• The Guardian – March 2018 Poll 2

    May: there be signs of a strengthening Theresa?

    Last week saw the news dominated by the poisoning of a Russian former double agent in Salisbury involving a nerve agent. In the latest ICM/Guardian poll we asked the British public how well they thought May and Corbyn responded to this attack in their capacities as Prime Minister and leader of the opposition respectively.

    On this issue of national security, our results show a large gulf between the public’s perceptions of the two main party leaders.

    A majority (51%) of the British public think Theresa May has responded well. This is in stark contrast to Jeremy Corbyn’s ratings, with only 23% thinking he responded well in his capacity as leader of the opposition. Two in five (42%) think he responded badly to the attack, approximately double the one in five (22%) who think May responded badly.

    Even when looking at Labour voters in isolation, Corbyn cannot claim a majority who think he responded well to the attack (46%). On the other hands, Conservative voters are highly supportive of May’s response, with more than four in five (83%) thinking May responded well in her role as Prime Minster.

    Maybe – just maybe – this has resulted in a slight boost for Theresa May’s Conservatives in our vote intention polling. We see the trend from our previous poll continuing, with the Conservatives gaining 1% at the expense of Labour.

    Conservatives: 44% (+1)

    Labour: 41% (-1)

    LibDems: 8% (+1)

    SNP: 3% (nc)

    We shouldn’t speak too soon, as these are still small shifts in our results. Nevertheless, in the context of recent deadlock in our regular ICM/Guardian vote intention polling, it is possible that this could be showing the start of a small shift away from Labour and towards the Conservatives. We’ll be watching the next few polls closely, to see if this develops into anything more than a small blip in an otherwise unprecedented period of far-too-close-to-call polls.

    To top off a poll that may add a small dose of positivity to those around Theresa May, there is evidence that some of the public’s negativity surrounding Brexit may be easing. We re-asked a question on how well or badly the Brexit process is going, with results shown below. Crucially, the vast majority of our fieldwork was carried out in advance of yesterday’s big announcement on Brexit transition, and so we can take these results as indicative of public opinion before the announcement.

     

    Overall, how do you think the Brexit process of the UK leaving the EU is going? December 2017 February 2018 March 2018
    Net: Well 21% 16% 19%
    Net: Badly 51% 53% 47%

     

    Since we last asked the question at the beginning of February, the proportion of the British public who think Brexit is going badly has dropped by 6 percentage points, from 53% to 47%. This is the lowest proportion we’ve seen for Brexit going badly since we’ve started asking this question, and means we can no longer claim that a majority of the British public think the Brexit process is going badly. Nevertheless, Brexiteers should keep the sparkling wine on ice for the time being, as still fewer than one in five (19%) Brits think Brexit is going well. There’s still a very long way to go before the British public are ready to hold up Brexit as a success.

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,013 adults aged 18+, between 16th – 19th March 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

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,021 adults aged 18+, between 2nd – 4th February 2018. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

  • The Guardian – 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 – November 2017 Poll 2

    Last week’s budget was one of the most important for a governing party in recent years. On the one hand, the Government was seeking to restore some semblance of stability and direction following the general election debacle and the disappointing Tory party conference. On the other, Philip Hammond required a strong budget to shore up his own allegedly unsecure position amidst clamouring from Tory Brexiteers for him to be replaced.

     

    Set against this context, the results of the latest Guardian/ICM poll present a glimmer of hope for the embattled chancellor and his prime minister. Philip Hammond and Theresa May are perceived to be better able to manage the economy than the Labour pair of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell (36% versus 28%), reinforcing the broadly positive reception to the speech from many in the blue camp at Westminster.

     

    That said, Downing Street will be concerned that the 8 percentage point Tory lead on economic competence is lower than the 13 point gap recorded last month (39% vs 26%) and significantly lower than the 31 point lead enjoyed in March (42% vs 12%) when the Conservatives were riding the crest of a wave before the general election.

     

    Nonetheless, the budget may have done enough to steady Tory nerves, especially since the top two parties remain level pegging in terms of voting intention. 41% of the public say they would vote Labour if there was a general election tomorrow and the same proportion (41%) would vote Conservative, unchanged from earlier this month and the sixth successive Guardian/ICM poll where no party has been in the lead.

     

    The background to this, of course, is the hotting-up of Brexit negotiations, with discord between Dublin and Westminster about the status of Northern Ireland and Theresa May under pressure from Brussels to increase Britain’s financial offer. If the PM is determined to follow public opinion on this issue then she should note that the majority of people think it is unacceptable for the UK to pay an exit fee of £20billion or more as a one off or in instalments as a form of compromise (£40 billion (71%), £30 billion (67%)  £20 billion (28%)). By a margin of 50% to 32%, the public believe Britain should pay £10 billion, considerably lower than the figure being talked about by the EU officials.

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed 2,029 adults 18+ online on 24th-26th November 2017. Interviews were conducted across Britain 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)

  • 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.

  • Vote Intention Poll – 12-15 August

    In ICM’s latest poll, the Conservatives continue to hold a strong vote share – well ahead of Labour – although support has dropped by 3 percentage points since our July poll. The full voting intention shares are:

    Conservative: 40% (-3)

    Labour: 28% (+1)

    UKIP: 14% (+1)

    Liberal Democrat: 8% (=)

    SNP 4% (=)

    Green 4% (=)

    Plaid Cymru 1% (=)

    Other 1% (+1)

  • Vote Intention Poll – July 22-24th 2016

    In the latest ICM Unlimited poll, the Labour Party share of the vote continues to drop steeply, now down to 27% – a figure not seen (in the ICM/Guardian) series since October 2009. It drops 2-points from our most recent published poll (13-15th July) with the Conservatives up +4 on the same poll, and again at a level not seen since the same October 2009 poll.

    Clearly, the relative calm associated with the handover of power from David Cameron to Theresa May, allied to the current Labour leadership challenge weighs heavily on electors’ minds.

    The shares are:

    Conservative 43% (+4)

    Labour 27% (-2)

    UKIP 13% (-1)

    Liberal Democrat 8% (-1)

    SNP 4% (nc)

    Green 4% (nc)

    Plaid Cymru 1% (nc)

    Other *% (-1)

  • Vote intention poll

    The latest vote intention figures include a number of methodological changes that have been in the pipeline for some time, but needed the reinforcement of a successful outing at the EU referendum before full confidence in them could be established. Given momentous events at Westminster with today’s news that Theresa May is the sole politician left standing in the Conservative’s leadership race (and that the changes had little impact compared to last week’s more pre-changes publication), it seems as good a time as any to introduce them now, allowing an ICM benchmark to be set at the outset of Theresa May’s likely leadership of the party.

    In summary, the ICM vote intention numbers are based on the following:

    1. The release of email invites staggered over a weekend in order to prevent certain types of respondent bed blocking geo-demographic quotas (introduced pre-referendum).
    2. Additional quotas set on voting in the 2015 General Election, allowing for DK/Refusal contributions (introduced late 2015).
    3. Past vote weighting to the 2015 result. The impact of this is negligible, given the application of political quotas as stated in (2) immediately above.
    4. Replacement of the traditional turnout modelling scheme based on the 1-10 probability of actually voting in General Elections. This scheme is no longer fit for purpose in an age of overstating turnout, both in total and relative terms. Instead, ICM has constructed a turnout probability matrix cross-referencing age and social grade, modelled to 2015 actual turnout levels via estimates from various sources, including the British Election Studies (New).
    5. The introduction of political interest weighting, also based on BES numbers (New).
    6. Partial refuser and total refuser post-survey adjustment, both introduced after the 2015 General Election.

     

    The combined impact of these changes is small, compared to this poll but based on last week’s methods, or indeed last week’s pre-change poll but based these methods applied. As a rough guide, the impact is to add 1-point to the Conservatives, while taking off 1-point from Labour.

    The voting figures are:

    Conservatives 38%

    Labour 30%

    Lib Dems 8%

    UKIP 15%

    SNP 5%

    Green 4%

    Other *%