There is also a new ICM poll for the Sun on Sunday. Topline figures there are CON 47%(-1), LAB 28%(+1), LDEM 9%(-1), UKIP 8%(+1), GRN 4%(+1), conducted “at the end of the week”. Changes are from the ICM poll at the start of the week. While the Tories are down one and Labour up one (and the Conservative lead therefore dips below the twenty point mark), it’s a far smaller drop than we’ve seen in the YouGov polling this week.

394 Responses to “ICM/Sun on Sunday – CON 47, LAB 28, LDEM 9, UKIP 8”

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  1. @Catmanjeff,

    None of us want it to get nasty I agree.

    However I think there is a big difference between supporting the aims of organisations while not supporting their violent methods, and unambiguously stating that violent methods are justified and convicted terrorists are heroes.

    But I think all of this is a bit off topic. Let us agree that the campaign is better held on policies – unless it transpires that someone’s views or actions make them unfit for senior office obviously.

  2. I see in the latest YouGov poll tabs that 51% want to stay in the Single Market (Freedom of Movement and all) while only 26% want out. The Customs Union is even more popular.

  3. AndrewW111: “I see in the latest YouGov poll tabs that 51% want to stay in the Single Market (Freedom of Movement and all) while only 26% want out. The Customs Union is even more popular.”

    And 46& against 22% favour “no deal is better than a bad deal”.

    There is no question on immigration, which might throw up a more blatantly contradictory answer.

    I think as per Yes Prime Minister, opinion polls have asked for outcomes which are not compatible. For example – I do not think that Customs Union but no Single Market is even vaguely on the table. (Although Single Market minus customs union is a possibility, as per the EEA.)

  4. @Candy

    The Anglo-Irish Agreement isn’t the Good Friday Agreement.

    All that link shows is that he supported (and may still support) a united Ireland, as I do and so do many other people.

    So what is your point precisely?

  5. @Candy

    This is a link to JC’s Parliamentary contributions to the Good Friday Agreement:

    He clearly supports it.

  6. @CatManJeff

    He supports achieving those ends through killing. See


    Corbyn was general secretary of the editorial board of the hard-left journal Labour Briefing which supported IRA violence and explicitly backed the Brighton Hotel Bombing, which killed 5 people and maimed 31 others. In its December 1984 leader, the editorial board ‘disassociated itself’ from an article criticising the Brighton bombing, saying the criticism was a ‘serious political misjudgement’. The board said it ‘reaffirmed its support for, and solidarity with, the Irish republican movement’, and added that ‘the British only sit up and take notice when they are bombed into it’. Alongside its editorial, the board reprinted a speech by Gerry Adams describing the bombing as a ‘blow for democracy’. The same edition carried a reader’s letter praising the ‘audacity’ of the IRA attack and stating: ‘What do you call four dead Tories? A start.’ They had previously printed the following:

    We refuse to parrot the ritual condemnation of ‘violence’ because we insist on placing responsibility where it lies…. Let our Iron Lady know this: those who live by the sword shall die by it. If she wants violence, then violence she will certainly get.

    end quote

    Pretty clear isn’t it?

  7. @Candy

    There are a whole load of things in the Spectator articles (that independent magazine with no political bias of course…) that are open to interpretation.

    This isn’t the place for that, but it’s clear a person could draw a range of conclusions.

    Let’s leave it there.

  8. The Lib Dems might find themselves gaining a few seats, losing a few more and finding themselves stuck where they were or with an MP or two less.

    Labour is starting to turn bow on to that Tory party tidal wave but they have a long way to go.

    Why did May not just have a normal sized election campaign of three or four weeks? Labour would then have had no chance of winning.

  9. Candy

    You forgot to admit that you were wrong on the Good Friday agreement and Corbyn.

    Now purely about the facts about Labour Briefing. Firstly, it quite unclear if Corbyn was still involved in 1984. Secondly, while that article (more so the letters) was distasteful, and obviously bad in Labour Briefing, either you or your source forgot to mention that the same issue’s editorial article distanced the paper from the article (perhaps could have been stronger).

    In general, I’m with Richelieu on this. “Give me three lines from a man, and I will find the reason to execute him.”

    In general, I think Corbyn is more vulnerable on Trident, than on the IRA, Hamas, etc.

  10. Thomas
    ‘Why did May not just have a normal sized election campaign of three or four weeks? Labour would then have had no chance of winning.’

    She had no choice. The FTPA stipulates that there have to be 25 days – ie 5 weeks excluding Bank Holidays – between Dissolution and Polling Day.

  11. Joseph,
    The question on the Single Market is a simple choice and properly explained.

    Whereas the “no deal/bad deal” question is typical Theresa May vapidity and it beats me why pollsters keep repeating it..

  12. “In general, I think Corbyn is more vulnerable on Trident, than on the IRA, Hamas, etc.”

    He’s more vulnerable on Hamas and Hizbollah which are active designated international terrorist organisations than he’s on IRA.

  13. And may I add Hamas and Hizbollah continuously call for the destruction of Israel.

  14. Graham,
    She could have called the dissolution much earlier though! It does not happen till Wednesday!

    Or she could have waited a bit longer before making her announcement. Maybe she thought Labour might not be so foolish as to go along with it and she would have to engineer a vote of no confidence in herself?

  15. Mactavish,

    Actually I think (rightly or wrongly) he will lose more WWC votes over the IRA that generally had a much bigger impact on British Society than Hamas…

  16. I can see Labour getting a Kinnock-esque 31% or so, but as he found, that was nowhere good enough to gain power. There’s only so many Labour waverers, and once they’re decided, who’s left? I doubt they would pick many Conservative voters away, certainly not enough to make much difference.

    So perhaps not a landslide, but a substantially increased Conservative majority is in view.

  17. It seems that a few contributors on this site are getting themselves a bit excited about a small uptick in labour’s rating just as others were getting carried away with the notion of a 50% rating for the tories , I would suggest that the vast majority of the electorate have probably made up their minds and that recent trending figures for conservative 40-45 labour 25-30 lib/dems 10/15 ukip 5/10 are somewhere in the ballpark which points to a comfortable conservative majority.

  18. marco flynn

    “which points to a comfortable conservative majority.”

    That seems t6o be the likely scenario for England., while the SNP have a comfortable majority in Scotland.

    Wales looks interesting, while Northern Ireland always does its own thing.

  19. The Lib Dems will not achieve much as the conservative surge as usual will destory their efforts. The only way we will have an effective opposition will be if the labour party accepts it is useless and incompetent and allows the Liberal party to recover its position. In the 19th century we had good government .
    Now we have no balance because we have an ineffective opposition.

  20. Have to admit my surprise at the LD trend.

    I wasn’t expecting a return even to 2010 levels, but it has felt over the past nine months or so that there’s a rallying around the LDs as the party which will provide effective opposition on the question of how we go about the Brexit process. Wwhether that’s true in practise or not, or they’re simply Brexit’s most vocal opponents, is another question entirely and certainly a highly political one. Combine that with the elections that have taken place since, and I expected the polling difference from 2015 to be more obvious.

  21. Good Morning all.
    Sunny May Day here in Bournemouth at the moment.
    I think that many of Corbyn’s statements and actions such as going to IRA celebrations and referring to ‘friends’ in Hamas; were in the days that he never expected to be Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition

  22. An article here given the context tothe claims made against Corbyn and his alleged support for terrorist organisations.
    ”I’m not the first to notice how sloppy and biased the coverage has been. An LSE survey recently published found that 74% of broadsheet and tabloid newspaper articles ‘offered either no or a highly distorted account of Corbyn’s views and ideas’, that only 9% were ‘positive’ in tone, and that throughout this coverage he has been ‘systematically ridiculed, scorned and the object of personal attacks….
    I find it deeply troubling that, of all things, Corbyn should be attacked for supporting violent and hateful organisations and individuals when he has spent so much of his political career fighting for free speech and trying to bring about the conditions necessary for peace in many different parts of the world.
    It’s hard not to conclude?—?given how aware most journalists and politicians are of this fact?—?that those responsible for circulating these accusations are guilty of political point-scoring of the lowest order.’.

    It does go into detail about the allegations, worth a read if for nothing else than to realise that by cherry picking and taking quotes out of context you can make things seem what they really are not. For the record I am not a Corbyn supporter I think he is a terrible leader, but he is also a conviction politican and a man with guiding principles.

    Unfortunately the press has form for such attacks on Labour leaders, Millibands dad being the most obvious one but there are others. I am also sure that such reporting it can have an effect on the election.

  23. @”THOMAS”

    A favour. Although I post only occasionally I have posted as “Thomas” since the 2010 election. Any chance you could add a qualifier so we can tell each other apart? Maybe “Continuity Thomas”? :-)

  24. The latest polls show Labour on 30%, and they may very well achieve this at the GE. However, I don’t think that UNS is very helpful in this GE.

    Labour currently holds a large number of seats in Leave areas where there was a substantial UKIP vote at the last GE, in Wales, the North of England and English Midlands. These are vulnerable to a collapse in the UKIP vote and consequent net Lab to Con swing. Labour is likely to retain seats that it currently holds in London and other pro-Remain metropolitan areas (e.g. the southern part of Greater Manchester).


    “Hamas and Hizbollah continuously call for the destruction of Israel.”

    Most people in the UK don’t give a damn about this, so it won’t hurt Corbyn. His sympathies may help retain the Muslim vote.

  25. Wow, who wrote the Daily Mail editorial this morning must’ve had tears in their eyes as they wrote it, they seem very upset the EU is following it’s rules.

  26. Any increased majority is a success for May given that it gives her more power and kicks the next election two years further down the road meaning (i) there won’t be electoral pressure driving the deal terms and (ii) there will be a 3 year period post leaving the EU before the next election and therefore enough time to get through any near-term hiccups.

  27. Pete

    I read all the politics in the DM this morning. Basically it was showing delight at May’s firm approach to the EU stance and the repeating of No Deal is better than a Bad deal. I found it a splendid read personally, one of it’s better days. QL was in particularly good form IMO.


    Looking at all yesterdays polls it looks as though the possible Tory majority is coming down to about 100 rather than 130. I suspect May would be happy with that. Not saying that would be the outcome but IMO a reasonable view of what yesterdays polls were saying.


    On the single market and customs union it’s the way you ask the question. I don’t think either will apply after the negotiation.

    Interesting figures from Scottish Panel Base Question
    Scotland, constitutional pref:
    Independent & in the EU: 41%
    Independent & out the EU: 10%
    In the UK & out the EU: 48% (Panelbase 18-21/04)
    A 8% preference for in the UK and out of the EU? Whats happening in Scotland?

  28. To all – Can we NOT have a debate about exactly what Jeremy Corbyn’s past attitude to the IRA has been (or whether it is acceptable or not, correct or not). It is not the sort of thing that is amenable to non-partisan discussion. What the wider public think of it, whether it might influence their views of Corbyn, whether they are aware of it at all, etc… that’s obviously all fine. Just please don’t fill up the place with comments about whether or not you personally agree with him, defending or condemning him.

    Thomas/Graham – It was the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013, which increased the timetable between writ and polling day from 17 days to 25 days. This was originally proposed by the electoral commission in 2003 in order to bring the timetable in line with local elections, given they were in practice often on the same day. At the time the government rejected the idea, but in 2011 they accepted it on the grounds of giving extra time for the administration of postal votes, which under the old timetable had an extremely tight turnaround for service and overseas voters.

  29. Laszlo

    “In general, I think Corbyn is more vulnerable on Trident, than on the IRA, Hamas, etc.”

    This, as I have said for nearly two years now, is the elephant in the room. Whether one is for or against Trident personally you have to accept the reality that Corbyn’s views make him unelectable because the vast majority of the UK public don’t share them and won’t risk the outcome.

    More than any other single thing this is why Labour are crazy to have him as a leader; it is a pointless gesture which the polls demonstrate very clearly.

    Also, as I wrote previously, he has not made any effort at all to bring the public around to his view – or any other come to that. He just doesn’t “get” the necessity for messaging via media even though that is an essential part of modern politics.

  30. I have been thinking about the “Shy Tory” effect for a while, and my perception is that this is something that mainly seems to occur when we have a Conservative government. This makes a lot of sense, when Labour are in power they will have a record for soft Con voters to object to resulting in Con support being quite robust and picked up by opinion polls. But when the Tories are in power there is no Labour record to upset soft Tories, only a Conservative record that might leave supporters underwhelmed leading to soft Con voters indicating they are don’t knows or flirting with other parties. When the GE comes however they return home resulting in higher VI than the polls were predicting.

    Thus while Labour were in power throughout the 00’s the polls were relatively accurate as the ‘Shy Tory’ effect was suppressed, only to catch pollsters unaware in 2015 when the effect returned in force.

  31. I thought the shy tory effect had been discounted during the polling investigations, but could be wrong. Even so if anything I think there maybe a shy Labour effect this time, Corbyn is seen by many as a terrible leader, lacking in charisma and other qualities associated with being a good leader. It is difficult to admit to supporting Labour in that scenario. Either way seems to me the effect this will have on polling is hard to guage.

    Still think it will be a comfortable tory win, but probably closer to a 50 seat majority than a 150 seat majority some were forecasting.

    [NeilJ – you remember correctly. The inquiry rejected shy Tories as a possible explanation in favour of sampling problems – AW]

  32. Clear signs of a modest Labour recovery – I posted a week or so ago that JC had started well. The campaign trail suits him.

    The big news is the rather dismal performance of the LDs thus far. The locals have become suddenly very important – without real success, they will have no momentum. Farron has had a poor beginning, and he needs to change perceptions: less earnest, and stop talking endlessly about Hard/Soft Brexit. Keep saying Labour are finished.

    As per what constitutes a Tory success, any modest improvement on their current majority will be one.

    1. Two more years, eliminating electoral pressures from the Brexit negotiations
    2. A personal mandate for TM from the electorate.
    3. As @Adam points out, a significant post-deal period in which to build support.
    4. A modest win might keep JC at the helm of Labour.
    5. The centrist elements within the PLP will hate the idea of five more years under JC, and trouble could ensue.
    6. UKIP effectively extinguished from the political scene.

    So a majority of 20-40 will be perfectly acceptable to the Tories, although I anticipate a larger win.

  33. CROFTY, exactly. Corbyn and his time can’t do sound bites. They don’t know how and after 30 years of being an MP it really is poor that he’s learnt nothing.

    TOH, I don’t read QL. I find him smarmy and a fool, so don’t waste my time. I doubt most in the country think no deal is a good idea, we’ll see.

  34. CROFTY: I think you overestimate how important Trident renewal is to most people. Politicians often have views that are not widely shared, the key thing is whether people care about them enough for it to affect their vote.

    I agree with your general conclusion, namely that the polls are accurate when we have a Labour government but underscore Conservative governments. I believe there is, however, a different explanation. There are two pulls on the polls, namely the “Shy Tory” and the status quo (incumbency). When Labour is in power the two pulls counterbalance each other, but when the Conservatives are in the pulls go in the same direction. The polls were notoriously inaccurate in 1992 and 2015. The last time the polls underestimated the Labour vote was in February 1974, and that was distorted by the miners’ strike.

    I see in the latest YouGov poll tabs that 51% want to stay in the Single Market (Freedom of Movement and all) while only 26% want out….

    I agree that this may well change by virtue of the question itself changing as well as the anti-EU press ceasing to ask it [or suppressing it if they don’t like the answer]. However, it may well be a pointer to indicate that May is less concerned about a Lab revival than taking the opportunity to hoover up UKIP votes at a time when that party seems weaker than it has been for many years.

    Should she find that a “soft”, Swiss-style, exit from the EU is the only one which makes economic sense, UKIP will doubtless revive, but from its lowest base in a decade and hardly in a good place to make waves.

  37. I will try to bring this back to voting intention and poll accuracy in the punchline. The polls are broadly correct at the moment. VI may change before June 8 in which case present polls can not be blamed.
    The polls will not change while Leave Tories, Leave Labour and Ukip voters buy the real Theresa May-Hammond message that Leave means Leave. They have sold this very successfully even though it seems to have no chance of standing up to scrutiny.
    Strong and stable is a distraction message to avoid scrutiny on their Leave actually means Remain except in name policy.
    The three clear reasons the PM wants a new mandate, even with one extra seat are:
    1. to dump he 2015 manifesto promises;
    2. to have a personal mandate; to clean the books over the alleged 2015 General Election expense scandal about to break but now rendered irrelevant as regards the party brand as opposed to individual party workers; and MPs who can be thrown overboard;
    3. so that she can tell the 20 or so genuine Leavers in the Tory Parliamentary party (as opposed to Remainers and agnostic careerists) she can and will ignore them and negotiate a Remain in all but name. She intends to rob them of their veto over her negotiation deal.
    I think May and Hammond see it as their duty. The Tory Parliamentary party and Cabinet is still mostly remain (except in name) and far removed from the Leave mentality in the constituency branch and 2 out of 3 Tory voters, let alone returning Ukippers. However, this has not got across to the Ukip voters nor
    Leave Tories nor Leave Labour voters who will vote Tories just this once.
    If it does break then VI may switch. Ukip would need to do a big pitch on this and so far have not got this message out at all. So they are losing their 2015 support and failing to win Leave Labour. Thus polls are broadly accurate at the moment.
    Farage, Gisela Stuart, Aaaron Banks are sitting out this election campaign and the PM is doing only limited media and no debates.
    So the real negotiating aim is not going to come out and to reignite the Leave hardcore to vote (I assume Ukip) to push for a real hard Brexit.
    Watch for Associate Member or similar in the new EU Treaty beyond the 2009 Lisbon Treaty which starts to be discussed post French-German elections and drafted and then agreed by the 27 member governments and EU Parliament. It will be in force before 2022. The PM still is where she was 12 months ago. She will take Associate Membership which means no tangible change.
    However, the Leavers who count are all in the Tory party and even the Cabinet. They have to circle the wagon around the PM and can not before the General Election rock the boat.
    Corbyn can not nail the PM on areas where she is weak with Tory and Ukip voters. International aid while axing school budgets and tangibly increasing class sizes from September.
    Moreover cutting police by 22 000 since August 2011 riots. Corbyn is not pro-police having been arrested himself. Ukip could score very big if they go on this.
    The Chancellor is banking on big tax rises to end deficit and to cut spending which is still £50 billion borrowing each year over revenue. The cumulative government debt at interest is £2 trillion which is around 5 times what it was in 2001. The real big cuts are coming. The Tories will be very unpopular in the next midterm but this Parliament will see the PM and Chancellor into their late 60s so they can do what they see as their national duty.
    But given this is a scrutiny light, debate light election campaign, that the PM and Chancellor will seek and deliver a real Leave deal is the real message which they have got across and why the polls give the Tories a huge lead.
    It is blind faith but holding.
    In an election today the polls would be reflected in voting provided turnout is on a par with 2015.

  38. Pete

    Obviously QL is a matter of personal taste. I find him very amusing at times and quite a good theatre critic as well.

    Looking at the latest You Gov the No deal question gives 46% for No deal is better than a bad deal and only 22% against that, so the voters don’t appear to agree with you at the moment.


    Agreed except I think anything less than 40 majority wiuld be a disapointment to them. Like you i expect a larger majority.

  39. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) reporting on last Wednesday’s meeting between Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker claims that Mrs May expressed the view that she did not owe any money to EU member states.

    It would appear that for the EU are slowly waking up to the UK’s starting position for the negotiations.


    I think we’re on much the same wavelength there.

    The $64,000 question is whether the anti-EU press will switch to supporting a UKIP revival in time for it to have any effect on the GE.

    Unlikely, I suspect because they seem to hate Lab more than UKIP.

  41. JO

    I don’t think Trident as such makes the difference, but Trident as a symbol of defence policy, and as Crofty and Pete wrote, Corbyn hasn’t been able too create a discourse on this (and unfortunately on many other things – ideas, not policies – as the yesterday fiasco on the maximum wage difference between operators and CEOs policy showed).

  42. @TOH

    If you read the whole article, the meeting was very embarrassing for May. She seemed clueless as to the complexities of the process.

  43. Jonathon Suart Brown

    “so that she can tell the 20 or so genuine Leavers in the Tory Parliamentary party (as opposed to Remainers and agnostic careerists) she can and will ignore them and negotiate a Remain in all but name. ”

    I think that is a total misunderstanding of May’s & the Tories position on the EU negotiations. Time will tell who is right of course.

  44. RAF

    I am afraid i think the EU are totally clueless about May’s position.

  45. The question ” in the single market” is capable of confusion and may well sweep up those who want to be a member of the SM and those who want access to the SM. Both can be said to want t be in the single market.

  46. S THOMAS

    In an earlier post to Andre111 i pointed out it’s the “way you ask the questio”, making the same point.

  47. @Joseph1832,
    What’s your basis for saying that the customs union is off the table? Isn’t Turkey a member of the EU customs union (except for agricultural products) while being part neither of the EU nor of the EEA?


    The FAZ reports rather more than what you have selected. A series of 30 tweets by Jeremy Cliffe gives a lot more detail about the dinner, which indeed seems to have not been a meeting of minds, and, if accurate, does not augur well for a deal. Worth checking out. Here are another couple of points reported by Cliffe:

    “May seems to be labouring under some really rather fundamental misconceptions about Brexit & the EU27.”
    “Juncker’s team now think it more likely than not that Brexit talks will collapse & hope Brits wake up to harsh realities in time.”


    I have always expected that a deal was unlikely which of course will mean real economic pain for both the EU and the UK. In the long term IMO the UK will make a sucess of leaving. I suspect that many thinking Brexiters like myself will have come to that conclusion before the referendum.

    If the EU does take an intransigent attitude to the negotiations as i expect then I believe that will harden UK attitudes against the EU fueled by the UK Press.

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