• 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 – March 2018 Poll

    With both party leaders making major speeches on Brexit last week, the latest ICM/Guardian poll aimed to look at what impact, if any, these speeches had outside the Westminster bubble.

    The short answer is: not much.

    With fieldwork starting after the Theresa May finished her Brexit speech on Friday, these results provide a good initial read public opinion in the immediate aftermath of the two key speeches. By subtracting those who disagree with each statement shown from all those who agree with the statement, we get a net score per statement. We asked four pairs of statements on whether each leader and party’s policy on Brexit is clearer than before, has realistic aims, makes people more likely to vote for that party, and is a policy which the public overall approve of. The results are shown below:

    Guardian Brexit V2

    Net score
    Jeremy Corbyn and Labour’s policy on Brexit is much clearer than it was before 1%
    Theresa May and the government’s policy on Brexit is much clearer than it was before -5%
    The aims of Jeremy Corbyn and Labour in Brexit negotiations seem realistic -11%
    The aims of Theresa May and the government in Brexit negotiations seem realistic 0%
    Overall I approve of Jeremy Corbyn and Labour’s Brexit policy -13%
    Overall I approve of Theresa May and the government’s Brexit policy -3%
    Jeremy Corbyn’s policy on Brexit makes me more likely than otherwise to vote Labour -17%
    Theresa May’s policy on Brexit makes me more likely than otherwise to vote Conservative -14%


    This is bleak reading for both Labour and Conservatives. Our regular polling results seems to increasingly show Brexit to be a zero-sum game for the two main parties – politicians have to be seen to be taking a position, but any position chosen is generally met with more public disagreement than agreement.

    Jeremy Corbyn and Labour have the one positive net score in this poll, with one percent point more of the British public thinking that Corbyn and Labour’s Brexit policy is clearer than it was before (net score = 1%). This compares favourably with Theresa May and the government’s equivalent net score, which is on -5%.

    However, Corbynites shouldn’t see this as a cause for celebration, as whilst his and his party’s position may now be marginally more clear, it’s equally apparent that the public are not enamoured with it. On balance the British public do not think that Corbyn and Labour’s aims in Brexit negotiations are realistic (net score = -11%) or approve of their Brexit policy overall (net score = -13%). Ultimately only 1 in 4 (25%) agree that Corbyn and Labour’s position on Brexit makes them more likely to vote Labour, with more than 2 in 5 (42%) disagreeing – giving a net score of -17%.

    May and the government consistently have less negative scores than Corbyn and Labour on all areas apart from Brexit policy clarity (net score = -5%). Whilst the net score on ‘Theresa May’s policy on Brexit makes me more likely than otherwise to vote Conservative’ is marginally higher than the equivalent statement for Corbyn and Labour (net score =-14%), there are much bigger differences between the two leaders’ and parties’ perception in terms of realistic aims and overall approval.  Equal proportions of the British pubic agree and disagree that May and the government’s aims in Brexit negotiation seem realistic (net score = 0%), whilst the net score on overall approval of May and the government’s Brexit policy is -3%.

    It’s worth maintaining perspective when viewing these results. When we are comparing Brexit perceptions in terms of Labour vs. Conservative, May vs. Corbyn, we are generally comparing degrees of negativity. This is not a story of public enthusiasm and positivity – quite the opposite – so maybe the best the parties can hope for is to limit the public negativity associated with their chosen Brexit approach.

    In terms of voting intentions, there’s very little change. Labour and Conservatives trade one percent of the public’s vote intention between them, meaning the Conservatives regain a slim lead on 43% compared to Labour’s 42%. But these two proportions are still very much within the margin of error on this poll, so if there was an election tomorrow, we’d still consider it too close to call. Results for the main Westminster parties are shown below, with comparison to our previous poll a fortnight ago.

    Conservatives: 43% (+1%)
    Labour: 42% (-1%)
    LibDems: 7% (nc)
    SNP: 3% (nc)

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,030 adults aged 18+, between 2nd – 4th  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.

  • BBC Wales – St David’s Day Poll 2018

    ICM Unlimited were commissioned by BBC Wales to carry out the annual St David’s Day poll.

    The table below shows the trend data on attitudes towards devolved powers for Wales:

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


    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative sample of 1,001 adults aged 18+ by telephone, between 8th – 25h February 2018. Interviews were conducted across Wales 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.

    Click here for methodology details

  • The Guardian – January 2018 poll

    The first Guardian/ICM poll of 2018 shows Labour with a slender one percentage point voting intention lead over the Conservatives:

    • Labour: 41% (up 1 point from Guardian/ICM poll a month ago)
    • Conservatives: 40% (down 2 points)
    • Lib Dems: 7% (down 1 point)
    • Ukip: 4% (down 1 point)
    • Greens: 3% (up 1 point)

    In terms of which leader is most trusted to do the best job, Theresa May retains a healthy lead over Corbyn when it comes to security, Brexit, controlling immigration, and the economy. Crucially, the margin of lead over the Labour leader – which fell between May and September last year – has stabilised. As previously, Corbyn is more trusted to protect the needs of pensioners, public services in general and the NHS, while making the country fairer.

    May Corbyn May lead Sep-17 May-17
    Protecting people from threats at home and abroad 38 21 17 18 30
    Negotiating a good Brexit deal for the UK 35 19 16 14 34
    Controlling immigration 34 19 15 19 29
    Managing the economy properly 36 24 12 14 28
    Ensuring pupils and students get a good education 29 32 -3 -8 4
    Protecting the environment 25 29 -4 n/a n/a
    Protecting the interests of pensioners 23 35 -12 -14 1
    Making Britain a fairer country 25 37 -12 -15 -1
    Improving public services generally 24 37 -13 -16 -2
    Protecting and improving the NHS 21 39 -18 -18 -3


    Please click here for Andrew Sparrow at The Guardian’s take on the results: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2018/jan/16/brexit-boris-johnson-condemned-for-escalating-discredited-claim-about-saving-uk-350m-per-week-politics-live?page=with:block-5a5dddcfe4b0cb50d2972172#block-5a5dddcfe4b0cb50d2972172


    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,027 adults aged 18+, between 12th – 14th 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.

  • Sun on Sunday, Nov-Dec 2017 Poll

    Amidst the cold of the British winter, the country is gearing up for the marriage of Prince Harry and his American girlfriend, Meghan Markle, at Windsor Castle in May. Predictably, there has been extensive domestic and international media coverage of the engagement, prompting many commentators to suggest that it may lighten the spirits of a country still polarised from the aftermath of the EU referendum.

    New polling by ICM for the Sun on Sunday among a nationally representative sample of the general public suggests that most people think the royal wedding will be a positive thing for Royal Family itself and among the population as a whole. Seven in ten (71%) people believe it will lead to a general ‘feel-good factor’ for the Royal’s and six in ten (59%) say the same about the general mood of the country.

    However, people are split in terms of whether they think the couple’s marriage will be a boost for British businesses: 40% say it will lead to a feel-good factor for the UK economy and 42% say it will not. Moreover, fewer people say that the wedding of Prince Harry and Ms Markle will lead to a feel-good factor in the Conservative Government (26% compared to 41% who say not) as well as themselves personally (33% vs 53% who say not). Overall, the research suggests that it will lighten the spirits of the nation but will not necessarily benefit them materially.

    The results of our poll also show support for the wedding in the content of Ms Markle being an American actress, of mixed ethnicity and a divorcee. The majority of the public agree (63%) that it makes the Royal Family look modern and more in touch with most British families (just 11% disagree) and that the couple will make great ambassadors for the UK and its people (61% agree and 9% disagree). While some have suggested that the glitz undermines the traditional respectability of the Monarchy, this is not a view widely held: twice as many people disagree as agree that it makes the Royal Family more like showbusiness than a serious institution (48% vs 22%).

    While Theresa May will be disappointed that the royal wedding is unlikely to give the Tories a bounce in the polls, they trail Labour by just a single percentage point with the Conservatives on 40% and Labour 41% if a general election was held tomorrow. Labour are unchanged and the Conservatives down one point since ICM’s most recent poll for The Guardian, conducted last weekend.

    Moreover, when set against fraught Brexit negotiations with Brussels for agreeing a transition deal and long-term trade arrangement, Mrs May will be pleased to lead Jeremy Corbyn (by 40% to 32%) when asked who would make the best prime minster. However, in a sign of how difficult things have been for the Conservatives since the general election, Mrs May’s lead over Mr Corbyn has fallen from 21 to 8 points since May.

    It’s also the case that Mr Corbyn is perceived to be doing a better job as Labour leader than Mrs May is performing as prime minister. Corbyn registers a +3 score, with 41% describing him as doing a good job including 79% of Labour voters: in contrast, the PM records a -18 rating, with 32% of the public and 70% of Tory voters stating that she does a good job.

    Vince Cable has work to do to get himself and the Lib Dems noticed. Not only do more people think he is doing a bad than good job (31% versus 19%), but his support among his own supporters is lower than for any other party (62%).

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative sample of 2,050 adults aged 18+ online, on 29 November–1 December 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 October Poll

    At a lead of 17-points, this is the joint second highest EVER recorded in the dating back to 1992, only beaten by a Gordon Brown crisis of June 2008. The Tories 43% is two-points adrift of its highest share ever recorded by ICM (three times after the 1992 election, Jun-08 and Nov-08 plus 44% on three occasions straddling 08-09). We did have them on 43% back in July this year.

    As for Labour, their 26% has only been ‘beaten’ by 25% in Jun 08 and Aug 09, and the last Guardian/ICM at this level was Sep 09 (the only other time). However, ICM did also put them on 26% three weeks’ ago for a Sunday newspaper.

    In fact though, Labour’s share has only been saved from a record low by ICM’s standard post-fieldwork adjustment techniques, which ordinarily help the Tories. The reason for this is that this week, there are a high number of people who say they voted Labour in 2015 but DK/refuse to say what they will do next time, and our reallocation of them back to the party for they voted for ends up adding two-points back to Labour.

    Labour’s struggles are especially prevalent among women (Tory split 39% vs 52% in favour of women).

    We also see further decline in the UKIP share, possibly prompted by recent fisticuffs and the return of Nigel Farage. At 11% they dip below their 2015 election share for the first time with ICM and it’s the lowest we’ve ever had them on an online poll (although phone polls pre-2015 had them lower very often).

  • The Guardian – September Poll 1

    In the latest Guardian/ICM poll – which has permanently switched to online data collection allied to twice-monthly outputs – the Conservatives (41%) retain a sizeable gap (13-points) over Labour (28%), even though Labour claw back 1-point compared to our last poll in late August.

    The Conservatives dominate English seats in Parliament, and currently sit on a 16-point lead over Labour in England. With Scotland very much in the tight grip of the SNP and the Right making advances in Wales  it is hard to see where Labour could look for comfort right now, or that much will change until the leadership contest is over.


  • Voting intention poll 26-28 August

    Nothing really to see here, if you’re only interested in statistically significant movements in polling data.

    If you prefer a more melodramatic interpretation, well, Labour have bounced back down to their most recent floor of 27%, last seen exactly a month ago in the ICM/Guardian series but before that not since the slow torture of Gordon Brown’s last months in office (October 2009).

    It’s the third straight Guardian/ICM with Labour snugly below the politically symbolic 30% threshold, although its Selectorate do not appear to mind that much, given a poll reported today that suggests Jeremy Corbyn will cruise his re-selection.

    The Conservatives for their part, also hit a politically symbolic mark for the third straight occasion. More happily for the new PM, the share is above the success marker of 40%, their current showing of 41% estimated by Electoral Calculus to yield a majority in the House of Commons of 102 seats (excluding Northern Ireland). This is the fifth 40%+ share for the Tories from ICM since the 2015 General Election, compared to only one such rarely-spotted phenomenon (Jan 12) in the previous electoral cycle. This remains solidly honeymoon territory.

    ICM Unlimited interviewed 2,040 adults online on 26-28th August 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.

  • Guardian/ICM voting intention poll

    ICM interviewed a nationally representative sample of 2,001 GB adults aged 18+. Fieldwork was conducted online on 24-26 June 2016.