There are three new polls out tonight.
ICM in the Guardian have topline figures of CON 39%(-1), LAB 36%(nc), LDEM 16%(nc). Changes are from the ICM/News of the World poll yesterday so, as you’d expect, there are no significant changes. This does confirm the lowest Lib Dem score from ICM since the election wasn’t just a freak result though.
Interestingly in yesterday’s ICM poll 2 of those 16 percentage points for the Lib Dems were from the re-allocation of don’t knows – only 14% of people said they’d vote Lib Dem, the rest was people who said don’t know who ICM re-allocated according to how they voted at the last elecion. Of course, it doesn’t follow that the same applies to this one!
Moving to questions about the cuts themselves, 48% of people thought cuts went too far, 44% thought they were right or didn’t go far enough (36% and 8% respectively). 52% thought that the cuts were unfair, compared to 44% who thought they were fair.
Meanwhile Populus in the Times (£) has topline figures of CON 37%(-2), LAB 38%(+1), LDEM 15%(+1). Changes are since Populus’s last poll in mid-September. This is the first time Populus have shown a Labour lead since the election-that-never-was in 2007, though ICM, YouGov and Angus Reid have all shown more recent Labour leads and BPIX had one at the weekend. Looking at the spending review questions in Populus’s poll 58% thought the effects of the cuts would be unfair, a majority (but no actual figure) said that the cuts are too large.
While on the face of it the voting intention figures look somewhat conflicting, with trends apparently in opposite directions, I think the polling picture from the spending review is still pretty consistent. Nothing here conflicts with my conclusions yesterday – support or opposition to the cuts seems quite well balanced or even slightly positive; there is roughly even balance between people thinking cuts are too deep or about right/too shallow; people see the cuts as unavoidable and more Labour’s fault than the coalition. On the more negative size for the government, the polling suggests most people think the cuts are too fast, and across the board the polls are showing that people see the cuts as being done in an unfair way.
And voting intention? While the changes in ICM and Populus are in different directions, they are within the margin of error and looking at the broad spread of polls from different companies my impression is that there is a slight tightening – with a couple of polls showing Labour ahead, and YouGov’s daily tracker showing the Conservative lead dropping from 4 points or so to just one, I think the spending review may have led to a genuine narrowing in the polls.
Third poll tonight will be YouGov’s normal tracker in Sun at 10pm.
UPDATE: YouGov’s daily poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 40%, LAB 40%, LDEM 11%. That’s the first time YouGov have shown Labour catching the Tories since the end of the Labour conference.