions already gathered by various means, including polling, which is what this UKPR, of course, is all about. So, even in Cabinet or the smoke filled rooms of yesteryear of stitch-ups between Labour and the Unions, they have all done the same as you.

  44. New thread – but it’s about Scotland so maybe ‘as you were’ for folks who aren’t interested in the wee pictsies of the north. ;-)

  45. Oh we’ll, now sitting in an absolutely packed Brighton Conference Centre waiting for our leader….

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