The ICM/Guardian poll today has topline figures of CON 41%(+1), LAB 41%(-1), LDEM 7%(-1). Fieldwork was Friday-Sunday, and changes are from ICM’s poll before the Labour conference. As with the polls at the weekend, there’s no significant change here. Theresa May’s conference speech obviously didn’t go as she would have hoped, but it doesn’t really appear to have changed levels of support: 17% of people told ICM her speech had improved their perception of her (mostly Tories who probably liked her anyway), 17% told ICM her speech had damaged their perceptions of her (mostly Labour supporters who probably didn’t like her anyway). Most said it made no difference.

ICM also asked about possible alternative leaders to Theresa May, underlining one of the problems the Conservatives have – in every named case (Johnson, Rudd, Hammond, Rees-Mogg, Patel and Green) people thought they would do worse than Theresa May would at the general election. The only person who the public thought would do better than May was a generic “someone quite young and able who is not currently in government”… which, of course, is a recipe for respondents to imagine an ideal candidate who may very well not exist, especially not among the select group of people with a reasonable chance of winning the leadership of the Conservative party.

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799 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 41, LAB 41, LDEM 7”

1 2 3 16
  1. Remind me to get a life.

  2. level on ICM consistent with 2-4% Labour lead with most others pollsters, their DK re-allocation making the difference I think.

  3. I am not sure why people actually bother ICM they were one of the worst pollsters during the election cycle.

    I am surprised they have Labour as close as they are

    ;-)

  4. PRRP,

    Because, trends matter and it was not DK/WNV re-allocation that did for ICM in 2017 GE but the LTV filters which they have adjusted at least partially.

    Maybe not enough but this moe tiny swing to the cons confirms what other polls have shown that the conference season and associated events has had little if any impact.

    My assessment taking them all in to account is a slight increase to the Lab lead based on a small number of 2017 Tories saying DK or WNV.

  5. s thomas

    Get a life.

  6. “ICM also asked about possible alternative leaders to Theresa May, underlining one of the problems the Conservatives have – in every named case (Johnson, Rudd, Hammond, Rees-Mogg, Patel and Green) people thought they would do worse than Theresa May would at the general election.”

    ——–

    Out of interest, how many possible alternative Labour leaders poll better than Jezza?

  7. paul croft

    thank you for the reminder.

  8. JIM Jam

    any more gain for Labour and the ICM polls will show the tories ahead!

  9. @CARFREW

    I think it would not matter I think both sides are locked in indeed I suppose Khan may make the London centric vote go up but I think it would make the Labour leave vote desert for the Tories so overall in term sof Proportion of vote it may make little difference but in seats it may be worse than Corbyn apparent ambivalence to Brexit.

    @JIM JAM

    I agree, I just think that 12% lead down to a 2.4% vote share lead is just horrible polling

    it is a bit like banker and estate agents they are getting paid no matter how bad they are

    ;-)

    Plus remember the smiley without them our arguments would be even more conjecture

    ;-)

    Time for Star Trek Discovery I think and a good single malt whiskey

  10. PTRP

    Would that be an Irish or American malt whiskey?

  11. It is Speyside single malt scotch whiskey or at least that is what it says on the bottle

    I personally love laphroaig but it a school night so I go with the cheaper option
    I have a friend who is a member of the Whiskey society which means I have no name bottles of 70% single malts that I often need to go back to booklet to remember why I bought them. Happy days ;-)

    I have tried some Japanese whiskeys and I am partial to the odd Irish single malt too. I acquired the taste when working in Belfast and Dublin

  12. PTRP

    You mean a Speyside malt whisky, I think. Not that it is important, but Scotland and Canada call their products whisky, while Ireland and the USA add an “E”.

    Having sampled single malts from all 4 countries, I didn’t notice that adding “E”s to the product made much difference. Still youngsters seem to enjoy the high they get from “E”s. :-)

  13. @PTRP

    “I think it would not matter I think both sides are locked in indeed I suppose Khan may make the London centric vote go up but I think it would make the Labour leave vote desert for the Tories so overall in term sof Proportion of vote it may make little difference but in seats it may be worse than Corbyn apparent ambivalence to Brexit”

    ———-

    Ah, so is Khan the alternative front runner? Not Starmer? Cos people keep mentioning him.

  14. @Oldnat
    @PTRP

    “I have tried some Japanese whiskeys and I am partial to the odd Irish single malt too. I acquired the taste when working in Belfast and Dublin”

    ———

    Yamazaki is nice, though a bit obvious, don’t know much about the other Japanese whiskys, so if you have any pointers…

    One imagines Oldnat to be discerning chap and hence copious repository of useful knowledge on whisky which he is more than welcome to divulge a bit for our benefit!!

    P.s. Do Japan add an ‘E’ to whisky or not? I guessed not…

  15. @S THOMAS

    “Remind me to get a life.”

    ——–

    Get an allotment.

  16. Yougov shaking off Brexit Blues. From the Times…

    “The polling, analytics and data group that correctly predicted a hung parliament in the general election has reported a jump in annual profit.

    Pre-tax profit at Yougov rose by 43 per cent to £7.9 million, on a 21 per cent increase in revenues to £107 million in the year to the end of July.

    The company continued to benefit from its expansion in the United States, which was the biggest driver of profits last year, and consequently by the weakness of the pound against the dollar.

    Expanded media coverage from its polling with CBS during the presidential election last year has lifted its profile in America, where adjusted operating profit increased by 54 per cent to £9.3 million. Renevue rose by 32 per cent to £40.7 million.

    Roger Parry, chairman, said the full-year results reflected Yougov’s success in winning US-based global leaders as clients. “[This] is a strength at a time when the UK and European political and economic outlook remains more uncertain,” he said.”

    (Hope this all means Anthony get a nice bonus!!…)

  17. @ Carfrew
    (Hope this all means Anthony get a nice bonus!!…)

    Careful what you wish for. You wouldn’t be pleased if he shut us down and went off on his yacht

  18. PRINCESS RACHEL (FPT)

    Interesting, seems that the dramas that used to move polls no longer do. Is this the result of moving from managerial politics to ideological politics?

    Normally at this time of year Anthony writes a piece patiently explaining that Party conferences rarely make any difference to VI, despite much hyperventillating in the media about how politician A has triumphed and politician B is now doomed (and so on till Z) and therefore politics will be changed forever. This seems to be another of these years. The truth is very few people take much notice of these shindigs

    Of course conferences can have effects even if most of the punters regards them as tedious gabfests. The few that are interested (the media, the activists) are very interested indeed; this may have internal Party consequences or even cause longer-term preception shifts. But the main public reaction is going to be “meh”.

    In the case of this year it’s certainly been that way. May’s ‘disaster’ speech probably helped her a little by making her look more human and her rivals’ plotting hasn’t played well. She has hung on because the alternatives make her look good and polling (as ICM confirms) suggests that this is true. None of this stops the various factions in the media punting their chosen mate as the only way to solve a ‘leadership crisis’ which their mate’s election would only make worse.

    Anthony in the last thread pointed to a reduction in May’s lead over Corbyn in Opinium and YouGov polls, but looking at longer term figures these are just reversing previous recent drops. What seems to be happening is a lesser version of what we saw in the election campaign. During ‘normal’ times the constant media attacks on Corbyn gradually erode his ratings. When he gets more, and more impartial, coverage and people discover he hasn’t got two heads after all, his figures rebound.

    So Party conferences don’t make much difference, but then they never have.

  19. @Guymonde

    He could still mod us from the yacht, surely? With a satellite link? Or from his undersea complex…

  20. “So Party conferences don’t make much difference, but then they never have.”

    ——-

    Then again, most conferences don’t involve extended coughing fits, P45s, quotes from the West Wing and letters falling off the sign. Now we know that even these don’t make much difference either, so good of Theresa to help us with our research. Next year if she can turn up dressed as a budgie, swigging gin from a bottle and singing “Killing in the Name of”, it might be a step towards determining just what actually DOES move the polls…

  21. …in the name…

  22. JIM JAM

    level on ICM consistent with 2-4% Labour lead with most others pollsters, their DK re-allocation making the difference I think.

    The DK reallocation doesn’t make a lot of difference at the moment – it was Con 40%. Lab 41% before. The bigger alteration comes from the way they do LTV, though clearly it’s not as extreme as before June. Before LTV [after]:

    Con 39% [40]

    Lab 43% [41]

    Lib Dem 7% [7]

    UKIP 5% [5]

    Other 7% [7]

    There may be a problem with even taking LTV at face value, because those voters more likely to say they are not absolutely certain to vote (such as the young and women) also tend to be more Labour. If they still vote in the same numbers as other voters and are just being more reticent, then there may still be a little bias in the system.

  23. RM
    I seem to recall long nights of discussion here of why the Labour vote was not going to turn out, being young and feckless and all. S Thomas in particular waxed almost lyrical about how the “elders of the tribe” were going to deliver Mrs May a thumping majority. ;-)
    Happy Days eh?

  24. PTRP
    “I have no name bottles of 70% single malts …..”
    Check carefully how much water to add to make them drinkable – almost certainly in my experience enough to bring them down to 40o to make them drinkable, and then some for best taste (but I defer to ON for better expertise.)

    On the impact of Conference on the party leader’s popularity: this year the exposure of the PM to speaking on the issue of Brexit in the HOC, notably in the Withdrawal debate and yesterday on her statement, and in her Florence speech, has meant repeated evidence of her strengths and weaknesses in an issue central to VI and to her ratings, reinforcing the impact of her Conference performance. The impression of reliance on repetitive argument lacking substance, often emerging as a mantra, often tautological, often evading the key question (e.g. do EU migrants have permanent rights as citizens?) is a damaging constant in the impression that she makes.

  25. @JOHN PILGRIM

    Thanks for the advice…….as I said my friend is a whiskey society member so I go along every couple of years to the bristol meeting.

    @OLD NAT

    I never worry about the spelling whisky properly as spell checkers auto correction messing with it. It is the made in Scotland variety.

  26. OLD NAT
    WIA on the Beeb is dangerously funny. Followed by an account of replicating the effect of dropping a baby from the upper floors of Grenfell by filming the dropping of a similarly weighted bowling ball and then by discussion of exchanges in the HOC debate on the PM’s statement on Brexit, introduced by “There has been a lot of balls being batted around in public debate today,” meant that the viewer had difficulty in regarding any of it as needed, regrettable or even tragic. Comedy rules OK.

  27. Thanks Roger.

  28. Theresa May should have coughed during the GE. She could have won a majority then…

  29. JP

    W1A is brilliant. Love the Welsh lady.

  30. @JOHN PILGRIM

    O feel that the problem the Leave/Tory supporters have is that Leaving the EU is a primary issue. They do not want an election or another referendum since they believe that may change the situation so I fear despite what can be described as May’s mishandling of the issue I fear that no one will move from the position of voting for her.

    It is a bit like trump I believe she can have very low approval ratings but for Tory/Leaver supporters anyone other than May means a risk to a process they are not willing to risk. So I believe you have the combination of Tory tribalism and Leave calculation will keep Tories in the hunt. It also means that it really does not matter whom is in charge. the issues remain the same. The reality is that both the Tories and Labour would wish that the issue of the leaving the EU just goes away. Although I believe the Tories and Labour for very different reasons

    The Labour party has an agenda that it believes it can win on and the Tories because until brexit is out of the way they have no bandwidth to fight on any other agenda

  31. Yes, we all know conferences don’t affect voting intention much.

    But then, we also knew that campaigns and manifestos don’t influence the outcome of elections either.

    (Worth saying too that in the new Corbyn world, if an election campaign starts neck-and-neck in the polls, he and his party are likely to take 600 seats)

  32. NickP

    Whilst i realise that you are being tongue-in-cheek there is little oint in extrapolating the future from a single, unique event.

    The circumstances of this year’s GE will never be precisely replicated. Probably not even vaguely so.

    The next GE will not only be with different leaders [probably including Labour’s] but with a Tory party forewarned about what to look out for.

    Of course, it may actually go better for Labour [it will have to if they are to get close to being the government] but, equally, it could go a lot worse.

    Pretty much everything depends upon how brexit unravels, plus the side-issue of the various leadership issues; and, obviously, both are inextricably inter-connected.

  33. Have you had some sort of disappointment in life, Paul? You seem to have been replaced by a sort of Stepford pollster recently.

  34. Paul croft,
    ” with a Tory party forewarned about what to look out for.”

    Hmm. The tories had little choice over policy. I think with May leading they might have been a bit more honest than otherwise, but one of the objectives of the campaign was to get a clear mandate for hard Brexit. I mean, an informed choice by voters, and you cannot do that by deluding them about what to expect. The aim was so that voters could not then turn around and blame the tories for what came next.

    I don’t know whether tories were surprised by Corbyn’s personal success. They should not have been, and I doubt they were given the strategy they had adopted. Assuming their strategy of rubbishing him at every opportunity was based upon tactics, it implies they always thought he personally was the biggest threat.

  35. For, the right, socialism (and therefore Corbyn) IS the real enemy – they have got a bit confused as they now seem to think it is the EU (or remainers, or maybe just themselves).

    I don’t think they can save themselves. They are fighting a battle against an enemy that doesn’t care, and Jezza is going to take the spoils by default.

  36. Q4 in the ICM poll asked about “Corbyn’s economic policies turn(ing) Britain into Venezuela-like socialist state”

    Wordy responses so mild parpahrasing:
    CON VI had 77% (42+35) that either don’t like the sound of those economic policies or oppose those economic policies. Those two responses combined gave 41% for LAB VI.
    The highest single response for LAB Vi was in DK at 30%

    CON are going to play the Venezuela comparison into the next GE and that suggests LAB will find it difficult to grab further VI from CON.

    I really hope CON offer something more than ‘fear’ to win votes. Rare I agree with Vince Cable these days but voting for one party because it isn’t the other party is a sorry state of affairs.

  37. Looking at the ICM poll it is interesting that May’s speech at the Conservative Conference which was slammed by the TV and Radio media and the press seems to have made no difference at all. Indeed the conference season seems to have made no difference to party standing. It would appear that voters seem to be ignoring the voices of the metropolitan elite. Good for them.

    Basically the ICM poll appears in line with other October polls. For the Conservatives a quiet smile I think, especially at May’s 9% lead over Corbyn as best for PM.

    Trevor Warne

    “I really hope CON offer something more than ‘fear’ to win votes. Rare I agree with Vince Cable these days but voting for one party because it isn’t the other party is a sorry state of affairs.”

    Whilst I agree with your sentiments re the next Conservative offer I suspect most of us have done just that for most of our adult lives.

  38. DANNY

    @” one of the objectives of the campaign was to get a clear mandate for hard Brexit.”

    I don’t think so at all.

    imo it was an attempt to get a couple of years gap between Brexit & the next GE & to have a big enough majority to cope with the extreme Brexiteers in her own party & extreme Remainers on the opposition benches.

    May always intended a pragmatic approach doing her best to straddle the “instruction” from the Referendum Vote ( control of borders, money & laws) -and the economic well being of the country.

    Her stance yesterday in HoC epitomises this-as a result of which JRM was up in arms & the Remainers threw fits about planning for No Deal.

  39. It is certainly striking that a speech which received such blanket criticism in the press, with unflattering photos galore, gets a shrug from voters.

    I remember one commentator suggesting that “sympathy” was the worst thing for a leader to have.

    But I’m just beginning to wonder whether the ” stubborn woman” part of TM’s character might have a positive appeal which is countering reaction to her wooden & formulaic public utterances.

    I sensed yesterday in her ” the ball is in your court now” message to the EU, and her gritted teeth emphasis that planning is under way for No Deal that this sort of stuff could have a certain appeal.

    Coming out fighting as it were.

    Voter reaction to public figures might be a complex thing which is not fully understood.

  40. @ PRINCESSRACHEL – could you send the link to debt to that you mention on the previous thread. I’m aware of the high levels of personal debt as a global issue. A lot of countries have deteriorated to a level much worse than UK (e.g. Netherlands, Sweden, Canada, etc)! Germany is about the only peer country that has lowered it’s household debt levels in the last two decades. E.Europe has low levels of debt due to a historic very low start point. Japan has slightly lower personal debt than UK but obviously much higher govt debt.

    This OECD tool allows you to go back to 1995 for most developed countries but don’t have the info to go back further.

    https://data.oecd.org/hha/household-debt.htm

    Thanks

  41. nick p

    I don’t understand the point of your question so won’t bother to try and answer it.

    I do think that, potentially, the Tories have the greater problems.

    1/ We are a number of years into “austerity” with pretty much no progress being reported.

    2/ They generally get leadership issues wrong and they will face a decision before the next election – with many more TOH’s than just our one voting for leader.

    3/ Brexit is likely to pose enormous problems for them – whatever decisions they take.

    All I am warning about – as a Labour voter with many, many general election disappointments under my belt – is to beware of hubris and over-confidence.

  42. Talking of negative events that don’t have much impact on VI, I wonder if trade statistics will ever regain the iconic status they had in 1970 (when one month’s bad figure was said to have cost Harold Wilson the election)?

    On the face of it, today’s leap in the trade deficit (excluding erratic commodities, the trade deficit widened by £1.7bn to £4.6bn between July and August. – BBC), to be followed by the downgrading of productivity performance, ought to be a hammer blow against perceptions of government economic confidence. But I think another collective shrug is more likely.

    Unfortunately, chronic poor trade and productivity performance has a lot more real significance than one conference speech, however the electorate may perceive things.

  43. iain Duncan Smith is setting some red lines of his own and explaining his negotiating position.

    “That is why our negotiating tactic must be to publicly plan to leave the EU on WTO terms and force the EU to decide what they really want. ”

    “I read over the weekend that some civil servants are recommending we go to Brussels and offer to give in to many more of their demands, such as accepting ECJ rulings after we have left, in the hope of discussing an FTA. That would be the worst mistake we could make. They will bank that and figure out that the UK has lost its nerve. They would be right.”

    ” I also understand that in the bowels of the Treasury, they still haven’t accepted that the implementation period should last for a maximum of two years. The talk is still of three or more.”

    Might there be other points of view?

  44. On the Financial settlement issue, I listened to May’s statement yesterday and it seems to contain agreement on two features only :-

    * Contributions to the Budget 2014/2020.
    * Payment for participation in EU projects & institutions post Brexit.

    There was no indication that I detected , that payment towards the Post Budget EU “committments” known as ” Reste a liquider” was recognised as a legal or moral liability.

    This item is a Big number & much more significant for remaining member states than the current Budget contributions.

  45. “However, the Prime Minister’s statement was more troubling on the question of how she envisages the legal regime in the hoped-for transition period after March 2019. It seems that the Government still plans for any deal to be ultimately overseen by a new arbitration court, potentially some form of sub-tribunal hosted by the EFTA court as floated over the summer. But yesterday May suggested that the move to such a system would take place during the transition period, not at the start of it – effectively delaying the point at which Britain escapes rule by the European Court of Justice to some point between 2019 and 2021.”

    This comment and the one above are from Conservative Home. This one is from Mark Wallace

  46. Colin

    I agree with your 9-31 am post

    Nick P

    “They are fighting a battle against an enemy that doesn’t care, and Jezza is going to take the spoils by default.”

    I rest my case on hubris. It is by no means certain that Corbyn will even fight another general election as leader – never mind win “by default”, whatever that means.

    One of the things that is particular to the British [probably more English] character is that we are happy to build people up but we never like them to stay up. That is really noticeable in sport – football especially – and is a special feature in press coverage.

    Amongst politicians Blair was one of the few to last at least a year or so with positive figures.

  47. There`s some major costs and a lot of inconvenience in these trade plans for a No-deal that the Tories are waving. Supposedly the plans are to scare the EU, but they are not going to please UK traders and farmers.

    Traders will “need to present goods for inspection as inland as possible” because of space constraints at ports. And there will be a “trades remedy investigating authority”, which looks like ineffectual bureaucracy.

    Won`t there be scope for illegal leakages if imported goods are shifted many miles inland to be checked?

    The situation in Northern Ireland seems a disaster, and the RoI ought to be announcing clearly it will not tolerate this half-baked solution, and will veto any attempt by the UK to impose it on the EU. The RoI will argue that customs control ought to be in Irish Sea ports, which will surely backfire DUP support for the Tories, so TM will resist.

    So chaos.

  48. “Great guy-wonderful insights.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/10/09/richard_thaler_wins_economics_nobel_for_recognizing_that_people_are_irrational.html

    THats both Kahnemann & Thaler now as Nobel Laureates.

    :-)”
    @Colin October 9th, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    Consider these two people:

    Alan: intelligent — industrious — impulsive — critical — stubborn — envious
    Ben: envious — stubborn — critical — impulsive — industrious — intelligent

    Which of these two people do you favour. Alan or Ben?

    .

    .

    .

    Probably you said Alan. It just shows you the importance of first impressions, and there is nothing you can do to stop yourself!

    Now consider this:

    A bat and ball cost $1.10
    The bat costs one dollar more than the ball
    How much does the ball cost?

    Think about it…

    .

    .

    .

    Did you get 10c, or the correct answer — 5c?

    Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

  49. I’m loving the way the EU is coming to the rescue of our trade, while the great white hopes elsewhere disappoint:

    Exports of goods to non-EU countries decreased by £4.0 billion (8.8%) between the three months to May 2017 and the three months to August 2017. As shown in Figure 2, almost half was due to a decrease in fuel exports (£1.9 billion).

    Exports of goods to the EU increased by £1.7 billion (4.1%) between the three months to May 2017 and the three months to August 2017, due to machinery and transport equipment exports increasing by £0.8 billion, and smaller increases elsewhere.

    It must be possible to put a brexit-friendly spin on this, but I’m scratching my head a bit. Evidence of how EU membership holds back our exporters to RoW, perhaps?

  50. AL URQA

    I’ve read it-a brilliant book.

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