• The Guardian – February 2018 Poll

    The past week has seen the ‘Westminster bubble’ absorbed by the infighting, Brexit policy confusion, and potential leadership challengers to Theresa May’s Conservative government. Yet the British public remain largely unmoved in their overall voting intention. Comparing to our mega-poll released just over a week ago, the Conservatives remain unchanged on 41% and Labour slip down just one point to 40%.

     

    Last Thursday the Lib Dems had a surprise council by-election win over Labour in Sunderland, where they saw their vote increase by 49.5 percentage points to claim the Pallion seat formerly held by Labour. Whilst this is not replicated in our nationally representative polling, we do see their vote share bump up by one percentage point, from 7% to 8%. UKIP and the SNP remain unchanged on 4% and 3% respectively.

     

    However, the main story coming through in this poll mirrors much of the sentiment picked up in the Guardian/ICM Brexit mega-poll published just over a week ago: the British public are becoming more and more negative towards how Brexit is going. Brits think Brexit is going badly, and are far from agreement on which politician could make a better job of it.

     

    Back at the start of December, we asked how the Brexit process of the UK leaving the EU was going – only 21% of the British public said it was going well, with 51% saying it was going badly. Two months later, only 16% of the British public think the Brexit process is going well, with an increased majority (53%) now thinking it is going badly.

     

    These figures make especially concerning reading for the Tories, as now fewer than a third of Conservative voters think Brexit is going well (32%), down from almost 2 in 5 (39%) at the start of December. Indeed, it’s hard to find one substantial group of voters who think the Brexit process is going well. It may not be surprising to see that only 12% of 2016 Remainers think Brexit is going well, but it seems stark that even amongst 2016 Leave voters, less than a quarter (23%) say Brexit is going well.

     

    The only solace that Theresa May could take from these results is that voters are not clear on which politician they would prefer to be in charge of Brexit. We asked respondents to tell us if they agreed or disagreed with the Brexit views of Tony Blair, Jeremy Corbyn, Nigel Farage, Michael Gove, Philip Hammond, Boris Johnson, Theresa May, and Keir Starmer. None of these politicians enjoyed ‘net positive’ support for their position on Brexit. In short, for each and every one of the politicians we asked about, more of the British public disagree with their Brexit views than agree with them.

     

    Of the politicians we asked about, Boris Johnson attracted the most support for his views on Brexit. However, only 32% of the British public say they agree with his Brexit stance, which in turn is only one percent above agreement with Theresa May’s Brexit views (31%), while a similar proportion (30%) of the British public say they agree with Nigel Farage’s views on the sort of Brexit the UK should adopt. By comparison, Jeremy Corbyn’s views on Brexit win the agreement of 23% of the British public – although many more (39%) disagree with him.

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,021 adults aged 18+, between 2nd – 4th February 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 November Poll

    Incremental improvement in Labour’s position has barely dented the Conservative’s substantive poll lead, which has now settled in the mid-teen range as we approach the new Chancellor’s first Autumn Statement.

    The Tories 42% share is 1-point shy of their October haul, but still within touching distance of their record (45%) standing in the entirely of the ICM/Guardian series. Labour do improve by the equivalent point, now on 28% with the gap between the parties narrowing by two, down to 14%.

    Despite Nigel Farage’s high profile close association with the US President-elect, his interim leadership of UKIP is not stalling the party’s declining position, its 11% showing equalling its new floor in the online series, down from the 19% highpoint back in June. Mr. Farage’s positive musings about standing again in Thanet South (if there has to be an electoral re-run in the constituency) may be necessary, if the public’s view on his possible elevation to the House of Lords in anything to go by. Only one in five (20%) think the Prime Minister should give him a peerage, with a full 58% rejecting the suggestion. Even UKIP voters in the last General Election have their doubts, with barely of a majority of them (54%) thinking it should happen (although we might speculate that many would indeed prefer to see him installed in the Lower rather than Upper House).

    Full figures this month are:

    Conservative 42% (-1)

    Labour 28% (+1)

    Lib Dem 9% (+1)

    UKIP 11% (-1)

    Green 3% (-2)

    SNP 5% (+1)

    PC 1% (+1)

    Other 1% (nc)

    With the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, putting his finishing touches to the Autumn Statement, he will be gratified by the 33-point lead he and Teresa May enjoy on the fundamental measure of perceived economic competence. Half (48%) say that the Tory team are better able to manage the economy properly, compared to only 15% who think that Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell would be a better combination. Indeed, even 2015 Labour voters reveal considerable uncertainty on this, with the Labour top two only holding a 6-point advantage over Hammond and May. In comparison, the Hammond & May combination enjoy an 88-point lead among their own voters on economic competence.

    It’s hard to think that the current Labour team can change so many minds, unless Brexit undoes the solid impression of Tory economic competence. Their 33-point deficit is worse than any endured by the two Ed’s of Miliband and Balls, who improved on this measure from their low point of a 27-point deficit, but not by any means enough to challenge Cameron and Osborne in the 2015 election.

    Indeed, Jeremy Corbyn’s ratings can only be described as abysmal. One in five (20%) think he’s doing a good job (including a chunk of Conservative, UKIP and Lib Dem voters whose observations are probably based on irony) but 54% say bad job, implying a net approval rating of -34. This is a level that his predecessor Ed Miliband did not stoop to until a year out from his electoral defeat (-39 in June 2014) with comparable numbers in his first year in situ being ‘only’ in the negative teens.

    There are likely darker days to come for the Prime Minister, but she remains in solid positive territory with a net +22 rating. Hammond drops into negative range (-1) but this is likely only a result of widespread ignorance of what’s he done in his tenure as Chancellor thus far. Tim Farron’s performance (-19) compares to that of Nick Clegg at about the same time in the cycle. The new Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson (-3) will clearly have to get used to minus numbers after stratospheric positive approval ratings among Londoners during his time as Mayor.

    ICM Unlimited interviewed 2,031 adults aged 18+ online. Interviews were conducted on 18-20th November 2016 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.

  • Final General Election 2015 Poll

    In the full and final ICM/Guardian prediction for the 2015 General Election, Labour edge into a 1-point lead compared to yesterday, with the parties holding its 35% share but the Tories dropping back 1-point.. The poll suggests the following vote shares, compared to their standings last week:

    Conservative 34%           (-1)
    Labour 35%                       (+3)
    Liberal Democrat 9%    (nc)
    UKIP 11%                           (-2)
    Green 4%                           (-1)
    SNP 5%                               (+1)
    Plaid Cymru 1%               (nc)
    Other 1%                            (nc)

    All the final polls are now in, and if any late swing has been present nearly all suggest Labour to have been the beneficiary (to this point).

    This conventional poll element contrasts somewhat with the ‘Wisdom Index’ result, which projects a 3-point victory margin for the blue team. The approach was the most accurate pre-election prediction before the 2010 election, with respondents asked what they think the result will be, rather than how they will themselves vote in it. This time around, the groupthink suggests that the Tories will get the same 35%, but that Labour will only secure 32%. It is the Liberal Democrats who are thought not to fall so far, with the party projected to get 14% rather than the 9% predicted on the orthodox element of the poll. UKIP are predicted to get 10%, as are the ‘net’ of all other parties. The Wisdom projection is:

    Conservative 35%
    Labour 32%
    Liberal Democrats 14%
    UKIP 10%
    Others 10%

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a random sample of 2,023 adults aged 18+ by telephone on 3-6th May 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.

  • 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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  • 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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  • Digital debate

    An online poll from ICM on behalf of The Guardian looks at the public’s view on whether and how leader’s debates before the next General Election should be shaped.
    Then public are enthused that they take place (64% say it’s important they do), and that both a live TV debate and a digital only debate are good ideas.
    Six in ten would like to see a well-stocked cast list, including the leader of the Greens, who had become David Cameron’s sticking point, but only 9% want to see Cameron vs Miliband only. If one leader failed to turn up, an empty is thought best placed to represent them (38%).

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