Tag Archives: icm

The polls in 2014: what they show with 133 days left til 7 May 2015

The final polls of the year have been published — getting on for 500 have been commissioned in 2014 — and their story is told in the graph below.

It shows Labour’s declining (down from c.38% to c.33%), the Tories static (at c.32%), Ukip on the rise (up from c.12% to c.16%), and the Lib Dems dipping (down from c.10% to c.8%). I’ve added trendlines to cut through the noise and give us a signal:

2014 in polls

The last month has done little to alter this overall picture.

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The ‘nowcast’ for May 2015 which gives the Lib Dems 28 MPs

Over at the polling website May2015 (part of the New Statesman stable) Matt Singh has asked the straightforward question, ‘How are the Lib Dems polling and will they survive in May 2015?’ Except it isn’t all that straightforward…

First, there’s the issue that the different polling companies don’t agree on what the current Lib Dem rating actually is. In the last fortnight, the party’s been rated as low as 5% (Opinium) and as high as 11% (ICM): that’s a difference outside the margin of error you might expect.

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ICM has Labour ahead, Ukip moving into 3rd place, Lib Dems on 11%

The Guardian published its latest ICM poll — commonly regarded as the ‘gold standard’ — this week. The top-line (with changes on the previous months) was: Labour 35% (=), Conservatives 31% (-2), Ukip 14% (+5), Lib Dems 11% (+1) and Others 10% (-3).

icm poll - oct 2014

Polling in September/October tends to fluctuate, as the noise of conference season often leads to spikes in support for each party in turn which soon fade. There have been two additional events which may have further confused matters: the Scottish independence referendum and last week’s Clacton by-election.

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ICM poll: Labour leads Tories by 7%, Lib Dems in third place on 12%

What a difference a month makes. In July, the Guardian’s ICM poll – the ‘gold standard’ – showed a narrow 1% Tory lead over Labour. Fast forward to August and Labour enjoys a solid 7% lead over the Tories, by 38% to 31%. The Lib Dems are in third place, unchanged on 12%, with Ukip trailing on 10%.

icm poll - aug 2014

Three brief points:

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ICM poll: Tories edge ahead of Labour, while Ukip collapse to 4th behind Lib Dems

Amidst all the reshuffle excitement, I didn’t get chance to report the latest ICM poll – regarded by pundits as the ‘gold standard’ – for The Guardian, published on Tuesday. It shows the Tories a nose ahead of Labour, 34% to 33%, with Ukip slumping to fourth place (9%) behind the Lib Dems on 12%.

icm poll - july 2014

The collapse of the Ukip vote is the most dramatic story in the poll – Nigel Farage’s party topped the nationwide Euro-elections just a few weeks ago. However, the pattern is a …

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ICM poll: No revival for two-party politics, even as Lib Dems drop to 10%

State of the parties, 17 June 2014.The Guardian has published its latest ICM poll, the ‘gold standard’ survey most eagerly awaited alike by political junkies (because ICM has the best track record) and Lib Dems (because it tends to give the party higher ratings). It shows Labour on 32%, a nose ahead of the Tories (31%), with Ukip (16%) and the Lib Dems (10%) trailing in third and fourth.

Two points stand out. First, the combined Labour/Conservative shares, at 63%, are the lowest ever recorded by ICM using the phone method. No sign of a reversion to two-party politics.

Secondly, the Lib Dem share of 10% is also the lowest ever recorded by ICM using the phone method. As Anthony Wells notes, “ICM were responsible for the Lib Dems lowest ever score of 3% back in 1989, but this is the lowest ICM have ever shown for them since they switched to phone polling in the 1990s”.

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Mark Pack’s verdict on those ICM polls: “not sensible figures for anyone to draw a conclusion from”

Mark PackMy former co-editor here at LibDemVoice, Mark Pack, has been taking a detailed look in his latest Liberal Democrat Newswire at those ICM constituency polls commissioned by Lord Oakeshott. Here’s his take on them:

It’s not only the attempted anonymous funding of the polls that’s questionable. So too is the way they were worded. Even reputable pollsters such as ICM given their clients some discretion over question wording, and in this case it was a matter of misleading by omission rather than an outrageously worded question in its own right.


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New ICM poll: Do you want the okay-ish news or the bad news?

Let’s start with the okay-ish news… ICM, the ‘gold standard’ pollster, has the Lib Dems at 13% in the Guardian’s latest monthly survey. That wouldn’t usually be much to write home about – it is after all 10% lower than the party scored at the last general election – but after a string of polls showing the Lib Dems in single digits, there will be something of a sigh of relief from Great George Street.

icm poll - may 2014

In fact, there’s a second bit of okay-ish news, which I’ll come …

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Latest ICM poll: Lib Dems at 12% for Westminster, but just 6% in the Euros

As I’ve mentioned before, The Guardian’s ICM poll is the one I wait for each month. The latest figures are now up, and the figures are… well, I’m not sure what to make of them really.

icm april 2014

In the snapshot of Westminster voting intentions, the Lib Dems are unchanged from last month on 12%, ahead of Ukip on 11% (+2%). Labour lead the Conservatives by 37% (-1%) to 32% (-3%). All the figures are within the margin of error. The party will be relieved to see that there’s …

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Latest ICM poll shows Lib Dems at 14%. I’d call that “mildly encouraging”

guarian icm - jan 2014The latest ICM poll for The Guardian is published today. Its topline figures show Labour on 35% (-2%), the Tories on 32% (n/c), with the Lib Dems on 14% (+2%) and Ukip on 10% (+1%).

The changes from last month are all within the margin of error, so nothing too dramatic can be read into it. The ratings are mildly encouraging for the Lib Dems. The ICM poll at the equivalent point in the parliamentary cycle – January 2009 – had the party at 16%. ICM’s poll is the one most eagerly awaited by poll-watchers, as the company has the best historic track record. It also tends to give the Lib Dems better ratings (than, say, YouGov) because of its methodology – but it’s a methodology which has yet to be tested under Coalition conditions.

Input the figures into Electoral Calculus’s online prediction software and you’ll see they’d give Labour a majority of 24, with the Lib Dems reduced to 35 seats. In reality, I think the Lib Dems would do a little better than that on 14%, owing to the incumbency boost of our MPs’ (and local activists’) hard work – which would also likely eat into Labour’s seat tally, as it’s the Lib Dem-Labour battlegrounds where we’re most vulnerable.

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Ukip surge to 18% in latest ICM poll: Lib Dems at 11%

ICM: the pollster Lib Dems love and rely on the most. Maybe not tonight, though. Here’s The Guardian’s graph and report:

guardian ukip poll - may 2013

Ukip’s 18% is the best it has achieved with any pollster in any of the surveys logged at UK Polling Report. It is all the more remarkable for ICM, whose careful adjustments for voters who decline to reveal their political preference smooths out the wilder fluctuations of the electoral cycle.

The Tories are plumbing depths they have not experienced in more than a decade – barring

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Mrs Thatcher’s impact: how the public sees it now, how LDV readers saw it in 2008

The Guardian is the first off the blocks with an ICM poll asking the public’s retrospective verdict on Margaret Thatcher’s record in office. Here’s the topline figure of whether her 11-year premiership had been good or bad for Britain:

guardian icm thatcher

The paper also asked about specific policies, finding:

The sale of council homes and tackling of trade union power remain popular today, but people are less supportive of the fights she picked with Europe and tax cuts for the rich. Privatisation of the utilities and the poll tax remain deeply unpopular.

You can …

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Three things we’ve learned from today’s opinion polls

Three interesting and important poll findings to report today…

Big lead for Labour according to ICM

polling station -  Some rights reserved by Simon Clayson
First, the Guardian’s monthly ICM poll is out, showing the biggest Labour lead in almost a decade:

    Labour 41% (+3%)
    Conservatives 29% (-4%)
    Lib Dems 13% (-2%)
    Ukip 9% (+3%)
    Others 8% (+1%)

The movements are more or less within the margin of error. Still, the Tories will be pretty disappointed to see the party get no bounce at all from David Cameron’s promise of a post-2015 EU referendum. Perhaps unsurprisingly it …

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How the left/right balance of Liberal Democrat voters has changed

It is common to use two political spectrums to sort out where people or parties sit ideologically: the left-right spectrum and the authoritarian-libertarian spectrum. The latter is important in explaining the politics of the coalition’s formation, as it was a defence of civil liberties against New Labour’s post-9/11 authoritarian streak that both saw senior figures in the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives often co-operating in Parliament and also carved out a large area of policy agreement between them.

Since the coalition’s formation, its importance has rapidly dropped. Some of the reasons are straightforwardly good ones – such as delivering on several of …

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Fairer votes referendum: it needs to be about the voting system, not the government

Contrasting poll results from YouGov and ICM on the AV referendum show how important it is avoid the referendum becoming a vote for or against the government rather than about the merits of the alternative vote compared to first past the post.

An ICM poll has found the Yes camp leading by 35% – 22% (with the balance don’t know or wouldn’t vote), which compares to a 35% – 41% deficit on the latest YouGov poll.

However, there is an important difference between the wording of the two polling questions, with YouGov’s question starting, “The Conservative-Liberal Democrat government are committed …

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Pollwatch – State of the parties (summer 2010): Reasons to keep calm and carry on

There have been a rather astonishing 36 opinion polls in the six weeks since LDV’s last polls round-up at the beginning of July. Thirty of those 36 originate from just one polling company, YouGov.

So let’s bring you up-to-date with July and August’s polls in chronological order of publication:

    Con 40, Lab 36, Lib Dem 16 (YouGov, 4-5 Jul)
    Con 41, Lab 36, Lib Dem 15 (YouGov, 5-6 Jul)
    Con 40, Lab 36, Lib Dem 17 (YouGov, 6-7 Jul)
    Con 42, Lab 35, Lib Dem 16 (YouGov, 7-8 Jul)
    Con 42, Lab 34, Lib Dem 17 (YouGov, 8-9 Jul)
    Con 42, Lab 35, Lib Dem

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Marks out of ten for the coalition?

The Guardian is running the latest ICM poll today.

The overall story is good for the Lib Dems – up three points to 19% (both Labour and the Tories are slightly down against the last ICM poll), and the Coalition remains stubbornly popular, still in the 55-60% range.

But this is just one poll (and there are others both significantly better and worse for the party), so let’s not worry too much about the headline figures.

More interesting is the line the Guardian takes and the “marks out of ten” for the Coalition Government.

First the line taken in the article. If …

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This is why the posters, avatars, status updates and more matter

From The Guardian’s report on its latest ICM poll (which puts the Lib Dems in second once again*):

There is also evidence that the bandwagon effect is helping the pick up votes: 31% of all voters, including 26% of Labour supporters, say knowing that other people are switching to the Lib Dems encourages them to do the same.

That’s one of the reasons why posters in windows, avatars on Twitter, group membership on Facebook and so on all matter: they help persuade more people to vote Liberal Democrat.

* Although the spread from first place to third is within the margin

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The good news for Clegg in the poll details

Overall the pattern of the debate polls is one of a close result: 3 polls make Clegg the winner, 2 make Cameron the winner. The political impact is more contentious: edging it in the majority of polls would, in any other circumstances be a triumph for Clegg – but was it enough given what happened one week before? Similarly, failing to clearly win the debate in other circumstances would be a disaster for Cameron (remember all those polls and betting odds in advance of the debates saying Cameron would win?). But after last week, perhaps this was good enough?

Well, there’s …

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TV debates: some clues to likely political impact

The latest ICM poll for The Guardian gives some pointers:

  • Very high viewing figures: 29% say they will watch all three and a further 31% say they will watch one or two
  • Even higher viewing figures amongst older people (and older people are more likely to vote): 23% of 18-24 say they will watch all three, but this rises to 40% of the 65+
  • Women are less likey to watch the debates (important as Lib Dem swing voters are usually disproportionately female): 42% say they will watch none compared to 35% of men

The last point may be influenced by childcare responsibilities as …

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Poll ups pressure on Cameron over TV debates

I pointed out before that the key to getting a boost in support out of TV leader debates isn’t so much winning the debate as beating expectations: if people expected you to do dreadfully and you come out doing ok that’s almost always a boost to a campaign, whilst being seen as doing ok when the expectations were that you would walk it means you lose support.

So the pressure really is on David Cameron as he’s the one going in to the debates with highest expectations on him according to the latest MORI opinion poll:

Which leader do you

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ICM: 59% of Lib Dem voters support marriage tax breaks … Or do they?

The Guardian’s monthly ICM poll, published today, asks a couple of intriguing questions.

For a start, we discover where Lib Dem supporters perceive they sit within the class system (however self-defined) – 50% say they are middle-class, and 48% that they are working-class. This compares with 38% middle-class to 61% working class for Labour; and 56% to 39% for the Tories.

(Slightly bizarrely, it turns out the Lib Dems have more supporters who identify themselves as upper-class (2%) than the Tories do (1%); the poll’s margin of error may explain that finding.)

But the ICM/Guardian question which interested me most …

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A reminder of how little some people know about politics

BBC Wales has commissioned an opinion poll from ICM, which contains this:

Who do you think forms the current Welsh Assembly Government?

Labour and Plaid Cymru 48%
Labour 21%
Plaid Cymru 6%
Labour and the Liberal Democrats 5%
Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats 3%
Liberal Democrats 2%
Conservatives 2%
Other 2%
Don’t know 11%

Posted in Polls and Wales | 3 Comments

A look back at the polls: February 2009

We tend not to be too poll-obsessed here at LDV – of course we look at them, as do all other politico-geeks, but viewed in isolation no one poll will tell you very much beyond what you want to read into it. Looked at over a reasonable time-span and, if there are enough polls, you can see some trends.

Here, in chronological order, are the results of the seven polls published in February:

Tories 40%, Labour 28%, Lib Dems 22% – ICM/S. Telegraph (8th Feb 2009)
Tories 42%, Labour 28%, Lib Dems 18% – Populus/Times (10th Feb)
Tories 41%, Labour 25%, Lib Dems 22% – ComRes/S. Independent (15th Feb)
Tories 44%, Labour 32%, Lib Dems 14% – YouGov/S. Times (15th Feb)
Tories 48%, Labour 28%, Lib Dems 17% – Mori/unpublished (17th Nov)
Tories 42%, Labour 30%, Lib Dems 18% – ICM/Guardian (24th Nov)
Tories 41%, Labour 31%, Lib Dems 15% – YouGov/Telegraph (27th Nov)

Which gives us an average rating for the parties in February as follows, compared with January’s averages:

Tories 43% (n/c), Labour 29% (-3%), Lib Dems 18% (+2%)

What to make of this month’s polls, which paradoxically convey both stability and fluctuation? The Tories seem to be relatively stable, in the low 40s% – except for Mori which elevates them to 48%, touching the heights of New Labour before its landslide. Labour appear relatively stable, hovering just at or below 30% – except for ComRes which relegates them to 25%, only a margin of error’s breadth ahead of the Lib Dems. And the Lib Dems seem to be relatively stable in the 17-22% range – except for YouGov which sees the party stuck firmly at a pretty paltry 14-15%.

All this statistical noise is, of course, ironed out by our monthly average, which sees Labour ceding ground to the Lib Dems. Indeed, it seems a lifetime ago, but just back in December Labour’s poll average was 35%: they have dropped 6% in the space of just a few weeks, with the spoils evenly shared between the Lib Dems and Tories.

Such has been Labour’s decline that it has prompted a brief effervescence of speculation that Gordon Brown might be tempted to resign if he thought it would assist his party’s fortunes. This prompted ICM to ask the question on behalf of The Guardian: ‘Putting aside your own political party preference for a moment do you think Labour will do better at the next general election with Gordon Brown in charge, or with another leader?’

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Credit where credit’s (mostly) due: Sunday Telegraph and polling

The internet seems to have got a bit excited about the latest ICM poll, something which The Voice tends not to do, but given my past complaints about the media and polling it seems only fair to point out that the Sunday Telegraph looks to have given up its brief flirtation with a non-British Polling Council firm (a flirtation I criticised at the time).

Moreover, the paper’s report sensibly compares the poll results with the previous ICM poll, even though that was commissioned for (shock! horror!) a different newspaper. The tendency to airbrush out polls carried …

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