The last monthly poll of the year that was still outstanding, ICM for the Guardian, turned up on Christmas Day of all times. Topline figures were CON 32%(nc), LAB 40%(nc), LDEM 13%(nc) – the figures are all typical of ICM’s polling of late (the comparatively high Liberal Democrat level of support is methodological, and normally due to the reallocation of a proportion of don’t knows to the party they voted for last time, which usually produces a higher Lib Dem score and a lower Labour lead).

Depending on what TNS BMRB and Opinium are doing with their regular polls over the Christmas break, this may well be our last poll of the year.

324 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 32%, LAB 40%, LDEM 13%”

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  1. @graham – “I have nothing at all against bastards. All blame falls on the parents – the children are totally innocent and I tolerate no discrimination.”

    I just love the juxtaposition of the words ‘bastards’ and ‘I tolerate no discrimination’ in the same sentence.

  2. @ Tinged

    I’m sure Graham is loving the attention; I doubt he’d have posted such an intimate personal comment for any other reason.

  3. @Rob Sheffield – indeed, quite a few of us on here have long held (some of us even before the 2010 election) that a Tory majority is unlikely.

    Indeed, I’ve been really surprised that so many commentators have assumed Tories will be competitive in sufficient areas in 2015 to consider a majority as a live option.

    As some of us have pointed out many times before, by 2015 it will be 28 years since the last time they secured a stable majority. Then they secured 10 seats in Scotland, although 1987 saw them lose over half their Scottish seats and saw their vote fall by 4.5%, with 1987 really marking the start of the Tory retreat from Scotland. 1992 now appears as something of a historical blip.

    Unless and until Tories begin to have a reasonable chance of picking up a decent crop of seats in Scotland, northern England, urban centres outside London, and improve their London GE performance to somewhere near their national average, they can completely forget about majority rule and should start planning for permanent coalition.

    For the foreseeable future, there really is only one UK party with any prospect of forming a majority, although that doesn’t make that outcome a prediction.

    I totally agree, divorce is much to easy these days. Marriage should be a lifelong commitment, entered into with love and much thought. I also think we should return to the concept of “blame” in divorce so that adulterers for example should receive nothing from the divorce, and lose custody of any children.
    I have some sympathy for your post, modern morality stinks.

  5. JP:

    “Nor does Paul it seems”

    Just unhappy with spelling of “trollope” [sic]

  6. RobS:

    “Hat tip in the Telegraph”

    Bllimey! We’re on to fashion now. What happened to politics?

  7. PC


    I thought “another iPhone keyboard fail” so I even checked

    Happy new year everyone- I’m off to Vietnam and Singapore for 2 weeks :-)

  8. More on polling matters; This article will be an interesting one to watch –

    It appears that there is a concerted campaign against spending cuts led by predominantly Tory councils. This could well become extremely important in framing both the debate on austerity, and also in terms of the practicalities of the ‘ground war’ at the next GE.

    So far, campaigns against cuts have come mainly from urban Labour councils, who have been hit much harder than others due to the scrapping of the weighting formula for the central support grants. I don’t think Pickles really cared about this, as politically it suits him to have an argument with Labour run councils.

    Now, it appears that the latest cuts are disproportionately affecting rural councils. If these leaders openly defy their parties message on austerity, it muddies the waters in the minds of voters and makes the coalitions case that bit harder to project.

    In terms of the effect on election activity, local councilors are part and parcel of the make up of local party organisations. There are strong signals from recent history that demonstrate how gaining or losing councilors in an area is the first step to success or failure at Westminster level, and there is a traditional pattern of incumbent governments losing local council seats, and eventually finding they have insufficient manpower to mount an effective GE campaign.

    If Pickles so disenchants his own rural base, there will be Lib Dems, UKIP and a few Labour candidates keen to make mischief in supposed Tory heartlands. Both Labour and Tories have learned than defeats are turned into routs not by direct voter switching, but by differential turnout. Lose touch with your loyal councilors, and kiss goodbye to your Westminster prospects.

  9. @ Alec

    Like it or not, the word ‘bastard’ – in the sense i have used it – is purely a legal term that indicates illegitimacy. It is not intended as a word of abuse at all – though many in their ignorance fail to realise that.

    re – 2015. I agree with you regarding Tory prospects. I do suggest,however, that the Tory retreat from Scotland began back in 1959.

  10. Sometimes it’s good to have a reminder that there are a lot of truly vile people out there.

  11. Robin:

    Yes, and this is such a nice season for it too….. and this is such an appropriate venue to air private famiiy details.

  12. Mike N – seems he made a deposition to parliament in October (about FOIRs) and then… nothing. Guess he must have decided it wasn’t worth the candle anymore, and who can blame him? Still, strange the Telegraph didn’t mention it, considering he broke probably the biggest story they’ve had in years.

  13. @Robin

    Glad to see you agree with my thoughts on modern morality.

  14. “The personal is political” ????

  15. Guys think you are all being a bit harsh on Graham, we don’t know the full story. He’s not vile or disgusting etc although I don’t really see why he brought it up?

    His niece is 19 which is the same age as me, when I see the people my age it does really make me fear for the future of this country. Selfishness, stupidity and shortsightedness are the words to describe most of my generation it seems, I like to think I break that mould.

    I was forced to quit University when my dad was made redundant and my Mum had her pay frozen, I’m working hard in my current job to save up enough to maybe go back one day, but even then I’m not sure I’ll be able to, as I might have to help my parents pay the mortgage soon if we are to keep our house. So it does anger me when I hear about people like this niece who are reckless and waste such an amazing opportunity, one which I long for.

  16. Still on about the girl who cannot stay at Uni (as I understand I should now call it)? I thought R in N dealt with that one, although I suspect it may have something to do with the lodging regulations rather than the academic ones. In fact, if it were to do with the ability to live and study in the Uni town with a child, one would imagine we have a political issue here (back on topic).

    Surely a single mother to be gets first choice in the LA allocation procedures?

  17. MiM

    I still don’t see how she has wasted an opportunity, rather I would say that she now has two wonderful opportunities. I find the idea that becoming pregnant is an act of recklessness troubling, I hope that humans will continue to be reckless in the future or the species will become extinct. Is it just me or do we have an anti baby culture and maybe more to the point do we have an anti mother culture. Everytime I hear about single mothers feckless fathers……..I start thinking about our slimming crazy culture, with anorecia, bulmimia and other eating disorders, I don’t know why, there just seems to be a connection, I fully expect to start hearing about bulminic pregnancies in the near future

  18. I’m reading this in the USA, where the sentiments expressed might be the mirror image of this thread.

    Here, someone posing as a liberal would post some statement designed just to wind up the conservative majority. and to enjoy the ensuing outrage.

    It’s known as trolling.

    Whether it originated in RiN’s location, I know not.

  19. RIN “I would say that she now has two wonderful opportunities.”

    What are these? I’m assuming your saying one is being a parent, can’t see what the 2nd one is.

    Becoming pregnant isn’t necessarily reckless, but becoming pregnant when you are unable to financially support the child, or if said pregnancy interferes with your study, then yes it’s very foolish.

    Open University only has a very limited range of courses, and among UK employers there is a snobbish attitude towards it, it’s really not an alternative, at least not yet.

    I don’t understand your comment about anti mother culture at all. I’m just saying she should have waited 2 years to get her degree, graduate, get a job then go on maternity leave, then decide later on if you want to go back or be a full time mum etc.

    I have a friend who gave up University to be a dancer, I was happy for him that he was pursuing his dream, I’d like to have pursued my dream of being an actor, so I thought to myself good for him, but then also part of me does think will he regret it later on if the dancing doesn’t work out?

  20. @ Alec

    Agree with your earlier post about the acute geographic limitations of the Tories. Am always surprised this attracts less criticism and comment than Labour’s thin electoral performance in the South. I see John Denham has once again raised this as Labour’s priority. He should try checking the list of marginals – I recall posting here about 2 years ago that this shows about 80% of the marginals are outside the South. Labour do not in fact have to win even the region’s freestanding Tory held marginals like Chatham,Swindon or Ipswich to win the next GE, as long as they do substantially better in the Midlands and the North. Labour have surely learned that you cannot have it both ways – keep the libertarian left of centre voters (who have now thought twice about the LibDems) AND seduce the upwardly mobile professionals of Essex by offering diluted Tory policies on tax, welfare and defence. Labour’s real priority is to cement it’s new alliance of hard core loyalist Labour voters and softer ex LibDems. 3 way fragmentation of the rest between Tories, Orange book Whigs and UKIP (and the nationalists in Wales & Scotland) should then do the trick under FPTP. If there is a need and resource left to attract defectors, Labour should surely be looking to drive down the Remaining LibDem vote in England , and inviting PC/SNP supporters not to waste their vote and risk a ConDem continuation in Wales & Scotland. Sounds cynical but why waste your breath ?

  21. Howard,

    I suspect that my niece’s decision to abandon her studies probably owed pretty much everything to her desire to be back at home with her boyfriend rather than the fact of being pregnant.The latter created a justification to present to her parents and very strongly suggests – in the view of family members much closer to the scene than myself – that this was no accident.
    I fully accept that this has nothing to do with UKPR – which is also true of many comments on here relating to music and sport etc.However, earlier in the thread there was discussion of women’s issues and the nuclear family, and this prompted my own comment.
    I have never been a sheep who follows other people and have no problem being the 1 in every 100 who might adhere to these views.I must just add, though, that as recently as 1965 – halfway through the swinging 60s – the comments I made here earlier would have been considered mainstream.

  22. “would have been considered mainstream”

    Even better, 100 years ago she coud have ended up on the street starving. The old days were great.

    I’m never sure that quoting the past to justify one’s point of view is really very sensible. Things were generally a lot worse

  23. @MiM

    “… when I see the people my age it does really make me fear for the future of this country”

    When I was your age we were in the middle of the Thatcher government. Get rich quick was the flavour of the day, we were selling off our utilities… When I saw the people my age it really did make me fear for the future of this country.


    If you happen to be on the Lao border in ten days time I’ll split a rice wine with you.
    New Year’s Resolution: not to post on YGPR till I’m done with Lao. Happy New Year, All.

  25. @Alec

    Thanks for the link to the Goodman Telegraph article and I always appreciate the opportunity to take a walk on the wild side. My odd incursions into Telegraph land, usually only occurring when fed a link on UKPR, are very reassuring and remind me of the old saying; “Those whom the gods wish to destroy
    they first make mad.” The Telegraph appear to be experiencing something approaching a collective neurosis, now giving up any chance of the Tories winning the 2015 election. Goodman raises some legitimate fears and party weaknesses, but it’s ludicrously premature to say that the Tories can’t possibly win an outright majority at the next election.

    Like a similar Peter Oborne article a few weeks ago, Goodman, as you’d expect, writes a very Tory-centric and introspective analysis of the current and unfolding political situation in this country. It’s all about the Conservatives really, why it’s their shortcomings alone and an unfair electoral system that will frustrate their chances, exacerbated by an ethnic minority population that remains stubbornly immune to the party’s charms. Goodman’s solution to ethnic minority problem? Give the party machine more dosh to turn it around! At least Thatcher was more imaginative in the 80s when she tried to get the inner cities voting for the Tories. She sent in Michael Heseltine to sort it!

    Goodman is typically dismissive of Labour. Ah well, he grudgingly accepts, they might scrape mid-30s if they get lucky and hold on to those pesky Lib Dem defectors, but Miliband, the ghastly so and so, is going to win by default. Everybody wants the Tories really, but they’re so riddled with self-destructive tendencies that Britain, or England more like, will be denied what they really want but don’t know they do; a Tory majority Government. I précis the gist of Goodman’s article, but this is what comes over to me. It’s an elongated self-absorbed and self-pitying whine from a lifelong Conservative.

    Whisper this in polite circles only, maybe, but what if the British electorate, don’t really want the Tories at all and might prefer some of the other electoral offers in 2015? It might not always be a case of we wuz robbed by the electoral system, UKIP and those pesky immigrants! Yah boo hoo, it’s not fair! lol

  26. GRAHAM.
    Good Evening; so you were not being ironic then. OMG s they say: I thought I was ‘right wing’ on such matters, but …

  27. Paul Croft

    Although i have some sympathy with Grahams original post I certainly agree with the spirit of your last post. There was a lot wrong with the past, as there is now but overall i would prefer to live now.

    Mind, I am not sure i feel like that about the future. It seems to me that the future for the UK is continued decline, whoever is in power. None of our political leaders inspires.

  28. Graham was not trolling, it emerges. Neither am I. It was the non-political (and extraordinary) revelation that a girl was to be cut off from a few hundred quid by her uncle (presumably by then in her 50s) for getting, it now emerges, voluntary pregnant with a man with whom she clearly wishes to spend the rest of her life.

    Chez Howard, we call that marriage, and strangely enough for this atheist house, I learned when I was confirmed in 1958, that this was what the Church thought too. The ‘outward visible sign of the inward spiritual grace will be the child with its two loving parents.

    God bless us, every one. HYN

  29. All parties have inherent geographic limitations, if their core values are at odds with the vast majority of the population in a particular area. For example, this applies to Labour in Cheshire just as much as to the Tories in Manchester, which are adjacent to each other in what is officially classed as the North of England, although it could be argued that Cheshire has much more in common with the rural Midlands (e.g. Shropshire/Staffordshire).
    The critical fact that is not yet known, but which would have a major impact on the outcome of the next UK GE, if held as expected in 2015, is the result of the Scottish independence referendum in late 2014. Blair will have dealt the Labour Party an unfortunate legacy if Scotland is fully liberated from Westminster rule, given that his government initiated the process of fragmenting the UK in 1997. I have often wondered whether his catholic sympathies (and those of his wife) underlay his zest for undoing the work of the malevolent Henry VIII (who united England and Wales and set in train the religious conflicts in these islands) and those responsible for the “Glorious Revolution” of 1688 (which indirectly led to the Union of Scotland and England), as well as for facilitating the entry of Sinn Fein into running the administration of the six counties and increasing their detachment from Great Britain.

  30. Howard:

    Well rit.

    T’other ‘oward:

    I agree about the future. I think we may be the luckiest generation – in England’s past and future anyway. I can’t speak for the rest of the world but their lives wil probably impove for a while – in some countries anyway.

    As always there’s a baby/bathwater scenario with all “progress” I guess.

    As for the lovely Graham, we’ve heard from him before about how he ikes to wind up women at his work place with the “innocent” bastard desription of their babies, if they aren’t married to the father, and it really isn’t something I want to hear about on a political forum. Or anywhere else actually.


  31. @DaoDao
    Yep Cheshire was always posh (to this Ashton-born Welsh Borderer) but truth is that Labour are far more likely to gain Crewe or Chester than Crawley or Colchester or Chichester or Cirencester at GE 2015. Moreover in order to do that they need to get a higher turnout of traditional Labour voters + leftish professionals voting for their conscience. Trying to seduce a mythical floating affluent fairly selfish Cheshire voter is NOT how you win ….

  32. Just thought I would look in but it seems like everything is a bit awry,so I will
    Say goodnight,not having said anything in the first place.

  33. As its now New Years Eve how about some political predictions for the year ahead.

    Mine is:

    Robert Mugabe will win the upcoming presidential election in Zimbabwe

  34. I’m not going to read why Graham calls some one a bastard and why that has aggrieved many, itsjust not a cup of tea for me as my Indian colleage would say. Granted this site is usually entertaining and informative even whilst often having very little to do with polling and the zeitgeist and psephological trends – so the discussion of other things such as white rioja, Bruce Springsteen according to CROSSBAT11, Des O’Connor according to PC and Chelsea FC according to Ken et al. is wholly understandable. I just wonder what happended to Max of the fantastic county of Kent???

    I think everyone on here can just about sum up the last election, the changes in VI since then and the likely changes up to the next GE along with the wild cards that might just have a chance of changing electoral things radically in about say 100 words or less.

    Looking forward to 2013!

  35. Opinium GB poll conducted 21-27 Dec

    Lab 39 Con 29 UKIP 15 LD 8

    Were there lots of don’t knows? I don’t know.

  36. PAUL
    Maybe it should have been scallop or codswallop.

  37. @ John Pilgrim, Rob Sheffield

    According to David Cameron you are getting involved with our global competitors in the economic arms race. Please do not feel that you should collaborate with these enemies of our future economic well being. We expect nothing less than you returning with a battle plan because we must beat them to the prize (whatever it is)!

    Actually, I’d like to wish you both safe & successful journeys; & I look forward to you commenting during your trips or, if that’s not possible, when you return to dear old Blighty.

  38. AMBER

    Bless you, and thanks. Will report back. You’ld like the Brao living along what was the Ho Chi Minh Trail, among whom their handsome women smoke pipes and drunkenness is revered among old men as a spiritual experience; but alas are seeing their forests flattened for rubber plantations to feed the Chinese industrial maw, and their mighty rivers dammed to provide power to Vietnamese economic development..

  39. Re: this lovely discussion on divorce and illegitimate kids and family drama

    I want to take this time to sing the praises of Ronald Reagan. This isn’t something I normally do but it’s well deserved here. You see no-fault divorce is a great thing and it was Ronald Reagan who made it the law of the land in California. It helped set a trend for other states. Conservatives still worship Reagan. Now I don’t but in this one particular area, he deservews credit as a great leader.

    @ Old Nat

    “I’m reading this in the USA, where the sentiments expressed might be the mirror image of this thread.

    Here, someone posing as a liberal would post some statement designed just to wind up the conservative majority. and to enjoy the ensuing outrage.

    It’s known as trolling.

    Whether it originated in RiN’s location, I know not.”

    It’s kinda hard to troll on UKPR. But there are ways to do it. I don’t understand trolling, nor do I like it. It’s just a way to upset people for absolutely no reason. Demonstrates immatuity.

  40. Opinium poll for Observer puts Lib Dems on 8% and UKIP on 15%

  41. @Graham – “Like it or not, the word ‘bastard’ – in the sense i have used it – is purely a legal term that indicates illegitimacy”

    Stop trying to fool yourself, as you aren’t fooling us. You used the term ‘little bastard’, which isn’t a legal term – it’s a willfully discriminatory term of abuse, and you know this very well – stop wriggling.

    ‘Bastard’ is technically a legal term, although it isn’t used today and is based upon a 1285 statute. Live your live eight centuries in the past if you must, but don’t expect the rest of humanity to have much time for you.

  42. @Socialliberal

    Generally I thought him an excellent President but he got that one wrong!

  43. “It’s kinda hard to troll on UKPR”
    Completely disagree – it’d be relatively easy (although I should point out that I don’t recommend it).

    Take a hardline political stance (it doesn’t matter if you actually believe it or not), say something controversial but remain consistent (if you understand the ideological basis for politics, it isn’t difficult) and then feign outrage when you are being ‘attacked’ for your ‘deeply held beliefs’, adding that you don’t care if you’re ‘part of the minority’ and that this ‘politically correctness’ has harmed your ‘freedom of speech’.
    Bonus points if polling shows that the majority agree with you – then you get to play the ‘well the majority agree with me, so you should shut up’ card.

    Again – I don’t recommend it. But if you notice the above, you could be dealing with a troll and it is best to not feed the trolls. Ignore them.

    I repeat my tip from earlier – type your response out and then just delete it.

  44. There are also more subtle trolling techniques you should look out for – wordplay is one (‘I was technically using it correctly’ – also look out for etymology[1]) and the subtle one of ‘… but..’. [2]

    [1] For example, the N word is derived from niger, meaning ‘black’, so trolls will say – ‘It’s technically true, so I wasn’t being offensive’).
    [2] ‘I’m not racist but..’ or ‘I agree with you on this but..’.

  45. @Daodao Scotland and England were united by Cromwell, circa 1650. It took a little while for the paperwork to catch up.

  46. Think Anne had the right idea for this thread.

  47. sorry Ann for the ‘e’

  48. AW – suggestion for new year. Automatic new thread when the previous one reaches 300. Would allow us to escape stale threads while you’re away…

  49. @MiM

    I was very sorry to hear that you had had to leave your university for reasons that were none of your fault. I am also guiltily aware that I, my wife, and all our three children were effectively educated free at university courtesy of the state. Personally I would have given very high priority to a system of organising our state finances such that this was true for you too and also (for this is another source of guilt) that similar financing was available for apprentices etc.

    That said, I can see only silver linings to your situation. First, quite often it is not financially advantageous to go to university. Even discounting the Alan Sugar type examples, there are qualifications for which a university degree is not necessary and which even graduates have to get if they are to prosper in a given field. Second, people with a genuine intellectual enthusiasm seem one way or another to acquire in the end the education they want. Sometimes, it seems to me they get more out of university if they come to it late rather than as something that you automatically go on to shortly after leaving school.

    All of which will be cold comfort, but I just wished to express sympathy for your predicament and admiration for the way you have set to and made the best of things.

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