ICM’s weekly poll for the Guardian has topline figures of CON 49%, LAB 27%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 6%, GRN 3%. This is the first poll we’ve seen since the local government elections, and has the Tories back up to a lead of 22 points (indeed, according to Martin Boon it’s the Conservatives’ highest share from ICM since 1983). It wouldn’t surprise me if the Tories did get a boost from their local government success, but we shall see if it is echoed in other polls. Full tables are here.

Also out today was a new YouGov poll of Welsh voting intentions, conducted for ITV Wales and Cardiff University. Topline figures there are CON 41%(+1), LAB 35%(+5), LDEM 7%(-1), Plaid 11%(-2), UKIP 4%(-2). The previous YouGov Welsh poll was the one with that startling ten point Tory lead, conducted when the general election had only just been called and GB polls were showing twenty-plus point leads. In that context, the narrowing of the Tory lead may be partly a reversion to the mean after the unusual result in the last poll, may be partially a reflection of the slight narrowing we’ve seen in GB polls.

Roger Scully’s write up of the poll is here.

238 Responses to “ICM voting intentions and YouGov Welsh poll”

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  1. @Danny – “Under corbyn most of the parliamentary party has done nothing but say they do not believe he should be PM.”

    Sorry, but that is just and out and out l!e.

    Many Labour MPs, including my own, have worked very hard to try and develop policies and presentations across some very important policy areas. Labour shadow ministers organised and fought some very effective parliamentary campaigns against government measures, forcing defeats and retreats on some occasions.

    You really want to research what these people say about how utterly useless Corbyn and his team were in this entire process. These are not Blairites or plotters. The most excoriating statements have come from people who supported Corbyn in 2015, with some others ho also backed him in 2016 chipping in as well.

    Parts of the PLP have caused serious problems, and some of them would have been well advised to pull together much more, but many others have tried their damnedest to work with Corbyn, only to find he really is as useless as we thought.

  2. “Some of us have been predicting this disaster for a good couple of years now”

    The disaster has little to do with Corbyn. He’s just the mushroom that signifies the dry rot throughout the party.

    Labour are a disaster because they have become the defenders of foreign rights and corporate rights, rather than domestic worker’s rights.

    Until they dump that, they will continue to be unelectable. Opening the doors in 2004 was Labour’s Poll Tax. Ideologically driven madness.

  3. So ITV are to hold a televised Leaders debate without it would seem May or Corbyn.

    May and Corbyn have agreed to separate grillings on Question Time.

    Corbyn’s refusal to do an Opposition Leaders debate has severly weakened Labours charge against May that she was running scared of debating Corbyn. Indeed, the labour stance could now well backfire against Corbyn and Labour.

    The Opposition Leaders debate on ITV will have taking part:

    – Nicola Sturgeon (SNP)
    – Tim Farron (LibDem)
    – Paul Nuttall (UKIP)
    – Leanne Wood (Plaid Cymru)

    (The Green Party is also arguing for a place in the debate.)

    I think Corbyn and Labour are between a rock and a hard place in deciding whether they should have agreed to take part. If they agreed to then more of the electorate might watch but Corbyn would just be preaching the same sort of message as 3 (possibly 4) of the other leaders and thereby reducing his appeal to both currently Labour supporters and swing voters. By not taking part he is giving the headlines to other parties to attract Labour voters to their parties, a real danger considering the low opinions the electorate hold of both Labour and (especially) Corbyn as seen in the polls.

    Overall I think the Conservatives will be pleased with the outcome of the debate, for although they will undoubtedly be villified by all participants the only members of the electorate that will be swayed by them are those in the electorate who would not likely vote Conservative anyway, and any likely dilution of Labour support will benefit the Conservatives on June 8th resulting in an even higher majority for them.

    With the likely drubbing of Labour in the polls this year it is likely that some Labour voters in Wales will look for an alternative in future elections, one obvious home for many of them could be Plaid Cymru, so it could be possible that at any SUBSEQUENT elections the Plaid Cymru vote share could increase quite substantially on their present polling from this transfer from Labour to them.

  4. Alec

    I accept I am a keen supporter, mainly because she seems to be taking the same line on Brexit as i do myself. However you should remember that I am not a Tory supporter, other than in a negative sense – to keep the alternative out. I have never had a government with the boldness to adopt the sort of small state economic agenda i support.

    I also suspect that although Colin and I often agree we would probably want very different things from her.

    I’m giving May the benefit of the doubt for now.

  5. @Neil Wilson

    “We are not a globalist nation”

    Given our history that is a very strange thing to say. We made our fortune being a globalist nation.

  6. Electoral Calculus is predicting a188 Seat Majority at the moment.

    Prediction based on opinion polls from 19 Apr 2017 to 07 May 2017, sampling 10,804 people.

    CON 49.0% 419
    LAB 26.7% 158
    LIB 10.0% 7
    UKIP 5.9% 0
    Green 2.4% 0
    SNP 4.1% 45
    PlaidC 0.6% 3
    Minor 1.2% 0
    N.Ire 18

    Interestingly the latest survation poll would see the Lib Dems cut down to 5 seats.

    In fact, that is the biggest news so far, that the Lib Dem VI is flatlining at best since the election was called (stop grinning Allan C).


    No-one (I hope) expects these questions to be dealt with in an election campaign, but simply to brush them under the carpet and continue with the status quo is unviable in the medium term.

    Totally agree and I guess that was the sort of thing i was going on about. We need a Government which will face up to those issues and start to deal with them. I guess it won’t be the next government that will be largely commited to Brexit, but the one after that really does need to

  8. @Sorbus, @ TOH

    For me the striking thing in the responses to the ‘who would do better at…’ questions that TOH posted is May’s lead on ‘promoting a fairer society’.

    I think this neatly encapsulates Alec’s oft repeated point, about the (perceived and/or real) lack of leadership competence from Corbyn, which is in sharp contrast with the (real and/or perceived) managerial competence of TM and the Conservatives.

    While Corbyn aspires to what people may see as a fairer society, they seriously doubt he could deliver. On the other hand while people are sceptical that TM pays lip service on the issue, they tend to believe she could deliver.

    Hence the poor response even on strong Lab issues – people just do not believe there is much competence in Corbyn or his team – Diane Abbott and others give people plenty of cause to form this view without any help from the blue team.


    Not standing a candidate can seem like a good idea in certain circumstances but may have undesirable long term effects. Some years ago Labour ran a decapitation strategy in my council area and withdrew candidates where they thought that a combined Lab/Lib vote might oust the sitting Tory councillors with The local and general elections on the same day. This worked and some of us lost our seats despite increasing our vote share. They tried to repeat the trick at the next, purely local election, but failed because Labour voters did not turn out at all. Since then, the local Labour vote has all but disappeared, falling from a couple of hundred to twenty or thirty in what was my ward. People have got used to not voting.

  10. The Greens are standing aside in a number of Scottish seats.
    Dumfries & Galloway (held by Cons)
    Moray (Angus Robertson’s seat)

    And not fielding any candidates in the Highlands & Islands saying…

    “GE2017 is immature behaviour by Tories and has no relevance in Scotland”

    Electoral Calculus haven’t picked this up in their model

  11. On May’s lead re: a “fair society”, it’s worth remembering that people have different ideas of what that entails. In fact, egalitarianism (in the sense of equality of outcome) seems to be a minority view – people prefer inequality in principle, IF that inequality is produced by a fair process:


    “Drawing upon laboratory studies, cross-cultural research, and experiments with babies and young children, we argue that humans naturally favour fair distributions, not equal ones, and that when fairness and equality clash, people prefer fair inequality over unfair equality. ”

    Notably, even Marxism (in the only form in which it’s had remotely any political success) has to appeal to pretty libertarian notions of fairness: the capitalists are “stealing” from the workers; property is “theft” etc.

    When masses of people disapprove of capitalism, it seems to be always (or almost always) due to the perceived unfairness of such an economic system. So if May is seen as desiring a “fair capitalism” and Corbyn an “unfair socialism”, then one would expect May to have the edge in the “fair society” ratings. Of course, the public might be wrong, but the results are what you’d expect given this thesis about human psychology.

  12. @COUPER2802

    Neither have they picked up UKIP saying they will stand aside in potentially 150-200 seats which will have a far bigger impact.

  13. UK General elections

    2015 – Leader of defeated party resigned
    2010 – Leader of defeated party resigned
    2005 – Leader of defeated party resigned
    2001 – Leader of defeated party resigned
    1997 – Leader of defeated party resigned
    1992 – Leader of defeated party resigned
    1987 – Leader of defeated party remained in place
    1983 – Leader of defeated party resigned
    1979 – Leader of defeated party resigned
    1974 – Leader of defeated party forced out.

    Rightly or wrongly the convention is that is of you lose a General Election you resign (or are forced out). 9 of the last ten General Election leaders did not remain in place for long..

    If you have led your party to its worst showing in terms of seats since 1983 (or 1935) …….


    True. But the one time that didn’t happen was Kinnock who wanted to stay on to complete the battle against the hard left in Labour.

    Corbyn could well do the same in reverse.


    He could. He might. In fact, I expect him to.
    But don’t try to tell me it’s normal.

  16. Alec

    I am not a “Corbynite”.

    I just believe that all members and supporters of a party should, during a General Election campaign, do all they can to get their man/woman elected.

    The alternative is to do what you do. Whine and moan about how terriible the leader is.

    I suggest you pull yourself together, roll your sleeves up, and get stuck in. You’ll feel better being positive and constructive. You may not succeed, but at least you will have done your best.

    That is what I shall do.

  17. Little red rock .Jim Callaghan did not resign in 1979 he stayed on until 1980 when Michael Foot won the leadership.

  18. Just watched the Labour Launch in Manchester.

    It was like going back 40 years. I can hardly believe it-I don’t know who was more uncomfortable-Burnham or Watson.

    It does confirm to me that the reports of JC abandoning victory in order to put a floor under his VI %, are correct.

  19. Dez

    “Little red rock .Jim Callaghan did not resign in 1979 he stayed on until 1980 when Michael Foot won the leadership.”


    The fact a far lefter wing candidate became leader does not bode well for the Labour Party.

  20. DEZ
    Good early afternoon to you.
    Callaghan vainly wanted to extend the time he was Labour leader, for the History books.
    His decision did untold damage IMO, to Labour. Healey would have won the PLP vote in June 1979.
    Benn senior then took up the campaign to take control and the PLP collapsed. J Corbyn was one of AW Benn’s campaigners

    I think the Lib Dem figures and the Lab figures will be lower in reality than in the polls.

  21. DEZ
    Good early afternoon to you.
    Callaghan vainly wanted to extend the time he was Labour leader, for the History books.
    His decision did untold damage IMO, to Labour. Healey would have won the PLP vote in June 1979.
    Benn senior then took up the campaign to take control and the PLP collapsed. J Corbyn was one of AW Benn’s campaigners

    I think the Lib Dem figures and the Lab figures will be lower in reality than in the polls.

  22. @ RMU1 – thank you, I can see the long-term benefit of “paper” candidates makes sense. This is probably why UKIP are in a bit of a dilemma:

    – do they withdraw and say they’ll “observe” with intention to return in 2022 if May backslides?
    – do they post “paper” candidates? (assuming they have enough cash and candidates that would stand!)

    The way the polls are going it probably won’t make much difference as they’ll be down to 2% by 8June anyway!

    Good write-up in BBC of what is happening in the old Labour heartlands. I think CON will gain Mansfield with what will look like a 24% swing but in reality is just absorbing the UKIP vote. If you add on some genuine LAB to CON switching as well then you start heading deep into LAB “safe seat” territory.

  23. Christiane good afternoon.Neil Kinnock was also from the left.He set the recovery in place.It will probably be need a young energetic person to do a similar job in future years.However I believe change either way is quicker in today’s political world than the 1980s.

  24. DEZ.
    Hello, yes, Kinnock, like Wilson led from the left. Attlee led from the left after 1935; to the right of Lansbury, Cripps and Bevan. To the left of Morrison.

  25. @R Huckle
    ‘Labour have lost Scotland and there are no signs of a recovery.’
    Not quite true. There were signs of Labour recovery last week in Scotland. Labour was the party which outperformed expectations.The Tories were pretty close to pre-election polls whilst the SNP significantly underperformed. I am now expecting Labour to claw back a few of their 2015 losses to the SNP.

    @ Alec
    I invariably agree with your comments re-Corbyn , but I query your suggestion that a defeated leader should resign as a matter of honour or principle. Kinnock did not resign following the heavy 1987 defeat , neither did Wilson in 1970 nor did Gaitskell in 1959. It could be argued that Miliband was wrong to resign the day after the 2015 election too. With hindsight he would have served the party better by remaining in position until his successor was elected four moths later. Had he done so the party would have been spared the disastrous decisions taken by Harriet Harman as Acting Leader which generated the momentum that propelled Corbyn to the leadership in September 2015. Moreover, if Labour is heavily defeated next month,Corbyn will face the choice of stepping down or being ousted.

  26. “I just don’t think the UK is a socialist country and Labour have only had recent success when they persuaded previous Tory voters to swing to them.”


    Lol, Socialism abounds here. If we take the two core tenets of Socialism – workers controlling the means of production, and “from each according to their ability, to each according to their need”, then there is for example an army of self-employed controlling their means of production, and there is much redistribution to the needy.

    Obviously there are aspects to quibble over, like maybe some self-employed don’t have much control, and we can argue over some of the needs, but overall, we are clearly a mixed economy in which capitalism and socialism co-exist.

    Even if you take the narrow variant of socialism known as state socialism, then clearly polling shows a healthy interest in assorted nationalisations. That so many people seem to think we don’t have socialism here, and you have to be more akin to soviet Ruskies to be Sociaoist, is yet another indicator of just how much certain sections of the media affect our politics.

    What we are currently seeing, is that moving further along the somewhat xenophobic spectrum dominates over both socialist and capitalist concerns, cos many are quite happy to sacrifice Banking hegemony and much more besides if it means blocking a lot of immigration…

    It’s not only Corbs who would struggle against this*, but so is even capital currently. It’s a very powerful and worrying pressure…

    * (you may note Blair’s “comeback” seems even less compelling than Cirbyn…).

  27. LONDON (73 MPs) – does anyone know if we’ll get any London specific polls? The sample sizes in the crossbreaks mean its risky to use those but using YouGov polls (average of last 3) shows something along lines of following (with change on 2015 in brackets)

    CON 43% (+8)
    LAB 34% (-10)
    LIB 16% (+8)
    UKIP 4% (-4)
    Green 3% (-2)

    Breaking this down further and lumping together the flows this looks like:
    Remain switch: LIB +6 LAB -6
    UKIP death: CON +4 UKIP -4 (more to go?)
    Party switch: CON +4 LAB -4 and LIB +2 Green -2

    The changes are very different to the national – LIB as you would expect given the London Remain vote have made a larger comeback, however it isn’t enough to tilt many seats closer to them instead it is lowering the swing threshold for a CON gain from LAB. If we assume UKIP slow death continues then the London swing from LAB to CON could be 20%+

    Electoral Calculus inputs using national swings will miss this!

    I hope we get a London poll soon to shed some more light on the unique situation of London v UK averages.

  28. @Sea Change
    ‘Prediction based on opinion polls from 19 Apr 2017 to 07 May 2017’

    I fail to see the point of including polls which are 2-3 weeks old!

  29. @ChrisLane1945

    “Benn senior then took up the campaign to take control and the PLP collapsed. J Corbyn was one of AW Benn’s campaigners”

    So, what you’re saying is that Jeremy Corbyn was part of a coup against the Labour leadership?

  30. @Rudyard – “I just believe that all members and supporters of a party should, during a General Election campaign, do all they can to get their man/woman elected.”

    You’ve obviously made the assumption that I’m Labour, which may or may not be true.

    I think the interesting thing are the reports that Team Corbyn themselves have given up pulling together and are instead seeking to focus on vote share as a means to protect The Blessed One on June 9th, instead of focusing on helping candidates win seats.

    Hard to know definitively whether this is true or not, but if it is true, it would be the most astounding abdication of leadership responsibility in any political party I have ever witnessed.

    That it is even being discussed as a possibility demonstrates just how selfish this clique really is.

  31. @ Colin wrote
    “Just watched the Labour Launch in Manchester.
    “It was like going back 40 years. I can hardly believe it-I don’t know who was more uncomfortable-Burnham or Watson.
    “It does confirm to me that the reports of JC abandoning victory in order to put a floor under his VI %, are correct.”
    I have set up a small business (turnover <£1m) (loosely defined as being within the finance sector) under the Tories. I have got wealthier under the Tories (probably a co-incidence and not because of). I also employ 10 people, all of whom have got wealthier because of my business. All my staff earn well above living wage. I have paid all my tax. I do not have offshore accounts. I do not employ a tax accountant to minimise my tax.
    Mr Corbyn refers to a day of reckoning for some. Will he be confirming exactly who will face this day of reckoning? One’s mind jumps very easily from “day of reckoning” to images of walls and firing squads. I am sure that is not what Mr Corbyn has in mind, but “day of reckoning” is rather a pejorative term and makes me nervous, and I am not sure it will appeal to many and seems to affirm Colin’s view that he intends to put a floor under his VI.

  32. Does anyone think Macron’s example could apply here. In the new circumstances where loyalties and re-alignments are rapid. Is there any mileage in a SDLP type centre-leftish party emerging post-GE with a commitment to single market membership, with a charismatic leader?

    It is arguable that Corbyn has possibly ‘toxified’ the Labour brand and there maybe no way back so a new party without the Labour baggage might be more successful.

  33. @Couper2802

    If it had 100 MPs and was Her Majesty’s loyal opposition, maybe so.

  34. @Couper2802

    Has been tried in 1981 with the SDP. All that is likely to achieve is big majorities for the Tories on vote shares in the 36%-40% range.

    @Graham “I fail to see the point of including polls which are 2-3 weeks old!”

    I disagree. I think they are useful for averaging out spikes. I wouldn’t go back much further than that and I would start dropping the first week since the election was called for this week’s polls as a rolling average. I also am not seeing any major shift so far in the campaigns that would invalidate the polls.

  35. Electoral Calculus polite word of warning:

    It is a fantastic tool and in “normal” circumstances I think it would be excellent at predicting the result but note:
    – it assumes national swings at individual seat level (see my comment on London above and UKIP issues below)
    – either make sure to open Scotland or assume something like (SNP – 10, CON +8, LIB +2) to reflect Scottish polling
    – it assumes turnout is constant (or at least uniform change), with the unique circumstances of this election following on from Brexit we’ll probably see very varied turnouts by party and by region (highly subjective I admit)
    – UKIP/paper candidates/pulled candidates: it assumes every seat will post same candidates as before. Even if you put UKIP down to 0.1 it doesn’t really capture what has happened. If UKIP had 24% in one seat and 20% of that moves to CON the model will underestimate that
    (a swing of 20% to CON at the seat level where as the model will assume CON has just gone up by the change from 2015 (a 10-12% swing)) – this will tip many “safe” LAB seats in the 12-20% LAB defend territory (excluding other factors)

    All of the above tend to work the same way and therefore Electoral Calculus will under estimate CON (over estimate LAB). To see this in an extreme situation consider SNP 2015 results – won 56/59 (95%) seats with 50% of the vote by unifying one side on the main issue and having the opposition split 3 ways

    I understand people are happy with the number Electoral Calculus gives them as it “feels about right” (including those placing money on it it seems – midmarket on CON seats is 393). So a question – did LAB losing 40 of their 41 Scottish seats “feel about right” before 2015 GE?

  36. Little Red Rock

    If my memory is correct

    1945 – Leader of defeated party remained
    1950 – Leader of defeated party remained
    1951 – Leader of defeated party remained
    1955 – Leader of defeated party remained
    1959 – Leader of defeated party remained
    1964 – Leader of defeated party resigned (but he was only a stop-gap leader)
    1966 – Leader of defeated party remained
    1970 – Leader of defeated party remained
    1974 (1) Leader of defeated party remained
    1974 (2) Leader of defeated party forced out.

    It looks like modern leaders lack the will to fight back!

  37. @Chrislane1945 “I think the Lib Dem figures and the Lab figures will be lower in reality than in the polls”

    Agreed. It’ll be a bloodbath barring any game-changing event.


    It has been tried, with exactly the result you describe. And if it were tried again it may have the same result.

    Or it may not.

    I think if the new party were the official opposition things might be different. The SDP had only 30 MPs going into the 83 election (28 defections and Williams’ and Jenkins’ by elections). The leader of the opposition is an alternative PM in the way that Steele/Jenkins really weren’t.

    And, I think that party identification and loyalty was stronger in 83 than it is today.

    So I would expect a new party’s chances to be better than the SDP’s.

  39. @ COUPER2802 – eventually perhaps, maybe in time for 2022 if the LAB defeat is truly catastrophic?
    Good piece in Guardian that agrees with your thinking.


    The question is who is Gandhi – please not Tony Blair!


    I agree. I wonder how different things might have been if Ed had remained in post.

  41. Apparently the Survation poll was a UK poll which is quite rare as most pollsters do not include Northern Ireland. It also provides data to a decimal point – Con 46.8% Lab 30.2% a Tory lead of 16.6% compared with 6.5% in 2015. On a UK basis Labour’s share is pretty well unchanged from 2015 when the party polled 30.4%.

  42. Alec,
    You defend labour mps vehemently. You might be right because I have not paid close enough attention to tell. However I can definitely say the clear impression I have formed is they attack him at every possible opportunity. The extraordinary spectacle of the shadow cabinet resigning one by one was an absolute demonstration to the nation that they refuse to work with him. Abbott is only chief spokesman because no one else can be trusted to speak for him at all. After corbyn was re elected, it simply confirmed the total division in the party. Ask anyone in the street. May says so and labour mps refuse to endorse corbyn. Yet despite that he still has more support than ukip achieved.

    The conservatives right now have a vision. Blair had a vision. Corbyn does too, but his party is still rubbishing it. To a large extent it doesn’t matter if it is deliverable, merely that it can be presented now. You are rubbishing it right here.if you want labour to win, start promoting corbyn. The conservatives do not support brexit but understand doing so is an election winner. .

    This isn’t the place for electioneering, though obviously many are doing so here. My point is that the labour parliamentary party are not interested in winning and probably want a bad result for corbyn. Though some want to keep their own seats.

    I notice corbyn is currently attacking bankers. Whereas his party was just as keen as the tories to put them back on their feet. This whole business is not about whether his policies are popular or not, but that those mps simply disagree on which are correct.

    Why are libs doing badly? Because of corbyn. He is succeeding in attracting the left and in so far as labour vote share is holding up, this is where it is coming from.

  43. Bazinwales

    Douglas-Home did not resign following defeat in the 1964 election. He stayed on until July 1965.

  44. Sea Change

    Looking at my spreadsheet of polls since mid-April I see the Con vote averaging 47%, with 49% being towards the highest of their range.

    I average them in batches of 3-4 days and the Con figures have been

    43, 46,47,45,48,46,48.

    There have been individual figures higher but not averages. The low starting figure reflects an odd Opinium poll at the time putting them on 38.

  45. ROBYN.
    You may know that Corbyn was part of the Campaign Group, London Labour Briefing and CPLD.
    Jon Lansmann was one of the organisers of the Benn Movement.

  46. Graham

    Thanks for that. At my age I cannot say that my memory is perfect!

  47. JC stated that he thought EM should have stayed on after the results of the last GE.

  48. Robespierre Corbyn

    Contrary to most posters on this site i have long taken the view that the Cobyn instinct on Brexit was right. From day one he wished to embrace it and accept it as the manifestation of democracy that it was.

    If he had not been diverted from that straightforward course by mainly London based Remainers he could, from polling evidence, have achieved a greater share of the collapsing UKIP vote which would have allowed him to deal with the issues he wants to deal with.

    Instead of that he has been marooned in the middle of the road and is being run over.No doublt when they are scraping him up after june 8th his biggest critics will be those who advocated fighting brexit and thus doomed him to lose out on the ukip votes without hoovering up the militant remainers.

  49. @Couper

    It’s more difficult than in France, but if the political establishment was deliberately conspiring to contrive a new movement to sweep them all aside then it’s difficult to see what they’d currently be doing differently.

    People are looking at someone from within the English political setup to front this new effort but it strikes me that we already have people elsewhere in the UK who have proven to be extraordinarily good at promoting populist left-of-centre political engagement when faced with a complacent traditional political setup…..

  50. “The conservatives right now have a vision.”

    Just goes to show how some can be fooled by decent PR!

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