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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  1. After Dianne Abbott’s cringing and totally abject interview today, Labour have lost any small credibility and/or momentum possibly reflected in a marginal narrowing of last week’s polls. I expect the Conservatives to poll back in the +20s over Labour this week. Abbott should hang her head in shame – as if Labour didn’t have enough of a mountain to climb already!

  2. “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 disastrous.

    ———–

    Well no, it could be that supporters of one party are rather more partisan and those of another are rather more objective.

    Like, to take a more obvious example, there were those who believed in a flat earth and those who believed it was round. I would like to see you try and explain how both sorts were equally partisan.

    Also, as an aside, it’s possible party supporters want different things. Some may like May’s performance in terms of garnering votes, others may like Corbyn’s supposedly “authentic” approach, for want of a better characterisation, regardless of electability.

    Is this partisan though? It’s not necessarily an unfair prejudice, but could simply be prioritising different things. If May suddenly took to sitting on train floors, and peeps who had formerly criticised Corbyn for that suddenly decided it was ok for May to do it, that might be a bit partisan.

    (Actually, Hislop has been on about this sort of thing, noting how suddenly it’s ok to talk about price caps on energy…)

  3. Dianne was in some difficulty and she wasn’t at her sharpest today – but she is human. But when an interviewer is keen to undermine and disrupt the essential message you are trying to get across by scrambling your head about figures rather than the thrust of the policy itself – it is a known technique to tangle up someone whose message when you don’t really want them to be able to get that view across in a positive way. The media justify it as genuine robust scrutiny of policy, but really it is just plain entertainment by doing a demolition job on someone you don’t favour. It also hands those you do favour more ammunition against the unfortunate victim who wasn’t at her best but was trying to get her message across.

  4. I think the polls might return to a Tory lead of just over 20 after Abbott’s poor showing today.

  5. I have looked at these polling results and cannot work out the vital bit about whose running the best campaign so far. The vital question is not what the entire spectrum of voters think, but what do the Undecideds think? Can anyone interpret this from ICMs figures?

  6. @Tony Dean

    “But when an interviewer is keen to undermine and disrupt the essential message…”

    Except that didn’t apply. The interviewer hardly said anything. He just stayed quiet and let Abbott shoot herself in the foot, repeatedly.

  7. Good Evening everyone after a fast run around part of Bournemouth East and neighbouring Christchurch, with no election posters to be seen.

    TONY DEAN.
    Hello to you. I think a party’s polling prospects would be enhanced if the actual cost and funding of a proposal was clear and repeated clearly in every interview in a ‘message note’ form as Morrison and his Grandson Mandelson used to do. IMO.

  8. I think people are massively overestimating the impact of one fluffed interview, when the policy behind it was both coherent and costed.

  9. “I think people are massively overestimating the impact of one fluffed interview”

    Exactly – it’s irrelevant media fluff. More to the point, this is exactly the thing that people see through a partisan prism. Tory supporters will think it shows that Diane Abbott is a complete incompetent who shouldn’t be allowed near power… but they thought that anyway. Labour supporters will think it shows the press deliberately trying to trip up a politician and laugh at them making an innocent mistake rather than fairly report the meat of the policy proposal. Most swing voters probably didn’t see or hear it at all.

  10. JO

    It is not coherent (no explanation for the need of the officers – there could be, but was not provided).

    Not properly costed. Probably the laundry and the repair of the uniforms would swallow up most of the 300 million.

    ———-
    While we can all make errors like the one Abbott made, she is the shadow home secretary – she should be writing the press release on police, not looking for the figures in it (there were no figures, by the way).

  11. Sadly for the Labour party, the real takeaway from Diane Abbott getting a lot of publicity for an interview is probably to remind the voting public that Diane Abbott is their proposed Home Secretary. Diane Abbott? Seriously?

    I think most police officers would rather have 10,000 fewer colleagues than have Diane Abbott as Home Secretary. Unlike some roles in politics, it’s an actual job, with actual practical responsibilities.

    There are a dozen shadow cabinet positions where Diane Abbott wouldn’t be a drag on Labour support. The Home Office is not one of them, in my opinion.

  12. Good evening all from a mild and slightly damp Winchester.

    Another good poll for the Tories and disaster for the Lib/Dems. They don’t appear to be making any headway at all and even the locals now look like being a car crash for them with the party look set to lose seats rather than gaining any.

    Tim Farron had a smile wider than Eric Pickles waist when the election was called because he thought his party would pick up disgruntled remain voters, this now looks remote

    For Labour this poll still confirms the huge gap between them and the Tories but I’m almost certain the gap will close the nearer we get to polling day but there is no disputing that this election is already over as a contest.

    I still think there is some juice in this election with the CPS investigation to conclude before polling day. 30 Tory MP’s must be having sleepless nights…. Fun times ahead.

  13. Peter Cairns SNP

    I posted at great length to you why I am not interested in long debates I am sure nobody wants me to repeat it all. This site is for talking about polling not long debates about whether or not certain things will happen. I had the same problem with Assiduosity who no longer posts after AW agreed with me that this is not a debating society. I try and keep my posts short and to the point although I do sometimes put in a longer piece about economic news which some find interesting.

    If you don’t like it I am afraid that’s too bad.

  14. “More to the point, this is exactly the thing that people see through a partisan prism. Tory supporters will think it shows that Diane Abbott is a complete incompetent who shouldn’t be allowed near power… but they thought that anyway. Labour supporters will think it shows the press deliberately trying to trip up a politician and laugh at them making an innocent mistake rather than fairly report the meat of the policy proposal.”

    ———

    And they might both be both be right, because both things can be true at the same time, so it doesn’t necessarily automatically imply partisanship.

    Even if Tories think Abbot handled it badly, this isn’t automatically partisan, if it’s true. (I haven’t seen it yet, and am trying to avoid spoilers!!)

    Partisanship might more properly be revealed if given a Tory politician performing similarly, Tory supporters might be rather more forgiving…

  15. Anthony Wells

    While I think that in general such media bits are neither here nor there, but when a party is fighting against a public perception (not media), I doubt that it can make such a mistake (considering that the vote most likely come from the undecided, the third of ex Labour voters, and some from LibDem and Greens).

    It is more about confirming existing beliefs, when the question is changing those beliefs.

  16. @ALLAN CHRISTIE

    “Another good poll for the Tories and disaster for the Lib/Dems. They don’t appear to be making any headway at all and even the locals now look like being a car crash for them with the party look set to lose seats rather than gaining any.”

    The third party squeeze – nothing new.
    For some reason most people are placing their faith in May, thinking that she is a new Maggie. Guess what? She is no Maggie.

    This is a ribber stamp, not an election. Wait until 2022 for the real election.

  17. [snip – this is not helpful. If there are silly partisan comments please ignore them – responding just draws attention to them and makes my job of moderating stuff more time consuming – AW]

  18. Anthony Wells

    I think you are right about people ‘seeing things through a prism’, however, even if you ignor todays Abbot episode there is the point that the ‘costings’ of the policy has been claimed as £300million by Abbot and the Labour Party. They reached these costings by taking the 10,000 (number of proposed new Police Officers) by the average salary of £30,000 per annum. Which in itself gives the figure of £300million.

    What Labour has obviously failed to do is ‘cost’ all the other expenses into the policy itself that these new Police Officers would incur on the public budget. This could be used by other parties (as I am sure it will be) to demonstrate that Labour have not got an incling how to run a government or become guardians of the economy. To do this undoubtedly the video / sound recording of the Diane Abbot interview will be used to reinforce this message. (After all she is one of very few Labour MPs who have stood firmly behind Corbyn since he was elected (twice) as Labour Party leader.

    So although generally I agree with your view re gaffs and bloomers I think this one is political dynamite, and if nothing else the press’ reaction to it will influence many undecided voters by reinforcing the negative opinion they have of Labour under Corbyn and as a potential PM.

  19. AW

    RE Abbot – “Most swing voters probably didn’t see or hear it at all.”

    Really? I find that hard to believe, but you’re the expert. I could believe it doesn’t alter anyone’s opinion of her though.

  20. @Croy

    “What Labour has obviously failed to do is ‘cost’ all the other expenses into the policy itself that these new Police Officers would incur on the public budget. This could be used by other parties (as I am sure it will be) to demonstrate that Labour have not got an incling how to run a government or become guardians of the economy.”

    ———-

    Well the other parties might try to claim it shows that, but a proper costing would take into account potential SAVINGS as a result of less crime, and then multiplier effects of putting extra money into the economy, etc., as peeps spend more in the economy, attracting business investment etc.

    There might also be knock-on costs too, to take into account. And if they print the money to fund it, you don’t have to cost it directly, but then have to take into account any resulting inflation, depending on how close to full employment etc. And opportunity cost of not spending the money on summat else.

    Which is a bit trickly to squeeze into a sound bite…

  21. Or to squeeze into polling questions…

  22. I agree that the Diane Abbott incident won’t have much direct affect on polling. Insofar as it’s significant, I think it’s a matter of opportunity cost: media time that is spent talking about her confusion is media time that is not being spent turning things around for Labour.

    It’s a bit like taking pot: the harm is less what it does to you, than what you can’t do while smoking it.

  23. Croy: “What Labour has obviously failed to do is ‘cost’ all the other expenses into the policy itself”

    My understanding of the policy (and I could be wrong) is that it is to recruit 10,000 additional officers over a 4-year period, ie approx 2,500pa. That would give an average increase over the period of under 5,000. So that leaves room to double the basic salary to take account of training, NI and other costs.

  24. There might be things you can’t do unless you’ve smoked it though, so I’m told…

  25. Did anyone else see this?

    http://electionsetc.com/2017/05/02/forecasting-english-local-election-seat-gainslosses-2017/

    Stephen Fisher’s prediction for the locals:

    Con +430
    Lab (315)
    LD (30)

  26. BTW those are English locals…

  27. I am still expecting the UKIP support to drop to 3%-4% on June 8th, and the majority of that to go towards the Conservatives. If this does occur on the present polling for the Conservatives it would see them reach 50% -51% of the total votes.

    This of course would NOT BE a record for the last century as the National Government got 55% in 1931. On a lower vote share was the Atlee Government of 1945 which achieved 47%.

    Presently the other main influences on the Conservative vote share (IMO) are:

    – Conservative supporter apathy (‘ah well they are going to win anyway, I don’t need to vote’ syndrome);

    and

    – Labour supporter apathy (‘ah well they are going to lose anyway, no point voting’ syndrome).

    It will be an interesting night / morning in many ways on June 8th / 9th.

  28. “I think most police officers would rather have 10,000 fewer colleagues than have Diane Abbott as Home Secretary.”

    LOL

  29. David: “After Dianne Abbott’s cringing and totally abject interview today, Labour have lost any small credibility and/or momentum possibly reflected in a marginal narrowing of last week’s polls. I expect the Conservatives to poll back in the +20s over Labour this week. Abbott should hang her head in shame – as if Labour didn’t have enough of a mountain to climb already!”

    I doubt if this is true by reason of a point that AW returns to time and time again: most voters really are not paying that much attention.

    It is the same with the CPS decision. Those who take notice of such things already know about it.

    It is like Bigotgate. That should have dented Labour, pushed them down another couple of points and got the election to the position where Tory + Unionist = Majority. There is no coalition. Gisela Stuart loses her marginal seat, and the most impressive Brexit debater is out of the game, and we stay in the EU. But Bigotgate just made no difference.

    There can be tipping points. Matthew Parris wrote a brilliant piece in the early Blair years. Why, he asked rhetorically, do none of the bits of corruption (like the thing about tobacco advertising in Formula One) make no dent on Blair’s reputation? Because it is like throwing stones into a lake. The first ones sink without apparent trace. But one day they break the surface, and nothing can hide them.

    There is not sign that public opinion on Brexit is at such a point. That is not to say the EU might not find excuses in the course of the campaign to try hurl some might big boulders into the Brexit lake.

  30. I’m interested in testing the theory, espoused by those who support JC as leader of the Labour Party, that he “reaches” those who don’t normally participate in politics, notably the young, compared with other politicians. I offer this not to make a political point one way or the other and with the knowledge that comparing one poll with one other does not confirm or disprove any position on this. I offer it more to seek the views of those who are more au fait with the technicalities of polling, who may have a technical explanation for the difference or can point me to a more detailed analysis.

    I’ve compared this ICM poll with one conducted by ICM at a comparable time in the run up to the 2015 GE (fieldwork 13-15 Mar 15), specifically in relation to likelihood to vote of 18-24yr olds. Respondents were asked to rate their likelihood to vote on a scale of 1 to 10 (10=will definitely vote)

    Sample size: 2015: 84 / 2017: 166
    Adjusted sample size 2015: 126 / 2017: 242

    Preparedness to vote (expressed as % of sample; 2015 figure / 2017 figure)

    10 – 2015: 31 / 2017: 42
    9 – 17 / 8
    8 – 7 / 9
    7 – 11 / 8
    6 – 3 / 7
    5 – 6 / 14

    Total 5 -10: 75 / 88

    My own conclusions is … inconclusive. There’s a big difference in “10” which may point to something, but you only have to add “9” and “10” together to get to no real difference.

    As I say, I’d be interested in the views of those more technically knowledgeable than I on this, particularly given the methodological changes that have been introduced post 2015.

  31. I’m interested in testing the theory, espoused by those who support JC as leader of the Labour Party, that he “reaches” those who don’t normally participate in politics, notably the young, compared with other politicians. I offer this not to make a political point one way or the other and with the knowledge that comparing one poll with one other does not confirm or disprove any position on this. I offer it more to seek the views of those who are more au fait with the technicalities of polling, who may have a technical explanation for the difference or can point me to a more detailed analysis.

    I’ve compared this ICM poll with one conducted by ICM at a comparable time in the run up to the 2015 GE (fieldwork 13-15 Mar 15), specifically in relation to likelihood to vote of 18-24yr olds. Respondents were asked to rate their likelihood to vote on a scale of 1 to 10 (10=will definitely vote)

    Sample size: 2015: 84 / 2017: 166
    Adjusted sample size 2015: 126 / 2017: 242

    Preparedness to vote (expressed as % of sample; 2015 figure / 2017 figure)

    10 – 2015: 31 / 2017: 42
    9 – 17 / 8
    8 – 7 / 9
    7 – 11 / 8
    6 – 3 / 7
    5 – 6 / 14

    Total 5 -10: 75 / 88

    My own conclusions is … inconclusive. There’s a big difference in “10” which may point to something, but you only have to add “9” and “10” together to get to no real difference.

    As I say, I’d be interested in the views of those more technically knowledgeable than I on this, particularly given the methodological changes that have been introduced post 2015.

  32. Carfew

    But the cost to the exchequrer (and police authorities) should include these costings.

    Somerjohn

    Yes, I ‘think’ she was trying to say that recruitment would be over 4 years. However, she did quote ‘annual figures for the four years, none of which made sense in either just police officer salary or the costs involved.

    The figures she quoted were:

    Year 1 = £64.3million
    Year 2 = £139.1million
    Year 3 = £217million
    Year 4 = £298million

    Nowhere and at no time did Abbott mention, refer to, or indicate that there were any other costs involved.

  33. I see several reports tonight, including in the FT, that Germany and France have pushed for a huge increase in the EU Brexit Bill demand to around 100 Billion Euro. Also reports that German politicians are deliberately trying to undermine the election by using scaremongering tactics as they want a much closer result than looks likely at this moment.

  34. Apologies for the double post. Clumsy fingers

  35. @ CMJ

    Stephen Fisher’s prediction for the locals:
    Con +430
    Lab (315)
    LD (30)

    His discussion of the usefulness of his model was very informative. Essentially, he thought that these results were not very likely… and they contrasted markedly with those from Thrasher and Rawlings.

  36. Lib Dem will gain seats on Thursday, of that I am sure that Railings and Thrasher are closer to the mark than Stephen Fisher (which even he says is likely the case, as they usually are).

    I also couldn’t quite tell from reading his article whether he was comparing apples with apples or not in his comparisons of polls now and four years ago.

  37. @Syzygy

    I do like his style.

    Someone who clearly expresses potential issues with their model is a good egg in my view.

  38. GRACCHUS BABEUF
    @ALLAN CHRISTIE

    The third party squeeze – nothing new.
    For some reason most people are placing their faith in May, thinking that she is a new Maggie. Guess what? She is no Maggie.
    This is a ribber stamp, not an election. Wait until 2022 for the real election.
    _______

    Sorry I disagree with “The third party squeeze – nothing new” part of your comment. Who are they being squeezed by? Labour are clearly not taking votes from them and the Tories are probably taking more votes from UKIP, Labour and crumbs from the Lib/Dems.

    The truth is, no one is touching the Lib/Dems except those who voted for them back in 2015. If they are being squeezed then it’s probably the Greensand Looney party who are squeezing them.

    I do agree with your bigger 2022 picture. May is being rewarded by the Brexit voters and with the EU taking a harder stance against the UK, this might actually play into Mays’ hand domestically.

    This election won’t be won on policy issues. It will be won on a pro Brexit tide and personality.

    Fast forward to 2022..Will the UK’s economy be in recession due to departing from the EU? Will Labour have a leader who can appeal to the left and middle? If the answer is yes to both then 2022 is up for grabs.

  39. @ SYZYGY, @CATMANJEFF

    I agree his discussion of the limitations is interesting but it doesn’t change that the last twice Mr Fisher has tried this most of the actual seat change results have been outside his quoted ranges altogether, not just wide of his net predictions. And whilst I give him credit for freely admitting and analysing this, until he can get a bit closer I’m not convinced his numbers should be causing much excitement.

  40. Bantams,

    If that is really true (re: trying to engineer a close UK election) then the EU’s understanding of UK voters is even poorer than the UK government’s understanding of the EU.

  41. Re: Diane Abbott

    While this was clearly a major stumble, Labour are probably lucky it came now and not later. I suspect 4 weeks will be plenty of time for anyone taking notice now to forget that particular incident, though it can certainly be argued (nastily, but probably correctly) that Abbott is a liability in general.

    I’m sure there will be plenty more banana skins before voting day, the question is who will be the one slipping. Diane Abbott does seem a bit prone to this sort of thing, and there’s plenty of inexperience in the Labour front-rank, so slips seem more likely from them. But don’t rule out Boris, though he seems to have the Trump-like quality of profiting from garbage.

    Corbyn is actually pretty light on his feet I think, so doesn’t seem prone to mistakes, but that wooden stubbornness of May seems pretty difficult to break down. Boring, but no mistakes.

  42. CATMANJEFF
    Did anyone else see this?
    http://electionsetc.com/2017/05/02/forecasting-english-local-election-seat-gainslosses-2017/
    Stephen Fisher’s prediction for the locals:
    Con +430
    Lab (315)
    LD (30)
    _________

    I mentioned it in the last thread. Have to admit I was surprised at seeing the Lib/Dems in his prediction losing seats as they have been doing extraordinary well in local by-elections but maybe the GE will play on people’s minds when they vote on Thursday and people will vote as they will in the GE.

  43. I wish I knew what Undec/ DKs are making of the campaign so far? That is if they are aware at all – AW throws even that into doubt.

    In your experience Anthony when do Undec/DKs start to pay attention to anything in a campaign, in numerically significant numbers anyway?

  44. CHRISLANE1945

    Hello, nice to be back and thanks for your greeting. Viz prompts for spokespeople and briefings for journalists too on costings – I couldn’t agree more!

  45. CMJ
    Thanks for the link to Fisher’s article. Very interesting. He seems to be a very good analyst.

    Joseph1832
    “It is like Bigotgate. That should have dented Labour, pushed them down another couple of points and got the election to the position where Tory + Unionist = Majority. There is no coalition. ”

    How do you know that it didn’t dent Labour, and that we ended up with a coalition rather than a Labour majority?

    Tony Dean
    I think most folks are thinking that this general election will be a low turnout even by modern standards, because of the ‘foregone conclusion’ effect. Therefore Undecideds/Don’t Knows are likely to be larger than usual. Therefore to hope that they will break in any particular direction is a bit pointless.

  46. Did anyone else see this?

    https://order-order.com/2017/05/01/mcdonnell-addresses-stalinists-communist-flag/

    As far as I’m aware this was ignored by the BBC. What would their reaction have been had Hammond addressed a group carrying banners portraying the Austrian corporal I wonder?

    I wonder what the effect on VI would have been had it been more widely publicised?

  47. @AW

    “Tory supporters will think it shows that Diane Abbott is a complete incompetent who shouldn’t be allowed near power… but they thought that anyway”

    A large proportion of Labour voters think the same thing (all those that I know, for a start). Neil A has exactly the right take. The impact is not the gaff itself (it is hardly atypical of Abbott), it is the reminder that Abbott is what passes as a serious Labour politician at the moment.

  48. Thursday is going to be make or break for Lib Dems. They are flat-lining (at best) in opinion polls, and what appeared to be a promising strategy of targeting the remainer vote just isn’t getting traction.

    Fisher’s prediction and Rallings & Thrasher’s are miles apart. If Fisher has called it right, the Lib Dems are toast in the GE, they just can’t take the hit of being perceived to be going backwards.

    if R&T have called it right, the Locals present an opportunity for the Lib Dems to grab public attention as the only party apart from Con going forwards. Locals are lots and lots of micro contests, and (IMO) R&T’s meticulous delving into the detail is more likely to be right than Fisher.

    However, a few council seats here and there aren’t enough for the Lib Dems, they need to come out of the locals with big gains to have any chance of leveraging it into increased GE VI – anything less than 100 Lib Dem gains will struggle to get noticed.

  49. Northern Ireland poll:

    DUP: 29%
    SF: 28%
    SDLP: 12%
    UUP: 15%
    ALLI: 10%
    GRN: 2%

    https://twitter.com/britainelects/status/859525432894525440

  50. EU Divorce Bill

    There can be only 3 explanations for the behaviour of the EU over this:

    a. They understand the UK mentality very well and are trying to increase the majority of TM presumably on the basis that the more Tory members the better for her to broker a deal more favourable to the EU; or

    b.They do not understand the UK mentality and think that this behaviour weakens the resolve of the uk and are seeking to undermine the Tory majority;

    c. They are a load of numpties.

    They may also be starting to panic that if the UK pays nothing then in 2 years the eU budget will either have to be cut by 12bn or contributors make equivalent payments. And that is on the costed budget.On top of that is the promised spending that the uk apparently needs to pay for.
    With additional NATO payments things might be looking a little tight unless Blighty rides to the rescue.

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