• The Guardian – February 2018 Poll 2

    This week’s voting intention has Labour up three percentage points to 43%, with the Conservative bumping up by 1 point to 42%. This means that the narrow one point lead for the Conservatives in our last poll has shifted to a narrow one point lead for Labour in our poll out today.

     

    We shouldn’t make too much of these small shifts. Indeed, since the last general election in June 2017, no ICM/Guardian poll has shown a lead of more than 2 percentage points for either Labour or the Tories. This makes it a run of 13 polls where we’d consider the result ‘too close to call’, meaning the lead for either main party is within the margin of error. This is totally unprecedented in the regular polling ICM have carried out for The Guardian over almost 35 years – never before have we had so many consecutive polls where the two main parties have been so close to each other.

     

    However, we can quite confidently say that UKIP would be highly unlikely to win a general election if it were to be held tomorrow, as they slip down one percentage point to 3%. Whilst UKIP have been on 3% in ICM/Guardian polls before, they have never been lower – this is their joint lowest result since we started regularly asking voting intention about UKIP back in 2012.

     

    We’ve asked a new question on which party the public trust most to do the best job in some key policy areas:

     

    Labour Conservatives Neither Don’t know Labour lead
    Protecting people from threats at home and abroad 23% 38% 22% 18% -15%
    Negotiating a good Brexit deal for the UK 21% 34% 31% 14% -13%
    Controlling immigration 20% 35% 31% 14% -15%
    Managing the economy properly 26% 38% 23% 14% -12%
    Ensuring pupils and students get a good education 37% 28% 20% 15% 9%
    Protecting the interests of pensioners 37% 24% 23% 15% 13%
    Making Britain a fairer country 38% 25% 24% 13% 13%
    Improving the public services generally 42% 21% 23% 14% 21%
    Protecting and improving the NHS 44% 21% 24% 12% 23%

     

    We’ll be tracking the results over the next few months. The initial results may not be surprising, with Labour having strong leads on the NHS (23%pts) and public services generally (21%pts), whilst the Conservatives lead on the economy (12%pts), Brexit (13%pts), immigration (15%pts) and protecting Britain from threats at home and abroad (15%pts).

     

    We asked a similar question back in January, instead asking which leader, rather than party, the public trusted most to do a good job in each area. The scores from that poll are below:

     

    Jeremy Corbyn Theresa May Neither Don’t know Corbyn lead
    Protecting people from threats at home and abroad 21% 38% 26% 16% -17%
    Negotiating a good Brexit deal for the UK 19% 35% 31% 15% -16%
    Controlling immigration 19% 34% 33% 15% -15%
    Managing the economy properly 24% 36% 27% 14% -12%
    Ensuring pupils and students get a good education 32% 29% 23% 16% 3%
    Protecting the interests of pensioners 35% 23% 28% 13% 12%
    Making Britain a fairer country 37% 25% 25% 13% 12%
    Improving the public services generally 37% 24% 27% 12% 13%
    Protecting and improving the NHS 39% 21% 27% 12% 18%

     

    Taking the results of these two questions together, we get the following results on how each party leader’s performance compares to their party’s on the key issues. A positive score is where the leader has a better performance rating than their party:

     

    May vs. Tories Corbyn vs. Labour
    Protecting people from threats at home and abroad 0% -2%
    Negotiating a good Brexit deal for the UK 1% -2%
    Controlling immigration -1% -1%
    Managing the economy properly -2% -2%
    Ensuring pupils and students get a good education 1% -5%
    Protecting the interests of pensioners -1% -2%
    Making Britain a fairer country 0% -1%
    Improving the public services generally 3% -5%
    Protecting and improving the NHS 0% -5%

     

    Corbyn’s personal ratings are lower than the Labour party’s in all of the key areas we asked on. This contrasts with Theresa May, who outperforms her party on ‘improving the public services generally’ (3%pts), with smaller popularity leads over her party in terms of education and negotiating a good Brexit deal. Whilst there are some negative scores, Theresa May’s performance on the key areas is generally within two percentage points of her party’s score. Compare this with Corbyn’s scores – while consistently lower than his party’s, he lags behind especially in terms of the two Labour strengths: improving public services and the NHS (both 5%pts lower).

     

    In short: Theresa May’s popularity is broadly in line with her party’s on the key issues we asked, whereas Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity is consistently lower than his party’s.

     

    Finally, we asked a question on the controversy surrounding Oxfam staff’s use of prostitutes while delivering aid in Haiti in 2011, some of whom may have been under-age. Excluding those who don’t donate to humanitarian charities, a majority (52%) of the Great British public say that this news has made them less likely to donate to humanitarian charities such as Oxfam. Only about a third (36%) claim that they are no less likely to donate as a result, while 1 in 8 (13%) say they don’t know if they are less likely to donate or not.

     

    This shows the scale of the task facing Oxfam and the wider sector in light of the scandal. With Oxfam’s chief executive due to appear at a special hearing of the International Development Select Committee on Tuesday, the sheer magnitude of the task ahead to rebuild this loss of trust could not be clearer.

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,027 adults aged 18+, between 16th – 19th  February 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.

     

    Download tables here

     

  • The Guardian – February 2018 Poll

    The past week has seen the ‘Westminster bubble’ absorbed by the infighting, Brexit policy confusion, and potential leadership challengers to Theresa May’s Conservative government. Yet the British public remain largely unmoved in their overall voting intention. Comparing to our mega-poll released just over a week ago, the Conservatives remain unchanged on 41% and Labour slip down just one point to 40%.

     

    Last Thursday the Lib Dems had a surprise council by-election win over Labour in Sunderland, where they saw their vote increase by 49.5 percentage points to claim the Pallion seat formerly held by Labour. Whilst this is not replicated in our nationally representative polling, we do see their vote share bump up by one percentage point, from 7% to 8%. UKIP and the SNP remain unchanged on 4% and 3% respectively.

     

    However, the main story coming through in this poll mirrors much of the sentiment picked up in the Guardian/ICM Brexit mega-poll published just over a week ago: the British public are becoming more and more negative towards how Brexit is going. Brits think Brexit is going badly, and are far from agreement on which politician could make a better job of it.

     

    Back at the start of December, we asked how the Brexit process of the UK leaving the EU was going – only 21% of the British public said it was going well, with 51% saying it was going badly. Two months later, only 16% of the British public think the Brexit process is going well, with an increased majority (53%) now thinking it is going badly.

     

    These figures make especially concerning reading for the Tories, as now fewer than a third of Conservative voters think Brexit is going well (32%), down from almost 2 in 5 (39%) at the start of December. Indeed, it’s hard to find one substantial group of voters who think the Brexit process is going well. It may not be surprising to see that only 12% of 2016 Remainers think Brexit is going well, but it seems stark that even amongst 2016 Leave voters, less than a quarter (23%) say Brexit is going well.

     

    The only solace that Theresa May could take from these results is that voters are not clear on which politician they would prefer to be in charge of Brexit. We asked respondents to tell us if they agreed or disagreed with the Brexit views of Tony Blair, Jeremy Corbyn, Nigel Farage, Michael Gove, Philip Hammond, Boris Johnson, Theresa May, and Keir Starmer. None of these politicians enjoyed ‘net positive’ support for their position on Brexit. In short, for each and every one of the politicians we asked about, more of the British public disagree with their Brexit views than agree with them.

     

    Of the politicians we asked about, Boris Johnson attracted the most support for his views on Brexit. However, only 32% of the British public say they agree with his Brexit stance, which in turn is only one percent above agreement with Theresa May’s Brexit views (31%), while a similar proportion (30%) of the British public say they agree with Nigel Farage’s views on the sort of Brexit the UK should adopt. By comparison, Jeremy Corbyn’s views on Brexit win the agreement of 23% of the British public – although many more (39%) disagree with him.

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,021 adults aged 18+, between 2nd – 4th February 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 – Brexit Mega Poll

    A nation (still) divided

    A landmark ICM/Guardian poll, released today, shows a nation still starkly divided along the lines of the 2016 EU Referendum.

    ICM interviewed a representative sample of over 5,000 respondents across Great Britain. This is more than twice the number of interviews usually conducted in the regular ICM/Guardian polls, and five times the number of interviews often achieved in other polls. The increased sample size not only allows for a greater confidence in the statistical reliability of the overall results, but also allows for a more detailed analysis of different groups within the British population.

    If there was a referendum tomorrow, 45% of our poll’s respondents would vote Remain, compared to 43% who would vote leave. This result is similar to when we last asked the question in early December (8th -10th, which recorded 46% Remain versus 43% Leave), and so lends weight to the claim that the British public may have become slightly more pro-Remain since the EU referendum. But these shifts should not be exaggerated – on the results of this poll of 5,000 the result of a second EU referendum would be far from a foregone conclusion.

    The possible slight shift towards remain cannot be attributed to Leavers changing their mind. The vast majority – 9 in 10 – of those who voted either Remain or Leave in the 2016 referendum say they would vote in exactly the same way in a second referendum, and the numbers swapping sides effectively cancel each other out. Any growth in Remain support seems to be coming from those who did not vote or cannot remember how they voted in 2016, with twice as many of these people saying they would vote Remain (27%) as Leave (14%) in a future referendum.

    There are also different implications for the two main Westminster parties. When asking respondents to recall their 2016 EU referendum vote, those with a Labour MP in England and Wales were more likely to have voted Remain than Leave, whilst the opposite is true for those in a Conservative held constituency. Fast-forward to a hypothetical second referendum, and the pro-Leave lead in Conservative held seats has held remarkably steady, staying exactly the same at 7% points.  Yet the pro-Remain lead in Labour held seats has shown substantial growth over the same period. In safe Labour seats, the pro-remain lead has doubled from 4% points to 8% points, whilst in marginal Labour seats, the Remain lead has tripled from 3% to 9% points.

    Whilst any gains for Remain sentiment could be attributed to increases in Labour held seats and amongst those who didn’t vote in 2016, the overall picture emerging from this poll is clear: the British public remain entrenched in their views on Brexit. This divide holds true for perceptions of the likely impact of Brexit, as shown in the tables below. A majority (58%) of 2016 Leavers think Brexit will have a positive impact on the economy, contrasting with three quarters (75%) of Remainers who think it will have a negative impact. A majority (55%) of those who voted Leave think Brexit will make no difference to their own finances, whilst a similar proportion (53%) of Remainers think Brexit will have a negative impact on their personal finances. When asked on the impact of Brexit on the way of life in Britain in general a similar divide is apparent, with 62% of Leavers thinking Brexit will be positive but 66% of Remainers thinking Brexit will be negative.

     

    Impact of Brexit on the British economy
    Overall 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers
    Positive impact 32% 9% 58%
    Negative impact 43% 75% 12%
    Makes no difference 13% 6% 19%
    Don’t know 13% 9% 11%

     

    Impact of Brexit on your own personal finances
    Overall 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers
    Positive impact 13% 5% 23%
    Negative impact 30% 53% 10%
    Makes no difference 41% 27% 55%
    Don’t know 16% 15% 12%

     

    Impact of Brexit the way of life in Britain today in general
    Overall 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers
    Positive impact 33% 9% 62%
    Negative impact 36% 66% 8%
    Makes no difference 19% 15% 22%
    Don’t know 12% 8% 30%

     

    On support for a second referendum, more agree than disagree that the British public should have the chance to take a final decision on whether or not to leave the EU in another referendum when the outcome of the negotiation is known (47% vs. 34%). Perhaps unsurprisingly this support was split along 2016 lines, with a majority of 2016 Remainers agreeing with the idea of a second referendum (70%) and a majority of Leavers disagreeing (59%). Nevertheless, there are possible signs that opposition to a second referendum amongst Leavers could be softening, as a quarter (25%) of those who voted Leave in 2016 agree that the public should have the chance to take final decision on whether or not to leave the EU in a second referendum once negotiations conclude. This figure is higher than the 14% of people who voted Remain in the 2016 referendum who disagree with the idea of holding a second referendum.

    We also included our standard vote intention figures in this poll. These show the Conservatives up one percentage point from the previous poll, now matching Labour on 41%. The Lib Dems are on 7%, UKIP on 4%, whilst the Greens and SNP on 3% each.

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 5,075 adults aged 18+, between 10th – 19th January 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 – January 2018 poll

    The first Guardian/ICM poll of 2018 shows Labour with a slender one percentage point voting intention lead over the Conservatives:

    • Labour: 41% (up 1 point from Guardian/ICM poll a month ago)
    • Conservatives: 40% (down 2 points)
    • Lib Dems: 7% (down 1 point)
    • Ukip: 4% (down 1 point)
    • Greens: 3% (up 1 point)

    In terms of which leader is most trusted to do the best job, Theresa May retains a healthy lead over Corbyn when it comes to security, Brexit, controlling immigration, and the economy. Crucially, the margin of lead over the Labour leader – which fell between May and September last year – has stabilised. As previously, Corbyn is more trusted to protect the needs of pensioners, public services in general and the NHS, while making the country fairer.

    May Corbyn May lead Sep-17 May-17
    Protecting people from threats at home and abroad 38 21 17 18 30
    Negotiating a good Brexit deal for the UK 35 19 16 14 34
    Controlling immigration 34 19 15 19 29
    Managing the economy properly 36 24 12 14 28
    Ensuring pupils and students get a good education 29 32 -3 -8 4
    Protecting the environment 25 29 -4 n/a n/a
    Protecting the interests of pensioners 23 35 -12 -14 1
    Making Britain a fairer country 25 37 -12 -15 -1
    Improving public services generally 24 37 -13 -16 -2
    Protecting and improving the NHS 21 39 -18 -18 -3

     

    Please click here for Andrew Sparrow at The Guardian’s take on the results: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2018/jan/16/brexit-boris-johnson-condemned-for-escalating-discredited-claim-about-saving-uk-350m-per-week-politics-live?page=with:block-5a5dddcfe4b0cb50d2972172#block-5a5dddcfe4b0cb50d2972172

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,027 adults aged 18+, between 12th – 14th January 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.

  • Beyond the Westminster Bubble: What people really think about immigration

    Immigration is often cited as one of the British public’s top concerns, particularly in the context of Brexit. However, new research conducted by ICM on behalf of Open Europe shows this ‘concern’ doesn’t mean that people simply wish to ‘pull up the drawbridge’. This large scale survey of 4,000 16+ adults reveals a more complex and nuanced set of attitudes than is often portrayed by the media.

    Click here to read Open Europe’s report: https://openeurope.org.uk/intelligence/immigration-and-justice/beyond-the-westminster-bubble-what-people-really-think-about-immigration/

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative sample of 4,000 adults aged 16+ online, between 22 August and 4 September 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.

     

  • Safer Giving Charity Christmas Research

    Research commissioned by the Charity Commission.

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative sample of 2,055 adults aged 18+ online, on 15-17 November 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.

  • Sun on Sunday, Christmas Poll 2017

    Excepting the fact that most of the fieldwork was conducted before the Government was defeated in a Commons vote on Wednesday evening, the EU deal negotiated by Theresa May appears to have strengthened her position – at least for the time being. Her own personal leader rating has improved in relation to Jeremy Corbyn, the Tories are only 1 point behind Labour in the polls, there is no clear frontrunner to replace her as Tory leader and a majority think she should continue as PM to at least the end of Brexit negotiations.

    Moreover, amidst splits in the Government over policy towards the EU, half the country including a majority of Remainers and Tory voters believe the Government should just get on with the job of leaving the EU, while there is public confusion around the Labour party’s position on Brexit.

    However, danger lurks around the corner for Mrs May since the public feel the divorce bill is too high, they support a ‘meaningful vote’ for parliament on a final deal and are split on whether the exit date should be extended in the event of no deal. One thing is clear – 2018 is shaping up to be as equally momentous as 2017.

    Click here to see the Sun on Sunday article: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5156114/theresa-may-brexit-poll-support-conservative-party/

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative sample of 2,004 adults aged 18+ online, on 12-14 December 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 – December 2017 Poll

     

    The last Guardian/ICM poll was a record breaker – the first time in almost 35 years of polling that the Guardian/ICM series had recorded 6 consecutive dead-heats between Labour and the Conservatives.

     

    That deadlock – stretching back from the summer – has finally been broken, with the Conservatives up one point on 42% with Labour down one point on 40%. This is still a very close result, and too close to say with any confidence that one side is clearly ahead. Nevertheless it’s possible that, following on from a torrid few weeks of scandals and misfiring Brexit negotiations, images of Theresa May emerging from the first stage of Brexit negotiations may be starting to have a positive impact on Conservative support.

     

    Whilst some within the Conservative party have heralded the first stage of negotiations as a success for Britain, it’s clear that the British public are less enthusiastic about how the Brexit process is going. Only one in five Brits (21%) think Brexit is going well, with a majority (51%) thinking it is going badly. Conservative voters are the most likely to think the Brexit process is going well (39%), more so than Leavers at the 2016 referendum (28%). Whilst those who voted Remain at the 2016 referendum are more likely to think Brexit is going badly than Leavers, it’s worth noting the substantial minority (41%) of those who voted Leave in 2016 that think the Brexit process is going badly.

     

    The public’s current preference is for the UK to leave the EU regardless of the outcome of negotiation (45%), with a second referendum (32%) and a parliamentary vote (10%) attracting less support. But this preference is strongly polarised in terms of 2016 referendum vote: four in five (78%) Leavers want the UK to leave regardless of what happens in negotiations, whilst a majority of Remainers (55%) would prefer a second referendum.

     

    If there was another referendum tomorrow, 46% of our poll’s respondents say they would vote Remain, a slim lead over the 43% who would vote Leave. Overall this marks very little change from the 2016 referendum result, as evidenced by the 91% of 2016 Remainers and 87% of 2016 Leavers not changing their vote choice. Nevertheless, it looks like there may be a slight trend towards Remain benefitting over Leave since the 2016 Referendum. Of those who either didn’t vote or can’t remember their vote in 2016, almost twice as many say they would vote for Remain (28%) rather than Leave (15%) at a future referendum. It’s also the case that those who voted Remain in 2016 are slightly more likely to say that they don’t know how they would vote in a future referendum (6%) compared to 2016 Leavers (2%).

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,006 adults aged 18+ on 8 to 10 December 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.

     

  • Sun on Sunday, Nov-Dec 2017 Poll

    Amidst the cold of the British winter, the country is gearing up for the marriage of Prince Harry and his American girlfriend, Meghan Markle, at Windsor Castle in May. Predictably, there has been extensive domestic and international media coverage of the engagement, prompting many commentators to suggest that it may lighten the spirits of a country still polarised from the aftermath of the EU referendum.

    New polling by ICM for the Sun on Sunday among a nationally representative sample of the general public suggests that most people think the royal wedding will be a positive thing for Royal Family itself and among the population as a whole. Seven in ten (71%) people believe it will lead to a general ‘feel-good factor’ for the Royal’s and six in ten (59%) say the same about the general mood of the country.

    However, people are split in terms of whether they think the couple’s marriage will be a boost for British businesses: 40% say it will lead to a feel-good factor for the UK economy and 42% say it will not. Moreover, fewer people say that the wedding of Prince Harry and Ms Markle will lead to a feel-good factor in the Conservative Government (26% compared to 41% who say not) as well as themselves personally (33% vs 53% who say not). Overall, the research suggests that it will lighten the spirits of the nation but will not necessarily benefit them materially.

    The results of our poll also show support for the wedding in the content of Ms Markle being an American actress, of mixed ethnicity and a divorcee. The majority of the public agree (63%) that it makes the Royal Family look modern and more in touch with most British families (just 11% disagree) and that the couple will make great ambassadors for the UK and its people (61% agree and 9% disagree). While some have suggested that the glitz undermines the traditional respectability of the Monarchy, this is not a view widely held: twice as many people disagree as agree that it makes the Royal Family more like showbusiness than a serious institution (48% vs 22%).

    While Theresa May will be disappointed that the royal wedding is unlikely to give the Tories a bounce in the polls, they trail Labour by just a single percentage point with the Conservatives on 40% and Labour 41% if a general election was held tomorrow. Labour are unchanged and the Conservatives down one point since ICM’s most recent poll for The Guardian, conducted last weekend.

    Moreover, when set against fraught Brexit negotiations with Brussels for agreeing a transition deal and long-term trade arrangement, Mrs May will be pleased to lead Jeremy Corbyn (by 40% to 32%) when asked who would make the best prime minster. However, in a sign of how difficult things have been for the Conservatives since the general election, Mrs May’s lead over Mr Corbyn has fallen from 21 to 8 points since May.

    It’s also the case that Mr Corbyn is perceived to be doing a better job as Labour leader than Mrs May is performing as prime minister. Corbyn registers a +3 score, with 41% describing him as doing a good job including 79% of Labour voters: in contrast, the PM records a -18 rating, with 32% of the public and 70% of Tory voters stating that she does a good job.

    Vince Cable has work to do to get himself and the Lib Dems noticed. Not only do more people think he is doing a bad than good job (31% versus 19%), but his support among his own supporters is lower than for any other party (62%).

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative sample of 2,050 adults aged 18+ online, on 29 November–1 December 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.

  • Kensington and Chelsea Poll

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a sample of 500 residents aged 18+ by telephone on 29 September – 10 October 2017. Interviews were conducted across the borough 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.