The monthly ICM poll for the Guardian is out tonight and has topline figures of CON 31%(-2), LAB 32%(+1), LDEM 10%(-3), UKIP 16%(+1). Changes are from ICM’s poll a month ago which, as you’ll note from the changes, showed a Tory lead. As we’ve seen in the other polling series that showed the Tories ahead or equal last month (Ashcroft, Populus and YouGov), Labour have now clawed back ahead and ICM shows the same – though with a lead of just one point things remain extremely narrow.

The Liberal Democrat score of 10% is not that bad compared to the figures they’ve been receiving in polls from other companies, but ICM normally give the Liberal Democrats their highest scores, so for them this equals their lowest score since way back in 1991 (the Guardian write up refers to it as ICM’s lowest ever for the Liberal Democrats. This isn’t the case, ICM were responsible for the Lib Dems lowest ever score of 3% back in 1989, but this is the lowest ICM have ever shown for them since they switched to phone polling in the 1990s.

The question also asked leader job approval ratings, finding drops for all three leaders. David Cameron’s net rating fell back into negative territory (-5, after +2 last month), Nick Clegg’s rating falls from minus 21 to minus 37, Ed Miliband’s from minus 25 to minus 39. George Osborne’s approval rating is now plus 6, outperforming all the others.


I had hoped we might get the monthly ICM poll tonight, but I’ve seen nothing yet so perhaps it’s next week. In the meantime we have Monday’s usual Ashcroft and Populus polls.

Ashcroft’s topline figures with changes from a week ago are CON 29%(+1), LAB 35%(+3), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 15%(-2) (tabs here). Populus’s figures are CON 33%, LAB 37%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13% (tabs here)


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YouGov Sunday polls

There are two YouGov polls in the Sunday papers – one for the Sunday Times (tabs here) and one for the Sun on Sunday (tabs here). Voting intention figures are CON 33%, LAB 37%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13% and CON 33%, LAB 36%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14% respectively. The rest of the questions in the two polls mostly cover the state of the economy and the fuss over Birmingham schools.

Looking at the economy first, the proportion of people thinking the economy is improving continues to tick upwards. 49% now think the economy is showing signs of recover (34%) or is on its way to full recovery (15%). This is also translating into people being more likely to think that the government are doing a good job running the economy – 45% now think they are doing well at managing the economy, 44% badly. Just a one percent net positive, but the first time the government have managed a positive since way back in November 2010.

However, at a personal level the public are still pessimistic. More people still expect to be worse off next year than better off (by 34% to 18%), and asked about their own local area in the Sun on Sunday poll people still think there are fewer jobs, people have less money to spend and the shops are less busy.

Moving onto schools, 38% of people now think that schools now have too much freedom and that government should have more powers over them. 24% think the current balance is about right, only 19% now think that schools should have greater powers.

Looking specifically at the Birmingham case, 44% believe there probably was an organised plot to take over schools, 33% think that the schools had gone too far towards adopting a Muslim ethos, but that it was probably not an organised plot. Just 6% think there was no problem. More generally 79% think there is a risk of schools being taken over by religious extremists (34% a large risk in many parts of the country, 45% a lower risk in only a few areas), and 50% of people think the risk is greater in Academies and Free Schools. 55% think the government have not reacted strongly enough to counter the threat.

The idea that schools should try to instil British values in pupils does meet with wide approval, with 79% support. 70% say there are distinct British values than schools can uphold and teach, 21% say that in reality British values are not really different from other countries’ and they couldn’t, in practice, be defined or taught.


There were two new Scottish polls in the Sunday papers. One was by Panelbase for the SNP, one for ICM in the Scotland on Sunday. The Panelbase poll has topline figures of YES 43%, NO 46%, Don’t know 12%. Excluding don’t knows that works out at YES 48%, NO 52%. The previous three Panelbase polls asked using this version of the question showed NO leads of five points, so the change here is well within the normal margin of error, but the direction of travel is once again towards YES and is the closest Panelbase poll we’ve had yet.

The ICM poll had topline figures of YES 36%, NO 43%, Don’t know 21%. Excluding don’t knows that works out at YES 45%, NO 55%. Compared to their poll last month YES are up two points and NO are down three. However last month’s ICM poll was something of an outlier, showing a sharp shift towards NO, and I suspect this one is largely just a reversion to the mean after a freaky poll a month ago. While ICM have messed about with their methodology in Scottish polls this year, a crude average of their leads to date is 8 points. Today’s isn’t that different to the average.


The monthly online ComRes poll for the Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror is out and has topline figures of CON 32%(+3), LAB 34%(+1), LDEM 7%(-1), UKIP 18%(-1). Tabs are here.

Changes are from a month ago, just prior to the European elections. The two point Labour lead is the lowest that ComRes have shown in their online polls since February 2012, thought their telephone poll for the Independent had a one point lead earlier this year.