ICM have a new poll in the Sun on Sunday with topline figures of CON 39%(+1), LAB 29%(-1), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 14%(-1), GRN 4%(nc). This is the first poll conducted since Theresa May became Prime Minister, so may be expected to show a typical “new leader” bounce in government support (when Brown took over in 2007 and Major took over in 1990 the governing party went from being behind to having double-digit leads). The Tory lead is up a little, but not outside the normal margin of error, that said ICM’s previous poll already had an eight point Tory lead, so they were already at a high base.

ICM also did some hypothetical voting intention questions asking about varous leader match-ups. A control question, asking how people would vote if Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn were still leader at the general election has voting intention figures of CON 43%, LAB 28%, suggesting either a significant positive effect from mentioning May or a negative effect from mentioning Corbyn.

Asking how people would vote if Owen Smith or Angela Eagle were Labour leader does not offer any improvement. With Eagle the figures would be CON 43%, LAB 26%. With Smith the figures would be CON 42%, LAB 27%. I should add a heavy caveat here – hypothetical polls like this are popular in advance of leadership elections, but how useful they are is a different question. Respondents don’t necessarily know what the alternative candidates stand for, what they will do or announce, how they may or may not change the party. I add those caveats when the alternative leaders are well known to the public, like Gordon Brown, Boris Johnson and so on. In the case of someone who is as unknown to the general public as Owen Smith, I expect most don’t know who he is or what he even looks like. Nevertheless, the figures will be influential in the debate – rightly or wrongly Corbyn’s supporters within the Labour party will now be able to say there is no polling evidence that his rivals would do any better.

Note that ComRes also have a poll in the Independent/Sunday Mirror, but they are not currently publishing any voting intention figures while they review methods.

481 Responses to “ICM/Sun on Sunday – CON 39, LAB 29, LD 9, UKIP 14”

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    The “renewed enthusiasm for the EU” might be because Brexit has focused minds and those without their own currency have suddenly realised that they have to try and make it work as setting up their own currency again is a far more difficult hurdle than any that we face. This is good and I hope, for their sakes, they do make it work. Wasn’t the main reason the Greeks stayed in because of their fears about what would happen if they had to go back to the drachma?

    However, I still believe that unless the EU makes far more fundamental changes to policy than have even been mentioned so far, it will, perhaps not “imminently”, but sooner or later, fail.

  2. @Guymonde

    Things arn’t good in euroland.

    Today Deutsche Bank announced it was closing 200 branches in Germany – that’s 25% of all their branches.


    I guess the race is on to see if they can cut costs before the proverbial hits the fan.

    And in Italy the govt is struggling with a banking crisis – which could wipe out the savings of millions Italians.

    And in France Marine Le Pen leads in the polls. Do you really want us to be attached to an EU where she has a major voice in the Council of Ministers?

    The EU of your ideals hasn’t existed since about 2008. It warped under stress. You only really know if an org is sound by how it behaves in a crisis, and the EU turned out to have been built on dodgy foundations. It is beyond help.

    I suspect rumours of its imminent collapse are greatly exaggerated, and that it is likely to go from strength to strength now that the UK is planning a miserable exit, and ceasing to be such a brake on progress.

    Great post, but to be fair the only hints we’ve had so far today from HMG suggest it’s trying to find an EEA solution which would probably cost much the same as now [or somewhat more if it includes free movement restrictions] and stop the UK having any influence on EU policy, probably having negative impact on workers’ and human rights when they are UK redefined.

    Employers will love the latter, though, so there will be some corporate winners. Was that why the media were so Brexity, I wonder?


    It’s interesting that Cameron was originally so keen for the EU to be expanded as much as possible. He especially welcomed the entry of former eastern bloc states. I assume that this was in the hope that the ‘ever closer union’ aspect of the EU would be watered down given the large number of states as members. He got this laughably and spectacularly wrong.

  5. @CANDY

    You never lose an opportunity to knock the EU – I congratulate you on your assiduous diligence in this.
    I’m surprised you don’t like Le Pen, given that she shares many of your feelings on the EU. I actually find her an engaging and intelligent woman, despite not agreeing with her world view.

  6. Owen Smith is the new Andrea leadsom

    Tip, when standing against a lesbian don’t say

    “Im normal, I have a wife and three children”

    Actually those words are ill advised no matter who you are standing against

  7. Has there been any polling on whether Scots in favour of independence would prefer to have the Euro or the £?


    I regard the EEA as a ‘one foot in’ version of the EU, basically not too different from what Cameron wanted for us anyway. I think the majority of Tories would be satisfied with this arrangement, though UKIP supporters will not be. So I don’t see the issue dying away quietly. I wonder which side the tabloids will take if it comes to a fight between hard and soft Brexit. The Express seems to be the most strident anti-EU rag, so I suspect they’ll push for hard Brexit, while the others will back an EEA type arrangement.


    For the vast majority of people, being married and having three children IS normal.

  10. Extraordinary scenes in HoC with Lab Backbenchers queuing up to ask their own frontbench why it wasn’t talking about Labour Party Policy.

  11. Valerie

    “Has there been any polling on whether Scots in favour of independence would prefer to have the Euro or the £?”

    That binary choice is unlikely to be what is being considered.

    As expected, the SNP is conducting a review of the currency options, and the story in the Sunday Herald has all the signs of a “deniable leak” to a friendly paper, in order to test the reaction.


    A Scots pound, pegged to the rUK £ is the option being tested out.

  12. @valerie

    The Euro was toxic and unmentionable in the Indyref campaign (because of Greece, and in more distant memories ERM) Personally I think it’s the way to go but it is hard to argue this as the fear mongers have cast it as

    Euro Bad
    Sterling Good

  13. CANDY

    What joy you take from others’ ill fortune, especially if the nasty EU can be blamed.

    Did you take the same pleasure at the BBC’s [UK] Banks close more than 600 branches over the past year in May?

    Have you not noticed that on-line banking and ATM positioning has been increasing in most EU countries since the 1990s, and that as a result most banks have been shedding both branches and counter employees for the whole of the 21st century to date?

    I’ve certainly noticed it across Europe, but yet again the article shows that things are not quite as bad as you painted, with:

    Of the 188 branches that will close, around 30 will be turned into “finance agencies” that will still offer customers certain services, such as ATMs and some consultation options.

    So only 158 branches are closing completely, which will be some comfort to the families of their employees. Can you manage two cheers for that or does it disappoint?

  14. @Tancred – “As for the working time directive, I don’t see this as a problem – we simply need more doctors, not forcing existing ones to work 80 hours a week or more.”

    yes, I was a bit surprised about this one, but it’s about a specific need in one sector.

    Apparently surgeons need lots of practical training to progress, and much of this is gained through emergency procedures, which by definition can’t be programmed. Under the WTD rules, an on call surgeon who sleeps through the period is still deemed to have worked, and so gets sent home, despite often being willing to work to get more training hours, only to find they are being sent home due to the WTD admin.

    The pressure for this is apparently coming from surgeons themselves, who are finding their career development is blocked or slowed.

    @Colin – there is an eye watering account from Thangan Debbonnaire in the DT today about how badly Corbyn mismanaged her shadow appointment, even to the extent of criticising her for nnot working while she was having treatment for cancer.

    Yet another example of how utterly useless Cobyn actually is.

  15. Re; nuclear weapons
    At least on this I can say ‘Amen’ to Corbyn. Nuclear weapons are utterly immoral – and that is not ‘my opinon’ but the inevitable outcome of using any possible interpretation of the ‘just war theory’. Nuclear weapons are unable to distinguish between combatants and non combatants, and they are utterly disproportionate to any possible threat (other than to other nuclear weapons). Ergo, to put our own liberty higher up the scale than the ability of the planet to sustain life is unjustifiable. If the reader cannot see this, then I despair.

    Having witnessed at first hand the long-term effects of the nuclear accident at Cernobyl, I can honestly say that nothing would ever convince me that nuclear weapons can be justified.

    And that least of all on the basis of ‘saving jobs’. Would anyone argue that the Nazi death camps should be maintained ‘in order to save jobs’? If not, why are nuclear weapons any better?

    I regard the EEA as a ‘one foot in’ version of the EU, basically not too different from what Cameron wanted for us anyway. I think the majority of Tories would be satisfied with this arrangement, though UKIP supporters will not be.

    That is pretty much what I would guess, in which case UKIP might make serious inroads on the Con contingent next GE, even under the plurality system. Whether they can do the same to Lab is another matter. I suspect their vote will increase in many seats but will mainly come from Con.

    I’m thinking of eating soon, so I’d rather not discuss the gutter press just now.

  17. @John B
    David Davis has said he thinks it possible for the UK to get a trading area ten times the size of the EU. Which would require expanding the world economy by 50%.


    You might want to follow that chain of thought a little further. The WTD is meant to prevent people from working hours that will leave them exhausted. Human beings tend to strongly over-estimate their capacity, and this factor actually increases with reduced cognitive capacity. Exhaustion reduces cognitive capacity. Doctors in training have a career based incentive to work very long and erratic hours to try and get all their training hours completed.

    Add all those issues up and…

    This is similar to things like Aircraft Pilots and so on, who’s work requires them to be well rested to safely operate, who have career incentives to work as many hours as they can, in an industry where work is not limited to normal working hours. These industries are usually covered by specific laws to prevent unrested workers causing disasters.

    I don’t see why Doctors and Aircraft Pilots should be treated differently.

  18. @ Colin and @ Alec

    Basically since the weekend after the referendum, it is an all out civil war in the Labour Party (primarily between the PLP and the membership, but also between the bureaucracy and the membership, and among the membership), so HoC is quite irrelevant right now. Also the NEC elections will be closed on the 3rd of Auguat and the Corbynista could have an huge majority there. It could then lift the ban on CPC meetings (official ones, because unofficials are happening), so opening the way to a more open rebellion.

    I don’t know if it is good or not, but this is the real context. Everything else is quite irrelevant in this.

    As to the mismanagement – I made my comment on this to Colin – it is quite unfortunate, but not unusual – Blair fired Angela Eagle by accident in 2002, and he was a better organiser, and had a staff that was capable.

  19. @Barbazenzero

    Deutsche Bank isn’t closing branches because of online banking!

    They’re in serious trouble and Moody has cut their credit rating to two grades above junk. And their American subsidiary has failed it’s stress test two years in a row. You can read more about it here:


    The German bank in the spotlight at the moment though is Landesbank Bremen – 29bn euros worth of trouble. They either need a state bail out, a bail in, or will fail entirely.

    The Italians are hoping it fails before their banks, in order to watch as Merkel applies her insane bail-in laws to Germans first and see how they enjoy it.

    Brexit Britain by contrast is an oasis of calm!

  20. Alec

    The brick has been debunked
    The meeting in luton being called off because of intimidation also debunked
    Death threats to female labour MP came from a right wing nut job, not corbyn supporters as was implied
    Saving labour set up before Benn sacking
    Ditto Angela for leader website
    Etc etc etc

    Why do you still believe these stories when time and time again they are shown to be at best misleading

  21. @John B
    “they are utterly disproportionate to any possible threat (other than to other nuclear weapons).”
    Surely the reason for having them is to neutralise threats from other’s nuclear weapons? (I know there are tactical nuclear weapons to use against massed conventional forces, but that’s not what Trident is about, is it?)
    If you think nuclear blackmail by a foreign power is a real threat, then it might be argued that if there are no such threats, (and no actual attacks) the deterrent has worked and is worth the money. But that you can never be sure of.
    The logical conclusion is multilateral disarmament.


    OK, let’s see where we go with this. Whether or not your suggestion was insulting I shall leave as it’s trivial compared to the issues.

    I’m glad we agree that food mountains is bad. It may not be a big issue for you but I hope you can see that it would be bigger for those on low incomes, and not just in Britain.
    Moving on,
    1. Yes, the Greek government was totally irresponsible. But I still think it is heartless to inflict pain on its people for the decades it is likely to take for them to get out of debt. And remember, much of the money irresponsibly spent by the Greek government was on equipment manufactured in Germany and France and financed by those countries’ banks. So it was many German and French workers who were kept employed by that spending but it is Greek workers who are now feeling the pain. And what about Spain? Their government was not irresponsible, but their young people too are suffering because of the financial crash that caught out their banks. And I agree “Once you break rules for one, the whole structure falls down.” My argument is that if millions of your people are suffering because of the rules, they need changing. But perhaps you are not a socialist. I am though surprised that your love of the EU does not extend to the people it rules.

    2. No, it is an EU one. The EU was talking to the Ukrainian government about future membership. The democratically elected government decided instead it wanted closer economic ties with Russia. There was then a peoples’ rising that forced the government out, because many of them wanted the same opportunities to work in Western Europe as those already enjoyed by Poles, Baltic states, etc.. The large ethnic Russian population of the Ukraine took exception to a democratically elected government that they supported being thrown out by force, so they tried to reverse that by matching force with force. Russia of course, helped them. The EU, having fomented an armed revolution then stood back and relied on its treaty with NATO for protection.
    Knowing they can fall back on the Americans in case of trouble is a shield the EU uses but it is they who are pushing eastwards, not NATO.

    3. Coal mining did used to be a major industry but is no longer. Fishing still is, but what used to be Grimsby’s is now the EU’s. I’m sure Grimsby would welcome new industries so perhaps you can remind me what the EU has done for Grimsby to replace its fishing. It seems to me that something has just been taken and nothing put back.

    4. Correct, we are not in the Euro but it is not irrelevant. I feel for the people of Europe who are affected by it and if us leaving hastens the demise of the Eurozone in any way, that is something to be welcomed. Again, perhaps you are insensitive to the people ruled by the EU. And consider, if Greece was not in the Eurozone, the drachma would weaken, Greek products would be cheaper to buy elsewhere and the country would be on its way back.

    5. Why do you want standardisation throughout Europe? Surely that is only to the benefit of large companies. I welcome and enjoy the different customs of different EU countries. I think we should celebrate diversity, not crush it.

    The ethnic minority people I mention are not from the sub-continent and have no relations to bring over. They voted Leave for some of the reasons I stated and others that have nothing to do with migration.

  23. I have no problem with people arguing in favour of nuclear weapons per se. What does appall me is the sheer humbug and hypocrisy of those who say we must have these terrible weapons for our defence whilst at the same time seeking to deny them to other countries fully entitled to share our fears of being attacked.

  24. The facebook post from Thangan Debbonnaire, MP is available at:


    It is very revealing, and seems very genuine, but in itself, is not sufficient to depose Corbyn as Labour leader. However maladroit he may be, the Labour party rules do not give the PLP an absolute veto over who can be the Labour leader. He has to fail clearly electorally (which he has not yet done), or lose the forthcoming Labour leadership election, before he makes way for someone else. Unfortunately, A. Eagle and O. Smith have major drawbacks as potential alternative leaders.

  25. ALEC


    I watched some of the Trident Debate.

    The faces of Labour backbenchers & their interventions were eloquent testimony to the low esteem they have for their “Leader”.

  26. CANDY
    Brexit Britain by contrast is an oasis of calm!

    Jolly good and glad to hear it.

  27. As someone broadly in favour of Trident renewal, I found Crispin Blunt’s case against to be very persuasive. To those who don’t know him, he’s the current Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee and Tory MP for Reigate in Surrey.


  28. COLIN

    It comes as no surprise to me that Labour backbenchers hold their leader in low esteem. I expect the feeling is mutual. However, I understand he is held in high esteem by much of the membership. Who, apart from each other, holds Labour backbenchers in high esteem?


    Perhaps you should read stuff which is relevant to the issue ?


  30. Ludlownewboy

    “Fishing still is, but what used to be Grimsby’s is now the EU’s”

    I’m not sure what your knowledge is of the fishing industry, but I suspect it isn’t much.

    Grimsby’s trawler fleet didn’t fish much in “Grimsby’s waters” – or even in the rather small area that are England’s waters. They ranged throughout the northern North Sea up into the Arctic.

    The 1970s Cod Wars – when the countries whose waters Grimsby (and other fishing towns) had plundered for years, ended the trawler fleet’s heyday, when they were closed to them by the (non-EU) countries that claimed them.


    THeir 9.3 million constituents presumably -the ones who VOTED them in as MPs.

    Remind me-how many LP members are their?

  32. “Labour source: Eagle and Smith have agreed that the one with least nominations will withdraw by 5pm tmrw.”

    Paul Waugh

  33. Colin

    And how many of those labour MPs could have got elected without the Labour name. If they are so sure of their personal mandate, let them stand down and fight for reelection as independents.


    1) I still don’t see your point on Greece. The Greeks have for years spent far too much on welfare and state pensions when they could not afford them. This the truth. And no, I am not a socialist, I am a centrist liberal and a realist. The word ‘heartless’ is an exaggeration in this context and at no time was there any substantial support in Greece for leaving the EU and even now there still isn’t. Many Greeks are well aware that they have been living outside their means – it tends to be the left wing that is causing the big stink. Most Greeks just want to get on with it and stay in the EU.

    2) This is just ridiculous nonsense. The problem with the Ukraine is that it should have been given independence in 1991 without plebiscites in areas of ethnic diversity bordering Russia. You cannot seriously blame the EU for encouraging the orange revolution, this was covertly supported by the CIA – there is a lot fo evidence for this.

    3) I’m not sure about Grimsby but the EU has pumped millions into decaying old towns throughout the UK. Now this money will no longer come and what will happen next? Things will get worse. Westminster will not be there to bail out these places. The EU money will not be replaced.

    4) It’s not for us to meddle in something we are not a part of. If other countries wish to be part of the Euro that’s up to them and it is their responsibility. Why are you so sentimental about the Greeks? Are you of Greek descent or have some kind of link with that country?

    5) Standardisation helps to improve safety in many cases and is also convenient for frequent travellers. Pretty obvious. This has nothing to do with customs and traditions – it’s common sense in most cases.

  35. Colin

    Then its eagle that has the most nominations, I think

  36. @RAF,

    I am a conservative voter, but now just about against trident. I guess it’s a tricky debate, as there are rogue nations out there, but it’s such an awful weapon, and if countries like Germany don’t need it, why do we? Tough call though, and I can see reasons for it too. If only the damn things were never invented!


    This is the crux of it I think. Labour cannot conduct itself as the Official Opposition if it continues with farces like that in HoC today.

    The PLP has to change the Leader
    The Leader has to change the MPs

    If Corbyn wins again it will be the latter. Paul Mason’s call for “100 new MPs ” will ring out loud & clear.

  38. @Tancreed,

    The EU opened up silly lines of credit to Greec, Ireland, Italy, you name it. The good times were like never before, but it was all built on sand. These countries have debt to GDP over 100%, and likely will never pay it back.

  39. @Colin, Eagle v Smith debate is academic. Neither will beat Corbyn with members. Betfair knows as much…

  40. COLIN
    Perhaps you should read stuff which is relevant to the issue?

    I’m usually quite happy to do so if It’s relevant to the European economy including the EU & EEA.

    What I find sickening is CANDY’s approach of taking comfort from any and every economic trouble she can spot provided it doesn’t apply to Brexit Britain, by which I presume she means E&W.

    Perhaps that has become a common trait in Blighty, but it seemed rather different when I was last there in April. My family contacts may simply be in the “wrong” places, of course.

  41. @CR

    “And how many of those labour MPs could have got elected without the Labour name. If they are so sure of their personal mandate, let them stand down and fight for reelection as independents.”

    This is my problem with the ‘personal mandate’ discussion. MPs don’t have a personal mandate unless they are an Independent. It’s arguable that some would win such a contest – Dennis Skinner definitely, Boris probably, Hilary Benn possibly. But how many others?

  42. “A solution could be:
    1, Scotland independent in EU
    2. rUK out of EU with a good trade deal
    3. A rUK & Scotland formal relationship\treaty to replace act of union but close enough to make most No voters comfortable”


    Or another solution could be… nothing much changes…

  43. So, if I can believe SkyNews, nothing is learnt from Chilcot as the PM is happy to use nuclear weapons as a preemptive measure. It is probably some votes.

  44. OLDNAT

    Thanks for the steer on Grimsby. But am I wrong in believing UK fishing waters were substantially reduced by the EU Fisheries Policy?


    We must agree to differ I think.
    1. I agree that Greeks are afraid to leave the EU because they would have to go through even more pain to set up their own currency. Yes, some of the money was spent on pensions and benefits that they could not afford that they are now suffering for, but some of it was spent employing workers in Northern Europe and they are suffering for that as well. Is it unfair to expect those who benefited from profligate spending not to help to ease the pain?
    And no, I have no links with Greece apart from the occasional holiday. I just like people not to suffer, whoever they are, if it can be avoided or at least reduced.

    2. As for the Ukraine, I actually can blame the EU for encouraging the overthrow of any democratically elected government. Is that a policy you would vote for if you had the chance? “We encourage the overthrow of democratically elected governments if we don’t like their policies and we get the backing of the CIA.” I suppose by voting Remain, it was a policy you voted for.

    3. Yes, the EU has given us back some of our money and put it into “decaying old towns”. They kept the rest though and those towns are still in trouble. Let’s stop sending them our money.

    4. Are you agreeing the Euro is a bad idea though?

    5. So you want standardisation, I want the right to choose what I buy. We just disagree. If I buy a bad product that is my fault, I should have checked better. You obviously prefer somebody to tell you what is good for you.

  45. Now that it is becoming clear that there may still be quite a lot of the Free Movement thing, one cannot help but detect a subtle change in wot Leavists are saying compared to before the referendum

    Now it’s like they’re saying it was always about having a teeny bit more control over immigration, and that on the doorstep peeps weren’t concerned about immigration, no, it was all about Sovereignty and peeps they doorstepped wanted to while away the hours talking constitutional niceties.

    Despite polling issue trackers showing immigration as the number one concern and Sovereignty nowhere to be seen…

  46. Angela Eagle’s campaign is finished before she started. And her political career too, unless she can find a constituency far, far away, in a different Galaxy.

    Talking about JC’s incompetence…


  47. Re Northern Ireland and Brexit, David Davis has apparently referred to the UK ‘s “internal border with southern Ireland” in an interview on Sky news. Worrying.

  48. Laszlo

    Oh dear, she really should know better

  49. LudlowNB: “So you want standardisation, I want the right to choose what I buy.”

    I think maybe you’re both misunderstanding the point of common standards. It’s needed because, in a single market, anything that can be sold in one country, can be sold just as easily in another. But if each country has its own standards, but has to allow in everybody else’s goods which don’t meet those standards, the whole thing becomes a farce.

    And if each country enforces its own standards, you no longer have a single market and a small producer in one country can end up having to produce a different version of its product for each country.

    So it isn’t saying everything has to be the same, just that all the rules are commonly agreed. Individual quirks are embraced rather than squashed – that’s why the EU classifies carrots as a fruit for jam making purposes. Apparantly the Portuguese like carrot jam, and because jam has to have 50% fruit (or whatever the rule is), the regulations include carrots in the definition of fruit.

    Of course, Boris et al make hay with that, mocking the ‘eurocrats’ for believing carrots are a fruit, but in fact what it shows is that individual oddities are respected.

    Of course, once out of the EU we’ll once gain be free to make jam with no fruit whatsoever, if that’s what we want – but we won’t be able to sell it in the EU.

  50. Actually 60% of EÜ standards originate from the UK (sorry, I can’t find the reference).

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