The monthly ICM poll for the Guardian is out and has topline figures of CON 31%(-3), LAB 41%(+2), LDEM 14%(-1), Others 14%. In the last couple of years ICM have tended to show smaller Labour leads than many other polling companies for methological reasons, so while ten point leads for Labour have been two-a-penny these last six months, for ICM it is a very large lead, the biggest they’ve shown since 2003. The poll also has UKIP at 6% – a high figure for a telephone pollster.

There is also a new TNS BMRB poll out with topline figures of CON 28%(-3), LAB 44%(+1), LDEM 8%(-1), Others 19%(+2) (including UKIP at 7% and the Greens at 5%). While TNS do tend to show some of the largest leads anyway, the sixteen point Labour lead is the largest any company has shown this Parliament. Suffice to say, I think we can write off the sharp narrowing of the lead in the weekend ComRes poll as an outlier!

From here on in we are into conference season polling. In some past years this has produced a rollercoaster effect, with each party enjoying a boost in the polls in the immediate aftermath of their conference and their leader’s conference address. In other years it has had hardly any effect… we shall have to see which sort of conference season 2012 is.

313 Responses to “New ICM and TNS-BMRB polls”

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  1. The Mitchell effect kicking in?

  2. Oh, CORKSCREW, you have invited a rebuke from Mr Wells there!

    1) Too soon for this to filter through – surely most of fieldwork was before the event was reported?

    2) Although feeding in to the narrative of posh-Eton-mess-smug-Tories-Bojo-Cam-better-than-thou etc. etc., Mitchell’s rant probably reinforced views than changed many.

    Then again, might stand corrected in a few weeks…

  3. …having said that, as a regular anti-Tory blogger I would like to think otherwise!

  4. Well I did question ChrisLane’s assertion that the polls were “tightening” and ask for evidence.

    And here it doesn’t come.

  5. If YouGov show a mere 9% or less tomorrow morning, AW will need to invert his house effects chart.

  6. Mike Hartley

    ICM Polling was done 21-23, so the Mitchell story would have been well in the mix. Reinforcing rather than changing views is the absolute minimum of this one I’d say.

    BTW – Why would my comment upset Mr Wells????

  7. @Anthony

    Looks like those “13 and 15 point jobbies”, as you amusingly called them a couple of days ago, are back, certainly in the case of the latest Survation and TNS/BRMB polls; and those darned persistent 30%, or lower, Tory VIs are cropping up all over the place now.

    What’s a man to do now when even the Gold Standard of pollsters is showing a 10% Labour lead? [Snip]

    Or can YouGov restore sanity tonight with a nice little maverick 5% Labour lead? I await with scarcely concealed excitement and anticipation.

  8. Is that two highish polls for the Greens now? Could be down to the new leader, more likely completely random.

  9. In 1997 ICM’s final poll gave Labour a 10% lead – the actual outcome was a 13% Labour lead.

  10. Good Evening.

    GRAHAM. A man called Blair was leader in 1997, I think.

    Paul Croft. Not tightening at the moment, agreed!

  11. How long have these 10% leads been going on for now?

  12. Have to feel sorry for the Lib/Dems…ICM had them way up on 14% then just a wee bit further down the page TNS BMRB have them flirting about with UKIP and the Greens on 8% .

    If enough Tories stick with UKIP and the Greens can pick up on the traditional Lib/Dem student vote then it’s quite conceivable Nick Glegg could be looking at 5th spot in 2014!!

    Vince will be 98 in 2014 so I think it might be a wee bit late for him to step in.

  13. AC:

    Good point re Cable: I’m surprised people are allowed out once they get to be 70.

  14. Do you think the Lib Dems might revolt and cause an early election? Maybe Simon Huges as their new leader?

    If they revolted on a point of principle and installed a new leader maybe they could recover in the polls – so they might think that was their best chance of survival.

    If we go to 2015
    I am very interested to know what people think the effect of a possible Yes vote on Scottish independence would have on the 2015 GE or conversly a Labour Gov (if there is an early election) have on the independence vote.

  15. Vince won’t be the new leader I think, but he can be a king maker, Tim is the most likely next leader

  16. CORKSCREW – because it’s – really tempting – but normally unlikely that a Mitchell-style story actually influences the polls.

    Most people genuinely don’t notice stories like these, even when they are pretty high-profile.

    My guess is the next ICM will have Labour’s lead back at somewhere between 5 and 10.

  17. Can not think of anything more revolting than Smarmy Hughes in charge of the fibs,so must be a good chance.

  18. Allan Christie (9.49 pm)

    “Vince will be 98 in 2014 so I think it might be a wee bit late for him to step in.”

    Allan, a typo or a cynical comment re someone who has got it right more often than EM, DC or NC.

    Paul Croft (10.04 pm)

    “Good point re Cable: I’m surprised people are allowed out once they get to be 70.”

    I would rather have someone who has experience of the wider world than any of the three named above who know nothing except how to be a politician. As someone only a couple of years younger than VC I find your comment rather insulting.

  19. Mike Hartley:

    “My guess etc etc….”


  20. Daily Telegraph sales should go up tomorrow. Delivered through the door as usual to Conservatives, and sold out in shops to the plebs.

  21. Peter Bell:

    Try looking up irony: as someone who is nearly 70 myself I found Allan Christie’s ageist comment in poor taste and was highlighting its absurdity.

    I’m sorry you thought I meant it but am even more surprised.


    I suspect that Paul’s comment was somewhat tongue in cheek!

    Mind you, us oldies may forget where tongue, cheek (or both) actually are. At least that was my story!!!! – don’t think she believed me. :-(

  23. Sorry did I get Vinnie’s age wrong?

    Ach what’s a couple of decades amongst friends? ;)


    Looking good for age!! :)


    Just had a look at your blog, fantastic!

    @Anthony Wells

    Can we please have a link on the left for Mike Hartley blog?

  25. The last three YouGovs have suggested a slight tightening so, in the light of the recent Survation and TNS/BRMB polls, tonight’s YouGov poll will be really interesting. If that creeps back into double-digit Labour lead territory then, as we famously say, something might be going on out there. Or is it?

    Of course, all this chatter about what appear to be widely divergent polls, amuses me somewhat. There is no such thing as YouGov opinion, or ICM opinion, or even Opinium opinion; there’s only public opinion and all pollsters, I presume, are attempting to accurately measure it at any given time. Of course there will be occasional sample error, normal MOE and differing methodology (reallocated DKs, telephone polls versus panels etc etc) that lead to divergent results from time to time, but, if they are accurate and effective tools of opinion measurement, they should all converge over time. That’s why, in my view, it’s inherently nonsensical to talk about one pollster “giving bigger Labour leads” or another “being the most favourable to the Lib Dems or Tories”, because opinion isn’t the exclusive preserve of any particular pollster. They should all be measuring the same thing in the sense that two thermometers dipped into the same bucket of warm water should return the same temperatures, even if they are differently made thermometers.

    I’m perturbed by this concept of certain pollsters leaning certain ways. What about the old idea that some are just bloody hopeless!! lol

  26. Richard in Norway

    Vince won’t be the new leader I think, but he can be a king maker

    King maker for what? The Women’s Rural?

    Seriously though I can’t think of any high profile Lib/Dems (including Vince) who can turn the party’s fortunes around.

    I think we are looking at the SDP mark two!!!

  27. @richard in norway – ” …he can be a king maker”

    That is one way of putting it.

    It was Cable who handed Charlie Kennedy the letter telling him to go, after getting ten other MPs to sign it. It was Cable who, as deputy leader, went on [email protected] to tell Ming Campbell that his position was “certainly under discussion”. It was Huhges and Cable who announced that Campbell had “resigned”.

    Before anyone gets too excited about Vince he did write in the run-up to the 2005 election (contradicting Charlie Kennedy’s policy): “If the pendulum swings, it may swing to a combination of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats and, thus, to a period of minority government or coalition, in some form.”… and finally, let’s not forget, he is one of the original Orange Bookers.

  28. The Mitchell affair is a classic government cock-up. The inability of the party leadership to step in and quickly shut down an ‘event’ before it spins out of control makes them look weak. When will they ever learn?

  29. I guess its highly likely that the LibDems will tighten up policy red-lines – i.e. policies they will INSIST are part of any coalition and others they insist they will not support under any circumstances.

    Perhaps that is what NC’s apology will be paving the way for – coalition politics is new and we’ve learned our lesson now.

    It could work I suppose – one can even visualise Cons voting LD if they feel their own party’s position has become hopeless, in order to try and prevent a Labour landslide.

    I still think an overall Lab majority is the most likely outcome and have put 50p each way on that with the local bookie.

  30. I do think these low figures are a direct result of the Mitchell story, what I don’t think is that they will have long term damage, I think they will be rather short lived and lost in the conference season.

    I think this shift of about 3% is Traditional Tory voters who are immensely supportive of the police registering a protest by saying they will not vote or will vote for someone else. But come the election, in 2015, when it’s a straight choice of who you want to be PM, those voters will likely return to the Tory fold. I think UKIP will be lucky to retain 5% as many of the people saying in polls they would vote UKIP, while disgruntled with Cameron, will likely vote tactically in 2015 and go back to Blue to keep out Red


    “one can even visualise Cons voting LD if they feel their own party’s position has become hopeless”.

    That has happened for some years in Scotland – now both parties position looks hopeless.

    Tories combining with the remnant right wing LDs to vote for the best placed candidate from the right looks like their best chance of keeping at least one mainland MP.

  32. ON: For one hopeful moment I thought you meant mainland GB – then I remembered you were Scotch.

    Anmary: ALL damage is cumulative.

  33. I’m not convinced by those who think that there will be a move back to the Tories just to keep Labour out, (although I still think it will be hard for any party to get above 37%) many Tories will be so fed up, they won’t care, or they’ll probably back UKIP in protest.

  34. ANMARY

    The Telegraph detail might persuade some lor n order types that the Tories are not an appropriate lot to support.

  35. Paul

    I’m impressed that you are so certain of labour victory that you will risk 50p each way, the drinks will be on you if labour win

  36. GARY GATTER – Thank you.

    I think your words are wise, and I trust that Anthony Wells, the guru that he, is will take your advice :)

  37. Some news from across the pond. Mr Romney has had a gaffe prone week, with some calling it the week the election was decided. Polls have moved accordingly and he now only has 2 swing states that he can rely on, giving MR Obama a win margin of about 50 electoral college votes and the polls are moving in his favour as well in 2 reliably Republican states. Arizona could come into play very soon.

  38. There certainly seems to be some slippage in Tory fortunes. Although just a single poll, the ICM numbers are really quite something. As @AW says, it’s around 9 years since Labour bettered this with ICM, and to find a Tory score of 31% under ICM you have to go back exactly seven years to pre Cameron days. For ICM, this really does seem to be a good poll for Labour.

    This may well be a bit of a wobble, with things flicking back the other way soon, but what does appear to be interesting is that each time there is a wobble for whatever reason, the low tide of Tory VI seems to get lower. My sense from this is that while we shouldn’t necessarily expect these very low Tory scores to remain for long, the polls seem to suggest an underlying weakening in Tory support.

  39. Richard:

    Oh yes, when I throw my money about its a dead cert.

    The bookie’s not very political so will pay out if they are in the first three anyway

  40. @Anmary – I really don’t think you can dismiss these polls are just being down to a frothy story about a minister shouting at police.

    In these polls, the Tories are as unpopular as when they were a laughing stock under IDS. I don’t believe you can get to those levels without some pretty fundamental problems that go way beyond the short term news cycle influences.

  41. @ Paul Croft

    Sorry for my comment at 10.20 pm. Not realising your age I did not appreciate the irony.

  42. Oops – sent too soon! Meant to add that if the Mitchell story really is having an impact, it’s because it plays to the sense of privilege a toffs. That’s one of the underlying problems, and these are where the ‘real’ explanations for poll numbers probably lies. The Mitchell incident is only the envelope carrying the message – it’s the message that is the serious bit.

  43. Sorry I got my figures wrong, Obama is currently winning with a margin of around 150 electoral votes. According to polling averages of the last 30 month, so obviously as Romney has been getting worse, his actual performance will be lower than this average.

    But the average is Obama 332 votes, Romney 206.

    Of all the Swing states, Romney would win Indiana, and narrowly win North Carolina.

    Obama would win, Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Wisconsin, New Hampshire

    and New Mexico is so strongly Obama now it is no longer considered a swing state.

    Also 2 former Republican strongholds, Arizona and Tennessee could also come into play and be declared swing states as the last poll in each state showed Romney with a narrow lead, of course normal caveat these could be outliers, but I remember in 2008, Arizona started to go toward Barack, forcing John McCain to run ads their, his home state!

  44. The Andrew Mitchell outburst is toxic for the current Tories at the top of their party, as it confirms what the polls have been saying for ages. People think they are out of touch with the real world. This does not stand them in good stead if they are wanting to cut welfare and public services that ‘plebs’ may use.

    If Cameron is not careful, the Mitchell story will still be running at the time of the Tory conference. Might be wise for the Tories to accept Mitchells resignation after a full public apology.

  45. Oh Alec, I agree the Tories have fundamental problems, I’m confident barring a big surprise, that Labour will be in the majority if not the largest party.

    What I’m saying is that I don’t think these particular numbers are going to last long. I think there’s a lot of anger over this story even from Tory members and voters, and so their poll numbers have dropped. But I think the Tories will recover to where they were before the scandal, so still about 10% behind Labour. If we’re still seeing these sort of numbers after the conference season then I think they may have been lasting damage. In 2015 the Tories will face a massive defeat for sure, but I don’t think this particular story will be the cause of it.

  46. It’s laughable to predict long term ramifications from an MP’s mistakes , we’ve seen and heard it all before , especially in circumstances of an obviously bullying jobsworth policeman . We’ve all come across them .

    Labelling someone a chav or ned as an insult is common parlance now

  47. …….. pleb is just another variation

  48. No its not

  49. @Chasglas
    “an obviously bullying jobsworth policeman ”

    Quite an achievement to have so many inaccuracies and predujices displayed in so few words…I take my hat off to you.

  50. Inaccuracy , prejudice on here ? Shock , horror !

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