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. Good morning all from a sunny and breezy central London

    Thank you for the name check but i dont think i mentioned you. If i may say so you seem to be travelling around a lot which seems to be affecting the quality of your posts. They have become a little …well… hysterical of late. I preferred your earlier contributions.

    Of Course it could be that the wee Bampot has stirred your blood to a nationalistic frenzy an you cant help yourself

    I was in Dublin most of the last week on secondment but apart from that, I’ve not travelled at all.

    If we want to read hysterical posts then your own contributions are a classic example. Tell me, which bampot are you referring to when you say ” Of Course it could be that the wee Bampot has stirred your blood to a nationalistic frenzy and you cant help yourself”..Is it Nicola Sturgeon or Theresa May?

  2. …………..and at 3.60 in the same document, OBR wrote this :-

    “3.60 CPI inflation is expected to move above the Bank of England’s 2 per cent target in the first quarter of 2017. While the Bank noted in its February 2017 Inflation Report that there were
    limits to the “extent that above-target inflation can be tolerated”, the MPC also reiterated that, given the exceptional circumstances of sterling’s depreciation, the current stance of monetary policy remained appropriate given the trade-off it faced. Market interest rates suggest that, in light of this guidance, market participants do not expect the MPC to seek to attenuate the short-term inflation overshoot by materially tightening policy. Consistent with
    this view, our central forecast is that inflation will remain above the target until the first half of 2019. We assume that inflation will remain at the target thereafter”

  3. @Colin – well thanks for that – my mistake in reading the media reports rather than the actual source material. Thanks very much for the clarification.

    Having said that, I still think that they will be proved wrong, as there is a long way still to go before we work inflation through the system.

    This month’s rise, like last month, is sigificantly ahead of market expectations, which means that to meet the OBR target we would need to see a much more rapid come down later in the year. Most commentators are predicting inflation of over 3% before it starts to subside, so I still think the OBR is being too optimistic. It also means that the negative squeeze on real wages has already started.

    ‘Overly Benevolent Rosiness’?

  4. AC


  5. @Alec

    Now that you have read the rules on qualified majority voting, do you finally understand that the votes are based on population. and that Poland’s votes are not “more than 0 but less than 2? ” as you claimed?

    As I said originally, they have a lot of votes on the Council.

  6. A few interesting inflation stats.

    The RPI rate, which is no longer a national statistic but was the old inflation measure, is now 3.2%. Factory gate prices are now rising by 3.7%, while factory input prices are rising by 19.1%.

    Feels like there is a fair bit more inflation to come.

  7. Experts

    I noted the excellent Gov borrowing figures. The ONS are now predicting a year on 51.7bn which is lower than the prebrexit figure.I do note however that The ONS was predicting 68.2 only in november. still only a 16 bn difference.! in 4 months

    A billion here a billion there and very soon you are talking real money

  8. On inflation, Gemany’s has come in at 2.2%


    No doubt some will claim that is down to Brexit, rather than the real cause (OPEC’s supply restrictions).

  9. @Candy – Oh dear.

    No, Poland does not have 27 votes in the Council as you claimed. They have one vote, the same as Germany or Estonia. Fifteen votes are required for any measure to pass under QMV, sixteen if the UK remains in the EU. Each state has a single vote.

    The second part of the QMV system is the population percentage. This is not a vote, but a representative proportion of the total EU population.

    Under this, Poland carries 7.43% of the total population, rising to 8.52% if you exclude the UK. To pass, a resolution needs 65%+ of the population, plus at least 55% of the votes cast.

    In summary:

    – Poland has a single vote in the Council
    – Vote allocation is not based on population
    – Vote allocation is strictly by one member one vote
    – Measures need to secure 55% of eligible votes to pass
    – The additional ‘double majority’ is based on population, with measures needing to meet a 65% threshold
    – Poland has 8.52% of the total population
    – The number 27 is now meaningless under the new system
    – You are factually wrong on mulitple counts

  10. Martin McGuinness Dead: Sinn Féin Former Deputy Minister Dies Aged 66

  11. @Alec

    Go and read back the thread – I sai that Poland had a lot of votes in the council, you reponded with “they get one vote”, and I quoted the 27 votes – and I agree that they expire this month.

    My point is that if you get enough big population countries like Poland and France going fascist, you have a qualified majority for fasicm.

    It doesn’t matter whether Poland gets an exact 27 votes out of 352, (7.67% of the vote) or 8.52% of the vote as now. If you have enough big states going down the fascist route, then you have a qualified majority for it inthe council

    And that is the trend that is developing inn Europe. Of course you are in denial “it will never happen” – you would be of course, because you looked at what is going on in Europe and thought, lovely, I want ever closer union with that.

  12. S THOMAS


  13. @Alec

    P.S. You seem to be trying to shift the argument to pretending that I said that Poland on it’s own could impose fascism.

    But if you read back I clearly cited a trend across multiple countries – Poland, Hungary, Czechia, Slovakia, Austria, Netherlands, France. They only need a few more to get the required quorum.

    You are upset because you would have to ask yourself why you looked at all that and thought, fantastic, lets have ever close union with that.

  14. Edmund Jude3 – “Germany is now the standard bearer of liberalism in Europe ”

    No it’s not. There arfe nerly 10 attack a day in Germany against refugees. See



    The interior ministry figures

    3,533 attacks on migrants and asylum hostels in 2016
    2.545 attacks on individual migrants
    560 people injured, including 43 children
    988 attacks on housing (slightly fewer than in 2015)
    217 attacks on refugee organisations and volunteers

    end quote

    We’re not talking here about people being rude on the tube, which is what our hate crimes amount to…

  15. @Candy –

    “P.S. You seem to be trying to shift the argument to pretending that I said that Poland on it’s own could impose fascism.”

    Nope. Don’t get that. At no point did I say anything of the kind. What I did explain, rather carefully I thought, was how many votes are needed to pass a resolution.

    Reading back carefully what you did say, as you suggest, we can see that you said –

    “Under the qualified majority rules Poland has 27 votes. Czechia and Hungary have 12 votes each. Slovakia has 7 and France 29.

    It”s no good citing tiny counties like Malta (3 votes) and Cyprus (4 votes), they can’t outvote the big boys.”

    That is clearly rubbish, on two counts. Firstly, as I’ve explained mulitple times, member states each have one vote, and the vote is not based on population.

    Secondly, it is perfectly possible for small states to block big states. If you actually studied the voting calculator I linked to you would understand that if the 13 smallest member states voted against a measure, it would fail, despite them only representing 10.71% of the EU population.

    Equally, this very small population % means that the small states would find it very difficult to force a resolution through, as they need to secure 65% of the population as well as 55% of the votes.

    I did agree with you about the current direction of travel of EU politics in many countries, but my point remains that it will be very difficult to foresee the conditions you appear to predict, precisely because of QMV.

    I have nothing more to say on the matter, as it isn’t worth arguing facts with people who seem unable to absorb really rather simple information.

  16. Edmund Jude

    you will awake the hidden Tancred in us all with posts like that!!

    I do feel sorry for Candy as she/he does get some stick on this site. It is a good job that she seems impervious to it.

    ” Germany is now the standard bearer of liberalism in Europe”-Would that be political or economic? If one imposes your economic will on a state can one be described as politically liberal?

    Also berating Candy for being immature whilst referring to our PM as Fuherin May is a bit rich.

  17. Re continental fascism. Candy is right in that fascism (and communism for that matter) is more likely to have political representation on the continent than here in the UK. This is because of PR which most (all?) of them have. As I pointed out on another thread PR will give better representation to small parties than FPTP. By being represented in parliament they become less unacceptable to some folks.

    An example close to home is that the BNP once got a couple of MEPs elected by PR whereas they’ve never been close to a seat in HoC. Even the much less extreme Greens and UKIP struggle to get into the HoC.

  18. Edmund Jude
    Funny how the indigenous population is never subjected to racially-motivated attacks. We’re very lucky.

  19. Galloway standing in Gorton.

    That should put the cat amongst the pigeons. Dont know who it will damage more the Libs or Labour? TM must be laughing her fashionable socks off.

  20. @Edmund Jude

    There is a difference between people being verbally rude, and what we are seeing in Germany which is a sustained campaign of arson attacks designed to damage property and injure people. See



    From the beginning of this year [2015] until the end of August, police have recorded 705 attacks on asylum shelters. Of these, 57 were cases of arson and 67 included other kinds of attacks.

    One case in particular garnered worldwide attention. In February, a refugee home in Bautzen, in the eastern German state of Saxony, was set on fire. Residents and onlookers gathered at the scene and applauded, while some others chanted right-wing slogans from a nearby street. Two people, who reportedly hindered firefighters, were arrested.

    end quote

    I think you’ll find that hate crimes in the UK were mostly drunk people getting verbal, there has been no arson.

    What happened to Jo Cox was tragic, but her attacker was mentally ill, and would have attacked at any time. I think he came from a Scottish Orange tradition which interacted badly with his illness too.

  21. @CANDY

    “My point is that if you get enough big population countries like Poland and France going fascist, you have a qualified majority for fasicm.”

    LOL!! What a fool you are. Pray, where are all these strutting fascists? Are they marching around Brussels in their black shirts, forcing castor oil down ther throats of any opponent? Who is the new Mussolini?

  22. S Thomas

    I do wonder why the ONS is quoted as the benchmark for financial forecasting when they almost invariably seem to be wrong. They seem to be like weather forecasters that just look out the window. I wonder if anyone has looked at their predictions for accuracy in general?

  23. @CANDY

    “Edmund Jude3 – “Germany is now the standard bearer of liberalism in Europe ”

    No it’s not. There arfe nerly 10 attack a day in Germany against refugees. See



    The interior ministry figures

    3,533 attacks on migrants and asylum hostels in 2016
    2.545 attacks on individual migrants
    560 people injured, including 43 children
    988 attacks on housing (slightly fewer than in 2015)
    217 attacks on refugee organisations and volunteers”

    First of all, an ‘attack’ may mean anything from swearing at someone to GBH or attempted murder – and everything in between. Secondly, given that there are 1.5M migrants wandering around in Germany it’s hardly surprising that people are resenting their presence, especially given the high number of sexual assaults by migrants on German women. Of course, the German government will not publish these figures! Apparently it’s even worse in Sweden:


  24. @Candy – Just returning momentarily to correct another factually challenged observation which I would rather not let stand.

    You say –

    “And that is the trend that is developing inn Europe. Of course you are in denial “it will never happen” – you would be of course, because you looked at what is going on in Europe and thought, lovely, I want ever closer union with that”.

    I’m pretty sure you were around on UKPR during the Brexit referendum, so I’ll just put this down to having a bad memory, but anyone on here who knows my posts will be able to inform you that I was vociferously against ‘ever closer union’, and regularly suggested that if the EU agreed to place statutory limits on it’s expansion, both geographically and in terms of it’s competences, I would be very happy.

    Perhaps it’s no surprise that you got this wrong also, as absorbing information and learning from it seems to create some difficulties.

  25. @CANDY

    I hate to quote the Express, but there you are:


    And there are hundreds of these under reported incidents. The German police have been ordered to underplay them by Merkel and her cronies.

    Let’s put all this in context.


    “In short I wonder that you wouldn’t in fact welcome Geert Wilders winning in Holland or Marine Le Pen in France or even Ukip participating in government here?”

    I still don’t understand if Candy is a communist or a fascist herself. My reckoning is that she is an elderly Marxist of the pre-Harold Wilson era of the Labour Party. The sort that spawned the likes of Peter Shore, Barbara Castle and others who say fascists under the bed and believed Europe was still run by them.

  27. Jude.

    The obscure nature of the last few posts shows the danger of releasing the Tancred.

  28. Alec

    The interesting thing IMO is that Germany’s inflation has come in at 2.2% (as Candy helpfully pointed out) very similar to the UK’s 2.3%.

    We both forecast increasing inflation, and both of us were rather sceptical about the OBR’s latest forecast for GDP in 2017. Where we possibly differ is that I do not see this as particularly damaging at the moment.

  29. @S Thomas “the danger of releasing the Tancred”

    It’s certainly colourful entertainment, though. Tancred is one of my favourite denizens of this blog, due to his wide range of juxtapositional beliefs which I’d almost consider worthy of psychological forensic study if I had the time.

    I do happen to agree with him on the unlikely happy-ever-after ending of mass migration from Islamic countries into Europe and also on a United British & Irish Isles, but little else!

  30. @Edmund Jude

    The Mail Online has the largest online news readership in the entire world. Whether you agree with it or not, it’s certainly popular and isn’t going away anytime soon.


    and as I pointed out the other day the DM was voted newspaper of the year yet again.

  32. sea change

    apparently in Germany you can get arrested for insulting the president of a foreign state or for denying the Holocaust.Still I am sure that living in Europe’s premier liberal state has other advantages apart from Free Speech. A free press is just so irksome i can understand why some states have a history of doing away with it.

  33. @ToH

    The Mail has been extraordinarily successful as an influencer and as a successful business. As a media business the Mail is remarkable. it also realised early on that treating freelancers well – much better than their competition – was their key to success.

    It has achieved this at the same kind as becoming the single most malign political and social force in the country, with a spiteful, dishonest and divisive agenda. It is not a newspaper in the conventional sense, it’s a medium for the dissemination of an overtly political agenda and it uses its influence shamelessly and brutally.

    No wonder people are put off politics when Paul Dacre is more powerful than any mere elected politician and hasn’t ever had to canvass for a single vote and has trousered a colossal wedge in the process.
    The Mail is the epitome of a certain kind of spiteful, curtain-twitching, sanctimonious, judgemental, aggressively ignorant, joyless, petty worldview that particularly enjoys making people with whom it disagrees miserable, can always find a justification why they deserve it, and thinks that’s a perfectly acceptable way to go about things. It’s not un-British because those people have always been with us. But it’s sad for the country that they’re so pre-eminent.

  34. @TOH

    You’re right. It’s been a huge success story compared to the struggles of many other newspapers, that’s for sure. I tend to read the Guardian and the Telegraph to try and get a reasonable political balance. FT & The Economist for fiscal reality!

    @ S Thomas

    The Germans have always been a little uptight about The Holocaust!

  35. Whether the leak to a Dutch newspaper is just part of pre-negotiation posturing (which both sides do) – who knows?

    But it does seem consistent with everything else the EU has said.


  36. @TOH – “The interesting thing IMO is that Germany’s inflation has come in at 2.2% (as Candy helpfully pointed out) very similar to the UK’s 2.3%.”

    Yes this is interesting. My understanding is that Germany’s inflation expectations in 2017 are downwards, while our are up, and as far as I can gather, Germany’s manufactured goods output price inflation is around 0.5% lower than ours and their input inflation is about 6% as opposed to our 19%. If so, that would be largely Brexit based.

    I can’t vouch completely for these stats however, as I’m unsure of the precise comparisons between German and UK data.

    I also suspect there is a point to be made regarding real ages in Germany and the UK as 2017 develops. It’s also true to say that the respective budget positions between the two countries also differs, so while 2-3% inflation in Germany would be a minor issue, with our likely wage rises and budget deficit, even a small fall in real wags that would result from 3% inflation could become quite a serious issue.

    Conjecture however, but I don’t think you and I are too far apart.


    Fascinating, it’s all a matter of perception really, and presumably ones politics. My wife and I read the DM every day and personally I just don’t recognise the picture you paint with your last paragraph at all. It is pro Brexit and pro Tory I agree, but then my own politics is to the right and I am ceratinly pro Brexit. I don’t agree with all it says by any means, but that would apply to any newspaper. I do enjoy two of it’s writers in particular, finding both QL and L very amusing.

    If you had been talking about the MoS or the G then I would have probably have agreed with your last paragraph because thats how i see both of those papers.

    As I posted some time ago I guess most people who read a newspaper tend to read the one that tends to have the same political agenda as they themselves.

  38. Alec

    “Conjecture however, but I don’t think you and I are too far apart.”

    I think that is probably true. The forecasters seem to expect German inflation to fall later this year while ours is likely to rise further.


    Yes despite hating much of it’s content I read the Guardian most days to fet some balance and yes the FT and the Economist when i am investing or looking at economic matters.

  40. Good afternoon all from a warm breezy central London.

    Good grief………..This thread has descended into a TANCRED & S THOMAS brothel….


    Personally when I think of Liberalism, what springs to the front of my mind is. (and by no means exhaustive) global gentrification, the creation of superstates, fake news, diluting of identity, propaganda, taborine bashing, dreadlocks, muesli munching and an incredible amount a moaning.

  41. @ Allan

    There would be a lot of moaning if this thread has descended into a TANCRED & S THOMAS brothel………..

  42. @Danny

    “However there were plenty of graphs showing comparative changes in income which all said they had not taken account of cost of housing or its relative changes. My recollection is that this was zooming ahead of incomes, implying the people concerned would in fact be worse off if this had been taken into account.

    Carfrew noted the same point, and also that the steady decline in labour began well before Corbyn.”


    Yes, there is the issue that the IFS are looking at income BEFORE housing costs are deducted, and they are dealing with HOUSEHOLD disposable income. Which may have risen slightly, before housing costs, but these days both partners tend to work. If you compare it to the era when a single wage could bring up a family, it’s a big difference. People may wish to return to the situation where they had that safety net of knowing if things get tricky, your partner can also go out to work and it’ll make a real difference.

    People may wish to return to a Labour Party that ensured big improvements like that, instead of messing at the margins. Equally, they may prefer to have a solid job with a career path rather than casual work topped up with tax credits. There is also the issue of pensions, how much cash do they have for those, and will they be as good as they are for many boomers? Or indeed those who followed immediately after because they seem to be doing quite well in pension terms from what I’ve seen.

    Then, property. Increasing numbers of young people being excluded from the house market. Average incomes going up one or two percent is not much solace when you see you’re excluded from making a load on house prices. Which is a huge deal. Not only does it allow parents to downsize or move to release equity for offspring tuition fees, their house deposits, covering their costs while an intern etc., it also can ensure preferential access to school catchment areas, lower crime etc.

    You can also release some equity, remortgage for crises or additional investments, taking advantage of a long term loan at very low rates.

    Faced with a situation with trashed career paths, little disposable income after housing costs, priced out of home ownership with all that entails, with this being the case for more people, especially the young, a couple percent improvement on disposable income BEFORE housing costs prolly isn’t going to cut it for a growing number.

    In the end, an average can hide many things. People may be hoovering up fruits of growth at the top, pulling up the average, but others languish. The stagnating of incomes was papered over with house price rises for existing owners, low interest rates lowering mortgage costs, and tax credits, and more recently QE in the South East, but these aren’t that ideal or sustainable.

    Obviously you get that there’s a need to look at the overall package, and the trajectory for an increasing number of people. If you’re a young graduate now, without parents with big assets in the SE, in the gig economy, no proper career path, locked out of the housing market etc… they’re possibly looking for a whole lot more than what’s been on offer and this is before taking other aspects of inequality into account, which according to the IFS report also rose a little under Labour.


    Ha! :-)

  44. AC

    I would rather you stay away from our brothel with your particular tastes :-)

  45. @Danny

    I should add, there’s another issue concerning adjusting income by using the inflation rate, as opposed to what they actually get to use. Because if some things shoot up in price, people may cut back. Like with energy. So they compensate, but may still feel worse off than before. I dunno how they deal with pension provision in the basket of goods either…

  46. “The Mail Online has the largest online news readership in the entire world. Whether you agree with it or not, it’s certainly popular and isn’t going away anytime soon.”
    @Sea Change March 21st, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    Yes, and every time I look at a page from there (admittedly very infrequently) it’s full of scantily-clad young women.


  47. ALEC
    Re:German real wages
    It’s very true that comparing relative numbers from country to country can be a bit of a minefield, but German wages have been held firmly in check for over two decades now, and this has delivered the second (third?) German post war economic miracle. In fact real wages in Germany have hardly risen since 1995 and this explains their gigantic trade surplus. Things are looking up a bit now though and earnings are set to rise by 2.5 percent this year and by more next year, just in time if inflation returns.
    Germany is a rich and pretty immaculate country, but it’s workers are under rewarded, all for the sake of their cherished position as “export weltmeisters”. Something of which they are extremely proud, but it is a little known fact that more people use food banks in Germany than in the UK.

  48. Al Urqa

    No coincidence at all.

    More power to the Mail…..Marvellous !

  49. Chris Riley,

    I will follow normal practice on this board and congratulate you effusively for sharing my opinion of the Daily Mail.

    What do we have today in “Front page News” in the Mail Online?
    1) multiple fury that anyone might dare point out that former IRA terrorist McGuiness actually did a great deal to promote peace in NI in his later life
    2) random single mother got money to start a business that then failed..
    3) BBC accused of bias (again, again, again….). As many have pointed out, the first act of a totalitarian regime is always to cow the media into submission.. Not to mention the judiciary
    4) Fury as “historic Brexit Act” will not be printed on vellum
    5) one reasonable story about Santander customers being scammed
    6) something about an ITV quiz show that is definitely world-shattering…

    Al Urqa – you also hit the nail on the head. The Mail online does actually occasionally have an interesting documentary story (eg. giant statues in Egypt), but it is entirely spoilt by the vacuous titillation about celebrities which is the staple diet. I guess that is how you get awards in today’s journalism though!

  50. @Carfrew – “I dunno how they deal with pension provision in the basket of goods either…”

    That’s a fascinating question which I couldn’t answer, until…..

    Having now looked it up on the ONS website, it looks like pension costs aren’t included in any of the inflation measures, which is in itself fascinating.

    As pension values have plummeted, people need to spend significantly more to get the same value output, but this part of life’s overall cost isn’t captured in the official data on cost of living.

    Interestingly, self storage costs are in the CPI measure, but I couldn’t find any reference to thorium.

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