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. Somerjohn

    Yes, quite. I believe we will be better to placed to work EFFECTIVELY with our neighbouring European countries than ever before, overall.

    One thing I am quite clear about is that although I voted Remain due to the risks of changing the status quo when Western economies are already quite fragile, the vote didn’t go my way and I am quite sure that attempts to subvert the referendum result now, with the ensuing consequences (and confusion), would be the worst of all worlds for everyone.

  2. I see selective (and baffling) moderation is still alive and well on this site.

    I assume the objective is to stop some individuals from posting regularly – which sad to say it usually succeeds as far as I am concerned.

    Yet the utter drivel and partisan stuff that I see remains unmoderated on a daily basis beggars belief.

  3. Thinking back to the Guardian/ICM poll on Brexit preferences, I was struck by the unbalanced nature of this question:

    People were asked which of these two options they thought was best.

    Leaving the EU without a trade deal: 63%

    Leaving the EU with a bad trade deal: 8%

    Don’t know: 29%

    So people were asked to choose between two undesirable outcomes. Unsurprisingly, 29% refused to answer.

    It’s a pity there was a third choice:

    Remaining in the EU with the existing trade deal.

    I’m not suggesting this would have been the majority choice, but it would be good to see how people feel about the status quo versus a bad deal, rather than a binary choice between two bad deals.

  4. Doh!

    It’s a pity there wasn’t a third choice.

  5. somerjohn

    4th choice:

    Leaving the EU with a good trade deal

  6. Somerjohn

    I think often these “unbalanced questions” are there to test out particular lines being tried out by parties.

    If they seem to strike a chord, then they’ll be trotted out with boring regularity by every spokesperson – whatever the question was!

  7. Good afternoon all from a sunny Reigate..Even when it rains it always feels sunny in Reigate.

    Okay onto the SC decision…Peeps from either side of the spectrum will spin the decision in their own favour but being honest about the whole thing the Scottish Gov were just protecting their electorates interests.

    However and I’ve said this before…All the obstacles, court-cases and so on that has been used against the Brexit result might actually come back to bite the SNP on the arse.

    I would had thought the SNP wanted a smooth Brexit for the whole of the UK so in the event of a second indy ref they can say “look the UK exited from the EU without any major problems, surely we can do the same with independence”

    I’m not so sure the Scottish electorate can put up with 4 years of Brexit negotiations and then having go through the whole thing again in the event of independence. 8 years of constitutional negotiations just seems to be taking polarization to a new level.

    In light of Brexit it has shown the UK isn’t a one shoe fits all union and maybe Westminster will have to look at some sort of federal structure for Scotland….I think the voter would back this.

  8. THE OTHER HOWARD
    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 very 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”
    ____________

    Not a problem Howard..I like to think of myslef as “The prophet of the facts” ;-)

    If the polling really is reflective of the public mood then TM has nothing to worry about. I personally think the public would back her to walk away should the EU play silly buggers.

  9. Oldnat & Somerjohn –

    I can guess the reasoning behind that question, as I did a very similar one on the YouGov poll after May’s speech.

    May said that “no deal was better than a bad deal” – the point of our question (and, I assume, the ICM question) was to test whether the public agreed with her or not, rather than the slightly wider (though equally, if not more interesting) question of what Britain should do if there isn’t a good deal.

    I can pretty much guarantee that we’ll be revisiting that wider question in much more detail over the next couple of years…

  10. @ AC

    isn’t the problem with a federal Britain the difference in population sizes of constitute elements. Labour in the late 1990’s tried to approach this by the piecemeal development of Regional Assemblies but dropped this when the NE voted firmly against.

    As a counterfactual: I always thought that the choice of the NE was poor if the domino effect was what was being aimed at as polling for Regional Government was always better in Cornwall. I presume the reason for labour’s choice of the North East was its electoral strength in that region as opposed to the strength of the LibDems in Cornwall.

  11. @ AW

    Is the problem with polling on Brexit at present that any question will appear loaded to approx. half of the population?

  12. Sorry I didn’t explain that very well. What I mean is given the strength of feeling on the topic is there a distortion effect because people aren’t approaching the specific question as much as approaching it from a type of “that’s my team” mentality?

  13. ON an entirely different topic London Welsh, having been in existence since 1885 and having produced 177 Welsh International players is no more: what a sad day!

  14. WB

    I’ve no idea what a federal structure would look like across the UK but I was referring to Scotland only rather than bits n bobs around England. It’s easier said than done but surely devolving everything to Edinburgh except defense and foreign affairs would be a good sell to the Scots.

  15. @ AC

    Isn’t that what, in a different era, was described as Home Rule?

  16. WB

    Home Rule and Devo-Max are very similar. The only constitutional difference, I think, is that Home Rule involved a transfer of sovereignty away from Westminster, while Devo-Max retains it (devolution is a “lending” of powers).

    While around 2/3 Scots have consistently said over years that they would want those powers transferred, I don’t think we’ve ever been asked about whether Westminster should be able to take them back.

  17. WB

    My interpretation of Home rule is something the Welsh have currently and something Scotland voted narrowly against in a different era …. Scotland now has devolution which it voted for and with it brings more powers to the devolved Parliament.

    The next stage would be a federal structure between Scotland and England or Devo Max. There is a genuine grievance in part of the electorate that in the event of a No vote Scotland would get near federal powers.

    TM and the Scottish Gov have got their work cut out if we’re not ot have years upon years of constitutional Wrangling.

  18. @ac

    How does Wales have Home Rule now? And when did Scotland vote against it?

  19. Oldnat

    Anent your remark about political eunuchs I note that the poster, BT, has been snipped…repeatedly. Presumably, AW knows the gender of BT.

    In his post @2.30 pm BT may be hinting at a possible reason: “..sorry if I was a bit hard on…”

    Sorry

  20. @Allan Christie

    I doubt May will give further powers to Scotland.

  21. SJ “Remaining in the EU with the existing trade deal.”
    S T “Leaving the EU with a good trade deal”
    These both suffer from forgetting that there are two sides to every deal, and that the ‘deal’ is not only a trade deal
    So SJ’s deal is unacceptable to at least a substantial minority in UK (and if you believe the referendum result , a majority, because SJ deal supporters would presumably have voted to stay in and try to improve the trade deal from the inside.) I suspect those voting Leave did not do so on trade terms.
    S T’s deal would need to be a good trade deal for the EU as well as UK.. It is probably not acceptable to [some of] the EU powers that be, as it might encourage other states to leave. If good for both sides in trade terms other countries could favour staying in the EU with better trading terms than either now, or with a bad EU/UK trade deal. Failing a deal clearly good for both sides UK will probably have to accept a sub-optimum deal in UK terms simply to get any agreement at all.
    People’s minds should be on what deal will be good for EU as well as for us, not on wrangling about what we want. If you know what the other side wants, you offer as much of that as you can, and then some sweetener or wrinkle to work round what you can’t offer that they really want.
    EU can hardly say, for example, that present trading terms are unacceptable to EU, except on the grounds that present UK membership deal gives us other things as well. As EU thinks these are of value to us we can offer to give them up.
    Looked at like that, the UK awkward squad leaving is a benefit to EU, isn’t it?
    They should be worried about the hassle of UK staying in and arguing constantly for changes they don’t want, and against changes they do want, into the distant future.

  22. To get back to the ICM poll, and thinking about May’s “no deal was better than a bad deal”, I had a look at the crossbreaks for the question on who decides that.

    Scotland only has a small sample, and Wales a tiny one, so not too much can be read into the differences in responses to “Which one of the following options would you prefer to see?”

    “The UK leaving the EU regardless of what happens in the negotiations” – Eng 55% : Wal 58% : Sco 36%

    “A vote by MPs in Parliament to decide whether we leave the EU or not, based on the outcome of the negotiations” – Eng 12% : Wal 10% : Sco 12%

    “A second referendum allowing people to decide whether we leave the EU or not, based on the outcome of the negotiations.” – Eng 25% : Wal 20% : Sco 43%

    With 87% of Leavers selecting option 1, and 49% of Remainers preferring option 3, the views leading to that choice are pretty obvious!

    It would seem that the Scots are not yet tired of voting on constitutional issues, while the Welsh sample seems to have a high proportion of folk who just want to get back to mourning the demise of the London Welsh.

  23. sam

    RE:SNIP

    i thought “BT say” was cutting someones hair while he was posting perhaps his expression for the EU ought to be “hair today gone tomorrow”

  24. Too much attention is paid to polls on Brexit at present. Until a deal is finally on the table there isn’t much to discuss any more.

  25. Interesting developments on the Trump trade front. He has agreed to the Keystone pipeline that Canada has been desperately trying to get for at least a decade. See

    https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-01-24/trump-said-to-plan-orders-approving-keystone-dakota-pipelines

    The only stipulation is that the pipes are American made out of US steel (the original proposal was that half the steel would be American, a quarter Canadian pipe and the rest from India and Italy).

    The pipes are the least important part of the deal, the building process is a one-off project. The important bit is that Canada can get it’s bitumen oil to the American market and once the pipeline is built, they’ll be exporting the stuff for decades.

    I’d say round 1 to Canada.because they desperately want this deal, all the opposition was in the united states from both the oil industry and environmentalists.

  26. @ Oldnat
    Going to my usual suggestion to see whether a proposition is supported, what are the numbers, not the %’s?

  27. P.S. Regarding the Canadian oil – under NAFTA rules the US gets first dibs on Canadian oil, and the oil currently moves into the US via truck and train.

    I guess the Trump administration is nervous that if NAFTA is torn up, the Canadians will simply move the oil west to export to Asia – the Trudeau govt has already given the go-ahead to a pacific northwest liquified natural gas pipeline, with the intention of exporting LNG to Asia. Having the Keystone pipeline in place means that Americans get a bit of energy security.

    This business of treaty renegotiation is fun, isn’t it? The small countries appear to have plenty of leverage so far.

  28. Dave

    You would need to search the ScotCen Social Attitudes Survey for the pre-devolution polling details.

    The “What Scotland Thinks” site of ScotCen has a number of polls which bear on this.

    Recent examples are

    http://whatscotlandthinks.org/questions/who-should-make-decisions-for-scotland-6#table

    and

    http://whatscotlandthinks.org/questions/do-you-believe-the-new-powers-devolved-to-the-scottish-parliament-should-inclu-6#table

  29. RTÉ News tweet

    “British Prime Minister Theresa May has declined an invitation from Enda Kenny to address the Dáil while on an official visit to Ireland”

    Now, why would she do that?

  30. Good evening everyone

    Anyone who has the opportunity to read the full Judgment handed down today by the UK Supreme Court (including the dissenting judgments) should do so.

    That is all!

  31. A little more detail on May’s declining to address the Dail

    http://www.rte.ie/news/brexit/2017/0124/847429-may-dail/

    It’s normally considered an honour to be invited to address a foreign Parliament.

    Not making time to do so, would seem rather discourteous, though Kenny is displaying the diplomacy that one would expect from the leader of a civilised country.

  32. Anthony Wells,
    “I can pretty much guarantee that we’ll be revisiting that wider question in much more detail over the next couple of years…”
    Might be decade! Guess its good for business.

    dave,
    “Looked at like that, the UK awkward squad leaving is a benefit to EU, isn’t it?”
    Seems logical to me. Moreover, a believer in the EU presumably would live in expectation of the UK applying to rejoin once it had experienced life outside.

    Candy,
    “I’d say round 1 to Canada.because they desperately want this deal, all the opposition was in the united states from both the oil industry and environmentalists.”

    Interesting, then Trump has done something the US oil industry might not like? Whereas Obama did what they wanted?

  33. RAF

    Have to admit that I skim read chunks of it, but all of it still seemed to me to a reasonable judgment, based on what Alan Trench describes as their “institutional” interpretation of the UK constitution.

    Since the case was largely about the legal status of institutions, it’s not easy to see how they could have taken a different approach.

    From a Scottish perspective, it’s worth noting that the SNP amendment to the Scotland Bill 2015 would have given statutory authority for Sewell to move from “political convention” to an integral part of the UK constitution.

    That amendment (like all the others) was voted down by Unionist MPs. The current constitutional situation isn’t accidental. The Smith Commission agreed that the need for LCMs at Holyrood should be given statutory authority, but that was deliberately rejected by Westminster.

    Will it affect VI? Not directly, but if the message gets through to voters, then it might.

  34. @Danny

    Obama was very much in favour of looking after the status quo. The frackers in the US didn’t want competition from oil sands. Obama was a status quo man in other areas too. There is a famous book (Confidence Men) about the aftermath of the financial crisis where the protagonist writes, “At that point, he could have ordered us to do just about anything and we would have rolled over. But he didn’t – he mostly wanted to help us out, to quell the mob.”

    NAFTA itself was agreed when both Canada and Mexico were in a weak state and in no position to make demands. Canada was close to bankruptcy in the early 1990s and had a massive deficit and Mexico was regularly defaulting. NAFTA made both of them give the Americans first dibs on oil, but the higher value oil refining was confined to the US and then re-exported back at a premium. And when the Canadians wanted to reduce transportation costs via a pipeline (which is also safer than transporting via train or truck), they got blown off for domestic reasons.

    With no NAFTA, both Canada and Mexico can set up refineries and export their oil to whoever agrees the best fixed price. Which is why Trump has conceded on the pipeline, to keep the oil flowing to the Americans.

    Change is a good thing, especially if you are in a stronger position than you were when you made the original agreement.

    That applies to Brexit Britain too – we’re in a different place than we were in 1972.

  35. @OldNat

    “From a Scottish perspective, it’s worth noting that the SNP amendment to the Scotland Bill 2015 would have given statutory authority for Sewell to move from “political convention” to an integral part of the UK constitution.

    That amendment (like all the others) was voted down by Unionist MPs. The current constitutional situation isn’t accidental. The Smith Commission agreed that the need for LCMs at Holyrood should be given statutory authority, but that was deliberately rejected by Westminster.

    Will it affect VI? Not directly, but if the message gets through to voters, then it might.”

    Yes – agreed on all of the above.

  36. P.S. Corporate America benefits massively from NAFTA, the only reason to change the whole thing is because citizens arn’t seeing the benefits and are mobilising.

    Also many of the Mexican migrants to the US in the 1990s were NAFTA refugees – their farms were blown out of the water when subsidized American agriculture was able to export to Mexico, and they had no choice by to move north in order to try to make a living.

    You could argue that both Trump and Sanders were right that the whole thing was a stitch-up to benefit big businesses at the expense of citizens in all three states.

  37. candy,
    “That applies to Brexit Britain too – we’re in a different place than we were in 1972.”
    The way I see it, in 1972 we were still suffering from the loss of Imperial markets. Now we just cut ourselves off from the EU market. We are in a different place, but we seem to be planning to put ourselves in exactly the same place as 1972.

  38. @Danny

    The EU is shrivelling both in terms of world trade and in terms of trade done with the UK.

    But while shackled to it we couldn’t move on to deal with healthier economies. We had to leave.

  39. Tweet from Dublin journalist Jason Michael –

    “There is no mistaking the sense of insult in Dublin today at Theresa May snubbing the invite to address Dail Eireann.”

  40. candy,
    “The EU is shrivelling both in terms of world trade and in terms of trade done with the UK.”
    Its a mature market. It is growing, but obviously more slowly than developing nations. The concept is certainly for it to be self contained. That UK trade with it is in decline does not fill me with confidence the Uk can replace it in a free market competition. The Uk has more in common with the EU nations than the developing ones. But I gues, fundamentally, I don’t see how we can get better trading terms if unshackld form the EU than as now. It isnt the EU which has held us back, but ourselves.

  41. OldNAt

    Irish Republic a civilised country…….

    Now there’s a debate to be had..

    If only we had the time.

  42. Jasper

    If only people would look at the implications of political decisions outside their own wee patch!

    Being contemptuous of other countries often stems from a deep sense of inferiority – what the Americans call the “poor white trash” syndrome.

    Personally, I don’t view the Welsh as anything other than ordinary people, so perhaps you shouldn’t have such a negative view of yourself?

  43. While we’re on Wales, Scully’s two latest blog posts are on the Welsh Political Barometer poll, dealing with Brexit issues.

    http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/electionsinwales/2017/01/16/more-from-the-barometer-poll-brexit/

    “So more than three-quarters of Remain voters prefer either a ‘soft’ Brexit or no Brexit at all, while almost four-fifths of Leave voters indicate a preference for a ‘hard’ Brexit. And across the sample as a whole there is no consensus whatsoever: no option wins the support of much more than a quarter of people. Once again, the basic point is reinforced – there is no public consensus about Brexit emerging. Wales – and, one imagines, much of the rest of the UK – continues to be deeply divided about the issue.”

    and

    http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/electionsinwales/2017/01/16/more-from-the-barometer-poll-brexit/

    “The thing that most consistently stands out from the results of the Brexit-related questions in our new poll, just as it did in September, is the substantial gap on almost all matters between those who voted Remain and those who voted Leave in last June’s referendum. The views and perceptions of the two groups are very different: there is no sign of a public consensus on Brexit emerging.”

  44. @Candy – “P.S. Regarding the Canadian oil – under NAFTA rules the US gets first dibs on Canadian oil,…”

    Could you explain exactly what you mean by this, because I can’t find anything in NAFTA that gives the US preferential treatment over Canadian oil.

  45. @Candy – “The EU is shrivelling both in terms of world trade and in terms of trade done with the UK.”

    That’s quite an interesting claim. From 2005 – 2015, EU exports of goods to the rest of the world rose by 89%, while imports rose by 84%, services exports increased by 107% while imports were up by 114%, and overall the EU current account position improved.

    I’m not sure that this is ‘shrivelling’, but again, I can’t be certain what exactly you mean by this.

  46. Price of beer going up, toy prices to rise by 15%, and a business rate revaluation in England in April. I suspect there is going to be quite a gloomy picture emerging shortly, which will make for an interesting backdrop for the clean breakers.

  47. @Alec

    Candy’s statement has nothing to do with the figures you have quoted. You have talked about the increases in EU’s exports and imports without any relative reference.

    “The EU is shrivelling in terms of world trade and in terms of trade done with the UK.”

    The EU as a trading bloc is becoming smaller in terms of world trade.

    In the 1970s the EU was approximately 36% of Global GDP the EU28 is now 16.5% with considerably more countries.

    If you look at the UN statistics compiled at ComTrade you’ll see the EU’s trade as a percentage of world trade is diminishing too. Hardly surprising given it’s shrivelling relative GDP to the rest of the world and its Protectionism.

    You can look up UK to EU imports and exports and this has consistently dropped over the last decade.

  48. OLDNAT

    Re:Transferred powers (and return to Westminster)

    Surely there is a simple solution. Repeal EVEL, and replace with a different law. Whenever Scottish MPs vote on matters which have been devolved to the Scottish Parliament, this shall be taken as a Scottish request to return the appropriate powers from Holyrood to Westminster. Then balance is restored.

  49. I understand that a poll by Labour Leave shows UKIP ahead in Stoke with 35%. Labour on 25% and the Tories on 10%.

    No further details at this stage.

  50. Millie

    I’ve been seeing that stuff on Twitter. As far as I can see, it’s not a poll at all, but some “informal” (which often means “made-up”) numbers from a group called Labour Leave.

    I know little of Stoke – only having stayed with friends there briefly to go the Garden Festival 30 years ago. However, from reading comments on here, i wouldn’t be surprised if Nuttall won.

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