Quick update on recent polls – ICM in the Guardian have topline voting intention figures of CON 43%(+1), LAB 42%(-1), LDEM 7%(nc) (tabs are here). Voting intention remains as static as it has been for the last eight months or so.

The rest of the poll was sadly agree/disagree statements, but for what it’s worth they don’t suggest any particular impact from Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn’s speeches on Brexit last week. For Theresa May 30% agreed her speech made her position clearer, 35% disagree; for Jeremy Corbyn 32% agreed his speech made his position clearer, 31% disagree. I suspect in both cases this is actually a third of people who had an idea of the party position (or are giving a partisan pro-party answer) rather than a third of the country who have actually become more enlightened.


659 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 43%, LAB 42%, LDEM 7%”

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  1. This is either great for the Tories or great for Labour or great for both. But very important we all argue about which that is and why.

  2. ……and go off on all manner of tangents, chiefly on Brexit, but with little if no reference to the polls!

  3. Is that ICM Table 4 new?

    Breakdown by (rather small numbers) in E&W marginal seats.

    Net Lab/Con marginal – Con 40% : Lab 47%.

    Does it actually mean much?

  4. SmileyBen

    Disappointed that you omitted “great for neither”

  5. @Oldnat

    I suppose it depends both on the current colour of the marginals, and the direction of travel of the vote shares.

    If 70% of the Lab/Con marginals were held by Labour, and they got 49% of the vote of them last time, it’d be bad for Labour, etc.

    Headline figures rarely explain anything, as we know!

  6. Also, I don’t think a combined vote share of 85% for the Big Two could be “good for neither”! By the standards of the the last 30 odd years that is a Lion’s Share of the vote. Labour are doing brilliantly, but the the Tories are doing more brilliantly.

  7. For what it’s worth I just think it is the Brexit Standoff continuing. We are rapidly approaching the point where “Big Decisions Must Be Made” (some of them ‘Very Brave Decisions, Prime Minister…) and it won’t be until that point is reached that we are likely to see any further re-jig of the political scene. If the locals come before the Brexit decisions, they may have a temporary effect on the polls, but I don’t think it will be a patch on the Big Show.

  8. Neil A
    “For what it’s worth I just think it is the Brexit Standoff continuing”

    Absolutely. I don’t expect to see much movement until the final deal becomes more apparent.
    ——————
    And thanks Crofty for replying last night.

    Gnight all.

  9. Damn insomnia!

    More from Lucid Talk

    Alliance/Green/Independents on the DUP attitude to ILA

    Totally opposed to DUP policy. ILA needed – 60%
    Opposed but not overly concerned – 29%
    Agree with DUP but not overly concerned – 6%
    Totally for DUP policy – less than 1%

  10. Good Morning all from a sunny Bournemouth.
    T.May doing well, IMO. given the fact that things have not been easy for the Government.

  11. CL45

    I can only assume that Labour feel that their ground game will make all the difference when it comes to an election campaign once more; their above-ground game, at the moment, is rubbish.

  12. Up until recently it’s looked to me as though ukips slide into irrelevance has seen voters return to where they came from, the softest spreading themselves fairly evenly, the return of hardcore Cash and Redwoodites now explaining the small uptick in Tory support. Will the remaining 2? stay loyal, or will even these decide that it’s all over? Unless it’s really margin of error, or the polls being wrong, but for the sake of argument I’m prepared to imagine a trend.

    With Brexit being the only news, the Tories appear to have noticed that they have allowed themselves to be typecast in the media and are desperate to find a second string to their bow. It is telling that when they try to do so, as with this week’s housing market stuff (trashed as unicorn droppings by their own council leaders and already chip wrapping) they desperately position themselves well to the left of anything they might have considered a year ago. The narrative of Corbyn the spy having failed to move anyone to the right, they have nowhere to go but left, but no one believes that either. It’s a tricky one

    Since nothing is moving politically, there is no reason for polling to shift either, but the longer it remains stagnant the more time people with a tendency to drift will have to get used to whereabouts they have identified themselves as being on the political spectrum at the moment. Since the last movement was a huge recent shift to Labour, the Tories ought to be running scared that these people are starting to make themselves comfortable on the big roundabout and will take more persuasion to move after they’ve sat there for a while.

    Would it be a step too far to suggest that the reason it feels midterm is because the Brexit timetable has rendered the Parliamentary one obsolete?

    Labour remain in the position where even though Neil and Humphrys can bluster about a lack of clarity in their policies, they don’t need to have any since they aren’t going to need them until just before the next election. The only thing they need is a great big stick with which to poke the Tory wasps nest every week or so, and since the Tories are quite adept at squabbling amongst themselves at the merest whisper of the word Europe they are not being called upon for prodding nearly as often as they should be.

  13. NEIL A

    I hope to continue our conversation from the previous thread.

    You have not yet grasped what I have been talking about. The Kilbrandon Lecture by Sir Harry Burns is in the context of the Childrens’ Hearing System in Scotland. I gave the link to it because you were talking about lifestyle choices and how it impinged on people’s lives. The Kilbrandon lecture shows clearly that child development is not a matter where choice is always available. I then moved the topic to health inequalities another area where choice is not always available. So, you are right to identify the differences you do.
    However, it is pretty obvious that poverty can cause stress in a household and affect a child’s mental health and cognitive development. Permanently raised levels of cortisol affects brain development. In that kind of situation a child is likely to have low educational achievement, low earnings as an adult and will bring up his/her children in poverty, perpetuating the cycle.

    When giving evidence to the Scottish parliament there were clear differences between the researchers, Professors Tannahill, McIntyre and McCartney (then Dr) and Sir Harry Burns (then former CMO – when the referendum was lost Sir Harry briefly and pointedly remarked: “The poor have been put back in their box”)

    It is here to read: http://www.parliament.scot/S4_HealthandSportCommittee/Reports/her-15-01w-rev.pdf

    It might be possible for a family to be in good health living all their lives in rented accommodation and living on the minimum wage. It is a myopic view. Is the housing good or bad? How much is the rent? Is there stable employment that is not zero hours? How many children are there? Is your name Pollyanna? Where do you do your policing?

    The WHO quote that you mention comes from a paper written by a Scotsman about Scotland and titled: “What would be sufficient to reduce health inequalities in Scotland? The WHO quote applies to the developed world as well as the undeveloped. ( I cannot find the para you quoted and I wonder if you have read the McCartney paper)

    Of course you may refuse to believe that poverty is inextricably linked to poor health. That is not what research in Scotland says. Or in England either. The Marmot Report of 2010 talks about the “social gradient” – the richer you are, the longer you will live.

  14. the ED

    “Would it be a step too far to suggest that the reason it feels midterm is because the Brexit timetable has rendered the Parliamentary one obsolete?”

    I think you make some interesting points: the Cameron, 2015 GE victory and subsequent takeover by May, is now nearly three years ago – in which time very little has changed and there is only one topic running like a thread through everything.

  15. Alec, OLDNAT
    You will recall we had a disagreement about whether or not the “nothing is agreed until all is agreed”, point 5 of the joint Draft will apply during phase two trade negotiations. I thought it does, you thought it only applied to the Draft agreement and that our payments etc would be locked in before any trade agreement is reached. I said I would check with my MP who happens to be Cabinet Minister.

    The reply was as follows:-

    “Thank you for your message. Apologies for the slow response. The Prime Minister has been very clear that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, and I am clear that we need to stick to that. So as far as I am concerned, and as the Prime Minister has said both privately and publicly, your interpretation is correct.”

    I think that is quite clear.

  16. CROFTY
    “there is only one topic running like a thread through everything.”
    Not quite. For the Labour leadership the referendum result is an indicator of regional inequality in economic development, incomesand services – blamed locally onuncontrolled migrant presence in the population but in reality the result of a failure to make adequate investment to achieve parity with areas of natural comparative advantage – regionally expressed in differences of wealth and poverty between the South/London and the North.
    The debate beneath the Brexit debate, where Labour think the real politics has to take place, is that concerning their proposals for public sector investment, including an Investment Bank, and in relation to migration-induced defection in the North and in coastal towns, their proposals for positive discrimination in investment in services and job creation, including a Migration Fund.

  17. TOH

    Thank you for getting your MP to clarify the situation on the ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’.

    That is exactly my understanding of the situation.

  18. ROBERT NEWARK

    Thanks, Robert, obviously clear to both of us but not to others in the past.

  19. TOH

    “The Prime Minister has been very clear”

    ” and I am clear”

    “I think that is quite clear.”

    I still want to get an “absolutely” clear before I’m definitely clear Howard.

  20. “The Prime Minister has been very clear that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, and I am clear that we need to stick to that. So as far as I am concerned, and as the Prime Minister has said both privately and publicly, your interpretation is correct.”

    I’m confused. Is this a (quite good) parody of T May’s rhetorical style. Or did someone mean it seriously?

  21. ROBBIE

    “I’m confused. Is this a (quite good) parody of T May’s rhetorical style. Or did someone mean it seriously?”

    I think that what is quite clear is that it was written by Stewart Lee.

  22. The Other Howard,
    ” The Prime Minister has been very clear that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, and I am clear that we need to stick to that.”

    If that is the view of a cabinet minister, maybe it explains why they keep having so many meetings about the same thing. Of course, it would depend upon what agreement being agreed he is talking about.

    Re polling. At the recent election, labour made up something like a 20 point gap, because they took a soft position on brexit.( and then indeed, tried to not mention it). Tories quite determinedly made the election about going for a hard brexit. The numbers changed a lot in the campaign as voters arranged themselves.

    I would assume the people who are not tribal tories/labor and who did do this arranging last time, will behave the same next time (assuming Brexit is still a live issue, seems likely). But because they are not tribal voters, I would expect them to judge once the two positions become clear. They really arent just now.

  23. JOHN PILGRIM

    @” migration-induced defection in the North and in coastal towns, ”

    I love this phrase John. :-)

    It places a subtle distance between the inexplicable failure to vote Labour & the subject which dare not speak its name.

    It is such strangulated hand wringing syntax which has produced “migrant-induced defection” from the so-called Mainstream in Germany & Italy recently.

  24. It is odd that some are confused by something so plain and straightforward as a simple statement.

  25. JOHN P

    My point is that whatever plans the Labour leadership may have – and however laudable – they are, to coin a phrase, happening as part of an “under” ground game. They are invisible.

    Nobody is taking any notice [apart from the very few people involved in the game] and all attention [by which I include the general, VERY bored inattention] of the electorate is on the brexit stuff which dominates the media news,

  26. Danny, Robbie Alive

    I suggest you read my post to Alec & OLDNAT again. It is quite clear what i asked about and the response is equally clear. It shows Alec and OLDNAT were wrong.

    I suggest you are both in denial.

    Have a good day.

  27. The confused anguish of a former EU apparatchik & unelected former Prime Minister.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/theworldpost/wp/2018/03/06/italian-election/?utm_term=.8bcf6db60aed

  28. “ROBERT NEWARK
    It is odd that some are confused by something so plain and straightforward as a simple statement.”

    Well, I’m not confused – I’m absolutely clear. Howard’s MP said:

    “So, as far as I am concerned”

    and that’s good enough for me.

  29. Becalmed in a sea of polls with no gathering wind…..only the vortex of the local elections might offer a different narrative but the siren voices of local elections misleads as often as it predicts….see last year’s County Council elections for example!

  30. @TOH – there you go again, believing what politicians tell you!

    Seriously though, you, your MP and the PM (if she actually believes that, which she doesn’t) are wrong.

    Once again, I’ll explain, but I know this is pointless as you don’t pay any attention to factual detail, by your own admission.

    Everything in the Joint Report (the Withdrawal Agreement) is related specifically to the provisions of Article 50. Clause 1 of the WA clearly demonstrates this. This is legally central to the debate, as A50 does not impose any obligation on the EU to sort out the future relationship terms with a leaving state. You have to interpret the WA in the context of A50.

    Clause 5 makes this even more clear, where it says –

    “Under the caveat that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, the joint commitments set out below in this joint report shall be reflected in the Withdrawal Agreement in full detail.This does not prejudge any adaptations that might be
    appropriate in case transitional arrangements were to be agreed in the second phase of the negotiations, and is without prejudice to discussions on the framework of the future relationship.”

    The first sentence demonstrates that the ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’ bit refers exclusively and only to the WA. The second sentence emphasises this by making it abundantly clear that both the transition arrangements and the future relationship discussions are distinct and different to the WA.

    You really don’t need to go any further than the first five clauses of the WA to work out that the WA has been agreed in principle, that the WA is not contingent on the transition talks or the future arrangement talks, and that the ‘nothing agreed’ caveat applies exclusively and only to the WA.

    Personally, I can’t believe that leavers, including MPs, are being so willfully stupid as to fall for the guff that the WA doesn’t have to be signed in advance of the transition and trade talks. Therefore I don’t believe this.

    What’s happening here is that the government, and in all probability your MP, is deliberately and willfully manipulating you, and others like you, into believing something that is patently false.

    The government knows that it has to sign the legally binding version of the WA before the transition and trade talks formally commence.

    If you are really in any doubt about this, just go back to the very start of the negotiations when the EU proposed a three stage process, agreeing on the withdrawal terms before setting out the future relationship framework and then agreeing any transition. At the time, Davis said this was illogical and impractical and demanded simultaneous withdrawal and trade talks.

    After one morning of formal talks, May conceded on her first red line and the UK agreed completely with the EU timetable. Whatever your MP says, at this early point in the negotiations the UK accepted we would need to sign the WA before starting on anything else.

    If you have any doubts about this, pay heed to Stefaan de Rynck, Barnier’s main trade adviser. In a speech on Monday he made it clear that the transition could only be agreed once the withdrawal was settled. It didn’t get much coverage in the UK press, but this is why EU lawyers are currently drafting the legal version of the WA.

    If it didn’t need signing now, why bother doing the drafting at this point, and why are we waiting for the transition and trade talks to start?

  31. @ Oldnat
    I stand corrected: in a hurry, I failed to put nation state in ” …”.

    What term do we use? Composite state: Atlantic Archipelago.

  32. @TOH – “I suggest you are both in denial.”

    Quite the contrary.

    I’ve gone to the bother of reading the agreement text, reading the A50 text, reading the agreements made between HMG and the EU on the negotiation timetable, and then working out what this all means.

    By contrast, you’ve taken the interpretation of a politician as gospel.

    As before, when after a lengthy period of denial you were forced to admit that your belief that May would refuse to talk about money until trade talks were starting was simply wrong, you will soon be forced to admit that you’ve got this one wrong also.

  33. Alec

    Well I am afraid you are also in denial. I believe the PM and the Minister rather than you, simple as that.

    I think you understand why i don’t post much now. Remainers never accept anything which disagrees with their own blinkered views.

    I have better things to do thank goodness. I will enjoy having my say when we have left the EU.

  34. @TOH – it’s up to you whether or not to believe politicians. As I said, you did that before when you believed May about the payment talks, and you were let down. Personally, if that were me, I would be a little more circumspect about believing her again in the future, but that’s your bag.

    You seem to struggle to entertain the idea that politicians can say one thing in public while saying something completely different in private. this isn’t something I have great difficulty in believing.

    @Robert Newark – “It is odd that some are confused by something so plain and straightforward as a simple statement.”

    As above. We already have abundant evidence from the Brexit process that the government has steadily changed it’s tune.

    I think the bottom line here is a simple question. If your interpretation is correct, why aren’t we already talking about the transition and trade arrangements? It’s now three months since the Joint Statement, so if that draft was sufficient to proceed, with it’s terms subject to further horse trading against transition and trade options, why are we waiting for the legal version of the WA to be agreed before the next phase of talks starts?

  35. Alec,

    I think that is where the confusion arises for some.

    My information is that labour’s Brexit team share your and ONs view that the ALL in ‘nothing is agreed until ALL is agreed’ specifically relates to the Withdrawal Agreement.

    Howard can clarify If I misrepresent but he believes ALL means everything including future relationships with EU27.

    I guess only time will tell but I think his MP and possibly the PM would like it to be the case that ALL is more extensive (or would like people to think that she believes it to be the case); when in fact legally they are wrong.

    Would welcome WBs legal view on this if s/he is around.

  36. [email protected] P
    “My point is that whatever plans the Labour leadership may have – and however laudable – they are, to coin a phrase, happening as part of an “under” ground game. They are invisible.
    “Nobody is taking any notice [apart from the very few people involved in the game] and all attention [by which I include the general, VERY bored inattention] of the electorate is on the brexit stuff which dominates the media news,”

    Agreed, only people who read sites like this or make a point of getting up to watch Andrew Marr on a Sunday are following anything but Brexit.

    I thought the “nothing is decided until everything is decided” stuff had been laid to rest when it was generally agreed that the divorce arrangements had been decided and were binding regardless of what happens next.

    The concept of clarity no longer appears to carry the meaning I have always ascribed to it. Perhaps we should all write to our MPs and ask them how they would define the word.

  37. ROBERT NEWARK

    Robert, I think you are confusing Chopin and probably Liszt with Schopenhauer.

  38. @Jim Jam – I really don’t think there is any interpretation to be had here – it’s obvious what it means. Indeed, the EU have repeatedly insisted on how the process will work.

    Some have continued to believe that the EU are sufficiently dim to allow the UK to retain things like the payments, Irish border and citizens rights as bargaining chips in the transition and trade talks. We’re talking seasoned hard nosed negotiators here, who know when they have an advantage. They aren’t going to let the UK do this, and they have used the ticking clock to ensure they get their way on the timetable.

    I would add that I’m not making a prediction that the WA will be signed – only that it has to be signed for the talks to proceed. May retains the option of reneging on the agreement in principle in the joint report. If she did this, there would be no transition, and no trade deal.

    This remains a possibility, but I think it is unlikely, given that it was May who asked for the possibility of unlimited transition period, such is her desperation.

  39. The Other Howard: Alec – Well I am afraid you are also in denial. I believe the PM and the Minister rather than you, simple as that.

    I think you understand why i don’t post much now. Remainers never accept anything which disagrees with their own blinkered views.

    I have better things to do thank goodness. I will enjoy having my say when we have left the EU.

    Well, I trust my own judgement, rather than you, your Cabinet Minister mate or any dodgy prime minister.

    What you say holds from the joint report https://ec.europa.eu/commission/publications/joint-report-negotiators-european-union-and-united-kingdom-government-progress-during-phase-1-negotiations-under-article-50-teu-united-kingdoms-orderly-withdrawal-european-union_en but does not seem to have made its way into the draft agreement https://ec.europa.eu/commission/publications/draft-withdrawal-agreement-withdrawal-united-kingdom-great-britain-and-northern-ireland-european-union-and-european-atomic-energy-community_en

    So really, your contention only holds good while the draft agreement remains draft and subsequently while the finalised agreement remains unsigned. I am inclined to think that negotiation of the future relationship does not go very far while the withdrawal agreement remains unsigned. If the UK can keep the Withdrawal agreement unsigned, you are probably right, but I am basing my take on the UK’s record at getting its own way over questions of process.

  40. CROFTY.
    Hello to you.
    Yes, the above ground game is poor now.
    As to the GE campaign I think the LP exaggerates its success in 2017; gaining its fifteenth lowest seat share in GE’s since 1900.

  41. @Alec

    “What’s happening here is that the government, and in all probability your MP, is deliberately and willfully manipulating you, and others like you, into believing something that is patently false. ”

    Is it really manipulation when, like Howard, the subject actively wants it to happen (apparently so he can win an argument on the Internet, literally the worst reason anyone can possibly have for anything)?

  42. JMJAM

    To anwer your question this is the question I asked the Minister:-

    “I have a question about the Brexit agreement. Section 5 on page one of the agreement appears to give us a “get out “ clause in the event that there is no agreement on a final trade deal. My questions are twofold. Firstly is my assumption correct, does it give us a “get out” clause to the terms of the agreement? and secondly can you confirm that the Government will not sign any legal version of the agreement which does not include “such a get out” clause. ”

    I gave the reply above. I think you can now see why i think Alec and OLDNAT are wrong.

  43. The Other Howard: To anwer your question this is the question I asked the Minister:-

    …..

    I gave the reply above. I think you can now see why i think Alec and OLDNAT are wrong.

    I don’t know what the EU’s take would be on your question, but I suspect it might differ. Maybe your Cabinet Minister and the dodgy prime minister can prevail over the EU?

  44. Democratic Deficit on the Home Front: Polls.

    Important changes have taken place in voter registration since 2015. The move from household to individual registration is said to have removed one million from the register, most of these young, transient. The government is now trialling a system by which voters must produce Photo-ID at the polling station. The Guardian & Independent report that if implemented nationally this would again tend to disenfranchise those groups which do not vote Tory.

    One of the trial areas — all volunteers– is Watford. Its Lib-Dem mayor said.

    “Whilst we always have very positive feedback on how elections are run in Watford, it is always good to try new things – especially where they might encourage everyone to use their vote and make sure they exercise their democratic right at election time.”

    Translated but ignoring the non-sequitur “always good to ..
    = Things are fine in Watford but I am desperate to get my borough into any news & I am so confused that I think making it more difficult to vote will make people more likely to vote.

  45. @THE OTHER HOWARD

    Your minister is stating his opinion. He is not stating a fact.

    I’m not saying he is wrong, but I see no proof that he is right.

    I understand that you believe him and that this is comforting for you, but I’m only interested in facts.

  46. MARAAN

    “I understand that you believe him and that this is comforting for you, but I’m only interested in facts.”

    I can agree with you on that.

  47. Sam
    Not really. When you go Chopin with your Chopin Liszt, you must go during the Schopenhauer. Otherwise you must make a note to go Bach later.

  48. @ChrisLane1945 – it does indeed seem odd that the 2017 LP result of 262 seats is trumpeted as such a success when Gordon Brown’s 2010 result of 258 was seen as a failure.

  49. @ LASZLO – Bloomberg does seem to have the best info today. Maelstrom has just been laying out some EU cherry picked cake with EU scoffing the lot.

    In summary:

    – EU wants full quota and tariff free access to UK consumers (no surprise given the enormous trade surplus in goods they have with UK)

    – Limited on services (no surprise as its the one thing where we have a trade surplus with EU and France, etc very keen to steal UK city jobs)

    – If you rub out all your red lines and become a vassal state then we might give you some crumbs.

    May gives and inch and EU take the p155 (or as a Remainer friend suggested EU give a millimetre!)

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