• The Guardian – March 2017 poll 2

    It could be worse. Have yourself an awful week and then watch your ratings improve.

    In a week featuring budget u-turns, No 10 and No 11 briefing furiously against each other and the re-emergence of the Scottish independence question causing considerable angst among Conservative pro-union types, we might wonder how much of a dent the Tories should have expected to see in their hefty poll lead?

    Well, none actually, quite the reverse. It’s gone up again, making this poll the most desperate for Labour yet seen from ICM/Guardian in the current political cycle.

    The Tories stretch out to 45% (+1) and Labour sheds 2-points to land back on 26%, a single point higher than their floor in the Guardian/ICM series dating back to 1983. The Tories 19-point lead has been beaten by only three ICM/Guardian polls: two with a 20-point lead (1983 and 2008) and one of 21-points back in June 1983.

    Headline vote intentions are:

    Conservative 45%

    Labour 26%

    UKIP 10%

    Liberal Democrats 9%

    Green 4%

    SNP 4%

    Plaid Cymru 1%

    Other 1%

    It is difficult to think that that there is not further for Labour to fall. ICM’s adjustment mechanism (traditionally and inaccurately labelled the “Shy Tory” adjustment) helps Labour by adding one point back to them by taking one of the Conservatives (Shy Labour?). Without that, this poll would equal the worst ever published by Guardian/ICM.

    So it’s no surprise that the Tories are reportedly ramping up their election planning machinery, and Labour putting themselves on election footing for a potential May 4th General Election. Although Theresa May has repeatedly rejected the idea, if this poll proved accurate and translated into the seats in the way in which Martin Baxter’s Electoral Calculus suggest, the PM would deliver a whopping 395 seats, a majority of 140 seats going the way of a government currently only in possession of working majority of 17.

    It’s so desperate for Labour that it’s also nearly a ‘full house’ across standard demographics. Only members of non-white communities offer up a Labour lead over the Tories, with DEs tied. When 18-24s split 41% vs 29% for the Conservatives, Labour can only be in some sort of historic mess.

    Despite their difficulties, the budget has not really dented the perceived economic competence of Hammond & May. Indeed, they secure an extra point compared to their pre-budget rating (44% now; 43% a fortnight ago) while Corbyn and McDonnell drop 1-point, to 11%.

    It’s not as if Labour can point to the Tories as being in sole possession of the ‘nasty party’ label – when asked whether each of the main parties was “honest and reputable” or not, (only) 19% said the Tories were but it was still higher than the 13% ‘achieved’ by Labour. UKIP are seen as the most dishonest and disreputable, with 38% saying so.

    Finally, we asked a question on the fairly imminent triggering of Article 50, presenting various words for people to choose from that best describe their feelings as the UK breaks from the EU. ‘Worry’ (39%) is understandably top of the list, with 67% of Remainers saying so. A quarter (25%) are pleased (49% of Leavers) and a similar number (23%) chose ‘relief’ as their primary emotion.

    Remainers may be coming round to the idea though, with 34% of them ‘resigned’ to it, although 19% are still ‘terrified’ by the prospect.

    ICM Unlimited interviewed an online sample of 2,012 adults aged 18+ on 17-19th March 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.

  • BBC Wales St.David’s Day poll

    Data for the regualr BBC Wales poll can be downloaded below.

    Constitutional options trend as follwos:

    Mar-17 Mar-16 Mar-15 Sep-14 Mar-14 2013 2012 2011 2010
    Independence 6% 6% 6% 3% 5% 9% 7% 11% 11%
    Assembly plus more powers 44% 43% 40% 49% 37% 36% 36% 35% 40%
    Assembly remain as present 29% 30% 33% 26% 28% 28% 29% 18% 13%
    Assembly with fewer powers 3% 3% 4% 2% 3% 2% 2% 17% 18%
    Abolish Assembly 13% 13% 13% 12% 23% 20% 22% 15% 13%
    DK 3% 4% 3% 5% 4% 4% 4% 4%
  • The Guardian – March Poll (1)

    The first ICM/Guardian poll of March shows Labour (28%) in slight recovery mode, up 2-points on a fortnight ago, with the Conservatives holding firm on 44% and bang on their 2017 average lead of 16-points. Whether Labour’s upward move is mere sampling variation or some kind of reaction to Stoke and Copeland is not something that we can rule in or out until further evidence emerges.

    The full breakdown of numbers is as follows:

    Conservative 44%

    Labour 28%

    Lib Dem 8%

    SNP 4%

    Plaid Cymru 1%

    Green 5%

    UKIP 11%

    Other *%

    ICM has reconstructed the look of our tables and debut extra cross-breaks in this poll. In particular, we have constructed an interlocking 2015/EU referendum vote so we can look at movement among Remainers/Leavers in light of their previous party support. We will produce aggregated tables based on bigger samples sizes at a later date, but even with smaller samples in this single poll, we can see some evidence to illustrate the conundrum at the heart of Labour’s problem.

    Labour is remaining a bigger proportional share of its 2015 Remainer voter base (82%) than its 2015 Leave base (75%), but in total, the worry that the Liberal Democrats will intrude on its Remainer support is real: 8% of 2015 Labour Remainers say they will defect to the Liberal Democrats (and remember, Labour Remainers as a group are half as big again as the 2015 Labour Leave grouping). As for Labour’s Leavers, (a quarter of whom currently say they will support another party) the threat appears to be more that of a direct traditional Tory incursion rather than UKIP appealing to its working class (perhaps Northern) core support.

    Either way, there is an important strategic pincer movement on Labour’s vote share, that its headline number in today’s poll somewhat disguises. These are numbers that we plan to track with interest.

    As Philip Hammond’s tops and tails his first budget we also asked how the crisis in funding social care should be solved. There’s not widespread agreement, but more people do believe that additional general taxation should pay for it (39%). One in four think that the current funding solution should remain (23%) and only one in ten (10%) would back those needing it paying for it directly.

    A so-called ‘death tax’ has been bandied about as one possible solution, with an additional layer of inheritance tax applied to inherited property ring-fenced for social care provision. This is rejected by the public, with only 28% offering support for the idea and 41% opposed (particularly Conservative voters who might well be upset with a Conservative Chancellor who introduces such a measure).

    However, if Philip Hammond does need to make difficult and challenging decisions against the will of the Conservative support base he can at least reflect on a decisive advantage he enjoys over his Labour opposites on running the economy. Nearly four times as many people (43%) think that Hammond and Theresa May are better able to manage the economy that Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, with only a paltry 12% offering support in their favour.

    This is even lower than the 15% that ICM recorded in July last year, and incredibly, is less than half of Labour’s vote share in this very poll. Only 26% of 2015 Labour voters prefer the Labour duo on economic competence to the Tory top team, with 20% of them opting for Hammond & May.

    There is a crumb a comfort though, the 43% who think the Tories are better able to manage the economy is 10-points lower than the 53% they garnered last July – despite the perceived economic terror then on display in the immediate post-Brexit environment, and the surprisingly upbeat performance of the economy since. This one is a bit of a head-scratcher.

    ICM Unlimited interviewed 2,011 adults 18+ online on 3-5th March 2017. Interviews were conducted across Britain 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 – 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:
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2016/dec/12/philip-hammond-treasury-social-care-considering-lettting-councils-raise-council-tax-to-fund-social-care-politics-live?page=with:block-584ea5cae4b04a74f2782be4#block-584ea5cae4b04a74f2782be4

    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