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. Syzygy: “Does anyone know if Margaret Thatcher’s legislation inhibiting councils from building houses for rent has been withdrawn?”

    I wonder if anyone has calculated the capital gains lost to the public purse through the council house sales policy? I’ll try a back-of-envelope calculation, taking the 1980s alone. Say 1 million houses were sold at an average price of £10k each. And those houses would be worth an average of £150,000 each now. Pretty conservative assumptions. That’s a foregone capital gain of £140k x !m, which is £140 billion. Or something like two centuries’ worth of EU contributions…

  2. Where do you get the average sale price of £10k from?

    I think you probably have the appreciation factor about right (my mother bought her flat in 1991 for £30k and it was sold for £80k after her death in 1995 – probably worth over £400k now), but I think your figures for both sale prices and values are probably too low.

  3. Also, surely that money wasn’t entirely lost to the public purse, and in effect functioned as helicopter money for the working and lower middle classes?

    Do multiplier effects not count when it comes to this form of government largesse?

  4. From the Times, summat to take note of…

    “Despite a prevailing view that social media produces echo chambers where people are exposed to neither debate nor dissenting views, a study has found the reverse may be true, or, at the very least, that it does not matter. Instead, it is those who use social media the least who are becoming most extreme.

    Studies have shown increasing polarisation. One in 20 people in 1960 would have been upset if their child married someone with different political leanings but a new study found this has risen to 40 per cent today.

    The study, published in the National Bureau of Economic Research, looked at measures of polarisation, including people’s views towards both major US parties, minorities, defence spending and government intervention in the economy, designed to test conformity in politics. Although polarisation increased over time, social media did not seem to be to blame. Among those aged under 40, where 80 per cent used social media, polarisation had increased by five per cent since 1996, but for those aged over 75, where 80 per cent didn’t use social media, it had risen by 38 per cent.”

  5. Neil A: “Where do you get the average sale price of £10k from?”

    The top of my head, tbh. But I’ve found a reference: “In 1980, average house prices were: £22,676” So assuming the average council property was worth less than the average private property, an average value of £15k would be reasonable. The discounts were 33-50%, giving a selling price in 1980 of £7,500-£10,000.

    Of course, prices rose during the ’80s so you’re probably right that average selling price was higher than £10k.

    As for transfer of wealth, you’re also right, but the calculation is difficult because arguably house prices overall would have been different without council house sales.

    My actual view is that council house sales would have been fine if the proceeds had been ploughed back into new social housing, rather than creamed off by central goverment to fund tax cuts.

  6. And if Mr Jones is around he might like this…

    “Robo-brickies will arrive on building sites in Britain in months, construction experts have told The Times, raising fears that thousands of jobs could be under threat.

    The devices have already started replacing humans on a handful of sites in America, with the newly launched Sam (Semi-Automated Mason) capable of laying up to 3,000 bricks a day compared with the human average of 500.”

  7. Since it’s inception when needed the state has intercepted and read mail, opening letters etc.

    Since the phone the state has be able to intercept and listen to phone conversations.

    During the Second World War we made huge efforts, thankfully successfully to break the Enigma codes.

    People seem to be confusing or conflagrations tow seperate issues, the ability to intercept and understand private conversations and whether and when it is right to do so.

    If you are against the State being able to read encrypted messages, then fine as long as you are against the use of phone tapping, intercepting mail or allowing the authorities to check someone’s bank accounts or property ownership during an investigation.

    “We think he’s abducted a child and hidden them somewhere, unfortunately we aren’t allowed to check if he owns or hires a storage facility because that’s private information!”

    If however you feel that if the circumstances merit it the authorities should have access to private information then there is nothing rom with them seeking and obtaining encryption keys.

    We can debate the merits of individual cases or what circumstances merit it, but having the power to if needed and using that power are two different things.

    Personally I don’t buy the arguement that if “They” have the power “They” might abuse it so “They” mustn’t have the power.

    This reminds me of the debate about an Armed Police Force. By and large the public are against it…until a terror attack, at which point they immediately want armour clad bobbies with MP7’s absailing down ropes from hovering helicopters.

    Peter.

  8. On the matter of how many voted to curb immigration…

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/27/brexiteers-immigration-promises-unravelling

    “The message that the voters heard loud and clear was that escaping the grip of Brussels would mean fewer foreigners coming to Britain. As Deborah Mattinson’s fascinating Britainthinks panel surveys have shown, leave voters interpret “hard Brexit” unequivocally as being “tough on immigrants” and are uninterested in economic counter-arguments. What motivates leavers, Mattinson concludes, is “broader cultural issues”.

    This qualitative research has been reinforced by quantitative findings: according to an Ipsos Mori poll in Friday’s Evening Standard, 61% regard immigration curbs as the priority in the forthcoming negotiations. A recent study by the NatCen thinktank indicated that 68% want the principle of free movement to go.”

  9. Carfrew,

    As before I am wondering how that 68% would answer;

    Do you support Tariffs and Ownership restrictions to protect British Companies and jobs from cheap imports and out sourcing.

    If UKIP are to have a future (and personally I hope not!) it could lie in winding the anti-EU and immigration vote to a wider anti-globalisation and put the Great back in Great Britain, largely mirroring Trumps success.

    Currently the look like a Party that having come into being for a reason and having lost it are in dire need of a new one. Britain First Protectionism might be what they need.

    It would certainly position them as an alternative to “Free Market May” who they could portray as wanting simply to replace cheap Polish workers with cheaper Asain ones, while being happy to see British made goods replaced by Chinese ones and British factories closed and moved abroad.

    Peter.

  10. @Carfrew

    “Robo-brickies will arrive on building sites in Britain in months, construction experts have told The Times, raising fears that thousands of jobs could be under threat.

    The devices have already started replacing humans on a handful of sites in America, with the newly launched Sam (Semi-Automated Mason) capable of laying up to 3,000 bricks a day compared with the human average of 500.”

    That’s not even close to being a human brickie.

    Can it wolf-whistle, show half of it’s rear with ill-fitting jeans and eat all the biscuits while reading the Daily Star?

    The humble brickie is only under threat when these objectives are met.

  11. @Neil A

    Thanks for your response last night. I hoped you would, given your professional expertise.

    It would appear so many aspects of privacy online are beyond the reach of a UK government or the Home Secretary, Ms Rudd’s best approach is ask nicely and hope for the best. The hand she is playing with is very limited.

    I think the whole subject balances on the law of dimishing returns. If we were to do all we could to prevent terrorism, we would need a vast increases in resources way beyond what is realistic. If every possible suspect was followed/traced 24/7, and a large increase in CCTV, covert recording etc, perhaps we could get close to zero. Of course, there would always be a few cases no-one could predict in advance.

    The above would be absurdly expensive and massively breach what most people consider reasonable privacy. Do you think we are close to the point where further reductions in terrorist killings in the UK are not reducable by very much more without serious blowing the budget as well and human rights and privacy?

  12. Correction

    @Neil A

    Thanks for your response last night. I hoped you would, given your professional expertise.

    It would appear so many aspects of privacy online are beyond the reach of a UK government or the Home Secretary, Ms Rudd’s best approach is ask nicely and hope for the best. The hand she is playing with is very limited.

    I think the whole subject balances on the law of dimishing returns. If we were to do all we could to prevent terrorism, we would need a vast increases in resources way beyond what is realistic. If every possible suspect was followed/traced 24/7, and a large increase in CCTV, covert recording etc, perhaps we could get close to zero. Of course, there would always be a few cases no-one could predict in advance.

    The above would be absurdly expensive and massively breach what most people consider a reasonable level of privacy. Do you think we are close to the point where further reductions in terrorist killings in the UK are impossible by without serious blowing the budget as well and human rights and privacy?

  13. Always amused by the timescales people use to judge things.

    It was free movement of workers that helped to keep many a working class family afloat in the dark years of the early ’80’s, and a slutary listen to the lyrics of Dire Strait’s ‘Why Aye Man’ might remind a few leave posters just how much parts of the UK benefited from being able to travel and work on German building sites.

    Once we leave the EU, I’m pretty sure the day will come when UK workers wish they had the rights to temporarily move to the EU to work and send their money back home to their families. It will be cyclical, as these things always are, but again, trying to get people to think over extended timescales and how situations change over time involves a greater level of mental engagement that was evident during the referendum campaign.

  14. @NEIL A

    “There is even an argument for allowing greater electronic surveillance to obviate the need for some of the, more intrusive, traditional surveillance tactics.”

    Obviously you are more familiar with the law than me, however I would expect that installing spy cameras etc in a private residence would need to be approved by a judge beforehand and senior officials before the judge. It’s not something that middle management in the Police or MI5 can do on a whim if they suspect someone.
    My issue with electronic surveillance is that it is much easier to carry out and therefore can be abused in order to hack into peoples’ PCs and smartphones on any whim. This is what I am suspicious of.

  15. @CMJ

    I can’t claim any real knowledge on the subject, but I would say that we are probably still at the point where lack of resources mean that we can’t analyze all of the information we have, so that there is scope for further reducing terrorism without any change to privacy levels.

    Of course, there are circumstances in which piercing privacy can be much more effective than all the analysis and investigation in the world. If we have 3000 people on our watchlist, difficult decisions have to be made about which 5 or 6 people are surveilled at any given time. If all the communications of all 3000 were automatically monitored in a semi-automated way, we would have a much, much better idea which of the 3000 to deploy on.

  16. OK folks – what is happening in Northern Ireland? Why can’t they reach agreement and what happens now, does anybody know?

    Bit strange that Teresa May’s is in Scotland with her ‘Now is not the time’ message, which is actually a waste of time as the battlelines are drawn. Surely Northern Ireland is a more immediate problem?

  17. @Alec

    How many of the itinerant workers from the UK who went to German building sites are now permanent residents of Germany?

  18. @Catman

    “The humble brickie is only under threat when these objectives are met.”

    ————

    Don’t worry Catman, we gotcha covered!! The machine does the work of six brickies apparently, but it still needs two peeps to operate it, presumably to fulfil these non-automated requirements of which you speak. (I’m not sure about the biscuits though…)

  19. @Pete B

    Yes, it seems like a temp rise of eight degrees plus might be needed for a massive release of hydrates, but they’re worried about smaller releases occurring before then. From the article…

    “If there were a large methane release, which is now possible because of the instability of the methane hydrates underneath the Arctic continental shelves, the off-shore waters, that could quite easily give rise to a very large pulse,” Professor Wadhams said.

    He was one of the authors of a paper in the journal Nature, which suggested it was possible for a truly vast amount of frozen methane to be released over just 10 years – a blink of an eye in geological terms.

    “We were concerned if there were a 50 gigatonne release, about eight per cent of the methane in the hydrates, that would give an immediate 0.6°C of global warming, which is a very large pulse indeed,” Professor Wadhams said.”

  20. @Couper2802

    Was listening to a representative of the DUP – the Unionist party – who
    said he did not think the UK could enforce a hard border with 300 Customs officers when it had failed with 12 000 troops.

  21. @Pete B

    Regarding sensitive dependence on initial conditions, that might determine just how apocalyptic things become, but we have seen a steady overall rise in temperature since the 1850s as the Industrial Revolution gathered pace. If initial conditions determine whether it’s bad, very bad, or hugely bad, then you’d still wanna act.

    Regarding hindcasting, given the volatility of climate fluctuations over the shorter term, it’s going to be quite hard to provide models that can predict closely what’ll happen year to year. But it’s the over the longer term we need to be concerned. Besides, they don’t have to be that accurate for us to be worried, because we know there’s a potentially very dangerous mechanism in play: the greenhouse effect.

    I mean, there probably aren’t any hindcasts that can show us in detail what proportion of people die when jumping off a cliff and trying to fly by flapping their arms as if they were wings. But you’re still prolly not gonna try it yourself right? One does get the feeling that sometimes climate sceptics set the burden of proof a little high given the risk…

    When it comes to Brexit it can be the other way around of course. Never mind any proof of what’ll happen to trade etc., maybe we’ll just wait and see what happens in a couple of decades…

  22. @Sea Change

    __________

    Well the Permian was the biggest extinction event we know about and from what I’ve read it looks like it may well have involved several mechanisms, and the Siberian Traps may themselves have triggered a release of methane. In turn it’s reckoned the Traps may have been triggered by an asteroid.

    One reason they think Methane might be involved is because it explains better than some other ideas why there was a global 1% reduction in the 13C/12C ratio.

  23. Re: encryption

    Very good article on the Grauniad website, making clear in words of one syllable how what Rudd is saying is impractical nonsense.

    Communications are either encrypted or they are not. There is no such thing as “encrypted unless a judge says otherwise”, as the existence of a backdoor for use by the authorities inevitably implies the existence of a backdoor for exploitation by criminals.

    And nothing can prevent criminals communicating with each other using (almost) unbreakable public key cryptography, independent of Whatsapp or anything else.

  24. @Syzygy

    “Good to see. There must be innumerable opportunities for more such. I liked the idea of using old ocean going liners… pump in sea water during low demand and release back into the sea through powering turbines as required”

    ———-

    Yes, novel energy storage methods useful for making more of renewables is part of an occasional series, in which previously we have discussed things like compressed air in caves or summat and Lefty tore apart the idea of using big buckets to shift large amounts of gravel.

  25. @Alec

    Thanks for your insight into underground water storage and the problems with toxicity of which I was hitherto unaware. It woz good while it lasted. I think compressed air is still ok though?…

  26. @Peter C

    Yes, you highlight the issue that while some are concerned with immigrants taking jobs, strangely they are not also concerned with losing jobs to offshoring, as Trump is. No one knows why…

  27. Carfrew,

    “while some are concerned with immigrants taking jobs, strangely they are not also concerned with losing jobs to offshorinG”

    But do we know that?

    If you approach it from the point of view of the four Freedoms, Capital, , Services and Labour, clearly people are concerned about the fourth, but have we really had any polling on the others in a any systematic way.

    The assumption seems to be we are happy with the first three but not the last but are their a substantial number who aren’t and might they constitute a substantial enough demographic to be distinctly targeted.

    Looking at the four in turn;

    Labour; Some people don’t like the ideas of Foreigners, taking British Jobs, getting benefits without paying in and putting pressure on services.

    Capital; How do people feel about foreign billionaires buying up property so that locals can’t afford to live where they were brought up, or buying up UK industries just to asset strip, or making huge profits but moving it abroad to avoid tax, or the French or Chinese owning our energy industry or running our trains. Are they okay that most British cars are now made by companies owned abroad.

    Services; Are people happy with off shore tax havens or call centre jobs for UK utilities being in India. Are people fine with UK fund managers buying shares in Chinese companies undercutting UK ones rather than investing in the UK company.

    Goods; Are people happy with our retailers importing cheap food or clothes from abroad rather than buy British. Do they think it’s ok for Uk factories to be moved abroad and the same product imported back into the UK. Do they have an issue with UK food that is no longer picked by cheap foreign Labour being none the less sent to Poland to be washed, processed and packed by cheap foreign Labour before coming back to our supermarkets.

    Polls have clearly measured their discontent over immigration, arguably the most visible of the four freedoms, but I’d like to see more so we could determine if their is a pool of voters that would rally to “Little England” against Globalisation.

    Peter.

  28. @Peter C

    “But do we know that?”

    ———

    Soz Pete, I should have been clearer, I was just referring to the stance of some pundits/campaigners advocating Brexit. I wasn’t suggesting a majority of voters felt that way. Regarding how voters in general feel about the things you mention, sure it’s an interesting avenue to explore, we could use more polling on that sort of thing.

  29. @ Somerjohn

    ‘My actual view is that council house sales would have been fine if the proceeds had been ploughed back into new social housing, rather than creamed off by central goverment to fund tax cuts.’

    As far as I’m aware that is one of Corbyn’s LP policies. It was quite incredible that neither Blair or Brown would move on allowing councils to build. Quite apart from the lost taxes that you’ve identified, think of how many good houses could have been built with the housing benefit which has instead gone into private landlord pockets.

  30. @ Carfew

    The great thing about the storage/release of sea-water from old liners is that there is so little disturbance of the environment. Sea level remains constant, almost no pollution, recycled components and no transporting of materials/fuels.

  31. catmanjeff,
    ” Do you think we are close to the point where further reductions in terrorist killings in the UK are not reducable by very much more without serious blowing the budget as well and human rights and privacy?”

    Given the actual number of terrorist killings in the UK is so small, surely we must be at that point already. Havn’t been following the story, but the guy in the recent incident seems to be a terrorist movement of one. Is that honestly terrorism?Then, have there been any terrorist killings in the UK this year or last?

  32. @Syzygy

    “The great thing about the storage/release of sea-water from old liners is that there is so little disturbance of the environment. Sea level remains constant, almost no pollution, recycled components and no transporting of materials/fuels.”

    ———

    Yes when you put it that way it does seem rather appealing. Alec hasn’t find ote wrong with it yet, anyways. How many of these old liners around are there and vp an they store a lot of energy then?…

  33. Another reason it’s getting hard to buy a house, even if moving somewhere cheaper, if you don’t have well off parents: deposits etc. becoming increasingly out of reach…

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/home-ownership-young-people-study-alan-milburn-government-a7651126.html

    “Home ownership now out of reach for most young people, study finds
    Owning a home a distant dream for young people ‘who do not have the luxury of relying on the bank of Mum and Dad’

    “Owning a home is becoming a distant dream for millions of young people on low incomes, who do not have the luxury of relying on the bank of Mum and Dad to give them a foot up on the housing ladder.”

    “The way the housing market is operating is exacerbating inequality and impeding social mobility.”

    Ministers recognised the problem, but, Mr Milburn added: “A major national effort is needed to expand opportunities for home ownership and will require more radical action on housing supply.”

    Getting on the housing ladder is one of the main ways wealth is held and transferred through generations – leaving those unable to own a home even further behind.

    The researchers, at Cambridge University and Anglia Ruskin University, warned that the trend of relying on the bank of Mum and Dad is set to grow.

    First time buyers who receive money or a loan from their parents can buy 2.6 years earlier than those who do not – a figure rising to 4.6 years in London.

    Almost a third (30 per cent) of UK households with dependent children currently had assets that could be used towards a deposit for a home, the researchers found.

    However, this proportion fell to only ten per cent of households without any formal educational qualifications over two successive generations.

    The proportion of first-time buyers relying on their parents will rise to nearly 40 per cent by 2029 if the economy weakens, the Government is warned.

    But, if the economy improves – pushing up house prices even faster – 39 per cent will require help as soon as 2021.”

  34. @Syzygy

    “It was quite incredible that neither Blair or Brown would move on allowing councils to build.”

    ——–

    It was, but you could see their electoral calculus. Taking fore granted the typical Labour voter, they moved to hoover up some liberals, who might be quite happy to see their house prices inflated considerably by immigration etc. and the absence of countervailing things like building housing. Conscience of course salved by chucking some tax credit crumbs etc. around.

    Slashing Capital Gains as well lets them make money off Buy-to-let too. Of course over time this sees Labour voters seeking other options… notably Greens, SNP, UKIP, and of course LDs who had moved leftwards to outflank Labour until in government…

  35. Of course high rents, bills etc. make it even harder to save a deposit…

  36. @Wolf: “Was listening to a representative of the DUP – the Unionist party – who
    said he did not think the UK could enforce a hard border with 300 Customs officers when it had failed with 12 000 troops.”

    That rather assumes that it is us who will need to protect the border against smuggling.

    We will be able to reduce indirect taxes in N. Ireland. The UVF and IRA can work out who smuggles what in what areas, just like they divided up organised crime in the 1970s.

    Obviously, we shall vigorously help the Irish government in combatting cross-border crime, just like they helped us in the old days. “I’m sorry chaps, but this extradition request has a split infinitive…”

  37. New NOP poll out tonight. Welcome back.

    I get the feeling that all momentum has been lost up in a land far far to the north for a referendum. Polling will be interesting but i would think that the events of the last 7 days will not have increased support for independence or the referendum.
    NS best option is to hope that TM maintains her hard line position but imho if they do not go in 2019 then 2022 is the earliest.
    Tactically if i were TM i would offer nothing and no discussions, talks etc nothing.

  38. @ Carfew

    ‘It was, but you could see their electoral calculus. ‘

    True… but there are still those who think that those individuals were representative of the LP, as a tradition, as a grassroots membership or indeed as what the vast majority of Labour voters thought they were electing.

  39. @Wolf

    That’s an excellent point. The so-called ‘hard border’ that the media and politicians love to use, is a figment of the imagination.

    The other week I saw comments from some window lickers on the re-building of Hadrian’s Wall, with Scotland being forced to pay for it.

    It makes for great pub banter, but the reality is usually a few hundred miles away, and nothing like the imagination.

  40. Good evening all from a very fine evening here in Itchen Valley.

    Watching the BBC Question Time Brexit special program…

    Alex Salmond looks huge!! :-(

  41. Salmond almost got a standing ovation…

  42. POLL ALERT!!!!

    NumbrCrunchrPolitics? @NCPoliticsUK 45s45 seconds ago
    More
    GfK:
    CON 41
    LAB 28
    LD 7
    UKIP 12
    GRN 6
    SNP 5

    1st-15th March
    N=1,938
    Details to follow..

    Horror show for the LibDems…Even lower than their tragic 2015 election result..

  43. @Syzygy

    “True… but there are still those who think that those individuals were representative of the LP, as a tradition”

    ———

    I know, surprises me too. But then some peeps think Thatch was the archetypal Conservative, yet whatever you think of her policies, you couldn’t really see her as a conserving gradualist…

  44. Number muncher has been busy on the ol twitter…

    NumbrCrunchrPolitics? @NCPoliticsUK 12s12 seconds ago
    More
    GfK (#Brexit was right decision | wrong decision by EURef vote):

    REMAIN 9 | 82
    LEAVE 88 | 6
    ALL 46 | 41

    The leaves have it..

  45. @Allan

    Which pollster please?

  46. Apparently it is the return of NOP for their first poll since the 2005 electio – but now known as GfK.

  47. CATMANJEFF

    Big German polling company. Very reliable I’m told.

    The GfK SE, established in 1934 as Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung is Germany’s largest market research institute, and the fourth largest market research organisation in the world, after Nielsen Company, Kantar Group and Ipsos

    Very impressive….

  48. According to Political Betting it represents the return of NOP in a new guise.

  49. Oh dear, apparently the GfK poll wasn’t meant to be released until 10pm… Something about an embargo.. Ooops

  50. @ALLAN CHRISTIE

    “Number muncher has been busy on the ol twitter…
    NumbrCrunchrPolitics? @NCPoliticsUK 12s12 seconds ago
    More
    GfK (#Brexit was right decision | wrong decision by EURef vote):
    REMAIN 9 | 82
    LEAVE 88 | 6
    ALL 46 | 41
    The leaves have it..”

    A huge pile of stinking horse manure.

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