The second ICM/Guardian campaign poll very much sees a reversion to the mean after last week’s shock 6-point lead for the Conservatives. This week, they fall back to 34% (-5), still 2-points ahead of Labour (32%). The Liberal Democrats recover slightly to 10% (+2) and UKIP return to more routinely seen levels of late (11%). The full numbers are:
As if to prove the narrowness of this race, Labour actually hold a 1-point lead on the past vote weighted data, which is reversed with interest when ICM’s turnout weighting is imposed, pushing the Tories out to a 3-point lead, (reduced to 2-points after partial refuser adjustment). This election remains too close to call.
In an interesting twist, we can view the extent to which each party can depend on its stated support. We asked intenders for each party whether they were certain they would vote that way, or whether they could change their mind. After turnout weighting, we can see the kind of voting patterns that have featured at previous elections emerging again. Conservative voters are most solid, with 73% saying they will vote for the party. Labour supporters say the same to the tune of 68%, a similar number to UKIP (65%). Labour’s possible wipe-out in Scotland is further supported by the fact that 95% of SNP voters are certain of their intention. The same cannot be said for the Liberal Democrats though, whose tumble into or near single figures may not stop where it is. Only 54% of its stated intenders say they are certain to vote for the party. The Greens may also fall away, with only 47% of their voters showing certainty.
In general these levels of certainty are lower than they were before the 2010 election. Then, ICM returned to pre-election respondents to ask them how they actually voted, with 87% of Tories saying they did do what they said they were going to do, 86% of Labour intenders and 74% of Liberal Democrats. Voters from smaller parties fared much less well, with only 42% of Green intenders saying they did end up voting for the party, for example. Other smaller parties at the election suffered a similar fate, and we might expect more of the same this May.
This week has seen the publication of party manifestos, and for the most part the public approve of them. Cutting income tax via the personal allowance is clearly a highly populist measure, with 89% backing the Tory proposal. Labour’s ideas on zero-hour contracts are also appealing, with 82% behind the measure. Seven in ten (71%) approve of the Tories inheritance tax proposals, while over half (55%) approve of UKIP’s cap on skilled and unskilled immigrants and an identical number approve of Labour’s abolition of non-dom status (55%). Allowing housing association tenants to buy their property at a subsidy gets the support of 56%.
In the potential chaos of a fully hung parliament, if forced to choose the public would just about prefer a Conservative-LD coalition (41%) over a Labour-SNP alternative, although the public is completely split on who the Liberal Democrats should go in with if it were just down to their backing for either Labour (41%) or the Tories (41%).
ICM Unlimited interviewed a random sample of 1,003 adults aged 18+ by telephone on 17-19th April 2015. 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.