• Sun on Sunday poll – October 2017

    This poll contained two questions, one on whether Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn would be best able to deliver Brexit (May, just, although “Don’t know” came in first) and a second on what the PM should do next after her pretty awful conference week.

    David Wooding’s write up can be found here: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4636017/theresa-may-pm-brexit-poll/

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 1,024 adults aged 18+ on 6-8th October 2017. 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 – September Poll 2

    If you’re Theresa May, good news is pretty hard to find right now, but some heart can be taken from a modestly positive response to her speech on Friday, in which plans were outlined for a 2-year Brexit continuation in payments to the EU in return for access to the single market. Four in ten (41%) supported the idea, rising to 58% of Remainers. A third (31%) do oppose, but a majority of Leavers doing so is not quite present (48%).

    Estimations and expectations of her performance continue to tumble though. In a direct head-to-head against Jeremey Corbyn on nine measures that we last tested earlier this year (14th May) the Prime Minister is trusted less now on each of them compared to then then. On negotiating Brexit, her lead over Corbyn has dropped from +34 to +14 with only 32% saying they trust the PM to do the best job on it.

    On the crucial issue of economic performance, the PM’s lead has halved to only +14, with 37% saying she’d do the best job compared to 23% believing Corbyn would.

    The Labour leader is in front on four areas of policy, including making Britain fairer, improving public services, the NHS and helping students. Indeed, on fairness, May’s lead earlier this year has gone in stark reverse, from a double-digit advantage to a double-digit deficit.

     

    May-17 Sep-17
    Negotiating a good Brexit +34 +14
    Managing the economy properly +28 +14
    Making Britain a fairer country +19 -15
    Improving public services generally -2 -16
    Protecting and improving the NHS -3 -18
    Controlling immigration +29 +19
    Ensuring students and pupils get a good education +4 -8
    Protecting people from threats at home and abroad +30 +18
    Protecting the interests of pensioners +1 -14

    Party share of the vote has fluctuated around neck-and neck over the past few months, and to little surprise Labour edge into a 2-point lead this week, possibly as a consequence of higher profile reporting during its conference weekend. Labour leads with 42%, with the Tories on 40% and the Liberal Democrats on 8%.

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative sample of 1,968 adults aged 18+ on 22-24th September 2017. 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 Prediction Poll – PRELIMINARY DATA

    So, there we have it. A 12-point victory for the Conservatives is ICM’s preliminary call on our final poll, up from a 7-point victory for David Cameron just two years’ ago, representing a swing to the Conservatives of 2.5% (remembering that both party shares have increased compared to 2015).

    This final poll confirms the pattern that ICM has produced over the last fortnight: a fairly healthy and static (aka strong & stable) Conservative share with consolidation of the Labour bump first witnessed after the manifesto publication.

    Our PRELIMINARY numbers for publication are (based on 1,532 interviews and compared to last Monday’s poll in The Guardian:

    Conservative 46% (+1)

    Labour 34% (nc)

    Lib Dem 7% (-1)

    SNP 5% (+1)

    Plaid Cymru *% (-1)

    Green 2% (-1)

    UKIP 5% (nc)

    Other 1% (nc)

    This compares to the 11-point lead published in The Guardian on Monday, this implying precious little movement in the last few days of the campaign.

    We should note that ICM continues to interview, aiming for another c.500 interviews by the end of the day. The numbers might change, but we would not expect them to do so by much.

    According to Electoral Calculus seat projections. This would yield a Conservative majority of 96, with 373 seats in their possession compared to 199 for Labour (which might be seen by party insiders as a decent outcome). Not so much for the Liberal Democrats though, predicted to drop to only two seats on this modelling.

    Speculation about the polls being right or wrong is ubiquitous right now, with much of it concentrating on closer run polls produced by Survation and Yougov compared to us and ComRes. Intriguingly, a number high profile political journalists continue to predict that the Tories will do better than even our poll is saying (given musings they hear from the ground), so this really has become a nail-gnawing electoral event, rather than the absolute rout that we all were fixed on just a month ago.

    The public, though, may not have been reading the journo’s stuff. Only one in ten  (12%) expects a Tory majority at the 100+  top end of the range, with a plurality (38%) believing it will be secured, but only by double figures. Fewer than one in five (17%) expect a hung parliament, with the great optimists being the 7% who think Labour will secure the keys to Number 10 (18% of Labour voters they Jeremey Corbyn will smash it).

    But whatever the outcome, there’s a strong chance that Corbyn will stay on, according to the public. As many (24%) think he should do so no matter what (a few delighted Tories are included in this number), with the same number saying so only on the basis of a Labour victory. One in five (20%) thinks he should do so, so long as Labour do better than their 2015 showing – although that’s not a very high bar given the return to two-party politics. Beating Ed Miliband’s 31% in 2015 should not present a great difficulty now, given the implosion of UKIP and the Liberal Democrats general malaise.

    So the UK goes to the polls, with voters apparently armed with sufficient information to make an informed choice – 57% say they have been on enough of a receiving end to cast their ballot effectively, with Tory voters more so (72%) than their Labour counterparts (62%). Cynics amongst us may conclude that Theresa May’s policy-light manifesto didn’t take long to consume.

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 1,532 GB adults aged 18+ on 6-7th June 2017. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been wighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

  • The Guardian – Campaign poll 8 (26-29 May)

    Nerves are now certainly jangling in Conservative Central Office, with a Yougov poll last weekend showing a drop to only a 5-point lead, before easing to a 7-point lead. Survation, out with a phone poll this morning, split the difference with a 6-pointer for GMTV.

    This, from an ICM 22-point Conservative lead just three weeks ago.

    We too see a continuing Tory tumble with our latest Guardian poll out this morning, which shows a more comfortable, but still rapidly dwindled 12-point Conservative lead. The Tories have dropped two points since our last Guardian poll a week ago, and one point compared to our Sun on Sunday poll published yesterday. Labour remain stable or are up one, depending on your comparison preference.

    This poll was completed before last night’s leaders’ grilling on Sky/Channel 4.

    The published numbers are (versus last Guardian poll published on 22nd May):

    Conservative 45% (-2)

    Labour 33% (nc)

    Lib Dem 8% (-1)

    UKIP 5% (+1)

    SNP 4% (nc)

    Green 3% (+1)

    Plaid Cymru 1% (+1)

    Other 1% (nc)

    The dramatic shifts in polling numbers have been argued in many places to be a function of a sudden surge in young voters and/or 2015 non-voters, motivated by Jeremy Corbyn’s populist platform including the abolition of student tuition fees and return to state funded grants. The Survation poll this morning revealed that 82% of 18-24s would/already have voted, which compares favourably with the next two older age cohorts and is only a tick below that of the uniformly voting 55+ cohorts.

    Either this requires a full re-writing of the psephological textbook or needs to be viewed with extreme caution. Our own poll suggests that about half that number (44% saying 10/10 certainty of turning out) of 18-24s will actually vote (even when fully unweighted, it was only 50% of them).

    Clearly, this difference does bring to a head the new methodological battleground. Some pollsters, especially ICM, believe that the 10-point turnout scale no longer has value in disentangling voters from non-voters, because the fieldwork process (phone and online) predominately fails to reach the latter who are less interested in politics and by corollary, less interested in answering survey research. ICM stopped phone polling after the EU referendum, partly because we found it incredibly difficult to reach certain demographic groups – especially 18-24s.

    We, along with other pollsters typically reached half or less of the 18-24 target (by phone). We note with interest that Survation did a brilliant job in reaching them though – a full 80% of the target number (up-weighting them takes care of the missing residual). Whether Survation achieved this through full Random Digit Dialling or whether they utilised some targeted sample would be interesting to know, but either way, the great irony about being good at their job is that this success could easily introduce the very skew that kills the poll’s accuracy. If the 18-24s reached are in some way different to the 18-24s not reached, i.e in saying they will disproportionately vote and vote Labour at that – when their wider counterparts will not and do not – it’s likely that the same polling failings of 2015 will be very much embedded in this sample.

    So how pollsters address the turnout issue is now central to what a poll says. We at ICM turnout weight using a matrix that assumes younger people will be less likely to vote than older, and less affluent people will be less likely to vote than the wealthy. This has been the general pattern of General Election’s for an age, and whether you believe our poll findings or those of others will depend on whether or not you think Jeremy Corbyn can actually buck that trend.

    What impact does it have today? Well, if we still used the 10-point scale for our turnout weight, we too would have been looking at Survation-type numbers.

    In other news, the poll assessed how well Theresa May handled the Manchester atrocity, with over half (53%) saying she did well; only 17% saying badly. If Corbyn had been PM and had to handle it, the same number (17%) think he would have done so better than May, but twice as many (32%) think he would have handled it worse.

    Other poll questions include how the campaign has impacted on probability of voting for different parties, with (unsurprisingly given the headline reduction in the Conservative lead) people now less likely to vote Conservative and more likely to vote Labour as a result of campaign action they have seen or heard about.

    Despite May’s problems over the last week, she has a net campaigning impact score of only -2, while Corbyn scores at +2, begging the question: how much does campaign activity really make a difference to national perceptions?

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative sample of 2,002 adults aged 18+ online on 26-29th May 2017. 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 Campaign Poll 1: April 18th

    This morning ICM/Guardian published an orthodox poll showing an 18-point Conservative lead. This reflected our position over the last two weeks, but was somewhat behind the brace of 21-point lead polls we saw over the weekend, one from YouGov and one from ComRes.

    Maybe those two polls were the straws that broke Theresa May’s back, and responded with a U-turn on calling an early General Election. ICM immediately set in motion our election planning agenda, generating a Flash poll sample of 1,000 people, completed within four hours of the announcement.

    Voting intentions compared to this morning’s poll are as follows:

    Con 46% (+2)

    Lab 25% (-1)

    LibDem 11% (+1)

    UKIP 8% (-3)

    Green 4% (nc)

    SNP 4% (nc)

    PC *% (-1)

    Oth 1% (nc)

    But how the public respond to the snap election is key to this snap poll, and the PM can take heart from an immediate, positive response. Over half (55%) support her decision with only 15% against. But the pattern of response is not heavily weighted to 2015 Conservative voters – a narrow band of support is found across all the parties (with the slight exception of UKIP, whose supporters may fear what’s coming). Indeed as many (65%) Labour intenders support May’s decision as Tory intenders (64%) which must imply that its core is itching for the electoral fight.

    The public recognises that May needs a mandate of her own, particularly with regard to Brexit. Six in ten (58%) think she is right to have called an early election, with only 17% thinking it wrong given the mandate she already has. A similar number (54%) believe that the situation has changed and the PM is right to have changed her mind.

    And the public are pretty sure that she’s headed to a whopping overall majority. A quarter (24%) think it’ll be over 100 seats, with a further 29% suggesting it’ll be an overall majority but less than that number. With a third (33%) not knowing, that leaves only 14% who think another outcome is likely. It should be noted that 44% of current Labour intenders think the Tories will win some overall majority.

    Brexit will undoubtedly feature strongly in this campaign, but the public won’t treat this as a second referendum. Indeed two in three (67%) will treat it as a normal General Election, with only 17% saying it’s a second Brexit referendum by proxy. This might explain why Brexit is only third on the list of issues important to people (23%) just edged out by immigration (24%) and jobs, prices and wages (25%). For many, Brexit is now priced in – easily the most preferred policy on it to promise Brexit no matter what (36%), with a further wanting it so long as negotiations work out well for the UK (25%). Only 15% want to reverse Brexit, which may dampen enthusiasm somewhat over at Liberal Democrat HQ.

    So we have a 7-week campaign in front of us, and few would imagine that the Tory attack dogs will leave the Labour top team alone, constantly reminding the public of who the nation’s alternative leaders are. Well might they, sitting on a fat margin on economic competence (51% for May & Hammond vs 12% for Corbyn and McDonnell) and approval ratings for the PM of +33 compared to Corbyn’s -48.

    As we enter this campaign it’s clear that Labour have an electoral mountain top climb, and its leadership appears to have left its ropes and crampons at base camp.

    ICM Unlimited interview a representative sample of 1,000 adults aged 18+ online immediately after the announcement that General Election had been called on April 18th 2017. 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 – December 2016 Poll

    Despite a 3-point drop in their share this week, the Tories (41%) retain a commanding 14-point lead over Labour (27%), who continue to scrape along at or (possibly) near the bottom of the electoral barrel. The Lib Dems (9%) appear to be in slight recovery mode after their achievement in Richmond Park, while UKIP (14%) have a better poll than they’ve seen for some time after the election of their new leader, Paul Nuttall.

    But in light of Ed Balls dancing fame, we wondered whether he, and a slew of recent political heavyweights, capture more positive public energy than they managed during their time at their political peak. Balls own reintroduction into the Labour movement would have an immediate but still insufficient impact on Labour’s share, edging the party up to 30% but still 11-points off the political pace if he were in the hot-seat rather than the incumbent Jeremy Corbyn. That said, dancing into the public eye has been good for this particular Ed, with 20% having a more favourable impression of him now than before (although 17% less favourable rather offsets this, generating a net +3 figure).

    However, the idea that former party leaders are looked back on more fondly after their political demise takes something of a knock, with Tony Blair’s reputation languishing at -42 favourability, Sir John Major at -12 and Paddy Ashdown at -10. Absence possibly does not make the heart grow fonder, at least as far as political fondness is concerned.

    The party shares for publication (Standard VI):

    • Con 41%
    • Lab 27%
    • LD 9%
    • SNP 4%
    • Green 3%
    • UKIP 14%
    • PC *%
    • Oth 1%

    With Ed Balls as Labour leader instead of Corbyn:

    • Con 41%
    • Lab 30%
    • LD 8%
    • SNP 5%
    • Green 4%
    • UKIP 12%
    • PC 1%
    • Oth 1%

    Please click on the following link for Andrew Sparrow’s blog:
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2016/dec/12/philip-hammond-treasury-social-care-considering-lettting-councils-raise-council-tax-to-fund-social-care-politics-live?page=with:block-584ea5cae4b04a74f2782be4#block-584ea5cae4b04a74f2782be4

    ICM Unlimited interviewed an online sample of 2,049 adults aged 18+ on 9-11th December 2016. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all GB adults. ICM is a member of the BPC and abides by its rules.

  • The Guardian November (2) poll

    As Jeremy Corbyn grapples with a Cuban revolutionary’s death, the Conservatives eke out an additional point to rise up to 44%, the highest share we’ve seen for the party since October 2009, and just 1-point below their record Guardian/ICM showing of 45% (a high point seen on only on five occasions, three of which were just after John Major’s 1992 election victory and two of which were during the 2008 financial crash when Gordon Brown was in Number 10). Published numbers are:

    Conservative 44% (+2)

    Labour 28% (No change)

    Lib Dem 7% (-2)

    SNP 4% (-1)

    Plaid Cymru 1%

    Green 4% (+1)

    UKIP 12% (+1)

    Other 1% (NC)

    It’s also a 2-point increase on last week’s showing, but it’s hard to draw a conclusion that the gain is attributable to Philip’s Hammonds Autumn Statement, which many commentators have noted it only for its dullness. An additional number of larger Tory vote leads need to be observed before we should be drawn into attribution games along those lines.

    But it’s also pretty bleak for Labour no matter which part of the data we prod. The Tories enjoy leads among every social grade, including a rarely seen 1-point lead among the least affluent DE members of society. They also lead among all age groups except the 18-24s, and have a pro-women gender gap. In the populous South of England, the Tories stand on a whopping 49%, and Labour on a barely relevant 24%.

    Much has been made of the economic forecasts and doom laden reflections of living standards. The Institute for Fiscal Studies last week labelled the last ten years as the “Dreadful Decade” and the Office for Budget Responsibility projected living standards to be further squeezed next year.

    But how do we reconcile economic analysis like this with public perceptions, which largely fail to reflect these miserable scenarios? ICM has been tracking financial confidence since October 01 and in the last ten years (since Aug 06), there have been positive net confidence scores on twelve of the twenty two occasions, including on every one of the last six. Currently, 53% of the public have confidence for their own future financial position and ability to keep up with the cost of living, while 43% do not. This is a sizable drop from August when the gap was +34 compared to the current +10 but still firmly in positive territory.

    We also asked if people retrospectively recognise the Dreadful Decade. For the most part, they don’t. One in three (31%) believe that their living standards have got better over the last ten years, while 29% say they’ve worsened. More (34%) don’t see any change over the period.

    The only thing that is clear is that a disconnect exists between economic indicators and public experiences. Whether that is driven by ever increasing levels of retail purchasing intentions, (generally) decent employment prospects (even with the 2008 financial crash factored in) or net debt repayment over the period it’s hard to say, but the British consumer appears much more resilient to economic vagaries than economists imply.

    ICM Unlimited interviewed an online sample of 2009 adults aged 18+ on 25-27th November 2016. 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.

  • Sun on Sunday Corbyn re-election leadership poll

    Jeremy Corbyn might well be on the cusp of retaining the Labour crown, but he’s also on the cusp of electoral Armageddon. Rarely can there have been such a dis-connect between the acclaim of his supporters and the derision of the public.

    The truly scary proposition for Britain’s great party of the Left is that only 16% of the population view it as likely winners of the next General Election. Almost as many (13%) don’t see Labour back in power for at least 20 years, but  43% of Labour supporters think the next election will return them to power.

    In overall terms, Labour drop to 26%, their lowest score from ICM in this political cycle, and depths not plumbed since Gordon Brown’s 2009 crisis around the ‘election that never was’. With the Tories stable on 41%, the reinstalled leader has a job of work to do.

    And yet a paltry 19% think he’s the man to do it, although 45% of those still intending to vote Labour think so. Just as few think he has the ideas and personal characteristics to make Britain a better place, but it almost doubles to 35% among Labour’s core. Belief that Captain Corbyn will press the reset button on an exciting new style of engaging politics or indeed a kinder, gentler politics gets short shrift too. Only about a quarter of the public are convinced, but well over half of Labour comrades buy in.

    If Corbyn stumbles on the personal attributes front can he count on that other component of effective leadership: policy? Nope. There’s outright rejection for many likely offerings, in particular around defence issues. Just 9% think he should withdraw Britain from NATO, 18% would like to see defence spending cuts and 21% support the scrapping of Britain’s nuclear deterrent. More than FOUR times as many people trust Theresa May to look after the safety and security of Britain than trust Corbyn.

    Abolishing the Tory benefits cap that prevents claimants receiving more than £500 per week garners 20% approval, but at least in this case more Labour supporters reject it than like it.

    A sympathetic eye on Syrian refugees does nothing more than raise eyebrows, just 18% would support more being allowed in.

    At least commuters might appreciate a little government intervention. Nearly, but not quite half the population would support their re-nationalisation, about the only policy that appears to have a little likeability.

    Perhaps the only consoling news is that the next generation of potential Labour leaders is, to put it mildly, thin on the ground. Chukka Umunna gets some name recognition as the next leader but only 9% of voters point him out. Dan Jarvis receives 4% and Tristrum Hunt 3%.

    Link tothe Sun on Sunday article: http://bit.ly/2dvEOB4

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,015 adults aged 18+, on 21-23rd September 2016. Data has been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

  • Sun on Sunday Theresa May Poll

    Theresa May strolls into Downing Street with a fresh team and a honeymoon vibe, perhaps confronting big and tricky issues but sure of her position both as the unquestioned leader of the party and with a growing gap over the Labour opposition, embroiled in as great an implosion as any witnessed in modern British politics.

    On core voting intentions, May’s Conservatives increase their orthodox polling lead from 8-points before her ascension last week to 10-points now, just shy of the politically symbolic 40% mark. They stand on 39% (+1), but Corbyn’s Labour sheds another point, now below the equally symbolic 30% mark, polling just 29% (-1). The figures for publication are shown in the first column of the table below:

    But what impact do naming the Labour leadership contenders have on these numbers? The new Prime Minister may smirk as she reads that naming her and her current opposite number, Jeremy Corbyn, pushes the Tories up to stratospheric heights of 43%, while Labour dip further (29%).  Should she be concerned by the Labour challengers, she may smile just a little more when she sees that Angela Eagle pushes the Labour share down to 26%, while Owen Smith does slightly better by securing his party a potential 27%, both short of the number that the much derided current leader polls.

    That may change, of course, as the public come to know more of Eagle and Smith, both in terms of their policy positions and personal characteristics. The full table for comparison is as follows:

     

    Main vote intentions May vs Corbyn May vs Eagle May vs Smith
    Conservative 39% 43% 43% 42%
    Labour 29% 28% 26% 27%
    Liberal Democrat 9% 8% 8% 8%
    UKIP 14% 13% 12% 12%
    SNP 4% 4% 5% 5%
    PC 1% 1% 1% 1%
    Green 4% 3% 5% 5%
    Other 1% 1% 1% 1%

    While May might think that such numbers make calling an early General Election an attractive proposition, the public, on balance, fail to see why she should. Half (50%) think she should carry on until the end of the fixed-term, while 39% believe it would be worth confirming her own mandate.

    Brexit is, of course, a significance challenge for her government, but out of the starting gates the public are most likely to believe she will secure good terms for Britain’s exit (49%), rising to 77% confidence among prospective Tory voters. One in seven (14%) think she’ll deliver but on bad terms, while a similar number (13%) think that she won’t see Britain out of the EU while she inhabits Number 10. The public would like to hear an end to the carping about the referendum result, with 56% saying that they’re bored of the complaints and that the Remainers should get over it.

    The public are realistic about the timeline for Brexit though, with half (52%) thinking we’ll still be in the EU in two years’ time, although most (69%) think the job will be done within five years (69%) and ten years (71%) respectively.

    Access to the free market is more important to people (38%) than free movement of people (10%), but when it comes to the things that May should do, a cap on immigration gets most mentions although getting on with Brexit is thought to be the single most important thing on her to-do list.

    The public would agree that Scotland should remain part of the UK, with only 32% seeing the need for a second Indyref.

    May is seriously thought to have the backing of her party (70% compared to Corbyn’[s miserable 11%, while May looks to the future according to 56% (Corbyn 33%) and has the courage to say what’s right rather than what’s popular (55% v Corbyn 47%). She’s in a different league on being good in a crisis (40% vs 16). Only in understanding people like me (26%) does May begin to struggle, with slightly more (29%) saying it about Corbyn. Only 16% would like to share a pint with May down the pub, with 29% saying that Corbyn would be good company.

    May & Hammond separate themselves completely (53%) from Corbyn/McDonnell (15%) on running the economy.