• The Guardian – Bias in Britain BAME Polling


    This landmark ICM Unlimited poll on behalf of The Guardian shows the extent of the everyday negative experiences and potential bias faced by BAME people in Britain today.


    ICM interviewed a representative sample of 1,000 Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people living in Britain. This is a sample size and robustness rarely seen among this audience in publicly available polling and allows for a detailed analysis of the experiences and views of Britain’s BAME population.


    The results are stark. A majority (57%) of BAME people agree they have to work harder to succeed in Britain because of their ethnicity. Ultimately, more than 2 in 3 (69%) BAME people think that Britain today has a problem with racism.


    In addition to this representative sample of BAME people, we also sourced a ‘comparison sample’ of over 1,700 White people in Britain, drawn from a nationally representative sample of Great Britain. This approach allowed us to ask both White and BAME people in Britain about certain experiences and take a look at the differences between the two groups.


    For all six experiences we asked of both the BAME and the White sample, BAME people report being more likely to experience them than White people overall. For each and every experience, BAME people were not only more likely to have experienced this, but were also more likely to report having experienced this more recently compared to White people. This suggests that BAME people are much more likely to face the negative experiences we tested, and are also more likely to have these negative experiences with a greater frequency than the White population overall.


    More than 2 in 5 (43%) of BAME people in Britain say they have been overlooked in a job application process or for promotion at work in a manner that felt unfair in the last five years. This is more than double the proportion of White people in Britain who said the same (less than 1 in 5, 18%).


    A quarter (25%) of BAME people in Britain report having been refused entrance or asked to leave a restaurant, bar or club for no good reason in the past 5 years. This is almost three times the proportion of White people who have experienced the same, at less than 1 in 10 (9%).


    More than 2 in 3 BAME people in Britain (69%) say that a stranger has been abusive or rude to them in public, significantly more than the half (52%) of the White population who say the same thing.


    Almost half of BAME people in Britain (47%) say they have been treated like a potential shoplifter in a shop when they hadn’t done anything wrong – more than double the 22% of White people in Britain who say the same. And if some readers might think this is due to events of long ago – legacy racist attitudes which no longer exist – these results pose a real challenge to such views. 15% (around 1 in 7) of BAME people in Britain say they have been treated like a potential shoplifter in the past month alone. The equivalent figure for White people in Britain is only 4% (around 1 in 25).



    Other key findings from this study include:

    • Two-thirds (66%) of BAME people in Britain have experienced someone assuming they aren’t British on the basis of their ethnicity. 1 in 5 (21%) have had someone assume they aren’t British on the basis of their ethnicity within the last month alone.
    • A similar proportion (20%) have experienced someone using racist language in their presence, although not directed at them, in the last month.
    • Half (50%) of BAME people in Britain agree that sometimes people don’t realise that they treat them differently because of their ethnicity,
    • BAME Muslims are more likely to have recent negative experiences which they perceive were in some way because of their religion of belief, compared to BAME people of other religions and beliefs.
    • There are key differences between people of different ethnicities. For example, 45% of Black respondents say they have been unfairly treated like a shoplifter, and the last time they were treated like this it was because of their ethnicity. The equivalent figure falls to 35% among people of mixed ethnicity and more than halves again to 15% among people of Asian ethnicity.
    • 2 in 3 Black people (67%) agree they have to work harder to succeed in Britain because of their ethnicity, significantly more than people of Asian (56%), Other (52%) and Mixed (48%) ethnicities.
    • There are also important difference by gender. BAME men are more likely to have been stopped by the police (46%) or to have been refused entrance or asked to leave a restaurant, club or bar (39% without a good reason compared to BAME women (29% and 30% respectively). Women are more likely to have been through a greater number of these distinct experiences, and are also twice as likely as BAME men to have most recently experienced a stranger being abusive or rude to them in public in a way which was attributable to their gender (13% vs. 6%).
    • Almost 4 in 10 (38%) of BAME people have felt the need to alter their appearance because of their ethnicity. BAME women are more likely to have felt this (42%) compared to BAME men (35%)
    • 3 in 5 BAME people (60%) say someone has confused them with another person of the same ethnicity. This rises to more than 3 in 4 Black people (77%)
    • While there were only 47 people identifying as Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual in our sample of BAME people, these people are consistently more likely to have had negative experiences than straight respondents.



    Alex Turk, Research Manager at ICM Unlimited, comments on the findings.


    ‘Our findings suggest that the negative experiences asked about, some of which may never have been experienced by many White people in Britain, are all-too-often a frequent occurrence among BAME people living in Britain today. This poll suggests that, at least in terms of the experiences we tested, there is a big difference in the lived-experiences of BAME and White people in Britain today.’


    ‘The magnitude of some of these differences may come as a shock to some readers – our poll suggests that BAME people may be several times more likely to be at the receiving end of negative experiences compared to their White friends, colleagues and neighbours.’


    ‘The strong sample size of 1,000, designed to be representative of the BAME population in Britain, allows for a detailed analysis not usually possible on publicly available polling. It allows us to look into the differing experiences and views of subgroups in the BAME and White population. This ultimately helps to disaggregate ‘BAME’ as a broad category – we can look at the differing experiences of Britain’s BAME population by more detailed ethnicity breakdowns, religious belief, age, gender, region, and sexual orientation.’


    ‘We can also see that young people – whether White or BAME – are more likely to say they’ve had the negative experiences we’ve asked about compared to older people. But while this generational divide exists across all ethnicities, it is still clear that BAME people are more likely to have these negative experiences compared to their White contemporaries.’


    ‘One of the few possible positive findings is that a majority (57%) of BAME people in Britain say they either have never experienced someone directing racist language at them or, if they have experienced this, it was more than five years ago. This finding could be interpreted as the result of a positive shift in attitudes over the years – where previously it may have been more socially acceptable to direct racist language at BAME people, it is no longer so.’


    ‘But there are two immediate points that this research raises which can be used in response to this argument. Firstly, it’s still the case that around 1 in 8 (12%) of BAME people have had racist language directed at them in the past month, rising to 1 in 5 (21%) within the past six months, 3 in 10 (29%) within the last year and over 2 in 5 (43%) within the last five years. For many, these figures will still be unacceptably high’


    ‘Secondly, we have to consider more broadly what this research contributes. Even if we view this possible long-term decline in direct racist language as a positive development, the rest of this research shows that there remains a vast range of negative experiences that BAME people are much more likely to be at the receiving end of compared to White people. These negative experiences might be seen by some as less overt and obvious examples of racist, ethnically biased or structurally unequal outcomes. Nevertheless this research strongly suggests that, in the areas we have tested, BAME people are much more likely to have negative experiences than White people in Britain today.’


    ‘Ultimately 2 in 3 BAME people agree the Britain has a problem with racism. It’s a stark result and, in light of the broader findings in this research, we fully expect these findings to contribute to the important debate on ethnicity in Britain today.’


    Read the main Guardian write up, The Guardian’s data visualisations of the polling results, and Afua Hirsch’s comment article on why this study matters.


    Download tables here


  • 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.



    40% (-1)


    41% (+2)


    8% (-1)


    3% (nc)


    *% (nc)


    3% (nc)


    5% (+1)


    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:



    41% (-1)


    40% (nc)


    9% (+1)


    3% (nc)


    *% (+1)


    3% (nc)


    3% (nc)


    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 – May 2018 Poll 1

    This is the first Guardian/ICM poll conducted since the Local Elections which were held across much of England on the 3rd May. While there has been the usual post-mortem and debate on the results and what they mean for the state of the parties, the absence of any large shifts between the main parties lends some corroboration to our polling results which have been largely deadlocked since the 2017 General Election.


    Our latest headline voting intention figures maintain the 3 percentage point lead for the Conservatives over Labour from our previous poll. Make no mistake – this is still a small lead in polling terms, and should not be overstated. However, this poll makes it five consecutive ICM/Guardian polls in which the Tories have led Labour. Our polling has consistently reflected an entrenched political environment since the 2017 General Election, but it’s possible that the Conservatives have opened up a miniscule lead over Labour in the past couple of months.


    The figures are below, with percentage point changes versus the previous poll in brackets:


    Conservative   43% (+1)
    Labour   40% (+1)
    LibDem   8% (nc)
    SNP   3% (nc)
    PC   *% (nc)
    Green   3% (nc)
    UKIP   3% (-1)
    Other   1% (nc)


    With Theresa May reportedly under pressure to extend the Brexit transition period beyond the end of 2020 to allow time for new customs arrangements to be introduced, we wanted to see what the public thought of the issue. While views are fairly evenly split, more of the British public oppose (43%) than support (38%) extending the Brexit transition period beyond 2020. These views are polarised along party and EU Referendum lines: two-thirds (67%) of 2016 Leave voters and 3 in 5 (62%) of those intending to vote Conservative oppose extending the transition period, whereas three in five (59%) 2016 Remain voters and almost half (49%) of those intending to vote Labour support extending the transition period.


    Given recent cabinet tensions over the future of Britain’s reading relationship with the EU, we also tested which of three potential options comes closest to the public’s view on the best customs option after Brexit. Out of the three statements tested, the statement that coming closest to the public’s view is that ‘it is very important to leave the customs union properly, so the UK can strike its own trade deals’, selected by 35%. Around a quarter selected each of the other two options – remaining in the customs union (24%) and a compromise along the lines of the customs partnership (26%) with the remaining 15% saying they don’t know.


    And this poll will make even better reading for those close to Boris Johnson, considering that a clear majority of those planning to vote Conservative (56%), as well as 2016 Leave voters (61%), say that leaving the customs union comes closest to their view. By contrast, 2016 Remain voters and those planning on voting Labour are more evenly split between remaining in the customs union and a compromise solution. While remaining in the customs union attracts more support from both of these groups (36% of Labour voters and 42% of Remainers), it falls short of majority support from either constituency.


    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,050 adults aged 18+, between 11th – 13th 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.

  • The Guardian April (1) Poll

    In the latest instalment of record-setting woe for the Labour Party – who are down a further point from a fortnight ago – their share of the vote has now hit their historical floor of 25% in the Guardian/ICM series. It is their lowest showing in the post-2015 political cycle, and matches only two polls for Labour futility (June and August 2009, when Gordon Brown’s government was at its lowest ebb) in the 34-year series run.

    It’s not so much of a hard landing as we might expect though, as it is cushioned by a 2-point drop in the Tory share. If any consolation can be found, it’s that the Conservative lead consequently narrows to 18-points compared to 19-points last time out.

    The triggering of Article 50 this week may or may not have had a direct impact on the poll shares, but with both of the two main political protagonists down a short rung someone must have taken advantage. ICM polls have been slower to spot rising support for the Liberal Democrats than others, but on this occasion Tim Farron’s party does enjoy a 2-point leap, taking them to 11%, which is their highest from us since January 2015. The electoral conditions do favour the yellow team right now, and maybe at last we are seeing successes at local level elections translating to the national stage.

    Full figures for publication are:

    Conservative 43% (-2)

    Labour 25% (-1)

    Lib Dem 11% (+2)

    UKIP 11% (+1)

    SNP 5% (+1)

    Green 4% (nc)

    Plaid Cymru 1% (nc)

    Other 1% (nc)

    With the UK’s exit from the EU now out of the limbo stage and into the phony war, the headlines have focussed on both sides’ establishment of hard-line negotiating positions, red lines and implied threats to the process. In the end, if a deal is to be made, compromise will have to be found somewhere. So this week ICM tested some ideas that might smooth the negotiating process. Six possible positions were put to the British public, to see what they might be willing to relent on during the two-year process.

    “Not much” is the answer, particularly not cold, hard cash.

    Exit payments of £50b have been bandied about by Michael Barnier, chief negotiator for Brussels, but any UK capitulation on money likely won’t wash with hard-pressed British taxpayer. In fact, only one in ten (10%) are prepared to accept payments equating to less than half of that (£20 billion). One in seven (15%) would stretch to a £10b payment, with a third (33%) prepared to accept a fractional £3 billion in compensation for commitments made by the EU when the UK was a member.

    In case the EU thinks it can divide and conquer, only a single voting sub-group reaches majority support for the £3 billion payment – Lib Dem Remainers (53%) – although Labour Remainers (49%) and the few Liberal Democrat Leavers (49%) nearly join them in the ranks who would find such a payment acceptable.

    When it comes to a £10 billion or indeed a £20 billion exit fee – never mind more than that, the British public appear minded to offer the EU some kind of Chuchillian two-fingered gesture.

    However, other compromises might be in play. Continued but temporary freedom of movement in exchange for a transitional deal that eases the burden of leaving the single market would be acceptable to a majority of people (54%), with all but UKIP voters behind this idea. Leavers (35%) are understandably also less willing.

    Giving preferential treatment to EU citizens who want to come to live and work here over non-EU migrants might also be positively received by the British public, with 48% finding it acceptable (28% unacceptable), but continuing to obey EU Courts of Justice rulings for a few years after Brexit is another compromise that might make the British bristle (34% vs 47%).

    ICM Unlimited interviewed 2,005 adults aged 18+ online on 31 March – 2nd April 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 – February Poll 2

    The latest Guardian/ICM poll is not unprecedented, but only three other polls in the monthly Guardian series dating all the way back to May 1983 (when ICM was Marplan) have produced a larger Conservative lead, and two of those were just days apart before the June 1983 General Election in which Margaret Thatcher humbled Michael Foot.

    The only other poll that had the Tories in such a commanding lead was in June 2008, as Gordon Brown wobbled his way toward the financial implosion associated with the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the ‘election that never was’.

    Not uncharted waters then, but few people would be familiar with heady Tory leads of this size, which is based on the following numbers:

    Con 44% (+2)

    Lab 26% (-1)

    UKIP 13% (+1)

    Lib Dem 8% (-2)

    Green 4% (nc)

    SNP 4% (-1)

    PC *% (-1)

    Other 1% (+1)

    Labour is within touching distance of its floor, one-point below its current standing of 26% (25% having been witnessed twice, in June 2008 and Aug 2009). The Conservatives do still have some way to go before they match their high point of 47.5% in May 1983 (or if you prefer just the ICM part of the series since 1989, the 46% they achieved in May 1992).

    The poll contained three additional questions, one of which related to the role of Speaker, John Bercow, who has come in for some criticism for various behaviours that have not sat well with some members in the Commons. Asked if Bercow is doing a good job and should stay, 30% were able to agree, with most support emanating from Labour voters (43%). Slightly more though felt the opposite: 32% think that the Speaker should go because of partial behaviour – rising to 44% and 58% of Conservative and UKIP voters respectively.

    Donald Trump is another figure who splits the British public, although on this occasion the question is whether he should enjoy a State visit to Britain, or indeed any visit at all. One in five (18%) think he should be barred entry to the country, but many more (37%) think that he should be allowed to visit, but not given the full State visit treatment.  A further third (32%) do think a State visit is appropriate, with UKIP voters dominating voter splits on this matter (65%).

    Finally, the question of how EU nationals are dealt with within the Brexit process looks set to remain contentious, with four in ten (42%) believing that their status should not be confirmed until or unless UK nationals living in other EU nations are given the same right. Almost as many (41%) adopt a much softer view, saying that guaranteeing their right to remain here is the right thing to do, and may even be helpful with wider Brexit negotiations.

    ICM Unlimited interviewed 2,028 adults aged 18+ online on 17-19th February 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 Poll – February 2017

    It is now seven months since the EU referendum sent shock waves through the British and European political classes, but in that time the public have seemingly settled on a moderately stable impression of the state of the parties. The average score for the Conservatives in the Guardian/ICM series is 41%, which they narrowly overshoot in this latest poll (42%).

    In an equal and opposite reaction, Labour finds itself on 27% today, a point below their six month average score of 28%.

    Only the Liberal Democrats (10%) are currently moving things along in a positive direction, finding double figures in consecutive polls which puts them 2-points above their own post referendum average showing (8%). UKIP (12%) are in moderate decline.

    The headline figures compared to the last Guardian/ICM poll in January are:

    Conservative 42% (nc)

    Labour 27% (+1)

    Lib Dems 10% (nc)

    UKIP 12% (-1)

    Green 4% (-1)

    SNP 5% (+1)

    PC 1% (nc)

    Oth 1% (nc)

    Brexit has occupied the public’s thoughts in other ways though – in particular, on how it will manifest itself in terms of national and personal finances. If ever a question exposed the cleavage between two sets of voters this is it. Although there is only a 5-point difference between those who think Brexit will have a negative impact (43%) on the British economy compared to adopting a more positive interpretation (38%), this obscures a huge divide between Remainers and Leavers. Four in five Remainers (81%) think the economy will falter but seven in ten (70%) Leavers believe it will power on.

    But this doesn’t necessarily morph into similar views on personal finances, with a majority (54%) believing themselves to be insulated from Brexit trade winds by saying that it will make no difference to their own finances. Leavers (69%) are particularly settled on this view. Three times as many people do think that Brexit will have negative consequences for personal bank accounts though, with 34% saying there will be a downside, compared to only 12% who think positive benefits will come their way. Remainers, as we might expect, are particularly pessimistic are their own prospects, with 60% of them fearful of their financial future.

    But the referendum was about more than just economic viability, something reconfirmed by the 41% who predict a positive Brexit-related impact on the general way of life in Britain. A third (36%) deny this, with the views of Remainers and Leavers once more in stark contrast. Three-quarters (73%) of Leavers think things will change here for the better, but almost as many (69%) Remainers think Brexit will have a detrimental impact on the British way of things.

    In other news, the public are even more pessimistic about the chances of the Labour Party returning to power in the near future. Back in September, 36% thought that Labour could win the 2020 (16%) or 2025 General Election (20%), but this has fallen back to 33% now (2020: 15%; 2025: 18%). The proportion who think that they won’t return to power until 2040 at the earliest (or never will) has nearly doubled from 6% last September to 10% now.

    However, Labour’s core voters remain optimistic about their chances, with 41% believing that power is within their grasp at the next General Election, although this is 2-points lower than the equivalent September score (43%).

    Finally, in light of the debate about the ideal level of closeness that Theresa May’s government should adopt with new American administration, a preference for a diplomatic and balanced stance emerges (57%), with Britain being unafraid to be either critical or supportive as necessary. One in five (19%) believe a more hostile position should be adopted, with 15% believing that a trusted partnership would be the best option.

    ICM Unlimited interviewed an online sample of 1,984 adults aged 18+ on 3-5th February 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 – January Poll (2)

    In the wake of Theresa May’s speech outlining the UK’s negotiating principles for Brexit, the Tories remain close to their recent high point in the Guardian/ICM series, standing on 42%, with Labour dropping back down to 26% after operating in a slightly higher range since mid-November. The Liberal Democrats return to rare double figures (10%) but remain in fourth place behind UKIP (13%).

    Full results, compared to the Guardian/ICM poll at the end of the first week in January are:

    Conservative 42% (nc)

    Labour 26% (-2)

    Lib Dem 10% (+1)

    UKIP 13% (+1)

    Green 5% (+1)

    SNP 4% (nc)

    PC 1% (nc)

    Other *% (-1)

    Although framing UK-EU negotiations questions is a difficult task, we asked the public how they would most like the outcome to be evaluated. A majority (53%) opt for leaving the EU no matter what happens in the negotiating process, with a quarter (26%) wanting a second referendum on the terms of the deal. One in ten (12%) prefers for a final decision to be made in Parliament.

    In the event that negotiations fail to yield an acceptable outcome within the permitted time frame, just shy of a majority (49%) believe that we should simply leave without a deal – a third (33%) would want to see a postponement or suspension of our exit (with 62% of Remainers understandably preferring this way forward).

    However, if the terms of the deal are not considered to be in the UK’s interest, the public solidly endorse the proposition of us leaving without a trade deal (63%) rather than accepting a bad one (8%). The public also support Theresa May’s threat to change the UK’s business model in the event of the EU only offering a bad deal. Six in ten (59%) agree that she was right to threaten the EU with only 18% saying she was wrong.

    ICM Unlimited interviewed an online sample of 2052 adults aged 18+ on 20-22nd January 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 – January poll (1)

    The first ICM/Guardian poll of 2017 continued where 2016 left off, with a repeat of the commanding 14-point Conservative lead present within the final ICM/Guardian of 2016, albeit with marginal upticks in the share for both parties on this occasion.

    Movements in the data are well within standard margins of error, and thus as likely to be a function of sample size as anything else.

    Conservative 42% (+1)

    Labour 28% (+1)

    Liberal Democrat 9% (nc)

    UKIP 12% (-2)

    Green 4% (+1)

    SNP 4% (nc)

    PC *% (nc)

    Other *% (-1)