ICM’s weekly poll for the Guardian today has topline figures of CON 47%(nc), LAB 28%(nc), LDEM 8%(-1), UKIP 8%(nc). Changes are from the ICM poll for the Sun on Sunday, and clearly don’t show any meaningful change at all. The sharp narrowing in the Tory lead that YouGov was showing last week is clearly not echoed in ICM’s polling, which shows only a tiny drop from 21-22 points in their two polls last week to 19 points in their two polls this week. The full tabs are here.

ICM also had some questions on the campaign so far. Asked about whether the leaders were running a good or bad campaign Theresa May was the only one to get a positive rating (41% good, 22% bad). Jeremy Corbyn’s ratings were almost a mirror image (21% a good campaign, 40% a bad campaign); Tim Farron was 17% good, 28% bad; Paul Nuttall was 8% good, 31% bad. Most of these answers were, of course, rather partisan – Conservative voters think May is doing well, Labour voters think Corbyn is doing well, but it’s a useful reminder of how people interpret campaigns through their existing partisan filters. People are very forgiving of the failings of their “own side”, all to ready to see the missteps of the “other side” as disasterous.

140 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 47, LAB 28, LD 8 UKIP 8”

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    Macron certainly is a Europhile but he also appears to be somewhat of a realist as I posted yesterday, when he was quoted as saying that Frexit is inevitable unless there are major reforms to the EU.

  2. The difficulty with the re-entry scenario is that the EU are not saying,”please come back, and all is forgotten. You don’t even have to say love us, just stay close at hand.”

    The EU has long been concerned about the possibility of a state testing the water by invoking A50 and then scurrying back and inside. They will want to exact a price. Schengen membership? Euro membership? End of the rebate? Signing up to deeper integration? Ten year loss of veto rights? All of the above.


    Agreed. Every time Juncker opens his mouth , the Leave sentiment in this country is bolstered.

    There are some illuminating thoughts in today’s Times Letters:-

    Confidential Diplomacy will not be possible because the EU team has to inform so many stakeholders & layers of governance that anything said in talks will become public.
    Juncker’s response to May’s “Lets make Brexit a success” was “Brexit cannot be a success”. This is a fundamental objective for them.
    Juncker’s first call after the meeting with May was to Merkel-for him she is clearly the “boss”.

    Former UK Ambassador to Germany.

    The Commission has the wrong idea about UK withdrawal. UK is not committing a wrong against the EU for which it must pay. It is exercising a legal right available to any other State. Withdrawal under A50 is not even a unilateral right. It is a negotiated withdrawal in which each side seeks to protect its own interest in order to produce a result which serves their common interest.

    Prof. Emeritus of International Public Law. Cambridge University.

  4. @Robert Newark

    Do you really thing Merkel is acting like Hitler?!
    Or that – given the enormous sensitivities in Germany on this topic – saying so is remotely helpful?

    I guess it is this view that encapsulates one wing of the enormous spectrum of views in the UK at the moment….


    As usual a very sensible and thoughtful post on the desperation tactics of the EU, I agree with you in every sense except that i have been a hardline Leaver for 43 years.

  6. TOH
    You might be right but beware of things said by politicians trying to get elected especially against a left wing anti EU populist like Le Pen. And unless his party wins seats in the June elections, he might have difficulty getting parliamentary support for very much. He could end up as a lame duck, like Obama was for most of his term. My French neighbour sees it as the choice between the pestilence and the plague. She was probably a Fillon supporter.

  7. TOH we can tell you must have been on Tony Benn and Enoch Powell side back in 1975.

  8. WB: “I can console myself that I’m old and well-off enough to be pretty confident that the unfolding catastrophe will have little effect on me personally….. I am of the view that a no deal situation will prove incredibly damaging economically for a number of years”

    Yes, that’s my position too. I’ve shifted my pension and other savings into European and World funds and they have done very well from the decline in sterling. So I’m all right, Jack, and I can watch the Gadarene rush with reasonable equanimity.

    @TOH: “The sooner we leave the better. Of course what it really shows is how desperate they are for us to change our minds IMO.”

    This belief that the EU either owes us a favourable deal, or is desperate for us to stay, is – to use the mot du jour – simply delusional. If we want out, that’s what we’ll get (“in the fullest sense”).


    “This belief that the EU either owes us a favourable deal, or is desperate for us to stay, is – to use the mot du jour – simply delusional. If we want out, that’s what we’ll get (“in the fullest sense”).”

    That is the funniest post i have seen today. Keep it up. :-)

  10. Robert Newark/Tony Dean

    I agree with your comments about the EU approach and how it will sit with voters. I was a remain voter but I am hardening towards leave and would vote the latter in the unlikely event of a second referendum. The EU remind me of FIFA – half incompetent, half corrupt, and being involved with them a day longer than necessary is not a pleasant thought.

    But the EU approach is partly dictated by fear – they don’t like us but they don’t want us to leave,. Their club is under threat. They may not get their money. They are floundering in the dark and their absurd raising of the bill to 100 billion is an example of this. May is adopting a similar approach to the EU as she is to Labour – at this stage, come back with the odd retort and do very little else. I suppose we should still remember that neither the election campaign nor Brexit negotiations have actually begun.

  11. BFR
    I never mentioned the Austrian. Please don’t put words into my posts. I agree with you that given the sensitivities, such as they might still exist in Germany regarding past events, that one would think that they would endeavour to behave a little less arrogantly towards the UK.

  12. Somerjohn

    Of course the EU want us to stay in, they will lose the second largest budget contribution and the UK will be showing that it is possible to both survive and go in to better things after having left.

    Where we agree is that it looks likely that we will leave without a deal and for them no cash payout from us. It will be hard economically for a few years for us and to some extent to them and then in my view we will prosper. In the longer term our leaving will hasten the break-up of the EU which I believe to be inevitable.

  13. @ Bigfatron

    As the Maltese premier put it before he’s had to call a GE because of his wife’s alleged involvement in illegal offshore investments, “the EU vultures are circling Britain waiting for UK businesses to flounder.” The Germans are in the lead party with Nanny Merkel to the fore, considering we bailed them out in the fifties and helped rebuild their industrial core and then allowed the rest of their considerable war debt to be swept under the carpet on German reunification you’d have thought they would be a little more conciliatory towards us.

    The NI poll must be concerning for the Unionists as the main 2 parties combined only musters 43%?

  14. ROBERT NEWARK @ 9.59am

    Agreed-someone upthread likened Macron to Clegg-there is a difference. Macron has even less MPs!

    Attention now turns to The Assembly Elections. In the Presidentials , The French Socialist Party was crushed. Valls, its penultimate Prime Minister said “This is the end of the story”. The Party’s Gen. Sec. said it was “dead and well dead”.

    Can Macron use this disaster to get a load of En Marche MPs elected?

    That is the big question?

  15. DEZ

    Both in their own very different ways great parliamentarians.

  16. Megaphone Diplomacy continues from Barnier:-


  17. “I’m a newbie and was wondering if someone could answer some basic questions for me. As polling is mostly done over the internet do these figures reflect just those voters who engage with politics online? Don’t these voters tend to be more committed and partisan? How does YouGov reach the tranche of Labour voters who don’t engage with politics online? Are these the ones who are more likely to be swayed and switch? Is the Tory vote being underestimated? Thanks.”

    I’m afraid most posters here have lost interest in polling and only want to endlessly rehearse their views about leaving the EU.

    Internet pollsters are very aware of the point you raise, and indeed the conclusion of the inquiry into the general underestimation of the Conservative vote in 2015 was exactly that their sampling missed too many of the unengaged, who don’t appear on/respond to internet polling. If you read back (not on comments, but on Anthony Wells’ main posts) you can see more about this.

    YouGov seeks to enrol the politically unengaged on its panels by offering financial rewards for answering questions, most of which are nothing at all to do with politics. The basic response however has been to adjust the weightings (eg by education) to try and take account of this problem.

    Lastly I’d add that that the standard mantra of polling companies that they are not making predictions but taking snapshots is a nonsense, as all the adjustments (particularly for turnout) are in fact exactly predictions.

    Hope this helps.

  18. @COLIN

    The French system is not at all like ours. Mitterrand was able to govern with a centre right assembly because the idea of cross party alliances is central to French politics. Macron may only get a smattering of MPs but that will matter less than you would think. A right leaning assembly would help with his suggested reforms and that is what people expect to happen.

  19. @ Colin

    Interesting! If TM wants the latest accounts to be signed off properly that could cause a minor earthquake in Brussels. How long is it since this happened, must be a long time? It’s always been suspected that there’s a big hole in their accounts, are they expecting us to fill the big hole?

  20. @RN
    I simply went with the words that you used, but I can see that the gap between our views is too wide to be bridged on this occasion, so probably best to leave it.

  21. I’m finding the abusive anti-EU rhetoric from some posters on this site, especially the attacks on Germany, unpleasant to the point of being rac!st. I very much hope some of you will moderate your language and express your views more calmly.

  22. RMJ1

    I realise that cross party alliances are key there.

    But this is a man with no MPs at all yet.


    These “Committments” are a function of a rotten accounting system , and only exist because the formal Budget is to restrictive for their spendaholic tendencies.

  23. I think the moderator of this site should enforce a strict about-polling-only policy on posts. Its deteriorating into a general politics chat forum, and there are loads of those elsewhere. As it is ‘UK Polling Report’ that it is what it should be limited to. All this stuff about EU approach to brexit, the french election, etc should not be here.

  24. TOH I agree very clever men from differing side of politics.

  25. @Colin

    Every time Juncker opens his mouth, the Brexiteers may think ‘told you so’ but so do the Remainers. Because we believe that what he is saying is self-evidently true and what we said all along.

    So the Remainers become more convinced they are right and more passionate. And the Brexiteers more convinced they are right.

    So I think the real effect will be greater polarisation of opinion rather than a shift towards Brexit.

  26. Surely politics is getting worse when Kelvin Mackenzie comments about knifing Corbyn to death.

    [You may have been able to end that sentence after the first nine words… AW]

  27. @baldbloke

    But polling is boring without the banter that goes with it? Like PMQs without any argy bargy despite what Bercow says.

  28. Patrick Brian
    Your post at 10.47 is obviously a pop at me. i just think it odd that you wave the old racist card when Brits and Germans are of the same race.

    That aside, you obviously consider the attacks on May et al by Junker and his boss to be quite ok but it is not ok to either point out that it is not ok, or to tell a few home truths the other way.

    And now Barnier is at it as per link above.

    This all has to do with polling because they are trying to influence the result of another country’s election. Fortunately they are so ignorant of the British physce they do not realise that they may well have the opposite effect of what they intend. Hence the relevance of my earlier reference to our not responding to bullying tactics and the evidence of it from history. It just makes our resolve stronger.

  29. Very interesting article by City Editor Anthony Hilton in the Evening Standard last night….headed…’ Hit from hard Brexit could be softer than feared ‘.
    Quoting Graham Gudgin and Ken Coutts of Cambridge University’s Centre for Business Research and Neil Gibson of Ulster University, examining the impact of Britain operating under WTO rules..
    Too long to post here, but their conclusion is, that though a hard Brexit falling back on WTO rules might cause a drop by 2025 of perhaps 2% in total output as measured by GDP, most will probably not notice any difference because per capita GDP will hardly fall at all.
    An article based on this research will shortly be published by Policy Exchange.
    Anthony Hilton’s archive: standard.co.uk/author.anthony-hilton

  30. New Panelbase Poll

    Con 47%
    Lab 30%
    LD 10%
    UK 5%
    Grn 2%

  31. Gareth Hartwell

    “So I think the real effect will be greater polarisation of opinion rather than a shift towards Brexit.”

    I have some sympathy for the posts by JOHN CHANIN & BALDBLOKE about the current Brexit discussion and plead guilty to having been drawn into it. The point you raise gives me the opportunity to get back to polling.

    The evidence for your contention is mixed, looking at Brexit for or against, the voters remain split at approx 50:50 so that supports you view. However looking at TM’s polling she has very strong leads on her role as PM and as best person to manage Brexit talks, and bearing in mind that she clearly accepts that Brexit means leaving the EU in the fullest sense (see the White Paper) this points to people accepting we are leaving and wanting her to get on with it. A number of us have posted anecdotal evidence to that effect and to some Remainers changing sides. Polling for the LD’s who are the most clear of the parties on the Remain side appears to be faltering if anything looking at the last five ICM polls, where there support has dropped from 11% to 8% suggesting that their main platform is not resonating with the voters as a whole.
    The next few polls may tell us more.

  32. Question for Brexiteers.

    What do you think are the three main issues in the Brexit negotiations, what you would call Britains Red Lines?

    So Labour now on 30%, the gaps slowly closing, if only the can delay the election till June 2023 they will be in with chance!


  33. Question for Brexiteers.
    What do you think are the three main issues in the Brexit negotiations, what you would call Britains Red Lines?

    No change of sovereignty for NI or Gibraltar without their agreement

    No blanket freedom of movement (the elephant in the brexit vote room)

    Any future contribution to budgets/funds to be net neutral

  34. Reply for Peter.

    I think your asking the wrong questions but Barnier has stated the first three priorities in order to meet “sufficient progress” are 1/ Citizen’s rights, 2/ Settlement of “bill”, 3/ NI border.

    In terms of these 3items the UK’s “red lines” for this initial stage my guess would be:
    1/ None (thats what we’ve wanted all along)
    2/ Not to be “seen to be” paying to much to leave
    3/ This one is more difficult and especially as I note SNP in brackets I suspect May/Davis will have trouble finding a balance between offering something for NI that EU find acceptable that doesn’t force them to cave in to SNP and doing that quickly so we can move on to talk trade

  35. Actually Robert Newark, we are all the same race – the human race.
    If you are meaning that the majority of Germans and Brits are white- why not just say so.

  36. Question for Remainers:

    How would a 2nd Referendum work? Now Article50 has been triggered the countdown to Mar’19 has begun and from a legal perspective the only way to stop/reverse the process is to receive unanimous approval from all 27 countries.

    So what question would be asked to the public in late 2018?

    If a “Remain” box is to be included on the ballot – doesn’t that really mean “ask to Revoke”?
    Is the other binary option to be “Leave (on negotiated deal” or do we need to have a 2nd question that covers the “deal/no deal” option of leaving?

    I think a lot of potential LibDem voters are confused by exactly what the 2nd referendum would ask and exactly what it would mean in terms of negotiating with the EU27 if we can (at the 11th hour) actually stay

    I have a lot of Remain friends who simply think the process would be too difficult and too detrimental to the UK to try and stop/reverse it now. They are “undecideds” at this point.

  37. Question for Brexiteers continued

    oh and er…. they must allow our ex pats to stay and vice versa

    If I’m only allowed three red lines than I will drop the budget neutral

  38. New thread guys

  39. Thank god for a poll!

    More evidence of a Labour recovery, Tories rock steady, UKIP slump also evidenced, and LDems retracing slightly and certainly not surging…

  40. Joseph1832,
    “The EU has long been concerned about the possibility of a state testing the water by invoking A50 and then scurrying back and inside. They will want to exact a price. ”

    My own long term gaming has always included the possible outcome of a UK which needs to rejoin at pretty much any price, and will inevitably do so on worse terms than currently. The longer the process goes on before a U turn, the bigger the price.

    I found it interesting that todays news was reporting that the hike in leaving fees is not due to the EU but to various members tacking on extra items when it was sent out for consultation.

    What we have as a member is voting rights and vetoes which give us enormous power in the EU. This in particular seems to be what we shall give up.

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