ICM have released their monthly poll for the Guardian, topline figures with changes from last month are CON 36%(-3), LAB 36%(+4), LDEM 8%(+1), UKIP 11%(nc), GRN 3%(-1). Full tables (and Martin Boon’s very wary commentary) are here. It is the first poll since the general election not to show the Conservatives ahead.
In one sense, people shouldn’t get too excited about this poll. As everyone will know, the polls at the last election overestimated Labour support, and it is possible (though not a given) that polls are still overestimating Labour now. In the case of ICM they have made some minor changes to the way they reallocate don’t knows, but such changes are limited so far. In Martin’s commentary on his poll he says that ICM are currently testing a new turnout model that would have changed this poll into a three point Conservative lead.
On the other hand, even if the absolute level of the lead in this poll is off, there has been a significant change in the lead since last month’s poll, and one that is consistent with the ComRes poll at the weekend. Sure the absolute levels of the Tory lead in the two polls is very different (because ComRes have adopted a very different turnout model to ICM), but the trend in the two polls was the same – ComRes had the Tory lead dropping by five points, ICM had the Tory lead dropping by seven points.
Even if there is reason to doubt the size of the lead in this poll or the ComRes poll, the common trend appears interesting – could the Conservative infighting and division over Europe be damaging their support?