There is also a new ICM poll for the Sun on Sunday. Topline figures there are CON 47%(-1), LAB 28%(+1), LDEM 9%(-1), UKIP 8%(+1), GRN 4%(+1), conducted “at the end of the week”. Changes are from the ICM poll at the start of the week. While the Tories are down one and Labour up one (and the Conservative lead therefore dips below the twenty point mark), it’s a far smaller drop than we’ve seen in the YouGov polling this week.

394 Responses to “ICM/Sun on Sunday – CON 47, LAB 28, LDEM 9, UKIP 8”

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  1. So, massive narrowing of the gap then? Or not?

  2. Artair – how about some narrowing?

  3. Polls are no more than a snapshot of opinion on that day, and nothing more. Here’s what you have to ask yourself when […snip. This isn’t a place for electioneering. People can ask themselves whatever they wish in the polling booth – AW]

  4. End of the labour surge?

  5. AW, if I can put it another way, wouldn’t whoever the PM is be at the forefront of a voter’s decision?

  6. I think 28/31/30/31 over last 4 polls for Labour is enough evidence of a recovery from the unlikely 25s and lower.
    As per AW, Labour 2015 DKs coming home may well be the reason?
    The Tory drop (such as it is) may well just be a function of some DKs now saying Labour increasing notional turnout?

  7. @JimJam, those early 30s would take Corbyn over Brown and at least matching Miliband. That seems palpably more unlikely than the mid 20s.

  8. Looks like DKs coming back to Labour. Anyone not expecting that needs to get out more – or at least talk to people who arent just like them But still very unlikely to see Labour getting Miliband vote share.

  9. ….I’d like to find the bloke who invented autocorrect and tell him: “not helping”.

  10. Whichever way I look at the averages or the trends since the election was called, I see a rise in the Labour share beyond any margin of error. UKIP have levelled out around 7%. Not so clear with the other parties – LD share all over the place with different pollsters this weekend.

  11. Looks like the ‘strong and stable’ Tory lead has wobbled a little, but too early yet to take much seriously.

    I suspect AW is right, in that the reality of those towering leads was more fluff than anything else, although Labour must be pleased to see their poll numbers rising above the dire levels immediately preceding the election announcement, so perhaps returning Labour sympathizers are the key.

    While it gets lost in the noise and thunder, there has been a deal of hubris over Conservative claims. The stronmg leadership stuff is much more image than substance, as we have seen so many policy shifts already in may’s short tenure that the ‘strong and stable’ tag really should be more of a millstone than a campaign slogan, but that’s what a neat press office and compliant press can do for you.

    Labour have, I’m happy to say, made the best of a bad job so far. I like Corbyn’s framing of himself as the anti elite candidate, and he is hitting the right issues, but there will still be a huge torrent of abuse heading his way.

    Not all done and dusted, but definitely an uphill battle for labour, albeit with some nervousness in Tory ranks I suspect.

  12. @ Bernard, Chris Riley

    In 2005 and 2010 the combined vote share of Con and Lab was only around 2/3rds due to strong showings by LD and UKIP and others. This time it is looking more like a combined vote share of around 3/4.

    Corbyn is competing for a share of a bigger pie so direct comparisons with Miliband and Brown are tricky. With hindsight Browns performance looks even worse than it did at the time, as unlike Miliband and Corbyn it predates the collapse of SLab.

  13. Exile – do you not mean Browns was better as the LDs had yet to collapse?

  14. @TOH

    “There would be nothing illegally about that. My understanding is that at the end of 2 years from activating Article 50 the UK will have left the EU quite legally as per the EU legislation covering Article 50..”

    Not entirely true – the European Parliament can veto.

  15. @ Jim Jam

    What I was getting at was that Brown got over 1 million taken for granted Lab votes in Scotland to Miliband’s 0.7M. Corbyn will be doing well to if he gets over 0.4M in Scotland. To compensate, he has to do much better in E&W to match Brown’s national vote share, but then as you point out LD in 2010 were a much more formidable opponent than in 2017.

    Different times, different political climate – no easy comparisons.

  16. That YouGov poll is about as good as it’s going to get for Labour. A month before the last election they were neck and neck which continued right up to May 6th. Polls almost always show Labour bias. So whatever any poll says, roughly add 3 to Con and subtract 3 from Lab which makes ICM about right for now. By Jun 8th Labour will do well to get 25%.

  17. Both weren’t good enough.

  18. So David are you saying the pollsters have kearned absolutely nothing from their previous mistakes?

  19. Or learned even!

  20. @David: all pollsters have made adjustments to account for the error in 2015, so it’s disingenuous to pretend there is a known bias in the current polling – we simply don’t know whether the adjustments have corrected for it. There is also the degree to which people no longer feel obligated to hide their xenophobic views in public and hence the “shy tory” effect may well have evaporated. We might even be seeing a “shy Labour” effect as people are unwilling to admit to defying the media consensus about Corbyn.

  21. I think the last few polls just under that Labours floor is really 28-29 percent whatever. JC is the most unpopular and considered most unqualified party leader in recently electoral history and they still wont drop below 28. The institutional support in some areas of the country for both big parties mean that they just can’t get a lower share of the vote (Same for Tories they still got 30.7% in 97 despite the landslide (long term Boundary issues hurt them more than will hurt Lab this time))

  22. @Norbold

    Yep. Brexit was same. They were expecting narrow win for Remain (51-49) if I remember rightly, but Leave won it 52-48. I don’t think they have learned. Guess my theory will be tested again on June 8th.

  23. @JO

    I agree that the adjustments haven’t been tested yet and so we don’t know whether the polls are biased in either direction. I think it’s less an Xenophobia thing as I don’t think that is massive (I’m not sure anti-immigration is the same thing) but my gut says the polls will have over compensated and may underestimate Lab by a point or 2. We will have to wait till 8/6 to be sure tho.

  24. @AR558

    I would have said that about Scottish Labour until a few years ago. I think it IS possible for there to be a drop in the floor, but it takes a big issue. Brexit has the makings of that, and I think it’s still possible Labour will slump. However it also needs enthusiasm for the alternative (In this case the new and as yet untainted government) but there are signs that may have peaked and that a little tarnish is adhering to the gloss of the Conservative position

  25. I don’t think the Tories will do as well in Scotland as some think. And i think Labour will be the beneficiaries. Not sure the unionist vote will coalesce around the blues.

  26. For me, the big story from all of these polls is surely the failure of the LDs to translate the 48% of remainers into any electoral support whatsoever. Despite what we are consistently told this suggests that remainers are not making GE voting decisions based on the hope of a re-run and overturning the EU referendum but are accepting we are leaving and are voting along conventional lines.
    Fallon appears to have made a catastrophic and fatal misjudgement as the threat to the two party system posed by UKIP and LDs several years ago appears to be dissolving with the Conservatives and Labour once more enjoying approximately 75% of the total vote (albeit it quite a gap between them).

  27. Feedback from door knocking for locals in Durham , Brexit is just not an issue!

  28. After five years most voters will have pretty much decided who they favour before the campaigns get underway. This time, though, only two years in and with a prime minister with no record to stand on perhaps many minds are less made up. Add in the fickleness of UKIP supporters, the various tactical voting and progressive alliance campaigns, the impact of Brexit and the unknown potential effect of turnout. Could all add up to a pretty volatile mixture.

  29. @Northern…

    It starts to look that way doesn’t it? And I guess at some point resignation has to set in. We won’t be re-running the referendum, we are leaving and we have to return to conventional politics. I didn’t think that would be the story of this election but maybe that’s just because I listen too much to social media!

  30. @mossy

    Surely the Lib Dems and Torys have polled on brexit as an issue? but maybe not , the Westmister bubble are very preoccupied with it. Labour could do better than expected.

  31. @Mossy

    I agree, but wouldn’t be surprised to see the Lib Dems pick up a few seats in London where the Remain vote was so overwhelming.

    Really, the problem for them is that most of those target seats are held by Labour, and Labour’s position on Brexit seems sufficiently vague as not to alienate too many Remain voters. Where they’re fighting the Tories, it’s a lot more clear-cut… but I don’t think many of the Lib Dem v Tory seats have an especially strong Remain vote. And even those that do, like Witney, may be so strongly Tory that the Lib Dems have no hope of taking the seat.

  32. @Northern….

    I can confirm here on the doorstep Brexit is an issue in South Lakeland.

    The other main factor is people seeing our local MP (Farron) give embarrasing interviews, and of course remarks about him in the press and TV. Definitely not a Labour seat though. Also UKIP support is now almost non-existant. It likely will be close come June 8th between LibDems and Conservatives.

  33. I don’t think Tories have hit the full on campaign mode yet. They (Crosby et al) are probably still doing their own internal research. I wouldn’t be surprised if they move on somewhat from Brexit and hit Corbyn/labour very hard on security, defence, terrorism, immigration etc.

  34. Alec

    “Not all done and dusted, but definitely an uphill battle for labour, albeit with some nervousness in Tory ranks I suspect.”

    You mean worrying about the size of their majority, based on the polls?

  35. @Mossy: I suspect many remainers may be actually flocking to Labour instead. Although JC is by no means pro-Europe, they may think that a vote for the Lib Dems is a wasted vote whereas a vote for Labour might at least increase the chances of a soft Brexit or a better relationship with the EU post-Brexit.

  36. Polls apart

    Posters on this site are surprised that the Ldems have not taken off.( and i dont mean to the planet Farron)They have looked at the 48% who voted remain and at the even split between those who thought it right/wrong and have concluded ,like Farron, that there is a committed pool of Remainers waiting to be harvested.
    But this analysis ignores polling evidence that there are in fact now 3 groups. Brexiteers, ardent remainers(irreconcilables) and a group who voted remain but accept the result/view the immediate consequences as more benign than they thought/dont like the the aggressive EU position.
    Polling suggests that the irreconcilables represent about 22%( although 90%of posters on this site). This is split between the 3 parties.Local variations will apply but that is why libdem support will IMHO top out at about 12-14%

  37. I agree with all of the comments above. I think the earlier and widely held view that remainers and the youth in particular would flock to LDs hasn’t (yet) materialised. And while Brexit is undoubtedly the biggest issue for people it doesn’t appear to have massively upset the electoral balance. I do think that TM is seen as determined to enact the EU ref mandate which goes down well with the public, as does her credibility (relative to other leaders) in terms of battling against the EU for some kind of decent deal. But we aren’t seeing that there are big electoral blocks appearing along Brexit lines

  38. …and apologies for using the term “flocking”. I guess another story from the almost 2 weeks so far is how little change there has been, just some apparent drift, or hardening and softening of vote – according to the polls.

    I agree with the earlier comment about the Tories not yet having hit their straps with regard to campaigning. I suspect they are keeping their powder dry for now and waiting to respond to what emerges in the coming weeks.

    If it gets nasty they have a lot of dirt on JC but playing it dirty right now carries a lot of risk when you have such a healthy lead.

    I don’t expect the campaigns to continue in the same vein up to 8 June.

  39. Mossy dirt ,how do you mean ? Corbyn has had the media attack him everyday for the past two years.Dirt seems a bit strong .

  40. Bernard,
    “AW, if I can put it another way, wouldn’t whoever the PM is be at the forefront of a voter’s decision?”

    I am sure it is a consideration. But if you look at the detail of who prefers May and who prefers Corbyn, May is practically idolised by conservatives, but labour are at least accepting of Corbyn. To win someone probably needs only 40% of votes, so that means 60% could utterly test one individual and consider that a determinant of their vote, but that person’s party could still win. See Trump in America for an example because he had a massive negative rating in what was purely a one man election, yet he won.

    S. Thomas
    “Posters on this site are surprised that the Ldems have not taken off.( and i dont mean to the planet Farron)They have looked at the 48% who voted remain and at the even split between those who thought it right/wrong and have concluded ,like Farron, that there is a committed pool of Remainers waiting to be harvested.”

    But the liberals do not in fact support Remain. They support respecting the will of the people as reflected in the referendum result. There is no pro-Remain party, just shades of leave. About the only person who has stood on a clear remain ticket was the liberal candidate Sarah Olney, who defied her own party line and won.

  41. detest, not test.

  42. @TOH – “You mean worrying about the size of their majority, based on the polls?”

    Yes, in a nutshell. The entire purpose of this election is to get a big majority. Anything less will be seen as only a partial success, and if they make little or no headway, a big mistake.

    Losing their majority would be a complete disaster, on May’s own terms.

    On some of the current polls, a couple or three percentage points on or off someone’s score, plus some unhelpful vote distributions are not too fanciful, at least in statistical terms, so Labour mustn’t give up. .Aalthough note – I am not predicting such things,

  43. @Alec: what is a “big majority” though ? 140 seats ? Or 80 seats ? Or 60 ? Even in the worst case scenario, TM is likely to end up with a bigger majority than she has today (which is very small) and, in any case, she will most likly have a comfortable majority to pass any post-Brexit legislation she needs to pass. I don’t see how anyone can spin then the election results as failure if “she doesn’t get a majority over 100” or something along those lines.

    Personally, I have always said the election will be closer than the initial polls are showing.

  44. @Dez

    I’m not talking about media bias. I’m talking about his overt support for terrorist organisations like the IRA and Hamas, including endorsing the armed struggle in each case. Both Corbyn and McDonald have openly supported violence against the British state as being the justifiable strategy to secure a united Ireland. There are rumours that the security services have a dosier the length of your arm.

    I’d be amazed if polls tighten and this stuff doesn’t come out. Its the most open rumour out there…being as you asked

  45. I am not surprised that the LD share has not shown any signs of lift off. It would be most unusual given the GE polling history I am aware of for every election since Feb 1974 for the LDs to rise so early in a campaign. 2010 was an exception because of Cleggmania following the first debate broadcast, but in every election I can recall over the last 40 years the Libs/LDs usually surge and peak the last weekend before polling, only to drop back a tad by polling day itself. In the early stages of a campaign they always look rock-bottom – sometimes they never climb out of that, but in a “good” year for them it usually follows the pattern I have stated above.

  46. I think this sums up the LibDems difficulty. In the South West, Tim Farron is posing as a Eurosceptic:

    But elsewhere he is looking to hardcore Remain.

  47. @MOSSY: “I’d be amazed if polls tighten and this stuff doesn’t come out.”

    Like on Question Time? Old stories.

  48. @MBruno

    May needs a majority large enough that any Brexit plans cannot be threatened either by Tory Remainers who can stall any attempt to leave, or hardcore Leavers who are still in denial about the truth that had the hard Brexit they cherish actually been on the referendum paper, we wouldn’t be leaving the EU at all and that the electorate – and more pertinently, Tory donors – are unlikely to just shrug their shoulders if it’s imposed upon them.

    It’s not clear how large that majority will be, only that it will rapidly become obvious if she hasn’t got it!

    There’s a second barrier, which is to actually increase her majority, but that’s only a notional one, because she will. You can also throw in something about being immune to Parliamentary ill-effects from the expenses investigation, but that’s probably covered by the second barrier.

  49. @Mossy

    Why would the fact that Jeremy Corbyn believed the by having a constructive relationship with the IRA and Hamas, peace could be achieved, be an issue to anyone?

    This has been thrown as JC many times, and I can’t see it affecting people’s view of him. Those people who have an issue with that probably don’t support now.

    Those who supported the ANC supported an organisation which used violence, yet Nelson Mandela was placed on a pedestal.

    Other previous UK Governments have openly supported people like General PInochet, one not bound for sainthood.

    It’s murky, with loads of shades of grey, so playing politics with such subjects would be a mistake in my view.

  50. Firstly thanks for such an interesting and calm discussion on such an important topic.

    Count me as one of those that naively expected the LibDem vote to go up on the back of their ‘not-so-Brexit’ position. Nothing else that has happened so far is at all surprising. The election wouldn’t have been called unless May thought they’d romp it. The small variations so far in Con/Lab votes could still just be statistical fluctuations, but if not, the movements are hardly earth-shattering. But I really was thinking the LibDems might bounce back. No sign of it at all, and I haven’t heard it discussed much, so thanks for the ideas above, which sound reasonable.

    But I guess national polls really don’t show the local issues. Though I myself live in a clear Con/Lab marginal, so no tactical stuff going on, there must be lots of constituences where the national share only tells a very small part of the story. Are the LibDems running a purely local General Election maybe, and trying to keep a low profile nationally, to avoid losing local votes?

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