ICM’s regular poll for the Guardian has topline figures of CON 44%(+2), LAB 26%(-1), LDEM 8%(-2), UKIP 13%(+1), GRN 4%(nc). The changes since the previous ICM poll aren’t significant, but it’s worth noting that the 18 point Conservative lead is ICM’s largest for many years (there was a lead of 19 points in an ICM/News of the World poll in 2009 and a 20 point lead in an ICM/Guardian poll in June 2008)

ICM also asked about the position of EU nationals in the Brexit negotiations – 42% think the British government should only guarantee the position of EU nationals in the UK once the EU guarantees the rights of British citizens in the EU; 41% think Britain should do it unilaterally straight away. There is a similarly even split on the fate of John Bercow: 30% think he should stay, 32% think he should resign. Finally they asked about Donald Trump’s visit. 18% think it should be cancelled, 37% think he should be invited but not given a full state visit, 32% think a full state visit should happen. Full tabs are here.

To catch up with some other recent voting intention polls. YouGov’s latest figures came out at the tail end of last week (though fieldwork is now a whole week ago) – topline figures were CON 40%, LAB 24%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 15% (tabs). The lead is similar to that from ICM, but with lower support for the main two parties.

Opinium also had voting intention figures in the Observer at the weekend. Over recent months Opinium have tended to be something of an outlier, showing Labour leads of seven or eight points rather than the double digit leads consistently reported by other companies. This fortnight they showed a shift towards the Conservatives, putting their figures more in line with other companies: CON 40%, LAB 27%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 14% (tabs here.)

766 Responses to “ICM/Guardian – CON 44, LAB 26, LD 8, UKIP 13”

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  1. @Sea Change

    I think it would be harsh to lay all the blame for Copeland at Corbyn’s door.

    The reality is that an MP in HM Opposition decided to resign his seat in the hope that his party would lose the subsequent by-election to the incumbent government.

  2. I’m trying to stay up, but too tired to stay on here as well. G’night all.

  3. RAF

    Or another way of putting it, he left so he could get a better job.

    Under normal circumstances Labour should walk this seat. It’s not his fault these aren’t normal circumstances. He didn’t leave because of a major scandal causing JC a major headache. If anything this should have been Labour’s chance to win a convincing by-election.

  4. I’m loving the spin Labour are putting on the by-election. Held Copeland for decades yet saying it was never a safe Labour seat.

    Lib/Dems appear to have doubled their percentage in Stoke to 8% and again I’m looking forward to them spinning this into some sort of triumph.

  5. @ RAF
    Just a touch cynical?
    I’d say that many Lab MPs, especially younger ones trying to build a career, are dispirited by the prospect of 10 years in opposition, and Brexit to boot.
    From what I’ve seen it’s damn hard work being an MP, not much you can do as a backbencher (or opposition front bencher for that matter), living away from home for a salary that isn’t that stunning for accomplished, well educated people.
    Personally I think if you get elected you should stick it out – you owe it to voters and more specifically to the volunteers who likely worked their socks off for you – but I can see why people would be tempted.

  6. PETE B
    I’m trying to stay up, but too tired to stay on here as well. G’night all

    I know what you mean… I’m switching between my twitter account, UKPR, LFC Reds and messaging my wee sister on facebook and helping her with some Uni coursework…It’s hard going.

    Think I might call it a night…At least on the internet front.


  7. @RAF

    I’m pretty sure had there been a more Center-Left leader for Labour who was pro-Nuclear they would walk this seat.

    They’ve held it since 1935.

    You have to go back to Brighouse and Spenborough in 1960 for a comparable election where a sitting Conservative government has taken a Labour opposition seat and they only managed that on a tiny swing of 0.8%.

    (Mitchen & Morden being a Labour to SDP resignation and re-election).

    To win this seat with a considerably higher swing than that needed would be remarkable, especially with all the NHS issues.

    Surely if they lose this, then Corbyn has to take responsibility.

  8. Interesting comment by John Curtice – that UKIP are trying to shoot the wrong fox with Labour and suggesting they should concentrate on the Tories (I think – but multitasking like @AC :-))
    If that’s the case, what seems to be a disastrous night for Lab may have a silver lining.
    UKIP have never looked much of an issue for Labour here in Remainy London: if they’re not much of an issue in leavey Stoke either then maybe Lab can press the reset button to 18 months ago, when they were seen as a threat to the Tories, pretty well exclusively.
    Wishful thinking, I suppose.

  9. Chris Riley,
    “To be honest, I have spent the last few months *literally* working myself sick trying to make Brexit work”

    Then I think we can conclude it has already failed? It is deeply divise if people spin a practical approach as deliberate wrecking.

    “I’m surprised the Tories are running such a strong campaign in Stoke-on-Trent Central.”
    I’m not. They do not want another UKIP MP. The whole plan is to eliminate UKIP, thats why we are having Brexit.

    “Tory canvassers believe Copeland is in the bag. This should be a disaster for Corbyn, but people will make excuses for him”

    We have discussed Corbyn strategy before, and I though we concluded his strategy was not primarily more MPs, but a parliamentary party more inclined to his views. Not sure how these candidates would affect this aim.

  10. Stoke Result – Labour HOLD

    Labour 7,853
    UKIP 5,233
    Cons 5,154
    Lib Dems 2,083

    Conservative vote held up.

  11. Stoke on Trent Central, result:
    LAB: 37.1% (-2.2)
    UKIP: 24.7% (+2.1)
    CON: 24.3% (+1.8)
    LDEM: 9.8% (+5.7)
    GRN: 1.4% (-2.2)

    A bit of a damp squib….Hardly anything changed. Lib/Dems couldn’t even break into double figures. Well maybe they will claim 9.8 is double figures.

  12. Stoke winner making a speech about Stoke being left behind and needing a bigger share of national investment. As a policy for the labour party, sounds the right one.

  13. Nuttall scuttles off without bothering with a speech. And people say Jeremy Corbyn is a carp leader

  14. Was just trying to make the swings add up. The biggest change seems to have been an independendt last time has now disappeared releasing some 7% of vote share which has redistributed to other labour opponents. That does not sound terribly remarkable. Otherwise, labour dropped 2%. No real change at all?

  15. @GUYMONDE “Jeremy Corbyn is a carp leader”

    Personally I think a fish taking over the Labour leadership might see an improvement in their polls.

  16. Good result for the Tories: their vote held up in a by-election which they were very unlikely to win, despite being in government and not trying very hard.

    Decent result for the Lib Dems: their vote increased solidly, despite having no chance of winning.

    Poor result for Labour: this is clearly not an opposition party that has any prospect of winning power any time soon. Even the areas where Corbyn was supposed to revitalise them seem unimpressed.

    Poorer result for UKIP: they needed a moment to prove that they were still relevant post-Brexit as the anti-Labour party in the Midlands/North of England. The didn’t have it.

    Given UKIP’s current fortunes, you have to wonder if Labour’s “populist” and “anti-establishment” rebranding is such a good idea…

  17. However, the rise in lib vote is greater than the combined rise of conservative and UKIP vote, which might be taken as a swing to remain from leave?

  18. The Lib Dems are also benefitting from the fact that austerity is no longer the key dividing line in British politics.

  19. @ Danny
    Indeed and it calls into question whether Lab would have sustained their vote had the carp played Brexit differently.

    @Sea Change
    Indeed, and perhaps UKIP should pick a worm as an upgrade

  20. Bill Patrick,
    I really don’t think it was a good result for the conservatives. The increase in their vote was pretty small considering their national polling scores. Moreover, as I said, in this so very pro leave seat, the votes cast do not suggest movement towards leave parties. If anything, there is an argument that labour suffered a loss of remain supporters because it failed to be sufficiently pro remain. No doubt it can and will equally be argued that their loss might have been worse had they supported remain and therefore lost leave voters, but the overall remain/leave balance and the vote share of UKIP and conservative together, must suggest they are already mopping up most Leave voters.

    The lesson might well be that remain can win in a constituency where 2/3 are for Leave, because of a split vote. This is always the story of first past the post elections. It equally illustrates why the conservatives have given such a high priority to eliminating UKIP as a political force, and why a pro-remain party has adopted leave.

  21. @Guymonde

    I honestly don’t think Nutall can continue as leader of UKIP long-term as his credibility has taken a serious hammering.

  22. @Danny

    Stoke was a good result for the Tories. No question about that. They’ve only increased their percentage of the vote at a by-election when in Government 6 times since 1970.

  23. Danny,

    In a general election, this wouldn’t be a very good result for the Tories.

    In a by-election, while in government, on an extremely low turnout, and too far behind to win, it’s a good result. You wouldn’t expect national polls to be well-replicated by such elections, so I don’t even know why you mention them.

  24. @Danny
    Also of course, 2 years ago we would have been saying that – whilst people have firmly held view on the EU in or out – the EU is not a very important factor in VI, well behind the economy, unemployment, NHS etc.
    It’s hard to tell how salient it is now, and I haven’t been out in either of these by-elections. Nevertheless it’s currently the top issue in the media and may stay that way throughout the Brexit process. Or it may recede, or it may not be as big a factor as we imagine

  25. Also, the Tories and Labour are Leave parties now, so if you try to put that kind of spin on it, there was a huge shift from Remain to Leave. However, that’s silly, and you know that it is silly.

  26. Sea Change,
    I dont agree: there is commentator after commentator harping on about how remarkable it is for a governing party to gain, but this is obscuring the fact they have failed to achieve the gains their national position would suggest. They failed to achieve what their polling vote lead would suggest.

    We also know why conservatives are currently doing so well, because of the national division on one issue.

    Meanwhile conservative win on copeland…

  27. Copeland, result:
    CON: 44.3% (+8.5)
    LAB: 37.3% (-4.9)
    LDEM: 7.2% (+3.8)
    UKIP: 6.5% (-9.0)
    IND: 2.6% (+2.6)
    GRN: 1.7% (-1.3)

    WOW WOW WOW…Tory Gain and I said they would win big.

  28. Copeland Result – Tory WIN

    Con: 13,748
    Lab: 11,601
    Libs: 2,252
    UKIP: 2,025

  29. As @AC says, Wow.
    Bad for Lab, awful for UKIP

  30. This is a swing of 8.5%. Huge.

    This blows away the 1960 result by miles.

    Truly remarkable.

  31. Labour managed to hold Copeland even in the wipeout of 1983. Clear loss by nearly 7 percentage points.

  32. @Danny “I dont agree: there is commentator after commentator harping on about how remarkable it is for a governing party to gain, but this is obscuring the fact they have failed to achieve the gains their national position would suggest.”

    I don’t understand. A swing of 8.5% and 2.2% for a Governing Party is enormous at a by-election in two safe Labour seats.

  33. This was my prediction from yesterday at lunchtime.

    I’m personally going for quite a large Tory win.

    I nearly got the Tory vote correct and Lib/Dem vote correct.

  34. Sorry I should have said an increase of 8.5% and 2.2%

  35. Conservative wittering on about having a stunning result at Copeland. No he didnt: just saw the swings. UKIP lost 9% and conservatives gained 8%. So leave vote consolidated under conservative. Labour vote dropped 5% and lib rose 4%, independent rose 3% (sorry, figures from memory as off screen now). So remain voters defected from labour to liberal.

    Sure there are other interpretations, such as the local economy being critically dependent on the nuclear industry. But the figures are entriely explainable on the basis of leave/remain split.

  36. The last time the Conservatives won Copeland (Whitehaven it was then called) was the 1931 general election – the election where Lab collapsed from 260 seats to 52 seats. Just saying.

    As @AC says, Wow.
    Bad for Lab, awful for UKIP

    Terrible result for Labour considering they lost the seat to a party in power. UKIP have imploded. I think their best chance is going after the white working class vote in southern places like Jaywick.

    So to recap on both results. Excellent night for the Tories, their vote held up in one seat and won a stunning victory in the other.

    Very bad night for Labour.

    Shambles for UKIP.

    Nothing exciting for the Lib/Dems…

    Good night peeps. That’s me done

  38. I think the conclusion the conservatives will draw is their strategy to defeat UKIP is succeeding. Yet even this is as much due to UKIP incompetence as to conservative positive policies. Though it is a big ask for an amateur party with one issue to present a credible national platform.

    Conservative spokesman on telly just observed the new MP has already been on about dismal broadband in Cumbria. Similarly, she was just explaining that conservatives are fully supporting the new reactor at Whitehaven. Both these issues must currently be in question. In effect, she has promised economic gain for the region with a vote for her.

    If the reactor gets built, it seems likely the UK will have to wholly underwrite the costs, and not be able to get an underwriting deal even as bad as the EDF one. The UK nuclear industry has always had massive cost overruns.

  39. Interesting that Labour retained a larger share of their 2015 vote number in Copeland than in Stoke Central – 69% vs 64%. That won’t be how the lazy media will report it – as if they’d even notice!

    Showing that Copeland was a higher quality campaign with a better Labour candidate as well as higher stakes and less smear campaigning than in Stoke, which no doubt suppressed UKIP and also increased swing to WNV from all parties I suggest.

  40. Danny 3.03

    Forget Leave and Remain – after all, that’s not how the votes broke in Stoke is it?

    The governing party just increased their vote share by 8.5% in a by-election and won it. That hasn’t happened in living memory. So yes, leaving aside politicians’ or media spin, this time it actually is a stunningly good result.

    I’m puzzled why you’re so anxious to deny it – but maybe you’ve just not read up on political history much.

  41. The electorate is a bit smaller in Stoke Central, but even ignoring the raw numbers the facts are:

    Stoke – Labour won with 14.3% of the electorate.
    Copeland – Labour lost with 19.2% of the electorate.

  42. @BT

    Agreed. The Copeland result sees a nominal swing from Labour to the Tories of 6.7% which is truly enormous for a Governing Party.

    Note the 1983 Tory Landslide saw a swing of just under 4% from Labour to the Tories.

  43. It’s not just the swing – it’s the vote share increase.
    For instance, in 1983 that you cite the Conservative vote share didn’t actually increase (though doubtless they took some votes from Labour in the churn of course, whilst losing others to the Liberal/Alliance).

  44. Was not surprised by the Copeland result, bearing in mind the latest opinion polling across the country and there was a 62% vote for leave in the referendum in Copeland and Corbyn’s anti nuclear stance, I actually expected them to do better than a swing of 6.7% of the vote. The UKIP vote was down by 9% which I suspect mostly went to the Conservatives.

    As to Stoke a low turn out but Labour managed to get enough of it’s vote ot to win. Not a great night for them but they will take the win.
    Overall a poor night for Labour but again not surprising, bearing in mind their place in the polls and the unpopularity of Corbyn.

    As for UKIP, they will need to re-think their strategy of trying to appeal to the working class heartlands of Labour in the Midlands and North. In Brexit central (70% vote for leave) they could not get enough support to beat Labour on a low turn out. What chances do they have in other Labour heartland seats?
    I suspect they will slowly wither and die, when we leave the E.U. and they lose all their MEP’s they will be just about finished as a political force.

  45. My take on The by-election results

    Tory strategy of hard Brexit is working for them. Tories are gaining at the expense of UKIP. Voters that peeled off from Labour to UKIP – over the EU and immigration – are now at home in the Tory party. In FPTP the addition of ukip VI to Tory VI means Tory governments and right wing policies.for the foreseeable.

  46. Interesting Pal Nuttall said Stoke was 72 on their target list, but this shows it is number 12 in terms of swings.

    Bearing in mind the very high vote for Brexit in the area I would have thought it anything it would be higher than 12, but cannot see how it is 72 on the list

  47. @NEILJ

    I remember seeing Castle Point as one of their top 5 targets before but it’s down at #19 on that list. I suspect their targets are not just based on needed swing but on the demographic make up of the seat.

  48. BT says,
    “Forget Leave and Remain – after all, that’s not how the votes broke in Stoke is it”

    I dont have the precise perentages to hand for the referendum result, but yes it is. Given the lack of a credible remain candidate, votes were cast about 2:1 for leave parties. Labour is the only remain show in town.

    The result I would really like to have seen was for a stoutly remain labour candidate. That would have been an interesting one.

    In Stoke the leave vote was evenly divided so labour won. In copeland UKIP was the weaker leave party so the conservatives won. Labour percentage was virtually identical in both seats. If labour had been able to roll in the liberal vote by going remain, they would have been virtually neck and neck with the conservatives. The question then is whether they would have scared off leave votes, or attracted some remainers who did not bother given no clear chance for a real remainer to win. Labour tried to stop Brexit being the issue, but thats was probably a mistake.

    “I’m puzzled why you’re so anxious to deny it”
    Government’s do not win by elections. They did not win this one. What happened is that the government chose to adopt the policies of one of the opposition parties and thereby stole its vote share. The government did not win now except by becoming its own opposition.

    ”I remember seeing Castle Point as one of their top 5 targets before but it’s down at #19 on that list. I suspect their targets are not just based on needed swing but on the demographic make up of the seat.”

    I can understand that but my wife is from Stoke and her family are still there, from my experience I would have thought this would be prime UKIP territory.(do not wish to be too disparaging about the area but they is a definite feeling they have been forgottedn about by the establishment)
    The last election showed this where they did well against a popular sitting M.P. Against an untried quality with the backdrop of Brexit with a Labour Party floundering in the polls would have thought this would be far higher than 72.

  50. Couper2802

    Tories gaining at the expense of UKIP is certainly how it looks in Copeland. The Britainelects graph seems to suggest that, since the General Election, the combined Tory/UKIP vote is very slightly down as a percentage of the total vote, but that it was the transfer from UKIP to Tory which won the seat.
    But I never was much good with graphs…..

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