ICM’s regular poll for the Guardian has topline figures of CON 45%(+1), LAB 26%(-2), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 10%(-1), GRN 4%(-1). Another post-budget poll showing the Conservative poll lead holding strong – despite all the fuss and the government U-turn, it does not appear to have had any negative impact on voting intention. ICM still have UKIP holding onto third place, but only by the skin of their teeth.

The poll aslso asked about the best team on the economy, with May & Hammond recording a 33 point lead over Corbyn & McDonnell (44% to 11%) and whether each party was honest or dishonest. Every party was seen as more dishonest than honest, but the Conservatives were the least bad: 19% thought the Tories were honest, 26% dishonest (a net score of minus 7), 13% thought Labour were honest, 24% dishonest (net score of minus 11), 11% thought the Lib Dems honest, 25% dishonest (net minus 14), 8% thought UKIP honest, 38% dishonest (minus 30).


653 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 45, LAB 26, LDEM 9, UKIP 10”

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  1. CatManJeff – “How on earth has that area [City of London] avoid serious reform for so long?”

    It’s because the City and it’s unusual democracy is older than the House of Commons. The City’s rights pre-date the Conqueror. He decided not to lay siege to them (the way he did to cities like Exeter) because they were so rich they could afford to summon mercernaries from the Continent to put paid to him. So he agreed to respect their rights in return for them agreeing to his kingship. For several centuries they were the only democracy on the island while the rest of England submitted to the absolute monarchy of William and his successors

    As to where the City’s rights really originate – it is lost in the mists of time. The City lay in a mysterious gray area between five anglo-saxon kingdoms. The only clue is the anglo-saxon chronicles which say that the Cantiaci tribe of Kent fled to London “in consternation” and barricaded themselves within the walls of the empty City vacated by the Romans, when Henghis of the anglo-saxons routed them in Kent. The City has a dragon motif, so they are probably the last remnants of Brythonic culture in England after the Anglo-saxon invasion, and the chronicles are likely correct in that they came from Kent.

    Because of the concessions made by William I, which came well before Magna Carta (which explicitly preserved the City’s special rights), only the Monarch can change the City’s constitution, and no monarch has wanted to/dared to.

  2. Trump has failed to repeal Obamacare, with the bill being pulled before the vote. This is something of a disaster for the administration – but possibly less of a disaster than if they had passed the bill, judging by independent analyses of what the impacts on voters would have been.

    This is a big failure for Trump, and it’s going to be interesting to see what the impacts will be. He wants to be seen as a winner that gets things done – well, this time he’s lost and failed to do anything. As the Guardian reports –

    “Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement: “Ultimately, the Trumpcare bill failed because of two traits that have plagued the Trump presidency since he took office: incompetence and broken promises. In my life, I have never seen an administration as incompetent as the one occupying the White House today.

    “They can’t write policy that actually makes sense, they can’t implement the policies they do manage to write, they can’t get their stories straight, and today we’ve learned that they can’t close a deal, and they can’t count votes.

    “So much for the Art of the Deal.” ”

    If this competence attack sticks, then things might start to get rough for Trump.

    Interesting, he is talking now of dropping healthcare reform to go after big tax cuts. That’s another issue where there are big Republican splits. Can he fail a second time?

  3. @Candy – “Because of the concessions made by William I, which came well before Magna Carta (which explicitly preserved the City’s special rights), only the Monarch can change the City’s constitution, and no monarch has wanted to/dared to.”

    It’s certainly full of odd historical anomalies, but I don’t think this is correct. There was a 1690 Act confirming the CoL’s powers, so this presumably means Parliament has authority, not the Crown.

  4. @Alec

    Because the City pre-dates Parliament, they have a Remembrancer sitting in the Commons, whose job is guard the City and to amend Acts as they pertain to the City.

    The 1690 Act would have been amended by them to preserve their rights. They also exempted themselves from various 19thC and 20thC suffrage rights passed by the Commons which is why their elections are so …. unusual.

    The only person with the authority to remove the Remembrancer and submit them to the will of the Commons is the monarch. But no monarch has wanted to take them on – the only one who came close was Henry Tudor (Henry VII)

  5. This headline from the DT is the kind of interesting Brexit backdrop – “Eurozone booms as economy shows signs of overcoming its long crisis ”

    I think quite a few Brexit backers were thinking along the lines of a sclerotic/collapsing EU economy, and looking at the post June 23rd UK economic numbers and crowing somewhat.

    It may yet come to pass that some economic nasties lurk in Euroland, but for the next 24 months, if we see more headlines like this, it will be politically more difficult for the pro Brexit brigade.

  6. @Candy – no, I don’t think you are right here. According to Wiki, the city has no authority to overrule parliament, and indeed had to obtain a private parliamentary bill in 2002 to change their local election rules.

    I’m sure that there is informal influence at play here, but if parliament wished to do away with the city authority, it has the powers to do so.

  7. This is the act – http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukla/2002/6/pdfs/ukla_20020006_en.pdf

    Point 4 in the preamble makes clear the authority of Parliament.

  8. This also from the City Corporations own website – “The Remembrancer examines a wide range of Parliamentary Bills and other Parliamentary papers in his role as the City’s Parliamentary Agent. The Remembrancer does not, however, have any special entitlement to see Parliamentary Bills or other papers before they are available publicly or to change or amend laws. Nor does his access to the Under Gallery give him any ability to participate in or influence the proceedings.”

  9. @Alec

    For me, a boom in the EU would be excellent news for the UK post-Brexit.

  10. If there is any argument over this, I’m going to outvote you, as I’ve got 27 votes.

    G’night.

  11. @Neil A – I was rather thinking about a boom pre brexit. I’m not really looking at the longer term economics here, rather than the politics of Brexit over the next 18 months. If the UK economy stutters, while the EU is charging away, what will that do to public opinion?

    Supposition, but quite relevant, I suspect.

  12. Alec

    “from the City Corporations own website”

    The observation of Mandy Rice-Davies comes to mind.

    As she also observed about her role as a presence in an intimate relationship in which she wasn’t one of the main participants – “I helped”.

    The analogy seems very apposite.

  13. @Alec

    The Remembrancer has no authority or veto to prevent any acts of parliament at all – only to exempt the City from them.

    In the Act you quote, the Remembrancer has made Parliament agree to allow the City to conduct it’s elections in the way it does now.

    The Remembrancer is part of Parliament not separate from it (they sit alongside the Speaker).

  14. @Alec

    The higher EU growth is, the higher UK growth will be.

    You and I both know that noone on either side is going to change their mind because the EU growth is higher than UK growth, just as noone will change their mind if it’s the other way around.

    I have been quite encouraged by the conciliatory mood that Juncker appears to be in, and by the proposals in the Dutch government report linked by Colin.

    I still think that reasonable, common sense solutions will be found that will avert the danger of the “worst case scenarios”, although I don’t doubt that UK growth with Brexit will be lower than it would have been without.

  15. For more on the role of the Remembrancer, please see the following rreedon of information answer:

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/rememberencer

    quote

    The Remembrancer has no right to take part in debates in the House.

    …the Sheriffs of London are entitled, by ancient usage, to present anyPetition which the Corporation of the City of London wishes to make to theHouse in person at the Bar of the House. They are conducted to the Bar by the Serjeant at Arms with the Mace. The Speaker says “Mr Sheriff, whathave you got there?” and a Sheriff, or the City Remembrancer who accompanies them, answers by reciting the substance of the petition. If the Sheriffs bring with them a Mace or Sword, it has to be retained byCommons Doorkeepers in the Bar Lobby, just outside the House. The most recent occasion upon which this ceremony was enacted was on 16 February
    1948.”

    end quote

    They can’t debate acts, they can’t prevent acts, they can only enact their ceremony of petition to exempt the City from acts.

  16. @Candy – “The Remembrancer has no authority or veto to prevent any acts of parliament at all – only to exempt the City from them.”

    I can’t find any evidence for this – have you got any?

    The Remembrancer also doesn’t sit alongside the Speaker, and is an observer, not a participant.

    There is much that is wrong with the Corporation, and the City in general, but this isn’t because of the constitutional lines of authority. These seem rather clear, and parliament could do whatever it wants to both if it so wished.

  17. @Candy – that’s pretty clear then.

    When you say – “The Remembrancer has no authority or veto to prevent any acts of parliament at all – only to exempt the City from them.”

    What you actually mean is “They can’t debate acts, they can’t prevent acts, they can only enact their ceremony of petition to exempt the City from acts.”

    This is a petition – if you read the link from your link – see here – http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-information-office/P07.pdf – you can see that everyone has the right to petition parliament. The Remembrancer just has a special privilege to do this in a ceremonial manner.

    All a petition is is a request. It has no legal authority, unless parliament accepts it.

    So the remembrancer cannot exempt the corporation from legislation, although he can ask for this.

    That’s my 27 votes.

  18. Alec & Candy

    Given that the City of London electorate largely represents financial institutions, and many of these are foreign owned, shouldn’t the Brexiteers and UK/British/English Nationalists be demanding that it be reformed so as to “take back control”?

  19. Alec
    “…you can see that everyone has the right to petition parliament. The Remembrancer just has a special privilege to do this in a ceremonial manner.”

    It would be interesting to know the last time a petition from the Remembrancer was rejected.

    Candy
    “Or were people more casual about that kind of stuff back in the 70’s?”

    Most people were drunk or stoned most of the time. I remember my local had a Country and Western night. Everyone ignored it except one guy who came in the full gear – hat, waistcoat, chaps, gunbelt etc. Of course everyone took the p—, at least until he took out his six-gun and shot a hole in the ceiling! What a laugh we had. No-one called the police because it was just a bit of fun. That pub’s now a Moslem cultural centre. Times change.

  20. “60 percent of Americans think the president is not honest and does not share their values; 66 percent believe he is not level-headed; and 57 percent say President Trump does not share their values.”

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/03/22/new_quinnipiac_poll_shows_trump_s_numbers_sliding_60_percent_find_him_dishonest.html

  21. Pete B

    [In the 70s] “Most people were drunk or stoned most of the time”

    Can I suggest that, while that may have been true of you and your mates. it wasn’t true of “most people”.

    Those of us working and bringing up a family then, couldn’t and wouldn’t have endangered our kids by behaving that way. Most of those older than my generation wouldn’t have been accurately so described either.

    So, your comment seems wildly inaccurate, based on a tiny self-selecting sample and totally inaccurate.

    You may have a future as a pollster in the alt-right universe!

  22. ON
    I bet you’re great fun at parties, quibbling with details of the wording of everyone’s little anecdotes. And anyway as it happens, I was working for most of the 70s apart from when I was at college. Some of us have fun rather than being sanctimonious.

  23. Pete B

    I don’t mind you writing nonsense. You shouldn’t mind it being pointed out that you are.

  24. Alec – “you can see that everyone has the right to petition parliament. The Remembrancer just has a special privilege to do this in a ceremonial manner. ”

    Parliament has accepted every single petition that the Remembrancer presented to it since Parliament was founded in 1285… a tradition that is well over 800 years old.

    The ceremonial petition is not mere pagentry… Hard for a Scot to understand of course, but it has legal significance, because the City predates Parliament and gets its rights directly from the Crown.

  25. OldNat – “Given that the City of London electorate largely represents financial institutions, and many of these are foreign owned, shouldn’t the Brexiteers and UK/British/English Nationalists be demanding that it be reformed so as to “take back control”?”

    You’ve not been following the debate! Nobody outside the City can amend the rules. The only option is for the many guilds in the city to vote to change the rules, but at the moment, they see no reason to. It’s all working spendidly for them.

  26. Candy

    It’s probably hard for anyone – not just Scots – to understand why this ancient bastion of Englishness to have fallen under the control of foreign financial interests, and yet amidst all the rhetoric of England/Britain “taking back control”, you support the dominance of international capital over the ancient freedoms established in medieval England.

    Is it a direct consequence of your mythology of Dick Whittington having gained his wealth through the energies of his English cat – which was sold into bondage in a foreign land, just to provide him with wealth and power?

  27. Candy

    I have been following the debate – but your version of the rules seem sadly inadequate.

    Still, I wholly accept that the current rules are entirely satisfactory to the financial institutions of the City of London, and that the Brexiteers and UK/British/English nationalists who aren’t complaining long and loud, and forcing the UK Government to insist to Brenda that she accept proposals for reform, are but “full of sound and fury; signifying nothing”.

  28. @OldNar

    Come now. Scotland was a mere backward territory full of varying warlords for centuries, even while the City was voting to elect it’s leaders well before the Conquest,

    The whole Parliamentary stuff was our idea.

    Just think, without the democratic example of the City, and the English inventing Parliament, and Edward I (Hammer of the Scots) inventing the House of Commons in 1295 (“what touches all, should be approved of all, and it is also clear that common dangers should be met by measures agreed upon in common”), there would have been no Parliament for the Scots to copy.

  29. Candy

    Thank you for admitting defeat by posting that ludicrous response.

    I don’t think you are very good at this debating thing. :-)

  30. Candy
    Nice try, but I wouldn’t bother. I think ON must be a Calvinist.

    G’night all.

  31. @ Alec

    The current boom in the Eurozone is the same as the previous one: led by Ireland and Eastern Europe with a contribution from Spain and Portugal. For Central Europe, the situation now is as before – slow growth.

  32. Candy’s post does remind me of something in Theresa May’s speech rebutting of the aims of the maniac at Westminster. When she stated that the parliament under attack was “the oldest parliament in the world” was I the only one to question her knowledge of such “schoolboy factoids” which I was sure acknowledged that as being the Althing in Iceland?

  33. @POPEYE

    Yes only true to a point it was originally founded first. It did not function as a legislature for 500 odd years when Iceland was ruled by Norway and Denmark, in fact only came back into being as a Parliament in the mid 19th Century!

    The Commons is the oldest operating Parliament in the world.

  34. @Pete B – “It would be interesting to know the last time a petition from the Remembrancer was rejected.”

    I actually think this is the far more significant question.

    As I said previously, @Candy is completely wrong on the constitutional aspects of this, but in practical terms certainly the city wields vast influence through multiple channels. Maintaining the Remembrancer as a special privilege in parliament will be part of that, and this is something I suspect we can all agree on.

    @Candy – “The ceremonial petition is not mere pagentry… Hard for a Scot to understand of course, but it has legal significance, because the City predates Parliament and gets its rights directly from the Crown.”

    Like I have said, we’ve dealt with this issue, and you are wrong. Just repeatedly saying something that is false doesn’t make it right. As a Scot, I do find that approach hard to understand, I admit. We were always taught to seek evidence, so perhaps there is a cultural difference there between our nations?

    Since 1688 the City of London Corporation has been subject to the will of parliament, as has been demonstrated by numerous acts, and this is so well established that the corporation has to ask parliament for permission to do things like change it’s voting methods.

    As I say, I have 27 votes on this and I’m a fascist so you can’t outvote me.

  35. @Harry – “The current boom in the Eurozone is the same as the previous one: led by Ireland and Eastern Europe with a contribution from Spain and Portugal. For Central Europe, the situation now is as before – slow growth.”

    Not quite sure about that, to be honest. The latest composite PMI data (healthwarning) shows growth highest in France, with Germany second, with these two outstripping the periphery nations.

    Either way, my point is less about what the long term stability of growth is in the UK and EU, nor what lies behind the current results.

    I’m simply saying that many Brexiteers were predicting economic carnage in the EU in 2017, while many remainers were predicting economic carnage in the UK in 2017.

    What the public actually sees reported, as the Brexit negotiations take place, may well affect public opinion, even if the public doesn’t necessarily fully understand the long term causes and implications of the relative economic performances.

  36. @Candy:

    Parliament’s power to make or unmake any law whatsoever includes the City of London. Being established before the modern (13th century) innovation of electing Parliaments does not really matter. In one way, that was just a formalisation of the earlier need for the king to pass laws by consent – which is why Magna Carta counts as a statute even though it is pre Simon De Montfort.

    The idea of respecting ancient traditions is different from Parliament’s power.

  37. @Alec:

    You are right to put a health warning by PMI.

    The biggest problem is that GDP itself is also fairly meaningless. A lot of our economy has for well over a decade been fuelled by borrowed money, yet this counts as GDP.

    The question for the UK is how deep a hole we’ll be in when the wheels come off the cart (to mix metaphors). But Germany faces a massive debt crisis when it banks write down bad loans. This is why they refuse to let Greece no bust, although it is, and the logic of bankruptcy cannot be denied forever – just like the logic of our debts cannot be denied forever.

  38. @”the logic of our debts cannot be denied forever.”

    It can if you believe in MMT-in which case their very existence is denied :-)

  39. Sea Change
    “The Commons is the oldest operating Parliament in the world.”

    What about the Tynwald?

    According to Wikipedia (not authoritative i know)

    ‘It is claimed to be the oldest continuous parliamentary body in the world’

  40. @ Colin

    ‘@”the logic of our debts cannot be denied forever.”
    It can if you believe in MMT-in which case their very existence is denied :-)
    ——————————————————————————

    I assume that you are both referring to government and not household debt, which are not equatable. Obviously household debt needs to be re-paid (unless there is a debt jubilee as proposed by Professor Steve Keen).

    However, the UK government is not like a household and the use of the words ‘deficit’ and ‘debt’ is confusing because they do not mean the same thing as a household ‘deficit’ or a household ‘debt’.

    I’d love to know Colin which part of the national debt you think that we should be paying off? The bits that provide our insurance claims or pensions… or the bits that we owe ourselves through the Bank of England? And given the demand to buy government bonds, don’t you think there are going to be a lot of unhappy investors getting their capital ejected from a safe place?

    As a sovereign issuer of the currency, the UK government can buy anything denominated in pounds sterling that’s available to buy. Obviously, there is a caveat about inflation but it is an absurdity for the currency issuer to borrow from itself (or anyone else) and most of the so-called UK debt could be dissolved any time the govt chooses to so do.

  41. I thought Althing was the oldest operating parliament. But who knows.

  42. Syzygy

    Very nice, nuanced point about the composition of the debt.

  43. SYSZYGY

    We disagree fundamentally on this issue Sue.

    I don’t see the point of paraphrasing our differences again here, when the vast quantum of opinion -for and against-on MMT/ Helicopter Money/ Monetisation of State Debt/ etc etc, and the precise status of Sovereign Debt acquired under the BoE Asset Purchase Program ; can be read online with ease.-

    I was going to say-you pay your money & you make your choice-but stopped for fear of offending you.

    Perhaps -“you print your money & you make your choice ” might have been more acceptable

  44. @ Laszlo

    Thank you :)

    @ Colin

    Thank-you … I appreciate that biting your tongue costs some effort and I am grateful. As you say, we disagree fundamentally but it does not prevent our agreement over the prime importance of environmental matters.

  45. UKIP now have no MPs

  46. @Pete B – “Tynwald – oldest Parliament)

    It’s just a claim with no evidence to back it up. Even the wiki link you cite says as much.

    There is no doubt about the 13th Century Commons.

    @BAZINWALES

    I see Carswell has decided not to hold a by-election. Though I can’t really see the difference between leaving a party whose manifesto you were elected on to become an independent is materially different from crossing the floor to join another party.

    He’s likely to have agreed to rejoin the Tories just before the next election thus avoiding having to hold one in his eyes.

    Are we likely to see a further fall in UKIP VI. Nuttall has had a torrid first few months in power.

  47. In the last three years I have been represented by three different parties in Parliament, but just one person. It’s a good job my MP knows his mind.

    Incidentally, Seachange, I think you are right that Carswell will rejoin the Tories just before the next election. There will be some waffle about how well they have done in getting us the right Brexit terms etc. etc. The fact that it’s the only way he will be hang on to his seat won’t be mentioned of course.

  48. There has been very little betting activity with respect to Manchester Gorton, until recently.

    Labour remain very strong favourites, but their odds are drifting. Lib Dems are clear second favourites and are receiving support, shortening from 8/1 to 6/1. It looks like they might mount a serious challenge.

    The waters are muddied by the candidature of Galloway, who is third favourite at 16/1.

    The betting seems to suggest that Galloway’s involvement is more likely to help the LDs than Lab. Not sure about that.

    Betting is significant because it is one of the ways that the media identify the principal challenger to the incumbent party.

  49. Alec – “Since 1688 the City of London Corporation has been subject to the will of parliament, as has been demonstrated by numerous acts, and this is so well established that the corporation has to ask parliament for permission to do things like change it’s voting methods.”

    Sigh

    You Scots really have a hard time grasping the intricacies of English affairs, don’t you?

    The City uniquely doesn’t return an MP to Parliament – it and it’s citizens do not take part in general elections.

    It is only represented by the Remembrancer, who doesn’t interfere with with debates, nor prevent any act of Parliament. They only exempt the City from legislation by the process of the ceremony of petition, which is always granted.

    Every single law that is passed will have a mention of the City in it. If the ceremony of petition hasn’t been presented, the law applies to the City, and it says so explicitly, if it has been presented, the City is exempt, and the law says so explicitly. Ergo, this is the will of Parliament.

    If this system wasn’t in place you would have stuff being imposed on them against their will because remember they don’t have an MP.

    This is obviously terribly upsetting to you, but it will remain because we want the system to remain. The City is the source of England’s wealth and power.

  50. Didn’t Mike Smithson on PB do a piece about the odds of Carswell quitting a while back?

    I wonder if anyone went for it and how much they’ve made?

    Peter.

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