ICM’s regular poll for the Guardian today has topline figures of CON 44%(+1), LAB 41%(-1), LDEM 8%(+1). Fieldwork was between Friday and Monday, and changes are from a fortnight ago. Tabs are here.

There was also an Opinium poll for the Observer at the weekend, which had toplines of CON 42%(nc), LAB 40%(+1), LDEM 6%(-1). Fieldwork for that was Tuesday to Thursday, and changes are from February. Tabs are here.

Both polls also asked questions about how political leaders had responded to the poisoning in Salisbury, finding a similar pattern to YouGov last week. ICM found people thought Theresa May had responded well to the Salisbury poisoning by 51% to 22%, and thought Jeremy Corbyn had responded badly by 42% to 23%. Opinium only asked about approval of May’s response, but 41% said they approved, 20% disapproved.

Neither the ICM nor Opinium poll has significant changes, so I’d be cautious about concluding that the poisoning has had any impact on political support. Nevertheless, if we look at the longer trend in public support it does look as though there has been a slight improvement in the Conservative position – late last year the polls were typically showing a small Labour lead, in the last couple of months they’ve averaged out with Labour and Conservative neck-and-neck. Whether that small change really matters is a different matter, we’re a long way from a scheduled general election and there are some very big “known unknowns”, like Brexit, before we get to one. A couple of points either way at this stage of the Parliament is neither here nor there.

1,127 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 44%(+1), LAB 41%(-1), LDEM 8%(+1)”

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  1. I’m not even vaguely tempted to comment on it, but some might be interested in AW’s latest thoughts:


  2. NICK P

    You get that you’re just proving my point, leaping to defend the indefensible because you share the same black and white worldview as the idiot who did something wrong in the first place. Extremists of the right are just as bad, it doesn’t excuse it on the left.

  3. And actually, this association of anybody on the left with antisemitism is a form of prejudice in itself. We are seeing commentators on the right sprouting all over with this “socialism is the natural bedfellow of antisemitism” idea – well only if you are in fact antisemite, wouldn’t you say? You can’t make the argument unless you make the disgraceful aspersion that the greedy/jew thing is an accepted interpretation.

    Shame on you.

  4. nah, garj you are proving MY point.

    See what a feeble, hackneyed, insulting argument that is?


    Withthe new YouGov thats 4 polls in a row now with the Tories ahead of Labour.

    Tables are now available:


    and what movement there is similar to what we seen in previous weeks, being a drop in Labour support, mainly to WNV and DK rather than to the Conservatives. Given the continued media attacks on Corbyn and Labour over that period it’s perhaps surprising that it’s had so little effect. May’s ‘Best PM’ lead has gone from 36-29 to 38-27, but that’s not a big change in the circumstances and it indicates how solidified the Labour vote is now compared to this time last year. And of course the worry hanging over the Tories must be that in an election something similar to last time would happen – except from a very different starting line.

    There’s a 3 point decrease in the importance of Brexit (towards Health), though a bit of gain in how well the government are doing (as I’ve said before I don’t reckon this is a significant question anyway). The ‘Wrong to leave’ went from 2 pints to 3 – margin of error stuff, but still against Brexit. It’s all pretty static.

    It’s interesting that there was a ‘missing’ poll last week after a run of weekly ones since mid-January. Of course there’s no obligation to publish anything if there’s been no publicity for the results and taking a poll may not have fitted with YouGov schedules. But where there are gaps in a series people start to wonder – especially when polling is under a lot of criticism and a lack of regularity might suggest to some that commissioners are not reporting polls that tell a story they don’t want to hear. It may just be that papers don’t have regular contracts with pollsters any more, but it doesn’t look completely transparent.

    The run of four polls with Con leads TOH mentions is not all YouGov anyway (Lab were +2 f/w 5-6 Mar) which does suggest a better rule might be four polls when movement is in the same direction is more significant (the Opinium lead was slightly down this month). But in truth the Parties still seem pretty equal and variation from that is random. The only exception is Survation – which again, given what happened last election (which has never really been explained properly) may worry Conservatives.

  6. My perception of the mood of the ‘persuadables’ (new word) among the British people is that they are increasingly aware that Brexit is neither as simple nor as risk free as they were taught to believe. This, however, is not something that they think they can do much about, so they are not changing their minds on Brexit in any great numbers, nor do they want the time and trouble of another referendum. Instead they want government to get on with it and once the future is clear they feel vaguely confident that they will buckle down and make the best of it.

    Does anyone disagree with that?

  7. oh yes, by way, we l1ed to you about the terrorist thing, and, okay, the spy thing was a load of cobblers, and, hands up, you got me, he isn’t really Putin’s poodle, but honest, this time, really, the left being a bunch of jew haters is real, honest, guv.


  8. roger mexico

    “It’s interesting that there was a ‘missing’ poll last week after a run of weekly ones since mid-January. Of course there’s no obligation to publish anything if there’s been no publicity for the results and taking a poll may not have fitted with YouGov schedules. But where there are gaps in a series people start to wonder – especially when polling is under a lot of criticism and a lack of regularity might suggest to some that commissioners are not reporting polls that tell a story they don’t want to hear. It may just be that papers don’t have regular contracts with pollsters any more, but it doesn’t look completely transparent.”


    The whole narrative is a pretty concerted effort I think.

    But I suspect we are in a new world now where there are sources of info that aren’t as completely biased as the papers or as sadly biddable as the BBC & Sky.

    Expect more of this long running utter garbage as vested interests see socialism gather apace.

  9. charles

    my take is slightly different – there are passionate pro- and anti- brexiters but most people don’t care much.

    Come the next election what will decide it is whether enough people want a change of Government or not (unless the right manage to manoeuvre another split on the left a la 80s)

  10. My perception of Mrs May’s position on Brexit is that she perceives, at least as clearly as most, that Brexit is neither as simple nor as risk free as people were taught to believe. Indeed she may well fear that it could be a disaster. So her strategy is to put down impossible red lines and then retreat from them as quickly as possible. That way the Brexiters can see that she is trying and the remainers that she is being realistic and her party is kept together. The problem is that a) the rhetoric about sunlight over the white cliffs of Dover is totally phoney and b) putting up conditions that you know are going to be knocked down is no way to negotiate. So we are likely to end up with no deal or a very bad deal. Anybody disagree with that?

  11. I see no sort of brexit that is good. It’s a damage limitation exercise, I agree.

  12. @NickP I don’t disagree. There are passionate people on both sides but there are people in the middle. They are what I believe Cambridge analytica call persuadables. My guess is that most of them are not much interested in politics and most of them feel that there’s not much they can do about influencing it anyway. So it’s not exactly that they don’t care or aren’t worried by what I see as an approaching train at the end of the tunnel. it’s just that they want things to be settled so that they can get on and make the best of it.

  13. The one thing I’ve heard about actual evidenced and disgraceful behaviour (that really did shock me) over the last week was that Pakistani man being outed by Stephen Parkinson.

    Downing Street thought that was okay, apparently.

  14. charles

    If 2/3rds of people want the Government to get on with Brexit, that doesn’t mean any of them would necessarily vote leave if there was an actual 2nd EU ref. Quite the opposite, perhaps.

  15. NICK P

    None of those accusations are groundless though, he was a vocal supporter of the IRA, he did meet communist ‘diplomats’, he did appear repeatedly on RT and refused to be critical of Putin. While I don’t think Corbyn was acting in a way that was as sinister and treasonous as much of the muck-raking press likes to claim, I do think his willingness to cosy up to and equivocate about dubious causes because they share the same enemies as him clearly demonstrates exactly the kind of simplistic Mainichean outlook that I was criticising, and frankly just shows that he’s a moron.

  16. garj

    There – you really have proved my point. You think he is a moron and therefore anything that comes up will lead to further fist waving.

    I think it’s you who are a moron.

  17. You spelled Manichean wrong but you only probably learned the word in the last few days as you receive your opinions wholly formed.

  18. NICKP

    Your excessive rudeness is becoming very tiresome.

  19. (I would argue it is the right – Corbyn’s critics – who like to pack and pen groups of people or even nations into right and wrong, demonising groups of people, laying into people furiously if they don’t agree with their nationalist or economic narrow lines.)

  20. My excessive rudeness? Is there an acceptable level?

    It’s okay for garj to call Corbyn a moron but I can’t call garj a moron? It’s okay to imply that I am slavishly following Corbyn but it’s rude to say he is slavishly anti-Corbyn? Even when he is so evidently is?

    Or it’s rude to disagree with you?


  21. it follows from the above that the chance of reversing Brexit is minimal. However the chance of a Brexit with as little change as possible is not minimal. If people want to get on with it, fine. Lets do that by negotiating the minimal possible change. Surely that should be quicker and easier than anything else except ‘no deal’.

    The issue is, of course, what that change would be. In my eyes the changes would have to bear on sovereignty. We should make it clear that we want to do certain things (e.g. pay for membership of various clubs or indeed more or less everything except perhaps the CAP) and also that we retain the right to do certain things e.g. deport people who are criminal or just living off our benefits. And that we can nationalise things at least as much as the French. Personally I think that there is a lot more wiggle room in the EU than appears and the trick would be for us to assert our wiggling as the assertion of sovereignty and the EU to know that its allowed anyway but to pretend that it isn’t.

    All this would also have to be accompanied by a package of measures that were not about Brexit but about some of the reasons that led people to vote for Brexit. The grievances were real. The problem was that people were not handed an option for changing the status quo other than leaving the EU. This needs to be remedied and is an issue for Parliament or a general election not a referendum.

    I imagine a number of people will disagree with the above!

  22. TW

    “Personally, I’m not that excited about a CON lead in the polls though.”

    Me neither, we are along way out from an election IMO but the apparent movement from small labour lead to small Tory lead is of passing interest.


    Thanks for pointing to AW’s piece which is informative and measured as usual.

    For me the most interesting thing IMO in AW’s piece was relating to the following questions:-

    The government has said that once a Brexit deal has been negotiated that Parliament will have a meaningful vote on whether or not to accept the deal.

    Do you think it would be legitimate for MPs to vote to reject the Brexit deal?
    Legitimate 42%
    Not legitimate 34%
    Don’t Know 24%

    And do you think it would or would not be acceptable for MPs to vote against Brexit going ahead?
    Legitimate 33%
    Not legitimate 45%
    Don’t know 22%

    It would appear that the voters agree with my view that parliament should not stop Brexit going ahead.

    Roger Mexico
    I find very little to disagree with you in your post to me at 3.20. Thanks for pointing out that the tables were up.


    Your 3.28. I disagree with your first sentence
    “My perception of the mood of the ‘persuadables’ (new word) among the British people is that they are increasingly aware that Brexit is neither as simple nor as risk free as they were taught to believe.”

    I think voters always knew the risks, something which is backed up by AW in the piece that Trigguy referred us to. They were pessimistic about the short term economic effects before the referendum but still voted leave as AW points out.

    Your 3.38

    I disagree with all of that. I think May will stick to her red lines as best she can, it’s the only way she will hold her (and my) party together. Is she doesn’t there will be a leadership election.

  23. I think a lot of people in politics are morons, and sociopaths too. As you point out, Stephen Parkinson certainly did something pretty moronic in outing his ex. The bunfight in the Labour party is two sets of morons trying to wrest power from each other. The Tory party is led by one moron who is struggling to keep control from another bunch of morons who want to steer the country into a moronic Brexit. The Lib Dems have moronically managed to disappear off the face of the earth, while UKIP are such a bunch of morons that they’ve caused the total collapse of their party.

    You’re an extremist though, so you will forgive anything that your particular bunch of morons says or does, as will they forgive any level of moronic activity from one of their own. That’s the problem with Labour’s leadership at the moment when it comes to the specific issue of antisemitism.

  24. NICK P

    “Or it’s rude to disagree with you?”

    Not in the least; that’s my very point. Polite, rational disagreement is to be expected between people with – even slight – differneces of opinions.

    But the following, from you, [and I may have missed some] and in just a few hours, was what I was actually referring to:

    “utter garbage twaddle out-dated, retired, miserly, isolationist, jingoist claptrap pathetic you really are talking utter bilge. contemptible and risible. laughable bandwagoning feeble, hackneyed, insulting.”

    Now that may have made you feel better but it didn’t really add much to any discussion going on.

  25. NickP

    If 2/3rds of people want the Government to get on with Brexit, that doesn’t mean any of them would necessarily vote leave if there was an actual 2nd EU ref. Quite the opposite, perhaps.

    I agree with this except for the last point. I think people do not want a second referendum and may well punish anyone who pushes one on them in the hope that they will change their mind. In addition I think for reasons given above that Brexit needs to be addressed as a package of issues not just a matter of the EU.

    And so the best way to resolve it would be by an election. Obviously I want the Labour party to come with a package that makes sense and will work. At the moment it seems to me that it speaks with far too uncertain a voice on Brexit.

    Nobody has yet outlined a credible version of Brexit that has any chance of being accepted by the EU and working for both us and the EU. And if we don’t come out and say what we want we won’t get it.

  26. Charles

    I think I give comments to some of the points you raise in your 4.05 in my own 4.07.

  27. crofty – you seem to have lumped a lot of my posts together.

    but actually my point was actually that – over the last few days a lot of people have been talking bilge, and in many cases faking a concern about something where far worse offences have gone unchallenged (look at the outing I mentioned)

    And you have been up there with oh so concerned umbrage too.

    Simple truth is the people you decry, especially Corbyn, have done more against racism and prejudice, worked harder, been on a h*ll of a lot more marchers than you.

  28. Charles

    You may want an election but I see no signs of one happening before 2022, even if we have a change in Tory leader. I think both unlikely at the moment.

  29. Always detested the use of the “m” word and this explains why:

    ” Moron (no longer in technical use; now considered offensive) a person of borderline intelligence in a former and discarded classification of mental retardation, having an intelligence quotient of 50 to 69.”

    Using it against people who almost certainly don’t fit into the above category is rather silly and, as the definition explains, long considered offensive.

    In most cases of the various insults on offer today could simply, and more accurately, be adjusted to:

    “You disagree with my point of view”.

    You could even make it into an acronym for greater brevity.

  30. charles

    I think Labour has the same problem as the Tories, Brexit is a puzzle without an answer.

    Both parties are effectively waiting and hoping the other party will get the blame.

  31. TOH – You may be right that voters knew the risks. I certainly didn’t – for example, I also assumed that we could simply slide over into the FTAs agreed by the EU with the other nations, that we could continue flying to America under arrangements negotiated by the EU and so on.

    I agree that you did appreciate the risks and to your credit accepted them but I am not persuaded that everyone else did. By and large people who voted leave think it will do little if any economic harm and will do economic good. People like me who voted remain are devotees of project fear and see nothing but ruin on the horizon.

    I agree that Theresa May will continue to try and keep her party (I thought it was not yours, have you changed?) together. History suggests that her red lines are quick to turn pink and that if she plays her game right even Gove will accept the inevitable while acknowledging it is very disappointing.

  32. crofty

    He used the moron word first. So tell him off.

  33. NICKP

    Come the election my one vote for Labour will count precisely the same as yours.

    It’s actually not a crime to have doubts about politicians. May went through extraordinary criticism from virtually everybody when she got the GE campaign so woodenly wrong

    Today I have made a single point: I am shocked that anyone in the prime position to judge whether somebody’s suspension – already agreed through due process! – should be rescinded, despite NOT HAVING READ THE CASE AGAINST THEM IN FULL.

    Now I would hold that view no matter what organisation was under discussion and greatly regret that it’s actually the Labour party.

    Forgetting your insults – what precisely do you disagree with me about on that simple matter?

  34. Charles

    “have you changed?”

    Yes I joined about six months ago as I think the Tories best placed to deliver a proper Brexit. The other reason was because I think Corbynomics would be a much bigger disaster than the worst musings of people who support Project Fear 2. ( I use that terminology because Project Fear 1 proved to be a lie).

  35. “NICKP

    He used the moron word first. So tell him off.”

    LOL – I stopped being a teacher a long time ago and was never very good t the telling off thing.

    But you are quite right and it was in response to the longer post that followed from GARJ, that was full of the “m” word, that I actually wrote my stuff about it having fallen into disuse because it is considered so offensive.

    Anyway, if he read it then he can consider himself told off……

    By the way, I admire you passion but I don’t necessarily believe that anger and abuse are helpful. In that I am at one with JC.

  36. crofty don’t actually disagree on anything in your most recent post.

    But I suggest you back and re-read your much longer post which from memory started too blither on about being saddened and then drew in some un-named party officials (a la daily mail) who are also deeply concerned etc etc

    But anyway, I apologise. To garj and anybody else who thinks they warrant one also.

    It’s just niggled me, is all.

  37. Charles

    To help:-

    Project Fear 1 I define as Osbornes immediate recession and 800,000 extra unemplyed if we voted to leave.

  38. Nick P

    “It’s just niggled me, is all.”

    We all get cross from time to time if what we really believe in gets trashed in some way.

  39. @ TW

    “As well as the 3+ polls for CON lead can we all finally agree we’ve seen ‘peak Corbyn’?”

    Meant to respond to this earlier. I think it’s far too early to judge on that. It could be we’ve seen peak Corbyn, or it could have been just a local maximum. Yes, I agree that the polls are now consistently indicating a fall back, both for Corbyn and for Labour, but I suspect there could be many more twists and turns ahead in the stories of May and Corbyn before we’re done with them. Both have proved to be surprisingly resilient, despite both having had some very low points, so I expect them to be with us for some time yet. Maybe like two tired opponents trying (but failing) to land that final punch.

  40. “We all get cross from time to time if what we really believe in gets trashed in some way.”

    No – i don’t mind you attacking socialism. It’s the playing of the man to avoid arguing policy that niggles me.

    Not like exactly the same tactics weren’t used against Miliband and Brown and Kinnock and Foot – should be used to it by now. The hate fest against Corbyn is a new level of low though.

  41. Nick P

    I don’t think there is a real disagreement between us. I was just being understanding.

  42. I’ll go further – I’m a staunch socialist but I have every respect for arguments about free market and competition – the real discussion is about different ways to do things in a mixed economy. I don’t want to see supermarkets nationalised or corner shops or even car makers.

    There are counter arguments about whether to own energy companies etc but either telling me to f*ck off and live in Russia then or saying that we’ll all be on a 3 day week with candles or worse still, that Corbyn (or whoever) either WANTS to bring the country to its knees or will do anyway within 6 months – these aren’t economic arguments.

  43. the other howard


  44. NickP

    “The hate fest against Corbyn is a new level of low”.

    If you create a party to become a mirage image of yourself rather than a broad church and surround yourself with acolytes then you should expect criticism to be levelled at you personally.

  45. turk – I don’t accept your premise anyway, but even if I did, I wouldn’t accept the conclusion.

  46. Oh, British holiday makers will be able to watch Netflix on the Continent after Brexit. That’s a relief.

  47. Can’t people in France watch Netflix then? Or Spain?

  48. TURK

    Nonsense. Corbyn has faced a barrage of vitriol and hate as soon as he became leader.
    I also note the gutter press have yet to apologise for their pathetic lies stating that he was a spy.

    CROFTY. Agree with some of your comments regarding Corbyn. It has been a poor couple of weeks for both him and Labour at a time when they should be hammering into this hopelessly inept Government.
    The failure of Shawcroft today just compounds matters. There really is no place in a mainstream party for a holocaust denier.

  49. Barbazenzero


    Re holocaust denial I agree with you 100% but as anti-semitism applies to Hebrews, Arabs and other middle eastern races it is perhaps more nuanced than you suggest.

    This comment shows a breathtaking ignorance of antisemitism, of which any member of this politically aware and usually well-informed group should be thoroughly ashamed.

  50. It’s a tricky one because of it is licensed then they wouldn’t be able. But Netflix says it’s all fine even if one buys the rights of watching it in the UK, the rights remain the same if they are in Cohort – in sharp contrast with Levi’s jeans.

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