• The Guardian – July 2018 Poll 2

     

    It’s been a busy two weeks in politics since our last ICM/Guardian poll. Cabinet resignations, Trump’s visit to the UK, a series of nail-bitingly close Brexit votes, the breakdown of pairing MPs on maternity leave in those votes and Labour’s ongoing antisemitism row are just some of the stories that have dominated the political news over the past fortnight.

     

    But in this maelstrom of political news, public opinion polling can provide a refreshing insight on what impact – if any – these stories are having on the British public at large.

     

    When it comes to our headline voting intention, we are seeing some noteworthy shifts. While we wouldn’t consider these statistically significant, in what has been a generally deadlocked political climate, we can see a shift in our polls which is larger than what we have been used to of late.

     

    What was a two-point lead for the Conservatives has completely evaporated over the past two weeks, and has turned into a one-point lead for Labour. And while we have seen an aggregate three percentage-point swing in vote share from Tories to Labour, we shouldn’t ignore UKIP – who continue their slow and steady progress from the previous poll, up another percentage point to 5%.

     

    There has been some speculation that events of the past few weeks have confirmed the current Conservative government as pushing a soft Brexit in the eyes of hard Brexiteers, hence the gain of UKIP at the Conservatives. On this poll alone, it’s simply too early to tell if this is the case. But should we see UKIP’s vote share increase further in our next poll at the expense of the Conservatives, then we may need to revisit this analysis.

     

    The results are shown in the table below, with percentage point changes from our previous poll in brackets.

     

    Conservative

    40% (-1)

    Labour

    41% (+2)

    LibDem

    8% (-1)

    SNP

    3% (nc)

    PC

    *% (nc)

    Green

    3% (nc)

    UKIP

    5% (+1)

    Other

    1% (nc)

     

    However, the below may illuminate some of the shifts in headline voting intention. We’ve brought back a tracker question we last asked in January on which of the two main party leaders the public trust most to do the best job in a range of key policy areas.

     

    While most of the scores haven’t shifted much over the past half a year, one result grabs the attention immediately – the public’s trust in Theresa May being able to negotiate a good Brexit deal for the UK has collapsed. It used to be the second strongest area for May compared to Corbyn on the areas we’ve tested, beaten only by protecting people from threats at home and abroad, but now it falls to her fourth strongest area. Whereas over a third (35%) of Brits trusted May to successfully negotiate Brexit at the start of the year, now it’s only one in four (26%). It wasn’t too long ago – back in May 2017 – that almost half (47%) of the public trusted May most to do the best job of negotiating Brexit. To see this proportion collapse to just over a quarter (26%) on what’s considered the biggest issue of the day could explain some of the pressure exerted on her leadership coming from within her party in recent weeks.

     

    The only consolation for May’s supporters is seeing Corbyn treading water in his perceived ability to successfully negotiate Brexit, with only 18% trusting Corbyn over May.

     

    When couched in terms of negotiating Brexit, there seems to be a public appetite for someone else entirely. We’ve seen those who trust neither May nor Corbyn to negotiate a good Brexit deal jump from 31% in January to 44% in this poll. This now means that, more than in any other area we ask, a large slice of the British public tend to trust neither May nor Corbyn on Brexit. So for as long as Brexit remains the major political issue at stake, we shouldn’t expect rumours of leadership challenges to Theresa May to go away any time soon.

     

    The other point worth noting is that trust in May to protect and improve the NHS has improved since January – with around one in four (26%) now trusting her over Corbyn on the NHS, compared to around one in five (21%) back in January. While Corbyn still leads May with almost 2 in 4 (38%) trusting him more to protect and improve the NHS, it’s possible that the promise of additional NHS spending – funded by that controversial ‘Brexit dividend’ – has had the effect of boosting May’s perceptions as a safe custodian of the NHS.

     

    The headline results to this question are below, including historical data for the difference between the two leaders scores in previous polls.

     

      Theresa May Jeremy Corbyn May lead Jan-18 Sep-17 May-17
    Protecting people from threats at home and abroad 38 19 19 17 18 30
    Controlling immigration 34 18 16 15 19 29
    Managing the economy properly 35 22 13 12 14 28
    Negotiating a good Brexit deal for the UK 26 18 8 16 14 34
    Ensuring pupils and students get a good education 29 33 -4 -3 -8 4
    Protecting the environment 23 29 -6 -4 n/a n/a
    Protecting the interests of pensioners 24 33 -9 -12 -14 1
    Making Britain a fairer country 25 36 -11 -12 -15 -1
    Protecting and improving the NHS 26 38 -12 -18 -18 -3
    Improving public services generally 23 38 -15 -13 -16 -2

     

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,010 adults aged 18+, between 20th – 22nd July 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 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 – February 2018 Poll 2

    This week’s voting intention has Labour up three percentage points to 43%, with the Conservative bumping up by 1 point to 42%. This means that the narrow one point lead for the Conservatives in our last poll has shifted to a narrow one point lead for Labour in our poll out today.

     

    We shouldn’t make too much of these small shifts. Indeed, since the last general election in June 2017, no ICM/Guardian poll has shown a lead of more than 2 percentage points for either Labour or the Tories. This makes it a run of 13 polls where we’d consider the result ‘too close to call’, meaning the lead for either main party is within the margin of error. This is totally unprecedented in the regular polling ICM have carried out for The Guardian over almost 35 years – never before have we had so many consecutive polls where the two main parties have been so close to each other.

     

    However, we can quite confidently say that UKIP would be highly unlikely to win a general election if it were to be held tomorrow, as they slip down one percentage point to 3%. Whilst UKIP have been on 3% in ICM/Guardian polls before, they have never been lower – this is their joint lowest result since we started regularly asking voting intention about UKIP back in 2012.

     

    We’ve asked a new question on which party the public trust most to do the best job in some key policy areas:

     

    Labour Conservatives Neither Don’t know Labour lead
    Protecting people from threats at home and abroad 23% 38% 22% 18% -15%
    Negotiating a good Brexit deal for the UK 21% 34% 31% 14% -13%
    Controlling immigration 20% 35% 31% 14% -15%
    Managing the economy properly 26% 38% 23% 14% -12%
    Ensuring pupils and students get a good education 37% 28% 20% 15% 9%
    Protecting the interests of pensioners 37% 24% 23% 15% 13%
    Making Britain a fairer country 38% 25% 24% 13% 13%
    Improving the public services generally 42% 21% 23% 14% 21%
    Protecting and improving the NHS 44% 21% 24% 12% 23%

     

    We’ll be tracking the results over the next few months. The initial results may not be surprising, with Labour having strong leads on the NHS (23%pts) and public services generally (21%pts), whilst the Conservatives lead on the economy (12%pts), Brexit (13%pts), immigration (15%pts) and protecting Britain from threats at home and abroad (15%pts).

     

    We asked a similar question back in January, instead asking which leader, rather than party, the public trusted most to do a good job in each area. The scores from that poll are below:

     

    Jeremy Corbyn Theresa May Neither Don’t know Corbyn lead
    Protecting people from threats at home and abroad 21% 38% 26% 16% -17%
    Negotiating a good Brexit deal for the UK 19% 35% 31% 15% -16%
    Controlling immigration 19% 34% 33% 15% -15%
    Managing the economy properly 24% 36% 27% 14% -12%
    Ensuring pupils and students get a good education 32% 29% 23% 16% 3%
    Protecting the interests of pensioners 35% 23% 28% 13% 12%
    Making Britain a fairer country 37% 25% 25% 13% 12%
    Improving the public services generally 37% 24% 27% 12% 13%
    Protecting and improving the NHS 39% 21% 27% 12% 18%

     

    Taking the results of these two questions together, we get the following results on how each party leader’s performance compares to their party’s on the key issues. A positive score is where the leader has a better performance rating than their party:

     

    May vs. Tories Corbyn vs. Labour
    Protecting people from threats at home and abroad 0% -2%
    Negotiating a good Brexit deal for the UK 1% -2%
    Controlling immigration -1% -1%
    Managing the economy properly -2% -2%
    Ensuring pupils and students get a good education 1% -5%
    Protecting the interests of pensioners -1% -2%
    Making Britain a fairer country 0% -1%
    Improving the public services generally 3% -5%
    Protecting and improving the NHS 0% -5%

     

    Corbyn’s personal ratings are lower than the Labour party’s in all of the key areas we asked on. This contrasts with Theresa May, who outperforms her party on ‘improving the public services generally’ (3%pts), with smaller popularity leads over her party in terms of education and negotiating a good Brexit deal. Whilst there are some negative scores, Theresa May’s performance on the key areas is generally within two percentage points of her party’s score. Compare this with Corbyn’s scores – while consistently lower than his party’s, he lags behind especially in terms of the two Labour strengths: improving public services and the NHS (both 5%pts lower).

     

    In short: Theresa May’s popularity is broadly in line with her party’s on the key issues we asked, whereas Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity is consistently lower than his party’s.

     

    Finally, we asked a question on the controversy surrounding Oxfam staff’s use of prostitutes while delivering aid in Haiti in 2011, some of whom may have been under-age. Excluding those who don’t donate to humanitarian charities, a majority (52%) of the Great British public say that this news has made them less likely to donate to humanitarian charities such as Oxfam. Only about a third (36%) claim that they are no less likely to donate as a result, while 1 in 8 (13%) say they don’t know if they are less likely to donate or not.

     

    This shows the scale of the task facing Oxfam and the wider sector in light of the scandal. With Oxfam’s chief executive due to appear at a special hearing of the International Development Select Committee on Tuesday, the sheer magnitude of the task ahead to rebuild this loss of trust could not be clearer.

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,027 adults aged 18+, between 16th – 19th  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.

     

    Download tables here

     

  • BBC Wales St.David’s Day poll

    Data for the regualr BBC Wales poll can be downloaded below.

    Constitutional options trend as follwos:

    Mar-17 Mar-16 Mar-15 Sep-14 Mar-14 2013 2012 2011 2010
    Independence 6% 6% 6% 3% 5% 9% 7% 11% 11%
    Assembly plus more powers 44% 43% 40% 49% 37% 36% 36% 35% 40%
    Assembly remain as present 29% 30% 33% 26% 28% 28% 29% 18% 13%
    Assembly with fewer powers 3% 3% 4% 2% 3% 2% 2% 17% 18%
    Abolish Assembly 13% 13% 13% 12% 23% 20% 22% 15% 13%
    DK 3% 4% 3% 5% 4% 4% 4% 4%