• The Guardian – September 2018 Poll 1

    Some commentators have decried the war over words in both main parties that that burst into full-sight over the weekend. But while competing Brexit, leadership and party priorities simmered to the surface, ICM were busy polling whether the British public had substantively changed their position on Brexit.

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

    We asked this question in both January and April this year – both times finding the slimmest of leads for Remain over Leave. Yet at the third time of asking, we have seen a slightly bigger shift, with Remain creeping up one percentage point to 46% and Leave slipping down two percentage points to 42% from April.

    Let’s not get over-excited about these figures – these are still small shifts in numbers, and the result is still considered well within the margin of error. Nevertheless, this is the largest lead for Remain we’ve seen across the three times we’ve asked the question this year. And, when excluding those who prefer not to say, don’t know and wouldn’t vote, the results of this question do catch the eye. If an exact repeat of the 2016 Referendum were to be held tomorrow, this poll predicts an exact reversal of 2016’s result – with the country split 52% to 48%, but this time in favour of Remain.

    We also re-asked a question that was also featured in our Brexit mega-poll in January, and last asked back in May. Asking on the likely impact of Brexit on personal finances, the economy and way of life in general, we see a similarly grim appraisal overall from the British public as observed in May and January.

    Brexiteers may take solace from the fact that there are no huge negative shifts at the overall level. But scratch the surface, and there looks like there might be something interesting happening among those who voted Leave in 2016. Leavers are still more positive than negative about the aspects of Brexit we ask about, but the gap between those who are positive and negative about the impact of Brexit on the way of life in Britain today in general has narrowed by 8 percentage points since the start of the year. Even more strikingly, the equivalent gap has narrowed by 10 percentage points when it comes to the impact on the economy.

    So while the country remains strongly polarised along the same lines as the 2016 Referendum, there are small signs that Leavers’ initial optimism maybe, just maybe, might be fading at the margins.

    And what for the impact on our headline voting intention figures?

    It’s a story of slight but not significant changes. With the Tories up two points to 42% and Labour down one point to 39%, what was a dead heat in our last poll three weeks ago turns into a three percentage point lead for Theresa May’s Conservatives. Percentage point changes on our previous poll are in the table below in brackets.

    Conservative

    42% (+2)

    Labour

    39% (-1)

    LibDem

    8% (nc)

    SNP

    3% (-1)
    PC

    *% (nc)

    Green

    3% (+1)

    UKIP

    4% (-2)
    Other

    *% (-1)

    We still haven’t seen the two main parties break out of a three percentage point bind of each other in a Guardian/ICM poll since the 2017 election. The wait continues.

    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%; Sep 46%)
    • For the UK to Leave the EU (Jan: 43%; Apr: 44%; Sep 42%)
    • I wouldn’t vote (Jan: 6%; Apr: 5%; Sep 6%)
    • Prefer not to say (Jan: 1%; Apr: 1%; Sep 1%)
    • Don’t know (Jan: 5%; Apr: 5%; Sep 5%)
    Impact of Brexit on the British economy
    January May September
    2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers

    Positive impact

    9% 58% 9% 56% 11% 52%

    Negative impact

    75% 12% 77% 10% 75%

    16%

    Makes no difference

    6% 19% 7% 18% 7%

    19%

    Don’t know 9% 11% 6% 15% 7%

    13%

     

    Impact of Brexit on your own personal finances
    January May September
    2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers

    Positive impact

    5% 23% 7% 23% 9% 22%

    Negative impact

    53% 10% 54% 9% 56%

    11%

    Makes no difference

    27% 55% 29% 53% 21%

    54%

    Don’t know 15% 12% 11% 14% 14%

    13%

     

    Impact of Brexit on the way of life in Britain today in general
    January May September
    2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers

    Positive impact

    9% 62% 9% 63% 11% 57%

    Negative impact

    66% 8% 70% 5% 68%

    7%

    Makes no difference

    15%

    22% 14% 21% 12%

    23%

    Don’t know

    8%

    8% 7% 11% 9%

    13%

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,051 adults aged 18+, between 7th – 9th September 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 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 – Brexit Mega Poll

    A nation (still) divided

    A landmark ICM/Guardian poll, released today, shows a nation still starkly divided along the lines of the 2016 EU Referendum.

    ICM interviewed a representative sample of over 5,000 respondents across Great Britain. This is more than twice the number of interviews usually conducted in the regular ICM/Guardian polls, and five times the number of interviews often achieved in other polls. The increased sample size not only allows for a greater confidence in the statistical reliability of the overall results, but also allows for a more detailed analysis of different groups within the British population.

    If there was a referendum tomorrow, 45% of our poll’s respondents would vote Remain, compared to 43% who would vote leave. This result is similar to when we last asked the question in early December (8th -10th, which recorded 46% Remain versus 43% Leave), and so lends weight to the claim that the British public may have become slightly more pro-Remain since the EU referendum. But these shifts should not be exaggerated – on the results of this poll of 5,000 the result of a second EU referendum would be far from a foregone conclusion.

    The possible slight shift towards remain cannot be attributed to Leavers changing their mind. The vast majority – 9 in 10 – of those who voted either Remain or Leave in the 2016 referendum say they would vote in exactly the same way in a second referendum, and the numbers swapping sides effectively cancel each other out. Any growth in Remain support seems to be coming from those who did not vote or cannot remember how they voted in 2016, with twice as many of these people saying they would vote Remain (27%) as Leave (14%) in a future referendum.

    There are also different implications for the two main Westminster parties. When asking respondents to recall their 2016 EU referendum vote, those with a Labour MP in England and Wales were more likely to have voted Remain than Leave, whilst the opposite is true for those in a Conservative held constituency. Fast-forward to a hypothetical second referendum, and the pro-Leave lead in Conservative held seats has held remarkably steady, staying exactly the same at 7% points.  Yet the pro-Remain lead in Labour held seats has shown substantial growth over the same period. In safe Labour seats, the pro-remain lead has doubled from 4% points to 8% points, whilst in marginal Labour seats, the Remain lead has tripled from 3% to 9% points.

    Whilst any gains for Remain sentiment could be attributed to increases in Labour held seats and amongst those who didn’t vote in 2016, the overall picture emerging from this poll is clear: the British public remain entrenched in their views on Brexit. This divide holds true for perceptions of the likely impact of Brexit, as shown in the tables below. A majority (58%) of 2016 Leavers think Brexit will have a positive impact on the economy, contrasting with three quarters (75%) of Remainers who think it will have a negative impact. A majority (55%) of those who voted Leave think Brexit will make no difference to their own finances, whilst a similar proportion (53%) of Remainers think Brexit will have a negative impact on their personal finances. When asked on the impact of Brexit on the way of life in Britain in general a similar divide is apparent, with 62% of Leavers thinking Brexit will be positive but 66% of Remainers thinking Brexit will be negative.

     

    Impact of Brexit on the British economy
    Overall 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers
    Positive impact 32% 9% 58%
    Negative impact 43% 75% 12%
    Makes no difference 13% 6% 19%
    Don’t know 13% 9% 11%

     

    Impact of Brexit on your own personal finances
    Overall 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers
    Positive impact 13% 5% 23%
    Negative impact 30% 53% 10%
    Makes no difference 41% 27% 55%
    Don’t know 16% 15% 12%

     

    Impact of Brexit the way of life in Britain today in general
    Overall 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers
    Positive impact 33% 9% 62%
    Negative impact 36% 66% 8%
    Makes no difference 19% 15% 22%
    Don’t know 12% 8% 30%

     

    On support for a second referendum, more agree than disagree that the British 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 (47% vs. 34%). Perhaps unsurprisingly this support was split along 2016 lines, with a majority of 2016 Remainers agreeing with the idea of a second referendum (70%) and a majority of Leavers disagreeing (59%). Nevertheless, there are possible signs that opposition to a second referendum amongst Leavers could be softening, as a quarter (25%) of those who voted Leave in 2016 agree that the public should have the chance to take final decision on whether or not to leave the EU in a second referendum once negotiations conclude. This figure is higher than the 14% of people who voted Remain in the 2016 referendum who disagree with the idea of holding a second referendum.

    We also included our standard vote intention figures in this poll. These show the Conservatives up one percentage point from the previous poll, now matching Labour on 41%. The Lib Dems are on 7%, UKIP on 4%, whilst the Greens and SNP on 3% each.

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 5,075 adults aged 18+, between 10th – 19th January 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.