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.