The Guardian Prediction Poll - 7th June 2017

So, there we have it. A 12-point victory for the Conservatives is ICM’s preliminary call on our final poll, up from a 7-point victory for David Cameron just two years’ ago, representing a swing to the Conservatives of 2.5% (remembering that both party shares have increased compared to 2015).

This final poll confirms the pattern that ICM has produced over the last fortnight: a fairly healthy and static (aka strong & stable) Conservative share with consolidation of the Labour bump first witnessed after the manifesto publication.

Our PRELIMINARY numbers for publication are (based on 1,532 interviews and compared to last Monday’s poll in The Guardian:

Conservative 46% (+1)

Labour 34% (nc)

Lib Dem 7% (-1)

SNP 5% (+1)

Plaid Cymru *% (-1)

Green 2% (-1)

UKIP 5% (nc)

Other 1% (nc)

This compares to the 11-point lead published in The Guardian on Monday, this implying precious little movement in the last few days of the campaign.

We should note that ICM continues to interview, aiming for another c.500 interviews by the end of the day. The numbers might change, but we would not expect them to do so by much.

According to Electoral Calculus seat projections. This would yield a Conservative majority of 96, with 373 seats in their possession compared to 199 for Labour (which might be seen by party insiders as a decent outcome). Not so much for the Liberal Democrats though, predicted to drop to only two seats on this modelling.

Speculation about the polls being right or wrong is ubiquitous right now, with much of it concentrating on closer run polls produced by Survation and Yougov compared to us and ComRes. Intriguingly, a number high profile political journalists continue to predict that the Tories will do better than even our poll is saying (given musings they hear from the ground), so this really has become a nail-gnawing electoral event, rather than the absolute rout that we all were fixed on just a month ago.

The public, though, may not have been reading the journo’s stuff. Only one in ten  (12%) expects a Tory majority at the 100+  top end of the range, with a plurality (38%) believing it will be secured, but only by double figures. Fewer than one in five (17%) expect a hung parliament, with the great optimists being the 7% who think Labour will secure the keys to Number 10 (18% of Labour voters they Jeremey Corbyn will smash it).

But whatever the outcome, there’s a strong chance that Corbyn will stay on, according to the public. As many (24%) think he should do so no matter what (a few delighted Tories are included in this number), with the same number saying so only on the basis of a Labour victory. One in five (20%) thinks he should do so, so long as Labour do better than their 2015 showing – although that’s not a very high bar given the return to two-party politics. Beating Ed Miliband’s 31% in 2015 should not present a great difficulty now, given the implosion of UKIP and the Liberal Democrats general malaise.

So the UK goes to the polls, with voters apparently armed with sufficient information to make an informed choice – 57% say they have been on enough of a receiving end to cast their ballot effectively, with Tory voters more so (72%) than their Labour counterparts (62%). Cynics amongst us may conclude that Theresa May’s policy-light manifesto didn’t take long to consume.

ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 1,532 GB adults aged 18+ on 6-7th June 2017. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been wighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

5th June 2017 Poll Results

The penultimate Guardian/ICM poll of the 2017 General Election campaign continues where the previous few ICM polls left off. The Conservatives retain an 11-point lead which they saw from ICM through the weekend, following up on the 12-point lead published in The Guardian last Monday.

Headline vote intention figures are (compared to the last Guardian poll on 30th May):

Conservative 45% (nc)

Labour 34% (+1)

Lib Dem 8% (nc)

UKIP 5% (nc)

Green 3% (nc)

SNP 4% (nc)

Plaid Cymru 1% (nc)

Other 1% (nc)

Compared to other polls over the weekend ours slots in the higher end of the Tory lead range, one point off ComRes 12-pointer. At the other end, Survation revealed a Tory lead of only 1-point. A moderately significant dividing line has emerged between sets of pollsters, largely pivoting on how we treat turnout. This has been widely discussed in polling circles since the Labour ‘surge’, which is at least partially based on younger people and 2015 non-voters saying they will now turnout, and vote for Labour.

Those pollsters, like us, who show higher Tory leads are implicitly sceptical about the extent of this self-reported turnout. Those with lower Labour leads largely take it at face value. But whichever turnout weighting scheme is applied, the impact is clear – as Sturgis & Jennings of the University of Southampton established in their paper, which was published yesterday.

https://sotonpolitics.org/2017/06/04/will-turnout-weighting-prove-to-be-the-pollsters-achilles-heel-in-ge2017/.

 

   

Vote estimates with turnout weight

Vote estimates without turnout weight

Pollster Fieldwork End Date

CON

LAB CON CON LAB

CON

(%)

(%) lead (%) (%)

lead

ORB/Sunday Telegraph 4th June

46

37 9 44 38 6
IpsosMORI/Standard 1st June

45

40 5 40 43

-3

Panelbase 1st June

44

36 8 40 39

1

YouGov/Times 31st May

42

39 3 41 39

2

Kantar 30th May

43

33 10 40 34

6

ICM/Guardian 29th May

45

33 12 41 38

3

Survation (phone)

27th May

43 37 6 43 37

6

ComRes/Independent 26th May 46 34 12 43 38

5

Opinium 24th May

45

35 10 42 36

6

Survation (internet) 20th May

46

34 12 43 33

10

GfK 14th May

48

28 20 45 29

16

      Mean  = 10   Mean  = 5
      S.D.  = 4.5    S.D. = 4.9

 

The imposition of historical-based turnout probabilities (i.e assuming that behaviours will tend toward the historical pattern) drives down the Labour share and upweights the Tories. Self-reported turnout scales on the other hand – largely employed by those pollsters showing the smallest Labour leads – hardly impact on the headline numbers. June 9th will show which was the better scheme, but the age profile of voters from all General Elections since 1964, courtesy of the House of Commons Library, suggests over-statement of self-reported turnout is likely. For example, it’s hard to reconcile between 38%-54% estimated turnout among 18-24s at General Elections since 1997 with one recent poll, which suggested that 82% of them would turn out to vote.

But who knows? Jeremy Corbyn has, to common agreement, run a good campaign and has motivated sections of the society who have tended to disengagement. On Friday, we will have the answer on whether he has bucked the trend, or not.

22nd May 2017 Poll Results

After the delivery of the party manifesto’s, polling over the weekend has indicated a resurgent, if still rather distant Labour Party. ICM has been the stickiest pollster for the Tories, and while we probably still are, our poll today reinforces the impression that Labour have won the short term manifesto battle. They rise to 33%, up five-points on last week, while the Tories drop a point to stand on (a still heady) 47%.

The Tories have had a flat out bad weekend, and the wind does feel as if it’s suddenly blowing in a different direction, but we’ve seen short term effects like this before, and we’ve seen them dissipate. This is still a massive 14-point Tory lead, and still their election to throw away.

The headline figures are:

Con 47% (-1)

Lab 33% (+5)

LD 9% (-1)

SNP 4% (nc)

PC *% (nc)

Green 2% (-1)

UKIP 4% (-2)

Oth 1% (nc)

It is almost a whole year since ICM last saw Labour on 33% (June 2016), so it’s a surge that has been a long time coming. However, it does not arise in conjunction with a precipitous Tory collapse, and their 47% remains a number that the party will be wholly delighted with. Electoral Calculus predict an overall majority of 134, with the Tories only just shy of 400 seats. Labour do recover to 177, largely because their polling in their own marginal seats is much improved: a deficit of only 3-points compared to 17-20-points that we have seen in such places on ICM’s recent polls. It’s a step in the right direction.

UKIP drop to 4%, the lowest online share we have ever allocated to the party. This is partly the result of a methodology change. ICM is able to systematically allocate every respondent to their political constituency via their full postcode, so this week we built into the interview software constituency-level information that precluded UKIP as a party to vote for in those seats where they are not standing a candidate (thus forcing people living in such places to make an alternative choice). We believe this is a good addition to our polling methods; it will explain part of the further UKIP drop but perhaps not all of it.

ICM interviewed 2,004 adults aged 18+ online, on 19-21st May 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.

15th May 2017 Poll Results

In a week when the eagerly awaited but already much discussed manifesto’s drop, Theresa May can head into it confident that her poll lead is largely impregnable. While other polls of late have seen Labour increase its share into the 30s, (beyond the share that both Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband secured), ICM still puts Jeremey Corbyn’s party on 28% (which is up one-point compared to the Guardian’s last poll earlier this month.

The question as to why ICM has consistently lower Labour shares than other pollster is fairly easy to identify – our turnout weighting mechanism is doing exactly the job we intended it to, reducing the power in the sample of those historically less likely to vote in General Elections, and doing the reverse for those typically most likely to vote. Other methodological adjustments do, of course, leave their own imprint – sometimes underpinning and sometimes counter-balancing the turnout weight, but turnout weighting is undoubtedly pivotal to our headline numbers.

The numbers for publication are:

Conservative 48% (-1)

Labour 28% (+1)

Liberal Democrat 10% (+1)

UKIP 6% (nc)

Green 3% (nc)

SNP 4% (nc)

PC *% (nc)

Other 1% (nc)

Other questions probed the importance of various challenges for the next government. The problem for policy-makers is encapsulated in questions like these, where pretty much everyone thinks everything is important. The NHS (89%), managing the economy (88%), protection from threats (84%) and Brexit negotiations (81%) top the list, but with the lowest scoring area (surprisingly, controlling immigration at 69%) there’s not much separation.

However, in a chink of light for Jeremey Corbyn, he is trusted to do a better job on three of them compared to Theresa May: on making a fairer Britain, protecting the NHS and improving the quality of public services. It is only a chink though ,as the gap on those three between the two leaders is marginal, and May leads by a distance on other matters including  the economy, Brexit negotiations, protecting the public and immigration.

ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative online sample of 2,030 adults aged 18+ on 12-14th May 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.

2nd May 2017 Poll Results

The “Labour surge” being suggested over the weekend as a result of improvement in a couple of polls is not really being seen in these parts, as our latest Guardian/ICM regular poll returns another 19-point lead in favour of the Conservatives. This matches our poll on the weekend and only reduces the Tory lead by 2-points, from its record setting high of 21-points spotted twice earlier this month.

The nightmare scenario for Labour of, once again, being over-stated in the polls allied to a worse performance in the marginal seats compared to nationally is still an unsettled prospect – for them and for pollsters alike. We shall see if Labour’s share (28% in this poll but topping 30% in others) drops back from the party’s 2015 and 2010 performances, but it remains true that the Tories hold a commanding 14-point lead in Labour held marginal seats in England and Wales where they have a majority of up to 25%. Numbers like these would be true meltdown territory – such an outcome would yield a Conservative majority north of 140, and put them within touching distance of 400 seats in Parliament.

Adopting a wisdom of crowds approach to predicting the result in 2017 will not help settle Labour’s queasy stomach. One in three (34%) expect an overall majority of 100+ seats, with another 38% suggesting a smaller overall majority will occur. Bundled together, almost three-quarters of the public are expecting to return with an overall majority. Labour intenders remain somewhat optimistic though, with half expecting their party to be part of a coalition (26%) or indeed to win an outright majority of its own (23%). It’s fair to say that either they, or this and other pollsters, will be quite wrong about things.

Being perceived as a no-hoper does not help Jeremy Corbyn. As many (15%) are put off voting for him as motivated to do so (14%) by the idea of a crushing defeat , which implies that Labour cannot even find solace there.

The ‘ground war’ also appears to be going the way of the Conservatives. In terms of impressions gained of the campaign itself, the Tories have a positive impression (+3), but Labour are on -6. The Lib Dems (-7) and particularly UKIP (-12) have campaign work to do. Theresa May has received some stick for failing to respond to press invites or to speak directly to the public, but it looks like a canny strategy thus far: four in ten (41%) think she’s running a good campaign, almost double the number of Jeremy Corbyn (21%).

ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative sample of 1,970 adults aged 18+ online between 28th April and 2nd May. 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.

24th April Poll Results

The latest Guardian /ICM poll has another 21-point lead for the Conservatives, notching up a record 48% share of the vote.

We added a new cross-break showing how voting patterns break down in the marginal seats, with the Tories on a stunning 48% vs 31% in those seats currently held by Labour on a majority of less than 15%. It is only a cross-break based on 168 voters, and should be treated with much caution, but indicates significant losses for the Labour Party.

Headline figures:

Con 48% +2

Lab 27% +2

LD 10% -1

UKIP 7% -1

SNP 4% =

Green 3%

PC 1% +1

Oth *% -1