ICM January Poll

ICM’s January poll for the Guardian has headline voting intentions, with changes from last month, of CON 37%(-3), LAB 31%(-1), LDEM 23%(+5). The poll was conducted between the 19th and 21st of January.

The figures suggest a slight weakening in Conservative support and a boost for the Liberal Democrats, though it is from a very low score for them in last month’s ICM poll. ICM have tended to produce polls showing the Liberal Democrats at around 20%-22% in recent months, and December’s poll seemed anomolously low.

ICM found overwhelming support for Gordon Brown holding an election within a year of taking office, and not just from Conservative supporters (who tend to always support a election in the hope of throwing Labour out), 76% of Labour supporters thought Brown should call an election within a year, the same proportion as amongst the general public. As with the vast majority of cases, asked a hypothetical question of how they would vote with Gordon Brown as labour leader the Conservative lead grows – this time to 8 points (39% to 31%) (though as ever this is just a hypothetical question and it is not necessarily directly comparable to actual voting intention questions).

ICM also asked which party had the best policy on nine issues. Despite the lack of clear Conservative policies, they led in 6 of the areas asked – though in most cases the two main parties were very close together. The Conservatives had 6 point leads on the traditionally Conservative areas of crime and immigration, a 3 point lead on “tax and public services”, a 2 point lead on the environment and Europe. On the health service and education Labour and the Conservatives were within a single point of one another. Labour remain the public’s preferred party on fighting terrorism, where they have a 6 point lead, and on the economy in general, where they have a 5 point lead – though this is down from 20 points back in 2005.

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