Earlier on today ICM put out their first poll of the year, conducted for the Guardian. Topline figures with changes from before Christmas are CON 42%(+1), LAB 28%(+1), LDEM 9%(nc), UKIP 12%(-2), GRN 4%(+1). No significant change there, just the sort of double digit Tory lead that appears to have become the norm. I’ll put up a link to the tables when they appear tomorrow.

Also out today is the January YouGov Welsh poll for ITV Wales and Cardiff University. Topline figures there are:

Westminster: CON 28%(-1), LAB 33%(-2), LDEM 9%(+2), UKIP 13%(-1), Plaid 13%(nc)
Assembly Const: CON 25%(+1), LAB 31%(-3), LDEM 8%(+2), UKIP 12%(-1), Plaid 21%(+1)
Assembly List: CON 22%(nc), LAB 28%(-1), LDEM 7%(+1), UKIP 14%(+1), Plaid 20%(-1)

There is a more detailed write up, with what these figures would mean if they actually happened at a general election or Welsh Assembly election, over on Roger Scully’s blog.

509 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 42, LAB 28, LDEM 9, UKIP 12, GRN 4”

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  1. A pretty poor poll for Labour in Wales, which had up to now been a relatively benign landscape for them. There is a sense of the noose tightening around Corbyn’s neck.

    Interestingly, the Grauniad is reporting that he is to start speaking about controlling migration and that Labour is not wedded to free movement. Message getting through?

  2. Alec

    “A pretty poor poll for Labour in Wales, which had up to now been a relatively benign landscape for them.”

    True, but a couple of points to bear in mind –

    1. Llafur have been slowly losing some support over a long period, but (as Scully points out) are still protected by having no other party dominating the opposition – though they may be nearing the point when they could suddenly lose a lot of seats (though to a range of other parties).

    2. Commentators have frequently expressed astonishment that the SNP have now been in power for longer than the SLab/LDs in Scotland (and have been predicting their imminent demise on a daily basis! :-) Llafur have run Wales since the inception of devolution, and still do. It would be surprising if a party in power for that long didn’t lose some support!

  3. Yes, but Alec has an obsession with Corbyn, so obviously whatever it is is bad for Corbyn.

  4. This is the BBC version on Corbyn’s speech tomorrow.


    It seems lacking in consistency (like any badly made cake that one wants to both have and eat).

    That might just be BBC spin, however, so I’ll reserve judgment till I see his actual words tomorrow.

    If, however, voters in England, who are pro-Remain, judge that their views have been abandoned by both the major parties there, a rise in the LD and Green VI would seem possible.

  5. ‘Bad showing for LAB in Wales’

    Yes – but not as bad as the national YouGov poll published last week which implied a 3.2 % swing from Lab to Con. This poll shows a 2.35% swing – the equivalent of a national GB Tory lead of 11.3%. In fact, on these figures Labour would not lose any seats in Wales to the Tories on current boundaries. Anglesey would fall to Plaid – though in reality personal votes count for a great deal there.

  6. @Graham –

    Do you think the more limited negative effects in Wales compared to Nationally are because Corbyn has been held at arm’s-length (with a peg on his nose) by Carwyn Jones?

  7. I doubt it – but really have no idea!

  8. It’s a bit hard to do any detailed analysis of the Welsh poll with just the headline numbers.

    Presunably Scully will have more on his blog and the tables should be up tomorrow,

    I always find the vote retention figures useful.

    In the September Welsh poll the % of the 2015 vote retained as VI was –

    Con 88% : Lab 79% : Plaid 64% : UKIP 63% : LD 52%.

    The changes in this poll might tell us something.

  9. ALEC
    ” the Grauniad is reporting that he is to start speaking about controlling migration and that Labour is not wedded to free movement”
    You imply rightly IMV that Labour migration policy is salient to VI but free movement ( (as an aspect of staying in the Single Market) doesn’t necessarily not controlling migration – viz. EU deal with Turkey to retain and look after Syrian migrants within its borders; or ensuring that migration to specific areas was backed by investment in services and infrastructure; or, as May proposes, insistence on English speaking, access to employment as a condition of stay. These are likely also to be aspects of an evolving SNP policy, and generally better understood and expressed in policy and the media.

  10. …doesn’t necessarily mean….

  11. Sorry folks – I forgot. Labour is doing brilliantly,they are about to sweep Wales, and Corbyn is the best thing since sliced bread.

    If only the polls told the true story, I would of course understand this.

    On the Corbyn EU speech – I think this does appear to confuse Labour’s position, although the be fair, it would be a little unfair to describe Labour as having a position in the first place. From the pre delivery spin, it appears that Corbyn is now doing a U turn on his previous immigration statements, which were that immigration is good, there should be no limits on numbers, and we need to deal with the consequences in a much more coherent manner.

    He is still holding to the last point, but appears to be moving subtly on the first and overturning the second, although we don’t know the details. His line of UK being possibly better off outside the EU is interesting. This may upset many staunch remainers, but may also be necessary positioning to try to take advantage of whatever transpires from the negotiations.

    At least we can say that the leader of the official opposition is at last beginning to engage with the issue of Brexit. It’s been six and a half months since the vote, and the advent of the greatest constitutional and economic change for the country since World War 2, and finally Corbyn has managed to say something.

  12. @Alec

    I think Corbyn has managed to find a position that will appeal to nobody here – I don’t think there’s any silver bullet for Labour’s immigration problem but from the looks of Twitter he’s alienated some of his most ardent supporters. It’s all the stranger that this has come as he was supposedly being relaunched as a left-wing populist who says exactly what he thinks, and that he’s found a way to take the heat off the Tories while the NHS humanitarian crisis story still had legs.

    It all seems rather baffling to me.

    “Well, I’m baffled. What is the difference between what she’s describing, and you’re endorsing, and a hard Brexit? I genuinely don’t get it. You clearly do, so if I ask you to explain, that’s not points-scoring: it’s a request for help.”
    May does not believe in “Hard Brexit” because she thinks that in the end the EU leaders will come a sensible deal on trade with us while accepting that we will take back control of our borders and withdraw from the jurisdiction of the ECJ. I am sure she believes that they would not insist on “Hard Brexit” because they have at least as much to loose, if not more so that we do. She may be right she may be wrong but IMO that is how she thinks. If they do stay firm on their line, then I think she will as well, and we will end up with what you describe as “Hard Brexit” in which case both we (in the short term) and the EU will lose out economically. My own view accepts that anyway, hence my comment that we need to wait at least until 2025-2030 before assessing the economic benefits or otherwise of leaving the EU.
    Glad to hear that your not point scoring, even if P Cairns is, with his comments.
    Having answered your point, I will now return to not commenting on Brexit until there is some further events or polls which make it worthwhile.

  14. “”Britain is, for sure, an important partner with whom one would want to have good relations even after an exit from the EU,” she said.

    “(But) access to the single market is only possible under the condition of adherence to the four basic principles (movement of goods, capital, people, and services).”

    Angela Merkel

    I didn’t realise that EU citizens can travel freely to & within China & USA.

  15. No Welsh tables out yet, but Scully has the Party leader’s ratings


    While it’s understandable that those living in England tend to equate “Labour” and its “UK leader” (he’s all they’ve got) it’s more nuanced in Wales and Scotland.

    Carwyn Jones remains the most popular leader at 4.3 (just edging out Leanne Wood on 4.2), while Corbyn at 3.5 is marginally more liked than Farron at 3.4.

    Neil Hamilton with a score of 2.0 proudly continues with his status as the most disliked leader in Wales. Will Nuttall (currently 2.7, but 57% don’t know enough about him to form a view yet) join him? We’ll “need to wait and see”.

    “In terms of popularity, there is an interesting general trend – that nearly all the leaders have become less popular since our last poll! Perhaps our poll hit upon a particularly grumpy sample of respondents, or possibly one that was feeling the post-Christmas blues? Whatever the reason, all those that we asked about in September have seen their ratings decline” (Scully)

  16. OLDNAT

    Thanks for both Scully links.

    No sign of the tables yet on YouGov, but I see ITV Wales now have 2 articles with some basic graphics: Latest Welsh Political Barometer poll shows Labour seats are at risk and Parties respond to poll

    There would seem to be a few more answers on the way, as the 2nd link has 2 referendum questions:

    Referendum: Remain 43% leave 44%

    Brexit priorities:
    Full [border] Control 47%
    EU Free Trade 26%
    Neither/DK 27%


    Agreed all this has managed to do is make Labour’s policy even more confused and dented his reputation amongst his devotees.

    To be fair Labour as a party are being pulled in two opposite directions. Their big city fortresses are, for the most part, for remain and freedom of movement. Whereas the other 70% of their constituencies are often heavily for Leave. This is compounded by the leading front benchers being London MPs and all very pro EU and freedom of movement.

  18. @Sea Change
    very nicely put – my only slight disagreement is that the leadership of the Labour part appear to pro-free movement but not necessarily pro-EU; the two are not always linked, especially for the Bennite left.

  19. Maximum wage.
    In 2015 you gov found 39% supported a maximum of a million quid a year. 44% were against.

    It would be interesting to see the figures now.

    (runs and gets towel)


    Yes that’s true of the Bennite left. I imagine they see the EU as a means to an end rather than being enamored of it. Corbyn we know deep down has always been hostile. I read some of his blog before it was deleted. McDonnell seems to be singing from the same hymn sheet.

    Abbott & Thornberry appear pro-EU, although I wouldn’t necessarily class them as Bennite.

  21. @MARKW

    Polls are always interesting. I’d like to see a poll with a lot more flesh on it than just one question without context.

  22. Sea change.

    I am not certain what you seek but here is the you gov report.


  23. Based on 2016 polling Labour has been losing more voters to the Lib Dems than the Conservatives or UKIP.

    It would appear then that a more pro-Brexit approach won’t help there, as the Lib Dems are clearly more anti-Brexit.

    The threat to Labour’s heartlands from more pro-Brexit parties is over-stated in my view. In these places Labour are miles ahead, and the required swing to say UKIP to defeat Labour, is massive and improbable.

    Labour’s postioning on Brexit is very hard to get right, and they may end up pleasing no-one too much, but have gained a considerable number of splinters from straddling the fence.


    You have a point. The snag is a lot of those Northern & Midland constituencies were very heavily for Leave. I’m not convinced we can be so sure that a “Red Rosette on a Donkey” would still win in those Leave areas if Labour position themselves in favour of uncontrolled immigration.

    @MarkW – Thanks for the link, hadn’t seen that poll

  25. Corbyn is taking some heavy flak today…Car-crash TV.

    Danny Blanchflower, a former member of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee and of Corbyn’s economic advisory committee, has described Corbyn’s wage cap proposal as “totally idiotic” and a “lunatic idea”.

    Lord Wood, former policy adviser to Ed Miliband has called it “unworkable”.

    On Freedom of Movement, he appears to have rowed back:

    Corbyn has just told Laura Kuennsberg he “plans to reduce exploitation in the work place and will ‘probably’ reduce immigration but he still doesn’t think levels are too high”

    Seamus, I’m not sure this is a great idea…

  26. The Brexit priorities question

    The government still seems to be implying that it will try for (and expects to get) a deal which means we’re not in the single market but trade with the EU on better terms than other external trade partners. The details are all a bit hazy, but it sounds very cake-and-eat-it; in other words the government doesn’t accept the premise on which ‘what is your priority’-type questions are based.

    This shouldn’t affect responses to a question which explicitly asks people whether they would prioritise free trade or control of immigration of immigration if forced to choose (whether you think the choice will be required in practice is irrelevant, although it could be the subject of another question), but I wouldn’t be surprised if it does.

    There’s plenty of scope for confusion about the free trade option. We have talk about ‘access to the single market’, being ‘within the single market’ and ‘within the customs union’ – I doubt the majority of voters understands the differences or their implications. I wonder if people are picking up on government noises and assuming that the choice is between immigration control plus a ‘good enough’ trade deal (where ‘good enough’ means ‘doesn’t have much impact on me and the people I care about’) and free movement plus existing trade arrangements?

    I think it would be interesting to ask whether voters think we will have to choose between a good trade deal and full control over immigration – to find a way of tracking whether voters believe we can get a cake-and-eat-it deal or not. The question needs to be carefully worded, to avoid eliciting knee-jerk responses and to avoid making the ‘we will have to make trade-offs’ option seem a statement of the bland and blindingly obvious (that is what negotiating involves, after all).

  27. @OLDNAT
    Hamilton comes across as a dodgy insurance salesman who’d sell you whatever the current version of PPI is (or perhaps a Spanish timeshare) and who you would find had left the country when you try and remonstrate.
    Nuttall comes across more as the Used Car Salesman who will give you plenty of BS when you come and complain and in extremis might send the boys round.
    Of course this is merely image – no doubt both are saintly

  28. CMJ: “Labour’s postioning on Brexit is very hard to get right, and they may end up pleasing no-one too much, but have gained a considerable number of splinters from straddling the fence.”

    If Labour’s position on Brexit is seen as the result of political calculation rather than principle, that surely just feeds into the disillusionment with politics and politicians that led to Labour’s Scottish debâcle, and the rise of Farage, Trump, Le Pen and other populists..

    I think the referendum was lost for the same reason: the case for remaining was framed almost entirely in terms of self-interest and economics. The principled case – peace, co-operation, mutual benefit, human rights – was never made.

  29. The day seems to be going very badly for Jeremy.
    This was supposed to be a major reboot of his leadership but he is taking fire from all sides.
    Now Nuttall of UKIP is attacking him over his stance on the exit from the EU.
    If Labour’s awful poll ratings are to improve, they have to start by having a few key policies. At the moment, the public don’t know where they stand on any of the major issues facing the kingdom. If you asked the man in the street what the Labour policy on Brexit is, he wouldn’t have the faintest idea.
    This is catastrophic. A once great party has come to this.

  30. Just been confirmed that Jeremy’s maximum wage cap will apply to Premier League footballers.
    When will this end?

  31. Tim Farron’s “cheerleader in chief” insult is the most memorable thing I’ve heard from a Lib Dem leader in quite some time…

  32. and some championship ones, especially at the Toon!!

  33. And Farron’s line of attack is exactly what the Democrats/Republicans should have done against Trump, but didn’t. Pushing that Trump was crazy didn’t hurt him, but pushing that he was weak and craven might have changed things.

    Similarly, by portraying Corbyn as a weak leader of the opposition, Farron is being very smart IMO.

    Notably, the “Labour can’t do the job of a strong opposition” was part of what brought them down in May 2016 in Scotland. Ruth Davidson was able to convince many unionists that Labour had been failing them and only the Scottish Tories could make their voice heard in Holyrood.

    The Lib Dems are obviously not overtaking Labour any time soon, but they finally seem to be capitalising on Brexit.


    Good analogy with Ruth D.

  35. @TOH “we need to wait at least until 2025-2030 before assessing the economic benefits or otherwise of leaving the EU.”
    And how will you separate the effects or lack of them due to leaving the EU from all the other happenings that will affect UK’s economic and political position over the next 10 to 15 years?
    This strikes me as the tails side to the heads of Osborne’s ‘Project Fear’ coin. He made 15 year forecasts. As I said then, find me one year in the last century or more when any 15 year forecast was not interrupted by unforeseeable ‘events, dear boy, events’.
    Start at 1900 – all going well until 1914, perhaps?

  36. DAVE

    If you are suggesting that we will be unable to exactly measure the effect for the reasons you give, then I will agree with you, but I am merely suggesting that by then we should be able have a reasonably clear view of the effect of us leaving on both the UK and the EU. If you have other dates in mind please suggest them.

  37. I think Howard is right and as we will be full members until 2019 and then probably have some sort of transitional deal with the EU it will be nearer 2030 than 2025 before any sort of assessment can be made.

    Who knows maybe Thorium energy will have saved the world by then.

  38. ALEC
    Your earlier point regarding JC’s views on immigration, have now watered down very considerably. Further he is suggesting a national cap on salaries. Your point about the fiery socialist Welsh being a lot less fiery and socialist, is very much born out by this poll. Unless one takes the same view as Corbyn’s brother, that is, the polls are fake and doctored to make Labour look bad.

  39. @DAVE

    1904 – Russo-Japanese, followed by the 1905 revolution.

    1908 – The first Model T

    1910 – Start of the Mexican Revolution

    1912 – Dissolution of the Qing Dynasty and establishment of the RoC, and the various warlords in China.

    Five year forecasts are a bit silly. 15 year forecasts are just daft.

  40. TOH
    If Brexit has a dramatic effect one way or the other it should be fairly obvious, but if the effect is more modest it’ll be a lot harder to detect, because we’ll have to estimate what the position would have been if we had stayed in the EU. Do we extrapolate from current UK trends? Do we look at what happens to the EU-27 economies which look most like the UK economy? Does more modest growth than we would have achieved if we’d remained in the UK count as a success because of non-economic benefits of Brexit? Do we care about our position relative to other Western countries, or only about absolute changes in living standards for UK citizens?

    Clearly it’s going to take a while for the full impact of Brexit to be realised, but unfortunately the longer we wait before making our assessment, the worse the extrapolation problem.

  41. JASPER22
    Yes, but it was all so predictable from the moment they chose their current leadership. I am not a religious man by any means, but I wonder if Mrs Mays dad put a special blessing on her at her Christening.

  42. Oops.

    ‘more modest growth than we would have achieved if we’d remained in the EU’.


    “Unless one takes the same view as Corbyn’s brother, that is, the polls are fake and doctored to make Labour look bad.”

    I doubt anyone on this site holds such a view. If they do, I have concerns for them.


    Good analogy. On the other hand, the Lib Dems have a problem in that by the next GE, Brexit will most likely be concluded, making it a bit more of a difficult thing to argue.

  44. Sam – chances are that by the next GE Brexit will have only just started and we will be living with a transitional deal. An issue at the 2020 will be negotiating positions with the EU on final terms.

  45. SAM S
    Well said Sam, however, despite everything there is a tendency in some posters to cling to straws.

  46. I would be staggered if Brexit is ‘concluded’ by 2019; the only way in which this would be the case would be if the UK/EU had opted for the hardest possible Brexit, i.e. an abrupt departure with minimal transitional arrangements.

    I imagine the LibDems will fight 2020 on the basis of ‘Look what a horlix the Tories have made of the first phase of Brexit – you can’t trust them to manage the second phase.’

    In essence, going after both Tories and Labour on the grounds of lack of competence.

    Based on current levels of doubt about the Government’s performance on executing Brexit and Corbyn’s competence in running the official Opposition, this may have some traction – however there is a very long time to go yet and things will surely change one way or another…

  47. Jasper22
    ” If you asked the man in the street what the Labour policy on Brexit is, he wouldn’t have the faintest idea.”

    If you asked the man in the street what the Tory policy on Brexit is he wouldn’t have the faintest idea.
    And, if Kenneth Clark’s view is anything to go by, if you asked MPs or Ministers in the House of Commons what the Tory policy, or the Labour policy on Brexit is, they also wouldn’t have the faintest idea either.

  48. Bill Patrick

    Good point re Davidson campaigning to be “the Opposition” because Labour appeared so weak under Dugdale.

    However, I wonder if her volte-face on Brexit will cause problems for her among those middle-class, pro EU, pro UK folk who formerly supported SLab, but currently intend voting SCon.

    Could SLD be due to have a resurgence, at Tory expense, in the likes of Edinburgh, Fife, or Aberdeenshire?

  49. BFR
    “going after both Tories and Labour on the grounds of lack of competence.”

    I personally thought the ConDem government was more competent than the the pure Tory one that has followed it. I wonder if there is any evidence that middle of the road voters now look on that time as one of stability – if so the Lib Dems might be able to capitalise on it in the longer term.

  50. Something I haven’t seen mentioned about Corbyn’s speech about maximum wage is that many highly-paid people including CEOs, Footballers, TV personalities etc are not actually paid a wage. They own companies which invoice for their services. In the case of footballers for instance, an invoice might include an element for their time and another for ‘image rights’ and other stuff. It would be very difficult to frame a law that would clamp down on these types of invoices and not others.

    Nevertheless, the idea that some people are overpaid will resonate with some voters. The effect on the polls, if any, will be interesting.

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