• The Guardian – August 2018 Poll 1

    Brexit: Deal or No Deal?

    Brexit infographic V3.2

     

    Click here to view the above graphic as a high-quality PDF.

     

    This week’s headline voting intention results are broadly in line with two weeks ago (20th – 22nd July) with Labour enjoying a slender one percentage point lead. In other words, it’s still level pegging which may be a positive thing for both of Britain’s two big parties, with the Tories fighting a civil war over the EU and Labour embroiled in accusations of anti-Semitism.

     

    That said, of the two leaders, Theresa May is perhaps likely to be disappointed that Labour’s poll rating has not been more dented by the anti-Semitism issue given the damaging publicity it attracted last week and over the weekend. It represents the second successive poll where Labour has enjoyed a lead over the Conservatives, the first time since December-January.

     

    If anything, the main parties – including the Lib Dems – have slipped back a little at the expense of Ukip which is polling at its highest level since 12-14 May 2017 when it last recorded 6%. It represents a continuous improvement for the party since the nadir of 16-18 March this year when it sank to just 1%.

     

    Conservative

    39% (-1)*

    Labour

    40% (-1)

    Lib Dem

    7% (-1)

    SNP

    4% (+1)

    PC

    *% (nc)

    Green

    3% (nc)

    UKIP

    6% (+1)

    Other

    *% (nc)

    * Change from previous poll in brackets

     

    We also asked a new question in order to tease out the nuances surrounding public opinion toward the UK’s ongoing negotiations to leaving the EU. The overall results are set out below including a net ‘UK leaves with a deal’ category to aid our analysis. Key findings show that:

     

    • When asked what is best for the country as a whole, more people say that the UK should leave with some sort of deal rather than without a deal (42% vs 16%). Three in ten (31%) believe it would be best if the UK stayed in after a second referendum.
    • When asked what would be worst of the country as a whole, over two-fifths (43%) of the public state leaving the EU without a deal.
    • There are subtle but important differences in opinion between what is best for the country and for them personally. For instance, a higher % believe staying in the EU is best for them personally than it is for the UK overall (36% vs 31%).
    • Whether for the country or personally, a Canada style deal is seen as more beneficial than the prime minister’s Chequers plan or a Norway style arrangement.
    • The majority of Brits believe that Brexit will actually happen but there is uncertainty about the precise outcome. Just under two-fifths (37%) state the country is most likely to leave with some form of deal but a significant minority (27%) think there will be no deal. A further quarter say the UK will leave but with a deal unresolved or that Brexit will be delayed. As many as half (50%) say the UK staying in the EU is least likely to occur.

     

    A. Best for the country as a whole B. Worst for the country as a whole C. Best for you personally D. Worst for you personally E. Most likely to happen F. Least likely to happen

    UK leaves without a deal

    16% 43% 18% 43% 27% 18%

    NET: UK leaves with a deal

    42% 13% 36% 12% 37% 18%

    The UK leaves the EU on time with a deal along the lines set out in the Chequers plan

    (10%) (5%) (10%) (4%) (16%) (6%)

    The UK leaves the EU on time with a ‘harder’ version of Chequers more like a Canada style free trade deal

    (22%) (4%) (17%) (5%) (10%) (6%)

    The UK leaves the EU on time with a ‘softer’ version of Chequers more like a Norway arrangement

    (10%) (4%) (9%) (4%) (11%) (5%)

    UK leaves but with deal unresolved

    3% 9% 3% 9% 15% 6%

    Brexit is delayed

    8% 7% 7% 6% 14% 8%

    UK decides to stay in EU after second referendum

    31% 29% 36% 30% 7% 50%
    TOTAL 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

    100%

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,049 adults aged 18+, between 3rd and 5th August 2018. 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 and abides by its rules.

  • What do Brits think of Trump?

    ICM’s View: What do Brits think of Trump?

     Trump UK Visit - An ICMUnlimited Perspective

     

    Back in July, we wanted to see what the British public thought of President Trump before his visit to these shores.

    We started by asking if the British public supported the visit. Given we asked a very similar question when the visit was first announced back in April, we concluded that, if anything, opposition to the visit had increased. Whereas around 3 in 10 of the British public (31%) opposed the visit back in April, this hadincreased to over a third (35%) in opposition to Trump’s visit by the start of July.

    It may not come as a surprise that most of the British public are negative towards Trump, with a majority of those expressing an opinion actively disagreeing with most of the positive statements about Trump we suggested in the poll. Excluding those who don’t know, two-thirds (66%) would not like to see a politician like Trump as British Prime Minister, with the same proportion agreeing that Trump has made the world a more dangerous place. A similar proportion (64%) did not think he is generally honest and reliable at telling the truth. Of those expressing a view, a majority (57%) did not think Trump is good for the UK or is doing a good job as US President (56%).

    Despite some negative views on Brexit and the country’s political leadership emerging from our recent polls, it’s clear that Brits overall didn’t think Trump would do any better as British Prime minister. While almost a third of those expressing a view thought Trump would make a success of Brexit if he were British PM, a majority disagreed with the claim. And despite recent speculation on Theresa May’s leadership, Brits still think she is a better leader than Trump. Excluding those answering ‘don’t know’, 1 in 4 (25%) agreed that Trump is a better leader than May, compared to 48% who disagree with the claim.

    Perhaps most scathingly of all, more Brits agreed than disagreed with the statement ‘I think Trump only won the US election because of Russian support’. With the FBI enquiry still ongoing, it would appear that us Brits are sceptical at best on how Trump came to win the 2016 Presidential election against Hillary Clinton.

    It’s revealing to break down these results by EU referendum vote. Doing so shows that leavers are much more positive about Trump than remainers – and moreover, that it appears to be EU referendum vote rather than which party voted for at the previous General Election that is more closely related to views on Trump.

    As an example, for both Labour and Conservative voters at 2017, a similarly low proportion agreed that Trump is a better leader than May (25% and 27% of those expressing a view respectively). Yet there’s a much bigger bap between leavers and remainers on the same measure (36% vs. 15%), and this gap exists within both parties’ voter bases – with more than double the proportion of both Tory leavers (34%) and Labour leavers (40%) thinking May is better than Trump compared to Tory remainers (13%) and Labour remainers (17%) .

    And when directly linking Trump and Brexit, a majority (51%) of leavers expressing a view think Trump would make a success of Brexit as British PM, compared to only 17% of remainers.

    ICM’s view: the British public are clearly more critical than supportive of Trump, and this holds across most sub-groups within the British population. But sentiment towards Trump appears to be more strongly related to EU referendum vote than support for either of the main parties. This is one example of where Brexit – and the views and considerations its brought to the surface – could be more important than party support in today’s politics.

    The above analysis is based off the ICM/Guardian poll conducted between 6th – 9th July 2018. To read the full write up at the time, as well as full data tables, click here.

    Click here to download the one-pager in PDF

  • ICM World Cup Poll

    It may not have come home but…

    World Cup_Graphic_FINAL (31-07-18)

     

    If you managed to make it through July without watching, talking or tweeting about the FIFA World Cup in Russia then it’s probable you live under a rock, as the saying goes. This phenomenon, occurring just once every four years, appears to have once again captured the whole nation, with over 26.5 million tuning in to watch the England semi-final against Croatia on Wednesday 11th July (figures from the BBC). That’s more than the 2012 Olympics closing ceremony and just behind the wedding of Prince William and Kate in 2011. But why does the beautiful game so easily capture the hearts and minds of so many during a football World Cup?

    Writing for The Spectator, Sunder Katwala, Director of think tank British Future, spoke about the power of football (and sport in general) to bring people together – a phenomenon that was evidenced by the most recent World Cup. Using our Omnibus, we reached a nationally representative sample of England to determine the impact of our World Cup performance. Nearly half (44%) agreed with the statement ‘I think England is now a more united nation than it was before the World Cup’. There is also a strong sense of pride amongst respondents: 38% agree that they feel prouder of their country than they did before the World Cup and over half (51%) feel prouder of the English national football team than ever before.

    It’s likely our overwhelming positivity in light of the World Cup stems from our collectively low expectations of the current England football team. Very few would have expected Southgate’s England squad to do as well as they did and so the excitement around each successive victory leading up to the semi-final is likely to have been because of the underdog effect, in which we root for the team that looks less likely to win. Research has shown that underdogs are perceived as putting in more effort by others and, as a result, we reward their efforts with our support. It is also believed that we choose the underdog because the perceived costs of doing so are small but the rewards (‘I knew they could do it!’) are huge.

    What’s also interesting is how these attitudes differ by age; whilst the older generation appear less enthused by the World Cup, our research shows that younger people (18-24-year-olds) are the most positive on all statements. This may be because they are able to relate more readily to the youthful England side that competed this year, with an average age of just 26. It could also stem from England’s performance being the best this age group has witnessed in a World Cup, with 60% of 18-24 year olds saying they ‘feel more proud of the English national football team than they ever have before’. Conversely, the findings reinforce the belief that, as we get older, attitude change becomes harder and we are, indeed, more set in our ways compared to our younger more malleable selves. Has our failure to win (or even put up a consistently decent fight!) since our win in 1966 made us become progressively less hopeful that football might ever be coming home?

    So, what does this mean for the future of football? How long will this heightened sense of national pride and unity last? A quarter of people agreed that they would take more of an interest in football from now on, so could this be an opportunity to increase engagement at the grassroots level? Equally, it is unclear how long England’s performance can sustain this increased sense of national unity and pride, especially with plenty of national political uncertainty ahead. With this in mind, it is time to consider what else the nation can rally around that will unite us as we move forward into an increasingly testing and unpredictable era of our shared national experience.

    Sunder Katwala, Director of British Future, reflects on ICM’s findings in an exclusive quote for this piece:

    ‘There was a really positive public response to the World Cup this summer and these new ICM findings confirm that.  I don’t think it’s just that the team did quite a bit better than fans were expecting this time. Because these feel like very polarised times in our politics, I think there is a real appetite for things that can bring us together. There are so few other things that twenty million of us do at the same time, so these big sporting events matter even more in this age of individualised and personalised technology.

    The England football team can bring England together – it’s a team drawn from across the country, reflecting an England we share, reflecting both the everyday diversity of our big cities and the national pride felt as strongly in our small towns. We are much less sure whether that is something we have outside sport.

    The question after the World Cup is whether we just leave it to sporting chance as to when this conversation will continue. Or whether we realise that we can’t really just leave it to Gareth Southgate and Harry Kane. If we want to deepen an identity that we can all share, we will need to develop an English identity that isn’t just about being a 90-minute nation.’

    All data, unless otherwise stated, is from ICM Unlimited, a trading name of Walnut Unlimited, the human understanding agency. Walnut is part of the Unlimited Group.

    Source: ICM Omnibus, a nationally representative omnibus survey of 1,729 adults across England between 13 and 16 July 2018.

    The figures have been weighted and are representative of all England adults (aged 18+). ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

    Find more of our polls here: www.icmunlimited.com/polls 

  • Child Soldiers International – Minimum Age for Army Recruitment Poll

    ICM were commissioned by Child Soldiers International to carry out a poll on the minimum age to join the British Army.

    Coverage of the poll has included The Guardian and The Week.

    Source: ICM Omnibus, a nationally representative omnibus survey of 2,010 adults across Great Britain between 20 and 23 July 2018.

    Figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules

    View tables here

     

  • The Guardian – July 2018 Poll 2

     

    It’s been a busy two weeks in politics since our last ICM/Guardian poll. Cabinet resignations, Trump’s visit to the UK, a series of nail-bitingly close Brexit votes, the breakdown of pairing MPs on maternity leave in those votes and Labour’s ongoing antisemitism row are just some of the stories that have dominated the political news over the past fortnight.

     

    But in this maelstrom of political news, public opinion polling can provide a refreshing insight on what impact – if any – these stories are having on the British public at large.

     

    When it comes to our headline voting intention, we are seeing some noteworthy shifts. While we wouldn’t consider these statistically significant, in what has been a generally deadlocked political climate, we can see a shift in our polls which is larger than what we have been used to of late.

     

    What was a two-point lead for the Conservatives has completely evaporated over the past two weeks, and has turned into a one-point lead for Labour. And while we have seen an aggregate three percentage-point swing in vote share from Tories to Labour, we shouldn’t ignore UKIP – who continue their slow and steady progress from the previous poll, up another percentage point to 5%.

     

    There has been some speculation that events of the past few weeks have confirmed the current Conservative government as pushing a soft Brexit in the eyes of hard Brexiteers, hence the gain of UKIP at the Conservatives. On this poll alone, it’s simply too early to tell if this is the case. But should we see UKIP’s vote share increase further in our next poll at the expense of the Conservatives, then we may need to revisit this analysis.

     

    The results are shown in the table below, with percentage point changes from our previous poll in brackets.

     

    Conservative

    40% (-1)

    Labour

    41% (+2)

    LibDem

    8% (-1)

    SNP

    3% (nc)

    PC

    *% (nc)

    Green

    3% (nc)

    UKIP

    5% (+1)

    Other

    1% (nc)

     

    However, the below may illuminate some of the shifts in headline voting intention. We’ve brought back a tracker question we last asked in January on which of the two main party leaders the public trust most to do the best job in a range of key policy areas.

     

    While most of the scores haven’t shifted much over the past half a year, one result grabs the attention immediately – the public’s trust in Theresa May being able to negotiate a good Brexit deal for the UK has collapsed. It used to be the second strongest area for May compared to Corbyn on the areas we’ve tested, beaten only by protecting people from threats at home and abroad, but now it falls to her fourth strongest area. Whereas over a third (35%) of Brits trusted May to successfully negotiate Brexit at the start of the year, now it’s only one in four (26%). It wasn’t too long ago – back in May 2017 – that almost half (47%) of the public trusted May most to do the best job of negotiating Brexit. To see this proportion collapse to just over a quarter (26%) on what’s considered the biggest issue of the day could explain some of the pressure exerted on her leadership coming from within her party in recent weeks.

     

    The only consolation for May’s supporters is seeing Corbyn treading water in his perceived ability to successfully negotiate Brexit, with only 18% trusting Corbyn over May.

     

    When couched in terms of negotiating Brexit, there seems to be a public appetite for someone else entirely. We’ve seen those who trust neither May nor Corbyn to negotiate a good Brexit deal jump from 31% in January to 44% in this poll. This now means that, more than in any other area we ask, a large slice of the British public tend to trust neither May nor Corbyn on Brexit. So for as long as Brexit remains the major political issue at stake, we shouldn’t expect rumours of leadership challenges to Theresa May to go away any time soon.

     

    The other point worth noting is that trust in May to protect and improve the NHS has improved since January – with around one in four (26%) now trusting her over Corbyn on the NHS, compared to around one in five (21%) back in January. While Corbyn still leads May with almost 2 in 4 (38%) trusting him more to protect and improve the NHS, it’s possible that the promise of additional NHS spending – funded by that controversial ‘Brexit dividend’ – has had the effect of boosting May’s perceptions as a safe custodian of the NHS.

     

    The headline results to this question are below, including historical data for the difference between the two leaders scores in previous polls.

     

      Theresa May Jeremy Corbyn May lead Jan-18 Sep-17 May-17
    Protecting people from threats at home and abroad 38 19 19 17 18 30
    Controlling immigration 34 18 16 15 19 29
    Managing the economy properly 35 22 13 12 14 28
    Negotiating a good Brexit deal for the UK 26 18 8 16 14 34
    Ensuring pupils and students get a good education 29 33 -4 -3 -8 4
    Protecting the environment 23 29 -6 -4 n/a n/a
    Protecting the interests of pensioners 24 33 -9 -12 -14 1
    Making Britain a fairer country 25 36 -11 -12 -15 -1
    Protecting and improving the NHS 26 38 -12 -18 -18 -3
    Improving public services generally 23 38 -15 -13 -16 -2

     

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,010 adults aged 18+, between 20th – 22nd July 2018. 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 and abides by its rules.

  • The Guardian – July 2018 Poll 1

    While many are still reeling from the aftermath of the Chequers Brexit cabinet meeting, there’s another major political event happening later this week that’s unlikely to go unnoticed.

     

    With President Trump due to touchdown on British soil on Thursday, we wanted to see what the British public thought of him.

     

    We started by asking if the British public supported the visit. Given we asked a very similar question when the visit was first announced back in April, we can conclude that, if anything, opposition to the visit has increased. Whereas around 3 in 10 of the British public (31%) opposed the visit back in April, this has now increased to over a third (35%) in opposition to Trump’s visit.

     

    It may not come as a surprise that most of the British public are negative towards Trump, with a majority of those expressing an opinion actively disagreeing with most of the positive statements about Trump we suggested in the poll. Excluding those who don’t know, two-thirds (66%) would not like to see a politician like Trump as British Prime Minister, with the same proportion agreeing that Trump has made the world a more dangerous place. A similar proportion (64%) do not think he is generally honest and reliable at telling the truth. Of those expressing a view, a majority (57%) do not think Trump is good for the UK or is doing a good job as US President (56%).

     

    Despite some negative views on Brexit and the country’s political leadership emerging from our recent polls, it’s clear that Brits overall don’t think Trump would do any better as British Prime minister. While almost a third of those expressing a view think Trump would make a success of Brexit if he were British PM, a majority disagree with the claim. And despite recent speculation on Theresa May’s leadership, Brits still think she is a better leader than Trump. Excluding those answering ‘don’t know’, 1 in 4 (25%) agree that Trump is a better leader than May, compared to 48% who disagree with the claim.

     

    Perhaps most scathingly of all, more Brits agree than disagree with the statement ‘I think Trump only won the US election because of Russian support’. With the FBI enquiry still ongoing, it would appear that us Brits are sceptical at best on how Trump came to win the 2016 Presidential election against Hillary Clinton.

     

    It’s revealing to break down these results by EU referendum vote. Doing so shows that leavers are much more positive about Trump than remainers – and moreover, that it appears to be EU referendum vote rather than which party voted for at the previous General Election that is more closely related to views on Trump.

     

    As an example, for both Labour and Conservative voters at 2017, a similarly low proportion agree that Trump is a better leader than May (25% and 27% of those expressing a view respectively). Yet there’s a much bigger bap between leavers and remainers on the same measure (36% vs. 15%), and this gap exists within both parties’ voter bases – with more than double the proportion of both Tory leavers (34%) and Labour leavers (40%) thinking May is better than Trump compared to Tory remainers (13%) and Labour remainers (17%) .

     

    And when directly linking Trump and Brexit, a majority (51%) of leavers expressing a view think Trump would make a success of Brexit as British PM, compared to only 17% of remainers.

     

    While the findings on Trump and Brexit may add to the debates around the possibility of a future major realignment in British politics, there’s very little change to report on our headline vote intention polling – with no changes greater than a single percentage point either way. The Tories edge ahead of Labour by an additional percentage point compared to the previous poll, as Labour drop a point to 39% while the Conservatives hold steady at 41%, while the Lib Dems maintain their recent high of 9%, and UKIP gain a point to claim 4% of our poll.

     

    The figures are below, with percentage point changes versus the previous poll in brackets:

     

    Conservative

    41% (nc)

    Labour

    39% (-1)

    LibDem

    9% (nc)

    SNP

    3% (nc)

    PC

    *% (nc)

    Green

    3% (nc)

    UKIP

    4% (+1)

    Other

    1% (nc)

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,013 adults aged 18+, between 6th – 9th July 2018. 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 and abides by its rules.

  • Make Votes Matter – National Democracy Week Poll

    New research from ICM Unlimited on behalf of Make Votes Matter among a representative sample of British adults shows that:

      • 32% think that British democracy worth celebrating.
      • Two-thirds (66%) agree that the share of seats a party wins should closely match the share of the vote it receives.
      • 51%  support the UK changing the electoral from FPTP to a PR system. 13% opposed.
      • 30% of respondents agree that, in UK general elections in which they have voted, their vote has made a difference to the final result.
      • 37% think that their MP would listen to them and represent their views in Parliament if they approached them about an issue of particular importance.

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,021 adults aged 18+, between 8th – 11th June 2018. 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 and abides by its rules.

    View tables here

  • The Guardian – June 2018 Poll 2

    This week we looked into the ‘Brexit dividend’, and Theresa May’s claim that it will be used to fund a sizable amount of the £20billion additional funding announced for the NHS.

     

    There are two ways of reading these results. On the one hand, half of the British public believe that the Brexit dividend exists – 50% believe there will be extra money available as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

     

    However, it’s also true that most of these people believe that the Brexit dividend will not be as much as the Prime Minister has suggested – more than three-fifths of those who anticipate a Brexit dividend think it will work out as less than May has suggested.

     

    Public scepticism on the Brexit dividend is compounded when you take into account the 3 in 10 Brits who do not think there will be a Brexit dividend. This means that there’s a clear majority of the British public who do not believe that any savings from leaving the EU will be enough to pay for May’s increased NHS spending. With 3 in 5 expressing this view, we can see that the government have yet to convince the British public that Brexit will provide the promised additional funding for the NHS.

     

    As has become expected in the deadlocked party-political climate over the past year, there are no significant shifts to report in the headline figures in our latest Guardian/ICM poll. The Conservatives fall a further percentage point to 41%, leaving them just one percent above Labour on 40%.

     

    Nevertheless, it’s worth keeping an eye on the Lib Dems in these polls. This is the first Guardian/ICM poll since the Lewisham East by-election, where the Lib Dems increased their share of the vote by 20 percentage points, claiming a quarter of votes cast. There’s nothing quite as dramatic in our national voting intention results this week – but by increasing their share by one percentage point to 9%, the Lib Dems reach their highest peak in any Guardian/ICM poll since the last general election. As ‘Brexit day’ looms ever closer, could it be that the Lib Dems’ positioning as unambiguously pro-EU is finally starting to pay off?

     

    The figures are below, with percentage point changes versus the previous poll in brackets:

     

    Conservative

    41% (-1)

    Labour

    40% (nc)

    LibDem

    9% (+1)

    SNP

    3% (nc)

    PC

    *% (+1)

    Green

    3% (nc)

    UKIP

    3% (nc)

    Other

    1% (+1)

     

    Speaking of Brexit day, we re-asked a question on how the public would feel if Brexit negotiations failed to reach agreement by the end of March 2019 and the UK left the EU in a hard Brexit. We last published data on this question in October last year.

     

    Prompted to choose up to two options from a list of possible emotions, the results make some intriguing reading. A lot of measures are broadly consistent with last year (those saying they would feel excited, terrified, or pleased). Yet there are big declines in those saying they would feel worried (down from 50% to 38%) or confused (29% to 15%) if Brexit negotiations failed to reach agreement by the end of March next year. Maybe this could in part be explained by a perception of reduced uncertainty around Brexit and transition periods as we near the Article 50 deadline – but it’s also true that we see declines in the those saying they would feel either proud (11% to 7%) or furious (24% to 17%) if this were to happen.

     

    Overall we see a small decline in the proportion of the British public expressing at least one negative emotion in answer to this question (down from 62% to 59%), with a very small increase in those expressing positive emotions (20% to 22%).

     

    Excited (Oct: 11%; Jun 2018 11%)

    Terrified (Oct: 12%; June 2018 12%)

    Furious (Oct: 24%; June 2018 17%)

    Worried (Oct: 50%; June 2018 38%)

    Proud (Oct: 11%; June 2018 7%)

    Confused (Oct: 29%; June 2018 15%)

    Pleased (Oct: 14%; June 2018 12%)

    Other (write in) (Oct: 6%; June 2018 3%)

    I would feel nothing (Oct: 13%; June 2018 13%)

    Don’t know (Oct: 8%; June 2018 8%)

     

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,013 adults aged 18+, between 22nd – 24th June 2018. 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 and abides by its rules.

     

  • The Guardian – June 2018 Poll 1

     

    The past fortnight has seen an excitable Westminster village react to rumblings of cabinet dissent and possible threats of resignation from Theresa May’s team as the Brexit process nears a crunch phase. And those rumours of a leadership challenge to Theresa May never quite seem to go away…

     

    But how does Theresa May stack up against her opposite number at the despatch box, Jeremy Corbyn? We asked over 2,000 members of the British public to choose between the Labour leader and the Conservative Prime Minister on a range of key leadership characteristics. And the results demonstrate the stark difference between the leaders in the eyes of the public – not just in terms of their politics, but also in their personal style and perceived qualities.

     

    The results are shown below, excluding those who answered ‘don’t know’ (ranging between 20% and 32% of respondents):

     

    Jeremy Corbyn Theresa May May Lead
    …is more likely to take tough decisions 35% 65% 30%
    …is more competent 40% 60% 20%
    …is the stronger leader 40% 60% 20%
    …is more intelligent 42% 58% 16%
    …is more trustworthy 49% 51% 2%
    …is more likeable 53% 47% -6%
    …is more likely to understand people like me 57% 43% -14%
    …is more likely to stand up for what they believe in 58% 42% -16%

     

    There’s a strong lead for May being more likely to take tough decisions, with almost twice as many choosing her over Corbyn on this characteristic. 3 in 5 of those expressing a view also think she is more competent and the stronger leader when compared to Corbyn. An only slightly lower proportion (58%) think she is more intelligent than Corbyn.

     

    Corbyn’s leads are more moderate in size. The same proportion of those expressing a view who think May is more intelligent think Corbyn is more likely to stand up for what he believes in (58%). A similar proportion (57%) think Corbyn is more likely to understand people like them. By a slim margin, a majority of the respondents in our poll who expressed a view think Corbyn is the more likeable of the two leaders – achieving 53% to May’s 47%.

     

    But it seems the country is pretty much evenly split in terms of which party leader is more trustworthy, with 51% of those expressing a view choosing May, compared to 51% choosing Corbyn. Given the topicality of trust in politicians, we thought this question deserved extra analysis.

     

    1 in 3 respondents (30%) answered ‘don’t know’ to this question – the second highest proportion of don’t knows across all the attributes we tested. And it’s it’s worth keeping an eye out for where these ‘don’t knows’ are coming from, which we take a look at below.

     

    While there is a negligible difference between remainers and leavers on this question, and only a small difference on 2017 general election vote between Labour and Conservatives (25% vs. 22% don’t knows), bigger differences appear when combining the two factors.

     

    Generally, those that support a party also have more favourable views of its leader – at least when compared to the opposition. So it’s not surprising that those who voted Labour are more likely to think Corbyn is trustworthy and those who voted Conservative think the same about Theresa May, regardless of EU referendum vote. Indeed Theresa May scores higher among Tory leavers (77%) than Conservative remainers (70%). These are fairly healthy proportions on both scores – but maybe, just maybe, that slightly higher score from Conservative leavers could be seen as a vindication of May’s message discipline when routinely insisting that Brexit really does mean Brexit.

     

    Corbyn scores fairly well among Labour remainers, of whom 73% think he is more trustworthy than May. But this score drops by a full ten percentage points to 63% when asked of Labour leavers. And at least part of this could be ascribed to the increased proportion of don’t knows – almost 3 in 10 Labour leavers (29%) don’t know which leader is more trustworthy, compared to less than 1 in 5 Conservative leavers (19%).

     

    Considering Corbyn is often considered to be closer to the Leavers within the Labour party, this may seem a slightly surprising conclusion. May, a remainer in 2016, is considered more trustworthy among leavers within her party compared to remainers. Corbyn, often considered ambivalent at best on the EU, is considered more trustworthy by the remainers in his voter base – with Labour leavers more likely to refuse to say they don’t know who is more trustworthy, even when comparing him against a Conservative Prime Minister.

     

    Overall there’s little change in our headline VI figures. We’ve narrowly missed out on ‘three in a row’ when it comes to identical polling figures for the three main national parties at Westminster. But with the Conservatives dropping only one percentage point to 1%, this is a poll well within the margin of error compare to our last published Guardian/ICM poll a fortnight ago. So we’re pretty much back where we were two weeks ago.

     

    The figures are below, with percentage point changes versus the previous poll in brackets:

     

    Conservative

    42% (-1)

    Labour

    40% (nc)

    LibDem

    8% (nc)

    SNP

    3% (nc)

    PC

    *% (-1)

    Green

    3% (+1)

    UKIP

    3% (nc)

    Other

    *% (-1)

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,021 adults aged 18+, between 8th – 10th June 2018. 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 and abides by its rules.

  • Fair Tax Survey

    New research from ICM Unlimited on behalf of the Fair Tax Mark among a representative sample of British adults shows that:

    • Seven in ten of the public would rather shop with a business (69%) or work for a business (70%) which can prove it’s paying its fair share of tax.
    • The majority of people (61% agree) would trust a business with the Fair Tax Mark more than one without it. However, fewer members of the public agree that they would switch the businesses they use in favour of one which has the Fair Tax Mark (51% agree), with a large percentage stating neither/nor or DK (42%).
    • The public is split in terms of whether the Government should reduce the amount of tax companies pay in order to attract foreign investment into the country to create UK jobs. Almost three in ten (28%) say it should, a third (34%) say it should not, and 38% do not know.
    • Three times as many people disagree as agree (49% vs 16%) that big accountancy firms should be able to sell tax avoidance advice to businesses whilst auditing the accounts of those same businesses.
    • Public support is considerably higher for forcing all companies, whatever their size, to publicly disclose the taxes that they do or don’t pay in the UK (74%).

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a nationally representative omnibus survey of 2,020 adults across GB, between 18th and 21st May 2018. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

    View tables here