A quick update for the ICM/Guardian poll on Monday, which is presumably the final ICM poll of the year. Topline figures are CON 41%(-3), LAB 27%(nc), LDEM 9%(+2), UKIP 14%(+2), GRN 3%(-1). Nothing startling to report here – the Tories still have a commanding lead, the Lib Dems are up very slightly following their by-election win (but nothing to write home about) and rumours of UKIP’s demise continue to be false.

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171 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 41, LAB 27, LDEM 9, UKIP 14”

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  1. I note that 86% of the wee Scots sample are 9-10 likely to vote, compared with 69% in England.

    Since LTV is used as a weighting factor, that must introduce some degree of distortion into the final figures, since the political choice in the English polity is so different from that in Scotland.

    A more useful data set may be the England only figures –

    Con 44% : Lab 26% : UKIP 16% : LD 10% : Grn 3%

  2. The latest inflation figures are now available. As expected inflation is on the increase due in part to the devaluation of the £. However the good news in this respect at least is the rise in the £ against the $, Euro and Yen in the last couple of weeks will mitigate the rise somewhat in future months.

    “It was up from 0.9% in October and the highest rate since October 2014.

    ONS analysis showed that the slump in sterling since the Brexit vote was starting to feed through to the CPI rate in “high import intensity” areas such as fuel.

    Petrol prices rose by 1.6p per litre over the month and diesel was up by 2p, which was partly “explained by depreciation of sterling against the US dollar”.

    November also saw a significant rise in clothing prices.
    Food items such as garlic bread, pizza, milk and yoghurt were up during the month too though prices in this sector are still falling year-on-year.

    Separate supermarket industry data from Kantar showed prices fell 0.1% compared to 2015 in the last three months though shoppers were starting to see rises in some products such as fresh fish, ready meals and beer.

    The latest ONS figures showed there was another steep rise in the cost of materials and fuels bought by UK manufacturers – up 12.9% compared to the same period last year.

    The price of goods sold by UK factories rose by 2.3% year-on-year, the steepest rate since April 2012.

    The increases in producer prices are blamed on the fall in the pound, which makes imported goods bought in dollars or euros more expensive.”

  3. Re inflation, i did notice a big price increase in clothing retailers, where they are not offering the same deals they once did. There was plenty of people spending money, so i can’t see any reductions until the new year.

    In regard to polling, is a new record being set ? When was the last time a government party held a double digit lead for such a long period ?

    Labour members however much they like Corbyn must be thinking that unless the situation improves, that a new leaders contest in inevitable. Even Diane Abbot predicted Corbyn would only have 12 months to increase Labour support in the country.

  4. @Old Nat

    I note that Ed Balls – however likeable and however good a dancer he may or may not be – makes little difference to how Scots react to Labour in this poll. Is there any way back for Labour in Scotland?
    Do you sde the Cons ever getting beyond c. 22% north of the Border?
    How long can the SNP continue to dominate in this way?

  5. ‘see’, not ‘sde’, of course

  6. @R Huckle

    Its a very open field, with Clive Lewis and Keir Starmer joint favourites at 10/1, John McDonnell at 12/1 and Dan Jarvis at 14/1.

    The significant mover is Lewis who has shortened a lot in recent months. Starmer is probably benefitting from Brexit exposure.

    Another PLP-inspired leadership contest is unlikely for a while because Corbyn will simply win again. More likely is Corbyn going peacefully in his own time rather than being pushed out by the Blairites.

    At the moment he can still dictate terms from a relatively strong position, albeit the polls are awful.

  7. “Re inflation, i did notice a big price increase in clothing retailers, where they are not offering the same deals they once did.”

    I thought so. Just like the chocolate manufacturers.
    That’s why my new pants feel uncomfortably tight.

  8. @Millie

    Ed Miliband seems to be in the frame for not preventing events in Syria. Not good news for the Labour Party.

  9. The Leadership of the Labour Party will mainly be influenced by the outcome of the Unite leadership election next year.

    I’m losing count of the number of significant elections taking place next year.

  10. John B

    As most historians would say –

    “Ah! The future? Sorry, not my period.” :-)

    All things change, and so will VI in Scotland at some point, but change happens for reasons, and I can’t see many reasons for significant movement at the present time.

    Perhaps if there polling within the Scottish polity – like the GB one referred to by Daibach on the previous thread, that might help. But two dimensions would not be sufficient to accurately map the Scottish polity.

  11. Re the inflation rate, if it’s measured using the price of butter, it’s heading out of control! I’ve bought a lot of butter recently and while it was still 89p at Lidl, most other shops are charging at least £1. A few weeks ago I could buy it easily for 85p/250g.

  12. Over the year (since the ICM/Guardian poll last December) the Conservatives are up a bit – but not a huge amount, while Labour have fallen significantly further.

    Green stays the same over the year, but both UKIP and the Liberals have gone up, suggesting that the main movement over the year has been Labour -> Lib Dem and Labour -> UKIP though obviously this misses a lot of churn.

    If Labour can go down 7 points over the year then it’s definitely possible that they can go up 7 points again over the same time period. So I don’t think the current polls can tell us anything about a future election yet. I’m also not sure we can compare these figures to the pre-2015 election figures, but we can compare them fairly safely to this time last year.

  13. Millie – no women sadly?

  14. @Oldnat

    “All things change, and so will VI in Scotland at some point, but change happens for reasons, and I can’t see many reasons for significant movement at the present time”

    Can I just say that this is one of the wisest and succinct responses I have ever read?!

  15. The tragic events of Syria are a subject for another board I think. We will feel the effects for a long time .

    As for the Labour Party, I think reconciling the wishes of its two largest enclaves – London and the north of England – will be difficult, but not quite impossible.

    All the while, the region the party needs to appeal to in order to win under FPTP is the (English) midlands with its marginal seats. Tricky.

  16. @Wolf

    It really isn’t that simple at all.

  17. ” The cold logic of mass graves confronts us again, and the name Aleppo will echo through history, like Srebrenica and Rwanda, as a testament to our moral failure and everlasting shame.”

    Senator John McCain

  18. I agree with RAF that it’s not that simple, but “not that simple” also works both ways.

    To those that say we should intervene in ME conflicts, “it’s not that simple”.

    To those that say we shouldn’t intervene in ME conflicts, “it’s not that simple”.

    A coalition bombing campaign in 2013 might have meant pro-Assad forces weren’t killing civilians in Aleppo today. Maybe. But it also might have meant that anti-Assad forces were killing civilians in Latakia. Maybe.

    That doesn’t mean the simplistic anti-war message from some corners shouldn’t be treated with a little bit of disdain, though. Sanctimony abounds.

  19. Neil A

    “but “not that simple” also works both ways.”

    You can be pretty wise and succinct yourself!

  20. There are those who like to post good news on this site, so in that spirit, can I share this from El Pais?:

    Las muertes en el Egeo han descendido un 94% desde el pacto migratorio entre la UE y Turquía

    It’s in Spanish because I haven’t seen the story in any UK media. You can probably work it out, but a rough translation is: Deaths in the Aegean have fallen by 94% since the migration agreement between the EU and Turkey.

    I thought it worth posting because of the scorn heaped on the EU’s efforts in this area by some posters on UKPR.

  21. Just thought I’d respond to the comments on my post last night about “two dimensional politics” last night.

    @OldNat I agree that this is a rather England centric view and your observations are astute; naturally all parties will seek to widen their a peal and gravitate towards the centre, but I still think it is a helpful model. I saw today that Nicola Sturgeon is considering fielding candidates in England; I think that this further illustrates the gap in political representation of those in the nationalist/left wing quartile, which I had suggested may be a competition between Labour and UKIP

    @Tancred I sort of agree with you about the LibDems, in that perceptions of “Left” and “Right” are subjective and so a Tory move to the right moves to the centre datum. That said, I’ve always held the view that they are fundamentally a left wing party, values that they compromised when entering the coalition for which they are now paying the price. Re UKIP, my observation is based upon Paul Nutall speeches during and after the leadership campaign in which he clearly states he is after the Labour Vote. Using a strict economic policy definition of Left and Right only (they are no less socially conservative than they always have been) talk of a more pragmatic approach and quietly dropping comments about NHS privatisation are to me early signs, no more than that, of a move to the left in order to attract the Labour Vote.

    Incidentally, @Tancred, thank you for your kind enquiry as to my health. I am pleased to report that I am in fine health and not being a burden on the NHS at all. My comments, albeit sometimes tangential in thinking, are offered here to be challenged at an intellectual level and to provoke thought and discussion. I often read views I disagree with, or fail to understand the logic by which they are arrived at, but I always view them as the well held views of others, worthy of respect yet open to challenge, and not some drug induced rambling. I hope you can do the same.

  22. I suspect that the righteous indignation from some on Alepo may hurt Labour, although probably not among those still remaining in the red corner.

    It appears quite simple to ‘blame’ Labour for preventing UK bombing raids, but in truth, that connection is nonsense. The US and France were bombing, and a fat lot of good that did. I suspect that the only way to have prevented this turn of events would have been to actively prevent Syria and Russia from supporting the government advance, which would effectively mean an armed face off with Putin.

    Perhaps we should have done this? Putin placed his single aircraft carrier in the Eastern Med, demonstrated it’s age and general uselessness, lost one of his few top fighter bombers in a crash, but still ‘won’ the game because he knew the west wouldn’t challenge. While the western military and press still proclaim Russia’s military might, it’s tiny compared to what is at the US’ disposal.

    Following the Iraq and Afghanistan debacles, Moscow knows the west doesn’t have the appetite. I don’t really know what, if any solution there was for Alepo, but in my view we are seeing the folly of those earlier disasters. To have credible diplomacy, our opponents always need to believe that at some point down the line, we could use force. Having screwed up so badly twice, they know we won’t, so have a free field.

    We broke the rules for war by going into conflicts we didn’t need to enter, and which we couldn’t win, and I view Blair as bearing a great responsibility for what has happened now in Syria.


    A short term sticking plaster bought at huge price in a deal with a mafiosi.

    It was nothing short of blackmail, and the EU caved with little resistance.

  24. @Jim Jam

    The most likely woman is Lisa Nandy at 20/1.

    But I reckon the best bet is Stella Creasy at 100/1, or Mary Creagh at 250/1.

    Blair, incidentally is 150/1 and Gordon Brown 175/1. That’s not going to help Mary Creagh’s self-esteem!

    Poor Mary – Simon Danczuk is ahead of her – 200/1

  25. Daibach

    ” I saw today that Nicola Sturgeon is considering fielding candidates in England”

    Yes, I’ve seen some of the spin put on that Big Issue interview by some of the media. :-)

    “says she will consider ….”
    “has revealed that she is tempted to ….”
    “could be “tempted” to ….”
    “has threatened to …..”

    or my favourite from the London Daily Express “Shameless Nicola Sturgeon now to stand SNP candidates in ENGLAND”

    Of course, she was simply making the same point that you do – “There are a lot (of people) in England – a lot who contact me – who feel completely disenfranchised that there is nobody speaking up for them.”

  26. The real blame for Syria lies with Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy. Their blatant disregard for the UN in bombing Libya back to the dark ages, rather than acting to protect Bengazi (as authorised) and no more, fatally undermined the UN at a critical time.

    As a result, when Syria started to fall apart, it was impossible to form any consensus, with the result that no concerted international action was possible (and what did happen was not exactly helpful). Not only that, but the overt regime change in Libya cannot but have given the impression that the west might well do the same in Syria, encouraging the onset of civil war.

    Suppose Miliband had not opposed the bombing of Assad’s forces, what do we suppose might have happened (apart from potentially bringing the US and Russia into direct military conflict). Would reducing Syria to a similar state to Libya really have stopped the rise of ISIS, or would it have helped them?

  27. @Millie

    I thought early in the last Parliament that Stella Creasy was one to watch in the future. She was a young fresh face is a stale, grey and male parliament. She did good work on rather unpleasant money lenders.

    However, In recent years she slid totally out of view. She is perhaps like Chuka – when it to putting themselves forward for the fight, they simply backed away.

  28. Good speech by osborne in HC today on Syria. I hope Ed Milliband hangs his head in shame.

    I think that once brexit is done and dusted it would be smart politics to bring both osborne and `gove back into the fold. Gove should replace the awful Truss and George can have a further dose of unpopularity as health secretary.

  29. oldnat


    Yes i have noticed that England is short of nationalist politicans espousing half baked policies. she clearly sees an opening for herself

  30. @CMJ

    She stood for Deputy Leader and came second. Not exactly backing away.

  31. @Robin

    I watch and listen to a lot of politics, and I’ve not heard a peep from her for a very long time.

  32. Creasy

    isnt she doing that geneology programme?

    she can trace her ancestry back to the wife of the Emperor Claudius.She doesnt just have blue blood she has Royal Blue blood.

  33. Robin

    At the time of the Libyan intervention, several of us feared that that action would ensure that no international consensus for handling future civil wars

    Every war in history has produced devastation for the local civilian population – just look at the film footage of Europe in 1944-45.

    Civil wars are frequently even more savage. When the competing sides are funded and armed by foreign powers (whose interests may be more to do with oil pipeline routes than other matters) then the participants are better armed, better supported from their outside allies, and less likely to compromise.

    There is a good reason why waging a war to bring about regime change is illegal under international law. Perhaps there should be an equally forceful law to make regime maintenance a crime too?

    Maybe the firms who market murder (and their host countries who encourage them) are the ones that should be on trial? The UK would come out very badly from that!

    I agree with the moral outrage over what is happening in Aleppo, and Yemen, and many other places too, but simplistic nonsense like “It’s Putin’s fault” : “It’s Obama’s fault” : “It’s Blair’s fault” doesn’t help anyone – unless the currently inevitable process of repetition elsewhere is somehow prevented.

  34. S Thomas

    For a clever woman, you can be a very silly girl at times.

  35. If the SNP stand in England – and why not – is it possible that some of the votes they attract will be because some English people would be in favour of Scottish independence?

  36. Pete B

    “If the SNP stand in England – and why not”

    It’s supposed to be Americans who don’t understand irony, but it seems London journos are worse – or just ignorant.

  37. Pete B

    Of course, you can get out of the EU without any of this negotiating business – and get rid of Scotland and NI at the same time!

    Steve McAuley has the perfect answer for us all (though he may be employing a smidgeon of irony).


    Why don’t England and Wales leave the United Kingdom? They would be automatically ejected from the EU and Scotland and Northern Ireland would then be the constituent parts of the United Kingdom, which would remain in the EU.

  38. @OLDNAT

    I think we can now call it a ‘divided kingdom’. Well and truly.

  39. @OLDNAT

    “A more useful data set may be the England only figures –
    Con 44% : Lab 26% : UKIP 16% : LD 10% : Grn 3%”

    I am amazed – and frankly disturbed – by the high support for the conservatives in England. The figures show 60% backing pro-brexit parties, but is 60% of the electorate really in favour of brexit? I doubt it. So why is Tory support so high?

  40. Tancred

    Indeed. It’s all the fault of that 1926 Imperial Conference and the 1931 statute of Westminster.

    Letting the Dominions have autonomy was creating a slippery slope to seperatism!

    Some bits of the Kingdom are even leaving the Crown. Sad times.

  41. Tancred

    I’m probably the very klast person you should ask about why so many folk in England vote Tory!

    Lots of pollsters have a crossbreak for England, and those kinds of figures are not unusual.

    It simply demonstrates the folly of the pollsters in thinking that there is still a “British” political system to which the idea of “uniform swing” still applies.

    For pollsters to cling to such an outdated concept would imply a degree of laziness on their part.

  42. @OldNat
    S Thomas
    For a clever woman, you can be a very silly girl at times.

    Sexist much?! oO

  43. Bruce

    Nope. Had S Thomas been a man, I’d have written “For a clever man, you can be a very silly boy at times.”

    But she isn’t a man.

  44. @OLDNAT Of course, she was simply making the same point that you do – “There are a lot (of people) in England – a lot who contact me – who feel completely disenfranchised that there is nobody speaking up for them.”

    I reckon there would be a fair few English Nationalists who might vote SNP to help the process of Scotland leaving if Sturgeon did stand candidates in the South.

  45. Sea Change

    Your English Nationalists seem to be a pretty useless lot, if they can’t even stand candidates for the independence of their nation in their own country!

    So a pretty weak bunch of no-hopers they must be – and they think that England can make its own way in the big bad world outside the EU?

  46. Had we bombed the Assad regime’s forces at the time Cameron wanted to, then Isis would have taken occupation of wide stretches of Syria.

    This is not a simple game where you just need to show strength and determination to win. There may not actually be a way to ‘win’ interventionist wars, there certainly haven’t been a lot of success stories.

    Good point. The resolution of the crisis of migrant deaths in the Med overrides all factors and was good pragmatic decision making. Further, though not yet realised, Turkey now joins Jordan and Lebanon in offering a long term institutional basis for an external EU border in which economic migrants and refugees can be assisted alongside these countries of transit to link integration or repatriation of migrants with investment to begin the control of the causes of migration in a long-term programme. It’s in the achievement of the latter that EU and UK policy will ultimately be tested.

  48. If we had bombed syria in 2013, syria would be overrun by islamist militants by now, the saudis would be over the moon to have new wahabi lebensraum, and hundreds of thousands of christians, alawites and other religiously moderate minorities would have been ethincally cleansed or slaughtered. So thanks heavens Milibnad showed a bit of spine for once.

    As things are, the civil war took a major step closer in the last few days – id like to add that most reports of atrocities are completely unverified at the moment, and given the syrian forces have been letting busloads of actual enemy fighters leave the city, seem quite unconvincing to me until real evidence is presented. The comparison of a civil war in which militant islamists have taken over half the population of the largest city in the country against the wishes of the majority of the population, and have now been pushed out by military action, with genuine historical atrocities, for cynical purposes, is deeply distasteful in my eyes.


    It is marvelous news .

    But it is far too early to be complacent . Turkey has an agenda which will need a little time :-


  50. (Of course it was nothing to do with Miliband in reality anyway – Obama changed his mind after Russia made clear that they eouldnt accept another Libya-type intervention)

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