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. Labour lead now at around 12 or so points, it seems. Will be very interesting to see what effect the party conferences have on the polls.

  2. AW & R Huckle



    No indeed-I think DC should have sacked AM. By all accounts he should never have appointed him as CW.

    ….none of which has anything to do with my feelings about “the police”……….and anyway “the police” is a blanket term which has as little meaning as “MPs” -or “Lefties” -or even “Tories”…..but I don’t mean to spoil the fun & righteous indignation :-)

    Paul Croft.

    Nah-I just don’t need to bother , because there is always a clever dick like you waiting with bated finger , to supply a smart arsed remark……

    …..and there are polling experts here too :-)

  3. Does anyone know when the next PMQs is going to be?

  4. @Colin

    I could not have put it better myself, well said!!

  5. @Colin

    You appear to be a little fixated with the these organised child abuse cases and while I’m slightly at a loss to understand the essential political point that you’re trying to make, and how it is relevant to a site devoted to opinion polling, I’ve attached a link to a Daily Telegraph article which contains comments made by Keith Vaz about the Rochdale case. I tend to agree with what he has to say, particularly the need to divorce the crimes from a desire, amongst some, to stigmatise a community, even a whole race and culture. These are cases that arise from wickedness, sexual depravity and the capacity for the strong to prey on and abuse the weak. Human failings found in all races, colours and creeds. You may well be crediting Vaz with views that he doesn’t possess, I suspect.

    And while we’re on the subject, why are you so quick to jump to the conclusion that the failure of the police, and other authorities, to properly investigate these cases was due to their nervousness about potential racial sensitivities? This is the English Defence League and BNF argument. Why couldn’t it have been just pure bureaucratic inefficiency and incompetence? Most police failures are down to this when analysed fully.

    I’m a fully paid-up subscriber to the cock-up over conspiracy theory!

  6. The loss of the reliable Conservative lead in the over-60’s, that I mentioned yesterday, is beginning to look like more than a statistical blip. Though what the new position is and for how long it will go on for is another matter – as is where those shifting votes will end up. UKIP is already doing well with the over-60s, but they may not necessarily attract the latest lot of defectors, who may have different concerns.

    I don’t think it is a reaction to Gategate, though that won’t have helped, as it seems to have started before that. It could be a cumulative thing as the greater political coverage of the Autumn begins to solidify slowly changing perceptions into changes in VI. I wonder if a lot of older people are slowly beginning to realise that cuts don’t just happen to others or to those they see as ‘undeserving’.

    Probably unrelatedly there’s an interesting movement in the Issues trackers in today’s YouGov:

    There is a five point increase in the percentage of people giving ‘education’ as one of their three ‘most important issues’. Unusually this applies for both those ‘facing the country at this time’ and ‘facing you and your family’ Usually a news-driven item will only affect the first category. For example ‘Crime’ is up by 4 points (presumably due to the killings in Manchester), but that only affects the ‘country’ ratings.

    It could just be a statistical quirk, due to say a high number people with such concerns in the sample or even a back-to-school/college effect, but it may highlight this as being a potential area of problems. It’s also worth pointing out that, compared to the last time of asking, the rise is particularly strong in the under-40s.

  7. It seesm that the polls show VI swinging increasingly in Lab’s favour…at least for now.

    EM and lab have been wise in avoiding making policy statements too early and then finding them savaged by the Tories and Tory press.

    Is th next Lab conference the time for EM to begin broadly to articulate some policies that will find favour with joe public? I think this is the right time, so it will be interesting to see the effect on VI.

  8. Hannah – next PMQ’s is Oct 17th

  9. CROSSBAT 11

    @” I’m slightly at a loss to understand the essential political point that you’re trying to make,”

    Let me help you then-I’m not making a political point -at least not a part political point.

    @” and how it is relevant to a site devoted to opinion polling, ”

    Well if you restricted yourself to the strict application of opinion poll related only-we would be sadly deprived of a breadth of interesting comment , personal detail & reminiscences -so ,like you, I leave it to AW to tell me whether I am “relevant” or not.

  10. TOH

    Cheers :-)

  11. I think the Mitchell thing is only likely to influence voting intention as part of a build up or overall impression, both of the Government’s competence and who exactly the Government governs for.

    In isolation it wouldn’t matter at all. Coming after tax cuts for the rich, all the bSkyb/Hunt fiasco and all the various policy u-turns, bung in the prolonged double-dip, and it it is likely to be yet another factor, maybe the straw that breaks some camels’ backs.

    It will soon get forgotten if the economy improves markedly, but everything will rankle if it doesn’t.

    How many of those who now say they won’t vote Tory next time can they get back? I would guess…not all of them.

  12. Andrew Neil on DP briefly quoted from a NC interview with ( I think) The Birmingham Mail this morning.

    AN said NC was quoted as saying ” if you don’t like me , vote Labour”.

    If this is a complete quote it seems extraordinary in the circumstances.

    More probably it is truncated & missing the context. I would be interested to read the interview-but can’t find it via Google as yet.

  13. Dear Col and TOH,

    Ta for for noting that I am, indeed, quite clever and its nice that you are so close to each other’s points of view – somebody needs to be.


    DC is a good speaker so may well get a UN bounce – generally I do think he comes over well in these situations and I also admire the fact that he is not relenting on third world aid, despite the right wing criticism.

    A lot will now depend on 1/ how well the two main party leaders/treasury team do at conferences and 2/ even more, how biased the reporting on it is.

    Normally one could rely on the majority right wing press to twist everything but there seems to be something odd going on at the moment – and most of it is anti-Cameron.

    The most pro-Labour supporter could hardly claim they’ve DONE anything to merit such large leads, its really all about coalition negatives.

    I think we’ll see how things are progressing long term within the next month.

  14. NickP: As I remarked to someone else, all of these negatives are cumulative: in the end people don’t need to remember the specifics.

  15. Colin: “More probably it is truncated & missing the context. I would be interested to read the interview-but can’t find it via Google as yet.”

    Apparently the complete quote is:

    “I make no apology of saying to those people, we are not the party for you. If people want just protest politics, if they want a sort of ‘I don’t like the world let me get off” party, they’ve got one. It’s called the Labour Party.”

    Patronising little goat has just offended possibly hundreds of floating voters.

  16. @NICKP

    I fear that Con will get back say 3 points from UKIP. Maybe Labour will shed 8 points back to LibDem:

    33 43 10 –>36 35 18

    Its just a niggling worry I have, about the ‘loyalty’ to Lab of the ex-LibDems


  17. @Roger Mexico

    I agree that the polls seem to have firmed up a bit against the Conservatives over the past week, with a consistent double digit lead across all of the most recent polls bar that from ComRes. But what’s more striking to me is how much they’ve firmed up in the medium and longer term, comparing the situation at the start of the year with that now.

    In terms of longer term trends, I suggest that there are two factors at play:

    1. We need to be mindful that there’s a big gap between the timing of political debate and the point at which the consequences of those political decisions impact directly on peoples’ lives. To take your example of education, within the past week or two we’ve just seen the departure for uni of the first cohort of students who will be racking up debts of some £12k p.a. in loans for fees and living costs. While no money is changing hands (yet), there’s lots of paperwork flying around reminding students and their parents of those debts as they are taken out. So an issue which was the stuff of debate over a year ago has suddenly become pertinent again, even before Clegg made his bid for YouTube stardom. Likewise, whilst the government was able to gain some political mileage last year when it put the benefit reforms in place, many of the people badly affected are only now starting to be affected or becoming aware that they will be affected in the near future, including for example the more pernicious of the reforms to housing benefit. In summary, it’s the belated impact of past decisions on those directly affected that is driving an almost imperceptibly slow deterioration in the government’s popularity.

    2. And the further we get from 2010, I suggest that the claim that “it’s all Labour’s fault” will have less and less effect even if things just bump along as they are without getting any better. And thus it may not be too long now before the coalition draws level with Labour in the “who’s to blame for the cuts” question.

  18. Last 10 YouGov Polls -Labour lead & over 60’s Labour lead ( -Con lead)

    13 – 9
    11 – 12
    9 – 2
    6 – 1
    12 – 6
    9 – (-11)
    12 – (-2)
    10 – 1
    9 – 0
    9 – (-2)

    There does seem to be a Con loss of over 60s VI-but the correlation with overall VI seems erratic.

  19. penultimate line, for “better” read “worse”


    Wow-impressed with your search there.


    It’s more what I imagined, I must confess-doesn’t like Labour does he ?


    Can goats be “patronising”? I volunteer at a local nature reserve & help with a herd of grazing goats .
    I’ve never detected any patronising -unless a pair of horns in the crotch counts ?

  21. “unless a pair of horns in the crotch counts ?”

    I’d rather not think about Cleggs crotch if you don’t mind :-)


    Takes all sorts :”>

    Regarding very small changes in age cross breaks, a scratch poll of over sixty males in the Windsor area among my former varsity friends indicates that they, rather than any other section of voters, are more likely to remember what happened to the Gracchi. Could this be the reason …..? no, I don’t suppose so.

  24. @Chordata

    Sounds like an accurate description to me !!

  25. The 60+ group are the most dissapproving in the YouGov/Sun Mitchell survey.

    78% think he is not being honest about the pleb thing, 7% think he is, 15% don’t know.

    Would I be right in thinking this age group is most likely to include regular newspaper readers? The tone of coverage for the Tories continues to deteriorate after the budget, local elections, fractured coalition relations over Lords reform/boundary changes, failure of Plan A etc.

  26. BBC blurb about LD Conference says Nick Clegg will set out his vision for the party after 2015.

    Who can come up with a good slogan?
    Not “Go back to your Constituencies and prepare for Government” – cos we had that one already.

  27. Mike N – yep now is the time for some beef from Labour…not too much but some.

    Also Vinces 7 years in stead of 6 (implying big deal) needs addressing at some point.

    Essentially what the coalition do to 2015 is what they will do but Lab can articulate that what they would do in the next 2 years we would do in 4 or 5.

    Too eary for detail but we would slow down and not go as far as fast and that we will spell out as we get close to GE etc etc.

  28. I see the Brooks and Coulson court cases are penciled in for Sept 2013. Around conference season 2013, which might not be good for Cameron, depending on what comes out.

  29. Am i under the misapprehension that this site is non political as it seems more and more contributors are just party toadies and are reducing these blogs to mere political posts as used to be seen on Sky news.
    It would be helpful if this site was moderated and all partisan posts were deleted

  30. Dear WasTory etc,

    Your own user name seems a bit party toady to me. As has been pointed out before if every post was about polling only then there would be bugger all to read.

    In my view this site is extremely well moderated [apart from the rare occasions when my own posts are moderated of course.]

  31. I think the 60+ group were bought up in an age when people were more respectful of authority and in particular the police. Thus, it would be plausible that any name calling from on high directed against the police would have a disproportionate effect on their VI.

    The general tone of newspaper coverage of the Tories seems reminiscient of that during John Major’s tenure of no 10. Generally underwhelmed.

  32. Jim Jam
    “yep now is the time for some beef from Labour…not too much but some.”

    I agree with that. Just enough to whet appetites, so to speak, and demonstrate that Lab has policies under development. .

  33. @KeithP

    “The general tone of newspaper coverage of the Tories seems reminiscient of that during John Major’s tenure of no 10. Generally underwhelmed.”

    A definite post-Leveson effect has kicked in, particularly in the Murdoch titles like the Times and Sun. Cameron has uncorked some bile which is now, fairly predictably, being poured over his Government. The right wing press, who tend to abhor the Lib Dems even more than Labour, were never greatly enamoured with the coalition from the outset, but they sort of liked the sight of a Tory PM in Downing Street and, accordingly, half-heartedly, went along with it all. That’s all changed now and they’re re-discovering the reasons why they weren’t terribly enthused by Cameron in the first place. The man who called in Leveson after all.

    In my lifetime of following British politics, some 45 years or more now, I never thought I’d see the day when titles like the Telegraph, Times, Sun, Mail etc would so seriously undermine something that vaguely resembled a Conservative Government. You’re right that Major took a monstering in the latter part of his days, but I’m starting to detect the sort of orchestrated onslaught that only Labour Governments have had to endure in the past.

    Extraordinary times and we now have the prospect of a Labour leader, looking on gleefully, as Tory leaders in the past have been used to doing, as the press piles into the old enemy. A Tory tabloid, the Sun, and a Tory broadsheet, the Telegraph, on the warpath against a Tory Cabinet Minister. Whatever next, but it makes for rather entertaining observing, don’t you think?

  34. @ Crossbath

    Very true re the papers. I wonder if they have a long term policy (get rid of Cameron type thing or a vote UKIP) or are just pushing a more right wing line and hoping bad press coverage pushes him to the right.

    Blair’s taming on the right wing press had a massive affect on the result in 1997. The difference now is that they have no love of Milliband or Labour so it will be interesting to see where they stand at the election. Can’t help feeling the Sun likes to be seen to back the winner so they might go with the opinion polls.

  35. CB11 – Newspaper endorsements have less significance nowadays of course but I would be very surprised if in the period from the sept 14 conferences til the GE these titles did not start to promote the Conservatives and will recommend voting Tory to their readers.

    They will pursuade themselves that it is the fault of those pesky Liberal Democrats that the Tories have not delivered what they would have wished.

    Unless DC get’s to lead a conservative government with a working majority (still possible even if looking unlikely at the mo) we will never know.

    It does seem that many of his own back-benchers don’t blame the LDs totally and think he is not right wing enough in himself.


    As has been pointed out – the site is moderated (and it’s Anthony’s decision as to what he accepts and what he doesn’t).

    In Scotland we have the interesting sight of a pollster intervening in a current political debate by tweet –

    “Ipsos MORI Scotland [email protected]
    But Scots don’t want to see cuts to NHS, increase in Council Tax or prescription charges” then linking to

    I don’t know if this has happened before. The debate btw is whether Scottish Labour are right or wrong to take the stance that universal benefits are inherently a bad thing.

  37. @OLDNAT

    I cannot imagine why the Scottish Labour leader is putting forward these policies. There is no eveidence at all that they are likely to be vote winners in Scotland, quite the opposite as that poll suggests.

    What do you think her strategy is?

  38. COUPER2802

    That question has puzzled many people since her announcement.

    This article (from a left-wing source) focusses on internal SLAB politics, and may well have a good deal of sense in it.

  39. ICM full data now available, full details below.

    In summary, based only on responses of those polled, including a standard turnout adjustment, Labour would have hit 45.1% with a lead of 14.9%. ICM’s own controversial further adjustments, based on inferences from 2010 voting and 2010 allegiances, reduced that lead by 4.9% (of which 1.4% is due to inferred non-turnout and 3.5% is due to the reallocation back to 2010 allegiances),

    So apart from the size of the 10% published Labour lead, the ICM poll is notable for two further points. Firstly the scale of the impact of the 2010 past vote adjustments, and also the fact that Labour supporters for once seemed more eager than Conservatives to declare their willingness to vote.

    Basic weighted responses before further adjustment C 30.3%, L 44.3%, LD 11.2%, Other 14.2%.

    After standard turnout adjustment (based on responses of those polled) C 30.2%, L 45.1%, LD 10.8%, Other 13.9%

    After additional turnout adjustment downweighting 2010 non-voters by 50% regardless of their response C 30.7%, L 44.2%, LD 10.8%, Other 14.3%

    Final published poll after reallocating 50% of DK and refusals by 2010 vote (Note total of 99% as published) C 31%, L 41%, LD 14%, Other 13%.

  40. Phil,

    So reallocating 50% of 2010 GE LD KN/WV adds 3.2% to their score limits the Tories rise due to their own adjustment to 0.3 and consequently shaves 3.2% off Labour due to the extra notional turnout going to LDs with a little to the Tories.

    Personally, I think it is right to do this to the 2010 Con WV/DK as it was to Lab 2005 ones before the last GE at a rate oif 50%. LD voters are less long-standing though and 50% is too high imo. Don’t populus do the LDs at 30% rather than 50%?

    BTW still probably moe from sample exagerrating the Lab lead before adjustments.

  41. @ Billy Bob

    “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.”

    Yes. But redistricting can undo incumbency. It’s one reason that Henry Waxman is campaigning this year (he’s got a whole bunch of new constituents he’s never represented before). Also, incumbency can be undone when people don’t remember who their member of Congress is (especially in times when Congress is extremely unpopular). A member of Congress might not be well known to their constituents but highly effective in terms of their legislating ability and that can work if they’re in a safe seat. They will have a loyal cadre of fans who will always make sure to vote to reelect them.

    Bono doesn’t do that much for her constituents (she apparently thinks some of them live in a Third World toilet) and she’s not some legislative master either (she’s apparently starting to run ads touting her success in getting a post office renamed…….fair enough that is a quasi accomplishment for a member of a California delegation but still, it’s not something great). For her to decline 8% from 2008 (a heavily Democratic year) to 2010 (a heavily Republican year) speaks volumes to her not being that popular.

    “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.”

    I agree. He’s a very friendly, laid back sort from what I can tell. You’re right about adversarial political interviews. I’m most worried about him in the upcoming debate. He’s not debated before and this is his one chance.

    The real issue too is this. Half the voters in this district will likely cast their ballots before election day, many of them in just a few weeks when they receive their ballots. That makes it harder for an upset based on late breaking voters. Voters may change their mind but only after they’ve cast their ballots. Now the good news is, Latino voters (who he’s seeking to maximize) generally don’t vote by mail. So he doesn’t have to win the early vote but he can’t fall too far behind.

    One advantage he may have is that seniors tend to vote by mail the most. Recent polling has shown that Romney’s once massive lead among that group is vanishing. There are a lot of seniors in the 36th and so if some of them are switching from Romney to Obama, they may vote Ruiz downballot just out of their disaffection with the GOP brand.

  42. Want to see a funny clip?

  43. Phil
    You beat me to it again!
    I don’t have the figures for August, do you?

    30.3% for Cons before any adjustment is their lowest figure since the election (and for a long time before that), excluding August (which I don’t have).
    44.3% for Lab, before any adjustment, is the highest they’ve had (excluding Aug which I don’t have), since the election.

    Figures for Vince Cable before adjustment:
    Con 29.8%, Lab 40%, Lib 16.6%
    Con 30 (nc), Lab 38% (-2), Lib 19 (+2)

  44. So cal

    I’m gobsmacked, that was the most embarrassing politial moment I’ve ever seen, even worse that brown being played back the bigot tape. Mitt has lost for certain

  45. Good Evening All.

    Nick Clegg was brave today, I think.

  46. @A.W.

    The Next Left site has been no more for a few months- so if you go from this site you have to click to redirect to the Fabian Society website. It doesn’t seem like anyone is particularly worried, but thought you might want to change it!

  47. August before any adjustments
    Con 32.3, Lab 43.1, Lib 12.4
    So -2, +1.2, -1.2 since then.

    So last 4 months before adjustment:
    Lab 43, 42.3, 43.1, 44.3
    Con 31.2, 31.5, 32.3, 30.3
    Lib 12.3, 12.5, 12.4, 11.2
    So fairly stable really.

  48. @SoCalLiberal – “I’m most worried about him in the upcoming debate. He’s not debated before and this is his one chance.”

    Thanks for that information, I didn’t realise there would be a debate (still the exception rather than the rule here). I would be keen to see that.

    Please, though, don’t be too worried, Ruiz has three degrees from Harvard for goodness sake. As you say he looks quite laid back. He is also highly articulate, and appears to be the one putting interviewers at their ease in the clips I have seen.

    Bono Mack should be worried. Ruiz has already shown he can mount a good campaign. I think the more people see of him the more impressed they will be. He isn’t expected to win at this stage.

    On his site at least, he has already made the pitch to seniors over keeping health charges down. Btw someone posted a link the other night to Eton Mess blog so I saw the Let My People Vote 2012 video, and then went on to watch Sarah Silverman and the Great Schlep from 2008. Surely when someone draws that nice young doctor to the seniors’ attention they won’t be able to resist?

  49. Socal:

    Ole Mit’s got reverse charisma. He’s as stiff as a world champion stiff person who’s just been dropped in a vat of starch.

  50. CROSSBAT 11.

    I agree that the press seems to be very anti Government; maybe we have reached a ‘tipping point’ when most people make a permanently anti government decision.

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