• ICM shortlisted for MRS award

    ICM Unlimited has been shortlisted in the Public Policy / Social Research category for its work with the MS Society using innovative participatory research methods.

    Our colleagues in Walnut Unlimited – of which ICM is the specialist social research arm – have been nominated for two awards: Young Researcher of the Year and Breakthrough Business of the Year.

    Winners will be announced on Monday 3rd December.

  • The Guardian – September 2018 Poll 2

    Right in the middle of conference season, we wanted to check on how the public perceived the two main parties, and leaders across a range of policy areas.


    We last asked the ‘which party would do the best job’ question back in February. The latest results, compared to then, are shown below


      Labour Conservatives Labour lead Feb-18
    Protecting people from threats at home and abroad 23% 39% -16% -15%
    Negotiating a good Brexit deal for the UK 21% 31% -10% -13%
    Controlling immigration 19% 38% -19% -15%
    Managing the economy properly 26% 40% -14% -12%
    Ensuring pupils and students get a good education 36% 30% 6% 9%
    Protecting the environment 29% 26% 3% n/a
    Protecting the interests of pensioners 36% 26% 10% 13%
    Making Britain a fairer country 37% 26% 11% 13%
    Improving public services generally 42% 23% 19% 21%
    Protecting and improving the NHS 41% 26% 15% 23%


    While there have not been large shifts in the perceptions of the parties, we can see that compared to February, Labour have a reduced lead over the Conservatives in pretty much all key policy areas. The only exception is on negotiating a good Brexit deal for the UK, were Labour now lag behind the Conservatives by 10 percentage points, rather than 13.


    In the midst of Labour conference – with this poll carried out over the conference weekend – this will not be especially welcome reading for Labour delegates. With what appeared to be very public humiliations for the government’s Brexit plans last week and associated no-deal warnings in many diverse areas of government, it would have been reasonable to hope for a stronger Labour performance on these metrics.


    And when looking at the leaders, things don’t get much better for those on the left of British politics. When asked which leader they trust most to do a good job in the same areas we see a similar picture. While there are no large changes when comparing to when we last asked this question, on all areas we ask, Corbyn’s net lead over May has got worse. So where Corbyn had a lead over May this has been reduced, and where Corbyn lagged behind May, this gap has got bigger.


      Theresa May Jeremy Corbyn Corbyn lead Jul-18 Jan-18 Sep-17 May-17
    Protecting people from threats at home and abroad 40 20 -20 -19 -17 -18 -30
    Negotiating a good Brexit deal for the UK 30 20 -10 -8 -16 -14 -34
    Controlling immigration 37 18 -19 -16 -15 -19 -29
    Managing the economy properly 37 24 -13 -13 -12 -14 -28
    Ensuring pupils and students get a good education 30 32 2 4 3 8 -4
    Protecting the environment 26 29 3 6 4 n/a n/a
    Protecting the interests of pensioners 24 34 10 9 12 14 -1
    Making Britain a fairer country 27 34 7 11 12 15 1
    Improving public services generally 25 37 12 15 13 16 2
    Protecting and improving the NHS 26 38 12 12 18 18 3


    Looking at the data in this way also allows us to understand how each leader is performing relative to the perceptions of their party.


    Theresa May does very slightly outperform her party in three areas but is outperformed by her party on four areas. However, things are even worse for Corbyn who fails to outperform his party on even one of the policy areas we ask. This make for concerning reading for those in Southside: while Theresa May might be failing to energise the Conservative brand, it appears that if anything Corbyn is dragging down perceptions of Labour in the eyes of the public, rather than boosting them higher through his leadership.


    And on to voting intentions, there is yet again little change. The two main parties trade a percentage point between each other, to leave us with a one point Tory lead. And if there has been a conference boost for the Lib Dems, it has been small. They go up one percentage point to 9%; while a modest gain, we haven’t seen them any higher in our polling since the General Election.


    Conservative 41% (-1)
    Labour 40% (+1)
    LibDem 9% (+1)
    SNP 3% (nc)
    PC *% (nc)
    Green 3% (nc)
    UKIP 4% (nc)
    Other *% (nc)


    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,006 adults aged 18+, between 21st – 24th September 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.


  • People’s Vote Marginals Poll for Represent Us

    People’s Vote Marginals Poll for Represent Us

    These tables present the findings from research into the voting intentions of 1,701 respondents in 107 marginal constituencies across England, Wales, and Scotland under different hypothetical scenarios following a UK Parliament vote against the final Brexit deal negotiated by the UK government, conducted by ICM Unlimited on behalf of Represent Us.

    The findings reveal that, in the scenario of a general election following Parliament voting against the government’s final Brexit deal, the Labour Party would be electorally better off promising to support a popular vote on their re-negotiated Brexit deal as opposed to ruling one out. This pattern is especially pronounced in the 48 ‘Heavily leave’ constituencies.

    • First Voting Intentions Question, Q5: If Parliament votes against the final Brexit deal … there may be a general election. Opposition parties will probably promise to negotiate a better deal. Which party would you vote for in a general election in these circumstances?
    • Second Voting Intentions Question, Q6: Which party would you vote for in that general election if… in their general election manifestos, Labour, the Lib Dems, and the SNP promise that the people will get to vote on any Brexit deal, but the Conservatives rule this out?
    • Third Voting Intentions Question, Q7: Which party would you vote for in that general election if… in their general election manifestos, only the Lib Dems and the SNP promise that the people will get to vote on any Brexit deal, while Labour and the Conservatives rule this out?

    Summary of ICM Voting Intentions figures at each question for each sample: ICM VI figures at Q5, Q6, Q7

    England & Wales tables, 84 constituencies, n=1201: Represent Us Poll_bpc_Eng&Wales (18-09-18)

    ‘Remain / evenly balanced’ tables, 34 constituencies, n=500: Represent Us Poll_bpc_Remain & balanced (18-09-18)

    ‘Heavily leave’ tables, 48 constituencies, n=701: Represent Us Poll_bpc_Leave (18-09-18)

    Scotland tables, 25 constituencies, n=500: Represent Us Poll_bpc_Scotland (18-09-18)

    ICM interviewed a sample of 1,701 adults aged 18+ in the relevant constituencies online between 4 and 12 September 2018. Demographic quotas were set to ensure a representative sample. At the analysis stage, data has been weighted to the profile of each of the target populations: the 82 England and Wales constituencies (n=1,201), the 34 ‘Remain / evenly-balanced’ constituencies (n=500) and the 48 ‘Heavily leave’ constituencies (n=701) that comprise the England & Wales sample, and the 25 Scotland constituencies (n=500).

  • ‘National Conversation’ research for British Future

    British Future and Hope Not Hate have published the results to their ‘National Conversation’ on immigration and integration. As part of this, ICM interviewed a nationally representative sample of UK adults to explore the public’s views toward this key issue.

    The findings below are consistent with the results in the appendices of British Future’s ‘National Conversation’ report. They differ from those in the main body of the ‘National Conversation’ report because British Future have included migrant data.

    ICM interviewed a sample of 3,267 UK adults aged 18+ online, between 13 and 18 June 2018. The samples in Scotland and Northern Ireland were boosted to ensure a robust sample in each nation. In addition, the total sample contains booster interviews with BAME respondents.

    To ensure a representative sample, demographic quotas were set and, at the analysis stage, data has been weighted to the profile of all UK adults aged 18+. Booster interviews have been weighted back into the overall population profile.

    The booster samples among EU and non-EU migrants are shown as independent samples in the data tables.

  • The Guardian – September 2018 Poll 1

    Some commentators have decried the war over words in both main parties that that burst into full-sight over the weekend. But while competing Brexit, leadership and party priorities simmered to the surface, ICM were busy polling whether the British public had substantively changed their position on Brexit.

    If there was another EU referendum tomorrow, how would you vote?

    We asked this question in both January and April this year – both times finding the slimmest of leads for Remain over Leave. Yet at the third time of asking, we have seen a slightly bigger shift, with Remain creeping up one percentage point to 46% and Leave slipping down two percentage points to 42% from April.

    Let’s not get over-excited about these figures – these are still small shifts in numbers, and the result is still considered well within the margin of error. Nevertheless, this is the largest lead for Remain we’ve seen across the three times we’ve asked the question this year. And, when excluding those who prefer not to say, don’t know and wouldn’t vote, the results of this question do catch the eye. If an exact repeat of the 2016 Referendum were to be held tomorrow, this poll predicts an exact reversal of 2016’s result – with the country split 52% to 48%, but this time in favour of Remain.

    We also re-asked a question that was also featured in our Brexit mega-poll in January, and last asked back in May. Asking on the likely impact of Brexit on personal finances, the economy and way of life in general, we see a similarly grim appraisal overall from the British public as observed in May and January.

    Brexiteers may take solace from the fact that there are no huge negative shifts at the overall level. But scratch the surface, and there looks like there might be something interesting happening among those who voted Leave in 2016. Leavers are still more positive than negative about the aspects of Brexit we ask about, but the gap between those who are positive and negative about the impact of Brexit on the way of life in Britain today in general has narrowed by 8 percentage points since the start of the year. Even more strikingly, the equivalent gap has narrowed by 10 percentage points when it comes to the impact on the economy.

    So while the country remains strongly polarised along the same lines as the 2016 Referendum, there are small signs that Leavers’ initial optimism maybe, just maybe, might be fading at the margins.

    And what for the impact on our headline voting intention figures?

    It’s a story of slight but not significant changes. With the Tories up two points to 42% and Labour down one point to 39%, what was a dead heat in our last poll three weeks ago turns into a three percentage point lead for Theresa May’s Conservatives. Percentage point changes on our previous poll are in the table below in brackets.


    42% (+2)


    39% (-1)


    8% (nc)


    3% (-1)

    *% (nc)


    3% (+1)


    4% (-2)

    *% (-1)

    We still haven’t seen the two main parties break out of a three percentage point bind of each other in a Guardian/ICM poll since the 2017 election. The wait continues.

    On 23rd June 2016, a referendum was held on if the UK should remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union.

    If there was another EU referendum tomorrow, how would you vote?

    • For the UK to Remain in the EU (Jan: 45%; Apr: 45%; Sep 46%)
    • For the UK to Leave the EU (Jan: 43%; Apr: 44%; Sep 42%)
    • I wouldn’t vote (Jan: 6%; Apr: 5%; Sep 6%)
    • Prefer not to say (Jan: 1%; Apr: 1%; Sep 1%)
    • Don’t know (Jan: 5%; Apr: 5%; Sep 5%)
    Impact of Brexit on the British economy
    January May September
    2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers

    Positive impact

    9% 58% 9% 56% 11% 52%

    Negative impact

    75% 12% 77% 10% 75%


    Makes no difference

    6% 19% 7% 18% 7%


    Don’t know 9% 11% 6% 15% 7%



    Impact of Brexit on your own personal finances
    January May September
    2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers

    Positive impact

    5% 23% 7% 23% 9% 22%

    Negative impact

    53% 10% 54% 9% 56%


    Makes no difference

    27% 55% 29% 53% 21%


    Don’t know 15% 12% 11% 14% 14%



    Impact of Brexit on the way of life in Britain today in general
    January May September
    2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers

    Positive impact

    9% 62% 9% 63% 11% 57%

    Negative impact

    66% 8% 70% 5% 68%


    Makes no difference


    22% 14% 21% 12%


    Don’t know


    8% 7% 11% 9%


    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,051 adults aged 18+, between 7th – 9th September 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.


  • Consumer views: Will Brexit affect food prices?

    Today – Thursday 23rd August – sees the Government publish its advice to businesses in the event of a no-deal Brexit. In the lead-up, ICM’s retail research colleagues in Walnut Unlimited (of which ICM is part) have worked with Retail Week to understand consumer attitudes towards food prices increasing and likelihood to consider stockpiling in the run-up to Brexit.

    The results show that with uncertainty in the likelihood of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, consumers are concerned about the prospect of rising retail prices. A summary of the findings can be accessed by clicking on the pdf below.



  • The Guardian – August 2018 Poll 2

    ICM-Guardian Poll - Visual FINAL 23-08-18

    The race to Westminster

    The summer parliamentary recess is usually a time when political news dries up and is replaced by the frivolous and the outlandish, in keeping with the ‘silly season’ tradition. This has not been the case this summer. The annual estivation period of politicos and journalists was interrupted by the ongoing sagas of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia within the Labour and Conservative parties, respectively. The dearth of other distracting stories proved to be a curse as Labour’s anti-Semitism definition rows, and Boris Johnson’s burqa comments stubbornly clung on to the front pages of newspapers for days on end. With both parties mired in unseemly and depressing controversies, and with little to distract the public’s attention, one would think that the polls may show some interesting shifts. Not so. Both parties remain evenly matched on 40%, with Labour unchanged from two weeks ago and the Tories up 1 percentage point.

    The Lib Dems and UKIP are still ominously waiting on 8% (up 1) and 6% (no change) respectively, seemingly ready to pounce if either of the main parties leans too heavily one way or the other on Brexit. As we move ever closer to the March 2019 Brexit deadline, by when negotiations with the EU must reach a conclusion, it will be interesting to keep an eye on the fortunes of both the Lib Dems and UKIP – one doubts that their support will not change between now and then.

    Party % Change*
    Conservative 40 +1
    Labour 40 0
    Lib Dem 8 0
    SNP 3 -1
    PC * 0
    Green 2 -1
    UKIP 6 0
    Other 1 0

    *Change from the last poll two weeks ago, 3-5 August

    Brexit Negotiations

    Our further polling this week shows that pessimism is increasing regarding the likelihood of the negotiations between the UK and the EU concluding successfully before ‘Brexit Day’ on 29 March 2019. Since April, the proportion of those that think Brexit will be concluded satisfactorily has fallen from 3 in 10 (28%) to under 1 in 5 (18%). For the first time since we polled this question, the percentage of respondents who think that the negotiations will not conclude successfully in time  is above half, with 60% now thinking this way (up from 47% in April).

    Worryingly for the Conservatives, this swing is particularly pronounced amongst Leave voters and those who intend to vote Tory at the next general election. Whilst, back in April, ‘Leavers’ were evenly split on whether the negotiations would be successful (36% yes, 36% no), these figures now stand at 23% and 54%, respectively. The story is much the same for those who intend to vote Tory at the next general election, with 44% now thinking that the talks will not be resolved satisfactorily (up 12 percentage points) and around a third (32%) thinking that they will (down 13 percentage points).

    These dramatic shifts would seem to back up the narrative that the Chequers plan has not gone down well with the public, and perhaps also reflects exasperation at the stasis with the EU and disagreement within the governing Tory party that has characterised the four months since this question was last asked. Ironically, the results of this question are likely to hearten both UKIP and the proponents of a second referendum.

      October 2017


    April 2018


    August 2018


    Negotiations will conclude satisfactorily 30 28 18
    Negotiations will not conclude satisfactorily 45 47 60
    Don’t know 25 25 22

    The Tories after May

    For the final additional question on this week’s poll, we ran an updated form of a question that we last asked in October 2017. This question reveals what respondents think would be the impact of different Tory leaders if Theresa May were to be removed.

    Unsurprisingly, Boris Johnson proved to be the figure that divided opinion the most. While a higher proportion of respondents (27%) said that the Tories chances would be better with Boris at the helm than with any other of the named candidates, a higher proportion (45%) than any other (save Gove – also 45%) thought that Boris would worsen the Conservatives chances of success at the next general election.

    Following Trump’s victory and the unexpected performance of Jeremy Corbyn in the last general election, Boris may not be too concerned about his divisiveness. The consensus and triangulation techniques of the late 1990s and the early 2000s seem to have been replaced by bombastic confrontation and inflated rhetoric. If this is a route to electoral success, Boris may well find himself in as good a position as any to capitalise.

    Within these top-line findings, the difference between those who intend to vote Labour and those who intend to vote Conservative is dramatic. Only 14% of those who intend to vote Labour think that the Tories chance of success in the next general election would be improved with Johnson in charge, compared to over 2 in 5 (41%) of those who intend to vote Conservative.

    Jacob Rees-Mogg, like Johnson, is a candidate whose impact is judged positively by a much higher proportion of Conservatives and UKIP voters than of those who intend to vote Labour or Lib Dem. 65% of those who intend to vote UKIP think that Rees-Mogg would boost the Tories chances, as do just under a quarter (23%) of Conservative voters. This compares to only 7% of those who intend to vote Labour and 11% of those who intend to vote Lib Dem.

    But could the Conservatives be led at the next general election by someone who has not fully emerged yet? Despite the (potentially preventative) differences in the political systems of the UK and France, the dream of a Macron-esque figure taking the political scene by the scruff of the neck still holds appeal for some voters who currently feel politically homeless. The results indicate that there is some optimism regarding the effect of a quite young and able person who is not currently in government. A quarter think that s/he would improve the Tories chances, and a relatively low 1 in 5 think that such a leader would worsen the chances. Results are not consistent across parties, though. Whilst 31% of those who intend to vote Labour and 38% of those who intend to vote Lib Dem think that such a Tory leader would have a positive effect on the Conservatives’ chances, Tory voters themselves are much more restrained, with only 16% thinking chances would be improved.



    Ultimately, though, when it comes to the net scores, current Prime Minister Theresa May will be able to take heart. None of the named candidates have positive net scores, suggesting that the public do not think that any of the current crop of potential leadership contenders would improve the Tories’ chances at the next general election if s/he led the party rather than May. Only Ruth Davidson comes out with a modest deficit (-7), with Boris (-18), Rees-Mogg (-19), and Javid (-18) all grouped behind her. Gove (-38) and Hunt (-34) fare even worse, with the public judging them electorally toxic even compared to Theresa May. Only the unidentified ‘young and able’ outsider has a positive net score (+5). These figures make worrying reading for the Tory party, suggesting that an improved electoral performance on June 2017 is currently not within reach.

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,021 adults aged 18+, between 17th and 19th 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.

  • 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%.



    39% (-1)*


    40% (-1)

    Lib Dem

    7% (-1)


    4% (+1)


    *% (nc)


    3% (nc)


    6% (+1)


    *% (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%



    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