Guardian Poll December 2012
The final Guardian/ICM poll of 2012 shows little change in the headline voting figures on last month. The standing of the parties is:

Con 32% (nc)
Lab 40%) (nc)
LD 13% (nc)
Oth 16% (+1 on rounding. UKIP at 7%).

So while the numbers have not moved (except for the rounding of raw numbers in %s) it does mean that ‘others’ have moved to a record ever recorded by Guardian/ICM of 16%. It also means that the 7% UKIP rating is equal the record high shown last month.

Q2. On economic competence, the Tory duo have recovered slightly (35%) from their record low of Oct, which is despite the bad news contained within the Autumn Statement and subsequent disappointment with the recovery. Perhaps they are being given a little credit for holding course and a lack of credibility associated with Balls and Miliband, who drop to a record low in the series of only 24%.

Dec-12                    35% 24% 41% 11%
Oct-12                    31% 27% 42% 4%
Jul-12                     40% 29% 31% 11%
Jun-12                    36% 27% 37% 9%
May-12                   44% 35% 19% 9%
Apr-12                    44% 31% 25% 13%
Mar-12                    42% 25% 34% 17%
Jan-12                    46% 28% 26% 18%
Dec-11                    44% 23% 33% 21%
Oct-11                     37% 26% 37% 11%
Feb-11                    42% 34% 23% * Con/Lib vs Lab 8%
Oct-10                    44% 30% 26% * Con/Lib vs Lab 14%
Sep-10                    50% 31% 20% * Con/Lib vs Lab 19%

Q3. For the school report scores, we have asked for each respondent to give us their grade (B+, C- etc) and taken an average for each. The upshot is that politicians ‘could do better’, while the Queen can be content with a positively received performance. The monarch gets a B+ but the ‘best’ politicians can secure is only a C-. This applies to both Cameron and Ed Miliband (C-) with a range of D’s applied to everyone else.

So for the record, the school grades are:

2012 School report
David Cameron C-
George Osborne D+
Nick Clegg D
The coalition D+
Ed Miliband C-
Nigel Farage D+
Alex Salmond D+
The Queen B+
The EU generally D+

Q4. David Cameron’s Xmas wish got granted with a surge in his personal rating for being ‘good in a crisis’ – up from 37% in April 12 to 48% now. He’s also garnered +2 points on ‘understands people like me’ (Apr: 31%, now: 33%) while most consider him to have the backing of his party (62%).

Q5. Ed Miliband is thought to be ‘good in a crisis’ by only 28%, but this does constitute a solid improvement given that he was on 18% back in April. Improvement is seen by the Labour rank and file, with 43% of 2010 Labour voters saying so compared to only 30% who said so back in April; it does seem that the perception that he’s growing into the job is being reflected to some extent in his personal ratings but this should still be set in the context of 45% who do NOT think he’s good in a crisis.

44% also now think he ‘understands people like me’ which is also higher than the 35% he achieved in April. Again, more people DON’T think he understands them (46%) than does. However, more people (66%) think he’s backed by his party than Cameron is.

Q6. Four in five (78%, Aug: 55%) do think that the Olympics cheered us up, which is a big jump up from the August equivalent score. Only 20% now think it was a costly distraction compared to 35% back in August.

Q7. As a result of the Olympics and Jubilee, 49% think Britain is a better place to live, with 41% saying worse place. When it comes to considering Britain as far as their family is concerned the jury is well and truly out: 45% vs. 45%. A quarter (27%) think that Britain enhanced its place in the world, but many more (61%) say our standing diminished.

Q8. More people (51%) think we will still be in a downturn next year than turned the corner (42%) with Liberal Democrat voters (50%) the most optimistic.

Being more miserable next year (47%) edges being a happier country (42%) while there is considerable support for the idea that we will be more divided (60%) than less (30%).

Q9. Six in ten (62%) support gay marriage, which is much higher than the 45% recorded online for the Sunday Telegraph a few months back. 31% oppose, compared to 36% who opposed previously. Note that 42% of 20102 Tory voters oppose which is much higher than Labour (27%) and LD (24%) opposition to it.

Q10. Finally, a referendum on EU exit would seemingly see us wave goodbye, with 51% voting to leave and 40% to stay in. There is only marginal movement on this compared to Oct 11.

ICM Research interviewed a random sample of 1002 adults aged 18+ by telephone on 19-23rd December 2012. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council an abides by its rules.

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Martin Boon

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