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”

1 2 3 4 5 14
  1. Roland Haines

    Agree with your 3.50 post, suddenly there is going to be an implosion of the economy!! Presumably as a result of a small rise in unemployment which was predicted. As I posted earlier the rise is as a result of more unskilled people coming on the market, not a crashing economy. The number of vacancies is at a near record high.

    Allan Christie

    Nor eaten there, must try it some time. Thanks for the tip.

  2. @Roland

    ““The Tories cannot win an overall majority” they said.”


    I did explain at the time how it was possible for Tories to win a majority, especially if polls were out, but see my post above above no one listening to me.

    Roland Haines

    “Agree with your 3.50 post, suddenly there is going to be an implosion of the economy!! ”


    Well, implosions are sadly all too common, but they don’t automatically mean Tories won’t get re-elected. Major won in 1992, despite the early Nineties recession.

    ‘There have been a number of very strenuous denials, from Labour supporters on this board alone. They occur when the tone sounds
    like they really want to see a full on financial calamity, just to damage the Tories. If this is what the party of Bevin, Gaitskill and Atlee has come to, you have my sympathy.’

    I must admit it would be rather reminiscent of the gloating from Osborne et al when the Brown Government was hit by the financial tsunami in Autumn 2008.


    @”a significant amount of the money created by the BoE ends up in the economy via the banks.”

    Exactly-being the use of the additional liquidity as planned.

  6. Despite having never voted Tory, I was very impressed by the tempered manner of Cameron, especially changing his speech at the conference. I was suitably disappointed when Brown broke the agreement over no overt financial criticism.

  7. @ Colin

    If the FED’s analysis can be believed, they have no clue how much went for pumping up liquidity and how much for time bound stuff (well, they did a kind of residual analysis) This is why they are so anxious about pulling back the QE.

    There were suggestions back in 2012 that quite a bit of the UK QE went to bonds.

  8. Welsh Borderer

    Although knowledge of English politics is greater in Scotland than the reverse position (see analysis of post devolution media coverage, apart from anything else), I must admit to a somewhat hazy understanding of the boundaries of “the English North”.

    That may be a result of the London commentariat considering that only dragons inhabit the wasteland north of the Watford Gap.[1]

    However, ICM presumably know which postcodes lie within their definition of the North so the perceptions of a minority of voters within specific English regions that they are simply temporary residents in “the North” before they flee to their natural home in Sussex doesn’t alter the numbers.

    Of course Labour will win some seats in the South/Midlands of England, while the Tories will win some in the affluent enclaves in the North of that country. The Scottish Tories may well win a couple of seats in Scotland in 2020 for that matter – the new seat including Roxburgh etc and the sole current Labour seat.

    That there are variations within regional variations will not allow any party to form a UK Government, however, unless it can –

    1. dominate the area with the largest number of constituencies (ie the Tories)
    2. form a new alliance of MPs from non-Tory UK along with sufficient from SE England.

    Option 1 is what happens at the moment.
    Option 2 requires Labour to think in a very different way about what will be, not what happened long ago.

    [1] Those of us in Ultima Thule know that the dragons only exist in the City of London – for which the Desolation of Smaug is an apt analogy.

  9. @Colin

    Yes, I know you know how it works, you just tend to leave out that similarity between QE and helicoptering: that either way, money created by the BoE can wind up in the economy.

    When others note that similarity, you tend to change the subject and talk about other differences between the mechanisms instead. No one knows why…

  10. @OLDNAT

    “Although knowledge of English politics is greater in Scotland than the reverse position”


    Well you would expect that given that Scotland is directly affected by Westminster, sending its own MPs there, in a way that England isn’t by Holyrood, but it is hard to imagine your knowledge of Corbyn would be much more than token when weighed against Colin’s!!


    @”we don’t live in a banana republic.”

    Exactly-I was anticipating Corbynite policy.

    @”you just tend to leave out that similarity between QE and helicoptering: that either way, money created by the BoE can wind up in the economy.”

    Isaid that Money Supply increases with both, since new money is created with both.
    The difference is that QE via Purchase of dated Gilts ensures removal of the increase, but Helicopter money is sunk in illiquid assets ( infrastructure)-at least that is Gorbyn’s intention.
    So Helicopter money clearly ends up in the economy-most of it with Civil Engineering Contractors one presumes. As Laszlo implies-for QE/UK Gilt purchases the jury seems out on how much was passed through into commercial loans & how much sat as liquid assets on lenders’ balance sheets.

    BoE have certainly expressed a view on GDP effect of theAsset Purchase programme-can’t remember the number off hand.

  12. Tony Blair has become positively apoplectic.

    “annihilation” does seem a bot OTT.

  13. Good evening all from Wokingham


    Allan Christie
    Nor eaten there, must try it some time. Thanks for the tip.
    No problem. Howard.

    Tonight I heard the excuse of all excuses from a UK minister blaming the rise in unemployment on the prospect of a labour/SNP government during the election even though most of the rise was after the election.

    It’s almost as bad as the Lib/Dems in Scotland blaming the Loch Ness monsters inability to get pregnant on the Scottish governments health policies.

    Seriously….who moved the rock?

  14. Carfrew

    The name “Corbyn” has a common ancestry with the Scots term “corbie” (a raven).

    Colin may appreciate these literary refences to it –

    “Even in this neighbourhood of late, An apparition held its seat, That mony folks was wont to fright, Beneath the corbie wing of night.”

    “A taste which is so truly corbie, that it cries humph to nothing, however deep the mark of other vermin in the dish.”

    However, the many right wingers on this board, who have pretensions to being “red” may prefer the usage “to be a gone corbie” as a “goner” –

    “I telt her that gin the red men got hauds o’ him he would be a gone corbie.”


    “I’m a gone corbie this winter, if I getna some place to shelter me.”

    Though my personal favourite would be “Bonnyman sat like a corby on his path, and Captain Fyfe had ultimately to succumb, a ruined man.” – with Burnham as “Bonnyman” and Blair with an appropriate military title of Captain.

  15. Corvids-the avian family of passerine birds that contains the crows, ravens, rooks, jackdaws, jays, magpies, choughs, and nutcrackers

    V& B can be interchangeable .

  16. @Colin

    Much of the QE money has not been retrieved from the money supply yet, but we haven’t had rampant inflation.

  17. @Colin

    There is no fundamental reason helicoptering should inevitably lead to an economic disaster. Is the point. If you do it when interest rates are floored and inflation quiesced, and if you remove excess money from the money supply via taxation to curb inflation, then you obviate causes of economic horror.

    Clearly it needs careful handling, much the same as you have to be careful if injecting lots of money via conventional borrowing.

    Thus the real issue is whether Corbyn would do it correctly in practice.

  18. @ OldNat

    Thank you. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

    There is a Hungarian proverb: rare like the white raven (there was one in Liverpool this winter). I wonder how it could be translated to today’s political situation.

  19. @ Colin,

    Tony Blair has become positively apoplectic.

    I wouldn’t vote a certain way just to upset Tony Blair, but I have to admit watching him dance this awkward jig between denouncing the party membership and grovelling to it is pretty cathartic.

    If Jeremy does destroy the Labour Party, at least it’s going out in style with this ridiculous Guardian article.

  20. Yesterday or the day before I made a tentitive suggestion about LP’s disorganisation (drawing parallels with the CP of SU). Today they seem to have outdone the CP.

  21. @ Spearmint (and many others)

    Does this mean anything serious to the life of the people who live here? I honestly doubt it.

    What is serious, however, and you can sense it both in the liberal and right wing press (the Morning Star is unreadable, so I exclude it) and it is fear. Nobody really knows how to respond to JC (both really). When TB and Colin in two different ways try to undermine it, but have to be on the same terrain … You are rather cautious with mining …

    Interesting times.

    Still, China is the main issue for the time being.


    @”Much of the QE money has not been retrieved from the money supply yet, but we haven’t had rampant inflation.”

    Manifestly true

    @”There is no fundamental reason helicoptering should inevitably lead to an economic disaster”

    There are differing views on this-one would broadly respond “I agree”-the other would say ” I disagree”.

    No point in you & I debating it here-we may well be able to enjoy many others doing so should Crow Man win.

  23. The Twa Corbies

    As I was walking all alane,
    I heard twa corbies makin a mane;
    The tane unto the ither say,
    “Whar sall we gang and dine the-day?”

    “In ahint yon auld fail dyke,
    I wot there lies a new slain knight;
    And nane do ken that he lies there,
    But his hawk, his hound an his lady fair.”

    “His hound is tae the huntin gane,
    His hawk tae fetch the wild-fowl hame,
    His lady’s tain anither mate,
    So we may mak oor dinner swate.”

    “Ye’ll sit on his white hause-bane,
    And I’ll pike oot his bonny blue een;
    Wi ae lock o his gowden hair
    We’ll theek oor nest whan it grows bare.”

    “Mony a one for him makes mane,
    But nane sall ken whar he is gane;
    Oer his white banes, whan they are bare,
    The wind sall blaw for evermair.”

    For those of you without a knowledge of archaic Scots a translation into standard English.

    The Two Crows

    As I was walking all alone,
    I heard two crows (or ravens) making a moan;
    One said to the other,
    “Where shall we go and dine today?”

    “In behind that old turf wall,
    I sense there lies a newly slain knight;
    And nobody knows that he lies there,
    But his hawk, his hound and his lady fair.”

    “His hound is to the hunting gone,
    His hawk to fetch the wild-fowl home,
    His lady’s has taken another mate,
    So we may make our dinner sweet.”

    “You will sit on his white neck-bone,
    And I’ll peck out his pretty blue eyes;
    With one lock of his golden hair
    We’ll thatch our nest when it grows bare.”

    “Many a one for him is moaning,
    But nobody will know where he is gone;
    Over his white bones, when they are bare,
    The wind will blow for evermore.”

  24. @Oldnat

    Thanks for the literary references. Not that one would expect me to follow them all. Might come in useful one day if I get roped into another pub quiz though.

    I once did a pub quiz on the theme of the Beatles. That was the only other time in my life where I knew a goodly number of answers but another person on our team kept giving them away. If there’s ever a quiz devoted Corbyn, board members should stand an excellent chance.

  25. People here seem to be talking about Conservatives and Labour one doing and well and the other not so well. The some people wish it were the other way round.

    I don’t see things like that. I am not Labour or Conservative.

    The opinion poll that matters is the General election. What were the results? Reading down the list you find that all the parties seemed to have won. Conservatives increased vote share, Labour increased vote share, by more than the Conservatives, but they were relatively small movements. The Scottish Nationalists however increased their vote share by 5%. This was dwarfed by the UK independence Party which increased its vote share by 12%.

    However UKIP’s 12% increased vote share was overtaken by the 15% change in the Liberal Democrats’ vote. The Lib Dems’ vote share slumped by 15%. They used to have 23% of the vote in 2010. They were up there with the two big parties. Now, they have 7% of the vote.

    Reading the results of the election, that seems to me to be the big change in voter opinion.

    People have said that the election was a disaster for Labour. It was a disaster compared with the mistaken opinion poll forecasts. It was not a disaster compared with 2010. Labour made a small advance on its 2010 vote share. Did Labour really expect to overtake the Conservatives after one period in opposition? Labour was out of office for three general elections in the 1950s until 1964. The Conservatives were out of office for three general elections after 1997.

    Therefore just waiting a little, time is a great healer. It will be the turn of parties other then the Conservatives in the future. Of course, the opposition is divided. There are, or have been two opposition parties, Labour and Liberal, later Lib Dem. This division makes it easier for the Conservatives.

    A poster Catmanjeff has said that for him proportional representation is the policy which counts the most for him. I would agree with that – almost – that is to say, with a modification.

    I have voted Liberal and Lib Dem for years for one reason, proportional representation. I don’t know about other policies the Lib Dems may have or the policies that Conservatives or Labour have. PR is a simple thing that I believe would benefit everyone.

    However, I don’t say that we should have PR. Here is the modification. I say that the question should be put to the British people. “Do you want to change the voting system to PR?” See what the people say.

    One consequence of the lamentable coalition of the Lib Dems and the Conservatives is that people are saying that this question “Do you want PR?” was put to the British people and they rejected it. The question was not put, and has never been put in a referendum. A very inferior option was put to the British people and they rejected that.

    During the minors strike in the 1980s people asked Arthur Scargill the miners’ leader to ballot his members on whether they wanted to be on strike. He didn’t do so. He might have lost the ballot. In the same way British governments do not call a referendum on whether people would like to change to PR. The government might lose its position of having more power in parliament than its voting figures justify.

    A coalition for putting the question on PR seems to me to be a reasonable idea.

    Oh, by the way, in protest against the Lib Dems, this time I changed my vote and voted Labour here in Exeter. Ben Bradshaw here had a greatly increased majority and the Lib Dem vote slumped. The Conservative vote hardly changed. I think that is the main reason why the Lib Dem vote slumped. If you want a Tory, vote Tory, you don’t need the Lib Dems. If you want opposition to the Tories, the Lib Dems are not going to do it. That is how I read it.

    Here in the South West, the Lib Dems are the main opposition to the Tories. Exeter is a rare exception. It is now the only non-Conservative seat seat South West of Bristol. Just as in the 1920s it was a big mistake for the Lib Dems to go into coalition with the Tories, unless you want a one-party, Conservative party, state.

  26. @Colin

    “There are differing views on this-one would broadly respond “I agree”-the other would say ” I disagree”.”


    Except that one of those views is wrong, and it isn’t mine.

    To take an extreme example to make the point.

    Let us suppose you just helicoptered one pound. Chance of economic meltdown is essentially nil.

    There is nothing fundamentally against helicoptering. It is all about how you do it in practice.

    As proven by QE, which also injects created money into the money supply. Look: no meltdown!!

  27. @Lazslo

    I think what the Establishment can’t handle a genuine left-wing candidate being popular.

    They think that by pouring scorn from every angle on him should be enough.

    I also think they are peeved that more shrill they become about JC, the more people are saying ‘talk to hand’ (that’s being polite).

    They really are rattled, rather like John Mann on PM trying to think of any excuse to stop the contest because it’s not going the way they planned.

    A full and open debate was the order the day, and that is what has occurred. However, it isn’t following the script.

  28. Blair’s article is superb but not sure his intervention, or those of his past colleagues, is helpful.

    I suspect some of the membership surge might come from worried Labour supporters wanting to stop Corbyn. But I doubt that’s true of many of the trade union sign-ups who are much greater in number than the £3 sign-ups.


    @”Except that one of those views is wrong, and it isn’t mine.”

    So long as you’re happy my friend-that’s what matters :-)

  30. @ Laszlo,

    No, but it’s funny!

    I do think though the Blairites are genuinely afraid for the future of the Labour Party, not afraid that Corbyn will succeed. Their analysis is incomplete-bordering-on-delusional for reasons that are readily apparent in Blair’s article, but they sincerely believe what they are saying.

    Which makes their incoherence even more interesting, because they are desperate to win this argument and yet they seem to be incapable of framing it in a way that would convince a five year old child, much less 50,000 mistrustful soft left Labour activists.

  31. @ Adge3

    Interesting thoughts (and I mean it). there are many things in it, and I want to pick only one: the notorious resistance of the Left of listening to their constituents (miners’ strike, binmen’s strike in Liverpool in 1992). Will it ever change? If JC can, it’s a new field (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in spite of its flaws).

  32. @Colin

    It wouldn’t happinate to continue labouring in ignorance.

    If you come up with a killer point, I’ll cede. I’ve done it before, even in discussions with you. But I’ve pointed out flaws in yours and you keep repeating them. That’s your choice, as long as AW allows it, but as long as you’re happy etc.

  33. The Tories are Not scared of a Corbyn victory. The Tory press are holding their fire until he gets elected.

    Meanwhile New Labour types are terrified of a Corbin victory.

    New Labour tried to move away from ideology to practical solutions. They did redistribute wealth, introduced minimum wage, and inequality and child poverty fell during the Blair premiership. The invested heavily in public services and tried to successfully move power to Scotland and Wales, less successfully to English regions. They also brokered peace in Northern Ireland and intervened successfully in Bosnia. All this is forgotten because of Iraq.

    Miliband failed to remind people of the Labour successes, so most people have forgotten.

    Most current Labour MPs lived through the 80s when the Tories destroyed Labour on a range of issues: economically incompetent, soft on crime, soft on Defence, in hoc to the unions\hard left,

    Of course Corbyn isn’t Michael Foot, he is worse, he has had no ambition for high office so will have left a shed load of hostages to fortune – enough to headline the Sunday press every week from now until 2020.

    I understand why they are so panicked – they know how the Tories and the press will portray Corbyn.

    1. Hard Left
    2. Open door immigration
    3. Leave Britain defenceless
    4. Industry ruled by the Trade Unions
    5. Excessive welfare – bankrupting country
    6. Anti-Jewish
    7. Friend of terrorists
    8. Politics of envy

    This will be impossible to rebut because the story will be backed up by Corbyn platforms and speeches.

  34. @ Spearmint

    If I was a political scientist, I would just plagiarise your comment.

    It is just right.


    There is no point in us flogging through it.

    To an extent my opinion derives from fundamental beliefs & concepts as much as from academic opinion & precedent.. Clearly there divergent academic views.

    If you just want a knockout between us two on this one I can’t help-sorry.

  36. @COUPER2802

    “The Tories are Not scared of a Corbyn victory.”


    Nor are the Labour left, it seems. Don’t see Greens or SNP complaining about it much either. Or LibDems, if you can find any.

    The only peeps worried about it are Blairites, who nominated him in the first place.

  37. COUPER2802

    That is a great post.

    I would only add that one reads reports that the Tory attack will not only list the things you have listed , but contrast him with other Labour leaders.

    So the tactic will be to help drive a wedge in the opposition , as well as putting the frighteners on the electorate.

  38. I don’t think anyone’s posted the final Labour selectorate breakdown, so here it is for our edification:

    Members: 299,755
    Affiliated members: 189,703
    Supporters: 121,295

    Over 600,000 people.

    Decent effort from the unions there. It’s only a little under the affiliated numbers from last time, and that’s with the double/triple/quadruple counting eliminated and union members having to proactively sign up in order to participate.

  39. @Spearmint

    Indeed. Blair and his “-ites” are throwing their toys out of the pram. Blair is staggered at his own irrelevance. The person who was once the “Great Persuader” does not appear equipped to reasonably address the concerns of the electorate in the Labour leadership election.

    As Malcolm X used to say, insults are what one uses when one doesn’t have the words to express what is on their mind. When someone possesses a vocabulary as extensive as Blair’s but still resorts to insults to describe those with whom they disagree, they clearly can’t find the right words to advance their cause.

  40. Blair is against Corbyn – that means at least one reason to vote for Corbyn.

  41. ADGE3

    “The Scottish Nationalists however increased their vote share by 5%”


    In UK terms, the SNP gained 3% (from 1.7% to 4,7%) – though that figure is as useful as the % of Michelle Mone’s bras worn by peers of the realm.

    In the 59 Scottish seats, their vote went up by 30.1% (from 19.9% to 50%).

    2015 also saw the % of SNP MPs who might be expected to wear a bra (without fevered comments in the meeja) double from 17% to 34%.

  42. @Colin

    Yes, standard tactics, trying to portray me as keeping it going when actually it is you. And it’ll prolly be you throwing up those straw men again about QE and helicoptering in future too!!

    Anyways, moving on, we haven’t had an update on Corbyn for a few hours Col…

  43. @ CMJ

    It is absolutely fascinating in a way. As Spearmint said (paraphrased): they simply don’t know who their party members are (again I have a historical advantage, even though the stakes are much lower here)..

    That Blair interview … I would like to see a poll on that.

    Everybody is gaming right now. This suggests not only JC, but also that there is a vacuum in the LP, and different factions aim for it by defining the rules of the game.

    It is up to the LP members what they want to do, but I think that the LP as an institution will go through a major change (policy making, monitoring, modification of policies, etc). I also think that Corbyn is centrist: centre of the current LP. Can he develop an infrastructure (the buzz word of the last few topics) to make it a centre of the current UK? I really don’t know. Many of the policy papers (they are coming out every day) are meaningful, and there seems to be a general thought process behind it. What it doesn’t address that the government actually has no power over most of the things he wants to do. How would then Britain cope by combining activism with politics?

    I’m watching it. I don’t really care what happens with the LP, but I found it fascinating how activism is translated to politics (now I include GRN). If it can be anchored … Who knows.

  44. Blairs intervention is just plain moronic. People can argue all day long (and they may be right) that you can’t win an election on a left wing platform however annihilation is NOT going to occur, a left wing shift is if nothing a core vote strategy. About 30% of the country would very happily vote for Corbyn and with that vote share the Tories would have to climb to the high 40s to reduce Labour to less than 100 seats. Thus Blair comments are sensationalist.

  45. Now, in the blizzard of info about Corbyn, it’s hard to keep track, but isn’t he rather Eurosceptic? Might press back him if he was for leaving EU?

  46. Corbyn is a bit but confirmed he would back an yes vote.

  47. Rivers10

    “About 30% of the country would very happily vote for Corbyn”

    Depends which country you are referring to, but if you mean the UK then their are probably enough in the 48% in Northern England and 40% in Wales to meet that figure.

    I suspect that most of them would also as happily vote for Liz Kendall.

    There are still lots of people who vote for a rosette rather than the policies that the rosette represents – though those who do so because of what the rosette once represented have an unfortunate habit of dying.

  48. 2016 could be interesting -corbyn campaigns in scotland,opposes trident renewal ,opposes camerons EU terms.

    Certainly be lively tho how he can survive with only the support of 20-30 mps is another matter.

  49. I think Corbyn said Cameron can’t take it for granted that he will be backed in the EU referendum. Corbyn will not back him if there is an erosion of workers’ rights.

  50. Okies thanks. Shame. Might exercise a few minds if he were for voting no…

1 2 3 4 5 14