Three new polls over the last few days. Firstly, the regular ICM poll for the Guardian has topline figures of CON 43%(+1), LAB 40%(+1), LDEM 8%(nc). Fieldwork was over the weekend and changes are since the start of the month. There is no signficiant change from last month, but it is the fifth ICM poll in a row to show a (very small) Tory lead. The full tables are here.

The ICM poll also contained a couple of Brexit questions. By 43% to 38% people were opposed to the idea of extending the transition period beyond 2020 (as you might expect, this largely split along Remain/Leave lines). On the customs union, 35% of people wanted Britain to Leave the customs union, 24% wanted Britain to stay, 26% wanted a compromise. I suspect many respondents do not have a good idea what the Customs Union is, and that questions like this are heavily influenced by the wording. As it is, it once again splits very much down Remain/Leave lines – the reason that leaving the customs union came up ahead was because most Leavers picked it, while Remainers were more evenly split between staying and a compromise.

Secondly there was a new BMG poll for the Independent. Topline figures there were CON 39%(nc), LAB 39%(+1), LDEM 10%(-1). Fieldwork was right at the start of May, before the local elections, and changes are since mid-April. Full results are here

Finally, at the weekend there was a new online Survation poll. Fieldwork was Tues-Thurs last week and topline voting intention figures with changes from April were CON 41%(+1), LAB 40%(nc), LDEM 8%(-1). As regular poll-followers will know, Survation tend to produce figures that are more favourable to Labour than average, so while this poll too shows Labour and Conservative neck-and-neck, it’s very much in line with the trend that most other companies have shown. Essentially, Survation have gone from showing a Labour lead of around 5 points late last year, to showing the parties neck-and-neck now. Companies who were showing the parties neck-and-neck last year are now showing the Tories with a small lead. The overall leads are different, but the trend is the same. Full tabs for the Survation poll are here.

Survation also asked voting intention in a hypothetical second referendum (the only company who regularly publishes this with proper likelihood to vote) – topline figures there were Remain 50%, Leave 50%.


643 Responses to “Latest ICM, BMG and Survation polls”

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  1. @Barbazenzero:

    “The leave tendency had 40 years to plan their approach but couldn’t be bothered to put in any work on it, as evidenced by the Chevening 3.”

    It is really a function of the Leave side not being the government – which is a function of the referendum being a bluff call. The SNP had a programme for independence – but the leave campaign was drawn from the Tories, UKIP, DUP and a few Labour renegades. It could have no programme as such.

    What it did not count on – and I think no one really did at the time – was that the EU would produce an ever longer list of ever more severe demands as a precondition for starting negotiations.

    It is only if you accept the EU assertions as fixed points in how Brexit has to be that Leave is without answers.

    The EU’s approach is generally this.

    – You leaving the EU creates the problems to us.
    – You must solve those problems to our satisfaction.
    – The most satisfactory way is if you carry on complying with our rules.
    – So unless you can think of another way which solves our problems just as well, we have nothing to talk about.

    It is no wonder that, when it comes to the business end of agreements, we have capitulated. If – as the Remainer majority in the Commons do – accept the EU’s approach, then there is no solution.

    @EOTW:

    What would the EU have been expected to do about Northern Ireland?

    I would expect them to bear in mind that worrying only about Irish Nationalist sentiment is liable to undermine the Good Friday Agreement. I would expect them not to raise wholly false comparisons with the Isle of Man border (not even in the UK) and the Hong Kong Border (Hong Kong en route to full inclusion in China, and not under any foreign jurisdiction). I would have expected the EU to think about what smuggling risk is acceptable for the sake of the border – there are existing smuggling risks (and many items where regulation is different), yet the EU has a fantasy of chlorinated chicken sweeping across the border.

    Most of all, I would have expected the EU to talk. Instead its approach is to threaten a complete absence of any relationship between the UK and the EU (civil and security) if we don’t give them their optimum solution at any cost to our selves. Or does the EU just want to inflict the harm of no deal, and then ask for negotiations on things that suit it?

    Whilst I never shared the “cake and eat it” approach, I did expect negotiations by now.

    But once you accept that the UK has to satisfy the EU’s demands, it can only end in disaster. Which is what is happening. We accepted that when we agreed to the sequencing of negotiations and accepted the obvious nonsense that the agreement to leave the EU could not cover what happened next.

  2. Shevii: the authoritarianism of the Corbyn movement (not JC himself) is manifest more in its modus operandi than its policy platform. It’s all about fostering a climate of paranoia, relentlessly questioning the motives of outsiders, and purging unbelievers both real and imaginary.

  3. SoCalLiberal

    Wales has bilingual ballot papers for some elections.

    In Scotland they are in English only (not all Gaelic speakers can read Gaelic, and in written form, Scots English looks very similar to other forms of English, though the pronunciation can vary widely – as in the USA).

  4. @ Polltroll

    Don’t see that myself other than some general noise on social media and forums.

    For a start most of the shadow cabinet balance has been upset by people refusing to serve from the early days of Ummuna and Cooper through to (perhaps) Benn forcing a sacking through to the mass resignations before the 2nd leadership election. Nothing really to do with purges.

    I get there are the de-selection talks but none of this has happened and most of this has occurred not so much because of differing political views as it is with a sort of consistent disloyalty to what I see as a deliberate attempt to play the man rather than the issue.

    But either way it seems to me to not be close to the authoritarian nature of Blair of Thatcher’s party management. So on the scale of authoritarianism the current Labour party seems quite low down the scale. Obviously groups like Momentum want their supporters in place but it’s all been pretty democratic really.

  5. @Shevii

    I agree with you.

    Most of the stuff about Corbynism/Momentum etc doesn’t really stack up very much.

    There is so much hype pro Corbyn and anti Corbyn, but most of it comes from over active enemies or over active supporters.

    The reality is rather more quiet and sedentary. Corbyn doesn’t run the Labour Party. There are many CLPs as so on across the land, where ordinary, straight forward and fairly centrist members run the party as they always have.

    ‘Corbynism’ has taken over in these places, the PLP and other places.

  6. Corretion

    @Shevii

    I agree with you.

    Most of the stuff about Corbynism/Momentum etc doesn’t really stack up very much.

    There is so much hype pro Corbyn and anti Corbyn, but most of it comes from over active enemies or over active supporters.

    The reality is rather more quiet and sedentary. Corbyn doesn’t run the Labour Party. There are many CLPs as so on across the land, where ordinary, straight forward and fairly centrist members run the party as they always have.

    ‘Corbynism’ hasn’t taken over in these places, the PLP and other places.

  7. I have been trying to find out why I thought that the GFA stipulated no hard border.

    I think I may have got that idea from the Phase One Joint Report which said “The United Kingdom also recalls its commitment to the avoidance of a hard border, including any physical infrastructure or related checks and controls”

    I assumed that the UK Govt “recalls its commitment” was referring to the GFA.

    Thank you all for putting me straight.

  8. Joseph1832,
    ” once you accept that the UK has to satisfy the EU’s demands, it can only end in disaster.”

    The only logical reason why the politicians would accept all the EU demands is because not doing so would have a far worse outcome. Broadly they are comparing soft Brexit to hard, one where we continue to be part of the EU market, and one where we become an outsider nation. They have decided being an outsider is untenable, o we therefore have to accept what terms are on offer.

    But there is nothing odd about the terms, they are what they have always been.

  9. SHEVI

    @ yr. 10.31 am

    Its more a general impression . He is a man , I think, of very firmly held ideologies over decades.

    I suppose one example would be his silence on the state persecution, imprisonment, and often exile of dissenters in Cuba & Venezuela. He obviously reveres those regimes for their efforts at reducing inequality. But his lifelong belief in the “perfect” State-a Socialist one-overides all other considerations.
    By the same token I could cite his speech criticizing the West’s war on terror after the Ariana Grande Concert attack. He linked British interventionism to the atrocity. His core beliefs again seemed to overide any suggestion that the bomber bore the guilt.

    I guess you will respond that every western democracy has had to balance human rights with other considerations in their Foreign Policy-so Corbyn is no different.

    But he is a man -if I have understood him correctly-who believes in the Power of The State to shape Society. And such a belief must have a degree of authoritarianism attached in order to wrench the Whitehall levers & achieve the outcomes envisaged.

    I suggest that you too readily dismiss Poll Troll’s12.00pm post. It may be that one can make a distinction between Corbyn , and his activists. But that is to let him off the hook I feel. His “movement” is built on extra-Parliamentary politics -the politics of “the street”. That is Momentum’s role in their stated desire-to keep him personally in power.
    What other political party in UK can you think of which would even contemplate an organisation charged with keeping a particular leader in post?

    So my perception is that a Corbyn administration would be deeply authoritarian-indeed would have to be to get their job done.

    On the Press I won’t take part in an exchange on perceived unfairness in treatment of Corbyn. In my adult life, every PM seemed to finish up complaining at their Press treatment as the cartoons got more & more cruel.

    For me the Press isn’t there to make life easy for them. It is there to challenge them & examine their record.

  10. ” More than 90 percent of supporters of Italy’s 5-Star Movement have backed a program for government drawn up by the group and the far-right League, its prospective coalition partner, in an online vote.”

    Reuters

    Hold on to your hat :-)

  11. EOTW @ BZ

    Therein lies the incompatibility of The GFA and Brexit.

    That’s a bit over the top. Like almost all documents written by lawyers it contains hints at that but leaves plenty of ambiguity to ensure that their fellow lawyers no shortage of work.

    That said, I would be surprised if the RoI government and EU high command don’t read it that way, as I expect will all the NI parties except for the DUP and TUV. So far, NI courts have managed to block such issues moving to the Supreme Court in London.

  12. Polltroll

    Are you called Brenda by any chance??

  13. DANNY @ BZ

    Its pretty clear that going into detail about Brexit has weakened the case for it, so sensible of them not to do so.

    Fair comment, but it was a gambit missed by Cameron – presumably caused by hubris.

    I’ve posted the link to it before, but on 2016-03-02 HMG published Alternatives to membership: possible models for the United Kingdom outside the European Union, which should have been an obvious place for the leavers to start building their campaign.
    The 2-page Executive Summary strikes me as very balanced and realistic, but to the best of my knowledge the leavers didn’t start their campaign from there, which would at minimum have given the leave campaign a basis in fact. The erroneous GBP 350m per week claim seemed to work well instead, as such Arthur Daley style claims often do, at least to the unprepared.

    Anyone who claims that nobody thought leaving the EU would be complex and slow should have read it. I doubt it was mentioned in the gutter press but it was easy to find the link to it from the BBC website at the time.

  14. @Catmanjeff – a Freudian slip if there ever was one :-)

  15. JOSEPH1832 @ BZ

    [T]he leave campaign was drawn from the Tories, UKIP, DUP and a few Labour renegades. It could have no programme as such.

    But with a Con HMG having a tiny majority, they could easily have delayed the referendum for however long it took for them to prepare a single meaningful option. IMO, HMG should have insisted on it, but that’s a different matter. I wasn’t in the UK at the time, but they seemed to produce no useful information themselves, even though both the Cons and UKIP had and still have MEPs, who could have undertaken or at least co-ordinated the process of getting meaningful information on what options the EU would consider in the event of a leave victory. HMG was left having to produce the Alternatives to membership leaflet [see my previous post to DANNY].

    The combination of carpetbaggers like BoJo and the gutter press published none of the information needed to predict how realistic or otherwise the leave campaign were in their promises.

    You might also consider that the A50 option of leaving the EU only became a possibility after Lisbon and that no other member state has tried to activate it. Did the leave campaign mention that much? As it stands, Article 50 para 2 is all we have to guide us:

    A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

    The leave campaign were apparently ready to jump into the unknown if they won. Did they tell the electorate that?

  16. Andrew111: I think there’s a little bit of Brenda in all of us. #JeSuisBrenda

  17. PollTroll

    Speak for yourself, there aren’t nearly enough General Elections to act as data points! (OK, that secondary bit about the makeup of the House of Commons and who governs the country seems a little unnecessary).

    Perhaps we need a double blind election, where people and politicians aren’t told whether or not it was real election until after the event. That way we could have one a year without all the upheaval that goes with it.

  18. “OH GOD NO!”

    ——-

    Thought we liked elections. You get more polling and can test polling efficacy against a real election.

    Then when the polls screw up, we get to see the new methodologies.

    Plus, more likely to get Anthony on Newsnight!

  19. Polltroll

    Oh no! You are making Brenda into a global citizen! (Or as we know in reality, “citizen of nowhere!”).

    She might not like that!

  20. And you get to text the models of people on the board too!

  21. Or test, even?

  22. BZ

    Thanks for posting that link, which I had forgotten about…

    Reading it just emphasised what a Shakespearean tragedy we have got ourselves into!

    [email protected]
    Quite so! The EU made it clear during the referendum what we could expect when we left the club and has been remarkably consistent about it. As a member of the club our views are at least equal to those of Ireland (in reality we have more clout because of our contribution)
    Now we will be outside the club Ireland is far more important than the UK. Since they think the Good Friday Agreement is very important, then so does the rest of the EU, however much the Brexiteers may think a return to the troubles would be just collateral damage on the way to Valhalla…

    It still really hurts me to see how many things we are throwing away in abandoning the European project which for me is the greatest and most successful project of international cooperation of my lifetime, perhaps in all history.

  23. “a return to the troubles would be just collateral damage on the way to Valhalla”

    Given that death in battle is a precondition for Valhalla admission, IIRC, conflict would be positively useful.

    (Though the Greeks managed to get in with just a few battle scars.)

  24. Bill,
    Thanks for noticing!

  25. Completely off topic,but some here might be interested in it. It is solid in methodology, although I’m not convinced by the metrics. Anyway … Oh, it’s on East-Central Europe.

    https://www.globsec.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/GLOBSEC-Trends-2018.pdf

  26. Joseph1832
    “The EU’s approach is generally this.
    – You leaving the EU creates the problems to us.
    – You must solve those problems to our satisfaction.
    – The most satisfactory way is if you carry on complying with our rules.
    – So unless you can think of another way which solves our problems just as well, we have nothing to talk about.”

    That is the most succinct and accurate analysis of why we are where we are. The rest of the same post was spot on too.

    Colin
    With you entirely on the issue of the press. If politicians can’t take the heat, they shouldn’t enter the kitchen! The Tories have had to put up with years of BBC bias, Eddie Mair being one of the worst, which is why I refuse to listen to his programme. But plenty of others there as well.

    Otherwise, comment seems to be the same old, same old. No shortage of chip on shoulder remainers, who refuse to accept the result of the referendum, revelling in any bad news relating to the UK and willing the Barnier/Junker Taliban on to a great victory over the hapless Brits who were stupid enough to make a stand against their grand scheme. 1940 all over again. The duplicity of the Labour Party in all of this is legendary, if Corbyn was an honest man, he would be on a platform with Reece Mogg, as Enoch was with Benn in the 1970s. Corbyn is a total Charlaton and if there is another GE soon, I don’t think that the voting public will be fooled twice.

  27. ROBERT NEWARK

    A shame for you, then, that your side had no plan.

  28. ROBERT NEWARK,

    “The Tories have had to put up with years of BBC bias!”

    Why do you insist on embarrassing yourself.

    The BBC is far from perfect but the idea that’s it’s failing are a sign of left wing bias, puts even the paranoid to shame.

    The BBc may be complacent in thinking that because all Parties accuse them of bias they are getting it right but the idea that any Party has made a decent or coherent case that they are the most victimised is nonsense.

    Core supporters and activists of all the main parties fulminate at the BBC and it’s vendetta against them but that’s just an emotional response by the committed to things they don’t like.

    You can tell it has no real basis by the way they personalise it to particular presenters they don’t like or make sweeping accusations supported with such compelling evidence as “We All Know” or “You Can’t Deny!”

    Just to make this simple for you the debate isn’t whether we should have a “Free Press ” but whether the Press should be free to lie.

    Peter.

  29. “…abandoning the European project which for me is the greatest and most successful project of international cooperation of my lifetime, perhaps in all history.“

    ——-

    Wot, better than Eurovision?

  30. Or Euromillions?

  31. @Peter C

    “Just to make this simple for you the debate isn’t whether we should have a “Free Press ” but whether the Press should be free to lie.”

    Ah yes, free to lie. You put it very well. That should be a freedom too far but not for most of the print press, I’m afraid, who trot out the old canard of the threat to their freedom whenever any prospect of independent press regulation is suggested. Of course, if you like the lies they tell and they tell them about people you don’t like, such as “effete luvvies”, the “metropolitan elite latte- sipping class” (where is that scoundrel Hugh Grant these days?) and left wing politicians, then you’re going to cheer them on as they wield their mighty swords of truth. “How dare anyone limit their right to damage politicians and people I despise”. Perish the thought, indeed, and more power to the Murdochs, Dacre, Barclay brothers et al as they ply their cherished freedoms on our behalf.

    People who inhabit this partisan hall of mirrors then mistake genuine impartiality for bias. This is where the BBC comes in. If you’ve gorged yourself on naked partisan journalism, traducing someone like Corbyn on a daily basis, then when you see a media outlet like the BBC sort of give him a fair hearing, then that’s going to appear to be outrageous bias to you. You simply can’t pereceive it any other way.

    I can imagine these people blowing a gasket in front of their TV screens; “Why aren’t the bloody bolsheviks asking Corbyn about when he was a Czech spy or when he was helping the IRA? BBC showing its left wing bias again…..balh de blah de blah..

    “And as for that ghastly Tom Watson, just wait until the great Andrew Neil gets hold of him……”

    :-) :-)

  32. CROSSBAT

    Precisely. The press are given the freedom to lie and distort. They are not reined in.
    Thank God the printed media is dying a death.

  33. BZ
    There’s been plenty of plans. May has presented several very rational ones. The problem is Barnier/Junker won’t discuss a rational plan, which could be moulded by give and take on both sides. They just sit there going, ‘No, not doing that and we are not discussing either. Here is our plan that you must adopt and we will just sit here until you do adopt it.’

    Mike Pearce
    The print media is governed by rules which seemingly don’t apply to social media, so be careful what you wish for. It was print media which exposed the expenses scandal, it was the Daily Mail which identified Stepen Lawrence’s killers and dared them to sue the paper, which they never did because they were guilty, sadly the police weretotally lacking. The police and elected councillors were also lacking for years whilst British Pakistani men were abusing young girls in Rotherham and Telford and it took the Times to expose that. All a little more important than protecting Hugh Grant from exposure about a quickie with a prostitute in a taxi, or Max Mosley having kinky sex dressed in stockings and suspenders.
    Like I say, be careful what you wish for.

  34. Dunno what the EU are playing at. If only they would grant a nice cake and eat it deal for us, then that will encourage others to leave to get that deal, and the whole thing could be over by Xmas.

  35. is not the answer the press abusing their freedom in proper access to remedy and significant penalties.

    The rich and famous can take the press on if the lie about something but the rest of the population cant afford it.

  36. So, replaying the debates of functional analysis of the Vienna circle of the 1920s, just now on the press, on the media…

    Facts are always true, otherwise they cannot be truth. However, facts are quite indifferent to being known. Truth, while it is related to facts, is not ideologically indifferent, that is, by definition truth is biased. On the other hand, if something is not true, it cannot be truth, but in spite of the assertion of the Vienna circle, truth can be proven. In contrast, ideology, while it is obviously related to truth and facts, doesn’t have to be proven. Finally, the whole thing (fact, truth, proof, and ideology) is meaningless in isolation of practice (both as a form of proof, and as an activity to set the task of finding facta), which is then an ideological activity.

    So, journalism is, by definition, is biased (a special form of the bias is the unbiased media) and it is biased for a purpose. In its styles it varies partly because of the purpose and partly because of the audience (that is, ideology doesn’t play any significant role in the style). This is also the overlap between “normal” media and social media.

    On the other hand, individuals and groups have to produce the pieces, thus there exists an occupational norm that is linked to facts (even if not necessarily the truth). It is the commentary and the selection mechanisms of choosing facts then create the bias. As media is a business, it is subject of the recruitment, reward and promotion processes – thus depending slightly on chance the occupational norms can shift in various ways in the space set by the the facts, truth, ideology, purpose). The trouble is that it can be discerned only as a pattern, thus it is a subject to the bias of the reader.

    Social media doesn’t operate on these principles at all because the occupational norms are not present. However, it is still subject to the complex relationships between facts, truth, ideology and purpose.

    One of the crucial consequences of this is that on social media people “don’t read between the lines” and their sensitivities to commonplace presentations (alt-truth) are quite radically weakened (there is research on this, but cannot look them up right now).

    I don’t know what Corbyn thinks of the press (but more or less I know what the press think about him). Whether he is authoritarian or not – the close control on all media in state socialism was a major error. It eliminated the function of the media, and hence the regimes deprived themselves from an important mechanism and gave a far too big importance to something that was not necessary.

  37. Excellent post from Crossbat.

    Some sections of the press have behaved abominably in recent years, and have printed some totally untrue articles for particular purposes, or have hidden fair criticisms.

    About ten years back when Donald Trump was trying to get his proposed golf course approved by the Council planners, he secretly arranged a contract with the two Aberdeen newspapers, such that they regularly printed puff articles in favour of the development. But worse, they were obliged not to print any hostile material or letters.

    Such that my factual letters about the conservation value of the site regularly did not appear, or got rewritten. And I learnt from a conversation with an editor that the letters were going to the Trump Organisation`s offices in New York, and on one occasion when a big change was made they would only publish if I agreed with the rewritten version. [I`ve kept the emails]

    To be fair to the TO, they let some hostile facts remain, but the process seemed very wrong to me: our UK press being controlled, or partly controlled, by a foreign very rich man.

  38. @Robert Newark

    What exactly is it about Brexit means Brexit that you don’t understand?

    And what exactly is your gripe with the EU declining to extend the benefits of membership to a (prospective) non-member?

    If you prefer to go off and put your trust in the goodwill of Trump, Erdogan, Putin, Netanyahu, Modi, Xi Jinping et al, then fine, but please permit those of us who see a flaw in that thinking to express our reservations.

  39. The thing is, for all the right-wing press push hysterical propaganda lines a lot of the time, actual lying is not particularly common. Many people conflate “opinions I don’t like” with “lies”, which is not very helpful to the debate.

    Whenever anyone reaches for an example of the press being shown to be genuinely lying, they invoke the Hillsborough disaster. A terrible miscarriage of justice, to be sure, but it was thirty years ago, and the fact people can’t think of newer examples speaks volumes.

    In fact, there’s a very good reason the press, while still unhealthily partisan, remains relatively honest. If you are a journalist, then getting caught lying can end your career. That’s a pretty strong incentive to keep clean, even for journalists with no conscience.

  40. ROBERT NEWARK @ BZ

    The problem is Barnier/Junker won’t discuss a rational plan, which could be moulded by give and take on both sides.

    If anyone is to blame, it is Cameron for his greed in trying to kill UKIP. He succeeded but imported the canker into his own party. You should also be praising Brown, by the way, as without his input, Lisbon would never have countenanced Article 50.

    OTOH, Cameron could have tried persuading another member state to test what happens when A50 is triggered.

    In any event, it seems odd that although the Leave campaign won the referendum thanks at least in part thanks to the gutter press, they seem to want to have a “special” relationship with the club they apparently wish to leave. Somewhat odd that, don’t you think?

    May is doing her best to get whatever scraps she can, but has an uphill struggle given the red lines she and her party have constructed. Whatever happens, the referendum has made the UK a laughing stock to the rest of the world.

  41. ROBERT NEWARK @ BZ

    Looking on the bright side, if the millenials and younger find that the GBP devalues further and/or they can no longer get cheap flights to the mainland then the Cons will be out of power for a generation.

  42. New thread

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