A quick update on two polls released today. The regular ICM poll for the Guardian has topline voting intentions of CON 43%(nc), LAB 27%(+1), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 12%(+1), GRN 5%(-1). Changes are since mid October. Fieldwork was conducted over the weekend, and the full tabs are here.

BMG also released a new poll, though this is actually less recent than the ICM one (fieldwork was done between the 19th and 24th of October, so just over a week ago). Topline figures with changes from September are CON 42%(+3), LAB 28%(nc), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 12%(-1), GRN 4%(-1). Full details are here.

Both polls show the Conservatives still holding a large, robust lead. Note also that UKIP support is pretty steady in both – the drop in UKIP support that we saw in MORI’s poll does not appear to have been echoed in anyone else’s data.

707 Responses to “Latest ICM and BMG voting intention”

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  1. Those are impressively similar.

    The last time a government was this popular was back in 2002 Things are looking rosy for May. Unless a major war or recession comes along She could be PM for another decade.

  2. Yes, good for Tories. Rather surprising that UKIP are holding up. It probably just shows that most people don’t follow politics when it’s not election time.

  3. Both these polls look very good for the Conservatives whose polling average has been above 40% since July. At the same time Labour polling in the high 20s, little movement fron the LD’s and UKIP holding steady after a period of decline.

    The Autumn Statement could be a game changer it will certainly be interesting.

  4. SNP on 4% in one poll and 5% in the other. Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone.

  5. Ah those long lost UKPR days when CR posters were told that the Conservative Party was not capable of ever achieving a vote of 40%.-because of the “Progressive Consensus” in this country ( or something like that).

  6. I suspect that there won’t be much change from these figures until something happens. The only thing that we know about that will dent the Conservative lead, is if the economy starts to tank, and most of us don’t expect this to happen until after we leave the EU.

    I can’t see Labour or UKIP reviving any time soon. Only the Liberals look placed to make advances.

  7. Colin

    Perhaps the Conservatives are now the “Progressive concensus”.

    I remember having long arguments with somebody who no longer posts, who felt that 38% of the electorate was bound to vote Labour on moral grounds.

  8. So what’s going on with Lib Dem polling? Two 8% no change today, same as always. Yet in by-elections local and national, their vote share is going up by 20 or 30 points. Is it a set of one off by-election votes, or are they up massively in a few areas and down a bit everywhere else?

  9. to Paraphrase Barry Davies who even Hireton might have heard of:

    “where are the Liberal Democrats- who cares “

  10. TOH

    It is amusing to think back to those conversations.

    I suppose it is also cautionary-no political party can take the voters for granted.

    On the Labour front, the MPs must look on these OPs with a feeling of complete impotence & dread.

    That there are no voices within the PLP at all now asking why their VI is so low says everything about their situation.

  11. do you know I feel a new party coming on:

    A party led by the Great Leader Kim Jung Blair building on a base of Probity,World peace and the renounciation of personal wealth.

  12. @The Other Howard
    “I was trying to find out why you were so antagonistic to the UK. Now i know.”


    Okay, Anthony, I think ToH needs some time on the naughty step for blatantly trying to pick fights with people by riling them up with this kind of stuff.

  13. From AW’s comments guidelines:

    “The comments sections on most political blogs is either one sided, or dominated by petty political point scoring and tired rehersals of party political spin. I wanted something else. Therefore the rule in the comments section is that all comments should be made in the spirit of non-partisanship, to try and welcome all people here to discuss polls and politics like adults with a shared interest, despite supporting different parties.”

  14. To be fair, colin, they haven’t actually achieved 40%+ in an election yet. Whatever the polls may say, after extensive recent adjustments, the cons have been doing uniformly badly in every real world voting test they have faced. Not that i wouldnt expect them to have a solid lead were an election to be held tomorrow, as post-cameron they havent actually done anything yet except publically expound a love for motherhood and apple pie. When they start actually making decisions and no longer represent a schrodingers cat of a political proposition, im willing to bet my bottom dollar we will see a swift plunge in these figures.

  15. It’s hard not to speculate that the poll firms may have over-adjusted. But we have no evidence for or against that until after a general election.

    I’ve long held that the reluctance to report the figure including undecided is one of the errors of British polling, because it overstates the confidence margin. They quote the random sample error, but do not make it clear that you also need to factor in the potential split of the unknowns. I don’t think squeeze questions really answer this issue, because I think they’re more likely just saying what ever pops into their mind first to get the prompter to move on.

    I think it’s more possible that there’s an under sampling of people who tend to be “undecided voters” in the UK, resulting in vast over-confidence in weighting models.

  16. Jayblanc

    To be fair, most pollsters do report the percentage of undecideds in their tables – sometimes even after other adjustments have been made.

    For example, in this BMG poll, Table 5 (Base: All respondents likely to vote and weighted by likelihood to vote, with a weight of 0.2 applied for those who didn’t vote in 201) has –

    Con 38% : Lab 23% : UKIP 11% : LD 6% : SNP 5% : Grn 4% : Oth 3% : Undecided 13%.

    That this isn’t highlighted in their press release probably reflects the inability of journalists to have any interest in areas of uncertainty
    and/or the journos inability to understand numbers
    and/or the wish of these commercial pollsters to market themselves by appealing to the innumeracy of said journalists!

  17. Regulars may have spotted that I’m kinda keeping tabs on the way modern techniques are being used to “harness” voters, whether as activists or to influence voting. We’ve seen it with Obama, and the micro-targeting in the GE, and now there’s a new dimension I’ve been expecting for a while.

    Remember when I somewhat provocatively spoke about the advantages of the modellers good at visualising maths? Didn’t entirely happinate those who studied the humanities and stuff, and I did oversell it a bit. These peeps aren’t necessarily so good when can’t find a way to harness the maths. But if they can find a way, it can be pretty formidable. And now they’re being deployed in polling.

    The mathematicians and physicists developed a secret programme for targeting in the EU ref.


    Seems to have been quite effective…

  18. Except from the article…

    “In the last few years, the amount of information that’s publicly available about what voters are feeling and thinking at any moment has multiplied beyond all expectations.

    If knowledge is power, developing ways of grabbing and using that information was a huge prize.

    The software didn’t exist, so Vote Leave decided to build it themselves. They hired physicists, data experts and digital specialists and they succeeded.

    Knowing the potential of the programme, they kept it under wraps. The project was even clandestine enough to be hidden from some of the MPs involved in the campaign.

    “I kept the data science team far from prying eyes,” writes Cummings, instructing what he describes as the “real experts” to tell those inquiring in the office: “I’m just a junior web guy.”

    Over the weeks they managed to develop a programme called VICS, Voter Intention Collection System, building it from scratch, which made them able to respond to the twists and turns of the referendum in ways that no British campaign had previously achieved before, down even to the level of creating a star ratings system so that local teams on the ground knew exactly where the most fruitful door knocking session would be.

    It also made their online campaign incredibly focused, with the intelligence VICS delivered, they delivered one billion, yes, billion, targeted digital adverts, mostly through Facebook, that were tested and tailored in a “constant iterative process”.

    Money matters in political campaigns, but so does what you do with it.

    Cummings claims: “We were the first campaign in the UK to put almost all our money into digital communications then have it partly controlled by people whose normal work was subjects like quantum information.”

    They were willing to think what most of the Westminster establishment believed unthinkable, and willing to do things differently, with a different set of experts, namely data specialists who are not often seen as a must-have in a political campaign.

    Cummings is convinced that Vote Leave’s decision to spend on physicists and mathematicians who developed VICS was “one of the reasons we won”.”

  19. Interesting article by YouGov USA suggesting that poll bounces are “mostly the consequence of transitory variations in response rates. Fewer voters were changing their minds than were changing their inclination to respond to surveys”


    ie “When things are going badly for a candidate, their supporters tend to stop participating in polls”

  20. JOE

    Erm-I think you may have the wrong idea about Schrödinger’s cat.

    It is a paradox , in which -to quote Wiki:-

    ” the cat is simultaneously alive and dead. Yet, when one looks in the box, one sees the cat either alive or dead, not both alive and dead. This poses the question of when exactly quantum superposition ends and reality collapses into one possibility or the other.”

    So you can see that it is the spooky similarity to the current Labour Party which you should have mentioned.

  21. The lack of a Liberal bounce (if we can now use the word “bounce” considering the comments above) still surprises me.

    I thought they would be doing better, but it seems not.

  22. Well, I think people only really think about politics when they have to vote. Since the referendum only a tiny number of people have had the chance to vote, and the Tories have not done all that well, with whoever is the main opposition getting the votes ( often the lib Dems). Alot of this is protest votes. There is actually a lot to protest about at the moment, with the NHS in chaos and local authority cuts really biting.. but most places people just see Labour and Ukip divided and the Lib Dems invisible in the media, so they say Tory by default.

    I think the Tories will do quite badly in the County elections next May and the Lib Dems quite well. Labour will do ok. At that point a large number of people will have thought about voting and a change may happen – certainly I think the NHS is going to be a huge issue with ,30% of CCG’s wanting to close A&E units.. the Tories will fall, and either Labour or the Lib Dems will benefit (in England! Who knows in Scotland but the Tories are doing much better there from a low base)

  23. Carfrew

    Pretty much the field I’m going into in terms of data analysis but I doubt I’d waste myself in politics.

  24. Andrew111

    I think experience has shown that local election results aren’t a particulary good guide to the national standing of parties. Although imperfect, the national opinion polls have been a more reliable indicator.

    So I don’t really agree with your first sentence, and therefore with your predictions.

    I agree that the NHS is going to be a big issue, though. The increasing pressure it is under, combined with a fall in government revenue due to Brexit uncertainty and wider economic issues in the world, will eventually come to a crunch. A harsh winter could do it, although even that isn’t really necessary as the ingredients are in place already.

    However, I think it will only dent the Tories not cause them to fall dramatically.

    It will be interesting to see if Labour can stay focused and united enough to benefit from such issues, which are historically manna from Heaven for them. It may be just as likely that they’ll distract the public, and themselves, with another bout of party political seppuko.

  25. Corbyn and momentum must be pleased. There cunning plan of lulling the Tories into a false sense of security seems to working.

  26. @Pete

    I am not sure that Momentum see the Tories as their real enemy. Not just yet anyway…

  27. Andrew111

    “Who knows in Scotland but the Tories are doing much better there from a low base”.

    I assume you are referring to Westminster voting?

    Certainly, the 2015 GE was a low base for the SCons – their lowest percentage vote in a UK GE ever at 14.9%.

    Only 4 Full Scottish polls on Westminster VI are listed in Wiki – July 2015 17% : Aug 2015 16% : Sep 2016 24% : Oct 2016 20%.

    So better, since the further collapse of SLab at the Scottish GE, but “much” better may be pushing things a little too much in terms of share of Scottish VI.

    Whether SCon can consolidate, or even expand their vote share, will, I think, depend on how the UK Government deals with Brexit.

    In Scotland, as elsewhere in the UK, the polls seem to be in stasis, as everyone waits to see what Brexit will bring about. Predicting how things will fall out once our second constitutional fault line becomes a real issue, is something I wouldn’t want to do.

  28. Neil A,
    I am not trying to use local elections as a guide to general elections – but there is a correlation between PNS and opinion polls. For example the Lib Dem PNS is always considerably higher than the Party’s poll ratings, but the PNS was always above 20% before 2010, and always below after. That is a correlation.
    What I was saying is that local elections focus people’s minds on voting in a way that is not happening now. I predict that a fair few people will realise they are really quite dissatisfied with the Tories over the NHS in particular, and their votes and response to pollsters will go elsewhere.. I am not changing any big reversals – just a few % that will stop people talking on here about Tory GE votes above 40%!

  29. @Alan

    Yes I thought it might resonate witcha!! I know what you mean about politics, but then again aristotle did say it was the ultimate art, because it governed the use of all the other arts…

  30. @sea Change

    “”I agree with you. They really had no political alternative apart from perhaps a confidence and supply arrangement in 2010. The economy was a disaster and stability was required in the national interest.”


    Lol, that’s what Cable claimed. How did it work out? Handed an economy that had impressively been taken back to over two percent growth less than two years after the worst banking crash since the Great depression, Cable went along with the cuts that gave us the “stability” of wiping out the growth and losing our triple A rating.

    Which was the reason LibDems had argued against Austerity in the first place. Because cuts quelled demand and investment, costing growth as a result. And that’s what happend. investment plummetted. Until Osborne saw the light and went for stimulus. Politically handy as Austerity had already eliminated libDems…

  31. ON
    “Con 38% : Lab 23% : UKIP 11% : LD 6% : SNP 5% : Grn 4% : Oth 3% : Undecided 13%.”

    Interesting. Does that suggest that UKIP and other minor parties are more committed than Lab/Con voters because their VI doesn’t change much?

    Gnight all.

  32. colin,
    “That there are no voices within the PLP at all now asking why their VI is so low says everything about their situation.”

    There are voices. They say Corbyn is a left wing extremist unfit to be leader, and this is why they have lost public support. This is a self consistent position, in that Corbyn remains their leader despite their protestations, and they would argue their poor showing is therefore explained.

    Myself, I would argue that any party, even with the finest leader imaginable, who go around telling all and sundry that the leader is unfit and they cannot form a government with him in charge, will never, ever, be elected.

    They need a complete reversal of their policy to accept him as leader and form a consensus view on policy. Whether such a thing is possible given their extreme statements already is quite another matter. The party might need to replace all those MPs who cannot work with its chosen leader, in order to have any chance.

    Whether they are right and his policies are a liability is a separate issue. The conservatives have been pushing heavily that they are, but so have labour. What would voters believe if labour stood up for him?

    There are two pluses. One is the distraction of brexit. The other is the short memory of voters. But they have to change the record now.

    “The lack of a Liberal bounce (if we can now use the word “bounce” considering the comments above) still surprises me.”
    Didn’t they do much better at witney than polls suggested they would? Suggests the poll was wrong?

    I agree, people only think about their vote if there is an actual one to vote in. This matters more if there are big issues about which might change their default position. Can anyone think of any?

  33. Good morning all, cold start but bright sunshine, just the day for a spot of gardening.


    I agree complacenct is the biggest danger to he Tories at the moment.

  34. Seems to be a definite tightening in the US presidential election, although taking all polls into consideration, Clinton remains ahead, with Trump currently having next to no chance to plot a path through the Electoral College to the Whitehouse.

    That said, a week ago no one was talking of a tightening, and there are vulnerabilities in Clinton’s vote spread. While she has big leads in some battleground states, she is losing ground in places like N Carolina and Florida, where Trump may now be leading, and relatively small further shifts in national polling would bring other blue states into play.

    One problem for Clinton appears to be sluggish turnout among black voters. It’s going to be interesting watching the reaction to the sudden tightening among this group. There may still (just) be time for the news to sink in that Trump could win to engineer a swing back, but it’s very close.

    Early votes remain a key consideration, with 20% or so of the electorate already having voted. There do seem to be positive signs for Clinton here. In Nevada, which is a battleground state that trump would really have to win, local polling exports have already pretty much called the state for Clinton on the basis of the early votes (now up to around 50% of total expected turnout). Their view is that Trump can’t win the state now, no matter what.

    If the national race is genuinely tight in the Electoral College, this kind of result matters, as it secures 6 seats for Clinton and means Trump has to overcome higher obstacles somewhere else.

    It’s going to be very interesting to see if the recent developments lead to a resurgent optimism among Republicans or greater determination amongst Democrats. Turnout looks like being the key.

  35. I think we have passed the tipping point.

    In climate change they talk about reaching a point where after a period of turbulence the climate flips to a new stable position different from before.

    Whether it be Iraq, the Crash, the Indyref or Brexit and probably a combination of all three the have moved from Con/Lab both in the thirties within 5% of each other, to Con high 30’s, Labour Low with a ten point gap.

    A consequence of a big gap is that the party doing well looks better than it actually is because some voters mid election switch from the Party doing badly or say they are undecided.

    That puts the Tories above 40% and Labour below 30% in the polls. It looks worse than it probably is but it hardly matters because with more than a 5% gap over it’s main rival the top Party will romp at FPTP election anyway.

    As long as Brexit is the national focus and it mostly lies in the hands of the Government they will outshine the opposition.

    Even if it goes badly in terms of the negotiations the underling anti EU feeling in much of the UK will probably let the Government off the hook electorally if they can blame Brussels.



    As regards AW’s guidelines I totally agree that it would be a much better site if it were policed as it used to be. I for one would be totally happy just to comment on the polls as they come up. However when people deliberately run down this country down and are very partisan about the referendum then I am afraid I follow suite. If you will stop so will I.

    I have to say that I have every sympathy with AW at the moment, I am sure he is very busy and the Brexit vote has caused such strong emotions to be unleashed that it is very difficult for him. Does he ban most of us or let it run until things cool down.

  37. Peter Cairns,

    Not much I can disagree with you in your last post. I think you are correct when you say it looks worse than it probably is. I also tend to agree with your last two paragraphs about the Brexit effect on the Governments position.

    Events could cause some movement and i think that the Autumn Statement will be very tricky for Hammond. It will be interesting to see what he does and how it affects the polls.

  38. DANNY

    @”What would voters believe if labour stood up for him?”

    If you mean -what would voters believe in Him-my guess is -the same as they do now: not very much.

    If you mean The Party-I think the credibility of the “Its all the fault of the MPs” mantra will disappear long before Labour’s low OP ratings.

  39. While I understand the point that OLDNAT has made about the American polling I do think there is a feel of a tightening race and momentum on the Trump side. The nagging feeling I have that Trump might just do it won’t go away.

  40. Can Corbyn become the Trump of UK politics and gain support of those who feel let down by middle Englands right of centre liberal establishment ?

    For a very long time, there has been a consensus in UK politics that a party can only win an election from the centre ground at the time. The policies offered cannot be either too left or too right poltically of what is considered acceptable to most centre ground swing voters.

    It would seem most Corbyn supporters are confident that their ‘man’ can win over people all around the UK, but when asked what policies he will be offering, there is then a silent pause or they say people should know what Jeremy stands for. My question given the splits in Labours ranks is what policies Corbyns Labour party are likely to offer an electorate that are so appealing that they can overcome all of the other issues ? Corbyn has a history of supporting many causes which will be unattractive to many and then there are questions about Labour not being a united party.

    I personally cannot see Labour increasing support, if Theresa May follows a centre ground agenda that meets with aspirations of voters. Unless something major happens which we don’t know about, it is going to be very difficult for Labour to gain back votes from those who backed the Conservatives in 2015.

    A major problem for Labour and other opposition parties is that the Conservatives will control the media agenda, because everything will relate to Brexit. Even if the EU prove to be difficult with negotiations, the government can turn this into a positive about standing up for British interests etc.

  41. TOH,

    “However when people deliberately run down this country”

    Sir, I’ve a message from the Front Line; the Enemy have broken through and are advancing on our position!

    Clamp that man in Irons, we’ll have none of that defeatism in my Bunker!


  42. Last time the Tories had such a commanding was, er 2009. During most of the Coalition era, Milliband topped the polls. So much for polls at present.

    Why doesn’t May go to the country to establish herself? Because the electorate is extremely volatile. Also ,Labour has close to 600000 members. Even if 10% become active, they are on the ground and will have an influence that no poll will pick up.

    With UKIP about to rebrand itself as anti-Islamic, it will fall back into its core far right rump of 5%. It’s ironic that without any Euro MPs it will start fading away long before 2020.

  43. John H
    “During most of the Coalition era, Milliband topped the polls. So much for polls at present.”

    Miliband then lost in 2015, so how do we think Corbyn’s going to do?

    “Why doesn’t May go to the country to establish herself?”

    Fixed Term Parliament Act. It could be engineered, but voters wouldn’t be impressed.

    “With UKIP about to rebrand itself as anti-Islamic”

    I don’t know where this comes from. You may be right about their future, but do you have inside knowledge about policy development?

  44. Alan,
    the question might be whether early voters are in fact the most firmly committed voters who see no need to wait. The undecideds who might alter the result could be the last to vote?

    There is no poll which is not currently inlfuenced by brexit (apparently even the US one). How it pans out will affect future elections and will affect pollsters, because it cuts across traditional party divisions and potentially is highly disruptive of the informed guesswork used to make small samples representative. So I doubt the subject will be banned here.

    No, I mean what would voters think of left wing policies if there was actually a mainstream party arguing why they are a good thing. Labour has accepted the conservative mantra that voters do not like leftish policies, but this ignores the fact voters tend to believe what they are told. If no one is supporting the good points of such policies, why should voters want them?

    For example, the collapse in the economy when conservatives took over from labour and tried to implement austerity hard. Yet this was spun by conservatives as their doing a better job, and whats more labour agreed with them!

    Labour failed to support their old leader (brown), new leader (Milliband) and newest leader (Corbyn). Bit of a death wish, but I was trying to separate the question that failing to support your leader is a bad idea from the issue of what his policies are. I have little idea what Corbyn’s policies are and how they differ from labour rebels or conservatives. I have heard the odd snippet (eg nuclear weapons), but little else. Its more about propaganda than policy.

  45. May won’t want an election during Brexit, it is still a decisive issue for Tories and divided Parties don’t do well in Elections.

    In addition, if the Boundary Review goes through the Tories will be in an even stronger position than now and one way or another that suits the Tories.

    They will on paper get more seats than now for the same vote and as Anthony’s post a while back showed any reselection battles will be far more fractious for Labour.

    What’s more with a bit of luck as with her first Cabinet May might be able to use it to shape the Parlmentary Party more to her liking.

    May will use the next three years to deal with Brexit, looking Thatcherite by being tough with Brussels while smoothing the edges of Austerity, part by economic necessity (Osbornes targets were never going to be met and that would damage economic credibility) but also to tackle the “Nasty Party” image she has long worried about!


  46. Peter Cairns SNP

    No sign of a breakthrough from where I’m sitting Peter. Don’t feel I need a bunker at the moment thanks.

    Again i agree with your last post, exactly my view at the moment.

  47. Labour still has a lot of work to do to recover from the back-stabbing Blairites….

    In May, when Labour got more votes than the Tories in the local elections, the polls had shown the two parties almost neck-and-neck.

    Then, the Blairites started their divisive campaign…it’s going to take a while for Labour to recover from that.

  48. Latest LA Times tracker poll has Trump surging to a +6% national lead. They remain out of line with other pollsters, consistently showing a Trump lead when others did not, but another poll out today also shows the race tied, from +1% Clinton yesterday.

    The Clinton camp appears nervous, and there is a gathering sense that it is goin wrong for the Democrats. This is somewhat bewildering to most of us, given the palpable lack of quality in her opponent, but perhaps speaks volumes about how marginalised many people feel.

    State polls still seem to favour a Clinton win, but it’s definately getting twitchy over there.

  49. @Michael Siva – “Labour still has a lot of work to do to recover from the back-stabbing Blairites….

    In May, when Labour got more votes than the Tories in the local elections, the polls had shown the two parties almost neck-and-neck.

    Then, the Blairites started their divisive campaign…it’s going to take a while for Labour to recover from that.”

    Quite a few points of issue here, I think.

    Firstly, the May local elections were apparently the worst by an opposition for a very long time, and worse than Ed M’s at the smae stage of the parliament I understand. I may be wrong on the detail here, but I don’t think any serious observers felt that these were a resounding success for labour, although most sensible commentators also recognised they were not the disaster some had forecast.

    It’s also deeply unhelpful to Labour to characterise the parties problems as being the fault of ‘the Blairites’. It’s also spectacularly wrong. Internal dissent has certainly not helped, but when even JC himself admitted that he must improve and that he had made mistakes, a fairer allocation of the blame would help Labour thinkers address the issues they face.

    Finally, we have been told on UKPR, repeatedly, and ad naseum, that right from the off Blairites were working against JC. Either Labour did well in May and then the Blairites attacked and caused everythjing to go pear shaped, or the Blairites attacked from the off, but this didn’t stop Labour performing well (you say) in May.

    I think what you are doing is deciding who you think is to blame, then looking at the polling graphs and selecting a point at which you want to commence blaming them.

    Your whole approach strikes me as confused and illogical, and not consistent with polling evidence.

  50. Pete B is rather surprised that UKIP support is holding up. Perhaps it is not so surprising. I would be intrigued to see a poll of regional (if not Constituency variations) UKIP support. Could the robust UKIP support be centred in North of England, Labour held constituencies? In other words, the shockingly depressed Labour support might be centred in areas that voted “Remain” whilst the risk of Labour losing many seats in the North of England could be accentuated by a regional density of UKIP support in the North. Can anyone shed any light on this possible scenario?

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