ICM have a new poll in the Sun on Sunday with topline figures of CON 39%(+1), LAB 29%(-1), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 14%(-1), GRN 4%(nc). This is the first poll conducted since Theresa May became Prime Minister, so may be expected to show a typical “new leader” bounce in government support (when Brown took over in 2007 and Major took over in 1990 the governing party went from being behind to having double-digit leads). The Tory lead is up a little, but not outside the normal margin of error, that said ICM’s previous poll already had an eight point Tory lead, so they were already at a high base.

ICM also did some hypothetical voting intention questions asking about varous leader match-ups. A control question, asking how people would vote if Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn were still leader at the general election has voting intention figures of CON 43%, LAB 28%, suggesting either a significant positive effect from mentioning May or a negative effect from mentioning Corbyn.

Asking how people would vote if Owen Smith or Angela Eagle were Labour leader does not offer any improvement. With Eagle the figures would be CON 43%, LAB 26%. With Smith the figures would be CON 42%, LAB 27%. I should add a heavy caveat here – hypothetical polls like this are popular in advance of leadership elections, but how useful they are is a different question. Respondents don’t necessarily know what the alternative candidates stand for, what they will do or announce, how they may or may not change the party. I add those caveats when the alternative leaders are well known to the public, like Gordon Brown, Boris Johnson and so on. In the case of someone who is as unknown to the general public as Owen Smith, I expect most don’t know who he is or what he even looks like. Nevertheless, the figures will be influential in the debate – rightly or wrongly Corbyn’s supporters within the Labour party will now be able to say there is no polling evidence that his rivals would do any better.

Note that ComRes also have a poll in the Independent/Sunday Mirror, but they are not currently publishing any voting intention figures while they review methods.


481 Responses to “ICM/Sun on Sunday – CON 39, LAB 29, LD 9, UKIP 14”

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  1. In 2020, maybe, just maybe the Tories will hit that elusive 40% barrier for the first time since 1992

  2. So it looks like since the referendum Tories and Lib Dems have ticked up a bit, Labour and UKIP ticked down a bit; perhaps a bit surprising that – after all the political shocks of recent weeks – there has been so little net effect?

  3. A much looking better poll than that last one, The 36/35 Just felt very wrong and ukip were to low, lib dems were to high
    Tho I do feel lib dems growing and ukip dieing off, Labour will come back once they sort this mess out

  4. BIGFATRON

    That looks about it. The surprise is that UKIP have not fallen further as they seem to have obtained their only distinct objective and have little reason to exist. If they carry on what will they call themselves after Brexit?

  5. What has happened about the You Gov poll on the Labour leadership that was in the field on Friday? I would have thought that would be in a Sunday paper.

  6. Labour cannot win in 2020 and will need to focus and prepare for the 2025 elections already.

  7. UKIP should make hay once the highly likely decison to prioritise single market access over immigration restrictions is made.

    Just not up North.

  8. Fair play to Corbyn, he’s revitalised a party that’s been a shell of its former self ever since the mid 1990s.

    Unfortunately for him I’m ot talking about Labour.

  9. Interesting brief report on British Election Survey re best indicators of pro-Brexit attitudes:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-36803544

    It turns out that the best correlation is with attitudes to the death penalty, which serves as an indicator for social conservatism versus liberalism. For clarity, it’s those most in favour of the death penalty (and whipping criminals!) who are most likely to favour Brexit.

    I suppose it also fits in pretty well with the age and education correlates. And also, perhaps, the views of posters here.

  10. This is certainly the first sign of a possible Theresa Bounce (I resist using the term May Bounce as it could be construed as meaning a bounce in the month of May).

    I am a Conservative voter, so from my point of view this is very nice and encouraging, but I’m bracing myself for some over-excitement from some quarters, the same kind of over-excitement as we witnessed during the Brown Bounce of June-October 2007.

    We don’t know if a trend will be confirmed by other polls – and I suspect there will be – but much will depend on developments within the Labour Party as to how long this Bounce will last.

  11. Good afternoon all from a lovely warm rural Hampshire. Winchester is not bad for a night out,reminds me a wee bit of Perth in Scotland with its traditional pubs.

    Okay a good poll for the Tories and not that good for Labour but some good news for ol Corby supporters on Labour leadership.

    I know T.May said she would not go to the polls until 2020 (which I agree with) but if future polls keep showing 10% Tory leads then she may decide to take a punt and go for an early election.

    Also some encouraging news coming from Australia and New Zealand over free trade deals.

    ” Australia has called for a free trade deal with Britain following its exit from the European Union”

    “Theresa May described the move as “very encouraging” and insisted it showed Brexit can work for Britain”

    “In a phone call to the new PM, her Australian counterpart Malcolm Turnbull said he urgently wanted to open up trading between the two countries.”

    “Liam Fox, the new international trade secretary, said he was already “scoping about a dozen free trade deals”.

    “But Britain cannot sign any deals while it is still an EU member.
    Mrs May said: “I have been very clear that this government will make a success of our exit from the European Union”

    “One of the ways we will do this is by embracing the opportunities to strike free trade deals with our partners across the globe. It is very encouraging that one of our closest international partners is already seeking to establish just such a deal.”
    “This shows that we can make Brexit work for Britain,” she added.
    ……

    It already looks very positive for the new May government and the fact she is talking to and taking Scotland seriously shows her commitment to make Brexit work and strong leadership and that’s what voters look for….strong leadership.

  12. Actually, in addition to Australia and New Zealand, Mexico and Brazil have also mentioned they want a bilateral trade deal with the UK. None of those prospective deals, however, compensate the economic impact of pullng out of the single market, which is bigger than the economies of all aforementioned countries combined.

  13. Shockingly bad poll for Labour. Obviously not helped by the in fighting and a rabid right wing press we now have.

    Still Tory in fighting has died down but nearer Brexit I expect it to rear it’s head again.

  14. MBRUNO

    What doom & gloomers tend to forget to say when talking of pulling out of the single market is that we will still trading with all of the single market countries and I’m almost certain we will have a favorable deal which benefits both the EU and UK.

    I really see Brexit as an opportunity to do free trade deals with the likes of India with a population more than double that of the EU and an emerging economy growing faster than the EU.

    The UK gov should get on with A50 and then the World is our oyster. We should be looking towards our family of nations in the Commonwealth to do free trade deals with.

    Total population of the Commonwealth 2.3 billion. Total GDP $10.450 trillion Second largest economy in the World although GDP per capital is extremely low it’s still a heck of a big market to tap into plus as I said before we will still be doing trade with the EU

  15. Labour are not going to be electable so long as they are two parties trying to be one party.

    Momentum & progress will never accept the others dominance and if they try to carry on the way they are it will be continuous fighting.

    A split would make for a cleaner party without the internal conflict. but without the name ‘Labour’ & those who vote ‘because me granddad voted Labour’ and two left wing parties, an FTP system might again see them never in power again for a long time.

    With Theresa May moving the Tories even further into the centre left, there is a possibility of UKIP taking the centre right ground.

  16. Tancred

    I wouldn’t rule labour out for 2020, remember that the Tories only got 36% of the vote, its still true that no party in govt has increased its vote share at an election. But more importantly events events events, the economy has been reinflated with another credit bubble, getting to 2020 without that bubble exploding will be a major achievement

  17. SOMERJOHN

    I think you missed the point with that analysis. I think it was down to acquired wisdom with the older generation who voted Brexit.

  18. Allan Christie: “Also some encouraging news coming from Australia and New Zealand over free trade deals.”

    Your quotes from the BBC report on this unaccountably stop at the point where all the rather massive caveats are introduced. For instance:

    “… according to the latest data from the UK’s HM Revenue and Customs for May 2016, Australia was 21st on the list of Britain’s export markets, and 20th on the list of import providers”

    And:

    “Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said a free trade agreement with the UK was a priority, although such treaties are complicated and can be time-consuming.
    Australia’s recent trade deal with China, for example, took a decade to negotiate.”

    So, hardly the solution to all our problems. And unless we roll over and give Australia everything it wants (and its aim will clearly be to reduce its current large trade deficit with the UK), it’s unlikely to be a rapid deal. Especially as we don’t have any trade negotiators (though no doubt Australia and NZ would be happy to lend us some in the interests of a quick settlement).

  19. TOH: “I think you missed the point with that analysis.”

    Not my analysis, it was the BES. You’ll have to take the point up with them.

  20. @CR, Tancred
    Of course we shouldn’t rule Lab out for 2020. It’s 4 years away and the bookies currently have it about 3/1 against which is very far from a lost cause. If the party continues down its current course, however, there is every prospect of a split and if that happened 2020 victory would need a miracle.

  21. Isn’t there a poll out today, or is it part of this? That shows people don’t want a second referendum. Lovely.

    Anybody got a link.

  22. @Allan Christie

    There has been an in-principle agreement to a free trade area and eventual customs union between the commonwealth nations. This agreement has been there since the 1950s. We don’t have one yet.

    The reality, is that the commonwealth is divided up into four competing commonwealth trade groups. Caribbean Community (12 members), Southern African Customs Union (5 members), East African Community (4 members), and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (4 members). There’s also New Zealand and Australia as a quasi-trading block of two. There’s no sign that these will ever merge into one unified group for us to negotiate quick accession into.

    Now I know you really want it to happen. But I don’t see the justification for it being a better and easier deal than remaining in Europe. Would you be okay if the Commonwealth trading bloc decided it needed a centrally located regulation-harminsing administration based in, say, South Africa?

  23. @ Allan Christie
    ‘I know T.May said she would not go to the polls until 2020 (which I agree with) but if future polls keep showing 10% Tory leads then she may decide to take a punt and go for an early election.’

    But it would not exactly be in her gift would it? If the polls look bad Labour is highly unlikely to play ball to facillitate an election. May could seek to engineer the loss of A No Confidence Vote , but that would involve a 14 day delay before a Dissolution could take place. There might also be the interesting point that in the event of losing such a Confidence Vote the Government might have to resign with the Leader of the Opposition then being invited to form a Government. He would then have 14 days to win a Confidence Vote himself – he would fail to do that but could then fight the consequent General Election as the incumbent Caretaker PM! Would the Tories really want to risk that?

  24. “Asking how people would vote if Owen Smith or Angela Eagle were Labour leader does not offer any improvement”
    I suspect because the first reaction is “Who?”

  25. Cambridgerachel
    ‘I wouldn’t rule labour out for 2020, remember that the Tories only got 36% of the vote, its still true that no party in govt has increased its vote share at an election’

    The Tories actually polled 37.8% in 2015 compared with 37.0% in 2010.Labour in government also managed to increase its % vote share in October 1974 compared with February 1974 – and in 1966 compared with 1964.

  26. Am assuming Eagle will beat Smith? Smith looked in denial on Marr around the referendum result and to me didn’t look like a candidate to manage a medium sized supermarket, let alone the country.

  27. Allan Christie
    “I know T.May said she would not go to the polls until 2020 (which I agree with) but if future polls keep showing 10% Tory leads then she may decide to take a punt and go for an early election.”

    Fixed Term Parliament Act, old chap.

    She could whip her party into supporting a no confidence vote against themselves, or she could rescind the legislation for the FTPA. Both highly dubious bits of opportunism and will be seen as such. However, I do not believe that May is such a blatant opportunist. Next GE will be 2020.

    The rest of your post I agree with.

  28. Thank you Anthony for the post and helpfully pointing out the caveats with regard to the VI questions and Labour leadership.

    No doubt these figures will be used by all sides, to erroneously prove their own positions, in the next few days.

    However, it seems to me that insofar as they indicate anything at all they are not particularly helpful for any of the Labour leadership candidates, including the incumbent.

    There is no jump in support if the apparently ‘unelectable’ Corbyn were to be replaced, as is sometimes suggested. Somewhat taking the edge off the challengers proposition.

    Equally, if Corbyn, who must, if nothing else, have very high voter recognition, were to be replaced by a largely unknown candidate (and let’s face it, it would be hard to find a candidate more unknown to the general public than Oweb Smith) then that has only a small downward impact on Labour VI – not the haemorrhage of core support that is often predicted by his supporters.

    Perhaps, what these different leadership options do reveal in a tangential way is the ‘floor’ of Labour support – the sort of level that the party can hope to achieve under any leader, come what may.

    This seems to be around 26% – not far off the kind of scores the party achieved in elections when the SDP / Liberal Alliance were in their pomp in early to mid 80s.

    A worry might be that they are achieving these levels without such a centrist alternative – unless the Conservatives had really come to represent this…

  29. In the case of someone who is as unknown to the general public as Owen Smith, I expect most don’t know who he is or what he even looks like.

    Well we know that in the last Welsh Political Barometer (f/w 30 Jun-4 Jul):

    https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/an2kjtji56/WelshBarometer_July2016.pdf#page=23

    when asked about how they felt about[1] Owen Smith a massive 69% said “Don’t know”. Which given that he is a Welsh MP and this is Welsh poll isn’t really that impressive, so what his score would be across the UK as a whole I shudder to think. In ignorance terms he tied with the leader of the Welsh Greens and of the Welsh Lib Dems who had only just been appointed. Angela Eagle actually did better with only 49% DK.

    [1] I always feel this is too ambiguous a question to tell us much Using a scale that runs from 0 to 10, where 0 means strongly dislike and 10 means strongly like, how do you feel about…?, especially when the most popular reply, apart from “Don’t know” is usually ‘5’, indicating people don’t really have an opinion either way. And some clearly said DK about everyone because they think it a silly question (11% even said that about Cameron and Johnson).
    There’s also the problem that people seem to dislike more than like, so no politician gets a score that is better than neutral (Leanne Wood does best with 4.9) and they are all in a fairly narrow range because

  30. There’s a reason why the question they ask concussed patients is “Who is the Prime Minister?” not “Who is the Chancellor of the Exchequer?”

  31. THE OTHER HOWARD @ SOMERJOHN
    I think it was down to acquired wisdom with the older generation who voted Brexit.

    When even Dr Crippen has been proven not to have killed his wife, are you relaxed about capital punishment?

    See PBS’ Executed in Error: Hawley Crippen

    There are plenty of similar [albeit more lurid] stories in the UK media of the time.

  32. Oops that failed to copy across truncating the footnote. Should read:

    There’s also the problem that people seem to dislike more than like, so no politician gets a score that is better than neutral (Leanne Wood does best with 4.9) and they are all in a fairly narrow range because of the 5’s dominating the averages.
    The lowest score (of anyone ever) is for the widely disliked Neil Hamilton of 2.1 so only about a quarter of the range is really being used and it makes it difficult to tell whether variation is real or random. That’s before you even get into the whole business of what people mean by ‘(dis)like’.

  33. @ TOH

    “I think you missed the point with that analysis. I think it was down to acquired wisdom with the older generation who voted Brexit.”

    Unless you’re looking at a different precis, or background data not reported by the BBC, I can find no mention of age at all in this analysis.

    It seems to be saying that other factors set aside it is ‘social conservatism’ (expressed by them as attitudes to the death penalty and the birch) more than income, geography and social class, that is the best predictor of whether an individual is Brexit or remain.

    I can’t find the detailed study behind the article at the moment, but am on my way out so don’t have much of a chance to look. However, as reported there’s no suggestion that ‘acquired wisdom with age’ is a factor.

    Whilst there is some discussion generally about whether VI shifts as people get older, moving from the left to right, there seems to be much less evidence that social attitudes undergo any such substantial movement.

    Looking through the British Social Attitudes Survey over decades, one sees clearly that more ‘liberal’ attitudes towards divorce, homosexuality, the death penalty and abortion become routed in one generation and hat cohort seems to carry those views through into older age, with only minor change.

    It is for this reason that we have seen a substantial move towards majorities or pluralities favouring on demand divorce, abortion, civil partnerships and opposing the death penalty.

    It has also been argued that these social attitude changes are why party politics in the Great Britain (not NI) have become largely de-linked from such social concerns, in complete contrast to the US.

    I make no judgement about the rights or wrongs about any of these, merely report the trends.

    Therefore, if, as these researchers suggest, Brexit, is a ‘moral category’ judgement, it is less likely to change with age, rather than more.

    As I say, that’s what can be seen from their findings as presented, would have to see the whole data set to draw anything more conclusive.

  34. RICH
    Decidedly against a second referendum.

    That’s the poll we were discussing towards the end of the previous thread. For the tables, see here.

  35. Robert Newark
    ‘She could whip her party into supporting a no confidence vote against themselves, or she could rescind the legislation for the FTPA. Both highly dubious bits of opportunism and will be seen as such. However, I do not believe that May is such a blatant opportunist. Next GE will be 2020.’

    I tend to agree. Repealing the FTPA would also be likely to be problematic in that whilst it might get through the Commons – not certain – the Lords would probably block such an attempt at constitutional change for party advantage.

  36. People believing the Commonwealth is the solution to our problems are living in La La Land. The idea that a semi aligned group of nations that has long since moved on from days of the 50s will be willing to forgo their own trade agreements and do beneficial deals to the mother country is very 1894. If we get a bad deal with the EU we are screwed, no matter how many sheep the kiwi sell us

  37. Jayblanc

    Re your posts about the problems with Commonwealth FTAs, it’s perhaps worth pointing out that we already have, via the EU, a FTA with the Caribbean and South Africa, with deals pending with Canada and India.

    So, if no replacement FTAs are put in place before, or upon, Brexit taking effect, we will actually have less free trade with the Commonwealth, not more. (Though presumably we will, pending those new FTAs, stick with the existing Common External Tariff rates, for the sake of simplicity).

  38. SOMERJOHN

    I know someone would cherry pick the stuff about Australia being on our 20th list but I and I really have to empathize that I was not saying a free trade deal was meant to some sort of compensation with us leaving the EU.

    As I said we will still be trading with the EU and I’m sure we will have a deal that benefits us and the EU and all I’m saying is that its encouraging that other countries are talking to us about post Brexit free trade.

    I know some who voted remain will rubbish this and hope the UK slides back into recession for narrow political point scoring putting part politics aside and as a UK voter I’m encouraged by this early news.

  39. @ ASSIDUOSITY @Somerjohn, @ToH

    This is the most publicly available piece on the subject (there is another one, but it is behind password requirement).

    http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/personal-values-brexit-vote/

  40. Sorry, cut off the ending of the previous comment.

    If you go to Kaufman’s page, it is full of very good references.

    Actually, because of @ CambridgeRachel’s point two days ago, I searched several politics department’s websites (and not only Russell universities), and the information available is just unbelievable.

  41. JAYBLANC

    “Now I know you really want it to happen. But I don’t see the justification for it being a better and easier deal than remaining in Europe. Would you be okay if the Commonwealth trading bloc decided it needed a centrally located regulation-harminsing administration based in, say, South Africa?”
    ____

    There is a lot of selective assumptions spinning about in your coupon.(head) Don’t mind saying a Commonwealth trading bloc being located anywhere let alone a Commonwealth trading bloc?

    I mentioned the UK doing free trade deals with the Commonwealth not as a substitute to the EU but as additional trading partners. We’re not going to stop trading with the EU post Brexit and will also be able to have free trade agreements with other countries..it’s an opportunity. .

  42. @Laszlo ” the information available is just unbelievable.”
    Do you mean you couldn’t believe the amount, or you couldn’t believe the information?

  43. GRAHAM & ROBERT NEWARK

    Exactly I agree with your posts with regards to the fix term parliaments and votes of no confidence to trigger an election. It’s that and the uncertainty another election so soon after Brexit would bring that I agree we should not have an early election.
    ________

    “JOHN SMITH
    People believing the Commonwealth is the solution to our problems are living in La La Land”
    ____

    Read this carefully because it gets boring when people keep posting stuff that other posters never said. Its as if they too are in lala land.

    I never suggested that the Commonwealth is our solution to anything but pointed out that post Brexit we should be looking at more free trades deals with emerging markets such as India.

    No matter what the negotiations bring we will still be trading with the EU and I’m sure we will have an outcome on trade talks that benefit all sides.

  44. ROBERT NEWARK
    She could whip her party into supporting a no confidence vote against themselves, or she could rescind the legislation for the FTPA.

    I agree that both options are theoretically possible, and that the HoL would likely rebel against repeal of the FTPA – if only because it’s about the only bargaining chip they have left over the HoC.

    However, the FTPA is silent on the detail of what happens after a lost confidence vote. In the absence of such detail, wouldn’t convention require May first to resign and advise Brenda to ask Corbyn to try to form a government, making him the PM who called the election when his own confidence motion fails a fortnight later?

    I’m not for a moment suggesting that he would “win” that GE, but with a very temporary PM calling the shots, the Con pantomime wouldn’t look great to the electorate, to put it mildly.

    I really can’t see May be daft enough to get in to such games, especially as she doesn’t need one before 2020 given the state Lab are in. About the only way I could foresee an early election would be if the Con outers don’t like the Brexit plans and rebel when they get to know what they are. That strikes me as even less likely than Corbyn being handle the PMship for a fortnight to get around the act.

  45. @ Dave

    I meant the level of details, and the generic analysis of them (conclusions are a different matter, but I didn’t disagree).

    For example, in one of the new universities’ politics department’ website there is a detailed ethnographic study of the local constituency since the early 1970s upto May this year .

  46. RICH
    Found it.
    “Decidedly against a second referendum. Zero chance of this happening”
    ______

    Absolutely no need for a second referendum. The vote was to leave and now we need to get on with Brexit;

  47. @BBZ

    Precisely, the last thing the Tories are likely to do is cede power. Corbyn would form a government & have 2 weeks of being PM, who knows he might trigger/rescind article 50. Or an international crises could occur where Corbyn performs very well, And we all know that someone looks like PM when they actually are PM.

    Far too dangerous, the Tories aren’t stupid.

  48. After all the drastic upheavals of the last few weeks, it’s amazing to me that polls are so steady. I would have predicted at least a 5% fall for Labour after their latest antics. It just shows that the vast majority of people want to get on with their lives, and will start paying a bit of attention again when the next GE is a couple of weeks away.

  49. After two hours battling in the garden (my own blood has been spilled), I’ve had a thought (I do get them from time to time).

    Perhaps the PLP thinks the LP membership is like my hedge. It had grown massively and was out of control. I battled hard against it and won, albeit with some wounds suffered.

    It’s now half the size, but much more manageable.

    (This is a joke folks……..)

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