• The Guardian – September 2018 Poll 1

    Some commentators have decried the war over words in both main parties that that burst into full-sight over the weekend. But while competing Brexit, leadership and party priorities simmered to the surface, ICM were busy polling whether the British public had substantively changed their position on Brexit.

    If there was another EU referendum tomorrow, how would you vote?

    We asked this question in both January and April this year – both times finding the slimmest of leads for Remain over Leave. Yet at the third time of asking, we have seen a slightly bigger shift, with Remain creeping up one percentage point to 46% and Leave slipping down two percentage points to 42% from April.

    Let’s not get over-excited about these figures – these are still small shifts in numbers, and the result is still considered well within the margin of error. Nevertheless, this is the largest lead for Remain we’ve seen across the three times we’ve asked the question this year. And, when excluding those who prefer not to say, don’t know and wouldn’t vote, the results of this question do catch the eye. If an exact repeat of the 2016 Referendum were to be held tomorrow, this poll predicts an exact reversal of 2016’s result – with the country split 52% to 48%, but this time in favour of Remain.

    We also re-asked a question that was also featured in our Brexit mega-poll in January, and last asked back in May. Asking on the likely impact of Brexit on personal finances, the economy and way of life in general, we see a similarly grim appraisal overall from the British public as observed in May and January.

    Brexiteers may take solace from the fact that there are no huge negative shifts at the overall level. But scratch the surface, and there looks like there might be something interesting happening among those who voted Leave in 2016. Leavers are still more positive than negative about the aspects of Brexit we ask about, but the gap between those who are positive and negative about the impact of Brexit on the way of life in Britain today in general has narrowed by 8 percentage points since the start of the year. Even more strikingly, the equivalent gap has narrowed by 10 percentage points when it comes to the impact on the economy.

    So while the country remains strongly polarised along the same lines as the 2016 Referendum, there are small signs that Leavers’ initial optimism maybe, just maybe, might be fading at the margins.

    And what for the impact on our headline voting intention figures?

    It’s a story of slight but not significant changes. With the Tories up two points to 42% and Labour down one point to 39%, what was a dead heat in our last poll three weeks ago turns into a three percentage point lead for Theresa May’s Conservatives. Percentage point changes on our previous poll are in the table below in brackets.

    Conservative

    42% (+2)

    Labour

    39% (-1)

    LibDem

    8% (nc)

    SNP

    3% (-1)
    PC

    *% (nc)

    Green

    3% (+1)

    UKIP

    4% (-2)
    Other

    *% (-1)

    We still haven’t seen the two main parties break out of a three percentage point bind of each other in a Guardian/ICM poll since the 2017 election. The wait continues.

    On 23rd June 2016, a referendum was held on if the UK should remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union.

    If there was another EU referendum tomorrow, how would you vote?

    • For the UK to Remain in the EU (Jan: 45%; Apr: 45%; Sep 46%)
    • For the UK to Leave the EU (Jan: 43%; Apr: 44%; Sep 42%)
    • I wouldn’t vote (Jan: 6%; Apr: 5%; Sep 6%)
    • Prefer not to say (Jan: 1%; Apr: 1%; Sep 1%)
    • Don’t know (Jan: 5%; Apr: 5%; Sep 5%)
    Impact of Brexit on the British economy
    January May September
    2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers

    Positive impact

    9% 58% 9% 56% 11% 52%

    Negative impact

    75% 12% 77% 10% 75%

    16%

    Makes no difference

    6% 19% 7% 18% 7%

    19%

    Don’t know 9% 11% 6% 15% 7%

    13%

     

    Impact of Brexit on your own personal finances
    January May September
    2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers

    Positive impact

    5% 23% 7% 23% 9% 22%

    Negative impact

    53% 10% 54% 9% 56%

    11%

    Makes no difference

    27% 55% 29% 53% 21%

    54%

    Don’t know 15% 12% 11% 14% 14%

    13%

     

    Impact of Brexit on the way of life in Britain today in general
    January May September
    2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers

    Positive impact

    9% 62% 9% 63% 11% 57%

    Negative impact

    66% 8% 70% 5% 68%

    7%

    Makes no difference

    15%

    22% 14% 21% 12%

    23%

    Don’t know

    8%

    8% 7% 11% 9%

    13%

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,051 adults aged 18+, between 7th – 9th September 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 – August 2018 Poll 2

    ICM-Guardian Poll - Visual FINAL 23-08-18

    The race to Westminster

    The summer parliamentary recess is usually a time when political news dries up and is replaced by the frivolous and the outlandish, in keeping with the ‘silly season’ tradition. This has not been the case this summer. The annual estivation period of politicos and journalists was interrupted by the ongoing sagas of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia within the Labour and Conservative parties, respectively. The dearth of other distracting stories proved to be a curse as Labour’s anti-Semitism definition rows, and Boris Johnson’s burqa comments stubbornly clung on to the front pages of newspapers for days on end. With both parties mired in unseemly and depressing controversies, and with little to distract the public’s attention, one would think that the polls may show some interesting shifts. Not so. Both parties remain evenly matched on 40%, with Labour unchanged from two weeks ago and the Tories up 1 percentage point.

    The Lib Dems and UKIP are still ominously waiting on 8% (up 1) and 6% (no change) respectively, seemingly ready to pounce if either of the main parties leans too heavily one way or the other on Brexit. As we move ever closer to the March 2019 Brexit deadline, by when negotiations with the EU must reach a conclusion, it will be interesting to keep an eye on the fortunes of both the Lib Dems and UKIP – one doubts that their support will not change between now and then.

    Party % Change*
    Conservative 40 +1
    Labour 40 0
    Lib Dem 8 0
    SNP 3 -1
    PC * 0
    Green 2 -1
    UKIP 6 0
    Other 1 0

    *Change from the last poll two weeks ago, 3-5 August

    Brexit Negotiations

    Our further polling this week shows that pessimism is increasing regarding the likelihood of the negotiations between the UK and the EU concluding successfully before ‘Brexit Day’ on 29 March 2019. Since April, the proportion of those that think Brexit will be concluded satisfactorily has fallen from 3 in 10 (28%) to under 1 in 5 (18%). For the first time since we polled this question, the percentage of respondents who think that the negotiations will not conclude successfully in time  is above half, with 60% now thinking this way (up from 47% in April).

    Worryingly for the Conservatives, this swing is particularly pronounced amongst Leave voters and those who intend to vote Tory at the next general election. Whilst, back in April, ‘Leavers’ were evenly split on whether the negotiations would be successful (36% yes, 36% no), these figures now stand at 23% and 54%, respectively. The story is much the same for those who intend to vote Tory at the next general election, with 44% now thinking that the talks will not be resolved satisfactorily (up 12 percentage points) and around a third (32%) thinking that they will (down 13 percentage points).

    These dramatic shifts would seem to back up the narrative that the Chequers plan has not gone down well with the public, and perhaps also reflects exasperation at the stasis with the EU and disagreement within the governing Tory party that has characterised the four months since this question was last asked. Ironically, the results of this question are likely to hearten both UKIP and the proponents of a second referendum.

      October 2017

    %

    April 2018

    %

    August 2018

    %

    Negotiations will conclude satisfactorily 30 28 18
    Negotiations will not conclude satisfactorily 45 47 60
    Don’t know 25 25 22


    The Tories after May

    For the final additional question on this week’s poll, we ran an updated form of a question that we last asked in October 2017. This question reveals what respondents think would be the impact of different Tory leaders if Theresa May were to be removed.

    Unsurprisingly, Boris Johnson proved to be the figure that divided opinion the most. While a higher proportion of respondents (27%) said that the Tories chances would be better with Boris at the helm than with any other of the named candidates, a higher proportion (45%) than any other (save Gove – also 45%) thought that Boris would worsen the Conservatives chances of success at the next general election.

    Following Trump’s victory and the unexpected performance of Jeremy Corbyn in the last general election, Boris may not be too concerned about his divisiveness. The consensus and triangulation techniques of the late 1990s and the early 2000s seem to have been replaced by bombastic confrontation and inflated rhetoric. If this is a route to electoral success, Boris may well find himself in as good a position as any to capitalise.

    Within these top-line findings, the difference between those who intend to vote Labour and those who intend to vote Conservative is dramatic. Only 14% of those who intend to vote Labour think that the Tories chance of success in the next general election would be improved with Johnson in charge, compared to over 2 in 5 (41%) of those who intend to vote Conservative.

    Jacob Rees-Mogg, like Johnson, is a candidate whose impact is judged positively by a much higher proportion of Conservatives and UKIP voters than of those who intend to vote Labour or Lib Dem. 65% of those who intend to vote UKIP think that Rees-Mogg would boost the Tories chances, as do just under a quarter (23%) of Conservative voters. This compares to only 7% of those who intend to vote Labour and 11% of those who intend to vote Lib Dem.

    But could the Conservatives be led at the next general election by someone who has not fully emerged yet? Despite the (potentially preventative) differences in the political systems of the UK and France, the dream of a Macron-esque figure taking the political scene by the scruff of the neck still holds appeal for some voters who currently feel politically homeless. The results indicate that there is some optimism regarding the effect of a quite young and able person who is not currently in government. A quarter think that s/he would improve the Tories chances, and a relatively low 1 in 5 think that such a leader would worsen the chances. Results are not consistent across parties, though. Whilst 31% of those who intend to vote Labour and 38% of those who intend to vote Lib Dem think that such a Tory leader would have a positive effect on the Conservatives’ chances, Tory voters themselves are much more restrained, with only 16% thinking chances would be improved.

     

    Table2

    Ultimately, though, when it comes to the net scores, current Prime Minister Theresa May will be able to take heart. None of the named candidates have positive net scores, suggesting that the public do not think that any of the current crop of potential leadership contenders would improve the Tories’ chances at the next general election if s/he led the party rather than May. Only Ruth Davidson comes out with a modest deficit (-7), with Boris (-18), Rees-Mogg (-19), and Javid (-18) all grouped behind her. Gove (-38) and Hunt (-34) fare even worse, with the public judging them electorally toxic even compared to Theresa May. Only the unidentified ‘young and able’ outsider has a positive net score (+5). These figures make worrying reading for the Tory party, suggesting that an improved electoral performance on June 2017 is currently not within reach.

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,021 adults aged 18+, between 17th and 19th August 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 – August 2018 Poll 1

    Brexit: Deal or No Deal?

    Brexit infographic V3.2

     

    Click here to view the above graphic as a high-quality PDF.

     

    This week’s headline voting intention results are broadly in line with two weeks ago (20th – 22nd July) with Labour enjoying a slender one percentage point lead. In other words, it’s still level pegging which may be a positive thing for both of Britain’s two big parties, with the Tories fighting a civil war over the EU and Labour embroiled in accusations of anti-Semitism.

     

    That said, of the two leaders, Theresa May is perhaps likely to be disappointed that Labour’s poll rating has not been more dented by the anti-Semitism issue given the damaging publicity it attracted last week and over the weekend. It represents the second successive poll where Labour has enjoyed a lead over the Conservatives, the first time since December-January.

     

    If anything, the main parties – including the Lib Dems – have slipped back a little at the expense of Ukip which is polling at its highest level since 12-14 May 2017 when it last recorded 6%. It represents a continuous improvement for the party since the nadir of 16-18 March this year when it sank to just 1%.

     

    Conservative

    39% (-1)*

    Labour

    40% (-1)

    Lib Dem

    7% (-1)

    SNP

    4% (+1)

    PC

    *% (nc)

    Green

    3% (nc)

    UKIP

    6% (+1)

    Other

    *% (nc)

    * Change from previous poll in brackets

     

    We also asked a new question in order to tease out the nuances surrounding public opinion toward the UK’s ongoing negotiations to leaving the EU. The overall results are set out below including a net ‘UK leaves with a deal’ category to aid our analysis. Key findings show that:

     

    • When asked what is best for the country as a whole, more people say that the UK should leave with some sort of deal rather than without a deal (42% vs 16%). Three in ten (31%) believe it would be best if the UK stayed in after a second referendum.
    • When asked what would be worst of the country as a whole, over two-fifths (43%) of the public state leaving the EU without a deal.
    • There are subtle but important differences in opinion between what is best for the country and for them personally. For instance, a higher % believe staying in the EU is best for them personally than it is for the UK overall (36% vs 31%).
    • Whether for the country or personally, a Canada style deal is seen as more beneficial than the prime minister’s Chequers plan or a Norway style arrangement.
    • The majority of Brits believe that Brexit will actually happen but there is uncertainty about the precise outcome. Just under two-fifths (37%) state the country is most likely to leave with some form of deal but a significant minority (27%) think there will be no deal. A further quarter say the UK will leave but with a deal unresolved or that Brexit will be delayed. As many as half (50%) say the UK staying in the EU is least likely to occur.

     

    A. Best for the country as a whole B. Worst for the country as a whole C. Best for you personally D. Worst for you personally E. Most likely to happen F. Least likely to happen

    UK leaves without a deal

    16% 43% 18% 43% 27% 18%

    NET: UK leaves with a deal

    42% 13% 36% 12% 37% 18%

    The UK leaves the EU on time with a deal along the lines set out in the Chequers plan

    (10%) (5%) (10%) (4%) (16%) (6%)

    The UK leaves the EU on time with a ‘harder’ version of Chequers more like a Canada style free trade deal

    (22%) (4%) (17%) (5%) (10%) (6%)

    The UK leaves the EU on time with a ‘softer’ version of Chequers more like a Norway arrangement

    (10%) (4%) (9%) (4%) (11%) (5%)

    UK leaves but with deal unresolved

    3% 9% 3% 9% 15% 6%

    Brexit is delayed

    8% 7% 7% 6% 14% 8%

    UK decides to stay in EU after second referendum

    31% 29% 36% 30% 7% 50%
    TOTAL 100% 100% 100% 100% 100%

    100%

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,049 adults aged 18+, between 3rd and 5th August 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 – 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 – June 2018 Poll 1

     

    The past fortnight has seen an excitable Westminster village react to rumblings of cabinet dissent and possible threats of resignation from Theresa May’s team as the Brexit process nears a crunch phase. And those rumours of a leadership challenge to Theresa May never quite seem to go away…

     

    But how does Theresa May stack up against her opposite number at the despatch box, Jeremy Corbyn? We asked over 2,000 members of the British public to choose between the Labour leader and the Conservative Prime Minister on a range of key leadership characteristics. And the results demonstrate the stark difference between the leaders in the eyes of the public – not just in terms of their politics, but also in their personal style and perceived qualities.

     

    The results are shown below, excluding those who answered ‘don’t know’ (ranging between 20% and 32% of respondents):

     

    Jeremy Corbyn Theresa May May Lead
    …is more likely to take tough decisions 35% 65% 30%
    …is more competent 40% 60% 20%
    …is the stronger leader 40% 60% 20%
    …is more intelligent 42% 58% 16%
    …is more trustworthy 49% 51% 2%
    …is more likeable 53% 47% -6%
    …is more likely to understand people like me 57% 43% -14%
    …is more likely to stand up for what they believe in 58% 42% -16%

     

    There’s a strong lead for May being more likely to take tough decisions, with almost twice as many choosing her over Corbyn on this characteristic. 3 in 5 of those expressing a view also think she is more competent and the stronger leader when compared to Corbyn. An only slightly lower proportion (58%) think she is more intelligent than Corbyn.

     

    Corbyn’s leads are more moderate in size. The same proportion of those expressing a view who think May is more intelligent think Corbyn is more likely to stand up for what he believes in (58%). A similar proportion (57%) think Corbyn is more likely to understand people like them. By a slim margin, a majority of the respondents in our poll who expressed a view think Corbyn is the more likeable of the two leaders – achieving 53% to May’s 47%.

     

    But it seems the country is pretty much evenly split in terms of which party leader is more trustworthy, with 51% of those expressing a view choosing May, compared to 51% choosing Corbyn. Given the topicality of trust in politicians, we thought this question deserved extra analysis.

     

    1 in 3 respondents (30%) answered ‘don’t know’ to this question – the second highest proportion of don’t knows across all the attributes we tested. And it’s it’s worth keeping an eye out for where these ‘don’t knows’ are coming from, which we take a look at below.

     

    While there is a negligible difference between remainers and leavers on this question, and only a small difference on 2017 general election vote between Labour and Conservatives (25% vs. 22% don’t knows), bigger differences appear when combining the two factors.

     

    Generally, those that support a party also have more favourable views of its leader – at least when compared to the opposition. So it’s not surprising that those who voted Labour are more likely to think Corbyn is trustworthy and those who voted Conservative think the same about Theresa May, regardless of EU referendum vote. Indeed Theresa May scores higher among Tory leavers (77%) than Conservative remainers (70%). These are fairly healthy proportions on both scores – but maybe, just maybe, that slightly higher score from Conservative leavers could be seen as a vindication of May’s message discipline when routinely insisting that Brexit really does mean Brexit.

     

    Corbyn scores fairly well among Labour remainers, of whom 73% think he is more trustworthy than May. But this score drops by a full ten percentage points to 63% when asked of Labour leavers. And at least part of this could be ascribed to the increased proportion of don’t knows – almost 3 in 10 Labour leavers (29%) don’t know which leader is more trustworthy, compared to less than 1 in 5 Conservative leavers (19%).

     

    Considering Corbyn is often considered to be closer to the Leavers within the Labour party, this may seem a slightly surprising conclusion. May, a remainer in 2016, is considered more trustworthy among leavers within her party compared to remainers. Corbyn, often considered ambivalent at best on the EU, is considered more trustworthy by the remainers in his voter base – with Labour leavers more likely to refuse to say they don’t know who is more trustworthy, even when comparing him against a Conservative Prime Minister.

     

    Overall there’s little change in our headline VI figures. We’ve narrowly missed out on ‘three in a row’ when it comes to identical polling figures for the three main national parties at Westminster. But with the Conservatives dropping only one percentage point to 1%, this is a poll well within the margin of error compare to our last published Guardian/ICM poll a fortnight ago. So we’re pretty much back where we were two weeks ago.

     

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

     

    Conservative

    42% (-1)

    Labour

    40% (nc)

    LibDem

    8% (nc)

    SNP

    3% (nc)

    PC

    *% (-1)

    Green

    3% (+1)

    UKIP

    3% (nc)

    Other

    *% (-1)

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,021 adults aged 18+, between 8th – 10th 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 2

     

    No, this is not Groundhog Day.

     

    The latest Guardian/ICM headline Voting Intention figures are almost exactly the same as our previous poll, two weeks ago. With the Conservatives unchanged on 43%, and Labour unchanged on 40%, we have are left with the third consecutive three percentage-point lead for the Conservatives in our regular polling series.

     

    The Lib Dems (8%), SNP (3%), and Other parties (1%) also show no change on the previous poll. By now you may be suffering from a severe case of deja vu, but there’s reassurance that we’re not simply reliving the previous poll as Plaid Cymru register a full 1% (+1) of the vote share, while the Greens are down one point, on 2%.

     

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

     

    Conservative 43% (nc)
    Labour 40% (nc)
    LibDem 8% (nc)
    SNP 3% (nc)
    PC 1% (+1)
    Green 2% (-1)
    UKIP 3% (nc)
    Other 1% (nc)

     

     

    We also re-asked a question last seen in our Brexit mega poll in January. The starkly negative picture on the impact of Brexit reported in that poll has, if anything, become slightly more negative since January. These are small changes – but it’s now the case that for every two people who think Brexit will have a positive impact on the economy (30%) three people think it has a negative impact (45%). Back in January there was only a 3 percentage point gap between those who thought Brexit would have a positive impact on the way of life in Britain (33%) rather than a negative impact (36%). However, this gap has now grown to 8 percentage points, with almost 2 in 5 (39%) thinking Brexit will have a negative impact on the British way of life, with 32% thinking it will have a positive impact.

     

    It’s still the case that around 2 in 5 (40%) of people think Brexit will make no difference to their own personal finances, but there’s also a small uptick in the number of people expecting a negative Brexit impact on their wallet (32%, up 2 percentage points).

     

    One of the fascinations of polling public opinion rests on looking at changes beneath the surface. While these headline figures show a slight increase in negativity towards Brexit, our polling also offers clues on where this may be coming from. Again, these are small changes – but across all three statements, there’s an indication that the increase in overall negativity could be attributed to increasing negativity among those who voted Remain in 2016, while those who voted Leave look increasingly unsure about the likely impact of Brexit, answering ‘don’t know’.

     

    This last finding – of possible increasing uncertainty on the impact of Brexit among Leave voters – is something to watch out for over the coming months. If Remainers become increasingly certain that Brexit is a bad idea, while Leavers waver more and more, then interesting times lie ahead.

     

     

    Impact of Brexit on   the British economy
    January May %pt change
    2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers
    Positive impact 9% 58% 9% 56% 0% -2%
    Negative impact 75% 12% 77% 10% 2% -2%
    Makes no difference 6% 19% 7% 18% 1% -1%
    Don’t know 9% 11% 6% 15% -3% 4%

     

    Impact of Brexit on your own personal finances
    January May %pt change
    2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers
    Positive impact 5% 23% 7% 23% 2% 0%
    Negative impact 53% 10% 54% 9% 1% -1%
    Makes no difference 27% 55% 29% 53% 2% -2%
    Don’t know 15% 12% 11% 14% -4% 2%

     

    Impact of Brexit on the way of life in Britain today in general
    January May %pt change
    2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers 2016 Remainers 2016 Leavers
    Positive impact 9% 62% 9% 63% 0% 1%
    Negative impact 66% 8% 70% 5% 4% -3%
    Makes no difference 15% 22% 14% 21% -1% -1%
    Don’t know 8% 8% 7% 11% -1% 3%

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,002 adults aged 18+, between 25th – 29th 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 – 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 – April 2018 Poll 2

    The political pressure had been mounting on Amber Rudd from the fallout of the Windrush scandal. It seems this pressure became too much over the weekend when, late Sunday evening the news broke that Rudd had resigned.

     

    But did the right person resign? We asked the British public who was most to blame for the problems faced by the Windrush-generation. The most popular answer was to blame successive Labour and Conservative governments, with 3 in 10 (30%) holding both Labour and Conservatives responsible. Nevertheless, in light of Rudd’s resignation, it seems all the more striking that four times as many people blame Theresa May (23%) as Amber Rudd (6%). Indeed, more people blame May than blame Home Office and UK Border Agency staff (17%).

     

    The grim reading for May continues, as our poll suggests that the public are increasingly sceptical that negotiations will conclude successfully before 29th March 2019. We’ve asked this question twice before (in October and December 2017), but this weekend’s poll show the lowest proportion of the public believing that negotiations will conclude successfully before Brexit Day (28%, down from 35% in December), with 47% believing they will not conclude successfully (up from 39%).

     

    However, there remains one glimmer of light in these results for the Conservatives. Put quite simply, it does not look like the British public are enamoured with the alternatives to the Conservative government. Despite the negative results shown above, the Conservatives maintain their vote share on our headline vote intention polling, on 42%, with Labour dropping two percentage points, down to 39%. This leaves a Conservative lead of 3% which, while small, matches the biggest lead for either party observed on our regular Guardian/ICM polls since the 2017 election in our second poll last month.

     

    And it’s not just on the two main parties that the public is split in its opinion. On Friday afternoon the news broke that US President Donald Trump would visit the UK in July for talks with Theresa May. Our poll suggests that a third (33%) support the visit, a third (33%) are ambivalent (answering ‘neither support not oppose’), and around a third oppose the visit (31%). But scratch beneath the surface, and there are some interesting differences. There’s a strong Remain/Leave divide, with more than twice as many 2016 Remainers as Leavers opposing the visit (44% vs. 18%). There are also big differences by party support, with a majority of those intending to vote Conservative (53%) supporting the visit, compared to only 1 in 5 Labour voters (21%).

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,026 adults aged 18+, between 27th – 29th April 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 2018 Poll 1

     

    Brexit Deadlock

     

    Our last Guardian/ICM poll showed the Tories opening up a three percentage point lead over Labour. With UKIP falling to a record low of 1%, it was plausible that this was the start of a shift away from the deadlocked polls we’ve got used to since the last election.

     

    When it comes to public opinion, we should never speak too soon. This week’s polling shows UKIP bouncing back up to 4%, whilst the Conservatives drop two percentage points, reducing their lead over Labour to a single percent. Figures are shown below, with any change versus our previous Guardian/ICM poll in brackets:

     

    Conservative: 42% (-2)

    Labour: 41% (nc)

    Lib Dems: 7% (-1)

    Greens: 3% (+1)

    UKIP: 4% (+3)

    SNP: 3% (nc)

     

    We also repeated two Brexit questions last seen in the Brexit mega poll run back in June. As well as asking how people would vote in a second referendum, we also asked about support for another referendum after Brexit negotiation conclude.

     

    Again, what is remarkable here is the lack of any substantial change in public opinion on both of these questions. All of the results are within 2-3% of the percentages seen in January. It appears that there hasn’t been any significant change in the support of opposition to a second referendum in these circumstances and overall or the voting intention in a second referendum if it were to take place. Quite simply, people aren’t changing their minds on Brexit – it’s still the case that around 9 in 10 (89%) of those who voted either Remain and Leave back in 2016 would vote the same way if there were a second referendum held tomorrow. The wafer-thin lead for Remain can again be attributed to those who did not vote in 2016 or can’t remember how they voted breaking in favour of Remain (28%) over leave (12%). The results for each answer, with the figures from January, are shown below

     

     

    On 23rd June 2016, a referendum was held on if the UK should remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union.

     If there was another EU referendum tomorrow, how would you vote?

    • For the UK to Remain in the EU (Jan: 45%; Apr: 45%)
    • For the UK to Leave the EU (Jan: 43%; Apr: 44%)
    • I wouldn’t vote (Jan: 6%; Apr: 5%)
    • Prefer not to say (Jan: 1%; Apr: 1%)
    • Don’t know (Jan: 5%; Apr: 5%)

     

    To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement: I think the 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? 

    • Strongly agree (Jan: 28%; Apr: 30%)
    • Tend to agree (Jan: 19%; Apr: 17%)
    • Neither agree nor disagree (Jan: 14%; Apr: 11%)
    • Tend to disagree (Jan: 11%; Apr: 12%)
    • Strongly disagree (Jan: 23%; Apr: 25%)
    • Don’t know (Jan: 6%; Apr: 6%)

    Jan: net agree: 47%; net disagree 34%

    Apr: net agree: 47%; net disagree 36%

     

    ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,012 adults aged 18+, between 6th – 8th April 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.