Last week there were several EU referendum polls showing movement towards Remain. Individually the changes were not significant, but collectively it was starting to look as though something may be afoot. Today we’ve had two referendum polls from ORB and ICM with movement in the other direction, suggesting there is no such breakthrough after all. The telephone poll from ORB has topline figures of REMAIN 51%(-1), LEAVE 46%(+3), DK 3%(-2), the weekly online poll from ICM has topline figures of REMAIN 44%(+1), LEAVE 46%(+2), DK 10%(-3).

Fieldwork for ICM was Friday to Sunday, ORB was Wednesday to Sunday, so both were conducted in the context of President Obama’s visit to the UK and call for Britain to remain a member of the EU. Neither of the changes though are necessarily anything more than normal sample variation, so I’d advise caution before jumping to conclusions about the impact of Obama’s visit.


78 Responses to “ORB and ICM referendum polls”

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  1. @ASSIDUOSITY

    I am only alive today due to the efforts of the medical profession so I hate to criticize them but you only have to read a few editions of Private Eye to know that whistle-blowing in the NHS can be very detrimental to ones career progression.

  2. Assiduosity

    There was a General Teaching Council for England between 2000 and 2012, when it was abolished.

    Wales still has one, although neither the English or Welsh ones seem to have the authority of the GTC which was formed in 1968 in Scotland.

  3. @Assiduoisity,

    The College of Policing now exists, although it’s still finding its feet and so far it’s not clear that it will be anything more than a body to set policy directions and coordinate training packages (like the NPIA it replaced).

    I suppose policing and medicine are very different trajectories in that most police officers neither wish nor expect to gain promotion, whereas the entire design of medicine is intended to be a journey to the “top” (i.e. Consultant, Professor or Senior Partner in a GP practice).

    If someone came out of medical school intending only ever to work as a Resident for the rest of their career, they’d be considered mad whereas most of my colleagues see promotion as leaving the job they want to do in order to get a job they don’t want to do (but for more money).

    The effect of this is that it is probably rare to have junior doctors who are older, and more experienced and knowledgeable than those above them in the food chain. In the police it is commonplace.

    I also suspect there that medicine is less generalized. Noone is going to appoint a heart surgeon to run a psychiatric unit, whereas it is common in the police to appoint a senior officer to run an investigation unit when they have never been a detective, or to put them in charge of public order when they’ve never been shield-trained.

  4. @Neil A

    Let’s say that a group of people are doing a car share with some co-workers. They each take a turn driving. Then one day they notice that one of the drivers is always drunk at the end of the day when they drive them back. This is blatantly obvious to all the other people in the car-share.

    If the members of the car-share fail to prevent the man from driving, and he causes an accident, do they share some of the responsibility?

  5. OLDNAT

    “However, I gather that they have a new strategy planned! Much talk about Dugdale being ditched after May – to be succeeded by Sarwar”

    “What happens when Lab do badly in the 2017 locals hasn’t been suggested yet but in a year’s time we should have a good idea of Sarwar’s successor – Willie Rennie perhaps? :-)”
    ____________

    Crikey one disastrous leader followed by another disastrous leader followed by who? ;-)

    I don’t think Johann Lamont will be too pleased if Sarwar becomes the next leader because I’m sure he was one of the infamous dinosaurs who appeared in her little red dossier of the now near extinct contingent of Scottish Labour MP’s.

    The council elections in Scotland will be very interesting and when they do arrive then it really could spell the end of the Labour party in Scotland. They say 3 strikes and you’re out..

    1…Holryrood…Labour out!!

    2….Westminster Scottish seats…Labour out!!

    3….Scottish local elections…Labour??

    I wouldn’t say it’s bad for Scottish Labour..
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
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    ……………………..It,s bloody horrific

  6. I’d suggest that it’s quite possible the entire structure of the Police Force is broken, and it needs to be reorganised in the same way as health provision.

    But that would mean accepting that you need to pay real amounts of money towards the administration and management of the police force, not just “the front lines”. It’s not sustainable to keep having the Policing branch of the service doing the vast bulk of Management and Administration too. There is no reason why a police force’s CFO needs to be someone in uniform, nor is there a reason the person in charge of prioritising cases and making strategic policing decision, also has to be the one in charge of procurement and physical plant.

    There needs to be a much clear delineation between Community Policing, Investigation, Armed Response and Administration as entirely separate career tracks. In the same way there’s a clear delineation between Nursing, General Practice, Consultancy, and Administration within the NHS. Then we can start to treat it as we do every other licensed profession requiring accountability for public safety.

  7. Imagine if your local Hospital had, instead of Doctors, Consultants, Residents, Junior Doctors, Nurses, Administrators, Secretaries and Receptionists… Every one of those roles was being given to a Doctor. Some times a Doctor having to switch between those roles in the same work-day. And punishment for a Doctor might result in them being transferred to Administration of Reception. And every Doctor was expected to be able to drop what they were doing and be transferred to a different hospital to do a different job than they were doing before, be it treating ear infections or doing heart surgery.

    You might think such a way of doing things was madness.

    It’s exactly what we expect of the Police Force.

  8. ASSIDUOSITY
    @OldNat and AC
    “These are appalling times for the Labour Party in Scotland.
    So scant is the reporting of the devolved elections at a UK level that it’s difficult to get a real flavour of the changing face of politics in the nations”
    ________

    Not really. If you stick to the likes of the state owned BBC and the English MSM then of course you won’t get a true flavour (I think it’s going to be custard flavour again) of what happens in Scotland. I follow quite a lot of Scottish based political stuff on twitter because the media down here is London centric.

    If you take OLDNAT, he posts quite a lot on the position of the parties in Wales. That info doesn’t come from the MSM in Scotland which hardly covers Wales, , its from independent blogs, social media and of course UKPR.

    So the point I’m making is…If you’re genuinely interested in something then go look for it and don’t depend on the MSM.

  9. @OldNat 9.59 a.m

    I think the Argyll and Bute timing is a little optimistic, particularly if the weather makes helicopter journeys difficult.

    Is it worth staying up all night just to see the inevitable? The most intersting results surely are going to be the Regional Lists, and they won’t be in until breakfast time….

  10. @EOTW

    “I am only alive today due to the efforts of the medical profession so I hate to criticize them but you only have to read a few editions of Private Eye to know that whistle-blowing in the NHS can be very detrimental to ones career progression.”

    Oh yes, as I think I said, medicine has traditionally been a very hierarchical system, which actively discouraged whistleblowing. Only now is the profession starting to improve. I tried to outline some of the measures being taken to tackle incompetence and reduce the stranglehold seniors have over promotion to demonstrate how this is being done.

    Equally, I acknowledged that it’s far from perfect.

    However, a lot of the ‘vengeance’ wreaked against whistleblowers has come not from clinicians but from senior Trust managers (acknowledged they can sometimes be one and the same).

    Also it is worth bearing in mind the scale of the NHS – only WalMart and McDonald’s employ more civilians worldwide and they operate worldwide – so instances reported in Private Eye will only ever represent a tiny number of cases in a huge organisation.

  11. @AC

    A fair point I guess.

    Though I must admit the impression I’m left with is that quite a lot of the Scottish media has its own agenda – as demonstrated by coverage during the referendum, so it is a little bit of a minefield to navigate for the uninitiated (I know the London press is a nightmare for many overseas friends, used to some bias but not our levels).

    In comparison, it’s fairly easy to follow the Welsh political situation as the coverage generally and genuinely seems less biased / rancorous or lively / opinionated depending on your viewpoint. Perhaps people aren’t interested all that much in the Assembly.

    Also, I rely on people here to keep me informed on the situation in Alba – as I know I’ll be getting the unalloyed truth ;-)

  12. Assiduosity

    “So scant is the reporting of the devolved elections at a UK level that it’s difficult to get a real flavour of the changing face of politics in the nations.”

    I think that’s also true in terms of the reporting in each the devolved countries of the elections in the others.

    It came as a surprise to many of us recently to discover that former Labour FM Ron Davies had switched to Plaid, and stood for them in 2011.

  13. Re: Hillsborough

    As someone who was resident in Liverpool at the time, I can honestly say that the original policing error was pointed out several days before the day of the game.

    The Leppings Lane end was chosen to hold the LIverpool fans only because it was closer to the roads coming in from LIverpool. The other end of the ground was far better adapted to cope with the much larger support coming from Liverpool.
    Had the Leppings Lane end been allocated to Nottingham Forest fans, as good sense dictated on numerical grounds, there would not have been any problem at all, other than the usual arrests for drunkenness etc.

    As I say, this was pointed out by those who knew the Hillsborough ground several days before the game… but the policing decision had already been made by then.

  14. @OldNat

    “There was a General Teaching Council for England between 2000 and 2012, when it was abolished.
    Wales still has one, although neither the English or Welsh ones seem to have the authority of the GTC which was formed in 1968 in Scotland.”

    The abolition of the GTC before it had really found its feet was one of the more foolish acts in the ‘bonfire of the quangos’.

    Yes, overlooking the Scottish GTC was foolish – an admirable body, that pretty much fits the bill of what a ‘Royal College of Teaching’ should do. It is also autonomous of government which is a decided advantage.

  15. My last post was in response to Catmanjeff, 9.46,

  16. sorry, 5.46 a.m.

  17. @NeilA

    “I suppose policing and medicine are very different trajectories in that most police officers neither wish nor expect to gain promotion, whereas the entire design of medicine is intended to be a journey to the “top” (i.e. Consultant, Professor or Senior Partner in a GP practice).”

    This is the view of medicine that – partly due to those medical dramas, and our over-focus on hospital care – most people have.

    However, the reality is changing all the time. More and more GPs are electing to take salaried positions or work as locums. Others combine ‘lower level’ hospital careers with community work. Likewise there are teaching, research and strategic roles that don’t fit into the standard structure at all.

    As the profession moves to being majority female (in all areas apart from surgery and a few other specialities), this ‘rush to the top’ mentality is gradually being replaced with much more mixed career structure, which workforce managers have yet to become accustomed to or prove they can plan effectively for.

  18. @Allan Christie and Old Nat

    I disagree with your low expectations of Labour in next year’s Scottsh Local Council elections. I expect the SNP shine to have somewhat dimmed by then – it is the inevitability of politics and public mood – and Dugdale’s Labour will have managed to survive the coming disaster (May 5th) without totally imploding, simply because Labour is expecting a total disaster.

    An alternative is that the Greens start to make considerable gains as the only viable Left group with a chance of entering power in coalition with the SNP, though after what happened to the LDs one might be forgiven for hoping that the Greens stay out of power and make the right noises from opposition.

  19. @JayBlanc,

    I partly agree with you, but not entirely.

    Firstly, I don’t think you can separate out functions like community policing and armed response from “normal” police duties. Armed response officers spend much of their time dealing with “unarmed” policework (in my force they double up as road accident investigators). They patrol the streets just like everyone else, and I don’t think having a separate paramilitary recruitment, training and management stream would be a good idea. Community policing is something that all police officers do (or should do) as part of their general duties. It’s a fine line between talking to the public about their local concerns, and developing intelligence sources for example. PCSOs to some extent fit the bill, but there is a big issue with them not being warranted police officers in terms of the amount of reassurance and protection they can provide.

    Admin is a different matter, and in fairness pretty much all lower level admin tasks are no longer carried out by police officers. This is even the case with a lot of investigative roles which nowadays tend to be filled by retired officers working as civilians.

    Where I agree with you (and this was a bit of a lightning bolt to me at the time) is that senior police management doesn’t need to involve warranted police officers at all. In my view all ranks above Chief Superintendent should be abolished and replaced with some sort of “Directorate of Policing” structure composed of people with experience of managing large organisations. For me a police officer is someone who takes operational decisions, not administrative ones. With one or two exceptions (usually relating to intrusive surveillance etc) all policing decisions are taken by officers of Superintendent or less. Most are taken by sergeants and constables in fact. Those handful of major operational decisions that currently sit at the top could fairly comfortably be shifted over to the judiciary or politicians. Other decisions could safely be pushed down the food chain to the level at which they are taken by someone who actually has direct knowledge of the case and not someone who is relying on a couple of paragraphs of briefing from them.

  20. @ASSIDUOSITY
    “However, a lot of the ‘vengeance’ wreaked against whistleblowers has come not from clinicians but from senior Trust managers (acknowledged they can sometimes be one and the same).”

    Agreed, it is not always the clinicians. I would be interested to know what the attitude to whistleblowing is in other cultures – at school we are taught not to tell tales, it is really deeply embedded in our culture.

  21. @NeilA

    It sounds from your last, thought provoking post, that the real difference between policing and medicine is that whilst many very senior people in the medical profession retain a hand in actual clinical work and contact with patients, senior police are quite removed from policing activities and, therefore, the public.

    The other thing I suppose that follows from this is that there must be a lot of separation between the ranks in the police service – how often does a constable spend time with a Chief Constable? Whereas in hospital medicine, the juniors are in hierarchy, but will spend time and be in teams with the consultants, even the senior consultants and that includes the medical directors (where they are still working clinicians – as they should be).

  22. John B

    My “prediction” for 2017 was a bit tongue in cheek – but SLab’s pattern over the last few years of having a modern day version of the Bronze Age ritual killings of the king after a bad harvest does seem possible.

    Predicting the future (even as close a one as next week) can be tricky.

    However, Dugdale has proved to be too inexperienced for the top job, and I do expect her defenestration in sufficient time for Sarwar to concentrate on keeping Glasgow with a Labour run council (which I think they may well do).

    Much will depend on how the SNP manage the process of creating better local government. If they botch it, and interfere with local loyalties, that could really damage them.

    On the other hand, if they can successfully sell the idea that the expensive services (that central government pays for) are better handled on a similar model to the Health Boards, instead of using councils as the delivery agents for national policy, that could be popular.

    It could then allow a transition to genuinely more local provision of the remaining services, without the need for national government to intervene.

  23. @Jayblanc,

    I’m not sure the drink drive car share example is really a very good metaphor. In circumstances where a colleague is blatantly committing a serious crime, officers can usually be expected to act (even if only to safeguard themselves).

    The problem is more about bad decisions, rather than evil ones. A decision to treat a human trafficking case as a labour dispute. A decision not to refer an assault case to the CPS. A decision not to arrest someone, or to arrest someone that doesn’t need to be arrested. A decision to stop monitoring a terrorist suspect. A decision to open an exit gate. These things aren’t done out of malice, but because the person making the decision hasn’t grasped the situation (through lack of time, lack of training, lack of intelligence or lack of interest), or because they themselves are under some sort of constraint that conflicts with taking the “right” decision (performance targets, budget cuts etc).

    At my rank, and in my role, I am largely reduced to trying to put down on paper the facts as I see them and my views about what should happen, and rely on others to decide the strategy. Often that works well, but when it doesn’t I don’t really feel like I have any recourse. Each manager generally sees the world through the prism of what the next manager down the chain tells them, so going above someone’s head is difficult. I doubt that the police are unique in that.

  24. @Assiduosity,

    Honestly, it is pretty rare for anyone over the rank of Inspector to have any regular contact either with the general public or with the constables they ultimately command. One of my beefs with TV dramas is the absence of constables. Everything is done by a Chief Inspector and a Sergeant. Taking statements outside nightclubs on a Friday night. Interviewing children. Managing informants. Making arrests. In reality even the meaty stuff, like interviewing murder suspects, is done by constables and perhaps a sergeant if they’re especially keen.

    There are exceptions, and public order situations are one. Due to the large numbers of officers involved, you will have officers up to Superintendent actually out on the street (but probably not shield charging anyone or making arrests). But that’s very rare. That Superintendent out at the demonstration may not have been in that position for months, and possibly never. A superintendent’s role would more commonly be to chair tasking meetings, receiving 200 word updates on each operation and making broad brush decisions about the general direction they take.

    If the equivalent of examining patients, prescribing drugs and cutting people open is taking statements, submitting files and arresting people, then the police have a definite divide. All of that stops when you take on a senior role.

  25. @RMJ

    “I also agree with NEIL A on people being promoted to their level of incompetence. This happens in all spheres of life but only in the public sector do those people get to stay there.”

    ————-

    Don’t worry they can progress and stay at the top long enough in the private sector to cause real damage too!! Eg the banking crisis that took out seven percent of the economy. But many more examples, pollution incidents, all sorts…

    Once again, fhis stuff lies beyond conventional ideology. Public or private, you will find people in situations outside of their comfort zone. The trick is to try and design the system to mitigate this. But this takes great skill, and there aren’t enough peeps around to ensure it happens in all significant areas of endeavour.

    Again, the airline industry is instructive, who have handy systems for not just trying to avoid calamity but dealing with it when it does. for eggers, If you have too much of a blame culture, then there’s more pressure on peeps to not dare to seek assistance, and an attempt to cover up is more likely afterwards.

    What Neil A talks about, about a colleague who was effective in the way she handled being out of her depth, that’s a special skill. If you break it down, it requires being handy at a range of things. Including how to get the best out of herself, and her boss without pissing him off.

    But as Neil tells it, the process is rather ad hoc. In the army, they’re a bit more assiduous about having systems whereby they take peeps out of their comfort zone and seeing who can handle it AND handle others struggling at the same time. But they have more options to test peeps than other organisations.

    And remember, you can find both public and private sector organisations handling this sort of thing better: private sector airlines and public sector military. The persistent attempt to try and make it about whether it’s public sector or not is utterly delusional.

  26. Re the EU Polls:

    These two latest polls suggest that the idea of a surge for remain should be dismissed, just as the idea of Leave making progress earlier this month also came to nothing.

    As I’ve mentioned before, the campaign seems to be turning out as the political equivalent of a drab 0-0 draw. I’ve re-checked all the polls going back for the past 6 months, and they’re still characterised by a remarkable lack of any significant long term net movement.

    Oct-Dec 2015 (27 polls) Average is 4.1% Remain lead
    Jan-Feb 2016 (27 polls) Average is 3.3% Remain lead
    March 2016 (18 polls) Average is 3.2% Remain lead
    April 2016 to date (19 polls) Average is 3.5% Remain lead

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_United_Kingdom_European_Union_membership_referendum

  27. @John B

    Thanks for that information.

    I am a Leeds Utd fan, and from speaking to some old timers, in 1987 when Leeds got beat by Coventry at Hillsborough, it got a bit hairy too.

    Hillborough at the time of the tragedy was an antiquated, past it ground. Stadiums had been left to rot for decades.

    It’s sad it took Hillborough and the Bradford fire to hammer home that something needed to be done. I didn’t agree with all the outcomes of the Taylor report, but it improved the fundamental safety within football grounds.

    All the ingredients for a stadium disaster were present for years. All it took was a particularly inept piece of policing to tip it over the edge.

  28. Good evening all from sunny rural Hampshire.

    JOHN B
    @Allan Christie and Old Nat
    “I disagree with your low expectations of Labour in next year’s Scottsh Local Council elections. I expect the SNP shine to have somewhat dimmed by then – it is the inevitability of politics and public mood – and Dugdale’s Labour will have managed to survive the coming disaster (May 5th) without totally imploding, simply because Labour is expecting a total disaster”
    _____________

    Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t attributing Labour’s demise at next years local elections to SNP success only but I can see them getting the boot from Glasgow and a coalition of some sort stepping in. Across Scotland I think it would be great if smaller party’s played a bigger role in local government.

    If Labour lose Glasgow then it will seal the lid on Scottish Labour for at least a generation. Much like the Tories when they became toxic in Scotland and it was trendy not to vote for them but even they now appear to be on the way up.

    Back to Glasgow.. No other party since 1934 has controlled the city, it’s been in the control of Labour/Labour minority for all that time except for the few occasions the Progressives took control.

    In all that time we have seen one of the finest Victorian cities in Europe turned into a (Made by Labour) tower block utopia. Concrete carbuncles housing huge council departmental departments .Brutalist architecture replacing Victorian splendour.
    Concrete landscaping on a scale of biblical proportions, a network of motorways slicing communities in half, gap sites over 40 years old and local corruption.

    When it comes to gentrification in Glasgow you have to laugh at the monstrosity administration running the city. They get the first part right, pulling down the homes of generations but forget the final part, building the new homes but you know at least the city has sporadic mini Amazon’s dotted all around the city where homes used to stand. Maybe the city council are trying to gentrify the local wildlife.

    For Scotland to function properly it needs its largest city to change hands and if that means booting out the current stuff at George Square and replacing it with something else then so be it.

    How one city let itself be in the grip of one party for such a long time in my view is extremely tragic.

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