Two new ICM polls

I’ll post some thoughts about the general election later, but first a brief note on the two ICM polls today (yes, two seperate polls). Earlier today we had the usual regular ICM poll – Martin Boon had said he was disclined to publish because the fieldwork was done over the Easter weekend, and we pollsters tend to be a little wary of fieldwork over bank holiday weekends. Calling a general election made the result rather more relevant though, so out it came – topline figures were CON 44%, LAB 26%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 11%.

Later on in the day we got an ICM “flash poll” conducted after the election announcement, with fieldwork in space of four hours. That had voting intentions of CON 46%, LAB 25%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 8%, GRN 4%. The poll also asked about the decision to call an election, finding 55% supported an early election, 15% were against. Full tabs for that are here.

A note about the methodology, the flash poll appears to be a proper ICM poll using all their normal methods and normal weights… just conducted very quickly. Whether that makes any difference is unclear (people who reply quickly or reply during the daytime may or may not be different in ways that may or may not be adequated corrected by weighting) – notably the UKIP score is the lowest we’ve seen from ICM. It remains to be seen if that’s reflected in future polls, is a result of the methodology, or is just normal random variation.


45 Responses to “Two new ICM polls”

  1. first? labour are in deep do do, but tory triumphalism will backfire.

  2. prepare for 1997 in reverse boys.

  3. Michael Crick (C4 News):

    “BREAKING: The CPS have told Channel 4 News tonight that they are considering charges against more than 30 individuals. #electionexpenses”

    Most folk figuring that’s the main reason for the election being called. Snap GE versus lots of by-elections. With a majority of 12, May is looking at a bad year without a GE.

  4. Honestly can’t remember the last time I was so underwhelmed by an election

  5. Will be interesting to see what happens to the UKIP vote.

    That change from 11% in the first poll to 8% in the flash poll might be a clue.

    Mrs May has triggered Article 50, so is there any point voting UKIP in a FPTP election?

  6. @Candy

    I fail to see the point of UKIP now, they are effectively a single issue party that got their way, I expect them to fall back to normal levels of support

  7. Wonder what the turnout will do. I reckon it will go down, but the local elections before may wake people up.

    UKIP vote and how much of it goes back to CON decides the size of Mays majority here I’d say.

  8. While the ICM “flash poll” has such a ludicrously small sample for Scotland (68 excl DKs etc!) that it isn’t exactly representative!, it’ll be interesting to see if it is at all indicative of the current SCon/SLab balance (19%/20%).

    We’d need a proper Scottish poll to find out, but one should be along fairly soon, with a UK GE being announced.

    Whatever happens in the election in England, I can’t see the one in Scotland as just being about Brexit! The indy question and all the other factors that are hung on that – ie those issues that have salience in Scotland, but not apparently elsewhere – will play their part.

    Of particular interest will be those polls that have a Scottish regional breakdown, as seats such as West Aberdeenshire and Etterick etc are particularly vulnerable for Unionists if they split between Remainers (LD) and Leavers (Con).

    As, once again, Westminster puts one of its own electoral contests into the field, overlapping the existing campaign for a Scotland wide poll in May, there will be inevitable interference patterns.

    I doubt that Davidson is very happy with May’s decision!

  9. what about scotland? all SNP?

  10. On the face of it the polls would imply an increased Conservative majority and you’d be brave to predict otherwise.

    However John Curtice has already made the points about the large majority in many Labour seats, and the difficullty of getting a landslide as neither Northern Ireland and now Scotland are Cons-Lab battlegrounds.

    I would add the fact that the boundary review will not be in place for this GE (assuming GE agreed tomorrow), and the fact that Cons may lose a few seats to LibDems in SW England – the region which took Cons over the winning post last time – even allowing that the west country is not a great centre of pro-EU sentiment, mean that it could be quite close, with at a guess a Conservative majority of 30 or just over.

    Incidentally, I wonder how the Northern Ireland assembly discussions are left with the planned UK general election?

  11. @CMS

    I very much doubt it. Conservatives will present themselves as defenders of the union and there is obviously a majority of unionists in Scotland at the minute. I expect the Conservatives to increase their vote north of the border and pick up a few seats

  12. @Shelts

    There are a lot of Lab seats where the Conservatives are second and the UKIP vote is bigger than the Lab majority.

    For example Ashfield has been Lab for all it’s existence apart from a 1977 by-election when the Conservatives briefly took it.

    The 2015 result was as follows:

    Lab 19,448
    Con 10,628
    UKIP 10,150
    LibDem 7,030
    Other 153

    Lab majority 8,820

    Now suppose the Kippers switch to Con, but the LibDems can’t bring themselves to switch to Lab (because Corbyn). It might flip the seat.

    All sorts of unexpected things could happen depending on how hard people work the seats.

  13. Fascinating election to come.

    Lots of sub-plots.

    Initial thoughts:not surprised. Suspect Labour are in real trouble in a lot of places. Lib Dems may make a Baker’s dozen. SNP will be under the microscope here.

  14. Well this moderate Labour-inclined Scotland voter is likely to vote LibDem in June.

    And I predict that the Tories will make no gains from SNP here. The majority of the electorate have been angered by Theresa May`s attitude in ignoring the Scotland 62/38% vote. And the fuss about proving rape to secure child benefits has been a Tory loser here.

    So my prediction for June in Scotland is 3 SNP losses to the LibDems, and 4 SNP losses to Labour.

    And I hope Nicola Sturgeon puts a mock referendum vote in place for June 8.

  15. Rumours abound that the Tories may have to deselect up to 24 current MP’s because of potential prosecution after the 2015 GE expenses issue.

  16. Here is Darlington which was last Conservative in 1983:

    2015 results

    Lab 17,637
    Con 14,479
    UKIP 5,392
    LibDem 1,966
    Green 1,444
    TUSC 223

    Lab majority 3,158

    Again, it’s doable if the UKIP vote shifts.

  17. Alister1948

    “Incidentally, I wonder how the Northern Ireland assembly discussions are left with the planned UK general election?”

    I doubt that even the existence of Northern Ireland had even a fleeting moment in May’s thoughts.

    This is, essentially, an English election designed to secure May’s authority in her largely English party, and the rest of us are instructed to have our own elections simultaneously – regardless of how that affects our polities.

    It’s a “UK” General Election in name only.

  18. I see Tony Blair is urging people to vote for any party that opposes Brexit.

    Never thought I’d see the day when Blair was urging people to vote SNP and Plaid!

  19. The ICM flash poll has made the average of the last poll from each of the 5 main pollsters
    Con 43.2
    Lab 26.4
    LD 10.8
    UKIP 10.0
    Gn 3.8

    Opinium and IpsosMori both had a couple of oddities – high Labour and very different figures for LD and UKIP. All this will be overtaken by a 7-week campaign with local elections in the middle. I remember the “who runs Britain” 1974 election where everything changed during the campaign.

  20. In the 2015 GE the SNP vote in West Aberdeenshire & Kinc was 5,000 less than the combined LibDem and Tory vote, and the Tory candidate had 16000 votes, the LibDem 12000 votes.

    The Tory candidate was a popular local, now an MSP.

    For our local Tory party quick decisions are required. Should the MSP try for Westminster, or should they hunt for a different candidate in the next fortnight.

    I reckon this seat is one very likely gain for the LibDems and the great majority of Remainers here wanting a soft Brexit.

  21. @Oldnat

    Given that Scottish Labour are now taking a ‘Brexit is happening, so let’s get on board’ approach, Blair’s comments must include not voting Scot Lab.

  22. @ Candy

    Picking up on your example, the electoral arithmetic is going to be extremely complicated and a nightmare for party strategists.

    Is 2015 Con – some Con remainers + some of 2015 UKIP more than 2015 Lab – won’t turn out for Corbyn + I can vote for Lab because it isn’t New Lab anymore.

  23. @ExileInYorks

    Yeah. I just picked those examples at random.

    The other factor is: how prepared are local parties to capitalise? If they’ve done preparation, they might pull it off, otherwise they’e relying on kippers to wander over on their own.

    Also. Lab has lots of money thanks to having yearly leadership elections where they charge people £25 a pop. I don’t think the Cons have as much (though I might be wrong).

  24. It should be clear that comparisons with the past are futile. There have been seismic shifts, such as Corbyn election, brexit vote, rise of nationalism and collapse of Labour north of the border, rise (and fall?) of UKIP. This election will be a re-baselining of the political landscape in UK. Historical performance is no indicator of future performance so the best guide of June performance are polls and not what happened in 2015 and before.

  25. A few comments:

    1. Blindingly obvious that this is because of the possible loss of majority due to the expenses scandal. The suggestion that this is to strengthen Brexit negotiations is specious at best – with an election coming there can be no meaningful negotiations at all for the next 2 months.

    2. Corbyn’s enthusiasm for an election can only be because (a) he is deluded; or (b) he and his team *want* a wipeout of the current crop of MPs, in the hope/expetation that a potential Corbynite successor will be able to get the necessary nominations in an electorally-purged HoC.

    3. Refusing to nod the election through would be a major embarrassment for May, and would be just the sort of electoral fillip that Labour needs (so under (b) above Corbyn cannot do that as it risks Labour doing better in the election). Forcing May to go for a no-confidence vote would also potentially wreck her timetable, adding to the embarrassment – parliament cannot be dissolved until at least 14 days after the n-c vote. Also, I can’t imagine having a lame-duck government in place for 14 days would be good for the Tories. And how much could be made in the campaign of the Tories not having confidence in May’s leadership?

    Glad to see many Labour MPs seem to be resisting Corbyn’s lemming instinct. It needs 217 MPs to not vote for it to stop it happening…

  26. CANDY

    Darlington is defiantly one to look out for.

    Wrexham of the top of my head as well.

    I reckon the general movements will be UKIP to CON, CON to LD. and whoever out of LD or LAB is in 2nd will receive the anti brexit vote. For May this is all about holding onto as many moderate remain voters as possible in London and the south, and winning as many brexit supporters in the north.

    Unfortunately this strategy may prevent her from gaining a large chunk of the Unionist vote in Scotland. If the conservatives poll in the mid 20’s in Scotland I reckon they may just end up with the 3 borders seats.

    Early predictions in Scotland SNP support in Scotland will dip slightly to the high 40’s with the conservatives being unable to really make any more ground from the mid to low 20’s. Labour in Scotland are finished. LD recovery possible if CON taint themselves with a heavy English campaign.

    Overall Labour will recover to the low 30’s in vote share, CON will dip to low 40’s high 30’s. UKIP below 10%.LD 13-14%

    In seats I will predict a CON majority of 30-40, above that it gets very difficult. Gains from LAB in Midlands and North, losses to LD in the south.

    Very interesting, quick campaign this one. Lots of different factors working against each other, Scotland will be really interesting, shame we don’t get enough polls!

  27. Vince Cable in Twickenham. Looking good I’d say.

  28. Definitely….

    A freudian slip!

  29. @oldnat

    As ever Alex Massie has an interesting Scottish Tory Unionist view on May ‘s decision:

    https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2017/04/general-election-will-vote-scottish-independence/

  30. Am I right to think that on the latest opinion polls there will be a swing of approximately 5% against Labour, which implies that they will lose approximately 100 seats?

    Also, will it be in the public interest to continue legal proceedings over legal expenses againt MPs who mght well have been re-elected before the case comes to court? And could successful prosecutions result in bye-elections in seats where the MP has been found guilty of impropriety in the General Election before last?!

  31. @Candy

    You can throw differential turnout between the myriad sub-segments of the electorate, and the relative motivation of the ground troops of the various parties after good or bad local elections into the mix too.

    Past form in the 2015 GE, and national VI changes since then will not be a particularly useful guide to how it plays out locally.

  32. Sorry.. at what point have polls been at any point useful over the last 10 or so years… Look forward to many pages of Brexit vitriol on here in the next 7.5 weeks… and beyond by whoever loses.

    CON up by 20-40, LIB up by 10 ish, LAB/SNP lose whatever the former won. UKIP nuffink. End.

  33. Several Facebook threads with comments from labour/ukip voting leavers particularly in the North East stating that in the GE they will hold their noses and vote Conservative just this once, otherwise Brexit won’t happen.

    Anecdotal, I know but smoke and fire etc.

    Which begs the question, is it known what percentage of Scots who vote SNP are either Unionists, or Brexiteers or both? Might they do the same thing? That could upset things in Scotland, if so.
    @OLDNAT?

    My view is that the GE turnout will be high. Both sides are passionate in what they believe in and will be reluctant to abstain.

    As a result, the Conservative will win pretty big. UKIP will be wiped out, Labour will lose many and the LDs will win a handful, maybe 15/20 in total from ‘Richmond’ type seats.

    So that’s a victory for May – she gets a bigger majority

    A victory for Farron – he doubles his mp numbers.

    And a victory for Corbyn – he gets rid of all his troublesome rightwingers. He has half the number of MPs but mostly in his image.

    He can plan for a glorious victory in 2022!

    Unfortunately Sturgeon is a loser as she loses seats as referred to above. Outflanked by May agin and independence even further distant.

  34. David Welch

    Thanks. The danger for the Unionists under FPTP is that the LDs and Tories split that vote, and let the SNP through the middle.

    If the UK had a sensible electoral system of PR, then the transfer voting between LD and Con would guarantee a Unionist win.

    Still, they love things done the Westminster way, so if it screws them – that’s what they chose!

  35. @ROBIN

    Corbyn clearly deluded to go for this. He’s toast now and will have to honourably resign when this reaches the inevitable conclusion?

  36. Frederic Stansfield

    I’m sure that the Tories would love the calling of a new GE to wipe out any previous sins.

    Whether the CPS in E&W publishes the charges that it has approved before 8 June remains to be seen, but if charges go ahead, and people are found guilty, wouldn’t you want the full force of the law to be directed against criminals?

  37. New thread

    Anthony’s keyboard must have benefitted from the long rest it had earlier today! :-)

  38. OldNat 9:08 – thanks, bet you’re right.

    Robin, Statgeek and others, UKPR at its best.

    BazinWales – yes, some echoes of the who governs Britain election, but I thought that was Edward Heath in 1970? Harold Wilson did succeed when he called on the electorate to give him a chance of a proper majority in 1966, after scraping home in 1964.

  39. @ OldNat

    There is an obvious lack of concern for Scotland (and also Northern Ireland) on TM`s part in calling a General Election.

    The parties here are, or were, concentrating on the May local elections that involve every council area, unlike England.

    Now on top of that many constituency parties have to select a candidate for June.

    And indeed 5 minutes ago I got a message in from Kezia: could you stand for us in June; please let us know by applying by FRIDAY midday.

    I also wonder if some of the present SNP MPs have had enough of Westminster, and don`t want to waste another five years as spectators of Tories fighting.

  40. Hireton
    Thanks for the link but it seems to be behind a paywall.

  41. @Robert Newark

    It isn’t. Just Google Alex Massie at the Spectator to see his Scottish Tory take on May ‘s decision.

  42. HIRETON @Robert Newark

    Oh Yes it is!

    As with the direct link you gave earlier it loads but before one can scroll down to read it a SUBSCRIBE caption comes up. Even if one registers, unlike the Times it gives no “free” views at all.

    New thread on the GE, BTW

  43. And Labour could win this election like 1945, especially if there are debates, like the lib dems jamp in 2010

  44. At the 2015 GE, I was a laughing stock until the votes came in. This time, some of my previous adversaries might be surprised about my predictions. If Corbyn is clever and introduces policies in his manifesto, which benefit and protect people who earn circa £30k-£35k per year and below, the it would not surprise me if labour can prevent the Conservatives from increasing their majority.