There have been two new polls out today – both show a sharp reduction in the Tory lead.

The weekly ICM poll for the Guardian has topline figures of CON 47%(-1), LAB 33%(+5), LDEM 9%(-1), UKIP 4%(-2), GRN 2%(-1). The Conservative party’s support drops only a little, but Labour jump up five to 33% (their highest since June 2016 according to Martin Boon). The fourteen point lead is larger than most other polls – this is for methodological reasons (ICM’s demographic based turnout model gives a large boost to the Conservative party, otherwise it too would likely have been producing a single-digit lead). Note that ICM have also tweaked their method slightly to hide the option of UKIP for respondents in seats where UKIP aren’t standing, though this will likely have only a small effect. Full tabs are here.

Meanwhile a Survation poll for Good Morning Britain has topline figures of CON 43%(-5), LAB 34%(+5), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 4%(nc). Changes are from the previous Survation telephone poll a week ago, rather than their online poll at the weekend. Full tabs are here.

Fieldwork for both polls was over the weekend, after the Conservative manifesto launch. While there was already a general movement towards Labour before the manifestos, the post-manifesto polls suggest a further and sharper movement since then. I wrote a while back about how manifestos rarely have much impact in general elections – while it’s impossible to prove a causal link, the timing certainly suggests this is an exception! Perhaps it’s because when elections are five years in the making most policies have already been announced and focus-grouped into things that won’t scare the horses. Or perhaps just because manifesto launches rarely go as wrong as the Conservative party’s appears to have.

Whatever the reason, the question now is whether this is a temporary narrowing that will reverse when (or if) the focus of attention moves onto other subjects, or whether we are heading for a somewhat tighter race than many people expected.

238 Responses to “Latest ICM and Survation polls”

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  1. “Free uni education I think risks too many people doing frankly degrees that the country doesn’t need, but I realise it’s a balance and I don’t advocate a complete pulling up of the ladder.”


    If you mean certain subjects aren’t that employable, you are missing the general, transferable skills peeps are supposed to lean on degrees which can assist in a broader range of careers. How much this actually happens though can be variable…

  2. redrich

    It won’t have any negative impact on the SNP’s VI. The Scottish MSM think they are more relevant than they actually are and I just can’t see the Scottish voters being that interested on a spat between a large nurse and NS

    The biggest problem I can gather from reading tweets and comments on other websites is the debate format. It’s more geared towards a Scottish election than a UK one. It suits the Tories in Scotland when Labour continue to bash the SNP.

    Unlikely it is…It would be actually funny if the Tories won a majority of 10 in Westminster and at the same time won 10 seats in Scotland. After all the Scottish labour leader did say in an interview people in Scotland should vote Tory to stop the SNP where her party was unable.

  3. @Rob on the IRA.

    Your comment went into moderation and rightly so, it was partisan. I’ll address the topic you raised.

    We will see if the Tory campaign starts to really push on the historical statements of Abbott, McDonnell and Corbyn when it comes to the IRA, Hamas etc and if the public finds them very distasteful then we will see it in the polls and/or on polling day.

    Nia Griffith was defending against the Tory campaign attacks today. I think we can expect that they will go “Macro” now big time. Defence, National Security, Leadership, Brexit – all big picture stuff.

  4. @Robin

    The latest polls were before this latest clusterf12k. Who knows where they will be later in the week?

    Well if the next seven days are anything like the last who knows.

    However, I think it more than likely that the Tories will recover and stem the flow. To date I think Labour’s in essence dual campaign has worked by luck rather than design, whereas the Tory machine has the cohesion and resources to react relatively quickly. Its unlikely that the Tories will make another gaff of this magnitude, and they have been shocked out of their complacent underestimation of their opponent.

    The landslide may or may not have gone but they are looking at an increase in their majority of at least circa 50.

  5. Roland – can you run the 1.5% numbers by me please for Wales based on the 44/34 as I have them both up 7% so no swing on the conventional method.

    On proportionate method maybe better for Tories as they up just shy of 25% and Labour under 20% which will deliver some Tory gains other things being equal.

  6. What does May’s statement that the Tories won’t “devolve and forget” mean? It sounds rather like a plan to interfere in the actions of devolved government. I’m sure the SNP will be keen for clarification.

  7. Mike ta, he is pleased with the change but is he backing the package?

    Well, as others suggest this may largely be irrelevant.

  8. @ROBIN

    I suspect they mean that once powers have been devolved, then the devolved government cannot blame Westminster for the problems relating to that area. As they have the power to make changes themselves.

  9. It’s possible that jezza is showing that you can’t go too much by polling pre-election. Keeping your powder dry may give you lower polling prior to election campaign but can have benefits once the campaign starts…

  10. @CARFREW “It’s possible that jezza is showing that you can’t go too much by polling pre-election. Keeping your powder dry may give you lower polling prior to election campaign but can have benefits once the campaign starts…”

    In a word no. He has an absolute mountain to climb from 23%.

    Clearly, Labour would rather start at 50% odd and now be 44%-47%

  11. I’ve spent enough time working with data to be very sceptical about trends, but with the latest data, I do finally believe the VI has changed. When polls conducted in the same way go up or down, and different ones are showing the same trend, it starts to become significant.

    But let’s be clear, the only thing that’s changed is that the swing to Con has narrowed a little. We still have little idea whether the absolute numbers are correct, just that things have tipped a little bit away from Con, but in all likelihood they are still well ahead. That’s all great fun – it’s nice to see some movement, polls that stay the same are boring. But it would need the recent trend to continue for some time yet to become really interesting. Let’s wait and see.


    I don’t think there will be a leadership election. However small the majority, May will have her mandate and I’m doubtful there will be any appetite for it in the Conservative Party.

  13. @Redrich,

    I would agree that Labour’s campaign hasn’t really done anything, but this election was always the Tories’ to lose. I’m sure you’re right they will try to move things on, but this has been such a major turnaround it’s difficult to see them recovering. It will take very little for this to set the tone of the entire rest of the campaign.

    And how is May going to govern even with a majority of 50? Having also backed down on the budget at the first sign of discontent, she’s going to be widely regarded as a pushover, and will likely be repeatedly opposed by one or other wing of her party.

  14. Laszlo, thanks.

    Mike, I think I was being pugnacious on reflection in asking for a link and should have looked more thoroughly first. Soz.

  15. MarkW

    I read it as backing the package, but re-reading you may be right, he doesn’t specifically do that. As you say, not that it really matters to the general public really.

    One salient point he does make though is:
    “the plain fact about social care is the private sector will not offer insurance in this area, because there’s too much uncertainty about what social care might cost in 20, 30, 40 years time. It (is) a classic case of market failure”.

    I tend to think the discussion about this shouldn’t have been in the heat of an election campaign. It’s too important, and needs clear long-term planning

  16. MarkW

    Not at all, I should have provided a link with the comment

  17. (Repeating a comment I made on the last page to make sure people see it)

    To all. Before submitting your next comment, please STOP and go and re-read the comments policy. Think seriously about whether your comment is *actually* in the spirit of the policy, whether it may come across as being a comment from someone who is not a neutral observer. If you are a party cheerleader – you know who you are – please just lurk, you’re contribution is unhelpful..

    If people appreciate comments that aren’t just a idiot partisan cesspit, they need to make it work themselves.

  18. Thats a good poll for Labin Wales meaning that on a uniform swing they would take a seat of Con and not lose any seats.

    Overall the Tory lead is around 10% which is healthy enough for a comfortable majority. Their lead has halved inside a month though but in truth it needs to be halved again if Lab are to push into hung Parliament territory which I think is the best they can hope for.

    As for the Lab manifesto giving away all these freebies well at lesst its costed. Why is the Con manifesto not costed? Surely an own goal there.

    My gut feel is where we are now is where we will finish with a Tory maj of around 50.

  19. This certainly isn’t turning into a dull parade of similar polls: 2001 must have been very boring.

    The changes – and they are big changes – suggest that the Conservatives made the fundamental mistake of thinking their electorate was solidly behind them. From this they planned to show they were realistic and making tough decisions, while Labour promised a series of unrealistic things. The mistake they made was getting too tough and promising to do things their newer voters didn’t want.

    Labour, it’s true, are promising something to nearly everyone and are unlikely to be able to do half of the things they say, but that’s probably still a better deal for a lot of people than the Conservative offer of promising to take things away.

    Can the Conservatives backtrack enough to persuade enough of these voters to come back to them again? It’s probably too late for quite a lot of them, as it will require a matching – at least – of the Labour position on quite a few benefits.

    If things continue in this manner, with the polls of Thursday and Friday rather vital now, then I can see the Conservatives loosing seats and a hung parliament resulting. That would probably mean a very weak or no Brexit – which is probably alongside the extremism of the opposition front bench is probably their best tactic now. Labour should just keep plugging away with the line that people will have to pay for home help and that people will be poorer under the Conservatives.

    It’s a completely unforced error from the Conservatives. I bet they wish they could go back in time by a week and change things.

  20. Alan @ 5.13 pm

    The whole point of Kezia D`s comment that Labour voters should tactically support Tory candidates in the Borders was to get Tory voters to support Labour in the rest of Scotland.

    There are more seats potentially to be gained by Labour than by the Tories, from the SNP.

    Protesters in masks shouting at the Aberdeen church procession of the Tory-Labour coalition councillors yesterday do not do the SNP any good, though doubtless the great majority of SNP supporters would not stoop to such behaviour.

    It was the “Kirking of the Cooncil”.

  21. SSSIMON. I don’t think we are seeing a Corbyn surge as such bu more of a reversion to mean. The Lab polling wass artificial!y look at 23/24% at the start of he campaign and is now more reflective of where it really is.

    If Lab close to within 4/5 points then there may be a Corbyn surge but we are not in that territory at the moment

  22. The cliche ‘a week is a long time in politics’ certainly seems to apply to recent events and the sudden shift in the polls.

    It was always going to be very challenging for the Tories to attain a higher vote share than Blair in 1997 or Thatcher in 1983/87. Not impossible, but it requires a large number of traditionally non-Tory voters to hold their nose and think of Brexit.

    The challenge is that the election is now entirely about domestic policy, and that genie isn’t going back in the bottle.

    Will the broader voting public see dropping a key manifesto policy after 4 days as ‘strong and stable’, or could it impact perception of a key Tory campaigning message? The opinion polls will be fascinating this week.

    I’m looking forward to watching TM being interviewed by Andrew Neill this evening – he is a tough interviewer at the best of times and the social care ‘clarification which is not a u-turn’ will provide him with plenty of material to work with. He also has plenty of material to work with on Corbyn too. But with public perception of TM higher, she has more to lose.

  23. Sorry about my typos. Fat fingers on a tablet!

  24. Tonight I am going to a hustings yippee yippee. The old fashioned way of campaigning none of these stage managed debates with planted questioners. I will et you know how it goes.

  25. I must admit that I found the overall tone and approach of the Conservative manifesto rather wrongheaded. They had positive things in there to lead on (like an increase in NHS funding which is arguably bigger than Labour’s), and Yougov’s polling on individual policies shows that many of them are among the most popular of any party’s, but they put their social care proposal front and centre. Not only that, but they made a presentational mess of it, and failed to sell it as the state providing guarantees which people previously didn’t have. It’s like tuition fees all over again.

  26. I may put a bet on Prime Minister Corbyn.

    I really would not have believed such a turn around in the polls was possible, particularly given the main protagonists. But the change is remarkable. The Welsh poll points to Corbyn capturing Old Labour votes.

    I think not having the debates may prove a fatal error. If May has tarnished her image, they were a platform to concentrate on weaknesses for Labour – and where Corbyn to his credit is poor dissembler.

    Funny old world.

  27. […]

    That said, I still suspect that Labour can make polling mileage from this, especially as it isn’t clear who will pay what.

    Any hint of uncertainty allows opponents to run scare stories, which I’m sure Labour will do.

  28. There will be relief in Lab ranks that their polling hasn’t gone into meltdown. However Scotland remains dreadful for them. Will Corbyn
    canvas in Scotland?

    It would be good to get some polling on Midlands marginals. They are so often a bellweather as to which direction an election is heading.

  29. Joseph1832. Lab are a long way from winning power based on current polls. Good luck with your bet if you do go through with it. You will get long odds for a reason!

  30. I have a hunch movement will slow down now for a week or so, but after that it could move quickly in the last week – either way! I do wish we had more internal England regional/constituency polling – is any due Anthony?

  31. I think the polls are broadly accurate (within margin of error) but that no May poll can be criticised on June 9. The only polls which need to stand accountability and scrutiny are those between June 1 and June 7.
    The votes on Thursday June 8 may be very different to a vote taken this Thursday which reflects the volatility among voters (who will actually vote).
    Hopefully the June polls will pick up the changes (whatever they turn out to be on June 9).
    I think that in 2017 around 57% of voters (who will vote) are committed to Conservative or Labour (or committed to voting against either Con or Lab), but that around 43% of voters (who will vote) are more undecided than in say 2015 or 2010. The party they were going for a mont, a week or even three days ago has failed to seal the deal with them (so far).
    However, postal votes kick in very soon. Will is focus minds or this time lead to procrastination in posting them back ?
    The late May polls may speak accurately to postal votes but the early June polls may (accurately) reflect a voter mood swing.

  32. I feel for Anthony. It must be becoming a full time job monitoring the comments.

  33. I do wonder if a partisan comment has ever, in the history of online comments (be they newspapers or forums), shifted a single person’s voting preference, given that most people who would bother to read or comment are already going to be pretty committed to whomever they support.

  34. Mike Pearce

    ‘There will be relief in Lab ranks that their polling hasn’t gone into meltdown. However Scotland remains dreadful for them.’

    In the last Yougov poll, the Scottish crossbreaks showed a much improved picture compared the Conservatives. But we’ll have to wait for a proper Scottish poll to see if this is real.
    I suspect the recent swing back will just mean the Conservatives won’t pick up the handful of seats they were expecting in Scotland. I’m not so sure there are very many seats that Labour would capture from the SNP on a slight improvement.
    IMO this election will be decided in the Midlands and the North.

  35. @Jonathan Stuart-Brown

    Hello to you.

    I agree wholeheartedly. An opinion poll is a snapshot – and I think most of the media and electorate understand that. The story of this election might be how the Conservatives had it made in early May, but threw it away by forgetting that a manifesto is an “appeal to voters” and not a serious policy announcement. The Conservatives may recover with the clarification, but probably tge damage is done. However, that said they are still enough ahead for an increased majority. On the other hand Corbyn seems to be detoxifying himself daily, but can he do it enough to become PM of a minority Labour Government with an SNP confidence & supply arrangent? If that comes into the public consideration again what will be the reaction of the English electorate?

  36. @ronald olden

    I wasn’t thinking so much of the British nationalist, Welsh nationalist, Scottish nationalist and Irish nationalist aspect as the aim of May in calling the election.

    When she announced it she said she was calling it because the “country” (presumably the UK) was “coming together” but “Westminster” wasn’t.

    Taking those words at face value, I take them to mean that May wanted to use the election to establish a Conservative Brexit ascendancy over the UK political scene which would quell opposition in Westminster to her handling of Brexit which is where the “four countries but one people” idea comes into play.

    As the polls currently stand, it looks like the Conservatives will win comfortably in England, Labour in Wales and the SNP in Scotland. Both Labour in wales and the SNP in Scotland are in favour of membership of the Single Market ( iirc re Wales but tariff free access may satisfy them). Lucid Talk’s polling in Northern Ireland shows no significant change in NI but its findings on a border poll are to my mind significant.

    So overall the polls at the moment are not suggesting that May’s aim to bring Westminster together to reflect what she asserted was the country coming together (as four countries, one people) will be achieved. It will be pretty much as before except May will have increased her working majority largely it seems by squeezing the UKIP vote in England.

  37. @Alec

    There’s a whole heap of logical trains of thought that can originate in the social care mess, but we aren’t about to hear any of them in this campaign. Social care has to be paid for somehow (which was the brutal point of last week’s Tory policy and which has been fundamentally undermined by this week’s) but no-one wants to grasp the nettle of inheritance tax.

    At some point, someone is going to take the role of the boy talking about the emperor’s new clothes, and is going to ask the question “But why should children expect to inherit their parent’s wealth? Just because parent and child would like it to be so doesn’t make it right or fair.”

    But not during this election.

  38. I meant to add…

    It’s a fundamental weakness of an electoral discourse framed about individual policies and personalities rather than couched in ideology and philosophy. Hard questions are never asked, let alone answered, because they will only likely lose votes.

  39. So basically the Lab > Kip > Con voters are all going “oh they’re Tories”. Its not much of a surprise – May seemed to be polling far to high as were the Tories for really doing very little.

    Lesson so far seems to be elections are not referendums. And there seems to be a lot of voters turning on May for using Brexit to build support for her domestic ambition.

    May might get good approval ratings but shes not done much popular except back Brexit which was a Tory party pre-requisite for standing. Any new policies from her or her cabinet have been marmite at best.

  40. Regardless of your allegiance, everyone can agree that this is making out to be an interesting and exciting election, and offers one of the most prominent choices in recent years. Hopefully this will encourage a higher turnout as the parties move towards a focus of distinct set of policies rather than saying the same things to capture key demographics.

    Labour still have a long way to go, and I don’t think we’re heading for an upset in the sense of them winning a majority, but the Conservative landslide anticipated is gradually fading away.

    I expect Conservatives will hold onto their majority, but ultimately, they will need to come out with a sizeable gain to really claim victory, considering the reasoning for calling the election in the first place. A sign of time wasted or a drop of a single seat could be a disaster in the long term.

    One factor I think appears to be overlooked is a change in appearances. The strategy from the Tories POV tended to be a Theresa vs Corbyn match, showing the strength from the former. However this may be backfiring as Corbyn is coming across as much more friendly and willing to engage with voters, which combined with the difference in manifesto receptions is having an affect on voters.

  41. JIM JAM

    I agree.

    He is even handed-and absolutely deadly.

    Because he does his research & looks for flaws & inconsistencies. He love the numbers side of things too.

    O love watching his interviews.

  42. Robin – “Having also backed down on the budget at the first sign of discontent, she’s going to be widely regarded as a pushover, and will likely be repeatedly opposed by one or other wing of her party.”

    She’s backed down in the face of opposition from the Tory press, and this is the second time this has happened (the first was over self-employed NI that affected journalists most).

    What this means is that she is a pushover for the press. Their version of Brexit will prevail. I doubt the EU will see a penny of exit charges for example, because our press will howl loudly about it.

  43. I must apologise.

    In an earlier post I mentioned that the new ITV Wales Poll implied a 1.5%, swing from Labour to Tories in Wales.

    What I failed to point out, (although it was implied from something else I said my post), is that I have adjusted the figures to take into account the fact that UKIP are not standing is some places and so an adjustment in favour of the Tory vote was required to take into account what would happen on a uniform Wales Wide Swing.

    I won’t go into the details. But there is clearly no point is assuming that UKIP will get 5% of the vote in seats in which they are not standing or assuming that these people won’t go out and vote for someone else instead.

    UKIP voters tend to be very politically motivated so will surely vote for someone, and all the indications are that they will predominantly vote Tory. The must also be a bigger rallying around the Tories by UKIP voters in seats where they are standing, but people realise that there’s a chance of a pro Brexit Tory beating the Pro Remain Lib Dems, Labour or Plaid Cymru Candidate.

    For most UKIP voters Brexit is the main thing. But for splinter groups from the left like (say) the Greens and even most Lib Dems it isn’t.

    By way of an example in Gower, which Roger Scully thinks from this poll Labour will regain, ultra narrowly, there are 4773 UKIP votes up for grabs. 11.2% of the electorate. In those circumstances does Mr Scully really think that these voters are going to stand by, vote for a no hope UKIP Candidate, and hand the seat back to pro Remain Labour when they can get what they want by voting Tory?

    Mr Scully also fails to take into account the fact that newly elected MPs (unless they have proven to be completely useless) always perform relatively better than their Party Nationally in their first election after they have been elected than they did first time round.

    Byron Davies is going to have to fight hard to win in Gower, but on these polling figures he will do so.

    On these figures the Tories would also win Wrexham where there is no UKIP Candidate standing, and 5700(15.5%) UKIP voters up for grabs against a Labour majority of 1700, and albeit that’s on a knife-edge should just about manage Bridgend.

    Much more than that was always pie in the sky.

    The real story of all this is the meltdown in the Plaid Cymru position. There is a 5% swing here fro Plaid Cymru, to both the Tories and Labour.

    If Tories are willing to vote tactically for Labour to remove Plaid Cymru in Carmarthenshire East and Dinefwr and in Arfon (and considering the disgusting verbal abuse that Leanne Wood hurls at Tories, why wouldn’t they prefer Labour to Plaid Cymru?), Plaid Cymru could drop to one seat. Given Leanne Wood’s personality Eurofanaticism and conduct in General they might just do so.

    Corbyn isn’t much of an issue in Wales because people see Welsh Labour as hostile him. Leanne Wood however is. She actually the Welsh Corbyn, but without even having his small band of followers.

  44. @RICH

    Here, here…

  45. @RICH

    Hear, hear…

    (sorry correction)

  46. @AW

    Hear flippin hear !!

  47. I believe we need to get back to discussing polling, potential seats and marginals… Perhaps moving away from leadership speculation.

    We all like to get our point across and everyone has a political leaning (I myself am guilty of it), but some posts are really attacking one party and encouraging responses.

  48. Brillo showing once again why his reputation as the best political interviewer on the block is well deserved.

  49. After watching the news tonight I think we can safely say that we won’t be wondering whether May is going to be the new Thatcher.

    Thatcher’s most famous ‘U turn if you want to’ catchphrase has been butchered and the PM made to look flaky. Given that the entire Conservative campaign has been based on May herself, this has potential to do deep damage, nowhere more so than her own internal party support.

    The really difficult bit is to work out how this affects VI now. The policy was obviously problematical, and I’m doubtful that the u turn actually buries the issue, but also trying to focus on leadership doesn’t look such a solid banker now. My best guess is that Labour have just been thrown another lifeline.

  50. @Robin

    The “devolve and forget” line is of some months standing.

    It is not entirely clear what it means in practice although the context in which May originally used it shows that she considered the UK Government was not sufficiently active in Scotland and Wales ( whether that regret applies to Northern Ireland is unclear).

    It could signal an intention to interfere in devolved matters but common sense would suggest that the Westminster Government has neither the capacity nor the lack of political.common sense to do so ( with the possible exception of trade deals – see below). It could mean that May wants the UK Government to do more in its areas of activity to cover all countries of the UK or at least to be seen to be doing so ( e.g the Tory manifesto says that a new Board of Trade will have country representatives from Scotland, Wales and NI).

    The current live issue is how powers coming back from the EU will be treated. Vote Leave held out the prospect ( and almost the inevitability) of control over agriculture,.fisheries etc passing to the devolved governments. Indeed Gove even suggested the possibility of devolved immigration powers.

    The Brexit White Paper has dampened those Vote Leave suggestions (promises?). Any devolved immigration powers have been ruled out. Repatriated powers will be taken back to Westminster initially but there are no proposals after nearly a year what will happen next. An undertaking has been given that no powers currently devolved will be taken back but also that nothing must be done to affect the UK “Single Market” nor hamper the UKs’ ability to negotiate trade deals.

    Superficially reassuring but if , for example, current EU agricultural support measures are completely changed or there are no replacement measures then devolved powers over those EU programmes will not be taken back they will simply become irrelevant. One of the many frustrations of the devolved Governments with the Joint Ministerial Committee as the means for involving them in Brexiters is that there has been no substantive discussion of these issues.

    Trade deals are an interesting question. For example, if a trade deal with the USA requires opening up the NHS throughout the UK to American providers how will that be handled where the NHS and health is fully devolved? Will there be some “re-reserving” of health by primary legislation? Or by some other means?

    Hope that helps.

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