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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    `Because if most people lost their temper and swore at the police they would be arrested`

    You obviously don`t watch `Cops`…They are generally given a lift home. :)

  2. I wonder if David Davis would have the same campaign manager as in 2005 if he stood for leader?

  3. I wonder if Pleb-Gate was just a ploy to increase Mitchell`s whip credentials…I can see Tory MP`s thinking twice before rebelling.

  4. AC

    ‘I don’t think calling a police officer a pleb is as bad as a PM calling an ordinary voter a “Bigoted Woman”.’

    Surely a little unfair, since Brown did not say that to the woman’s face, but was eavesdropped on in his car by Sky, which then reported it as news.

  5. Sorry Anthony, didn’t see your exhortations to leave the subject of my post alone.

  6. @Jim Jam – ” …the same campaign manager”

    You mean the one who went ‘incandescent’ and told him “You’re nuts!”

    Not “You’re ****ing completely ****ing nuts” oh no… it’s one rule for them, and another for us.

    Davis is considered to be a bit of a maverick and too unpredictable after his decision (however principled) to quit Parliament and precipitate a byelection. He probably won’t be considered for the leadership again.

  7. Good Evening All.

    Brilliant earlier post from you, thank you.

    I hope that we can all move on from pleb gate. Mr Mitchell is, no doubt, a hard working public servant, under great pressure.

  8. @chrislane1945

    Yes, it looks like he will be taking a circituitous route through the long corridors of Whitehall to his place of work at No 9 Downing St for the foreseeable future. Lol.

  9. Chris – I’m sure you’re a hard working teacher under great pressure: your point?

  10. A lot of people visiting this site would be eternally grateful if we can move on from plebs and policemen .

    No poll tonight ?

    Yes, the pressure in schools is enormous, especially for a 57 year old!
    I have a photo of my welsh grandfather coal mining on my classroom wall to remind me about the pressures which were greater.

    You may know the story about Neil Harvey the batsman who said that batting was not pressure, while flying a spitfire was real pressure with an enemy plane up his backside,

  12. I couldn’t care less about the use of the word pleb, its the “know your f######ing place” that gets my goat

    Bad use of the gerund, I think is very lamentable.

  14. @chasglas

    Funnily enough the only poll out today is a YouGov supplementary about Andrew Mitchell.

    69% (after being reminded that he denies it) think he did call the policeman a pleb. 8% believe him.

    52% believe he should resign, 29% believe he should not.

  15. The 69% probably needed reminding who he was !

  16. You can just see at the Tory conference activists dressed in pleb uniforms, ambushing Mitchell and giving him an earfull of expletives. I doubt the Police at the conference would be too quick to stop them.

    Wonder if David Letterman will raise the issue with Cameron, as it is currently in the media. You can just see him ridiculing Cameron. Saying something along the lines of. I see one of your senior ministers abused a couple of Police Offiers in Downing Street and you backed your minister. Is this the type of relationship you have with officers on your doorstep ?

  17. @chasglas

    YouGov is reporting it as “69% of Britons think Andrew Mitchell not being honest about ‘plebs’ comment.”

    So by that logic 8% think he is being honest, 23% don’t know.

  18. @R Huckle – “pleb uniforms”

    The rest of the lexicon:

    Pleb Academy
    pleb baton
    Pleb Chief
    pleb discrimination
    pleb entrapment
    Pleb Force
    Pleb Gazette
    Pleb Headquarters
    pleb interrogation
    pleb jurisdiction
    pleb kettling
    pleb log/lineup
    pleb misconduct
    pleb national computer
    Pleb Officer (obviously)
    pleb patrol/pursuit
    pleb quick-cuffs
    pleb road-block
    pleb siren
    pleb teamwork
    pleb vendetta
    New Plebland Yard
    ex pleb dogs
    Pleb Zone

  19. OLD NAT
    “tautology” – oh gawd! What I meant was the VI is probably more related to a sense of trust in politician’s judgements and actions in relation to radical economic shifts, and that young politicians may not – with great exceptions – convey this, because they weren’t there. So it is not the game playing with the deficit or the fiddling with fiscaility, but – what Brown actually achieved – the exercise of judgement in relation to a massive collapse that may stay in voters’ minds. OK gravitas also, which VC has in spades; and i think EM may acquire.

    Gategate: I

    “I am obliged to Mary Beard, (Classics Prof at Cambridge) TLS 24 Sept for the definitive account of the relevant history of plebs:
    If we are to follow the account of (say) Livy, the fifth and early fourth centuries BC at Rome were marked by a class struggle between two hereditary groups of people: the patricians — a small set of families, who led all the power in the state, who monopolised political and religious office and wealth; and the plebeians — who were all the rest, who were not allowed much if any of a say in running the state. The big issues of this period was the so-called Struggle of the Orders — the series of campaigns by which the plebeians gradually got access to all important offices of the state (including tactics, like the first known sit down strike, which were to be hugely influential on the later Labour movement).

    Anyway, in the fifth century, the plebeians got their own officials to look after their own interests (Tribunes of the People.. hence the “Tribune Group”), and in 367 BC — so Roman story went — plebeians were admitted to the top office of consulship. By the second century BC there was no functional difference between patricians and plebeians, except there were a few old-fashioned priesthoods that still went to patricians only. (That’s the offical Roman version at least… we suspect the story was a bit more complicated; in fact the recorded names of some of the earliest consuls pre 367 BC are recognisably plebeian, and no one has ever quite explained that.)

    The point about the Romans, though, was that they never quite threw any of their old catgories and divisions away. And although it had no practical purpose, the formal hereditary division of patricians and plebeians remained forever. Everyone at Rome would always have known whether they were technically a patrician or plebeian. And the office of Tribune of the People remained throughout Roman history, and was only filled by plebeians… but by the first century BC, Tribunes were just as often introducing deeply conservative legislation as popular measures in support of the people. (LOL)

    The irony then is that most of the mega rich, pushy and snobby Roman politicians of the first century BC were, in formal terms, plebeians. Cicero was, Pompey was, so was Mr Moneybags himself (“Count no man as rich unless he can raise his own army”), Marcus Licinius Crassus. So when Cicero was being snooty about the sordida plebs (and plebs is just short for plebeius), we have to remember that strictly he was actually a plebeian himself.”

    Even though the old pleb coined the phrase sordida plebs, “the great unwashed”.

  20. @ Billy Bob

    “This will probably only be of interest to SoCalLiberal, but following Romney’s 47% remarks, there does seem to be a theme developing.
    The Ruiz-for-Congress (California 36th district) campaign has uncovered an old email from Mary Bono Mack to a radio host who had described Coachella (just happens to be Ruiz’s home town) as a third-world toilet:

    “I heard some of your remarks with the councliman (sic) from Coachella. You were great!!!!!!
    ….Unbelievably great!!! Third World Toilet? That was too funny.”

    Raul Ruiz accused Bono Mack of having “a pattern of disdain for her constituents””

    Yeah, that’s in really poor taste on her part. Coachella is not just her opponent’s hometown, it happens to be in her district and not by redistricting either. The residents of this “third world toilet” have been her constituents for 14 years now. It shows that she really doesn’t care about her constituents.

    You know, we can’t all be rich. We can’t all be fashionable. Well at least not in a non-communist society where we accept there will be some who do really well under a capitalist system and some who don’t. When you’re in elected office, you represent everyone. At least everyone in your district. So no, it’s not El Paseo. It’s not one of the many guard gated country club residential communities of Rancho Mirage or Indian Wells (they got in a fight with the state because they wanted to turn down public housing money). So she can have a preference as to where she likes to live, to dine, to shop, to play golf, to play tennis. She can even have a preference for the favorite parts of her district. But she owes just as much duty and obligation to a retired wealthy banker who spends his days golfing at Rancho Las Palmas or La Quinta as she does a trucker who lives in Coachella. When she took the oath of office, she took the oath to represent all of them. Not just the wealthy few.

    FYI, some friends of mine (can best be described as East LA Latino Power Elite) are going to be hosting a huge fundraiser for him in early October. I might go if I have the opportunity.

  21. @ Billy Bob

    What I find interesting about this is that this whole series of caught on tape moments is really illustrative of how this certain set of politicians really thinks. It’s not a gaffe. It’s not word twisting. It’s a revelation of how these people honestly feel.

    In some ways, it may be good for the voters to know.

    Now as for the 36th, the President won the current drawing of the District 50%-47%. So this is not an impossible District for a Democrat to win even against a long time incumbent like Mary Bono. Now it should be noted that the President won the old 45th (of which most of the new 36th is comprised of) by a 51%-47% margin. Bono wasn’t seriously challenged that year. She won reelection by 17% and took 58% of the vote. In a far better year for Republicans in 2010, she won reelection by only 9% and took only 51% of the vote. With those kinds of numbers, I wouldn’t describe her as hugely popular. And while she’s described as a moderate, she has a very conservative record.

  22. There is a very unscientific poll taking place at the sun. It seems to be designed to keep the Plebsgate story in the News. It is also on their front page today…

    h ttp://

  23. – Latest YouGov/The Sun results 25 Sept – CON 31%, LAB 44%, LD 9%, UKIP 9%; APP -40

  24. I’m watching King Abdullah II of Jordan on the Daily Show. He’s a brilliant, brilliant guy. Never heard him speak or get interviewed before and had no idea that he was like that. I kinda see why the Jordanians always seem to be the sanest ones in the Middle East. He’s a descendant of Mohammed (or at least claims to be). I did not know that. I wonder if there’s a whole group of them, DAR style.

  25. “Personally I don`t understand what the fuss is all about…A man losing his temper?Why is that such a big deal?”
    I think the issue, and why the press are really running with it, is that they’ve caught a government official in a lie.

    I suspect that, had Mitchell admitted to the whole affair and then apologised for it, the press would have moved on.
    But there was once again ‘trickle truth’ where an official slowly admits to things as more information comes out – so he admitted to losing his temper but not saying those things.. then he admitted to swearing, but not saying plebs, etc
    But in this instance, the press have proof of what he did – so he’s now trapped by his own lies.

    We saw the same thing with Liam Fox, with the phone hacking, with Bill Clinton, etc
    And that is why these stories run – because the cover-up is always worse than the crime.

    It was probably also a serious mistake to put yourself up against the police, who are very trusted by the public, when you’re a politician, who aren’t very trusted by the public.

    It’s a double-plus for the press also because it traps the prime minister in it too – even though he had absolutely nothing to do with it – because they can continue to run with ‘Why isn’t he sacked yet?’ and implicate him in the ‘cover up’ – again, even though he had nothing to do with it.

  26. Jordan’s human rights record is pretty abysmal, although probably better than some in the Middle East.

  27. Is today’s (yesterday’s) YouGov part of the poll widening, or movement around the mean?

    If you add/take away 3 points from Lab and Con, the lead is 7…bigger than the 6s we had not so long ago.

    Labour lead creeping up? Con support receding? Not much sign of a poll boost for LD.

  28. Latest YouGov/The Sun results 25 Sept – CON 31%, LAB 44%, LD 9%, UKIP 9%; APP -40
    As before, Labour lead across all age groups. Are Labour gaining some of the grey vote or is it mainly Con support leaking away to UKIP?

  29. 10% of 2010 Con vote would now vote Lab (compare to only 1% of Lab who would now vote Con).

    36% of 2010 LD voters would vote Lab tomorrow and 10% would vote Con.

    Con support falls to 30% amongst over 60s…and much of that seems to have gone to UKIP. Support for UKIP amongst the wrinkly greys is higher than any other age group at 13%.

  30. amber

    The 60 plus crossbreak is the only age group where Lab falls below 40% (just).

    The Con lead in rest of the south has shrunk too but Lab only get 32%…the old flee to UKIP?

    has all this talk of an electoral pact given UKIP a boost…but mostly amongst the older richer voter in the nonurban south?

    The north/south divide is as big as its ever been!

  31. Still quite a massive gender gap – in this poll it’s
    Con 31, Lab 41, Lib 10 (Coalition 41) for men but Con 31, Lab 47, Lib 9 (coalition 40) for women.
    33/41/10/43 (m), 32/44/8/40 (w)
    Day before:
    35/39/8/43 (m), 33/47/9/42 (w)
    So not much change in vote for the governing parties, but massive difference in Labour vote?

    Could it be that men are opting for UKIP where women are not? (That gender gap would largely explain the figures)

  32. @John Pilgrim

    Even more fun, the Tribunes of the Plebs had the power to arbitrarily veto any legislation, and attempting to stop them carrying out their duty was treason.

  33. The Sheep,yes but remember what happened to the Gracchi!

  34. Good Morning from a very wet Dorset.

    NICK P.
    The south of England is still a worry for Labour then.

    Richard in Norway: Yes; ‘know your place’ is awful


    Would tend to agree with your analysis that (older) men are moving to UKIP.

  36. Tingedfringe – yes, it certainly is that men are more likely to vote UKIP (on the gender cross-breaks it is UKIP 12% amongst men, 6% amongst women). While I haven’t checked whether the degree of skew is typical, it is typical for their support to be heavily skewed towards older men.

    NickP – remember all those figures are repercentaged to exclude don’t knows, so it is actually 8% of 2010 Tory voters in that poll saying they would vote Labour, 27% of 2010 Lib Dems saying they would vote Labour, etc, etc

  37. Amber – hello there, hope you’re well. :)
    If Labour are as high as 44%, the lead won’t primarily be caused by Cons switching to UKIP. It would mainly be Labour themselves attracting floaters.

  38. Keith Vaz, is calling South Yorkshire Police before his Home Affairs Select Committee.

    He said he was “shocked” at the Rotherham child abuse revelations in the Times -” they suggest an unwillingness to get to the bottom of what appears to be a pattern of offending which has developed over years and which no one has wanted to challenge. Agencies and organisations with a duty to protect these young girls were allegedly not doing what is expected of them”.

    Vaz is a decent man & an excellent SC chair-one of the best.

    Given his own cultural background this move is a welcome signal .

    Lord Ahmed of Rotherham, a Labour Peer dismissed the concerns about cultural “sensitivities” expressed by Rotherham’s “Safeguarding Children” Board as ” an excuse for not doing anything about it-the sme excuse we used to get with forced marriage”.


    A pending report on child sexual exploitation in Rochdale is expected to highlight multi-agency failings in Greater Manchester .

  39. I presume the Mitchell outburst has something to do with this Poll-how does one ever tell?

    Wonderful cartoon in today’s Times-involving two policemen, Andrew Mitchell & Abu Hamza . :-) :-)

    One thing which intrigues me-ever since AM was replaced at DFID by Justine Greening, the DM has featured reports of excessive overseas aid, abuse thereof, and rip-off consultants fees.

    I just wonder if DC wanted to get someone with a forensic accounting background in there to see what AM had been up to?

  40. @SoCalLiberal

    I read that reelction rates for members of Congress are around 90%, so from the incumbency factor must be massive. That said Ruiz has been fairly competitive in the fundraising stakes, and from what I read might even have an advantage in funds-in-hand at this stage.

    I haven’t seen Ruiz under any pressure in an interview, but then the adversarial political interview is not really the style in the US from what I have seen. He does seem very self-possessed and his story is great: I get the feeling the ‘doctor’s manner’ is a genuine part of his personality.


    On plebgate… why couldn’t Mitchell apologise to the police for calling them plebs? He has put Cameron in the position of believing his side of the story, and doubting the word of the diplomatic protection officers (that puts the PM among the 8% who believe Mitchell is being honest according to YouGov).

    “Pleb” is a term of abuse in Prep (Preparatory) and Public schools, expressive of utter contempt. The word has a Roman origin for sure, but that is irrelevant. “Plebian” was an official term for pupils who were not sons of the aristocracy and gentry.

    When adopted by schoolboys “pleb” signifies those who are so ‘low’ that they can be socially excluded and subjected to routine bullying.

  41. The Tories have definitely dropped according to recent polls from various companies. It appears that the 60 and overs have shifted in the last week, presumably on the back of speculation the coalition will make changes to their benefits.

    Also using pensions as guarantee for grandchildren to buy homes may be unpopular. Mitchell showing contempt to authority by being rude to Police, would also be seen as a negative by this age group.

    According to information coming from the Lib Dems before Nick Cleggs speach, it appears that the coalition will be coming forward with very unpopular decisions about spending cuts, in order to help the economy. Can more austerity help the economy grow ? Not convinced that any savings will be realised that quickly and can therefore be used to back a growth strategy.

  42. The over 60s may have shifted a few points compared to early September but they do not actually appear to have moved to UKIP. More like 2% or 3% to Lab and 2% or 3% to LD.
    Could be MOE in any case.

    Perhaps the 60+ switching pattern is more complex than it first appears. I doubt whether they ‘agree with Nick’ on his plans to claw back some over 60s benefits.

    But, as I am sure TOH would put it, support for blues is a little more flaky.

  43. Not sure about the over 60’s theory.

    This group go up & down like a bride’s nightie. They have shown Labour majority when Cons were closer than this on overall VI.

    I am always mindful of AW’s warnings about small sub sets.

    ……but then again, I don’t understand opinion polls.

  44. @ Colin

    If you look back at the 60+ stats over say the last 2 months, you will see that the Tories have held about a 5% lead over Labour. Recently this has shifted and Labour has a lead, which started off as 2/3%, but has widened. We will see if this is maintained.

    I don’t know whether AW or Statgeek has the stats for this age group, which will confirm this.

  45. “A bride’s nightie! ???

    Good grief.

  46. I presume the Mitchell outburst has something to do with this Poll-how does one ever tell?
    Colin – you should never take your opinion poll ratings out on the police! :) (yes I know you didn’t mean that)
    I have been one of Keith Vaz’s bitterest critics within the Labour Party, but if you’re reading this Keith, you are doing an excellent job as Chairman of your all-party committee.

  47. Colin..”I don’t understnd opinion polls”

    What it is Col is that they ask questions and then collate the answers into percentages. Dead simple.

  48. Should the icm prove to be at the upper end of the lab lead arc of moe, as seems likely, and revert to normal next month will be see Lab lead drops headlines in next months Gruniad.
    Sadly probably, just as when the next Coms Res for the Indy does perhaps the opposite the paper may well run equally inaccurater Lab lead widens stuff.

    The contrast between the Home Affairs select committee proceedings and those of effectiveness the DCMS is stark. Whilst some is due to the egos and agendas of some of the members the respective chairs must have something to do with it.

  49. Colin – yep, be very cautious of relatively small changes in age crossbreaks. It’s the sort of thing where you are better looking at monthly aggregates than trying to get anything from individual polls.

  50. A gate gate effect seems increasingly likely. I suspect the particularly dramatic ICM shift is due to a hardening of don’t knows away from the Conservatives.

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