ICM have released their August poll for the Guardian. Topline voting intention figures are CON 40%, LAB 31%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 10%, GRN 4%. Full tables are here.

This is the first ICM poll since the election to feature an updated methodology in light of the polling error. Since 1993 or so ICM have reallocated people who don’t give a voting intention based on how they say they voted at the previous election. Colloquially this is often known as a “shy Tory” adjustment, as when it was initially introduced in the 1992 to 1997 Parliament it tended to help the Tories, though after the Iraq war it actually tended to be a “shy Labour” adjustment, and in the last Parliament it was a “shy Lib Dem” adjustment.

In practice ICM didn’t reallocate all their don’t knows and refusals as many people who refuse to give a current voting intention also refuse to say how they voted at the last election (ICM call these people “total refusals”, as opposed to “partial refusals” who say how they voted last time but not this time). Under the new method ICM are also attempting to estimate the views of these “total refusals” – they are reallocated at the same rate as “partial refusals” but are assumed to split slightly more in favour of the Conservatives, based upon what ICM found in their post-election re-contact survey. The effect on this change on ICM’s headline figures this month is to increase the level of Conservative support by one point and decrease Labour support by one point.

The implication of this adjustment is that at least some of the error at the general election was down to traditional “shy Tories”, that those who refused to answer pollsters’ questions were disproportionately Conservative supporters. However, from being on panels with Martin Boon since the election and hearing him speak at the British Polling Council inquiry meeting I don’t think he’ll have concluded that “shy Tories” was the whole of the problem, and in ICM’s tables they are clear that they “expect to produce further methodological innovations in the future.”


689 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 40, LAB 31, LDEM 7, UKIP 10, GRN 4”

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  1. @ Adge3,

    what other country now or in the past has adopted the policies which Jeremy Corbyn favours

    The United Kingdom?

  2. @ Ken,

    Corbyn is the uber-hipster though: he liked flat caps and beards before they were cool.

  3. Roland

    I doubt that “military intelligence” were “tasked with making decisions at a moments notice” when taking the decisions they did.

    “The Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s report into collusion between the security forces and loyalist paramilitaries also found that military intelligence in Northern Ireland helped to prolong the Troubles.”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/2955941.stm

    In a democratic society, it’s not the task of soldiers to decide who the “enemy” is. That’s the job of politicians who issue the commands which the military should carry out.

  4. @ Adge3

    Let’s take them one by one

    1) Growth not austerity – with a national investment bank to help create tomorrow’s jobs and reduce the deficit fairly. Fair taxes for all. Half of this policy statement rather than policy. NIBs exist in a number of countries in the form of extra budgetary funds often financed by QE.

    2) A lower welfare bill through investment and growth. Again a policy statement. But ceteris paribus it is true.

    3) Action on climate change The UK has an agreed commitment on this, so, the UK would be one example.

    4) Public ownership of railways and in the energy sector OldNat answered it. The energy sector is tricky, but it indirectly exists in most of the EU. It would be difficult though because of the EU rules

    5) Decent homes for all in public and private sectors by 2025 through a big house-building programme and controlling rents. Rent control exists in France and some of the German states. House building programmes exist everywhere.

    6) A foreign policy that prioritises justice and assistance. I don’t know any example … .

    7) Fully-funded NHS, integrated with social care, with an end to privatisation in health. The first half has been trialled by the coalition government, so the example is the UK.

    8) Protection at work including an end to zero hours contracts Germany, and many other countries.

    9) Equality for all It’s in the statue books, so the example is the UK.

    10) A life-long national education service for decent skills and opportunities, universal childcare, the abolition of student fees, restoring grants, and funding adult skills training. Many, many continental European countries.

    So, these are those ultra lefty policies … Pretty mainstream to be honest. Kind of centrist social democratic policies, although in lefty packaging.

  5. @Old Nat
    @Laszlo
    Thanks for your replies.

    You may have seen a list of university professors who have signed a letter in support of Corbyn’s policies.

    What is their experience? What are they professors in? I googled the first two names; They are not economists.

    there is a person Richard Murphy who is often cited as providing the academic backbone to Corbyn’s polices. He is not an academic economist. He seems to have a first degree in economics, and is a chartered accountant.

    It all looks a bit amateurish, garden shed sort of thing but I am not up to date on the latest economic thinking.

    if the policies were any good, surely the Conservatives would pinch them.

  6. Oh, and just because of your reference to TOH, most of them exist in Switzerland …

  7. @ Adge3

    I definitely didn’t say that I agree with these policies (or how I agree with them). There is an element of ad-hoc characteristic indeed. It is the system that matters …

    I haven’t seen that letter, but I will look it up.

  8. Adge3
    I am a Corbyn supporter and while no country has ever done everything he favours or offers the model that he or I might strive to the closest example I feel at present is Norway however a mix of the Nordic countries is probably more appropriate.

  9. @ Adge3

    I looked up the list. Those whom I know, all are on the left. There are at least two outstanding economists among them (one is an expert on business cycles). The average age of the signatories is pretty high …

  10. What is their experience? What are they professors in? I googled the first two names; They are not economists.

    Neither is the Chancellor – he’s an historian (2:1 – Modern History, Oxford).

  11. OLD NAT
    Do you think the Irish civilians the Para’s fired on during the troubles was because the men did not know who their enemy was? And of course there were no politicians within a country mile to ask, “your worship m’lord, are these people our enemy” ? As for military intelligence, they served with every foot patrol and op we carried out.
    Why have you got any faith in what the head of the Met police has got to say? They are the most disgraced bunch of people in a British uniform. However, you are well on form as a retired pacifist school master who could easily have handled the matter.

  12. @ Roland,

    They are the most disgraced bunch of people in a British uniform.

    I see your Met police and raise you the South Yorkshire Police.

  13. LASZLO
    “6) A foreign policy that prioritises justice and assistance. I don’t know any example … .

    Norway

    The odd thing is they also have the highest representation of women in parliament and high office, and best health performance in the Western world. Can there be any connection?

  14. @Spearmint

    I have some relations who were Senior Police Officers in South Yorkshire in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

    I have had various frank after-dinner discussions them, and I can I assure you the more you know, the worse it gets.

  15. @ John Pilgrim

    I was thinking of it. But they are still a NATO member, so I assumed they are still bound by certain rules.

  16. There are all kinds of correlations (causality és) between social equality, state of health, gender and other kinds of equality, quality of life, etc …

  17. The Africa for Norway however is quite insightful of their view of world.

  18. @Laszlo
    @Rivers 10
    @John Pilgrim
    @Catmanjeff

    Thank you for all your replies.
    @Laszlo
    These are very thorough replies that you give. All the aspirations of the Corbyn programme that you list, is not, as you say, an ultra left programme. There is the question of the cost of nationalising energy companies, and the question of free student tuition. These are two things that Andy Burnham mentioned. Why is Britain not like Norway, or Switzerland? Answer: Britain has a large expenditure on defence. France has this also.

    Some people may remember in the 1980s a group of academic economists signed a letter objecting to Margaret Thatcher’s policies. Another group, a smaller group replied defending the policies. Another group, the largest of all did not comment one way or the other.

    If you remember this period there was a new idea called monetarism which would solve nations’ economic problems. The Thatcher government was strongly in favour of this theory. Looking back on this period, it is obvious that it did n’t work. In fact, speaking personally (as someone who studied economics at university ) I don’t know of any economic theory which works, that is to say, which is a law such as you find in physics. Mrs. Thatcher studied a physical science at university – chemistry.

    @Catmanjeff
    You say that the Chancellor George Osborne is not an economist. He is a politician. What you can expect from George Osborne or any other Chancellor is not expertise in economics, but party political bias. If you want independent economic opinions and advice don’t expect this from a politician.

    @ John Pilgrim
    Norway is an impressive country. It has one of the highest representations of women in parliament, but it is not quite the highest in the world. Spain,Iceland, Finland and Sweden have a higher proportion of women and some African countries are even higher. This is what it says on the internet.

    @Rivers 10
    Yes, Norway is an impressive country.Like other Scandinavian countries and Germany etc. It does n’t have the heavy defence expenditure that Britain has.

    In general I have discovered a lot about Corbyn’s policies from you. Thank you very much indeed.

    I think that once a politician takes power they find that they are hemmed in and restricted as to what they can do. There was the example of François Mitterand in France in the 80s who was forced to backtrack on some of his more radical leftwing economic policies because the international economic climate was not favourable enough.

    With regard to Jeremy Corbyn, and the political rather than the economic aspect, apparently he has little support in the parliamentary Labour party. They say that only 30 MPS out of more than 200 support him. If this is the case, then it seems that the irregularities in the leadership ballot will be used to question the result. I cannot see that the election of Corbyn will be straightforward.

    We know that Cameron will not be leading the Conservatives into the 2020 election. I do not think that Jeremy Corbyn will be leading Labour into the election either. However, who knows?

  19. Comres in Independent on Sunday

    Con 40 Lab 29 LD 8 UKIP 13 Grn 4

  20. Lib Dems look at bit low, Labour a bit high and probably being boosted by UKIP/the Greens being out of the spotlight.

  21. Looks like Bernie Sanders in the US is causing a similar storm to Corbyn.
    https://twitter.com/IAStartingLine/status/632624228878057472/photo/1

  22. @ Adge3

    Norway (or Denmark) is a member of NATO, so it is committed to the 2% rule.

    This question about military spending has been around ever since the rise of Japan, but I haven’t seen any convincing evidence of being a cause of losing this or that economically.

    While military spending is, by definition, an improductive spending that may reduce available resources, the U.S. Has financed it from QE, so it didn’t. However, there is a clear correlation between economic cycles and military spending in some countries (it is also true that the only time when the SU was able to keep up with military spending and increasing living standards was the high oil prices time – which should have given them the indication that they needed a different defence policy).

    I think that there are deeper roots here, among them the pension system (arbitrarily naming it).

  23. ICM has Labour on 31 with Survation giving them 33. Perhaps we are now seeing a Comres house effect which leads to them coming up with low Labour figures. I believe their post election polls have all recorded them in the 27 – 29% range – a fair bit lower than other pollsters.

  24. Lizh
    If I were a more moderate Democrat in the US I’d be supporting Bernie Sanders. I think the Democrats in the US have a once in a lifetime opportunity to shift the Overton Window at least more in line with the rest of the developed world at best far enough to the left to make the Republicans as they currently stand look completely ridiculous.

    None of the Republican nominee’s look strong enough to win next year, demographic changes in the US continue to favour the Democrats and with the very real possibility of an egotist like Trump running as an independent (which would really harm the Republican’s chances) victory for the Democrats regardless of who they pick looks very likely so while Hilary looks like the safer pair of hands and may be more in line with what most Democrats believe in Sanders is such a unique opportunity to drag the entire US (probably kicking and screaming) leftwards.

  25. @Rivers10

    I’ve just checked the odds on Paddy Power for the winning US party in 2016.

    It has Democrat 4/6, Republican 6/5, independent 50/1. That surprises me a touch.

    You are correct on the demographics. Currently the Republicans seem to be out of the question for Hispanic community. Socially, this community is quite conservative, so the right Republican could tap into this.

    However, people like Donald Trump really put this community off.

    Personally, I think Donald Trump would put a huge number of people across the nation off.

    Perhaps Jeb Bush would do better, but another Clinton vs Bush contest would show the gene pool for US Presidents to be far too shallow.

  26. Anyone fancy a ‘value’ bet, you can get 1000/1 for Kim Kardashian to be the next US President ;-)

  27. @Laszlo
    Thanks for your informative reply.

  28. The Nordic countries, and Norway in particular, pioneered the liberalisation of electricity markets (even though many of the companies involved remain state owned). Nordpool also runs the UK day-ahead electricity market and those countries are normally anti intervention on electricity prices.

  29. @RIVERS10

    I think there is a genuine desire for honesty and transparency in politics and ‘a safe pair of hands’ is no longer the number one priority. This is the reason why people like Corbyn, Sanders and Beppe Grillo are inspiring people to pay attention to politics.

  30. Now that the Scottish Labour leadership elections are over I hope Amber Star will return to this Board. We miss you Amber.

  31. ComRes details & link to tables.

    http://comres.co.uk/polls/sunday-mirror-independent-on-sunday-august-poll/

    Graham

    “Perhaps we are now seeing a Comres house effect which leads to them coming up with low Labour figures.”

    As usual, they have Con ahead of Lab in Scotland – which would suggest an intrinsic house effect like you suggest.

  32. The Comers results are very poor for Corbyn and more or less what I would expect but on the specific issues they only ask about Corbyn so can’t compare with the other candidates odd.

    On improve Labours chances of winning the next GE
    Corbin -10
    Burnham +5
    Cooper -3
    Kendall -6

    On Corbyn (in order) Greens, SNP and Labour think he would improve Labours chances.
    Cons, UKIP, Lib Dems weaken

    The main reason people give for not voting Labour – the economy.

    Corbyn scores -22 with only 14% thinking he would improve the state of the economy. Cons are -63% with only 3% saying he would improve the economy. UKIP are -36% with only 9% thinking he would improve the economy. Lib Dems are -24% and 12%. The only nets positives are the anti-Austerity Greens +25 which actually exceeds the Labour voters +15. The anti-Austerity SNP is a neutral net 0.

    Labour lost the GE on the economy Corbyn looks like the wrong choice if they want to win in 2020.

    And the Greens seem to be the most positive about Corbyn even more so than Labour.
    So he may pick up votes from Greens and to an extent SNP but may lose some Labour votes are already down at a low level

  33. Presented without comment…

    http://i.imgur.com/Bho4gfK.png

  34. @ Laszlo,

    Defence spending is a classic Keynesian stimulus- paying people to dig holes/build things that make holes in other people- so you’d expect it to be expansionary in the current climate.

    @ Graham,

    Perhaps we are now seeing a Comres house effect which leads to them coming up with low Labour figures.

    They introduced a new turnout weighing that weighs down all the Labour leaning groups, so we’d expect them to be lower than the people who don’t have it.

    Incidentally this would tend to mask any Corbyn surge, since his main strategy is to boost turnout amongst traditionally low turnout, Labour-leaning demographics.

  35. @ Funtypippin,

    Yeah, but I mean:

    http://i.imgur.com/qii2o4Y.png

    I don’t think we can necessarily infer a preference from search interest.

  36. Spearmint

    That’s true but I think it does highlight a) how Corbyn has managed to dominate the election and more importantly b) how idiotic and counterproductive the hysterical anti-Corbyn media coverage has been.

  37. Also:

    http://i.imgur.com/dZaf4gZ.png

    So is it a measure of popularity/significance, or just the fact that no one who isn’t a sad political obsessive like us knows has the faintest idea who he is and they all need to Google him?

  38. I certainly agree with your last comment, though. He’s the one making all the weather in this contest. The other three have barely produced a soft breeze between them.

  39. Spearmint.
    I concede. The Met have more siht but size for size, South Yorks take the Balm Cake.

  40. There hasn’t really been much discussion of the Survation poll that looked at the Labour leadership candidates. It was done for the TSSA union, though I can’t see that that had any effect in how the questions were asked (assuming things were randomised in the normal way).

    The general write up:

    http://survation.com/labour-leadership-latest-survation-video-poll

    includes links to the clips of the Andrew Marr interviews that people were shown so they could have an idea of the candidates[1]. The contents of those might bias things, as Spearmint wondered, but in fact the actual positions that all four were advocating (benefit cap, benefit cuts, nationalisation, staying in EU but with some change on immigration) are all popular and presumably people also used whatever knowledge they had about the candidates[2].

    It’s true that the questions mean that Corbyn comes across as straightforward and the other three as prevaricating and evasive. But then it’s generally agreed that applies whatever you ask them.

    There is a link to the tables from the above showing there was also an EU Referendum tracker as well (Yes 46%, No 37%, DK 18%) and some interesting policy questions which I hope to come back to.

    There was also a general voting intention question asked, as a couple of people have mentioned:

    Con 38%

    Lab 33%

    Lib Dem 6%

    UKIP 15%

    SNP 5%

    PC 1%

    Green 3%

    I’ve not quoted changes as the ones mentioned earlier seem to be from Survation’s one done immediately after the election(8-9 May). The ComRes one is also the first of a series as it’s their first online poll – previous ones for the Mail have been telephone.

    [1] Dear Survation people, your website would be much improved with two simple tweaks: display links in a different colour and automatically put a prominent published date on each entry.

    [2] Incidentally the two previous “Quantitative Video Polls” that Survation did were before nominations opened and back during a Miliband crisis and so didn’t use the same list of characters.

  41. These pictures are fascinating. And I was working hard with coding various API searches …

  42. @Roger Mexico

    I have two quibbles with the Survation poll

    1. The Corbyn clip is on re-nationalisation and this is the only issue he scored a nets positive on in ComRes

    2, It was commissioned by a union that endorsed Corbyn.

    The ComRes paints a very different picture.

    I am just very suspicious of the Survation it’s an odd format asking to rank characteristics as opposed to policies or policy areas. And once they played the clip, established that Corbyn was the most trustworthy and intelligent, then they ask who’d be best leader.

    Released just before voting begins to reassure Corbyn supporters who may be losing their nerve than he can win a GE?

    Whereas looking at ComRes…choose Cooper or Burnham, Corbyn and Kendall will not win you a GE,

  43. Not to intervene in the imgur war, but I must admit that I first realised that he might be doing better than was generally predicted when the first Google suggestion for ‘Jeremy C’ was Corbyn not Clarkson.

  44. ‘Labour lost the GE on the economy Corbyn looks like the wrong choice if they want to win in 2020.’

    Or argue better that the whole western world was following rightwing privatisation agendas, including the Labour (and Tories) here…

  45. @Roger Mexico

    People talk of the Westminster bubble but there is also a Social Media bubble. And of course more SM folk sign up for polling panels and to vote in leadership contests but referendum’s are lost and Tories get a majority.

  46. @ Roger Mexico,

    Heh. He’s hit the big time, alright!

  47. LASZLO
    they are still a NATO member, so I assumed they are still bound by certain rules.

    They were the only nation other than Soviet bloc who, to my knowledge during work there, provided official aid to Vietnam during the US embargo following the decade following the ending of the Vietnam war

    Spearmint
    making things that make holes in other people as Keynesian economics – LOL .

  48. corr. in the decade

  49. @ John Pilgrim

    Thanks. I wasn’t aware of this. I scanned through this article (will read it thoroughly) which contextualises the issue.

    http://rucforsk.ruc.dk/site/en/publications/the-vietnam-war(3dd465b0-f1d9-11dd-b6c5-000ea68e967b).html

  50. Couper2802

    I think you’ve got to take into account the different wording of the questions. ComRes ask:

    If each of the following people were leader of the Labour Party, do you they would improve, worsen or make no difference to Labour’s current chances of winning the next General Election?

    while the Survation question format was:

    Overall, if the person shown in the above clip were the Leader of the Labour Party, would you be more or less likely to vote Labour in the general election??

    The first is asking about a general perception and the danger is that people will just trot out whatever the conventional wisdom of the day is rather than their own personal opinion – which is what the Survation wording is aimed at. They’re not completely independent of each other, but they’re pretty distinct.

    I’m not terribly convinced that the characteristics questions had much influence simply because if you look at how the four candidates did on each one[1]:

    http://survation.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/candidates-characteristics.png

    they all score pretty much the same as each other on each quality, possibly reflecting more what people feel about the Party rather than the individuals. Even where there is some variation, it tends to be against expectation. For example Kendall’s supporters have been praising her ‘toughness’ in terms that Baron Sacher-Masoch[2] would think a bit over the top. But she actually scores far worse on “tough” that the other three. Contrariwise she just tops the poll on ‘normal’. Have you seen that video?

    [1] The graphics all show Corbyn’s figure in bright red while the other three are in various shades of bluey-green (lightest Burnham, darkest Kendall). I assume this in homage to Barbara Castle who, on viewing the set at a Blair-era Party Conference, remarked with some disdain “The people’s flag is pale turquoise”.

    [2] Marianne Faithfull’s great-great-uncle apparently. Though I don’t remember him featuring much in her episode of “Who do you think you are”.

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