• The Guardian – February Poll 2

    The latest Guardian/ICM poll is not unprecedented, but only three other polls in the monthly Guardian series dating all the way back to May 1983 (when ICM was Marplan) have produced a larger Conservative lead, and two of those were just days apart before the June 1983 General Election in which Margaret Thatcher humbled Michael Foot.

    The only other poll that had the Tories in such a commanding lead was in June 2008, as Gordon Brown wobbled his way toward the financial implosion associated with the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the ‘election that never was’.

    Not uncharted waters then, but few people would be familiar with heady Tory leads of this size, which is based on the following numbers:

    Con 44% (+2)

    Lab 26% (-1)

    UKIP 13% (+1)

    Lib Dem 8% (-2)

    Green 4% (nc)

    SNP 4% (-1)

    PC *% (-1)

    Other 1% (+1)

    Labour is within touching distance of its floor, one-point below its current standing of 26% (25% having been witnessed twice, in June 2008 and Aug 2009). The Conservatives do still have some way to go before they match their high point of 47.5% in May 1983 (or if you prefer just the ICM part of the series since 1989, the 46% they achieved in May 1992).

    The poll contained three additional questions, one of which related to the role of Speaker, John Bercow, who has come in for some criticism for various behaviours that have not sat well with some members in the Commons. Asked if Bercow is doing a good job and should stay, 30% were able to agree, with most support emanating from Labour voters (43%). Slightly more though felt the opposite: 32% think that the Speaker should go because of partial behaviour – rising to 44% and 58% of Conservative and UKIP voters respectively.

    Donald Trump is another figure who splits the British public, although on this occasion the question is whether he should enjoy a State visit to Britain, or indeed any visit at all. One in five (18%) think he should be barred entry to the country, but many more (37%) think that he should be allowed to visit, but not given the full State visit treatment.  A further third (32%) do think a State visit is appropriate, with UKIP voters dominating voter splits on this matter (65%).

    Finally, the question of how EU nationals are dealt with within the Brexit process looks set to remain contentious, with four in ten (42%) believing that their status should not be confirmed until or unless UK nationals living in other EU nations are given the same right. Almost as many (41%) adopt a much softer view, saying that guaranteeing their right to remain here is the right thing to do, and may even be helpful with wider Brexit negotiations.

    ICM Unlimited interviewed 2,028 adults aged 18+ online on 17-19th February 2017. 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 Poll – February 2017

    It is now seven months since the EU referendum sent shock waves through the British and European political classes, but in that time the public have seemingly settled on a moderately stable impression of the state of the parties. The average score for the Conservatives in the Guardian/ICM series is 41%, which they narrowly overshoot in this latest poll (42%).

    In an equal and opposite reaction, Labour finds itself on 27% today, a point below their six month average score of 28%.

    Only the Liberal Democrats (10%) are currently moving things along in a positive direction, finding double figures in consecutive polls which puts them 2-points above their own post referendum average showing (8%). UKIP (12%) are in moderate decline.

    The headline figures compared to the last Guardian/ICM poll in January are:

    Conservative 42% (nc)

    Labour 27% (+1)

    Lib Dems 10% (nc)

    UKIP 12% (-1)

    Green 4% (-1)

    SNP 5% (+1)

    PC 1% (nc)

    Oth 1% (nc)

    Brexit has occupied the public’s thoughts in other ways though – in particular, on how it will manifest itself in terms of national and personal finances. If ever a question exposed the cleavage between two sets of voters this is it. Although there is only a 5-point difference between those who think Brexit will have a negative impact (43%) on the British economy compared to adopting a more positive interpretation (38%), this obscures a huge divide between Remainers and Leavers. Four in five Remainers (81%) think the economy will falter but seven in ten (70%) Leavers believe it will power on.

    But this doesn’t necessarily morph into similar views on personal finances, with a majority (54%) believing themselves to be insulated from Brexit trade winds by saying that it will make no difference to their own finances. Leavers (69%) are particularly settled on this view. Three times as many people do think that Brexit will have negative consequences for personal bank accounts though, with 34% saying there will be a downside, compared to only 12% who think positive benefits will come their way. Remainers, as we might expect, are particularly pessimistic are their own prospects, with 60% of them fearful of their financial future.

    But the referendum was about more than just economic viability, something reconfirmed by the 41% who predict a positive Brexit-related impact on the general way of life in Britain. A third (36%) deny this, with the views of Remainers and Leavers once more in stark contrast. Three-quarters (73%) of Leavers think things will change here for the better, but almost as many (69%) Remainers think Brexit will have a detrimental impact on the British way of things.

    In other news, the public are even more pessimistic about the chances of the Labour Party returning to power in the near future. Back in September, 36% thought that Labour could win the 2020 (16%) or 2025 General Election (20%), but this has fallen back to 33% now (2020: 15%; 2025: 18%). The proportion who think that they won’t return to power until 2040 at the earliest (or never will) has nearly doubled from 6% last September to 10% now.

    However, Labour’s core voters remain optimistic about their chances, with 41% believing that power is within their grasp at the next General Election, although this is 2-points lower than the equivalent September score (43%).

    Finally, in light of the debate about the ideal level of closeness that Theresa May’s government should adopt with new American administration, a preference for a diplomatic and balanced stance emerges (57%), with Britain being unafraid to be either critical or supportive as necessary. One in five (19%) believe a more hostile position should be adopted, with 15% believing that a trusted partnership would be the best option.

    ICM Unlimited interviewed an online sample of 1,984 adults aged 18+ on 3-5th February 2017. 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.

  • Represent Us poll in Labour held seats

    Press Release

    Represent Us web site

    Labour will save 22 seats if it calls for Parliament to have the final say on Brexit

    Last week Theresa May said Parliament would have a vote on the EU exit terms – but the choice would be between accepting the terms and leaving on WTO terms. An ICM poll conducted this weekend across Labour constituencies shows that the party would be 22 seats better off in a 2017 election if it supported Parliament also having the option of the UK remaining within the EU.

    If Labour opposes the Government and calls for Parliament to have a choice between accepting the deal and remaining in the EU, it would end up with 162 seats (compared to the 175 currently projected). However, if it just supports the Government it would end up with 140 seats (both scenarios assume the Lib Dems call for Parliamentary choice). In the first scenario Labour’s share of the vote falls 3% from the currently projected share of 44% in Labour constituencies to 41%; but if it supports the Government its share falls 8% from 44% to 36%, with the Lib Dems gaining a similar amount.

    One explanation of these figures is that Labour has already lost the support of many potential UKIP voters – but an estimated 18% of its current supporters voted Lib Dem in 2010 and this poll suggests many of them will desert Labour if it supports the Government.

    These numbers are based on a sample of 1,343 voters in Labour held seats (excluding ‘won’t votes’ and ‘don’t knows’). The seat projections do not assume a uniform national swing but take into account the proportion of remain and leave voters amongst supporters of each party in each constituency and the tendency of each of these groups to switch their votes in response to Labour’s stance (see note below).

    Note on the calculation

    Represent Us (who commissioned the poll) first estimated the number of leave and remain voters amongst the supporters of each party in each Labour constituency. This was done by taking the national proportions amongst the main parties (as calculated by YouGov – https://yougov.co.uk/news/2016/06/27/how-britain-voted/) and applying a local adjustment based on educational qualifications: the higher the proportion of the adult population with no qualifications the higher the leave vote amongst Labour and Lib Dem voters. The figures were further adjusted to ensure that the total leave and remain votes corresponded to the constituency by constituency estimates of total leave and remain votes made by Chris Hanretty – a Reader in Politics at the University of East Anglia.

    The ICM poll then revealed the proportion of voters in each of these groups in all Labour constituencies that said they would change their votes if Labour and the Lib Dems called for a real choice for Parliament, if Labour supported the Government and the Lib Dems called for a real choice for Parliament, and if Labour supported the Government and the Lib Dems called for a referendum. The third scenario was very similar to the second, with a slightly stronger showing for the Lib Dems and worse results for Labour. These proportions were then applied to the current voting intentions amongst each group in each constituency and the result of the election calculated.

  • The Guardian – January Poll (2)

    In the wake of Theresa May’s speech outlining the UK’s negotiating principles for Brexit, the Tories remain close to their recent high point in the Guardian/ICM series, standing on 42%, with Labour dropping back down to 26% after operating in a slightly higher range since mid-November. The Liberal Democrats return to rare double figures (10%) but remain in fourth place behind UKIP (13%).

    Full results, compared to the Guardian/ICM poll at the end of the first week in January are:

    Conservative 42% (nc)

    Labour 26% (-2)

    Lib Dem 10% (+1)

    UKIP 13% (+1)

    Green 5% (+1)

    SNP 4% (nc)

    PC 1% (nc)

    Other *% (-1)

    Although framing UK-EU negotiations questions is a difficult task, we asked the public how they would most like the outcome to be evaluated. A majority (53%) opt for leaving the EU no matter what happens in the negotiating process, with a quarter (26%) wanting a second referendum on the terms of the deal. One in ten (12%) prefers for a final decision to be made in Parliament.

    In the event that negotiations fail to yield an acceptable outcome within the permitted time frame, just shy of a majority (49%) believe that we should simply leave without a deal – a third (33%) would want to see a postponement or suspension of our exit (with 62% of Remainers understandably preferring this way forward).

    However, if the terms of the deal are not considered to be in the UK’s interest, the public solidly endorse the proposition of us leaving without a trade deal (63%) rather than accepting a bad one (8%). The public also support Theresa May’s threat to change the UK’s business model in the event of the EU only offering a bad deal. Six in ten (59%) agree that she was right to threaten the EU with only 18% saying she was wrong.

    ICM Unlimited interviewed an online sample of 2052 adults aged 18+ on 20-22nd January 2017. 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 – January poll (1)

    The first ICM/Guardian poll of 2017 continued where 2016 left off, with a repeat of the commanding 14-point Conservative lead present within the final ICM/Guardian of 2016, albeit with marginal upticks in the share for both parties on this occasion.

    Movements in the data are well within standard margins of error, and thus as likely to be a function of sample size as anything else.

    Conservative 42% (+1)

    Labour 28% (+1)

    Liberal Democrat 9% (nc)

    UKIP 12% (-2)

    Green 4% (+1)

    SNP 4% (nc)

    PC *% (nc)

    Other *% (-1)

  • The Guardian – December 2016 Poll

    Despite a 3-point drop in their share this week, the Tories (41%) retain a commanding 14-point lead over Labour (27%), who continue to scrape along at or (possibly) near the bottom of the electoral barrel. The Lib Dems (9%) appear to be in slight recovery mode after their achievement in Richmond Park, while UKIP (14%) have a better poll than they’ve seen for some time after the election of their new leader, Paul Nuttall.

    But in light of Ed Balls dancing fame, we wondered whether he, and a slew of recent political heavyweights, capture more positive public energy than they managed during their time at their political peak. Balls own reintroduction into the Labour movement would have an immediate but still insufficient impact on Labour’s share, edging the party up to 30% but still 11-points off the political pace if he were in the hot-seat rather than the incumbent Jeremy Corbyn. That said, dancing into the public eye has been good for this particular Ed, with 20% having a more favourable impression of him now than before (although 17% less favourable rather offsets this, generating a net +3 figure).

    However, the idea that former party leaders are looked back on more fondly after their political demise takes something of a knock, with Tony Blair’s reputation languishing at -42 favourability, Sir John Major at -12 and Paddy Ashdown at -10. Absence possibly does not make the heart grow fonder, at least as far as political fondness is concerned.

    The party shares for publication (Standard VI):

    • Con 41%
    • Lab 27%
    • LD 9%
    • SNP 4%
    • Green 3%
    • UKIP 14%
    • PC *%
    • Oth 1%

    With Ed Balls as Labour leader instead of Corbyn:

    • Con 41%
    • Lab 30%
    • LD 8%
    • SNP 5%
    • Green 4%
    • UKIP 12%
    • PC 1%
    • Oth 1%

    Please click on the following link for Andrew Sparrow’s blog:

    ICM Unlimited interviewed an online sample of 2,049 adults aged 18+ on 9-11th December 2016. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all GB adults. ICM is a member of the BPC and abides by its rules.

  • Policy Exchange Survey of Muslims

    On this page can be found data tables for the sample of 3,000 Muslims plus tables for the control sample of all GB adults.

    Raw data file is available on request. Please contact: martin.boon@icmunlimited.com

    Please click here for the full Policy Exchange report: http://bit.ly/2h1Q0qT


  • The Guardian November (2) poll

    As Jeremy Corbyn grapples with a Cuban revolutionary’s death, the Conservatives eke out an additional point to rise up to 44%, the highest share we’ve seen for the party since October 2009, and just 1-point below their record Guardian/ICM showing of 45% (a high point seen on only on five occasions, three of which were just after John Major’s 1992 election victory and two of which were during the 2008 financial crash when Gordon Brown was in Number 10). Published numbers are:

    Conservative 44% (+2)

    Labour 28% (No change)

    Lib Dem 7% (-2)

    SNP 4% (-1)

    Plaid Cymru 1%

    Green 4% (+1)

    UKIP 12% (+1)

    Other 1% (NC)

    It’s also a 2-point increase on last week’s showing, but it’s hard to draw a conclusion that the gain is attributable to Philip’s Hammonds Autumn Statement, which many commentators have noted it only for its dullness. An additional number of larger Tory vote leads need to be observed before we should be drawn into attribution games along those lines.

    But it’s also pretty bleak for Labour no matter which part of the data we prod. The Tories enjoy leads among every social grade, including a rarely seen 1-point lead among the least affluent DE members of society. They also lead among all age groups except the 18-24s, and have a pro-women gender gap. In the populous South of England, the Tories stand on a whopping 49%, and Labour on a barely relevant 24%.

    Much has been made of the economic forecasts and doom laden reflections of living standards. The Institute for Fiscal Studies last week labelled the last ten years as the “Dreadful Decade” and the Office for Budget Responsibility projected living standards to be further squeezed next year.

    But how do we reconcile economic analysis like this with public perceptions, which largely fail to reflect these miserable scenarios? ICM has been tracking financial confidence since October 01 and in the last ten years (since Aug 06), there have been positive net confidence scores on twelve of the twenty two occasions, including on every one of the last six. Currently, 53% of the public have confidence for their own future financial position and ability to keep up with the cost of living, while 43% do not. This is a sizable drop from August when the gap was +34 compared to the current +10 but still firmly in positive territory.

    We also asked if people retrospectively recognise the Dreadful Decade. For the most part, they don’t. One in three (31%) believe that their living standards have got better over the last ten years, while 29% say they’ve worsened. More (34%) don’t see any change over the period.

    The only thing that is clear is that a disconnect exists between economic indicators and public experiences. Whether that is driven by ever increasing levels of retail purchasing intentions, (generally) decent employment prospects (even with the 2008 financial crash factored in) or net debt repayment over the period it’s hard to say, but the British consumer appears much more resilient to economic vagaries than economists imply.

    ICM Unlimited interviewed an online sample of 2009 adults aged 18+ on 25-27th November 2016. 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 – Autumn Statement Reaction Poll

    The call for boring and safe budgets may have been heard, if instant reaction to Philip Hammond’s first effort is anything to go by. Support for the most significant measures is there, but the public question whether there’s enough substance for the package to be a difference maker.

    In a survey undertaken in the hours after the new Chancellor sat down, there is overwhelming support for the most populist measures, specifically including the 30p raise in National Living Raise (82% support) and raising the rate at which people start paying tax by £500 (79% support, with opposition being as low as 8% in both cases).

    Additional funding for homes enjoys 73% support, and investment in new transport infrastructure only a short rung lower on 68% support. Only the back-sliding on achieving a budget surplus fails to generate majority backing (49%) – and generates any kind of opposition – with one in four (24%) against.

    But support does not equate to effectiveness. If the Chancellor’s first set-piece contribution was a chance to impose a new agenda, or make a real difference to the country or people’s lives, then the public have difficulty in believing he’ll succeed. Even on the most popular interventions, on the Living Wage and tax policy, sizable numbers of people think it won’t make a difference (52% and 42% respectively) even if it’s an admirable aim. Indeed between four in ten and a half of the public don’t think that any of the main announcements will be sufficient to make a difference.

    Policy level doubts magnify the overall impression. Combined, more people think that the Chancellor’s contribution will be unhelpful (8%) or make no difference (35%) than believe that the economy will be boosted (33%) by the Autumn Statement – underpinning a steady as she goes impression that the public are left with. Maybe that’s exactly what the Chancellor aimed for.

    ICM Unlimited interviewed an online sample of 1,317 adults aged 18+, online on the evening of 23rd November 2016. 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 November Poll

    Incremental improvement in Labour’s position has barely dented the Conservative’s substantive poll lead, which has now settled in the mid-teen range as we approach the new Chancellor’s first Autumn Statement.

    The Tories 42% share is 1-point shy of their October haul, but still within touching distance of their record (45%) standing in the entirely of the ICM/Guardian series. Labour do improve by the equivalent point, now on 28% with the gap between the parties narrowing by two, down to 14%.

    Despite Nigel Farage’s high profile close association with the US President-elect, his interim leadership of UKIP is not stalling the party’s declining position, its 11% showing equalling its new floor in the online series, down from the 19% highpoint back in June. Mr. Farage’s positive musings about standing again in Thanet South (if there has to be an electoral re-run in the constituency) may be necessary, if the public’s view on his possible elevation to the House of Lords in anything to go by. Only one in five (20%) think the Prime Minister should give him a peerage, with a full 58% rejecting the suggestion. Even UKIP voters in the last General Election have their doubts, with barely of a majority of them (54%) thinking it should happen (although we might speculate that many would indeed prefer to see him installed in the Lower rather than Upper House).

    Full figures this month are:

    Conservative 42% (-1)

    Labour 28% (+1)

    Lib Dem 9% (+1)

    UKIP 11% (-1)

    Green 3% (-2)

    SNP 5% (+1)

    PC 1% (+1)

    Other 1% (nc)

    With the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, putting his finishing touches to the Autumn Statement, he will be gratified by the 33-point lead he and Teresa May enjoy on the fundamental measure of perceived economic competence. Half (48%) say that the Tory team are better able to manage the economy properly, compared to only 15% who think that Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell would be a better combination. Indeed, even 2015 Labour voters reveal considerable uncertainty on this, with the Labour top two only holding a 6-point advantage over Hammond and May. In comparison, the Hammond & May combination enjoy an 88-point lead among their own voters on economic competence.

    It’s hard to think that the current Labour team can change so many minds, unless Brexit undoes the solid impression of Tory economic competence. Their 33-point deficit is worse than any endured by the two Ed’s of Miliband and Balls, who improved on this measure from their low point of a 27-point deficit, but not by any means enough to challenge Cameron and Osborne in the 2015 election.

    Indeed, Jeremy Corbyn’s ratings can only be described as abysmal. One in five (20%) think he’s doing a good job (including a chunk of Conservative, UKIP and Lib Dem voters whose observations are probably based on irony) but 54% say bad job, implying a net approval rating of -34. This is a level that his predecessor Ed Miliband did not stoop to until a year out from his electoral defeat (-39 in June 2014) with comparable numbers in his first year in situ being ‘only’ in the negative teens.

    There are likely darker days to come for the Prime Minister, but she remains in solid positive territory with a net +22 rating. Hammond drops into negative range (-1) but this is likely only a result of widespread ignorance of what’s he done in his tenure as Chancellor thus far. Tim Farron’s performance (-19) compares to that of Nick Clegg at about the same time in the cycle. The new Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson (-3) will clearly have to get used to minus numbers after stratospheric positive approval ratings among Londoners during his time as Mayor.

    ICM Unlimited interviewed 2,031 adults aged 18+ online. Interviews were conducted on 18-20th November 2016 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.