The monthly ICM poll for the Guardian is out today and has topline figures of CON 38%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 11%, GRN 3%. The four point Conservative lead is the smallest since the election – while Jeremy Corbyn maybe getting some mediocre personal poll ratings, it does not yet appear to be doing Labour’s voting intention figures any harm. Full tabs are here.

245 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 38, LAB 34, LD 7, UKIP 11, GRN 3”

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  1. AMBER STAR……QE and imports….. I’m old fashioned enough to consider our trade gap a factor to be considered, when assessing our nation’s economic health……simple, that’s me. :-)

    LASZLO…….On cement…. We import most of our cement, some in clinker form, but because of our strict adherence to the EU emissions directives, ( for some reason our fellow members don’t try as hard ) it is becoming less viable, soon to die out, we now have more investment in import facilities than new production.

  2. CARFREW…….I had a knowledgable spellcheck for years, my PA, Deborah, drat, I could have sold her to LASZLO. :-)

  3. @Ken

    Yes, but would Deborah have gone with you everywhere, like if you’re posting on an iPad during Jazz night like I may be in a bit?

    And even then, it’s auto-correct that’s the real problem. Laszlo spells summat correctly, but the tablet mangles it into summat completely different.

    I try and work with it these days, and just see it as a way of rapidly evolving language…

    (Except auto mod, which is just plain evil)…

    P.s. You talked of a “device” being fitted to the ICE to enable using hydrogen. Now, my admittedly cursory knowledge of the matter leads me to understand that quite a few modifications would normally be required. I’m surmising that either some of these have been combined efficiently into a single device, or else a means has been found to obviate some of them?

  4. @AW
    “As ever, this is not a venue for debating whether government or opposition policies are any good or not…”

    OK if we can’t discuss QE can we at least discuss QI? What is Stephen Fry thinking?

  5. Can anyone tell me if the pollsters are using the same panels as before the election or if they have started afresh. It is asking a lot for the same group of people to come up with a different answer and some people were polled quite a few times. The polls may still have a significant bias towards their pre election position.

    Amber, last word on this but you have got the wrong ” it”

  6. @ Ken

    Cement is one of the most fascinating industries in my view – and most people at this point takes a polite turn to someone else.

    Yes, the U.K. Is an importer but mainly because a certain Lafarge and Homcin is next door. Once you get to higher grade (insulation for example) suddenly the ancestors of some of the Norfolk people enter (Rockwool), with increased transportation distance, and a distinctly different relationship with customers.

    As to the spellcheck – while dishwashers were invented for reducing breakage, and while servants are quiter as either hoovers, dishwashers or washing machines, and secretaries are better in typing and checking for errors, I don’t think they help the productivity problem that causes difficulties in UK manufacturing.

    Sorry, I lost the plot somewhere.

  7. CARFREW…..My mistake, it’s a system, not a device, it’s capable of being retro fitted, but our strategy is to exit having added value via OEM. I could reveal more, but I would have to kill you. :-)

  8. I guess the chistka will start tomorrow. It won’t be nice.

  9. @ Ken

    If it is a subsidiary of an European company, I know who it is. If it is a relatively (but not very) new company, I know who it is, you have to be more careful…

  10. LASZLO……It isn’t a subsidiary of any other company or organisation, it is a techie aggregator, but you can find us and some of our results with a modicum of diligence. :-)

  11. @Ken

    No Labour revolt. About 20 Lab MPs abstained. None voted with the government.

  12. Well, doing it this way probably avoided an actual rebellion. Will be interesting to see the list of ‘abstainers’ – I expect 20 is a high estimate of actual abstainers, as supposed to people who didn’t vote because they weren’t around.

    [Unusually, but gratifyingly for observers of politics, the Labour whips office told us. There were 21 people who abstained without the permission of the whips, and an additional 16 who were absent with the permission of the whips (i.e. were paired, unwell, abroad, etc, etc). I don’t know know prompted this sudden openness from the whips, but I hope it catches on – AW]

  13. Sorry, just catching up now – looks like 20 or so excludes expected absentees. Not technically a rebellion (by the metrics used by Philip Cowley, who measures these things) but that is a fairly significant show of defiance. And as Cowley tells us rebellion is a habit – once people start doing it they tend to keep doing it.

  14. It’s not a “show of defiance”. At worst it is a small protest against the ‘mess’ (which John McDonnell freely admits he made) in the run up to this vote.

  15. @Amber Star

    But its clearly not an isolated protest. Most of the people that abstained here are likely to keep taking no notice of the Corbyn whipping operation.

  16. @ Jack Sheldon

    But its clearly not an isolated protest. Most of the people that abstained here are likely to keep taking no notice of the Corbyn whipping operation.

    We don’t know whether it’s a one time thing or not. We’ll need to wait until a pattern emerges – or fails to emerge – as the case may be.

  17. @Amber Star
    @Jack Sheldon

    Have you seen the list of abstainers? I could have guessed most of it Tristam Hunt, Liz Kendall, Margaret Hodge, Frank Field.

    But so many more just weren’t there probably at least another 15-20. It was a very easy government victory.

  18. Never been able to understand why the left, who have a reasonable argument to make on policy, seem perennially so incompetent when it comes to presentational management.

    In terms of what voters see, McDonnell was shambolic tonight, as he has been throughout this saga. Given that Labour have excellent weapons to aim at Osborne on this (Osborne’s own flip flops on fiscal responsibility acts for a start), it’s bewildering just how inept Labour have been.

    My suspicion is that under Corbyn this will become the norm. A decent and well intentioned policy platform, swamped by the general uselessness of the presentation.

  19. @Alec

    That’s something that improves with experience. Let’s see how they get on going forward.

    On substance, JM ultimately made the right call. GO wanted to force Labour to accept the Charter so as to effectively emasculate any attempt to develop economic policies in contrast to his own. JM initially made the wrong call but corrected it. After the tax credit cuts begin to bite, no-one will remember the U-turn, merely that the Tories enthusiastically supported the policy and Labour opposed it.

    Getting 200+ Lab MPs into the Opposition lobby represents something of a success for JC. These are MPs who prior to his being elected largely wouldn’t even give him the time of day. Progress is being made on a workable consensus within the Party. That the abstainers are the usual suspects merely shows how far removed they are from the Party not just as a whole but also within Parliament.

  20. @ Couper 2802

    Fiona Mactaggart – Cooper
    Rushanara Ali – Corbyn
    ???Ian Austin – Cooper
    Ben Bradshaw – N/A
    Adrian Bailey – Cooper
    Shabana Mahmood – Cooper
    Ann Coffey – Kendall
    ????Andrew Smith – Corbyn
    Simon Danczuk – Kendall
    Jamie Reed – Burnham
    Chris Evans – Kendall
    ????Graham Stringer – N/A
    ????Frank Field – Corbyn
    ???Gisela Stuart – Kendall
    ????Mike Gapes – Kendall
    ????Margaret Hodge – Kendall
    Tristram Hunt – Kendall
    ?????Graham Jones???? – Burnham
    ?????Helen Jones – Cooper
    ?????Liz Kendall – Herself
    ?????Chris Leslie – Cooper

  21. Ignore the ???? They don’t mean anything. It’s just something that happens when text is copied from XL to WordPress.

  22. Means summat when I do it!! Usually utter bemusement…

  23. @KEN

    “CARFREW…..My mistake, it’s a system, not a device, it’s capable of being retro fitted, but our strategy is to exit having added value via OEM. I could reveal more, but I would have to kill you. :-)”


    That’s ok Ken, I woz just intrigued. I understand about not wanting to say too much: Obviously you could trust me with sensitive info. ‘cos as you can tell Ima sensitive kinda guy, but dunno about some of the other buggers…

  24. McDonnell and Corby eschewing rhetoric or riposte in stating the Labour position in the Charter debate, and willingness to accept abstention from those who wish to join a cross-party constraint on fiscal policy, tells you something. No “in the face of Tory legislation on the trade unions and on the welfare system” or “in the month the centenary of Kier Hardie’s death and the birth of the Suffragette movement ” – just explanations and facts, and a statement an unwillingness to see future policy shackled by a political device.
    I’ld have been very tempted to speak about riding on the shoulders of giants and defying Nurse Osborne’s attempt to encarcerate and lobotomise the political force of the Labour Party…….

  25. ALEC

    @”McDonnell was shambolic tonight, ”

    I agree-putting aside his inexperience at this level, it reminded me of JC’s perorations at the despatch box. They both sound just like they would at a Far Left Protest Rally. I suppose its what they know & do-but one wonders who they think they are now addressing from the Front Bench they now adorn.

    He was also rambling-a feature of JC’s Conference speech.

    And ultimately what did he say about Labour’s policy?-We will consult a named bunch of Labour orientated economists to tell us how to re-politicise Monetary Policy , and “grow” an economy which has been growing for some years now by “borrowing to invest” .

    I thought Caroline Lucas’ spectacular crash said it all about attitudes to Debt on the Left of politics. Pressed time & again by Osborne to say when would she stop borrowing more, she said when we can no longer repay it !

  26. So 37 Labour members either abstained or avoided voting in the debate last night. Does this give the voters a feeling of a strong united party actively opposing the Government or does it look very weak and divided? I have a view but I leave it to the voters in 2020 to decide.

    If I was a Tory I might be smiling this morning. However I’m not and there is much clearing to do at the allotments. Still smiling though.

  27. @Colin – I also agree that McDonnell’s policies on fiscal management do indeed risk re-politicising monetary policy, and that this is a mistake. Indeed, my view is that it is a mistake that hurts the left specifically.

    Markets tend towards supporting the conventional Conservative line, regardless of the actual market effect. It’s a matter of historic trust, although without any real basis in fact if the truth be told. However, that markets generally trust Labour less is a simple fact of life. It is therefore Labour, and particularly a more left wing Labour, that benefits most from de-politicised monetary policy, and if they restrict the freedoms of the BoE that Brown brought in, it will be to their own detriment, in my view.

    BoE independence actually bolsters a labour governments chances of raising the finance they need, and maintaining a reasonably stable economy. This is a mistake, in my view.

  28. I understand the Gammer school extension planned in Buckinghamshire is likely to get the go ahead today. That would be good news for [people who want an extra Grammar school in Sevenoaks, let’s not start a debate about whether that is a good thing or not. And it’s in Kent, not Bucks – AW]

  29. JOHN PILGRIM……” riding on the shoulders of giants ” It’s appropriate that your quoting John of Salisbury, leads to another son of Salisbury, Terry Pratchett, and his, IMO, more apposite, in current context, “elephants balancing on the back of a giant turtle “. :-)

  30. New Scotland polls via NC

    YouGov/Times (Holyrood FPTP):

    SNP 51 (=)
    CON 19 (+1)
    LAB 21 (-1)
    LIB 5 (+1)

    Dates 9th-13th October

    YouGov/Times (Holyrood list):

    SNP 45 (=)
    CON 19 (+1)
    LAB 20 (=)
    LIB 5 (+1)

    Dates 9th-13th October

  31. KEN
    Or “Angles dancing on a pin-head”. But the fact is that he did not use any rhetoric or hyperbole, and “rambled” across reasons for opposing austerity politics are, as he saw it, a political device for tying future Governments into a fiscl policy, when this should be one of an array of instruments within an economic strategy to be decided on the basis of a manifesto and policy making in office.
    As sailence in VI, it struck me that the morning TV shot and and exchange with McDonnell, as Shadow Chancellor, with his back pack over his shoulder walking to catch his bus and answering the BBC journalist’s questions about how he might fix an acknowledged U-turn on the charter, may have reached a few million voters as an effective piece of extra-parliamentary action, perhaps more salient that the charter debate. It’s a different kind of politics.

  32. Angels.

  33. Also YouGov had some interesting polls on issues
    (via Britain Elects)

    On nationalising Britain’s railways:
    Support: 55%
    Oppose: 30%

    On nationalising Britain’s energy companies:
    Support: 51%
    Oppose: 33%

    On allowing more Syrian refugees to settle in Britain:
    Support: 31%
    Oppose: 59%

    On reducing defence spending:
    Support: 23%
    Oppose: 65%

    On scrapping Britain’s Trident nuclear missile system:
    Support: 28%
    Oppose: 52%

    On a legal maximum wage of £1 million a year:
    Support: 39%
    Oppose: 44%

    There are more of them on the feed. The one which surprised me was the Syrian refugees.

  34. Omnishambles

    I am not surprised by the Syrian survey response, sadly.

    The others are also unsurpising to me.

  35. Omnishambles: so there are at least 5% of people who want to scrap Trident but don’t want to reduce defence spending. One wonders where they want to spend the spare £100 billion.

  36. Polltroll

    I am in two minds about Trident myself, but given a forced choice of one or the other, a functioning aircraft carrier would be preferable for me.

  37. KEN
    “, they look like a bunch of old, bumbling, amateurs, out of their depth and out of office, ”

    You’re kidding me. These are intellectually distinguished men with 30 years of parliamentary experience, and they know that it is people more like them and their kids than people like Sir Nicholas Soames they need to communicate with and answer to.

    “I am in two minds about Trident myself, but given a forced choice of one or the other, a functioning aircraft carrier would be preferable for me.”

    Or, say, tuition fees,bobbies on the beat, or nurses.

  39. @polltroll

    I wouldn’t believe the £100bn figure from the CND if I were you. Real cost is around £20bn-30bn. IMO it makes more sense to talk in percentages. The money for Trident comes from the defence budget, and it’s approximately 5-6% of the annual defence budget.


    “a functioning aircraft carrier would be preferable for me.”

    You’re in luck – we’re getting two!

  40. I didn’t get the £100bn figure from the CND. I got it from Google. Google knows everything ;)

    In all seriousness though, whatever the true cost of Trident renewal is, the figure that people believe is £100bn. And considering this site hosts discussion of polling – that is, the measurement of public opinion – the generally accepted figure is the one that matters, whether or not it is strictly true.

  41. Omnishambles

    Yeah, the MoD will definitely keep Trident to the low figure they quote. *scoff*

  42. @polltroll

    Depressing but true I guess. Ugh.


    The MoD’s published figures in their White Paper are a bit lower, I increased the range a bit because some increases are inevitable. I wrote a more detailed post a while ago about how the CND’s £100bn goes several decades into the future and makes all manner of crazy assumptions to get to that nice round figure… don’t want to get into it again.

    I think at the end of the day people will believe what they want…

  43. Worth remembering in all the discussions about borrowing to invest is that Osborne himself is engaging in that very policy – he’s just doing through versions of PFI so that, like Brown before him, he can keep it off the books and pretend he isn’t. PFI was a bad idea when Clarke experimented with it, it was bad when Brown used it and its not got any better because the guy using it now went to a public school.

    Quite why Labour don’t use this as an attack line I don’t know.

  44. @ John Pilgrim

    ‘You’re kidding me. These are intellectually distinguished men with 30 years of parliamentary experience, and they know that it is people more like them and their kids than people like Sir Nicholas Soames they need to communicate with and answer to.’

    Your comment is absolutely on the money :)

  45. Last night’s list of Labour abstentions had an error. It should have been Angela Smith (a Kendall supporter) not Andrew Smith (a Corbyn supporter)

    Fiona Mactaggart – Cooper
    Rushanara Ali – Corbyn
    Ian Austin – Cooper
    Ben Bradshaw – N/A
    Adrian Bailey – Cooper
    Shabana Mahmood – Cooper
    Ann Coffey – Kendall
    Angela Smith – Kendall
    Simon Danczuk – Kendall
    Jamie Reed – Burnham
    Chris Evans – Kendall
    Graham Stringer – N/A
    Frank Field – Corbyn
    Gisela Stuart – Kendall
    Mike Gapes – Kendall
    Margaret Hodge – Kendall
    Tristram Hunt – Kendall
    Graham Jones – Burnham
    Helen Jones – Cooper
    Liz Kendall – Kendall
    Chris Leslie – Cooper

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