• Guardian Campaign Poll 3 – April 2015

    With only ten days left before the election, the Tories fractionally increase their slim lead over Labour, up 1-point this week to 3-points. Their share is 35%, with Labour on 32%. The Liberal Democrats (9%) shed 1-point this week to leave them perilously close to their floor in the ICM\Guardian series, but UKIP continue to rise – now up to 13% – their highest with ICM since December last year.

    The vote intention figures for publication are:

    Con 35% (+1)
    Lab 32% (nc)
    LD 9% (-1)
    UKIP 13% (+2)
    Green 5% (nc)
    Other 6% (-2)

    Politicians approval ratings suggest little change from a fortnight ago, although the Prime Minister drops from +18 to +12. Ed Miliband has seen his scores improve of late, but this poll suggests stasis for the opposition leader, now on -29 compared to -30 earlier in the month. Nick Clegg may not have been seen much on the campaign trail, but his approval rating has also stabilised at -19 (considerably better the -42 we saw in October last year).

    In other questions, we found that, much like the shares of the vote, the public find it tricky to decide between the two main party’s central policy themes, with 40% saying the Tories are more extreme for their budget deficit cutting proposals, and 43% saying Labour are more extreme because of their higher borrowing potential.

    In terms of the political outcome of this election though, there is more certainty. Nearly half (47%) think that a coalition government is preferable to both a minority government (24%) and an early second election (22%).

    Much has been made of negative campaigning of late, particularly around the Tories focus on Ed Miliband, and the public do perceive that the Tories’ campaign has been slightly more negative than their opponents. Overall, 44% think the Tories have campaigned positively with 45% saying they have been negative, but Labour have 48% on their side suggesting that on balance they have campaigned positively (40% negative).

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a randonm sample of 1,004 adults aged 18+ by telephone on 24-26th April 2015. Interviews were conducted across the countryand 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.

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  • Guardian Campaign Poll 2 – April 2015

    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:

    Conservative 34%
    Labour 32%
    LD 10%
    UKIP 11%
    Green 5%
    Other 8%

    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.

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  • Sunday Telegraph/ICM Wisdom Index, April 2015

    The latest Sunday Telegraph Wisdom Index poll continues to show a neck and neck race, with additional question on trust in both main parties to run the economy, and in helping people with the cost of living.

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  • Guardian Campaign Poll 1 – April 2015

    In a departure from the mean, the latest ICM/Guardian poll sees the Conservatives (39%) stretch out to a 6-point lead over Labour (33%), only one point shy of the magic 40% mark at which majority governments can be formed. This represents a 3-point hike for the Tories, with Labour down 2-points. The Liberal Democrats are unchanged on 8%, with UKIP dropping a couple and the Greens restoring the 7% they last had in February.

    David Cameron also boosts his personal satisfaction ratings, with a full 52% saying he’s doing a good job and only 34% saying bad job. His + 18 is the best seen since his honeymoon period. Ed Miliband also does measurably better, but at -30 is still not seen in the same Prime Ministerial class as his opponent. Much the same goes for economic confidence, with Cameron & Osborne thought to be best able to manage the economy by 44%, compared to Miliband and Balls 17%. The gap (27-points) between the two pairs is a record for this Parliament.

    In the event of no party winning an outright majority, the most desired electoral outcome is another Con-Lib coalition, although a left wing alliance of Labour, the Greens and the SNP is preferred by 19%. Other questions included leader personal attributes and trust in each of the main parties to make sure everyone pays their fair share of tax.

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  • Sunday Telegraph/ICM Wisdom Index, March 2015 (2)

    The latest Wisdom Index, which reveals what the people think the election result will be rather than how they will vote in it, sees both the Conservatives and Labour on 32% although the Tories are slightly ahead when calculated to one decimal place (32.0% and 31.6% respectively). These scores are 0.5 and 0.4 percentage points higher than the previous Wisdom Index a week ago.

    The Lib Dems are predicted to take 14% share of the popular vote while predictions for UKIP continue to plummet, down a single point to 12% in the space of a week.

    ICM interviewed an online sample of 2,009 people aged 18+ on 27-29 March 2015. Interviews were conducted across Great 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.

  • ITV Leaders’ Debate poll for The Guardian

    ICM / The Guardian interviewed 1,372 people who watched the live TV debate between the leaders of seven parties: David Cameron (Conservative), Ed Miliband (Labour), Nick Clegg (Liberal Democrats), Nicola Sturgeon (SNP), Natalie Bennett (Greens) and Leanne Wood (Plaid Cymru).

    Among all seven party leaders, Ed Miliband was judged to have ‘won’ the debate by a whisker from David Cameron:

    Ed Miliband – 25%
    David Cameron – 24%
    Nigel Farage – 19%
    Nicola Sturgeon – 17%
    Nick Clegg – 9%
    Natalie Bennett – 3%
    Leanne Wood – 2%

    However, on a forced choice between Miliband and Cameron, the vote split is split 50-50.

    ICM also asked a series of characteristics of David Cameron and Ed Miliband to those who watched the debate. Again, there is a split with Miliband leading on four attributes and Cameron winning on another four.

    Miliband is ahead in terms of:

    • Will govern in the interests of the many, not the few (+22)
    • Understands people like me (+17)
    • Is more spin than substance (-4)
    • Has changed the party for the better (+3)

    On the other hand, Cameron out performs Miliband on the following:

    • Will be more respected around the world (+32)
    • Is good in a crisis (+24)
    • Is decisive (+19)
    • Is backed by his party (+18)

    Both leaders are level pegging in terms of being perceived to have the courage to say what is right rather than what is popular.

    ICM interviewed 4,115 adults aged 18+ online on 30 March – 2 April. All agreed to watch the ITV Leaders’ Debate, and to complete a second interview immediately after it finished, which 1,372 did in the first few minutes. The data on both waves were weighted to the profile of all GB adults, including to recall of 2010 General Election voting. In essence, the post-wave data is ICM’s best guess on what a representative sample of the voting population would say had they all watched the programme.

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  • Cameron and Miliband debate

    ICM / Guardian interviewed 1123 people who watched the debate between Cameron and Miliband, with the Prime Minister edging the outcome by 54% to 46%. Cameron also shaded things having the better arguments and actually answering the questions, as well as being more convincing and appealing.

    However, on empathy issues, such as understanding people like me and doing what’s right rather than what’s popular, Miliband won out, and there is hope for the Opposition leader who held his own and managed to swing a small number of undecided his way.

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  • The Sunday Telegraph/ ICM Wisdom Index, March 2015

    The latest Wisdom Index, which reveals what the people think the election result will be rather than how they will vote in it, has produced a single point lead for the Conservatives on 32%, with Labour on 31%. Predictions for UKIP are plummeting, down three-points since Christmas to 13% and now trailing the Liberal Democrats on 14%.

    ICM interviewed an online sample of 2,002 people aged 18+ on 18-20 March 2015. 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.

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  • Guardian Poll – March 2015

    With the General Election no more than six weeks away, the lead that the Conservatives somewhat surprisingly established in last month’s poll is confirmed, but at a lower level. While the Conservatives hold firm on 36%, Labour re-coup some lost ground (+3) with UKIP again on 9% but the Greens falling away back to more routine levels (-3, now on 4%). It is, however, the Liberal Democrats with most to be concerned about. Nick Clegg over the weekend suggested that his private polling was showing something different to published polls, which might give him some succour to offset the misery of the worst ever LD showing in the history of the Guardian/ICM series. His party stand on 8%, having never before received a single figure score in this polling series.

    This is seriously worrisome for the Liberal Democrats in its own right, but remembering that ICM’s adjustment methodology is currently helpful to the Liberal Democrats makes the party’s standing potentially even worse. The full figures this month are:

    Con 36% (nc)
    Lab 35% (+3)
    LD 8% (-2%)
    UKIP 9% (nc)
    Green 4% (-3)
    Other 8% (+1)

    George Osborne will herald the coalition policies and performance in his final budget of the parliamentary cycle this week, and he does in in a generally positive economic context. Six in ten (61%) members of the public are optimistic about their family’s finances, with only 38% not confident. At +23, this mirrors the January score and remains in solidly positive territory that has only been beaten in the early years of this century, when economic boom time was present around 2002.

    What would the public like to see the Chancellor do this week? Well, top of the shopping list would be an increase in the personal allowance (25%) effectively a tax cut for all earning over £11,000 per year – this represents a 9-point increase in the proportion of people wanting to take this approach compared to pre-budget 2014 (16%). Second on the list is a cut in VAT (20%; 2014: 19%), with other desirable policy options including slowing the deficit cuts (19%; 2014: 19%) and to a lesser degree paying down the government’s debt (10%; 2014 7%).

    The public would also respond positively to a cut in household bills, the type of measure that Labour Ed Miliband has been proposing. When asked to choose between energy-type issues that are important to people when thinking about who to vote for, the public solidly opted for a drop in household fuel bills (62%), with a drop in fuel duty now less important (13%) given that petrol prices are back close to the £1/litre mark. What the public seem to be much less affected by, however, is climate change, with only 24% thinking about it as a vote game changer – evidence (if any were needed) that the power of wallet trumps concerns about future global problems.

    Much has been made of leader’s approval ratings, with Ed Miliband now being accused of failing to appreciate the concerns of his core supporters on the basis that his house enjoys two kitchens. While that might be true, Miliband has little need to worry about it – his rating of -24 is not good, but better than David Cameron’s -40 (not quite his record low on this measure, which stands at -43 in Nov 2013). The Labour leader might be more worried that Cameron edges him on having the courage to say what’s right rather than what’s popular (-21 vs -26), and being trounced on the perception of being good in a crisis (-7 vs -42).

    As has long been expected, the polls are edging the Tories way, with more Tory leads of late than Labour leads. While this poll essentially has the parties neck and neck, the Conservatives will be pleased that their score for the second month running matches their 2010 showing, but this election is nowhere near won, and it looks set to be the tightest to call in a generation.

    ICM research interviewed a random sample of 1001 adults aged 18+ by telephone on 13-15th March 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.

  • BBC Wales Poll, February 2015

    In the latest BBC Wales poll, the proportion of people seeking more powers for the Welsh Assembly has dropped by 9-points, down to 40%. This still confirms the overall picture that around half of Welsh people want more from the Assembly, with the other half content with it as it is (33%) or powers retreating either partially (4%) or more fundamentally toward abolition (13%).

    In general though, there does appear to be some affection for the Assembly, with more Welsh people having respect, trust and confidence in it to improve things than any level of government. This may explain why 44% want more AMs in it, with or without a compensating reduction in Welsh MPs or local councillors.

    Party leaders were also the focus of this poll, with David Cameron’s personal rating (34%) on being the best potential Prime Minister for Britain out-scoring that of Ed Miliband (23%) in one of the latter’s heartland communities. Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage hardly made the charts.

    Other questions focussed on the performance of Welsh local councils, whether the Welsh Government should pay for university students studying in England (61% think it should), whether the UK should remain in the EU (63% think it should), and what should happen to Severn Bridge tolls (50% think they should be set to cover costs and maintenance only).

    ICM interviewed a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults aged 18+ living in Wales. Interviews were conducted by telephone between 19th and 26th February 2015.

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