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. …SNP 5

  2. Wes

    Good point. If Anthony is going to include only the parties standing in England, then he might at least publish the English figures, as opposed to a selective choice from the GB ones.

  3. …voting intention figures just four years and seven months from a general election.

  4. 4% was about the average of polls back in early October 2010.

  5. “Rose claimed that staying in the EU was worth £480m to every single individual in Britain…”

    Who in the EU got my £480,000,000? ;-)

  6. “4% was about the average of polls back in early October 2010.”
    In what is still a FPTP two party state, who do you expect those who simply don’t like the Tories to say they will vote for? The SNP vote, and the UKIP vote, show that other parties get votes from those who find something to like, but that’s not enough to turn millions away from Labour, whose main attraction is that they are the largest non-Tory party. Whether that would hold if they do drift off towards the extreme left remains to be seen.

  7. Amber

    Didn’t Lord Rose say “Being in Britain saves every person around £480 million a year.”?

    So it isn’t that someone has nicked your £480 million, just that you (and the rest of us) will have to find that cash from our savings if it’s Brexit.

    Personally, I’m off to Northern Ireland, so that I can laugh at all those penurious Brits. :-)

  8. I was staggered to read the Met have spent £12,600,000 stopping Julian Assange leaving his bolt hole.

    These calculations are back-of-a-fag packet, but bear with me:

    -There are 168 hours per week, so assuming two people are needed, 336 people hours need to be paid.

    -Assume a typical uniformed officer in London earns about £45,000 per year (that’s a guess)

    -That’s 336 hours per week to be paid, at about £25.00 per hour, equalling £8,400 per week.

    -That’s about £436,000 per annum, or £1,310,400 over three years.

    How did the Met spend the other £11,289,600 ??

  9. @ Old Nat

    So it isn’t that someone has nicked your £480 million, just that you (and the rest of us) will have to find that cash from our savings if it’s Brexit.

    Good luck explaining that to the electorate. They’ll all want to know where their £480 million is, just like me. :-)

  10. CMJ
    Quite. I came to a similar conclusion by a slightly different method.

    Assuming one bobby at a time, 3 8-hour shifts in 24 hours = 3 full-time wages = approximately £150k per annum. Add a bit for weekends (overtime?) say £200k per annum. If 2 at a time required, my figure is similar to yours. Can they really spend around £11m on support staff for 2 bobbies over 3 years? No wonder they’re strapped for cash!

  11. @ CatmanJeff

    That’s about £436,000 per annum, or £1,310,400 over three years.

    I estimate that it would take a 10 person team to cover 24 hour long-term surveillance of a building in London (maybe Neil A will correct me, if I’m wrong). Then there’s holiday cover to add on. There’ll also be a fixed cost allocation for HQ which would include e.g. vehicle maintenance, communications costs etc.

  12. @Amber Star @Pete B

    It was tongue-in-cheek, but it does seem a huge amount of money.

    There’ll also be a fixed cost allocation for HQ which would include e.g. vehicle maintenance, communications costs etc.

    Ah, fixed cost allocation. You mean dumping any costs they can into the operation, as they hope the Government will cough up extra cash ;-)

  13. @ CatmanJeff

    Ah, fixed cost allocation. You mean dumping any costs they can into the operation, as they hope the Government will cough up extra cash

    Are you an accountant too? ;-)

  14. Amber

    I misread that Lord Rose comment. It was “being in Britain” that saved us £480m million per year each!

    Even BT didn’t make that claim! If they had, the No voters, as well as the Yes ones, would have been demanding to know who “in the UK, got my £480,000,000?” :-)

  15. The BSE campaign (the remain in the EU campaign have indeed chosen to have the same initials as mad cow disease) are saying up to 3M jobs in the UK could be at risk from a Brexit.

    The Out campaign (who have yet to choose some initials; they’ll probably manage to choose ones which are even dafter) will no doubt point out that there are at least 2M EU migrant workers currently employed in the UK.

    This is going to be a fun campaign!

  16. @ Old Nat

    In Britain, eh? Now you’ll be wanting your £480M too! ;-)

  17. Also speaking at the [BSE] launch, the former head of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), Sir Hugh Orde, said that fugitives across Europe would flock to the UK as a safe haven if it left the European Union because a series of laws and extradition agreements would be ripped up.

    Presumably they are British “fugitives” who’d have to return to the UK due to a Brexit; if not, why would a post Brexit UK give these “fugitives” entry visas?

  18. Perhaps these European fugitives could join the Russian ones we have in London?

    As long as they bring their cash…..

  19. @ CatmanJeff


    Personally, I am undecided about the EU. The remain launch has made me LOL but it has yet to convince me to vote for staying in the EU.

  20. Amber

    Re Sir Hugh Orde

    Project Fear v2 is rolling – and using precisely the same tactics and language of Project Fear v1!

    Remember Darling’s claim that an indy Scotland would have to renegotiate 140,000 treaties?

  21. Of course it should not be forgotten that just months before he was deposed in November 2003 in July 2003 ICM had the Tories on 34% and Labour on 36%, so even IDS did better than Corbyn with the same pollsters at one stage (before Labour get too excited!)

    The ICM subsamples show Labour making no net gains from the Tories, just picking up some Greens and LDs

  22. The Tories enjoyed a lead in England of 9.5% in May – so the ICM figures imply a 1.7% Con to Lab. Together with the pro- Labour shift shown in Wales , it would suggest Labour taking 15 Tory seats and taking us back to Hung Parliament territory.

  23. Ken

    I had heard that some strange religious people believe in a rather nasty Almighty -“for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me”

    You are the first I have seen to suggest that the sins of the uncle should be visited on the nephew.

  24. OLDNAT……..Would you be so kind as to direct me to that suggestion ?

  25. Momentum seems to be an activist organisation which is intended to counterbalance the ‘top-down’ pressure group, Progress.

  26. @Ken

    And possibly he is motivated to ensure that alleged victims have a voice precisely because of his family experience? All the allegations have yet to be proven true or untrue although it is interesting to see the Westminster establishment attempting once more to ensure that they are dismissed.

  27. HIRETON……..Point taken, but it seems odd that he didn’t mention his family experience, to give some context to his otherwise shambolic campaign.

  28. @Ken

    I think the actions of the relatives of anybody, including public figures, is a private matter.

    It’s no-one else’s business.

    The sort of journalism that drags such matters up is a journalism that feeds from the bottom of cesspit.

  29. CATMANJEFF………There’s a lot of it about, it could be something to do with people in glass houses chucking stones. :-)

  30. Re: The Met’s Assange figure. My view is somewhere in the middle. The costs of running an operation are much higher than people assume. I expect as Amber says there are probably at least 5-10 officers on duty at any given time. Fixed posts are surprisingly arduous (vigilance plus boredom can really take it out of you) so there they are probably operating something like 2 hrs on 2 hrs off. Depending on where they’re getting the staff from there may well be travelling time to factor in (officers get to their usual place of work in their own time and expense, but if you want them to work somewhere else they travel there “on duty”).

    In addition to the “day in day out” costs, they’ve probably lumped in the costs of policing any “Assange is our hero” demos that have taken place nearby. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there wasn’t a public order serial permanently on standby to deal with any attempt to extract Assange by mobbing the building.

    Then I’d expect there is probably an entire operation being run in the background, insofar as that’s possible. Let’s just say the kind of things that Wikileaks thoroughly disapproves of.

    Then of course, legal advice, planning meetings etc.

    So yes, it would be quite expensive. But I still think the figure quoted is bonkers. It reminds me of the scene in “Independence Day” when the Judd Hirsch character (when someone queries how the US government could hide the cost of a secret research base in their budget) says “Ha, you don’t really think it costs them 500 dollars for a ballbearing do you?”

  31. @Neil A

    Thank you :-)

  32. Although it was drowned out in the noise of the “Get Watson” feeding frenzy, I thought it was very interesting to hear a senior policeman’s angry reaction to the recent Panorama programme. He expressed the fear that the public denigration of key witnesses was in danger of undermining a very serious police investigation that, he insisted, was still very much alive and kicking.

    A question that nags me about all this. Who will benefit if this investigation is derailed? The answer troubles me a great deal, as it must the victims who’s stories remain stubbornly untold.

    Maybe Watson’s “crime” was his burning desire for those stories to be told.

  33. NEDLUDD…….Friday this week, Southwark Crown Court…..Mr Rock appears. FYI. :-)

  34. On Watson and Brittan,

    The lesson for me is not really a party political one. It’s simply that investigating crime is a matter for the police, and politicians should be very wary of trying to pre-empt those investigations, either by slinging mud at the suspects, or equally by slinging mud at those making the allegations.

    I made the point here a couple of years ago that when it comes to dealing with historical child abuse, there is a big, heavy pendulum. When I was engaged in such enquiries full time, 10 years ago, the pressure of the courts and the media was very much to discourage the police and severely restrict the extent to which we could investigate. The pendulum then swung completely the other way, with the pressure being to investigate every matter, however far fetched, to the Nth degree. I said the pendulum would swing back again.. and here it is.

    Of course, each swing of the pendulum is accompanied by fulsome whipping of the police for not responding in whatever way is currently flavour of the month. But it was always thus, and such is the unhappy lot of the copper.

  35. On the poll,

    Pretty good poll for Labour really, especially from ICM, but I don’t think it really tells us very much. The devil is in the detail of the turnout, and at this stage I don’t think we really have a clue what impact Corbynism is going to have on the turnout of the usually-lethargic.

    I suspect an awful lot of people are telling people that the new order is going to motivate them to vote. Whether that enthusiasm will last another 54 months is another question.

    And whilst 34% is pretty good, it’s still not even the 35% strategy.. so pretty good is relative.

  36. @ Neil A

    Thank you for giving your take on the Assage policing cost; & for your comment regarding there being no political or public consistency regarding the investigation of historical child abuse allegations.

  37. Neil A

    “such is the unhappy lot of the copper.”

    Indeed, a bit like social workers – damned either way.

    Still, with HMRC mounting major investigations into lawyers and accountants conniving at defrauding the Revenue, there will be rousing cheers for the cops that arrest them. :-)

  38. @ Neil A

    On the poll.

    I agree with you that turn-out is a factor; but – more importantly – it’s where those voters are that matters.

    I doubt that the Tories will want boundary changes & a reduction in seat numbers now they know that they can win with things the way they are. And, if Labour are just piling up new votes in their current strongholds, that’s not going to make for a Labour government in 2020.

  39. @Neil A

    After the scandalous failure of authorities to protect vulnerable children over generations, please give me the pendulum that swings hard in the other direction and stays there. With many high profile convictions having been very belatedly secured as a consequence, if the price is as you suggest that there has been excessive pressure to act on other allegations, then it is a very small one to pay. And, as you of all people know, the insufficiency of reliable evidence that might stand up in court does not necessarily mean that such allegations are without foundation. So if Tom Watson as an opposition backbench MP had the temerity to let the DPP know in strong terms that he considered that the allegations he passed on were not being taken seriously enough, then good for him.

    The only thing that concerns me about this now is how private correspondence between a Labour MP and the DPP came to be leaked to a right wing newspaper. It reeks of an establishment attempt to discredit Tom Watson.

  40. NedLudd

    ” until the voting system changes and the SNP’s bloc vote can be whittled down.”

    Are you linking those two factors? If so, presumably, the Tory “bloc vote” in the South of England, the Labour “bloc vote” in the North of England and Wales would also be “whittled down”?

    Of course, if the voting system was changed to a UK PR system which required a party to get (say) 6% of the UK vote to get an MP at all, it would be easy to wipe out all parties save Con, Lab, UKIP (and maybe LDs).

  41. ICM poll with changes from September:

    Con 38% (n/c)

    Lab 34% (+2)

    Lib Dem 7% (-1)

    UKIP 11% (-2)

    Green 3% (n/c)

    SNP 5% (n/c)

    PC 1% (+1)

    Other 2% (n/c)

    So in so far as there is any change it comes from the drop in UKIP (perhaps with a lower prominence on migration issues) but the beneficiary appears to be Labour. But of course with such small movement it could just be noise. What is clear though is that the promised collapse of Labour’s VI to the mid-20s that we were promised once Corbyn was elected, hasn’t happened either.

  42. @Phil Haines
    “the insufficiency of reliable evidence that might stand up in court does not necessarily mean that such allegations are without foundation.”

    Yeah, but a surplus of people coming out to join in high profile accusations doesn’t mean there’s anything to them.

    That’s the problem, either only the definitely guilty go to prison, so plenty of fiddlers walk free, or we jail anyone accused by more than a few, and ruin innocents.

  43. @Wood,

    I’ve always said that the police have an equipment shortage.

    Not enough crystal balls, and not enough magic wands…

  44. NedLudd

    FPTP has always produced unrepresentative results – while it operated in the interests of the “big” parties, it was unquestioned.

    In 2010, Lab got 41 seats and LD 11 in Scotland. “Oddly”, both parties considered those results to be the democratic will of the people.:-)

    Assuming that a reformed voting system was designed to reflect the priorities of the 4 nations within the UK, then current polling would suggest Lab & Con gains in Scotland (though perhaps not too many), Con loss & Plaid gains in Wales, probably the status quo in NI

    England (with no experience other than the Euros) of PR is pretty unpredictable – certainly significant UKIP gains, even at current polling levels.

    Any single party getting an overall UK majority under such a system seems highly unlikely. Labour’s best hope would be to be the largest party leading a coalition of parties prepared to support their key policies on UK-wide issues.

    Whether they could also successfully wear the “other hat” of a UK Government and be the government of England as well might be a more moot question.

  45. @Phil,

    I’ve fought for most of my life to get allegations of child abuse taken seriously, with varying degrees of success, both as an investigator and a trainer. I consider myself to be on the side of the angels, by and large.

    But the fact is that satisfying a jury that someone is definitely guilty of abusing children is very difficult, and in a large minority of cases it is functionally impossible. That immovable truth has caused some defeatism in the criminal justice system.

    The media doesn’t help with their black and white, all or nothing reporting. All that “jury found him innocent” nonsense, not to mention oversimplifying things to the point of dishonesty. But the worst culprits of all are probably TV and cinema. Every time my wife watches a crime drama program (which is often – basically daily…) I find myself shouting at the screen in frustration at just how inaccurate an impression is given of how investigation works, how people involved in investigations (from all sides) behave etc.

    Given all of that, public interventions from politicians are pretty unhelpful. Much more useful is those who, like Sir Paul Beresford, quietly go about the business of talking to the police and educating themselves about the subject, in order to attempt to improve the legislation that deals with it.

  46. The £11m bill for Assangewatch seems completely plausible to me. A picture with a Guardian article entitled ‘Julian Assange: police removed from outside Ecuadorian embassy’ shows at least six police on view and no doubt many other round the back or out of shot. If there’s anything that the Met are good at it’s wasting vast amounts of money being political. So a display of force would be expected. And once you you start applying that 24-7 plus overheads, then it starts to get expensive.

  47. @Nedludd

    Why not just remove voting right for Scots? It amounts to the same thing (arguing for a change of system if you don’t like the results).

    Better yet, a 2nd indyref might save England change in the system, and Scotland from the disaster of PR and UKIP. I for one don’t want to see 83 UKIP MPs on the back of ‘EU bad’ diatribe.

  48. NEIL A

    “Pretty good poll for Labour really, especially from ICM, but I don’t think it really tells us very much. The devil is in the detail of the turnout,”

    Well, turning to the tabs, other detail seems to tell us quite a lot:

    Gender: M F
    Con 41 35
    Lab 30 38

    Age: 18-34 35-44 35-64 65 +
    Con 33 30 37 48
    Lab 42 41 31 26

    Soc Cat: AB C1 C2 DE
    45 36 44 26
    33 36 25 42

  49. Some years ago, I did jury service in a child abuse case. It really is very difficult.

    Firstly, you hear a lot of very grim information. You hear things that live with you afterwards.

    Secondly, there is very little, or perhaps no independent corroborative evidence. It boils down one persons word against another and working out who is more believable.

    Thirdly, people bring a stack of prejudices into the jury room. After the first session, where the defendant just gave their plea, some jurors were already saying he must be guilty ‘because he looks shifty’, ‘look at him smirking’ etc. For about a sixth of the jury, he was guilty before any evidence was heard.

    In the end you sit there, going through lots of largely unsupported claims and counterclaims, trying to establish if the defendant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

  50. If we can get away from the “who’s the worst wrong’un” competition, I’ve had some thoughts on party membership.

    Clearly having a relatively bigger party membership is not the be-all and end-all. They’re only as good as how active they are, how good their message is and how effectively they’re deployed.

    But I’m thinking there might be a kind of spillover point where party membership begins to affect public opinion, albeit in a minor way, just by existing visibly.

    Let’s imagine 100,000 people are members of the Fluffy Bunny Party. They’re less than one in a few hundred of the population, and you’d be hard pressed to find one member on a council estate, let alone at higher densities.

    But imagine then that a million people are members – suddenly every bus, every office and every street contains someone committed to bunny rights – there’s then an underlying and surrounding current of bunnyist thought for a lot of people.

    Of course for that to swing public opinion the bunnyists would have to be thought of as people whose judgment was wise and who the less political considered worth listening to – clearly not all of them would be – but it’s an interesting thought.

    In Sheffield Central Labour membership is up to something absurd like 2,500 from a voting electorate of about 45,000. Of course that’s already a Labour seat – the challenge is getting them to work somewhere else.

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