The monthly ICM/Guardian poll is out tonight here. Topline voting intentions are CON 34%(+2), LAB 38%(+3), LDEM 10%(-4), UKIP 11%(+1).

In recent years ICM have tended to show the highest level of support for the Liberal Democrats because of their reallocation of don’t knows (lots of people who voted Lib Dem in 2010 now tell pollsters they don’t know how they would vote – ICM assume 50% of them will end up going back to the Lib Dems). Hence while we’ve become used to seeing the Liberal Democrats in fourth place behind UKIP, this is only the second time the ICM Guardian poll has shown it.

The poll asked about European election voting intentions, finding topline figures of CON 25%, LAB 35%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 20%, Grn 7%. Unlike the YouGov and Survation polls last month they still have the Tories clinging on to second place, but UKIP are still polling above their 2009 level of support. All the European election polls so far are collected here.

Today also had the first of this week’s two Populus polls. Topline figures there were CON 34%, LAB 36%, LDEM 11%, UKIP 12%. Tabs here.

The weekly YouGov poll for the Sunday Times is up here. Topline voting intentions are CON 35%, LAB 39%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 10% – a four point Labour lead.

On the regular leader questions both Cameron and Miliband are doing comparatively well – 41% think David Cameron is doing well as PM, 52% badly, a net figure of minus 11. This equals his best leader rating since the omnishambles budget in 2012 (the only other time he’s got this high was just after the Tory conference last year). Ed Miliband’s net score is minus 28, also up on recent weeks and his best score since last November.

The rest of the poll was a grab bag of various issues:

  • On education only 20% of people think Michael Gove is doing well in his job, 57% think he’s doing badly. Asked about his attitude towards the educational establishment and trade unions only 19% think that he’s right to take a confrontational stance, 46% think the government would be better off listening more to their concerns.
  • A large majority (72%) of people think it is unacceptable for political parties to appoint their own supporters to such roles, but people see the last Labour government as just as guilty of this as the current government – 19% think Labour did it more, 17% think the Coalition have done it more, 48% think they’ve been as bad as each other.
  • 25% of people say they support the underground strike, 40% are opposed, 35% say neither or don’t know. Amongst respondents in London views are not really any more polarised – 28% support the strike, 43% are opposed. Blame for the dispute is almost evenly divided between Transport for London and the RMT.
  • 25% of people think David Cameron has responded well to the floods, 62% badly. Attitudes to spending on flood defences appear to have do shifted substantially – a week ago people were pretty evenly divided over whether the government should spend more or not. Following another week of flooding news, people are now 49% to 26% in favour of more spending.
  • The idea of a 5p charge on plastic bags in supermarkets and stores is widely supported, with 65% in favour, 27% opposed.

Also in today’s Sunday Times is a new Panelbase Scottish poll. Given the narrowing in TNS-BMRB and ICM polls lately I was intrigued as to what the next Panelbase poll would show – for reasons that remain unclear Panelbase tend to show a closer race than other companies. In the event their poll actually shows the gap widening slightly (albeit, nothing that couldn’t be normal sample variation) – YES stands at 37% (down 1), NO at 49% (up 2).


Populus’s twice weekly poll today has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 36%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 15% (tabs here. These figures are on the back of a slight tweak in Populus’s methodology. Previously they weighted party identification to figures drawn from the 2010 British Social Attitudes survey, which normally resulted in heavily downweighting UKIP and meant Populus tended to show one of the lowest levels of UKIP support and some of the highest levels of Lib Dem support.

Using the new method Populus have factored in alternative sources for their party ID targets, with the effect that they are weighting the Lib Dems and Labour to slightly lower figures, UKIP and no party to slightly higher figures. Hence while this is a low Labour lead compared to most of Populus’s polls over recent weeks, some of that is down to the method change: using Populus’s old weightings today’s figures would have been Con 32, Lab 37, Lib Dem 11, UKIP 12.

Also out today we have a new YouGov Scotland poll in the Sun. Referendum voting intentions are YES 34%, NO 52%. Yes is up one point since YouGov’s last poll, No unchanged. By itself the change is insignificant, but looking at the wider trend of polls on the Scottish referendum there is a general trend of a small shift towards YES since the publication of the white paper. Past Scottish referendum polls are collected here.

Lord Ashcroft has just released a poll of voting intentions in the Wythenshawe and Sale East by election. Details are here, but essentially it suggests an extremely comfortable Labour hold with UKIP and the Conservatives battling for a distant second place. Voting intentions with changes from the last election are CON 14%(-12), LAB 61%(+17), LDEM 5%(-17), UKIP 15%(+12). A week to go of course, but unless the poll is horribly wrong (and no reason to think it is), this looks done and dusted.

The monthly Ipsos MORI poll for the Standard is out today with topline voting intention figures of CON 31%(+1), LAB 38%(-1), LDEM 12%(-1), UKIP 10%(-1), not in itself any significant change from last month. Full tabs are here.

Econiomic optimism continues to climb, 50% of people now expect the economy to get better, 24% to get worse, a net score of plus twenty-six. This is the highest net figure since Tony Blair’s honeymoon in 1997 (the 50% getting better is the highest Ipsos MORI have ever found). If this outbreak of extreme optimism sounds surprising, remember that the MORI question asks about general state of the economy, as I’ve explored here before, questions that ask about people’s own personal finances tend to find more pessimistic results.

MORI also asked which party leader people most trusted on various issues, including Nigel Farage amongst the options. Cameron leads easily on the economy by 42% to Miliband’s 20%, on reducing unemployment (by 33% to Miliband’s 28%) and on immigration (by 23% to 20% for Farage, in second place). Miliband leads on banking regulation (by 29% to 21%) and looking after the interests of women (by 28% to 21%).

Finally MORI asked about the top rate of tax for those earning over £150,000, with intriguing results. Most polls I’ve seen in the past have been whether it should go up to 50p, whether it should go down to 40p again, whether it was right to cut it to 45p. MORI gave all three options, 50p, 45p and 40p. As we’d expect from past polling, 50p was the most popular, but was only picked by 41%. 27% went for 45p, 24% for 40p, so no one option commanding majority support. MORI also tested the question identifying the 50p option with Ed Balls, the 45p option with George Osborne and the 40p option with Boris. Despite Boris generally being a leap and a bound more popular than Balls or Osborne, it made hardly difference at all. Boris may be fun, but attaching his name to unpopular policies does not seem to have any magical affect.