ICM have released their August poll for the Guardian. Topline voting intention figures are CON 40%, LAB 31%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 10%, GRN 4%. Full tables are here.

This is the first ICM poll since the election to feature an updated methodology in light of the polling error. Since 1993 or so ICM have reallocated people who don’t give a voting intention based on how they say they voted at the previous election. Colloquially this is often known as a “shy Tory” adjustment, as when it was initially introduced in the 1992 to 1997 Parliament it tended to help the Tories, though after the Iraq war it actually tended to be a “shy Labour” adjustment, and in the last Parliament it was a “shy Lib Dem” adjustment.

In practice ICM didn’t reallocate all their don’t knows and refusals as many people who refuse to give a current voting intention also refuse to say how they voted at the last election (ICM call these people “total refusals”, as opposed to “partial refusals” who say how they voted last time but not this time). Under the new method ICM are also attempting to estimate the views of these “total refusals” – they are reallocated at the same rate as “partial refusals” but are assumed to split slightly more in favour of the Conservatives, based upon what ICM found in their post-election re-contact survey. The effect on this change on ICM’s headline figures this month is to increase the level of Conservative support by one point and decrease Labour support by one point.

The implication of this adjustment is that at least some of the error at the general election was down to traditional “shy Tories”, that those who refused to answer pollsters’ questions were disproportionately Conservative supporters. However, from being on panels with Martin Boon since the election and hearing him speak at the British Polling Council inquiry meeting I don’t think he’ll have concluded that “shy Tories” was the whole of the problem, and in ICM’s tables they are clear that they “expect to produce further methodological innovations in the future.”

689 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 40, LAB 31, LDEM 7, UKIP 10, GRN 4”

1 12 13 14
  1. @Rich

    As a LP member I am happy to take the risk.

  2. As I have said previously, it is perfectly possible for Corbyn to significantly increase the Labour vote, by making inroads into the Greens, SNP and LibDems, and by persuading some of those who didn’t vote to take the trouble in 2020 to do so.

    But Candy is completely right, a Corbyn-led Labour party, able to achieve all the above, is likely to polarise the electorate and lead to a very strong Tory vote, uniting all those who think him to be far too left-wing.

    So whilst Labour under Corbyn can go well beyond 30%, it is unlikely to do this without provoking 40%+ to vote Tory.

    I conclude that the electoral arithmetic requires Labour to gain a substantial number of erstwhile Tory votes to have any chance of winning in 2020.

    Now, of course, Corbyn could in the event surprise everyone by courting those Tory voters – I keep saying he is shrewder than everyone imagines. An obvious source of support would be small businesses, who are feeling cheated by Tory favouritism towards the corporates. And lo, this morning, he made a statement precisely to that effect.

  3. What I am really saying is that if Corbyn builds a coalition of the left, then he is doomed, but if he builds a coalition of the anti-establishment, then he has a chance.

    Might I posit that the SNP trouncing of Labour was not because they were seen as more left-wing, but they were seen as more anti-establishment ( in their case this meant anti-Westminster or even anti-English ). Labour were seen as pro-establishment because they shared a platform with the Tories over independence.

    The rise of UKIP, and perhaps the Greens, was a reflection of anti-establishment feeling, and, of course, the reverse is true of the LibDems, who lost votes because they had supported the establishment.

    I think RAF has touched on this: there are a lot of people who are very fed up.

  4. @LizH

    you have to remember, Couper2802 used to be in the Labour Party. I don’t know what happened, but it didn’t end well.

    And of course, Colin of this parish voted for Blair in 1997. Although he probably doesn’t like to be reminded :-)

  5. A number of people are arguing that Corbyn’s left wing position would frighten too many people to win in 2020, and therefore Labour will be doomed unless one of the alternatives is chosen.

    I think this misses the point that Burnham, Cooper and Kendall are all literally uninspiring, in the sense that they fail to inspire any widespread enthusiasm or interest. JC undeniably does that, and also comes across as likeable, honest, trustworthy, sincere and not just in it for what he can get out of it. Time will tell whether that perception is accurate or enduring, but that’s the way it looks now.

    I suspect that those qualities actually count for more in a GE than ideological positions. So there’s a chance JC could be a winner in 2020, whereas none of the alternatives seem to have what it takes.

    So if I were a Labour party member, I’d want to take a punt on JC. If he can then curb his enthusiasms enough to avoid being painted as loony left, I quite fancy his chances against what by then may well appear a lacklustre and divided government.

  6. @Millie

    I think JC is working the anti-establishment crowd well.

    This explains why all of the attacks from the established media outlets and established senior politicians are entirely useless.

    Any one who is part of this group distrusts the establishment. If the establishment say something is black, they think it’s probably white. If the establishment really hates someone, that someone must be a real threat to the it, and an enemy of your enemy is your friend.

    I actually think the extent of the anti-Corbyn attacks are are worse than useless – they are counter productive.

    Given that Mr Corbyn’s message is also widely accepted by the Labour grass roots, I think his opponents have been very stupid to underestimate him.

  7. Rich
    Lots of very polarising debates going on at once here and I’d rather not get dragged in to them so instead I’ll start a brand new one based of one of your posts.

    “if he is on a ballot paper against somebody of the weight and competence of Osborne in 5 years, he stands no chance”

    This is interesting since nobody has really spoke about the next Tory leader, compared to Labour the Tories are probably in a better situation regarding their next leader but again the media and pundits are acting like the three front runners (Boris, Osborne and May) are all spectacular PM’s in waiting.
    Looking at it in impartially there really not. I am aware this will be controversial since I made the point that Gove would be a disastrous choice as next leader and the Tories know it hence why he’s not really being considered and has been dumped into a backstage cabinet role to keep him out of the public gaze but despite this when I made this point some here felt the need to rush to Gove’s rescue….

    In reality though the three likely Tory leaders are all risky. Boris is basically a Tory version of Corbyn in many ways, the Tories are relying on his buffoonery to win over people averse to the Tories. Risk is it could wind up just looking ridiculous OR they could moderate him, make him seem more serious which risks totally destroying his appeal, aka a huge gamble.

    Osborne has undoubtedly recovered somewhat from his nadir but remember it was only a couple of years ago when people were saying his hopes of becoming leader were dead, that he’d made too many controversial decisions and hadn’t recovered totally post omnishambles. Reality is he still hasn’t he’s just a massively polarising figure instead of a generally disliked one, Tories love him while swing voters have mixed, not particularly strong opinions and everyone else loathes him. He’s a safer bet than Boris but the booing at the Paralympics may come back to haunt him.

    May is the safest bet because she has undoubtedly been very competent, avoided any serious controversies and thus people have no major ill feelings towards her. But with security comes the risk of seeming boring and robotic, something which May undoubtedly is (hence a May vs Cooper contest would be the dullest general election in British history I feel) If May is put up against a Lab leader with bags of Charisma (which at present only Corbyn MIGHT fulfil this criteria) then May might struggle but as I said that’s only if Corbyn’s leader and his charisma might be being overplayed in which case she’ll be fine.

    To conclude while its fair to have a few pops at the bizarre situation Lab are in at the moment don’t think for a moment that the crop of potential Tory leaders are all elder statesmen (or women) in waiting. They all have there share of BIG problems which will become apparent whenever the time to select a new Tory leader arises.

    I would also add that in 2005 the ways votes and seats went to Labour was probably the grossest distortion of FPTP we have ever seen (certainly post war).

    Personally I’d award that dubious honour to 1951!

  9. Actually I can’t resist weighing in on Corbyn. As others have said its not about being left wing its about being anti-establishment. Corbyn can attract a sizable number of Tory votes on this platform. People into politics like to drop the public on a left/right scale when in reality the public are incredibly complicated and border on communism in some areas but then border on fascism on others, its about seeming likable and normal enough to capture the publics attention then emphasise the policies that the public might agree with. Corbyn has a lot of ammunition regarding nationalisation, taxing the rich, support for small business and house building to win over the swing voters who picked the Tories last time.

    This seems to surprise most folks but the bulk of swing voters are not neoliberals who backed the Tories because they thought Labour would wreck the economy with a mansion tax rather they were people who simply were not given enough of a reason to back Labour last time (being Labour emphasised the poorest being hit when swing voters are generally more middle class) and thus with little reason to vote Labour the fears of the SNP, Milliband’s weirdness and a “better the devil you know attitude” drove these people to the Tories.
    Basically Corbyn needs to create a coalition of the working AND middle class. He has to convince people that the status quo only works if you work in the city or if you’re on a six figure salary. that’s Corbyn’s path to victory. Easy? No. Possible? Yes.

  10. @Funtypippin

    Perhaps this subject is worth a ton ten run down?

  11. Correction:


    Perhaps this subject is worth a top ten run down?

  12. @ Rivers10

    Many good points.

    The only question is: how he wants to finance it (QE as he proposes is near impossible and probably would fail. But setting up extra budgetary funds may work. It would limit commitment and hence hedges the risk. It may need some legislative measures.). I’m not concerned with the railway nationalisation – it could be done cheaply, but I would rather not discuss it here.

    He is a social democrat (nowhere in his policies the activity (and control by )of people is mentioned.

    After the flurry of policy papers 10 days ago, I hoped for further developments, but then it went to the 10 points (boring number as I pointed it out a few days ago). I will look at today’s. In any case, there’s no coherence there beyond the general world view (which better than anything since the Great Recession).

  13. MrNameless

    There are some people who simply do not vote. But even if you could get them to, the idea that they are a reserve army of socialists waiting to be rallied into battle is fanciful.

    […]It is nice, for a Labour supporter, to envisage a situation where they don’t need Tories, nor do they need policies that appeal to Tories. It means they can remain pure, and endorse policies that fire up the base and, they believe, would be excellent if put into practice. I get it.

    But it doesn’t work.

    You’re right that some of the uninvolved will always be uninvolvable, but that doesn’t mean that all of them will. You only have to look at the way the turnout in Scotland went from 63.8% in 2010 to 71.1% in 2015, +7.3 (across the UK as a whole it only rose by 1.0 point much of which will have come from that rise in Scotland). Not that that did Labour much good of course.

    Of course Labour should always try to attract people who voted Conservative and denouncing anyone who disagrees with you, however slightly, as a ‘Tory’ is not only wrong, literally and morally, it is also self-defeating. But two things do need to be accepted.

    The first is, as I said earlier, you will never be able to attract all or even most of them. They are Conservatives because they believe in those policies and benefit from them. Chasing after these people is a waste of time. Instead you must concentrate on those who vote Conservative reluctantly or can be persuaded by policies that are more attractive.

    Secondly you cannot win over any of these people simply by imitating or agreeing with the Tories. You have to address the worries or expectations that make those people vote Conservative, but not by simply agreeing with or copying them. Because the Conservatives are always going to do a better job of being the Conservatives than Labour can.

  14. The elephant in the room is immigration.Get the impression other countries are losing patience with the UK’s open border policy.

  15. @Wolf

    Which room???

  16. Candy

    Oh it does matter. Whenever Conservative voters feel threatened, their certainty to vote soars and they haul themselves to the voting booths come rain or shine.

    Part of Blair’s genius was making them think it wasn’t a great deal if he got elected so it was OK if they stayed at home.

    I don’t actually think that’s true. The whole point about Conservative voters is that they tend to turn out – even when they say they are less likely to do so. They’re also much more likely to vote in safe seats than Labour voters – one reason why there are so many ‘wasted’ Tory votes.

    It’s partly demographic of course, they’re older and more settled, but maybe also cultural. Even if they are unhappy with their Party they will still make their way to the polling station because they feel they ‘ought to’ and once there they will probably still vote for it, especially in a Westminster election.

    You can see this in euro-elections for example and indeed in the elections during Blair’s time. That’s why he tended to do worse in those than in the polls in the run up to them.

  17. Gordon Brown makes a “major intervention” in a 50 minute uninterrupted broadcast on BBC News (while training for the 50km walk event) and no one comments on his wisdom?

    What is this board coming to?

  18. Rivers 10
    I genuinely do not mean to be offensive, but how can you wonder that I say you live in your own dreamland. Above you tell us that Corbyn is not so much left wing, as anti-establishment. Further you claim that such a position will attract many Tories. This the greatest example of live in hope and die in despair, I have ever seen.

  19. @ OldNat

    I actually typed first three lines, but then I refreshed the page (deliberately). I don’t want to rewrite it, so …

    In any case, in summary “Yvette and Andy, steal from JC what is good (most of it less foreign policy, repackage it, then), communicate them as he does, and all will be fine. You heard it from someone who tasted defeat, and never tasted victory, not even a leadership competition.”

    Otherwise it was a much better speech than any of the grandees.

  20. “But with security comes the risk of seeming boring and robotic, something which May undoubtedly is (hence a May vs Cooper contest would be the dullest general election in British history I feel)…”


    The Stepford election?…

  21. @Roland

    Every lives in a dreamland of their own perception.

    I know.

    I’ve seen ‘The Matrix’.


  22. “This the greatest example of live in hope and die in despair, I have ever seen.”


    Is the opposite, living in despair and dying in hope, really any better though?

  23. @Catman

    Are you saying Roland’s Agent Smith??

  24. @Roland

    Here are some quotes from the late, very great Bill Hicks:

    “The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it’s real because that’s how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it’s very brightly colored, and it’s very loud, and it’s fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, “Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?” And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, “Hey, don’t worry; don’t be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride.” And we … kill those people. “Shut him up! I’ve got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real.” It’s just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn’t matter, because it’s just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It’s only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here’s what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.”

    “Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration, that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively, there is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Heres Tom with the Weather.”

  25. Now, nobody can deny the existence of an IPad conspiracy. Honestly I typed all the relevant predicates throughout, and the apostrophe at the very end of my comment.

  26. “Which room???”


    Which elephant?

  27. @Carfrew

    I know I can be a bit Rowntrees Random at times, but that comment by @Wolf would benefit by some expansion I think.

  28. Hey !!! Go steady guys I am only a rural Tory. Not one of yer interlecktores. All I know is, political parties should wish to gain the support of the people and be elected to office.

  29. @Catman

    I wasn’t querying your comment. I was just saying there’s more than one elephant?

  30. @Carfrew

    I know :-)

    Wolf’s quote confused me no end too!

  31. “Now, nobody can deny the existence of an IPad conspiracy. Honestly I typed all the relevant predicates throughout, and the apostrophe at the very end of my comment.”


    No you didn’t!! It’s all a dream, there is no iPad, there are just the random fluctuations in reality, subject to margins of error. And modding, of course.

  32. @Roland

    “Hey !!! Go steady guys I am only a rural Tory. Not one of yer interlecktores.”


    Eh? I thought we were keeping it simple…

  33. @ Carfrew

    there’s more than one elephant?

    There must be, otherwise the plural of the word, elephants, would not exist.

  34. Lazlo

    And Discworld, “balanced on the backs of four elephants which in turn stand on the back of a giant turtle, Great A’Tuin” would be less stable.

  35. I will have to start to read fantasy novels if I want to keep up with the comments :-) (two or three days running)

  36. This place appears to be going into meltdown. Corbyn must still be in the lead.

    For an outsider like myself the most amusing part of this is seeing that New Labour resembles less of a well-oiled machine and more of a clown car that is presently disintegrating before our eyes.

    @CatManJeff & Carfew

    “Every lives in a dreamland of their own perception. I know. I’ve seen ‘The Matrix’.”

    “Are you saying Roland’s Agent Smith??”

    Surely the Agent Smith would be IDS? I’ve often that The Matrix was what informed his welfare policy.

    ‘The world is all just your imagination: so if you believe hard enough you will be able to work in that job, despite your disabilities, because your mind will created the disabilities. Not going away? You must be a lazy scrounger who wants to feed off the state and we cannot help you.’


    Don’t worry there is at least one person who posts often who has never voted Labour in any election. He was first eligable to vote in 1958.


  38. CANDY
    “The electorate has a few non-negotiables – the NHS, NATO, nuclear deterrent and moderate taxation”

    Are you replacing manias with mantras?
    The existence of plural elephants but also of specific elephants is the whole point of saying that they are in the room, but are being conveniently ignored.
    Listening to Corbyn (rather than bean counting from the outer-Fantasia of the polls and their interpretation) the ones I particularly noticed were those which you declare to be the electorate’s non-negotiables. Which room, indeed. A NHS in Bevan’s image or one threatened by EU trade deals with the US? NATO saddled with the obscenity of the bomb and determined by the US military defence establishment and its mythologies, or one which recognises the need to offer equality of trade to post-Soviet Russia and China, and to Iraq? Modern taxation which permits a widening gap in wealth and contribution to the public wellbeing? Schools which are in the hands of an unaccountable private elite, or comprehensive education? Culture out of the price reach of 90% of the population, or publicly supported for everyone in the country. Migration policy which is racist, restrictive and conrtibutory to future impoverishment and conflict….

  39. Racist – tick. NHS – tick. TTIP – tick. Obscenity (sic) of the bomb – tick. Aren’t the comprehensives wonderful (no – they’re not – I went to one) – tick. Yawn, roll over, heard it all before. Didn’t work with Miliband and doesn’t work now.

1 12 13 14