ICM’s regular poll for the Guardian has topline figures of CON 44%(+2), LAB 26%(-1), LDEM 8%(-2), UKIP 13%(+1), GRN 4%(nc). The changes since the previous ICM poll aren’t significant, but it’s worth noting that the 18 point Conservative lead is ICM’s largest for many years (there was a lead of 19 points in an ICM/News of the World poll in 2009 and a 20 point lead in an ICM/Guardian poll in June 2008)

ICM also asked about the position of EU nationals in the Brexit negotiations – 42% think the British government should only guarantee the position of EU nationals in the UK once the EU guarantees the rights of British citizens in the EU; 41% think Britain should do it unilaterally straight away. There is a similarly even split on the fate of John Bercow: 30% think he should stay, 32% think he should resign. Finally they asked about Donald Trump’s visit. 18% think it should be cancelled, 37% think he should be invited but not given a full state visit, 32% think a full state visit should happen. Full tabs are here.

To catch up with some other recent voting intention polls. YouGov’s latest figures came out at the tail end of last week (though fieldwork is now a whole week ago) – topline figures were CON 40%, LAB 24%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 15% (tabs). The lead is similar to that from ICM, but with lower support for the main two parties.

Opinium also had voting intention figures in the Observer at the weekend. Over recent months Opinium have tended to be something of an outlier, showing Labour leads of seven or eight points rather than the double digit leads consistently reported by other companies. This fortnight they showed a shift towards the Conservatives, putting their figures more in line with other companies: CON 40%, LAB 27%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14% (tabs here.)

766 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 44, LAB 26, LD 8, UKIP 13”

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  1. @Neil A

    Yes, I accept it’s developed a bit these days. When I said a “hangover” I meant it was harking back to how things used to be. The aspiration to not having to work remains, even if inheritance taxes, WW 1 etc. rather curtailed the aristo situation…

  2. PETE B…..I’ll do that, I enjoy a pint of local. :-)

  3. @Carfrew

    I think these days it’s all about lottery wins.

    Apart from policemen, retiring in the near future on good incomes….

    3 years, 3 months, 13 days.. Not that I’m counting…

  4. Just caught up and I am intrigued by the notion of Ken have an relieving end?

  5. I spoke to Prezza while waiting for a Jubilee line train at Green Park, after 5 mins on the platform and 3 on the train, we parted like old chums, happy guy. :-)

  6. JIM JAM……I saw that but forgot to comment, well spotted. :-)

  7. Serious point is the 42% 41% poll split re EU nationals which shows how evenly split imo social attitudes are in this country with roughly equal numbers (as polled) of hard faced nasty pasties and wishy washy liberal do-gooders.

    Gives pendulum politics believers in left circles a crumb of comfort.

  8. Russian ambassadors keep dying.

    The Russian ambassador to the UN has just suddenly died.

    A senior diplomat in Russia’s embassy in Greece was found dead in his apartment in January.

    The Rusian ambassador to Turkey was shot dead in December by a Turkish police officer who was a terrorist. (And relations between Russia and Turkey strengthend after that!)

    Either they are all extremely unlucky or it is an exceptionally high risk job.

  9. Neil A
    “The only aristo I know personally is quite busy indeed, running the trust that operates his (baronet) father’s stately home”

    Having learnt pedantry from OldNat, I have to point out that strictly speaking baronets aren’t members of the aristocracy. ;-)

  10. @NEIL A

    “I think these days it’s all about lottery wins.
    Apart from policemen, retiring in the near future on good incomes….
    3 years, 3 months, 13 days.. Not that I’m counting…
    February 20th, 2017 at 10:45 pm”


    A lot of the young adults I meet seem none too motivated by money. They’re quite serious-minded,and the research backs it up.

    And enjoy your retirement Neil, you’ve earned it!! (Hopefully the Austerity peeps haven’t harmed your pension too much…)

  11. Carfrew

    “In what way is your life improved by his empty jibe?..,”

    I’m sure you can do better than this, or maybe not …

  12. CANDY…Some nations seem to be condemned to a sort of misery, I think we’re very lucky to be such a happy bunch. :-)

  13. @Laszlo

    “I’m sure you can do better than this, or maybe not”


    I already did a lot better, I did a post about education that had rather more useful stuff in it than an empty jibe, that you could have used as a useful springboard about education given you seem to be an academic, but apparently you prefer a comment about “mumbo jumbo”. Still, whatever floats your boat…

  14. Carfrew

    Re mumbo-jumbo: it’s possible that you regard the following as an intelligent (and intelligible) comment:

    “I am more concerned at, what appears to be a worrying trend appearing in the slightly more, ‘ educated ‘ young, away from independence of mind, body, and spirit , into a more insecure and anxious view of the world, could this be the result of realising that all the dreams of a future bright with promise, will be shattered when job interviews reveal the true worth of a Degree in David Beckham’s hair cuts, from the ‘ Uni ‘ of Billericay.
    Mind you, apparently it woz edookayted people wot voated remoan, and losers like wot we is, wot voated aaaht. :-) ”

    Until someone launches a degree in senile rambling, I’m afraid I’ll remain none the wiser as to what it signifies, apart from general misanthropy.

    Incidentally, I say that as an OAP, but one who grew up and went to university in the ’60s. It seems there is a gulf between us and our elders.

  15. @Somerjohn

    It’s quite straightforward. Noting a degree of anxiety among the young, (worth taking seriously given the increase in mental health and self-harming stats etc.), he postulates that it’s in part due to unreasonable expectations or being ill-prepared by modern education. I subsequently put forward a few other possible explanations for,consideration…

    It’s an idea not to do blanket dismissals of everyone’s posts, convenient though it may seem at the time to take refuge in being vague…

  16. Somerjohn,

    Well I have certainly found this thread a lot more entertaining than the last couple.

    Methinks you need to lighten up a bit young man.

  17. SOMERJOHN…..It’s being so cheerful that keeps you going ! :-)

  18. SOMERJOHN…..” a degree in senile rambling ” now, don’t start giving them ideas……! Although, to be fair, it could qualify one to post on UKPR. :-)

  19. Pete B

    Re pedantry

    You have learned well!

    It’s always rewarding to see your pupils applying your teaching.

    Keep it up!

  20. Carfrew

    I read that the UK Government has reduced the storage costs of the rusting sub hulks at Rosyth by 58% in a single year.

    Why haven’t you followed their example – or have they just been making you pay most of their bill?

  21. @oldnat

    I know this might be hard to believe but it’s possible the Govt. have a bit more negotiating clout than me. Also none of my stuff is rusting away…

  22. @ToH

    Regarding our Congo earlier, just came across this in today’s Times…

    “Perseverance, stability, conscientiousness: character traits that, once instilled, will last a lifetime.

    Not according to a groundbreaking study spanning six decades, which discovered that personalities change “beyond recognition” between adolescence and old age as life takes its toll.

    In the longest such study conducted, researchers from the University of Edinburgh found that personal qualities they assumed were innate altered greatly between the ages of 14 and 77.”

    “The study was led by Mathew Harris, research associate in brain imaging at the University of Edinburgh, who admitted that the team was surprised by the lack of correlated results. “We hypothesised that we would find evidence of personality stability over . . . 63 years but our correlations did not support this hypothesis,” the team said.

    Only two of the traits — stability of mood and conscientiousness — showed signs of lasting a lifetime in a significant way but even then there was no guarantee.”

    “The environmental changes for this group, born in 1936, were dramatic, taking in the Second World War and the digital revolution. The participants’ dependability at the age of 14 was not related to their wellbeing in later life, seemingly contradicting previous research that has found higher scores were associated with superior wellbeing decades later.”

  23. ON

    G’night all.

  24. @Blue Bob “Abbott in charge after JC is too cruel, I must admit to chuckling at the thought of it though.”

    The idea would’ve been considered as utterly ludicrous 2 years ago. But if the 5% rule change for leadership nominations passes at the next Labour Party Conference then it becomes a future possible reality, though still unlikely.

    I fell about laughing when JC made her Shadow Home Secretary and Immigration Spokesman. It was at that point I became convinced that Labour would hit (and perhaps surpass) Foot’s nadir of 23% in the polls in 1982/3. Just 1% to go now with YouGov. I feel confident that JC and Abbott’s electoral toxicity levels are high enough to get there!

  25. Tory victory in stoke?

    what seemed a speculative 8-1 bet on a double tory by-election win seems at least fetched as opposed to far fetched now.

    The whippet has booked his seat on the sofa for thursday night./friday morning , the racing pigeons will settled in and the pork scratchings will be ready.

  26. @S Thomas
    ”Tory victory in stoke?
    what seemed a speculative 8-1 bet on a double tory by-election win seems at least fetched as opposed to far fetched now.”

    Think you need to go to a different bookmaker, you can still get 9-1 with Betfair and Paddy Power for Conservatives winning Stoke alone, let alone doubling it up with Copeland. Unless of course the conservatives have drifted in the odds since you placed the bet

  27. There is quite a bit of debate about how credible the conservative lead is. A number of people have noticed that their support is not so much due to more people saying they will vote conservative, but a growth of ‘dont know’. The underlying support for conservative is 30%. The figures are not normally quoted to track change on voting intention for ‘dont know’, so it isnt clear to me to what extent the level of ‘dont knows’ is unusual or not?

    If it is unusual and therefore significant, there are twice as many former labour or lib voters who are now dont’ know as there are conservatives. Since they have not definitely chosen another party, clearly there is not one which attracts them. Forced to choose by an election, I would assume they will have a bias to return to their choice from the last election.

    This uncertainty might reflect voters prioritising Remain above party loyalty. I say prioritising Remain, because the conservatives wholehearted support for Leave would presumably suggest that any leave inclined waverers have already coalesced into conservative voting intention. A relatively easy choice for them. However, there is no clear home for remain waverers. labour is supporting leave, and the libs have little chance of forming a government.

    The waverers who might prove decisive in an election could therefore be predominantly labour/remain inclined. I still think Labour’s stance on Brexit- trying not to upset anyone- is simply coming across as lack of leadership. Thus far they have simply grudgingly supported brexit, not calculated to encourage either side to vote for them. They have probably already lost commited leave supporters to UKIP/con and commited Remainers to ‘dont know’. Supporting Remain is unlikely to lose them more leave inclined support, but could bring back determined remainers. In any event, they need a cause.

    After the last elections there was a process of recalibration to remove the bias against conservative which was evident in polling results. This might or might not have been done accurately. It might or might not have improved accuracy given a different underlying assumption, ie the Brexit question cutting across party loyalty.

    What we are seeing now is the normal sitution of opposition gaining temporary support betwen elections tuned on its head, and opposition most likely showing a protest vote against it. If any pollsters model does not work both ways in assuming voters are likely to return to the fold, it may not be doing justice to labour right now.

    By the time of a real election, brexit may be less of an issue. Corbyn/leadership may be less of an issue Which might not help Labour, because what has been identified through Brexit is the division between two different ‘left’ groups forming its support. It must have policies capable of appealing to both groups if it is to turn them into a majority. That looks increasingly like different policies for the two, which somehow must not contradict.

  28. Good morning.

    Sorry to be a pedant, but I would like to return the attention of readers to the YouGov poll in order to repeat a lament offered a couple of weeks back.

    In the section on ‘Which party would be best placed to sort out this or that mess’ (or something like that), it was strange that more than half of the questions related to devolved matters (at least for Scotland).

    In such circumstances, is in not incumbent on YouGov to be much more specific in its questions, giving separate figures for the competencies of the four UK administrations?

    For example, taxation is now to some extent devolved in Scotland. Education is devolved to all four administrations (taking the Westminster Parliament in this particular competency as the English Parliament). ‘Law and Order’ is also devolved. So too is health.
    The simple question which assumes only one administration is responsible for these matters (i.e. the UK Government) asked by YouGov, therefore is not only very frustrating; it is also quite useless.

    So PLEASE, AW, can you do something about it?

    End of rant.

    Have a good day, everyone.

  29. P.S.

    I said I was sorry to be a pedant, but actually, as some of you may know already, I’m not at all sorry…… though there are some on this site who are much better pedants than I. I’m trying to keep up, though!

  30. This don’t know thing – thank you Danny for bringing a bit of hope into my miserable life.
    In this part of abroad (London) it’s quite striking that the Laboury parts of the Borough were only slightly remainy (see recent analysis about Asian views of Brexit for why) whereas the Conservativey parts were very strongly remainy.
    We saw the impact this had in Richmond where Goldsmith, for all his calumnies in the mayoral election, was very well regarded by local tories but was marmalised for supporting Brexit.
    Our local social media are awash with blue ink turned green (or maybe yellow) with bile and rage about Brexit
    I suspect there would be quite a bit of this in London, were a GE to be held tomorrow

  31. This is a bloody disaster for Labour. Guaranteed 20% Tory lead in the polls by May (probably sooner).
    If the McDonnell Amendment passes at conference then it’s over for Labour as a party of government.

  32. Things Brexipeeps didn’t warn us about No. 76…

    “Top orchestra forced to move due to Brexit immigration restrictions
    Fears of the loss of free movement have forced the European Union Baroque Orchestra to relocate to Antwerp”


    “The orchestra has functioned as an important stepping stone for young musicians; auditioning around 100 students a year, before choosing between 20 and 25 for intensive training and performance. Many of its members have gone on to fill positions in the world’s top baroque orchestras.

    General manager Emma Wilkinson stated the relocation stemmed from fears of a loss of free movement: “I do worry that European orchestras will not be inviting talented British musicians to work with them. It will just be too bureaucratically difficult.”

    This certainly isn’t an isolated incident for the UK’s orchestras, as many are having to reconsider Brexit’s potential effects on members…”

  33. Danny,

    Labour are doing poorly that is for sure but I postulated a few weeks ago that mid-term discontent can infect oppositions as well as Governments.

    If every voter who said ‘I will never vote Tory again’ followed through they would never have won in 83, 87 and 92.
    Similarly now many Labour sympathisers are saying I cant support Labour while JC is leader etc. Some of these will imo come back to Labour and even more if a different leader, they consider credible returns.

    This would narrow the gap by maybe 4% maximum still producing a significant conservative win but it does mean that the under!ying position is slightly less bad for Labour than the headline numbers.

  34. @ carfrew:

    Things Brexipeeps didn’t warn us about No. 76…

    When I was still a barrister much of my work was based on the law that underpins all lawmaking:

    The law of unintended consequences.
    No one intended that the Public Interest Disclosure provisions which were added to the Employment Rights Act 1996 should allow people to make whistleblowing complaints about an employer breaching that workers contract: but until amendment a year or two ago that’s precisely what those provisions did.


    @”This is a bloody disaster for Labour. ”

    The Leader seems to think not-necessarily:-


  36. “With respect, what on earth does your personal experience have to do with scientifically-conducted and sampled opinion polls? The whole point of opinion polls is to get away from personal experience.”

    If nearly 50% of the country were really intending to vote Tory I would expect to be seeing T-shirts with May’s face on, banners declaring love for her on motorway bridges and people wearing tartan suits everywhere. Much like last time Labour had a lead of that magnitude. I am not.

    Brexit aside, on the rare occasions my co-workers, friends and family mention politics it is to point out how awful Corbyn is. In fact he has led to the only the conversation about politics I’ve had with my father in 40 years.

    No one has mentioned how great May is, how much they agree with Conservative party policy or how optimistic they are for the future of the country under both of them.

    Therefore I feel these polls may not be reflecting reality.

    I am not in position to do so but it would nice if Anthony or someone who has the data available could test the Don’t Knows hypothesis. Picking a random poll from 2012 it looks like DKs were running around 25% so perhaps it’s rubbish, but there could be similar explanations.

  37. @WB

    “When I was still a barrister much of my work was based on the law that underpins all lawmaking:
    The law of unintended consequences…”


    Yes, that’s No. 77, they didn’t mention that either…

  38. “The economy overtakes immigration to become Britons’ biggest concern

    Twenty-eight per cent of Britons named the economy as one of their top two concerns at the end of 2016, up 12 percentage points from a year ago”


    “As the political and economic planning for Brexit gets underway, concerns about jobs leaving the UK have unsettled consumers,” said Steve Smith, managing director, Nielsen UK and Ireland.”

  39. carfrew

    It is really depressing to find that there are posters who scour everywhere for any anti-brexit slant and then post it . To what effect?
    Are brexiteers going to say-well we now want to remain! I think positions are fairly entrenched on both sides.Hearts and minds are not there to be won.

  40. Ken
    Many thanks for your 8.05 last night and for helping to make last evening a refreshing change from all the nonsense that is posted about Brexit day after day after day after………………………………..

    Thanks also to Carfrew, Catmanjeff, Colin and others for an entertaining evenings posts. I wished I had stayed on line. There were a couple of dissenters, both entirely predictable. It must be very difficult for those who live in the” lofty heights”, to come down to the level of us mere mortals. Certainly a sense of humour does not seem to fit with that sort of personality.

    It was all a bit naughty of course as it was not on thread. :-)


    Many thanks for sharing your life experiences with me, and I was sorry to hear that you also lost your mother when you were young. I was actually ten, nearly eleven when my mother died and like you it affected my school work. My Junior School Headmistress told my father I had no chance in the eleven plus. In fact I sailed through, and onwards to Grammar School, helped enormously by the encouragement of other teachers, family and neighbours. Our local community in South London was very friendly and helped each other.

    Of course other things can affect one’s life later on but in my case, my work ethic and self reliance was definitely formed before I was ten, and my political attitudes by the age of 17 which is probably rather unusual. Always interesting hearing you talk about music, which is also very important to me. That came in my teens in a rapid progression Pop to cool modern jazz to Bach then all the other greats. Chamber Music, Opera, and song came much later on. The only musical instrument I have played (badly) was the recorder which I learnt in my 20s to teach myself to read music and I can now follow a score adequately which sometimes adds to the enjoyment.



    I totally agree with your comments about life and how so many “know the value of nothing” to use your phrase.

    I was sad to hear of the death of Steve Hewlett, and yes his attitude was exemplary. As a fellow cancer sufferer I have always tried to approach the disease in a positive manner, stay as fit as I can, and I am still here after 15 years although by no means cured. Of course that thanks to dedicated surgeons, radiographers and oncologists although I think my own attitude has helped over the years.

  41. Carfrew
    Yes, I saw that reort as well. However looking at the latest YouGov poll (12/13 Feb) the econmy is only fourth on the list:-

    Which do you think are the most important issues facing the country at this time

    Britain leaving the EU 59%
    Health 50%
    Immigration and asylum 41%
    The economy 30%

    And those polls think the economy is in the right hands
    Conservatives 35%
    A Tory lead of 32%.

  42. S Thomas,
    “Are brexiteers going to say-well we now want to remain”

    Polling suggests that given the right economic cissumstances, yes, this is exactly what they are going to say. Which is why we all keep going on about it.

    Moreover, it is obvious leave think this is true, that is why they keep trying to boulster support for Leave. Obviously, remain want to push the other way, but my point is that whatever leave might say about a settled result, they would not waste their time continuing the fight if they did not believe the issue remains undecided.


    If you ask AW nicely I expect he will explain the difference between a self selecting group like your “co-workers, friends and family” , and a representative sample .

    I’m intrigued at your suggestion that the population of UK once declared their enthusiasm for the Labour Party in mass wearing of supportive T Shirts & placing of banners on motorway bridges. When was that exactly?-do you have a link or two to support your memory?

    Finally-isn’t it true that , except perhaps in times of war, politicians gain support & power by being the least unacceptable option on offer to the electorate, rather than National Heroes?

  44. S Thomas

    Show and tell is played extensively by both sides. I think most people accept that there isn’t going to be any meaningful discussion between the two camps over Brexit, not too many minds are going to be changed. Very few people will accept they were hoodwinked and now see the light (and certainly not here).

    Highlighting the fact that concerns about economy is growing might be relevant if it continues. That’s a factor which might change minds, not the post which identifies it as a growing concern. I thought it was an interesting finding and so the post had merit. It’s one set of data but retail is falling and people are beginning to see the economy is a growing concern.

    If this continues and people who thought that Brexit meant sunshine and unicorns now begin to tighten their belts after a particular price rise which does impact them hits, will this change opinion? Stay tuned for more data coming soon.

    I’m not depressed and I suspect you aren’t either, you just wanted a moan

  45. @Colin “Finally-isn’t it true that , except perhaps in times of war, politicians gain support & power by being the least unacceptable option on offer to the electorate, rather than National Heroes?”

    Precisely so. And that is why elections tend to be won and lost on the centre ground. It’s also why an anti-monarchist, unilateral disarming, terrorist-appeasing, pro-unlimited immigration, unpatriotic Bennite just might struggle a tad.

  46. From ONS Public Sector Finances Jan 2017 :-

    “Public sector net borrowing (excluding public sector banks) decreased by £13.6 billion to £49.3 billion in the current financial year-to-date (April 2016 to January 2017), compared with the same period in the previous financial year; this is the lowest year-to-date borrowing since the financial year-to-date ending January 2008.”

    “Public sector net borrowing (excluding public sector banks) was in surplus by £9.4 billion in January 2017,a £0.3 billion larger surplus than in January 2016; this is the highest January surplus since 2000.”

    “In both January and (to a lesser extent) July receipts are particularly high due to the receipt of self-assessed Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and self-assessed (Class 4) National Insurance contributions.Self-assessed Income Tax and Capital Gains Tax receipts increased by £2.0 billion to £19.8 billion in January
    2017 compared with January 2016; this is the highest January on record (monthly recording of self-assessed tax receipts began in April 1999).”


    @”an anti-monarchist, unilateral disarming, terrorist-appeasing, pro-unlimited immigration, unpatriotic Bennite just might struggle a tad.”

    I agree-should anyone be foolish enough to form such a party :-)

    ………..but if such a party were ever to become the Official Opposition , the Government of the day would be well advised to remember that nothing is forever in politics.

  48. I think there could be a lot in the idea that “don’t knows” are a big factor at the moment..

    I had a look at the last YouGov poll… Only 49% of 2015 Labour voters would vote for them now, 25% were either don’t know or would not vote. Only 55% of Lib Dem voters would vote for them now, with 20% DK or WNV. Meanwhile the Tory vote is much harder with 74% of 2015 voters still going to vote Tory.

    This is very bad news for Labour at the moment. If you apply these percentages as proportional swings in Copeland they lose by a mile, and narrowly to the Tories in Stoke. It is not such bad news for the Lib Dems, because their vote was small in 2015, especially in places like Stoke and Copeland. The net shifts of 9% LD to T and 3% T to LD are in their favour, and the 8% LD to L and vice versa is a big net shift to LD, and explains most of the increase in their poll position from 7% in April to about 10% now (BTW, last 4 polls for LD: two steady, one up , one down = no change).

    Note however that proportional swing did not work very well as a predictor in the last General Election, but if you start looking at these swings of voters from one party to another, that is where you are…

    I think there is a realignment going on along Brexit lines, with Lib Dem support becoming more Remain as Leavers go elesewhere, and Remainers leaving Labour and to a lesser extent the Tories. Many of these people are in the DK column at the moment, but when many of them get to vote in May we may see some crystallisation in the polls..

    Meanwhile, I think the way they treat DKs is one of the differences between polling companies, and maybe this is one reason for the considerable divergence between different companies at the moment? (someone with more time on their hands than me could analyse that!)

  49. @S Thomas

    jeez, where to begin, another litany of errors…

    would you kindly cease misrepresenting me.

    i am not trawling for anti-Brexit stuff, if I were I could easily find lots more, and more compelling stuff than an orchestra.

    Also you don’t complain about Pro Brexit posts including mine.

    Because actually I am marginally Pro Brexit.

    i disagree that people don’t change their minds. You might not but shouldn’t oroject that on others.

    You seem to act like this is a court if law where you just take one side and try and rule stuff inadmissable. It might help to see it differently…

  50. ALAN

    @”Brexit meant sunshine and unicorns ”

    Well certainly a little sunshine wouldn’t go amiss.
    But I have come to believe that leaving the EU will be a recognition that the existence of Unicorns is not proven just because they feature in EU pronouncements.

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