The monthly ICM poll for the Guardian is out today and has topline figures of CON 40%, LAB 35%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 10%, GRN 3%. The full details are on ICM’s website here and again come with some pretty candid and downbeat commentary from Martin Boon, who writes that the raw data is still heavily skewed towards Labour and that – to his mind – the existing data correction at the analysis stage isn’t succeeding in correcting it (Martin was also interviewed in Radio 4’s interesting programme this week on why the polls went wrong, as was Joe Tywman of YouGov, Damian Lyons Lowe of Survation, James Morris of GQRR and Pat Sturgis – the Chair of tomorrow’s inquiry into the polling failure).

There were three other GB voting intention polls in the weekend papers. ComRes for the Indy on Sunday had figures of CON 40%, LAB 29%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 16%, GRN 3%, Panelbase in the Sunday Times had toplines of CON 39%, LAB 31%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 14% and Survation in the Mail on Sunday had CON 37%, LAB 30%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 16%, GRN 3%.


Survation had a new poll of Scottish voting intentions in the Holyrood election this week. As usual in the present Scottish political scene they show a towering SNP lead, with Labour second and the Conservatives in third. Constituency voting intentions are SNP 52%, LAB 21%, CON 16%, LDEM 7%; Regional list intentions are SNP 42%, LAB 20%, CON 16%, GRN 9%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 5%. Tabs are here.

Meanwhile the weekly ICM EU referendum tracker has started up again after the Christmas break. Their final poll of 2015 had been an unusual 50-50 split but the latest poll has reverted to the norm – REMAIN 44%, LEAVE 38% (the equivalent, after don’t knows are excluded) of REMAIN 54%, LEAVE 46%. Full tabs are here.


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ICM released their final monthly voting intention poll of 2015 yesterday, with topline figures of CON 39%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 10%, GRN 3%. I assume it’s the last voting intention poll we will see before Christmas. The full tables are here, where ICM also make an intriguing comment on methodology. They write,

For our part, it is clear that phone polls steadfastly continue to collect too many Labour voters in the raw sample, and the challenge for phone polling is to find a way to overcome the systematic reasons for doing so. The methodological tweaks that we have introduced since the election in part help mitigate this phenomenon by proxy, but have not overcome the core challenge. In our view, attempting to fully solve sampling bias via post-survey adjustment methods is a step too far and lures the unsuspecting pollster into (further) blase confidence. We will have more to say on our methods in the coming months.


A quick update on EU referendum polling. The regular weekly ICM poll today has topline figures of REMAIN 42%, LEAVE 41%. This is closer than ICM have been showing of late – typically they’ve had REMAIN with a lead of around six points – but as ever, it’s nothing that could not be explained by normal sample variation. Wait to see if their poll next week backs it up (tabs are here).

The second poll is by Survation for the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group (i.e. UKIP’s group in the European Parliament). While this is newly released, the fieldwork was actually conducted a fortnight ago (30th Nov – 3rd Dec). Topline figures there are REMAIN 40%, LEAVE 42%. After their previous poll showed Remain ahead, Survation are back to showing Leave in the lead. (Full tabs are here).


YouGov have some polling for the Times on attitudes to terrorism and Syria following the attack on Paris. The full results are here, and the Times’s write up is here.

There are two important findings in there. One is attitudes towards Syrian refugees. Back in September YouGov found 36% thought we should accept more Syrian refugees, 24% keep the numbers about the same, 27% that we should admit fewer or none. That support has dropped sharply, now only 20% think Britain should accept more (down 16), 24% the same number (no change), 49% fewer or none (up 22).

It would be wrong to assume this is necessarily connected to the attack upon Paris. The previous poll was conducted at the start of September, a week after the photos of the body of Aylan Kurdi washed up on the beach and amid sympathetic media coverage of refugees trudging across Hungary seeking a route to Germany. At the time there was evidence that the public had become more favourable towards the idea of accepting more Syrian refugees. However time has passed, the media coverage of sinking boats and desperate refugees has faded away again, and I expect a significant chunk of the change in public opinion is because of that – some heartbreaking photos and coverage did provoke a temporary change in opinion, but it was only temporary.

The other interesting finding is on sending British and US troops back into Iraq to fight Islamic State/ISIS. 43% of people now support sending in ground troops, 37% of people are opposed. The change since the last time YouGov asked is barely significant, but it’s part of a longer and much more clearer trend. Back in August 2014 when YouGov started asking this question the British public were strongly opposed to sending troops back into Iraq, but since then opinion has steadily moved in favour of intervention. We are now at the point where there are significantly more people in favour than opposed.

troopsintoiraq

On other matters, the monthly ICM poll for the Guardian came out yesterday, with topline voting intention figures of CON 39%, LAB 33%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 12%, GRN 3% (tabs here. Their weekly EU referendum poll has figures of REMAIN 43%, LEAVE 38%. Survation have also put out some new figures, voting intentions are CON 37%, LAB 30%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 16%, GRN 3% and EU referendum intentions are REMAIN 42%, LEAVE 40% (tabs here.