The latest ICM poll for the Guardian has topline figures are CON 42%(nc), LAB 26%(-2), LDEM 10%(+1), UKIP 13%(+1), GRN 5%(+1). It was conducted over the weekend and changes are from a fortnight ago, before Theresa May’s Brexit speech. The sixteen point Tory lead is similar to YouGov’s poll straight after May’s speech, and both show a modest increase in the Tory lead (though the actual level of Tory support is unchanged in ICM). Martin Boon says there are some more Brexit questions to come later…

226 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 42, LAB 26, LDEM 10, UKIP 13, GRN 5”

1 2 3 5
  1. I see this post has no mention of anything at all happening across the Atlantic in it. Though I guess there’s only so many ways to say Labour’re getting trounced without being accused of bias.

  2. The clock is ticking for Corbyn.. I can’t see him lasting until 2020.

  3. @Tancred – 2020 is optimistic. I’m thinking of 24/02.

  4. There is still hope for Jeremy.

    Let’s see what happens in the local elections and the two by elections.

    No doubt he has to up his game and, importantly, sort out a plan on Brexit.

  5. @Alec

    Highly unlikely he’ll go even if he loses both elections.

    From a strategical point of view The Tories need to contest Stoke to protect Jeremy from a possible UKIP win. They need to also attack him for being a Socialist, that will strengthen his followers resolve to keep him place. The Tories must keep him in cotton wool for the great landslide victory he’ll give them.

  6. Does that mean low key campaign or no candidate as in Richmond?

  7. I don’t think JC has the slightest intention of fighting a 2020 GE. And I don’t think Copeland/Stoke will have much to do with the timing of his decision.

    I suspect he will go quite soon, having lined up Clive Lewis or Keir Starmer as his successor. He will claim legitimately to have greatly increased the party membership, and to have moved Labour’s agenda to the left. But he will acknowledge that it is timely for a new leader from a younger generation to take the fight to the Tories.

    He has achieved the defeat of the Blairites, and is getting a lot of satisfaction from that. I doubt his ambitions extend beyond that. And I have to say, he looks fed up and exhausted.

  8. @ Millie

    I agree I have always thought this was about the battle for the political position of the Labour Party for Corbyn, I have predicted (although I claim no expertise as a prognosticator) that he would stand down in the summer of 2018 at the latest.

    On another point, if the Huff Post article is right and if it means no candidate, when is the last time that a major party has failed to put forward a candidate in two consecutive by elections?

  9. Good afternoon all or early evening all from a cold central London.

    It’s quite a tragic poll for Labour. The party is confused over what direction to take regarding Brexit and it appears to be hemorrhaging support as a result.

    ol Corbyn can shout from the rafters over how many members his party has and Labour being the biggest party in Europe but its doing nothing to pull in support from outwith the core vote.

    The Lib/Dems are at best flat-lining so no re-moan momentum for them.
    55% of the public are backing pro Brexit parties….Article 50 please.

  10. If the Huff Post article is right, would that mean effectively an electoral pact between Tory and UKIP? That would be extraordinary, and perhaps send a shiver down the spine of centrist Conservatives. The great Conservative Party can’t afford to run two by-election campaigns simultaneously? No-one’s going to buy that. Surely.

  11. “. Martin Boon says there are some more Brexit questions to come later…”

    Did he indeed!! Well it will be interesting to see if any of the findings are favourable towards a hard Brexit because it might bust the myth Tim Farron has come out with that somehow the British public were robbed of democracy.

  12. I don’t believe a word of rumours that the Conservatives won’t fight Stoke Central. There’s more likely to be snow in the Sahara than that.

  13. It seems that the US/UK trade deal talks are looking at loosening controls on migration between the two countries. This, along with Australia and India both saying they would want fewer restrictions on people moving to the UK as part of any trade deals begins to confirm my sense of what placing control of migration above staying in the free market will actually mean.

    Quite surreptitiously it seems, many Brexiters have moved from the pre-referendum talk of reducing migration to simply ‘being in control of migration’, as if this isn’t some kind of numbers game any more.

    As I have said many times before, the UK government failed to stop non EU immigration, which would have meant they would have achieved Cameron’s net migration target if they really wanted to. There is a reason why they didn’t stop that bit of immigration that they had total control over, and this fact, along with the pressure to lift restrictions with potential new trade partners should be born in mind by leave supporters.

    My belief is that we are going to leave the biggest free trade area in the world in exchange for no real difference in migration numbers. If this is indeed what happens, it seems a dreadful waste of time and effort.

  14. @BT Says

    Agreed. They will fight Stoke. If you read the Huff Post article carefully, it is simply quoting an insider who is suggesting that the effort at Stoke will be half-hearted.

  15. I don’t see JC going until he can be reasonably certain that someone in his image will take over. Kier Starmer might be a very sensible choice for labour and the one the tories would fear most but he is hardly got the extreme views of JC and momentum, so is very unlikely to get the crown. I don’t know about Clive Lewis but I don’t see the northern working class voting for him.

    He also needs the seat redistribution to happen so the Blairites can be de selected and left wing candidates be selected in their place. After a massive fight last year to stay, why on earth would he go now?

    Nuttal is Labours worst nightmare. If he doesn’t take Stoke I will be amazed.

    Medium term I think the north and Midlands could be lost to labour if Nuttal gets it right, leaving labour with the left wing intelligencia in London.

  16. BT Says

    “There’s more likely to be snow in the Sahara than that.”

    While I agree with the sentiment, it actually snowed in the Sahara in December.

  17. Robert Newark

    Labour is conducting a very personalised (I would call it personal, if the content wasn’t true) campaign against Nuttal. It may not work, but it could.


    I see it the same way. I can’t see JC stepping down without trying to ensure the Left shift stays in place.

    But a UKIP win in Stoke would indeed be his worst nightmare. He would be faced with a clear statement that his Labour Party no longer appeals to the Northern Working Class.

    How would he answer that?.

  19. Alec
    I can’t see how the net migration figure would have got to ‘tens of thousands’ i.e. Less that 99,999, even if everyone from outside the eu had been excluded.

    And frankly, where would be the sense of a policy of excluding highly skilled and needed workers from outside the eu, just so we could have an unlimited supply of Romanian beggars?

    Taking back control must be the red line.

  20. Laszlo

    You are in favour of Trump type tactics then?

  21. @Robert N – “I can’t see how the net migration figure would have got to ‘tens of thousands’ i.e. Less that 99,999, even if everyone from outside the eu had been excluded.”

    No time to get the figures just yet, but yes, it would have done. And no, they weren’t all high skilled. Many of them couldn’t speak English either.

  22. The earliest possible date for Corbyn to stand down is 28 September 2017, the day after Conference. And then only if the mooted rule changes have been voted in, which is far from certain.

    If the rule changes fail, he will fight the 2020 GE.

  23. @”Does that mean low key campaign or no candidate as in Richmond?”

    Low key I expect. Given the Hunt’s Lab majority it would need no Tory candidate for Nuttall to have a chance imo.

    Can’t see Cons risking the stench of a “pact” with UKIP.

    But if UKIP win with a Tory standing too-that would be a massive blow for the Corbyn Project.

  24. Alec
    From the ons website,

    net migration = +335,000 (similar to YE June 2015), comprising +189,000 EU citizens, +196,000 non-EU citizens and -49,000 British citizens
    immigration = 650,000, the highest estimate recorded (up 11,000 (not statistically significant) from YE June 2015)
    emigration = 315,000 (up 12,000 (not statistically significant) from YE June 2015)

  25. Now heres a thought.

    Given Trump has already started to fire out “Executive orders and has criticised the Washington elite and talked of draining the swamp and how unfair the electoral college is maybe he will try to bypass them all together and govern over their heads.

    So far cajoling or bully execs seems to have worked so maybe he will dare them to defeat them and then blame them for gridlock.

    he does like to play the victim when it suits him.

    Next steps.

    Should their be a two term limit on Presidents and if so shouldn’t it apply to Congress and the Senate too?

    Do we need all those Congressmen and women or could a senate of 100 or so be enough.

    Take power from Capital Hill and give it to the states, with

    Each state elects a Governor and let them form the Senate. Think of the money that would save and how it would speed up decision making.

    Why stop at draining the swamp when you can concrete it over and build on it… Trump does thinks like that and calls it development!



  26. I read this website every day and used to enjoy the comment sections as much as the actual articles but the standard of SOME recent contributions is really doing this great site a disservice. Why does this post need to mention the US situation? It’s about a UK poll. Furthermore, it’s not about migration, and the vast majority of people polled don’t have statistics to hand nor probably care.

    ‘Remoaners’, ‘Romanian beggars’, ‘Article 50 please’. Not interesting, helpful or appropriate.

  27. Robert Newark

    I just stated what LP is doing there, and Nuttal is very vulnerable to it (I think) – NHS, Hillsborough (I know it is not in the Merseyside, still). They could do better, though, like Farage taking away American jobs (well at least one), but theLP is not particularly strong on any kind of satire.

    I actually don’t have much problem with negative campaigning (it is a fact of political life, objecting to it like being against the fact that dogs bark). I do have a problem, however, when it is transformed into alternative.

  28. @Alec

    “Quite surreptitiously it seems, many Brexiters have moved from the pre-referendum talk of reducing migration to simply ‘being in control of migration’, as if this isn’t some kind of numbers game any more.”


    You mean like, letting in lots of migrants as before, but they just have to jump through a few hoops so they can say there’s ‘control’?

  29. @Laszlo

    The furore over Trident couldn’t have come at a better time for Corbyn. Together with May’s statement that she will not cut foreign aid to help social care he couldn’t have had more good news.

  30. @Robert Newark – you are confusing net migration with immigration.

    On the Dec 2016 data from the ONS, net migration was +335,000, with 284,000 EU citizens arriving, and 289,000 non EU citizens arriving.

    So if you stopped the 289,000 coming you would have net migration of +46,000, which would qualify as ‘a few tens of thousands’.

  31. Re WOOD.

    Why would any comments on the latest Poll mention anything to do with what;s going on over the Atlantic? This is a discussion forum for people interested in the psephological implications of Opinion Poll and electoral movement .

    It’s not an international forum for disaffected losers of elections who have nothing to say apart from the same thing that lost them the elections in the first place.

    The interesting feature in both these recent Polls is the massive further surge in the already big Tory lead, since May’s speech on Brexit. But all she had to do was state the blindingly obvious that we’ve all known all along, namely that we can’t make demands as to ‘what sort of Brexit’ we get. We have no means of forcing the EU to give them to us. We voted ‘Leave’. We have to take what we can get.

    The public has understood all along is that we get what we can and go, or alternatively we give up and stay.

    Yet again this has all blow up in Nicola Sturgeon and the Remainers faces. They’ve forced May to come clean and its pushed her even further ahead in the polls.

    There’s nothing mysterious in these Polls to those of us who go round talking to people. If these Remainers talked to normal people in the pub etc like the rest of us do, and not just to each other or watch ‘Question Time’ on the TV, they’d have no doubt what people really think. For better or for worse people, including some who voted Remain want it over with as soon as possible. position have hardened and the Brexit voters who form the majority have hardened the most.

    Many of them don’t normally vote at all or usually Vote Labour but they’ll; definitely come out and vote in an early General Election to achieve what they want. And knowing that Corbyn hasn’t a hope in hell of winning they’ll think the investment is worthwhile with the added no chance of getting rid of him and getting someone who has a better chance next time.

    I can’t see why Theresa May wouldn’t go to the country now at the beginning of May or even in April. She’ll never be in a better electoral position than this.

    I have posted for some time that I expect her to put the Article 50 legislation before Parliament immediately after after the Supreme Court judgement and once it’s passed announce an election regardless of the outcome of the Vote. The Fixed Term Parliament Act isn’t a problem as there are sufficient Labour MPs who’s constituents would be obliged to Vote for an election or face electoral ruin.

    If the Commons votes Article 50 or the election proposal down it will destroy the Labour Party for good and if the Lords votes it down the General Election win will be May’s authority to create sufficient temporary new Tory Peers to force it through immediately after the election.

    If Article 50 passes through Parliament anyway there’ll surely still be an election which after they’ve lost will be Labour’s chance to get rid of Corbyn for good and start afresh. It’s better for them than waiting for the prolonged lingering death till 2020.

    A big majority will extend May’s term to 2022 by which time the dust will have settled after Brexit in 2019 when electoral boundaries will be in place, and she’ll win another term to keep the Tories in power till 2027 and maybe even till 2032, by which time they’ll have a new younger leader and the whole cycle will; start again..

    Apart from this huge Poll lead, May has all the cards between now and April/May 2017. Apart from Article 50 she’s going to see Trump shortly and I have little doubt they’ll work it together to present the meeting as a triumph and he’ll offer some morsel to assist her electorally. It doesn’t matter of he doesn’t deliver. The election will be long past by then and she can blame him.

    I don’t really have any great axe to grind for any party or for either ‘Brexit’ or ‘Remain’, and certainly not for Trump. But this history changing catastrophe for the ‘left” on both sides of the Atlantic and for ‘Remain’ here and the establishment on the Continent has been entirely self inflicted. It’s been brought about by their own smug attitudes and by the fact that they flatly refuse to learn and listen to a single person who disagrees with them. They are now doomed to total ruin.

    Goodness knows whats going to happens in the elections on the Continent this year. Needless to say ‘left and ‘centre right’ are as convinced as ever that that are going to win. But they might well encounter a horror that can barely contemplate.

    I think there’s at least a one in three chance that Le Pen will win. And whose fault will that be? Support for Brexit here will go through the roof, and even amongst many Remainers who can’t contemplate the idea of being in a Union with a Fascist state. We can all safely assume that they’ll accept none of the blame whatsoever.

  32. @ronolsen

    The change in the Tory lead in this poll is at most modest and within the margin of error.

    May can’t simply call an election. She would either have to get two thirds of the HoC to vote for an early GE or lose a motion of no confidence and give JC the chance to form a government and secure a vote of confidence. She has also consistently said that she would not call an election.

  33. @Ronald Olden

    Good post.

    I have no doubt that UKIP, if they win in Stoke, will hit Labour in the jugular North of the Watford Gap. The only place I see as a haven for Labour is London and South East Wales.

  34. @Hireton

    I’d watch the polls. If Tories hit 45% and Labour 25%, the temptation will become reality. Easily arranged, particularly if Labour peers try and hold up Brexit.

  35. @Allan Christie
    ‘The Lib/Dems are at best flat-lining so no re-moan momentum for them.’

    Er, just on this poll they show as up 1% on the previous month, which – while not statistically significant – can in no way whatsoever be described as ‘at best flat-lining’. At worst, within 95% confidence, they could be down 1.5%; at best they could be up 3.5%

    You do say things that are simply factually incorrect an awful lot. Perhaps when you talk about polling it might be worth checking that what you say is factually accurate before you post?

    Just saying…

  36. BFR

    Not quite true, the 3% “rule” is for parties on 30-40% of the vote. For parties around 10% the MOE is reduced to about 2%

  37. Colin – 5.13

    Since when was Stoke in the north? It’s in the English Midlands.

  38. @Alan
    I thought it was about 2.4%, hence used 2.5…
    But happy to be corrected – my stats days are many years behind me!

  39. The Lib Democrats Leader does appear opportunistic, and at times hysterical.

    A long, long way back.

  40. BFR

    It’s about 1.8% for a sample size of 1000

    Technically it isn’t a normal distribution (or even symmetrical) but this probably isn’t the appropriate board for discussing Bayesian statistics.

    It should be but people seem to be far more interested in other stuff not related to numbers and methodology these days.

  41. Just watched Trump scrap TPP, and deliver on a Bernie Sanders policy :-) :-) :-)

  42. JOHNB

    Seen from Islington that’s North-being above Luton on the map.

  43. @Colin

    “Just watched Trump scrap TPP, and deliver on a Bernie Sanders policy :-) :-) :-)”

    Does this surprise you? They were both against TPP. Of course as he did it by Executive Order he could always reverse it later by a separate EO.

  44. Interesting view of the by-elections here:

  45. Good evening all from another frosty night in rural Hampshire.

    Seen some of Mr Boons Brexit polling in the Guardian..

    “Around a quarter of voters want a second referendum to give people the final say on whether the UK leaves the EU once the outcome of Brexit talks are known, the poll suggests.”


    A clear majority of voters (63%) support Theresa May’s claim that leaving the EU without a trade deal would be better than leaving with bad trade deal, the poll suggests.
    And a clear majority of voters (59%) thinks May was right to threaten economic retaliation, including slashing business taxes, if the EU offers the UK a bad Brexit deal.
    And here are the detailed figures.

    First people were told that Brexit negotiations are starting soon and were then asked which of these three options they would prefer.

    UK leaving, regardless of what happens: 53%

    Parliament to decide whether the UK leaves, based on the outcome of negotiations: 12%

    A second referendum to let people decide, based on the outcome of the negotiations: 26%

    Don’t know: 9%

    Sorry for the large link but you can’t use tiny url on this site…–to-blame-for-cover-up-of-trident-missile-test-failure-says-top-tory-politics-live?page=with:block-588620c6e4b0dd6f5509d3af#block-588620c6e4b0dd6f5509d3af


    If the Lib/Dems start polling around 20% then yeah I might think they are on to something. Regardless who is correct regarding the MOE for smaller parties with poor poll ratings, the Lib/Dems as of yet are not showing anything exiting in current polling.

    However events may change later on if indeed a perfect storm arises and Labour self destruct and their voters shuffle over to the Lib/Dems and UKIP but until then I’m afraid the party are just 9 MP’s in a parliament of 650 with dire poll ratings.

  47. I may be wrong but I think the threat of Nuttall and UKIP is overplayed….

    1) Many who take little or no interest in Politics voted Leave in the Referendum, 70%+ turnout, these by-elections are likely to be sub 45% …

    2) Many who voted UKIP now consider it job done, so will they bother…

    3) In 2015, Labour was pretty much down to a core support, how much lower can it go ?

    4) UKIP lack the footsoldiers, expertise and funds to get the vote out…

    Mind you, the factor on the other side is Corbyn, how much will he hit the northern Labour vote, together with Diane Abbot, and Emily Thornbury… ??

  48. French Socialist Party seems to be doing a Corbyn.

  49. From the declining remainers… Ouch.

1 2 3 5