The monthly ICM poll for the Guardian is out tonight. Topline figures are CON 30%(-4), LAB 38%(nc), LDEM 13%(+1), UKIP 10%(+2). The eight point Labour lead is the largest ICM have shown since March – for the last three months they’ve been showing more modest Labour leads of three or four points.

There were also some questions asked about leadership. On leadership attributes David Cameron scores better than Miliband on doing best in a crisis, Ed Miliband scores better on “understands people like me”. This is in line with the usual pattern questions like this paint – David Cameron always tends to score better on things like strength, crisis-management and being Prime Ministerial, Ed Miliband always tends to score better on things like being in touch, caring, and understanding ordinary people.

The last time ICM asked the same questions in December 2012 they only asked three of the same questions, so we don’t have a great comparison. For the record there’s a drop in Cameron’s ratings, down on understanding, being good in a crisis, though marginally up on being backed by his party. Miliband’s ratings on being good in a crisis, understanding people like me and being backed by his party have all fallen.

In passing, I’ve already seen some people on twitter remarking on the massive gender gap – the Conservatives and Labour are neck and neck amongst men, but Labour are nineteen points ahead amongst women. Remarkable? No. Remember Twyman’s law – if something looks interesting or unusual, it’s probably wrong. The cross breaks in ICM polls for men and women’s voting intention are normally around about 200 to 250 people, so a margin of error of 6 or 7 points. The occassionally wierd and eye-catching result in the crossbreaks is inevitable… and meaningless. Last month’s ICM poll, for example, had identical leads for men and women.

Meanwhile the twice-weekly Populus poll also had an eight point lead for Labour: CON 31%, LAB 39%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 10%. For what it’s worth, male and female respondents both showed an eight point lead for Labour! Tabs here.

230 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 30, LAB 38, LD 13, UKIP 10”

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  1. TOH
    Re:bedroom tax


    Equally, there were no such things as Deficit Deniers, but as ever, it is the public perception that counts, not the truth.

  2. Howard has a point, I’d suggest the “Spare Room Penalty” is an accurate description.

  3. And once again, I see Alec has beaten me to the punch.

  4. Please can we NOT go back to arguing over what people call the under-occupancy charge/”bedroom tax”. It’s offically called one thing, it has a nickname, end of story.

    Normally I would moderate derogatory nicknames for policies as partisan – but once they become such common and widespread usage it would be rather silly to. It’s called what people call it (however silly people may think it), argument over.

  5. @Coupar2028 made a very good observation on the bedroom tax/spare room charge issue.

    Polled in isolation, all these benefits cuts appear popular, but equally it seems to be getting traction in a way that is damaging to the government.

    I’ve previously floated the notion that the public are somewhat fickle, being in general terms favourably disposed to cuts, particularly in benefits, but when the impact of the cuts is seen to be negative, they also object to the end results.

    Who would be a politician?

  6. @Spearmint

    I think the correct tables for the yougov 42% poll are here

    (found on the right hand bar, the tables linked to the story on the yougov site are linking to the wrong poll as you indicated)

  7. One other update to another observation I’ve made

    M&S annual reported profits;

    2009 – £507m
    2010 – £523m
    2011 – £599m
    2012 – £489m
    2013 – £458m

    Last week we had news of a further 9% fall in the last quarter.

    While the correlation is by no means precise, there is an eery familiarity between the graph lines of Tory VI and M&S profits, going back a considerable way – right back to the Thatcher era.

    When M&S are on the up, Tories tend to win elections, while higher Labour VI tends to correlate with periods when M&S are seen to be struggling.

    I’ve no idea what this really means, other than the possible observation that all politics is [email protected]

  8. @AW – got a post on Marks and Spencer and VI in automod for reasons I can’t work out.

  9. New YouGov poll finds voters split on “under occupancy” charge.
    42% in favour
    45% against

    Interesting looks like the more people hear about it the less they like it.

  10. On the plus side for the Cons falling inflation and falling unemployment has got to be good and if they could improve their image and presentation could really work for them. In this respect I think Crosby is a mistake, if the debate is too polarised UKIP, LDs plus the boundaries mean a Lab gov.

  11. @COUPER2802

    “On the plus side for the Cons falling inflation”


    Depends where it’s falling. If inflation is falling on relative luxuries, for example, while going up on essentials like energy – which is a possibility since in difficult times, there’s less demand for luxuries and an incentive for companies to compensate by jacking up prices on essentials – then not so good…

  12. I note that in the YG survey on the bedroom tax, the Con voter approval was a mirror image of the Lab voter disapproval, with the LDs split down the middle and shewing a high DK at 17% (woolly image rules OK)..

    UKIP are less supportive but 54% approving.

  13. Also, in the above poll, note the mirror image of 2010 LD voters against those left now. It shews the move to Labour by those voters very succinctly.

  14. @ALEC

    “@AW – got a post on Marks and Spencer and VI in automod for reasons I can’t work out.”


    You used the word “famil-iar-ity”…

  15. @Alec

    “Labour very skilfully adopted the ‘bedroom tax’ as a readily understandable policy concept, and everyone is now using it.”

    Perhaps the Lib Dems should have labelled the Iraq War as the ‘soldier tax’? Never mind the truth, and use the ‘tax’ word instead. As couper is enraged at one side of the argument, I’m none too happy that people get houses beyond their requirements at lower than average cost, while I have to find an extra 20K per room. The only people using the phrase are government opponents.

    Speaking of which, the SNP are doing quite well all of a sudden. Reasonably normal to high sample in Scotland. Two polls in a row of:

    Lab 32%
    SNP 31%
    Con 17%
    Lib 15%

    What’s happening there then? Two unusual (and identical) polls in a row.

  16. @AW

    “argument over”

    I didn’t see your post before posting mine. Point taken.

  17. @Carfrew – I understand – many thanks.

    @Coupar2802 – the inflation figures are potentially useful for the coalition, but even with these there is a continued falling back of real terms wages. This isn’t necessarily inconsistent with overall economic growth, as there are more workers in the system, but if each of those workers is losing ground in terms of spending power, gross spending could be up while voters remain feeling highly uncomfortable.

    An additional observation on inflation is road fuel prices. Earlier this month the AA issued a press release saying that their monitoring had shown one of the biggest ever falls in petrol prices. While good news economically, their view was that we are near the bottom of this trend, and they expect prices to rise in the medium term.

    Meanwhile, the PMI data that is showing higher input prices in both service and manufacturing sectors – with these running now at really quite high levels. In manufacturing, output prices are starting to be pushed up, while in services the price rises have been absorbed as trading conditions remain weak.

    Once the current cycle of large falls in road fuel prices is worked out of the inflation figures, or worse, once prices start to rise again, the inflation figures could start to look significantly worse again. If the AA is correct, then post Christmas we can expect to see higher petrol prices creep back in, so the inflation issue is by no means neutralised.

  18. Interesting article on the Guardian – an “admission” from Jack Straw of letting Polish people into Britain “too early”. Not relevant now since loads of the Poles have left and Straw is standing down, but a mea culpa on immigration (or the parts their opponents allege they got wrong) might coax over some Kippers.

    Frankly I think it’s a dangerous game for Labour to play, given that a huge chunk of their voters are small-l liberals, but we’ll see if it continues.

  19. @Alec

    Do you have any data of M&S profits as a percentage of turnover or costs? Pure profit might not be indicative of anything without knowing the current M&S model(s) in place.

    In 2008 they got £821 million, and it dropped to £506 million in 2009. The Con VI probably didn’t drop by a similar factor. :))

  20. Skip my comments of two polls in a row etc.

    I had opened the same PDF twice…definitely time for a cuppa!

  21. @Statgeek – sorry, I haven’t looked into the data in that much depth, as it isn’t really a serious polling observation. It’s just that I’ve periodically noticed good/bad news reports from M&S, and these seem to correspond with similar fortunes for the Tory party.

  22. @ALEC

    “@Carfrew – I understand – many thanks.”


    No probs, Alec. We’re all in it together when it comes to the evils of automod…

  23. “Labour very skilfully adopted the ‘bedroom tax’ as a readily understandable policy concept, and everyone is now using it.”

    I believe it was the other way around. It certainly didn’t originate with Labour.

  24. Anthony

    “It’s offically called one thing, it has a nickname, end of story.”

    The voice of commonsense – can’t see why it matters: its a bit like saying there’s no such thing as a Pommy or a Yank.

  25. “The voice of commonsense – can’t see why it matters:”

    Well, it does matter if it has VI effects, which is why AW brought the matter up in a thread some months ago, when he considered it “pejorative”…

  26. Including the impact on polling questions, of course…

  27. carfrew

    I meant so much to some people when the stable door etc etc.

    Best to accept the nomenclature in these circs.

  28. @ Richard,


    Crossbreaks look pretty normal. Bad poll for the Tories, good poll for Labour especially with LD -> Lab defectors, but nothing too out of the ordinary. Although that 14% Tory DK is unusually high.

    Also, no apparent gender difference in voting patterns whatsoever.

  29. So the poll finds that respondents think the Prime Minister looks more ‘prime-ministerial’. Go figure….

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