The August ICM poll for the Guardian is out tonight and has topline figures of CON 31%(-3), LAB 38%(+5), LDEM 12%(nc), UKIP 10%(+1). It’s a much higher Labour lead than ICM have shown of late, their polls for the last few months have been showing Labour and Conservative essentially neck-and-neck. As ever, don’t read too much into a single poll, it might be the start of a broader Labour increase… or may just be normal sample volatility.

The poll also asked how people would vote with Boris Johnson as Tory leader, and found the Tories on 34% (3 points higher), Labour on 37% (one point lower) and UKIP two points lower. This is different from the conclusion to the YouGov poll at the weekend that showed virtually no change from a Boris leadership, but it appears to be the result of slightly different approaches to asking the question. Compared to their standard question, bot h YouGov and ICM found Labour’s lead reduced by three points when you asked how people would vote with Boris as leader. However, the difference is that YouGov also asked a control question of how people would vote if the leaders remained Cameron, Miliband and Clegg, and that also reduced the Labour lead by 2 points, accounting for much of the apparent “Boris difference”.

That said, I wouldn’t take “How would you vote with X as leader” questions too seriously anyway. People are rubbish at answering hypothetical questions, and here we’re expecting them to say how they’d vote with X as leader without knowing what changes X would make, what priorities and policies they’d adopt or anything else about what an X leadership would look like. They can be useful straws in the wind, but really, they are no more than that.

UPDATE: Meanwhile the Sun have just tweeted the daily YouGov poll: CON 33%, LAB 37%, LD 8%, UKIP 12%


224 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 31, LAB 38, LD 12, UKIP 10”

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  1. @Chrislane1945 – “The Daily T on Line has a headline about a ‘shock’ fall in wages.

    It seems we are moving to becoming a low wage and low productivity economy, so this will have a negative effect on the voting intentions at the GE, I think.”

    But you still express surprise at Labour poll leads?

    Some of us have been gently trying to nudge you in this direction for quite some time, it must be said. To some people, this has been an obvious part of the political landscape for the last 4 years, with some polling evidence to back up the theory.

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  2. Again, I’m puzzled why the Telegraph reports the fall in wages as a ‘shock’. I’ve been posting here for at least three months that householders are reporting falling earnings and reduced spending power. Nothing particularly surprising to see these figures confirmed by actual earnings data.

    The rise and fall of household finances has mirrored rather well the fall and recovery of the Labour poll lead. As I’ve cautioned many times, don’t necessarily assume the economy will remain as a good news story for the government all the way to 2015.

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  3. All
    Many thanks for the Telegraph tips. What happened was that I used to think, ‘ooh, I would like to read that’, but then thought, ‘but what if that prevents me reading something later in the month that I really want to read because I’ve used up my allocation’. !! So I eventually ceased to access the site altogether due being put off.

    Alec, what on earth is a ‘private window in my browser’ -it sounds a bit dirty raincoat to me’. :-)

    I’ll begin with the other tips, many thanks.

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  4. @Hal
    I received my electoral registration several days before my wife had hers, and we are in a lightly populated area.

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  5. Since the Bank Of England is saying that average wage rises are likely to be only 1.25% (half their previous guesstimate) presumably this is a national average?
    If so will the Lion’s share go the South & SouthEast?
    And what then of wage levels Norf of Watford ?

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  6. @Alec “I’m puzzled why the Telegraph reports the fall in wages as a ‘shock’”
    To the press everything is a ‘shock’ or some surprise which ‘this paper has learned’. It makes for attention-grabbing headlines, unlike
    “Wages lower, as expected” though the Guardian might go with that.

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  7. Are there any polling data over how specifically minimum wage and zero hour voters vote and whether that differs from voters who are in the same social cohort (C2,D, E) who have more secure and somewhat better paid employment? I am assuming there could be C2s who fall into the unsecure area, but not C1s, although perhaps there are clerical functions that are insecurely contracted.

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  8. “Just an hour after official data showed British average wages suffered a year-on-year fall in the second quarter of 2014, the BoE cut its forecast for wage growth this year in half to 1.25 percent ”

    Reuters

    It does say that wages will rise strongly next year, but they say that every year. Wages should be rising strongly now according to classic economic theory, except they aren’t

    Also the new fissures assume a large jump in wage increases soon because the average in the first 6 months is 0.8%. The average for the next 6 months would need to be 1.7% every month until December to meet this new average – I don’t think so!

    On the other hand Duncan Weal#don formerly of the TUC now with Newsnight does point out

    “‘real wages’ does not equal ‘living standards’. Real Wages down but more people in work (and their living standards higher).”

    437000 more people in work should have more money in their pockets than when they were unemployed, even if some of money is coming from the government in the form of tax credits

    Retail sales are 3.5% higher than a year ago (some of it is higher debt) showing there is more money around.

    The government is paying out more in tax credits showing that the government is subsidising a fair number of these jobs – but better in subsidised work than being unemployed in most cases.

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  9. @Floating Voter

    So what happens when the lower rate, lower uptake “Universal Credit” replaces Working Tax Credits? And *should* we be subsidising poor working conditions, is it wise to incentivise business culture into paying less than a worker needs to live on?

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  10. Can I draw your attention to the ever excellent Shaun Richards about wages

    Here

    http://www.mindfulmoney.co.uk/wp/shaun-richards/what-do-we-do-in-the-uk-if-wage-growth-does-not-pick-up/

    “It is looking ever more that the UK labour market has changed substantially over the past few years. In the past a growth spurt of the sort that has been seen over the past year or so would have seen a pick-up in wage growth. But we are not seeing that”

    And

    “Having got used to being a relatively high wage and high productivity economy it will be uncomfortable to say the least if we find ourselves in the midst of a transition to a lower wage lower productivity one”

    Also the report by the IPPR about self employment suggesting the percentages of SE are typical of the levels of the economies of southern and eastern Europe

    Here
    h ttp://www.ippr.org/news-and-media/press-releases/uk-becoming-the-%E2%80%98self-employment-capital%E2%80%99-of-western-europe

    What does it mean polling wise – continuing unhappy voters IMO

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  11. Ipsos Mori August 2014 poll just released:

    CON: 33% (+1)
    LAB: 33% (-2)
    LD: 7% (-1)
    UKIP: 13% (+1)

    Tories and Labour tied.

    In their August 2013 poll, Labour were ahead by 10%.

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  12. @Jayblanc

    I would guess higher unemployment and people leaving the workforce as in the US

    And

    It is very difficult to stop the policy when so many people depend on the government subsidy – £30 billion paid out a year – £2.5 billion a month and £17 billion a year in housing benefit

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  13. Ipsos Mori has Others on 14%. That is patently rubbish.

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  14. @ Alec

    Again, I’m puzzled why the Telegraph reports the fall in wages as a ‘shock’. I’ve been posting here for at least three months that householders are reporting falling earnings and reduced spending power.
    ————-
    Personally, I am shocked that the Telegraph have not been reading your comments heretofore – But still, better late than never. ;-)

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  15. mrnameless

    Ipsos Mori has Others on 14%. That is patently rubbish

    Conservative 33% (33)

    Labour 33% (35)

    Liberal Democrats 7% (8)

    Scottish Nationalist 3% (3)

    Plaid Cymru 1% (*)

    Green Party 7% (8)

    UKIP 13% (11)

    British National Party * (*)

    Other 2% (2)

    Figures in brackets all giving a preference. As usual main figures only based on those ‘certain to vote’.

    Tables are here:

    http://www.ipsos-mori.com/Assets/Docs/Polls/ipsos-mori-political-monitor-august-2014-tables.pdf

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  16. FV

    @”Real Wages down but more people in work (and their living standards higher).”

    A very important point.-the employment rate is 1.5% pts higher than a year ago.

    And it is “real AVERAGE wages” -which are modestly up 0.6% if you exclude erratic bonuses.

    Average pay is a function of :-
    Pay rises
    Pay reductions
    Pay freezes
    Compositional & sector changes in the workforce.

    It doesn’t include self-employed pay trends-and of course it doesn’t include non-pay changes in household income ( Tax , Tax credits etc) . So it is not Household Disposable Income-which is what people look at when they contemplate how their finances look.

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  17. JAYBLANC

    @”is it wise to incentivise business culture into paying less than a worker needs to live on”

    Well I’m not sure that is what Tax Credits are doing.

    A 30 year old couple, one of whom works 40 hrs pw on the living wage, and one of whom chooses to stay home and care for their young child , would get total Tax Credits ( CTC + WTC) of £2683 pa.

    This isn’t subsidising “pay you can’t live on” -it is supporting a Living Wage earner so he can have and support , child.

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  18. Incidentally the tables for ICM have finally appeared:

    http://www.icmresearch.com/data/media/pdf/2014_aug_guardian_bpc.pdf

    and give us the chance to see what the figures were before adjustment:

    Conservative 31% (31)

    Labour 39% (38)

    Liberal Democrats 9% (12)

    UKIP 11% (10)

    Scottish Nationalist 3%

    Plaid Cymru 1%

    Green Party 4%

    British National Party 1%

    Other 1%

    (combined to Other 9%)

    Again it shows the main winners from the ‘shy voter’ adjustment being the Lib Dems. Whether this is valid or we are seeing genuine uncertainty (perhaps among tactical voters) is another matter.

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  19. BRC’s July Retail Sales Monitor includes this comment :-

    “David McCorquodale, Head of Retail, KPMG, said: “The tale of two sectors continues with polarisation between food and non-food. While non-food retailers had a stellar month, surpassing even last year’s record sales performance, the grocers saw sales tumble in value as their competitive pricing continued.”

    Consumers are getting the Lidl/Aldi bonus on food & spending well on furniture, fashion and household spending.

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  20. @Colin – “And it is “real AVERAGE wages” -which are modestly up 0.6%”

    Not sure you’ve got this right? ‘Real’ wages normally means inflation adjusted. Average wages are up by 0.6%, while inflation is 1.9%, meaning ‘real’ wages are down by 1.3%.

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  21. A 30 year old couple, one of whom works 40 hrs pw on the living wage, “and one of whom chooses to stay home and care for their young child , would get total Tax Credits ( CTC + WTC) of £2683 pa.”

    ————–

    Yes, but in the boomer heyday, it was commonplace for a single earner to be able to support a family sans tax credits etc.

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  22. “437000 more people in work should have more money in their pockets than when they were unemployed, even if some of money is coming from the government in the form of tax credits”

    ———–

    Not up on the ins and outs of it, but doesn’t it depend on hours worked etc.?

    One also wonders about the knock-on effect: to what extent new entrants might be costing people already in work hours and depressing wages…

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  23. ALEC

    Thanks-agreed.
    Was trying to emphasise what Average meant & missed that.

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  24. @Carfrew

    Assuming your new job is part time and on the minimum wage it should still give more income than job seekers allowance which is extremely low The new job must pay more than that and hopefully you can access to tax credits as well. even if your self-employed you can access tax credits

    Retail sales have increased over the year. The reasons could include

    increase in debt up 4 billion in a year
    running down of savings – savings rate has decreased to 4.8% in Q2 from 5.2% a year ago
    PPI compensation
    increase in tax allowance

    but increased in working population and less unemployed people would have mean more money around

    . I don’t believe most of these new jobs pay much tax, so the government is not getting the benefit of increased revenue, in fact i think they are paying out more money than getting money in

    I not sure how sustainable this position is, but I also don’t see how it can be reversed

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