• Make Votes Matter – National Democracy Week Poll

    New research from ICM Unlimited on behalf of Make Votes Matter among a representative sample of British adults shows that:

      • 32% think that British democracy worth celebrating.
      • Two-thirds (66%) agree that the share of seats a party wins should closely match the share of the vote it receives.
      • 51%  support the UK changing the electoral from FPTP to a PR system. 13% opposed.
      • 30% of respondents agree that, in UK general elections in which they have voted, their vote has made a difference to the final result.
      • 37% think that their MP would listen to them and represent their views in Parliament if they approached them about an issue of particular importance.

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,021 adults aged 18+, between 8th – 11th June 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.

    View tables here

  • The Guardian – June 2018 Poll 2

    This week we looked into the ‘Brexit dividend’, and Theresa May’s claim that it will be used to fund a sizable amount of the £20billion additional funding announced for the NHS.

     

    There are two ways of reading these results. On the one hand, half of the British public believe that the Brexit dividend exists – 50% believe there will be extra money available as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

     

    However, it’s also true that most of these people believe that the Brexit dividend will not be as much as the Prime Minister has suggested – more than three-fifths of those who anticipate a Brexit dividend think it will work out as less than May has suggested.

     

    Public scepticism on the Brexit dividend is compounded when you take into account the 3 in 10 Brits who do not think there will be a Brexit dividend. This means that there’s a clear majority of the British public who do not believe that any savings from leaving the EU will be enough to pay for May’s increased NHS spending. With 3 in 5 expressing this view, we can see that the government have yet to convince the British public that Brexit will provide the promised additional funding for the NHS.

     

    As has become expected in the deadlocked party-political climate over the past year, there are no significant shifts to report in the headline figures in our latest Guardian/ICM poll. The Conservatives fall a further percentage point to 41%, leaving them just one percent above Labour on 40%.

     

    Nevertheless, it’s worth keeping an eye on the Lib Dems in these polls. This is the first Guardian/ICM poll since the Lewisham East by-election, where the Lib Dems increased their share of the vote by 20 percentage points, claiming a quarter of votes cast. There’s nothing quite as dramatic in our national voting intention results this week – but by increasing their share by one percentage point to 9%, the Lib Dems reach their highest peak in any Guardian/ICM poll since the last general election. As ‘Brexit day’ looms ever closer, could it be that the Lib Dems’ positioning as unambiguously pro-EU is finally starting to pay off?

     

    The figures are below, with percentage point changes versus the previous poll in brackets:

     

    Conservative

    41% (-1)

    Labour

    40% (nc)

    LibDem

    9% (+1)

    SNP

    3% (nc)

    PC

    *% (+1)

    Green

    3% (nc)

    UKIP

    3% (nc)

    Other

    1% (+1)

     

    Speaking of Brexit day, we re-asked a question on how the public would feel if Brexit negotiations failed to reach agreement by the end of March 2019 and the UK left the EU in a hard Brexit. We last published data on this question in October last year.

     

    Prompted to choose up to two options from a list of possible emotions, the results make some intriguing reading. A lot of measures are broadly consistent with last year (those saying they would feel excited, terrified, or pleased). Yet there are big declines in those saying they would feel worried (down from 50% to 38%) or confused (29% to 15%) if Brexit negotiations failed to reach agreement by the end of March next year. Maybe this could in part be explained by a perception of reduced uncertainty around Brexit and transition periods as we near the Article 50 deadline – but it’s also true that we see declines in the those saying they would feel either proud (11% to 7%) or furious (24% to 17%) if this were to happen.

     

    Overall we see a small decline in the proportion of the British public expressing at least one negative emotion in answer to this question (down from 62% to 59%), with a very small increase in those expressing positive emotions (20% to 22%).

     

    Excited (Oct: 11%; Jun 2018 11%)

    Terrified (Oct: 12%; June 2018 12%)

    Furious (Oct: 24%; June 2018 17%)

    Worried (Oct: 50%; June 2018 38%)

    Proud (Oct: 11%; June 2018 7%)

    Confused (Oct: 29%; June 2018 15%)

    Pleased (Oct: 14%; June 2018 12%)

    Other (write in) (Oct: 6%; June 2018 3%)

    I would feel nothing (Oct: 13%; June 2018 13%)

    Don’t know (Oct: 8%; June 2018 8%)

     

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,013 adults aged 18+, between 22nd – 24th June 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 – June 2018 Poll 1

     

    The past fortnight has seen an excitable Westminster village react to rumblings of cabinet dissent and possible threats of resignation from Theresa May’s team as the Brexit process nears a crunch phase. And those rumours of a leadership challenge to Theresa May never quite seem to go away…

     

    But how does Theresa May stack up against her opposite number at the despatch box, Jeremy Corbyn? We asked over 2,000 members of the British public to choose between the Labour leader and the Conservative Prime Minister on a range of key leadership characteristics. And the results demonstrate the stark difference between the leaders in the eyes of the public – not just in terms of their politics, but also in their personal style and perceived qualities.

     

    The results are shown below, excluding those who answered ‘don’t know’ (ranging between 20% and 32% of respondents):

     

    Jeremy Corbyn Theresa May May Lead
    …is more likely to take tough decisions 35% 65% 30%
    …is more competent 40% 60% 20%
    …is the stronger leader 40% 60% 20%
    …is more intelligent 42% 58% 16%
    …is more trustworthy 49% 51% 2%
    …is more likeable 53% 47% -6%
    …is more likely to understand people like me 57% 43% -14%
    …is more likely to stand up for what they believe in 58% 42% -16%

     

    There’s a strong lead for May being more likely to take tough decisions, with almost twice as many choosing her over Corbyn on this characteristic. 3 in 5 of those expressing a view also think she is more competent and the stronger leader when compared to Corbyn. An only slightly lower proportion (58%) think she is more intelligent than Corbyn.

     

    Corbyn’s leads are more moderate in size. The same proportion of those expressing a view who think May is more intelligent think Corbyn is more likely to stand up for what he believes in (58%). A similar proportion (57%) think Corbyn is more likely to understand people like them. By a slim margin, a majority of the respondents in our poll who expressed a view think Corbyn is the more likeable of the two leaders – achieving 53% to May’s 47%.

     

    But it seems the country is pretty much evenly split in terms of which party leader is more trustworthy, with 51% of those expressing a view choosing May, compared to 51% choosing Corbyn. Given the topicality of trust in politicians, we thought this question deserved extra analysis.

     

    1 in 3 respondents (30%) answered ‘don’t know’ to this question – the second highest proportion of don’t knows across all the attributes we tested. And it’s it’s worth keeping an eye out for where these ‘don’t knows’ are coming from, which we take a look at below.

     

    While there is a negligible difference between remainers and leavers on this question, and only a small difference on 2017 general election vote between Labour and Conservatives (25% vs. 22% don’t knows), bigger differences appear when combining the two factors.

     

    Generally, those that support a party also have more favourable views of its leader – at least when compared to the opposition. So it’s not surprising that those who voted Labour are more likely to think Corbyn is trustworthy and those who voted Conservative think the same about Theresa May, regardless of EU referendum vote. Indeed Theresa May scores higher among Tory leavers (77%) than Conservative remainers (70%). These are fairly healthy proportions on both scores – but maybe, just maybe, that slightly higher score from Conservative leavers could be seen as a vindication of May’s message discipline when routinely insisting that Brexit really does mean Brexit.

     

    Corbyn scores fairly well among Labour remainers, of whom 73% think he is more trustworthy than May. But this score drops by a full ten percentage points to 63% when asked of Labour leavers. And at least part of this could be ascribed to the increased proportion of don’t knows – almost 3 in 10 Labour leavers (29%) don’t know which leader is more trustworthy, compared to less than 1 in 5 Conservative leavers (19%).

     

    Considering Corbyn is often considered to be closer to the Leavers within the Labour party, this may seem a slightly surprising conclusion. May, a remainer in 2016, is considered more trustworthy among leavers within her party compared to remainers. Corbyn, often considered ambivalent at best on the EU, is considered more trustworthy by the remainers in his voter base – with Labour leavers more likely to refuse to say they don’t know who is more trustworthy, even when comparing him against a Conservative Prime Minister.

     

    Overall there’s little change in our headline VI figures. We’ve narrowly missed out on ‘three in a row’ when it comes to identical polling figures for the three main national parties at Westminster. But with the Conservatives dropping only one percentage point to 1%, this is a poll well within the margin of error compare to our last published Guardian/ICM poll a fortnight ago. So we’re pretty much back where we were two weeks ago.

     

    The figures are below, with percentage point changes versus the previous poll in brackets:

     

    Conservative

    42% (-1)

    Labour

    40% (nc)

    LibDem

    8% (nc)

    SNP

    3% (nc)

    PC

    *% (-1)

    Green

    3% (+1)

    UKIP

    3% (nc)

    Other

    *% (-1)

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,021 adults aged 18+, between 8th – 10th June 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.

  • Fair Tax Survey

    New research from ICM Unlimited on behalf of the Fair Tax Mark among a representative sample of British adults shows that:

    • Seven in ten of the public would rather shop with a business (69%) or work for a business (70%) which can prove it’s paying its fair share of tax.
    • The majority of people (61% agree) would trust a business with the Fair Tax Mark more than one without it. However, fewer members of the public agree that they would switch the businesses they use in favour of one which has the Fair Tax Mark (51% agree), with a large percentage stating neither/nor or DK (42%).
    • The public is split in terms of whether the Government should reduce the amount of tax companies pay in order to attract foreign investment into the country to create UK jobs. Almost three in ten (28%) say it should, a third (34%) say it should not, and 38% do not know.
    • Three times as many people disagree as agree (49% vs 16%) that big accountancy firms should be able to sell tax avoidance advice to businesses whilst auditing the accounts of those same businesses.
    • Public support is considerably higher for forcing all companies, whatever their size, to publicly disclose the taxes that they do or don’t pay in the UK (74%).

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a nationally representative omnibus survey of 2,020 adults across GB, between 18th and 21st May 2018. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

    View tables here

  • The Guardian – May 2018 Poll 2

     

    No, this is not Groundhog Day.

     

    The latest Guardian/ICM headline Voting Intention figures are almost exactly the same as our previous poll, two weeks ago. With the Conservatives unchanged on 43%, and Labour unchanged on 40%, we have are left with the third consecutive three percentage-point lead for the Conservatives in our regular polling series.

     

    The Lib Dems (8%), SNP (3%), and Other parties (1%) also show no change on the previous poll. By now you may be suffering from a severe case of deja vu, but there’s reassurance that we’re not simply reliving the previous poll as Plaid Cymru register a full 1% (+1) of the vote share, while the Greens are down one point, on 2%.

     

    The figures are below, with percentage point changes versus the previous poll in brackets:

     

    Conservative 43% (nc)
    Labour 40% (nc)
    LibDem 8% (nc)
    SNP 3% (nc)
    PC 1% (+1)
    Green 2% (-1)
    UKIP 3% (nc)
    Other 1% (nc)

     

     

    We also re-asked a question last seen in our Brexit mega poll in January. The starkly negative picture on the impact of Brexit reported in that poll has, if anything, become slightly more negative since January. These are small changes – but it’s now the case that for every two people who think Brexit will have a positive impact on the economy (30%) three people think it has a negative impact (45%). Back in January there was only a 3 percentage point gap between those who thought Brexit would have a positive impact on the way of life in Britain (33%) rather than a negative impact (36%). However, this gap has now grown to 8 percentage points, with almost 2 in 5 (39%) thinking Brexit will have a negative impact on the British way of life, with 32% thinking it will have a positive impact.

     

    It’s still the case that around 2 in 5 (40%) of people think Brexit will make no difference to their own personal finances, but there’s also a small uptick in the number of people expecting a negative Brexit impact on their wallet (32%, up 2 percentage points).

     

    One of the fascinations of polling public opinion rests on looking at changes beneath the surface. While these headline figures show a slight increase in negativity towards Brexit, our polling also offers clues on where this may be coming from. Again, these are small changes – but across all three statements, there’s an indication that the increase in overall negativity could be attributed to increasing negativity among those who voted Remain in 2016, while those who voted Leave look increasingly unsure about the likely impact of Brexit, answering ‘don’t know’.

     

    This last finding – of possible increasing uncertainty on the impact of Brexit among Leave voters – is something to watch out for over the coming months. If Remainers become increasingly certain that Brexit is a bad idea, while Leavers waver more and more, then interesting times lie ahead.

     

     

    Impact of Brexit on   the British economy
    January May %pt change
    2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers
    Positive impact 9% 58% 9% 56% 0% -2%
    Negative impact 75% 12% 77% 10% 2% -2%
    Makes no difference 6% 19% 7% 18% 1% -1%
    Don’t know 9% 11% 6% 15% -3% 4%

     

    Impact of Brexit on your own personal finances
    January May %pt change
    2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers
    Positive impact 5% 23% 7% 23% 2% 0%
    Negative impact 53% 10% 54% 9% 1% -1%
    Makes no difference 27% 55% 29% 53% 2% -2%
    Don’t know 15% 12% 11% 14% -4% 2%

     

    Impact of Brexit on the way of life in Britain today in general
    January May %pt change
    2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers
    Positive impact 9% 62% 9% 63% 0% 1%
    Negative impact 66% 8% 70% 5% 4% -3%
    Makes no difference 15% 22% 14% 21% -1% -1%
    Don’t know 8% 8% 7% 11% -1% 3%

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,002 adults aged 18+, between 25th – 29th May 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 – May 2018 Poll 1

    This is the first Guardian/ICM poll conducted since the Local Elections which were held across much of England on the 3rd May. While there has been the usual post-mortem and debate on the results and what they mean for the state of the parties, the absence of any large shifts between the main parties lends some corroboration to our polling results which have been largely deadlocked since the 2017 General Election.

     

    Our latest headline voting intention figures maintain the 3 percentage point lead for the Conservatives over Labour from our previous poll. Make no mistake – this is still a small lead in polling terms, and should not be overstated. However, this poll makes it five consecutive ICM/Guardian polls in which the Tories have led Labour. Our polling has consistently reflected an entrenched political environment since the 2017 General Election, but it’s possible that the Conservatives have opened up a miniscule lead over Labour in the past couple of months.

     

    The figures are below, with percentage point changes versus the previous poll in brackets:

     

    Conservative   43% (+1)
    Labour   40% (+1)
    LibDem   8% (nc)
    SNP   3% (nc)
    PC   *% (nc)
    Green   3% (nc)
    UKIP   3% (-1)
    Other   1% (nc)

     

    With Theresa May reportedly under pressure to extend the Brexit transition period beyond the end of 2020 to allow time for new customs arrangements to be introduced, we wanted to see what the public thought of the issue. While views are fairly evenly split, more of the British public oppose (43%) than support (38%) extending the Brexit transition period beyond 2020. These views are polarised along party and EU Referendum lines: two-thirds (67%) of 2016 Leave voters and 3 in 5 (62%) of those intending to vote Conservative oppose extending the transition period, whereas three in five (59%) 2016 Remain voters and almost half (49%) of those intending to vote Labour support extending the transition period.

     

    Given recent cabinet tensions over the future of Britain’s reading relationship with the EU, we also tested which of three potential options comes closest to the public’s view on the best customs option after Brexit. Out of the three statements tested, the statement that coming closest to the public’s view is that ‘it is very important to leave the customs union properly, so the UK can strike its own trade deals’, selected by 35%. Around a quarter selected each of the other two options – remaining in the customs union (24%) and a compromise along the lines of the customs partnership (26%) with the remaining 15% saying they don’t know.

     

    And this poll will make even better reading for those close to Boris Johnson, considering that a clear majority of those planning to vote Conservative (56%), as well as 2016 Leave voters (61%), say that leaving the customs union comes closest to their view. By contrast, 2016 Remain voters and those planning on voting Labour are more evenly split between remaining in the customs union and a compromise solution. While remaining in the customs union attracts more support from both of these groups (36% of Labour voters and 42% of Remainers), it falls short of majority support from either constituency.

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,050 adults aged 18+, between 11th – 13th May 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 – April 2018 Poll 2

    The political pressure had been mounting on Amber Rudd from the fallout of the Windrush scandal. It seems this pressure became too much over the weekend when, late Sunday evening the news broke that Rudd had resigned.

     

    But did the right person resign? We asked the British public who was most to blame for the problems faced by the Windrush-generation. The most popular answer was to blame successive Labour and Conservative governments, with 3 in 10 (30%) holding both Labour and Conservatives responsible. Nevertheless, in light of Rudd’s resignation, it seems all the more striking that four times as many people blame Theresa May (23%) as Amber Rudd (6%). Indeed, more people blame May than blame Home Office and UK Border Agency staff (17%).

     

    The grim reading for May continues, as our poll suggests that the public are increasingly sceptical that negotiations will conclude successfully before 29th March 2019. We’ve asked this question twice before (in October and December 2017), but this weekend’s poll show the lowest proportion of the public believing that negotiations will conclude successfully before Brexit Day (28%, down from 35% in December), with 47% believing they will not conclude successfully (up from 39%).

     

    However, there remains one glimmer of light in these results for the Conservatives. Put quite simply, it does not look like the British public are enamoured with the alternatives to the Conservative government. Despite the negative results shown above, the Conservatives maintain their vote share on our headline vote intention polling, on 42%, with Labour dropping two percentage points, down to 39%. This leaves a Conservative lead of 3% which, while small, matches the biggest lead for either party observed on our regular Guardian/ICM polls since the 2017 election in our second poll last month.

     

    And it’s not just on the two main parties that the public is split in its opinion. On Friday afternoon the news broke that US President Donald Trump would visit the UK in July for talks with Theresa May. Our poll suggests that a third (33%) support the visit, a third (33%) are ambivalent (answering ‘neither support not oppose’), and around a third oppose the visit (31%). But scratch beneath the surface, and there are some interesting differences. There’s a strong Remain/Leave divide, with more than twice as many 2016 Remainers as Leavers opposing the visit (44% vs. 18%). There are also big differences by party support, with a majority of those intending to vote Conservative (53%) supporting the visit, compared to only 1 in 5 Labour voters (21%).

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,026 adults aged 18+, between 27th – 29th April 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 – April 2018 Poll 1

     

    Brexit Deadlock

     

    Our last Guardian/ICM poll showed the Tories opening up a three percentage point lead over Labour. With UKIP falling to a record low of 1%, it was plausible that this was the start of a shift away from the deadlocked polls we’ve got used to since the last election.

     

    When it comes to public opinion, we should never speak too soon. This week’s polling shows UKIP bouncing back up to 4%, whilst the Conservatives drop two percentage points, reducing their lead over Labour to a single percent. Figures are shown below, with any change versus our previous Guardian/ICM poll in brackets:

     

    Conservative: 42% (-2)

    Labour: 41% (nc)

    Lib Dems: 7% (-1)

    Greens: 3% (+1)

    UKIP: 4% (+3)

    SNP: 3% (nc)

     

    We also repeated two Brexit questions last seen in the Brexit mega poll run back in June. As well as asking how people would vote in a second referendum, we also asked about support for another referendum after Brexit negotiation conclude.

     

    Again, what is remarkable here is the lack of any substantial change in public opinion on both of these questions. All of the results are within 2-3% of the percentages seen in January. It appears that there hasn’t been any significant change in the support of opposition to a second referendum in these circumstances and overall or the voting intention in a second referendum if it were to take place. Quite simply, people aren’t changing their minds on Brexit – it’s still the case that around 9 in 10 (89%) of those who voted either Remain and Leave back in 2016 would vote the same way if there were a second referendum held tomorrow. The wafer-thin lead for Remain can again be attributed to those who did not vote in 2016 or can’t remember how they voted breaking in favour of Remain (28%) over leave (12%). The results for each answer, with the figures from January, are shown below

     

     

    On 23rd June 2016, a referendum was held on if the UK should remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union.

     If there was another EU referendum tomorrow, how would you vote?

    • For the UK to Remain in the EU (Jan: 45%; Apr: 45%)
    • For the UK to Leave the EU (Jan: 43%; Apr: 44%)
    • I wouldn’t vote (Jan: 6%; Apr: 5%)
    • Prefer not to say (Jan: 1%; Apr: 1%)
    • Don’t know (Jan: 5%; Apr: 5%)

     

    To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement: I think the 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? 

    • Strongly agree (Jan: 28%; Apr: 30%)
    • Tend to agree (Jan: 19%; Apr: 17%)
    • Neither agree nor disagree (Jan: 14%; Apr: 11%)
    • Tend to disagree (Jan: 11%; Apr: 12%)
    • Strongly disagree (Jan: 23%; Apr: 25%)
    • Don’t know (Jan: 6%; Apr: 6%)

    Jan: net agree: 47%; net disagree 34%

    Apr: net agree: 47%; net disagree 36%

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,012 adults aged 18+, between 6th – 8th April 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 – March 2018 Poll 2

    May: there be signs of a strengthening Theresa?

    Last week saw the news dominated by the poisoning of a Russian former double agent in Salisbury involving a nerve agent. In the latest ICM/Guardian poll we asked the British public how well they thought May and Corbyn responded to this attack in their capacities as Prime Minister and leader of the opposition respectively.

    On this issue of national security, our results show a large gulf between the public’s perceptions of the two main party leaders.

    A majority (51%) of the British public think Theresa May has responded well. This is in stark contrast to Jeremy Corbyn’s ratings, with only 23% thinking he responded well in his capacity as leader of the opposition. Two in five (42%) think he responded badly to the attack, approximately double the one in five (22%) who think May responded badly.

    Even when looking at Labour voters in isolation, Corbyn cannot claim a majority who think he responded well to the attack (46%). On the other hands, Conservative voters are highly supportive of May’s response, with more than four in five (83%) thinking May responded well in her role as Prime Minster.

    Maybe – just maybe – this has resulted in a slight boost for Theresa May’s Conservatives in our vote intention polling. We see the trend from our previous poll continuing, with the Conservatives gaining 1% at the expense of Labour.

    Conservatives: 44% (+1)

    Labour: 41% (-1)

    LibDems: 8% (+1)

    SNP: 3% (nc)

    We shouldn’t speak too soon, as these are still small shifts in our results. Nevertheless, in the context of recent deadlock in our regular ICM/Guardian vote intention polling, it is possible that this could be showing the start of a small shift away from Labour and towards the Conservatives. We’ll be watching the next few polls closely, to see if this develops into anything more than a small blip in an otherwise unprecedented period of far-too-close-to-call polls.

    To top off a poll that may add a small dose of positivity to those around Theresa May, there is evidence that some of the public’s negativity surrounding Brexit may be easing. We re-asked a question on how well or badly the Brexit process is going, with results shown below. Crucially, the vast majority of our fieldwork was carried out in advance of yesterday’s big announcement on Brexit transition, and so we can take these results as indicative of public opinion before the announcement.

     

    Overall, how do you think the Brexit process of the UK leaving the EU is going? December 2017 February 2018 March 2018
    Net: Well 21% 16% 19%
    Net: Badly 51% 53% 47%

     

    Since we last asked the question at the beginning of February, the proportion of the British public who think Brexit is going badly has dropped by 6 percentage points, from 53% to 47%. This is the lowest proportion we’ve seen for Brexit going badly since we’ve started asking this question, and means we can no longer claim that a majority of the British public think the Brexit process is going badly. Nevertheless, Brexiteers should keep the sparkling wine on ice for the time being, as still fewer than one in five (19%) Brits think Brexit is going well. There’s still a very long way to go before the British public are ready to hold up Brexit as a success.

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,013 adults aged 18+, between 16th – 19th March 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 – March 2018 Poll

    With both party leaders making major speeches on Brexit last week, the latest ICM/Guardian poll aimed to look at what impact, if any, these speeches had outside the Westminster bubble.

    The short answer is: not much.

    With fieldwork starting after the Theresa May finished her Brexit speech on Friday, these results provide a good initial read public opinion in the immediate aftermath of the two key speeches. By subtracting those who disagree with each statement shown from all those who agree with the statement, we get a net score per statement. We asked four pairs of statements on whether each leader and party’s policy on Brexit is clearer than before, has realistic aims, makes people more likely to vote for that party, and is a policy which the public overall approve of. The results are shown below:

    Guardian Brexit V2
     

    Net score
    Jeremy Corbyn and Labour’s policy on Brexit is much clearer than it was before 1%
    Theresa May and the government’s policy on Brexit is much clearer than it was before -5%
    The aims of Jeremy Corbyn and Labour in Brexit negotiations seem realistic -11%
    The aims of Theresa May and the government in Brexit negotiations seem realistic 0%
    Overall I approve of Jeremy Corbyn and Labour’s Brexit policy -13%
    Overall I approve of Theresa May and the government’s Brexit policy -3%
    Jeremy Corbyn’s policy on Brexit makes me more likely than otherwise to vote Labour -17%
    Theresa May’s policy on Brexit makes me more likely than otherwise to vote Conservative -14%

     

    This is bleak reading for both Labour and Conservatives. Our regular polling results seems to increasingly show Brexit to be a zero-sum game for the two main parties – politicians have to be seen to be taking a position, but any position chosen is generally met with more public disagreement than agreement.

    Jeremy Corbyn and Labour have the one positive net score in this poll, with one percent point more of the British public thinking that Corbyn and Labour’s Brexit policy is clearer than it was before (net score = 1%). This compares favourably with Theresa May and the government’s equivalent net score, which is on -5%.

    However, Corbynites shouldn’t see this as a cause for celebration, as whilst his and his party’s position may now be marginally more clear, it’s equally apparent that the public are not enamoured with it. On balance the British public do not think that Corbyn and Labour’s aims in Brexit negotiations are realistic (net score = -11%) or approve of their Brexit policy overall (net score = -13%). Ultimately only 1 in 4 (25%) agree that Corbyn and Labour’s position on Brexit makes them more likely to vote Labour, with more than 2 in 5 (42%) disagreeing – giving a net score of -17%.

    May and the government consistently have less negative scores than Corbyn and Labour on all areas apart from Brexit policy clarity (net score = -5%). Whilst the net score on ‘Theresa May’s policy on Brexit makes me more likely than otherwise to vote Conservative’ is marginally higher than the equivalent statement for Corbyn and Labour (net score =-14%), there are much bigger differences between the two leaders’ and parties’ perception in terms of realistic aims and overall approval.  Equal proportions of the British pubic agree and disagree that May and the government’s aims in Brexit negotiation seem realistic (net score = 0%), whilst the net score on overall approval of May and the government’s Brexit policy is -3%.

    It’s worth maintaining perspective when viewing these results. When we are comparing Brexit perceptions in terms of Labour vs. Conservative, May vs. Corbyn, we are generally comparing degrees of negativity. This is not a story of public enthusiasm and positivity – quite the opposite – so maybe the best the parties can hope for is to limit the public negativity associated with their chosen Brexit approach.

    In terms of voting intentions, there’s very little change. Labour and Conservatives trade one percent of the public’s vote intention between them, meaning the Conservatives regain a slim lead on 43% compared to Labour’s 42%. But these two proportions are still very much within the margin of error on this poll, so if there was an election tomorrow, we’d still consider it too close to call. Results for the main Westminster parties are shown below, with comparison to our previous poll a fortnight ago.

    Conservatives: 43% (+1%)
    Labour: 42% (-1%)
    LibDems: 7% (nc)
    SNP: 3% (nc)

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,030 adults aged 18+, between 2nd – 4th  March 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.