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. Oh God, another one gone. Big ask now…

  2. All up to Woakes

  3. Tell you what, Let’s talk about Brexit!!

  4. :-D


    Thanks for that. To my shame I had forgotten how Campbell-Bannerman got in. Sad, though, that he was already frail. As a great supporter of Irish Home Rule, had he lived a few more years he might well have implemented it before Carson could start his rebellion. With the Scottish Home Rule bill also in the pipeline, real democracy in the UK might have been instigated by the end of WWI.

  6. I hope article 50 is triggered by xmas so we can finally quieten the democracy deniers. I think there is zero chance of another referendum. Brexit means Brexit. May couldn’t be clearer.

  7. I suggest we have a third referendum in 2056. It was 40 years between the first two, so why not? Of course, the UK and EU may no longer exist by then……

  8. The Syrian traffic police put out a recommendation that people should find an alternative route to the Damascus road as MPs of both from the Conservative party and the Labour Party as well as that of UKIP have caused a very long traffic jam.

  9. Big problem with Owen Smith is that stories about him being misogynist keep popping up. If angela stays in then those will gain publicity.

  10. LASZLO

    @”I’m sure Corbyn would have an excuse”

    We can agree on that :-)

    Probably the NEC’s fault.

  11. And if Angela Eagle stays in, then there will be more stories about her ignorance, like that she doesn’t know that Scotland is not a region of the U.K. like Merseyside.

  12. @ Colin

    “Probably the NEC’s fault.”

    Of course! But the chairman will be deselected (or even better, sued to bankruptcy), six new members will be elected, and then Nirvana.

  13. I disagree there , and have always thought of England, Wales and Scotland as regions of Great Britain – in the same way that Bavaria , Saxony, the Rhineland and Baden Wurrtemberg are regions of Germany.

  14. @ Graham

    They are countries of a Royal personalunion whose rules are set by treaties (well, not Wales, they are occupied territories really).

    There are no such rules for Merseyside, mind, we may want to join Scotland if this continues.

  15. @Laszlo

    Germany and Italy are far more recent creations than Great Britain. If the component areas of Great Britain are still to be viewed as countries rather than regions it makes little sense not to do likewise to them! Then there is Spain ,of course – and indeed the component parts of France.

  16. “Scotland is not a region of the U.K.”

    They’re not independent yet mate.

  17. RICHO
    I hope article 50 is triggered by xmas so we can finally quieten the democracy deniers. I think there is zero chance of another referendum. Brexit means Brexit. May couldn’t be clearer

    PETE B
    I suggest we have a third referendum in 2056. It was 40 years between the first two, so why not? Of course, the UK and EU may no longer exist by then

    :-) :-) ;-)

  18. But, as we know, FIFA is far more important than the United Nations and England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have separate seats, unlike any of the German, Italian, French or Spanish regions.

    “Big problem with Owen Smith is that stories about him being misogynist keep popping up”

    I had to google misogynist… “a person who dislikes, despises, or is strongly prejudiced against women.”

    Does he by any chance watch football in the company of woman? ;-)

  20. LASZLO

    And if Angela Eagle stays in, then there will be more stories about her ignorance, like that she doesn’t know that Scotland is not a region of the U.K. like Merseyside.

    Actually Scotland can be a region of the UK. But, as I keep on having to point out, nothing is ever a region full stop. Areas are always regions for something – it always derives from a larger system that is subdivided in a particular way. So Scotland is a region in EU elections and YouGov polls for example.

    This has nothing to do with the fact that Scotland is also a country. A country is something that exists according to a particular definition which Scotland fulfils (it’s mainly to with legal systems). But a country can for different purposes also be a region or divided into regions or included with other countries into regions or split between regions which include other countries.

  21. BZ

    As with most places you need to careful with comparing opinion polls in Germany because there are quite strong ‘house effects’. If you look at the Wiki table:


    you’ll see that the 8% comes from Forsa, that usually shows the lowest rating for the AfD (another pollster has found 12% since). Their high of 15% however came from INSA who normally given them their highest score.

    In reality it looks like they have dropped maybe 2-3 points from their maximum, which hardly counts as dramatic or an implosion.

    The predictions of no coalition being possible is also pretty much nonsense. Even in the worst INSA polls CDU/CSU plus SPD are on 49% – more than enough to give a majority to the current government once you allow for the non-representation of the sub-5% Parties. Even that didn’t happen, it looks as it those perpetual coalitioneers the FDP would get back into parliament as they’ve been over 5% for a while. And even without them, there’s the Greens.


    “Big problem with Owen Smith is that stories about him being
    misogynist keep popping up”

    That is worrying and a great pity if true because otherwise I would have thought that many Labour members would find him very promising.

  23. Scotland is a separate jurisdiction from England, isn’t that right?

  24. I think there are three jurisdictions in the UK: E&W, Sc, and NI. Isn’t that correct, Lazlo?

  25. @ ProfHoward

    Not quite, Brenda, in theory, could impose anything on any of the three parts (and the occupied territories) of the countries united under her sceptre.

  26. Is NI a country though? A lot of people would say that it is just part of an Iriah province.

  27. “parts” was left in accidentally from an earlier edit.

    In reality it looks like they have dropped maybe 2-3 points from their maximum, which hardly counts as dramatic or an implosion.

    That’s about right for AfD, I suspect – the Swiss media mention report on their progress regularly, as they do the Swiss far right, but don’t think either are going to become a threat to the main parties.

    I do know that, for whatever reason, Reuters have been a little OTT in some of their EU coverage, and this is perhaps one such example, but I don’t think it does anyone in the UK harm to see what’s happening outside the Brexit bubble.

  29. If the FTPA were simply repealed, without any replacement legislation, surely the result would be ambiguity and chaos? The FTPA has itself repealed large portions of the 1911 Parliament Act, and without it, one cannot assume that the law would simply revert to the status quo ante; rather, we might be left with a situation in which Parliament had an indefinite lifespan (there being no legislation to the contrary) and there was no requirement to dissolve it at all.

  30. Wales is a Principality and Fife is a Kingdom. The UK is made up of many different entities and the largest is Brexit supporting provincial England. Maybe Brexit voting Birmingham should be its capital.

  31. @LASZLO

    “Angela Eagle doesn’t know what she is talking about.”

    Precisely the reason why this Liverpool washerwoman should not be in charge of a major political party.

  32. Laszlo

    “However, it only requires the cancellation of the 1707 treaty”

    Almost right (puts on teacher’s hat). The Treaty was in 1706, and the 1707 English and Scottish Acts merely confirmed the Treaty and placed its terms into Scottish and English law.

    Hence the legal argument that McBrenda can use the Royal Prerogative to cancel the Treaty, and nullify the Scottish Act, which the reconvened [1] Scottish Parliament would do.

    [1] It wasn’t accidental that Winnie Ewing, chairing the first session of the Parliament said “the Scottish Parliament, which adjourned on March 25, 1707, is hereby reconvened.”


    “Big problem with Owen Smith is that stories about him being misogynist keep popping up. If Angela stays in then those will gain publicity.”

    I detect the foul stench of political correctness here. A capable man should not find his path blocked because his female rival resorts to the misogynist excuse to move him out of the way.
    Unless he is a wife beater or something similar I don’t think he will be troubled by tittle tattle.

  34. Any current pressure on the FTPA arises from desires (for various reasons) to dissolve Parliament early to have a general election.
    If “there was no requirement to dissolve it at all” I’m sure the parliamentarians would fairly soon create one.
    Amendment of the FTPA is easier. Keep the ‘no confidence’ provision. Change the “2/3 of all members” to ” a government motion supported by a majority in the HoC” which is no worse than allowing the sitting PM to decide.
    What is really needed is some mechanism for the electorate to decide we need a fresh one. No MP to serve in more than two successive parliaments might be a start, but something would then need to be done about the House of Lords to prevent them all going there. The old rule that MPs resign if appointed to a ministerial post has the potential of allowing MPs to be more critical of government policy.

  35. Erdogan to reintroduce capital punishment, it seems.


    Dunno why there was all the fuss about Turkey joining the EU, during EUroref. Looks like he has more in common with the Brexiteers!

    Indeed, the prospect of Turkey being allowed to remain in the Council of Europe seem rather remote, if he does.

  36. @ Tancred

    There is a wonderful photo of the washing house in Liverpool from the 20th century.

    I actually met one of the women on that picture. She was wonderful, and her political avereness exceeded any of our MPs’ understanding.

  37. @ OldNat

    Thanks for the correction. Yes, the treaty was in 1706, and effectively confirmed by the acts of parliaments, and came into force in 1707.

    I really didn’t want to open (or reopen) the Scottish question (it is open anyway), but I’m truly annoyed by MPs who are ignorant of the country. Their only excuse is that the book from which potential citizens are meant to prepare from (as a Romanian friend, yes, I’m so non-Hungarian, takes his exam) doesn’t know that the health service and education are devolved matters, so, the potential citizens have to give the wrong answer in the exam.

  38. @Oldnat

    I’m not normally a conspiracy theorist sort of a person, but something about the Turkish “attempted coup” feels distinctly false-flag to me.

  39. Laszlo

    I suppose the” English question” is now –

    Does Carfrew want to disenfranchise the England cricket team, for their failure to appreciate cricket?

  40. @ Neil A

    My Turkish friends (they are leftist – well, communist really) think it was an Islamist coup (som of the officers would have been removed today), but the theocracy thought that Erdogan is a safer bet. There were calls from the mosques both in the evening and in the morning (when the atrocities happened) to Erdogan’s supporters.

  41. Neil A

    Re Turkey coup

    I know what you mean. The whole thing seems very convenient for Edrogan.

    Mind you, if one is to judge by the incompetence of the plotters, it might be equally valid to suggest that the Chicken coup was also a false-flag affair as well.

  42. Lazlo I think Scotland, NI, and EW have three distinct legal systems, i.e. three jurisdictions.

  43. @ ProfHoward

    I don’t know – I know that they have three different legal systems and for Scotland it is explicitly stated, but Brenda, MacBrenda and O’Brenda can issue any law (within the restrictions) to either of the three parts (I didn’t check for NI, but article 3 for Scotland does suggest this).

    If I’m wrong, I’m happy to admit it (especially as it would reduce the complexity).

  44. Looks like countries are queuing up for free trade deals with us. :-)

  45. @ Tancred

    “… Because washerwoman die early
    Their legs are shaky from carrying
    And their head are dizzy from ironing.

    And for mountain retreat
    They have thei pile of dirty linen
    And for calming their nerves
    The play of steam, and for the change of air
    There is the attic.

    From washing her carriage was broken
    I didn’t know she was still a young woman
    In her dream she wore a clean apron
    And then even the postman said hello

  46. Owen Smith and Jeremy Corbyn seem to be equally placed in the bookies odds, with Angela Eagle being seen as unlikely. This suggests that the punters are also picking up on something about Smith.

    It will be interesting to see how the Labour Party PLP goes tomorrow.

    I think many Labour supporters will have appreciated the themes and detail in Owen Smith’s speech. They may be saying to themselves not only do we have someone with Labour values but also we have a winner here, I expect those MPs who meet tomorrow will be thinking the same thing.

    Many Labour supporters will note that Owen has been good enough to say that whomsoever should win he will support, but that only one or other of him or Angela should stand. And that MPs should make that decision, and he will support it.

  47. Rich

    Of course they are queueing up, we have no negotiators and are desperate for deals!

  48. CAMBRIDGERACHEL @ Richave h
    Of course they are queueing up, we have no negotiators and are desperate for deals!

    Looks like they’ll have a bit of a wait. BoJo’s first RAF sortie from London on Fortress Europe only got him as far as Luton!

    See http://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/raf-flight-carrying-boris-johnson-makes-emergency-landing-at-luton-airport-a3297861.html

    Fortune seems not to be treating him kindly just now.

  49. I’m not sure why Corbyn’s challengers are trying to make the vote a binary choice.

    The system used (preferential voting) means that one candidate will get knocked out first round, if Corbyn doesn’t get 50%+, and the next preference kicks in.

    No matter how many stand, if JC wins 50%+ he wins outright anyway.

    Perhaps JC’s critics fear him being the second preference to some AE or OS supporters, or some of these voters not using a second preference.

    If after trying to a) reduce the number of eligible voters (presumed to be pro-corbyn) and b) making the ballot as easy for them as possible, if JC wins will they give up?

  50. @Lazlo: Bavaria, Saxony or Baden-Würtemberg were also independent kingdoms who joined a German federation when the German Empire was created in the late 19th century. Unlike Scotland, they weren’t even in “personal union” since each of them actually retained their own kings and parliament while giving up their sovereignty in terms of foreign relations or monetary policy for example to the Reich government.

    Right now, Scotland is not a sovereign state. As I argued before, the path to Scottish sovereignty, other than an internationally-regognized unilateral declaration of independence , would have to be similar to Canada’s or Australia’s, i.e. the UK parliament would have to grant the Scottish parliament full power to make laws in the current “reserved matters” (including the power to amend the Scotland Act itself), and would also have to pass legislation saying that, after the said legislation came into effect, no future of the UK parliament would be part of Scottish law and no act of the Scottish parliament would be deemed invalid on grounds of incompatibility with UK law.

    Again, the crucial point is that, since Westminster is the only sovereign body that can grant independence to Scotland, Westminster controls the timing of any path to an independent Scottish state. And, of course, until Scotland is independent, it cannot enter into negotiations to join the EU, nor will the EU start any such negotiations as that would be a violation of UK sovereignty. Juncker may be a loose cannon, but even he still understands the rules of international law.

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