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”

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  1. RAF

    @”Does this surprise you?”

    No-its just amusing to contemplate the common ground between The Donald & Bernie.

  2. @AC

    “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.”

    Indeed it does. However there’s a liguistic problem with the proposition, as it suggests (as TM intended it to suggest) that ‘no deal’ is instrically superior to a ‘bad’ deal. No-one will ever say they want a “bad” deal, and would naturally choose an apparently neutral alternative. However, unless you know the actual choice how can you place one option above the other except by virtue of the fact that neutral trumps negative?

  3. @Colin

    “RAF
    @”Does this surprise you?”
    No-its just amusing to contemplate the common ground between The Donald & Bernie.

    ———

    Bernie expressly acknowledged after Trump won the Rep nomination that there were areas of overlap between the two. He said he would support Trump in those areas but oppose him in others.

  4. RAF

    You’re over complicating…..The public (according to polling) back TM in the event we get a bad trade deal from the EU. If TM said to the country that the trade deal the EU are offering is not right for the UK and we need to walk away then I’m reading this poll is giving her public backing for that scenario.

  5. COLIN
    “French Socialist Party seems to be doing a Corbyn”
    ________

    I’m having visions of them sitting on the floor of a bus…or tram…or was it a train…oooh whatever ;-)

  6. @AC

    We haven’t even started the ball rolling on A50 negotiations. This is crystal ball stuff at this moment in time. All the polling demonstrates is that people currently agree with TM’s take on things.

  7. re “flat lining” LibDems.

    Looking at UK Elects Poll of Polls, the LibDems appear to be gaining ground at the rate of about 1% per month since the beginning of November. This poll is the highest rating they’ve had with ICM since the GE.

    I think the data supports the argument that there is a very slow but definite recovery in LD ratings. I would tend to agree that they need to reach about 20% before they would start to have an impact upon potential GE outcomes and I have my doubts as to how long they can sustain even this modest rate of recovery.

    I think I’ll stick to the prediction I made at New Year, that they’ll be at about 15% at the end of the year.

  8. RAF
    @AC
    “We haven’t even started the ball rolling on A50 negotiations. This is crystal ball stuff at this moment in time. All the polling demonstrates is that people currently agree with TM’s take on things”
    ___________

    I could not agree more hence the reason I said (according to polling)

    Of course all polling is just snapshots on current public opinion but it keeps us anoraks guessing what might happen.

  9. Here are charts for Lib Dem VI from Mori, ICM and Yougov:

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzTTW1ecy-NDdmtpR1lLdXNCaG8

    ICM and You Gov show a statistically significant improvement from the start of 2016. (Please note I chose this start time for convenience and nothing else).

    In addition, the Lib Dem vote is concentrated quite well, so a small national increase can easily lead to an increase in the South West enough bring them within touching distance of taking back Tory seats. For this to happen, a Con to Lib Dem swing of 5 % starts to turn blue seats yellow.

  10. DAIBACH

    Ok I accept flat lining might be a little tough on the Lib/Dems..I thought they polled 14% at the the last GE but checked and they polled just over 7% so they have actually (according to polling) polled almost double their post GE result.
    ….
    “I think I’ll stick to the prediction I made at New Year, that they’ll be at about 15% at the end of the year”
    ___

    I would also go along with your prediction.

  11. Seems odd to me that some are jumping ahead to the possibility of a “trade deal” with the EU.

    The Article 50 process does not require the EU to offer the UK a trade deal of any sort, and it is highly unlikely that there would be such a deal within the 18 months to 2 years within the Article 50 process. What has to be offered under A50 is the ‘divorce settlement’; if we were to reject the terms which the EU offer (as may has suggested she might) then what we would have a disorderly Brexit.

    Any permanent trade deal would take many years. It would also need the unanimous agreement of the 27 Member States, with their 38 National and Regional Parliaments, and their support would be sought AFTER we had agreed to the deal – as happened with Canada’s CETA agreement.

  12. I am not particularly surprise by the response to the “Bad Deal No Deal” question.

    Increasing particularly in the press it’s being presented as Us v Them, UK v EU.

    In no way conducive to good negotiations between partners although given the split that Brexit has caused probably good domestic politics if the tories want to win in 2020.

    The issue is will it become a self fulfilling prophecy with an adversarial mood in the UK leading to acrimonious negotiations and a poor deal with the EU.

    It may well have the potential to end up as one of those stupid playground arguments.

    “We don’t want a fight, but if they want a fight we’ll give them one!”

    Peter.

  13. “It would also need the unanimous agreement of the 27 Member States, with their 38 National and Regional Parliaments”

    I wonder how much political capital my lot (SNP), PC and Parties in NI might make of this?

    If Regional Parliaments in the EU will have a say and potential veto on a UK/EU trade deal but Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast won’t!

    Brexit was in part about Sovereignty from the Undemocratic EU, so I suspect calls that the Devolved Governments in the UK have at least the same rights as those on the Continent!

    Peter.

  14. @ Peter Cairns

    My understanding is that agreement of the Regional Parliaments in Belgium is needed because of the constitution of Belgium, rather than the EU itself requiring that all regional Parliaments should give assent.

    In the case of CETA, the parliament of Wallonia and the other regional parliaments then allowed full authority to be given to the federal government. They might or might not do the same for an EU/UK trade agreement.

  15. In strict theory A50 may not apply to any trade deal between the uk and EU which ,technically, occurs after we have left.
    In theory the views of the the others would therefore be confined to the non trade aspects of the divorce
    Unreal but it may be the technical position.

  16. @WB (FPT)

    ICM poll appalling long term problems for Labour. However the change in the North as per CMJ: what level of swing does their need to be to put safe seats in the firing line?

    Sorry for the delay in getting back (work and all of that..)

    A northern uniform 6% swing Lab to Con gains the Tories 10 seats, based on the 2015 constituencies:

    Chester, City Of
    Wirral West
    Barrow & Furness
    Lancaster & Fleetwood
    Middlesbrough South & Cleveland East
    Copeland
    Darlington
    Blackpool South
    Chorley
    Bishop Auckland

  17. @ s Thomas

    Just to clarify>

    The ‘divorce’ and a future trading agreements are different things. A50 is about the ‘divorce’.

    The ‘divorce’ requires qualified majority support (not unanimous support) from the Member States, but also needs to be ratified by the European Parliament.

    A future trading agreement would be a ‘mixed agreement’ and as such requires the support of all 27 other Member States, and 38 their different Parliaments. This is likely to take much longer than the 2 years we have to leave the EU per A50.

    The 2-year deadline in A50 can only be extended by unanimous agreement of the 27 Member States.

  18. S Thomas

    “In strict theory A50 may not apply to any trade deal between the UK and EU which ,technically, occurs after we have left.”

    My understanding is the same as yours on this. It may be that it suits both the UK and the EU to conflate the discussions on a future trade deal with the Brexit details though t(here is no guarantee that such a happy coincidence of interests will prevail).

    In such a circumstance, the application of constitutional rules would mean that different ratification arrangements would apply for ratification of the trade deal, compared with ratifying the Brexit agreement.

  19. CMJ

    Thanks for that.

    My assertion that the LDs would need to be at about 20% to have an electoral impact was through playing with the electoral calculus model to see what the break point into a hung parliament would be assuming both UKIP and Labour poll at their current levels, so effectively a pure con to LD swing, based on proposed not current boundaries and on a pure national swing, as modelled there, without adjusting any regional parameter. (all dangerous Assumptions!)

    Do you concur or would you argue a different figure?

  20. You really have to laugh at the Guardians headline for this poll. The relevant question shows a majority who think that once the deal is done, we should leave whatever, but the headline is “26% of Voters Want a Second Referendum”

  21. Correction (I forgot Yorkshire is in the north, and I live there…)

    @WB (FPT)

    ICM poll appalling long term problems for Labour. However the change in the North as per CMJ: what level of swing does their need to be to put safe seats in the firing line?

    Sorry for the delay in getting back (work and all of that..). When Yorkshire and Humber are included, the Lab to Con swing is 4.65%

    A northern uniform 4.65 swing Lab to Con gains the Tories 14 seats, based on the 2015 constituencies:

    Chester, City Of
    Halifax
    Wirral West
    Barrow & Furness
    Dewsbury
    Lancaster & Fleetwood
    Middlesbrough South & Cleveland East
    Wakefield
    Copeland
    Darlington
    Blackpool South
    Scunthorpe
    Chorley
    Bishop Auckland

    Notice Copeland in middle, 3.2% swing needed.

  22. @IDEAL4RADIO

    I think you make good points and I generally agree with you. If I had a gun to my head I’d have to go with Labour for Stoke, because of UKIPs finances and lack of organization. The question is has one of the UKIP donors shoved them a bunch of cash to attempt a major shock. We won’t know until the dust settles.

  23. Lee Hallam,

    “You really have to laugh at the Guardians headline for this poll!”

    All the papers do it…

    It might be 26% of the population but it’s probably closer to 60% of Guardian readers and if nothing else Papers like to give their readers what they want.

    Peter.

  24. Another reason Stoke could be rather interesting is its incredibly low GE turnout, lower even than the by-election turnout in Richmond Park.

    If the “narrative” does quickly turn into a nasty UKIP v Labour fight, I guess it’s quite possible that the by-election turnout could be pretty similar to the GE, which would render a lot of established by-election wisdom on how to interpret polling and canvassing inapplicable here, and so make the result rather harder to predict.

  25. @James E “The 2-year deadline in A50 can only be extended by unanimous agreement of the 27 Member States.”

    There is a partial loop-hole that could be used to extend the 2 year process with QMV and that would be agreeing a transitional deal on the same terms.

  26. Timetable for tomorrow’s SC judgement is unusually restricted

    1) 8:00am – Lawyers and parties (not PM!)
    2) 9:00am – Embargoed press
    3) 9:15am – Prime Minister
    4) 9:30am – All

    Lots of folk have opinions on the aspects of the uncodified UK constitution in dispute.

    Should be interesting to hear them definitively described by their Lordships.

  27. @AW

    Can you please release my post?

    I think there is a word in a place name that might be the issue..

  28. @Daibach

    I don’t honestly have a figure where they break through. I also haven’t looked at the new boundaries in detail, but it’s on my list of things to do.

    If the new boundaries are similar to the old ones, a 5% Con to LD swing gains them five seats –

    Thornbury & Yate
    St Ives
    Torbay
    Bath
    Yeovil

    10% gains these also –

    Cheltenham
    Devon North
    Wells
    Cornwall North
    St Austell & Newquay
    Chippenham

    All these seats were solid Lib Dem seats, only lost in 2015. I understand that the Lib Dems in these areas are rebuilding, strong, and winning Council seats very well.

    I think the general swing models are limited as the country isn’t very uniform politically.

    In this year’s locals, the whole of Cornwall is up for grabs, so I’ll be watching this. If the Lib Dems do well, I would suggest they may be on the way to win some of the above seats back in 2020.

  29. No idea of what the implications of this are, but I’m sure there are people on here who can explain what looks like an interesting judgment –

    “The High Court has cleared the way for UK [presumably they mean E&W companies?] companies to be absorbed by European subsidiaries as they restructure in response to the UK decision to leave the EU. The mechanism of a ‘reverse cross-border merger’ is set out in an EU directive, but had not previously been permitted under English law.”

    https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/brexit-prompts-corporate-merger-first/5059479.article

  30. Jamese
    sorry missed your better original post.

  31. Things are heating up in the Dutch Election. And Mark Rutte is tacking quickly to the Right:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/23/dutch-prime-minister-warns-migrants-normal-gone-fends-populist/

    @OLDNAT

    Indeed it will. What will be interesting also, is the level of unanimity of the judgements on the different rulings they are to make.

  32. Sea Change

    Will the degree of unanimity among their Lordships affect the authority of their ruling?

    I can see that a strong minority position might create political enthusiasm for legislation to change the constitutional arrangements, but presumably, the judgement of Their Lordships, on what those arrangements currently are, is final?

  33. LEE HALLAM
    “You really have to laugh at the Guardians headline for this poll. The relevant question shows a majority who think that once the deal is done, we should leave whatever, but the headline is “26% of Voters Want a Second Referendum”
    _____________

    I did laugh at it and thought about Tim Farron’s “robbed democracy” comment over Brexit.. Maybe 26% is the new Farron majority. ..Never mind the 52% we are the 26%.

    One thing that’s beginning to annoy a lot of Brexit voters is the amount of remain supporter telling them what they did and did not vote for when they voted leave. The Guardian poll is almost saying..”shut up we know what we voted for”

  34. @WB
    ‘It is well to remember, for those who believe parties are everlasting, that in 1910 the Liberals were the largest party at 272 seats by 1924 that was reduced to 40 seats (Coincidently having entered a coalition: albeit with Labour).’

    There was no coalition in 1924! Do you not understand the difference between a minority Government and a coalition?

  35. If I may be allowed to comment on the poll, rather than speculating on bureaucratic details of Brexit…

    Tories holding ( and I remember posts predicting that the Tories would never again top 40% in the polls!)
    Zero sign of Labour recovery.
    LibDems maintaining their modest recovery
    UKIP surprisingly holding up.

    To me the most interesting thing about this is the UKIP figure, as Mrs May is making all the right noises to mollify their voters. Is it because they don’t trust her to deliver, or is it a right-wing anti-establishment vote from people who are disillusioned by Labour?

    Real voters are hard to understand. I’m sure I’ve seen some analysis that shows that some voters switch between LibDem and UKIP and vice versa, which would seem to me to be about the most unlikely switch.

    G’night all.

  36. @OLDNAT

    I think it will affect the reaction to the rulings. While this is a matter of law in principle there are such huge political ramifications, I am hoping that there will be unanimity. For instance if the Scottish Government was to lose 11-0 versus 6-5 I’m sure there would be different reactions from Nicola Sturgeon. Just as there will be on the other judgements.

  37. ICM has tended – going back as far as 1997 – to come up with low Labour ratings and – though perhaps less so in this Parliament – higher LibDem ratings. A 26% poll figure from ICM for Labour in the past would be likely to be accompanied by 28/29% from other pollsters. Having said that, in recent months YouGov appears to have taken on the mantle for producing the lowest Labour scores.

  38. I admire those rose-tinted specs you own Graham!

  39. John B

    For most Labour MPs ‘Hastings is in the North’. Stoke is in Scotland.

  40. Always, always Anthony mentions the Greens on 5% or thereabouts. Never, Never does he mention when/ if SNP are on 5%. Does he have a reason for thid?
    And my 2nd question. Given that the Greens have at least 2 different parties, which Greens is Anthony referring to? English/Welsh Greens or Scottish Greens or are they combined.

  41. Ronald Olden,
    “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.”
    What massive further surge? If you read the intro piece on this thread, it says no increase in tory support?

    ” If these Remainers talked to normal people in the pub etc like the rest of us do,”
    Another interesting statistic of modern times is that pubs are severely in decline and reduced in numbers. I suspect this means their appeal is reduced to a certain demographic which may well not be representative of the nation as a whole. Possibly they never were. Maybe in fact, they seek to appeal to their declining customer base and reflect back the views of particular groups of patrons, such that it would be necessary to have a carefully chosen sample of pubs so as to be representative.

    “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. ”
    The obvious reason would be because she does not want a big majority. She needs to be able to be defeated if things turn bad.

  42. @Sea Change
    We pretty much know that it is a unanimous verdict, because only one judge (Lord Neuberger) is scheduled to speak according to the published court listing; if it was a split decision there would be dissenting minority judgements and one of those judges would be listed to put those dissenting views.

    Speculation amongst our learned friends is leaning towards the government losing both on the Parliamentary vote AND on consultation with the regional assemblies, which would be interesting; however this whole process has been full of surprises and we could well get another one.

  43. @Danny and Ronald Olden

    And it depends where the pub is situated. A pub in an area which voted strongly to leave the EU may well have different conversations from pubs in areas, such as Scotland and Northern Ireland, which voted strongly to remain in the EU. We all need to remember that where we happen to live, and the people we work with etc. heavily influence our understanding of what ‘normal’ people are thinking.

  44. Pete B,
    ” Is it because they don’t trust her to deliver, or is it a right-wing anti-establishment vote from people who are disillusioned by Labour”
    I have always assumed that Uk hard nationalists have gravitated to UKIP, and presumably are not likely to move to wishy washy conservatives while they still have the choice? If so, it might be the plan to dispose of UKIP has been fundamentally flawed…

  45. ALLAN CHRISTIE

    Many thanks for the figures and link to the ICM Brexit questions and answers. Very revealing and confirming the voters approval for May’s position. Politicians ignoring these ver clear views will be in deep trouble in my view.

    Makes a total nonsense of Clegg’s views that there are oprions. The public don’t want options which mean we are still part of the EU they want to leave totally IMO.

  46. 5 minutes to go to the public release of the UKSC Judgment.

  47. As expected government loses in the SC.

  48. And the SC seems to be directing legislation rather than just a vote. So comprehensive defeat for the government.

    I still think A50 will be triggered on time, but the odds on a 2017 GE must have shortened considerably.

  49. As I rather expected it was a majority resut 8 to 3. The Government case was quite strong and i would not have been surprised if the result had gone the other way. From the Governments point of view a short bill will now be needed. However much relief for the Government, the Devolved Assemblies need not be consulted it is for th UK Parliament only.

  50. @BIGFATRON – Dissenting opinions of judges are usually written

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