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Beyond belief? An ICM Poll suggests the BLP and Tories are neck and neck… March 24, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Earlier in the month a Guardian poll had the following results…

Conservative 36% (-3)
Labour 36% (+4)
Lib Dem 8% (+1)
UKIP 11% (nc)
Green 3% (-1)
SNP 3% (-1%)
Plaid Cymru 1% (nc)
Other 2% (nc)

… so as UK Polling Report noted, the accompanying commentary was ‘very wary’ indeed.

However, the headline figures are somewhat misleading, and few should be in any doubt of ICM’s view of our own survey. Firstly, both the Conservative and Labour shares are affected by rounding, with the Conservative’s 36.4% being rounded down and Labour’s 35.6% being rounded up, thus creating parity. However, if only 1 or 2 people had fallen a different way on this poll, there would have at least been a 2-point Conservative lead.
Secondly, ICM has developed a new method of turnout modelling, which, we think, much better controls for raw poll samples’ often observed tendency to contain too many Labour voters/intenders. Had we applied our new model, it alone would have resulted in a 3-point Conservative lead on our headline figures. We plan on launching this new modelling in the very near future, although it will remain a work-in-progress.

Hmmm… as UK Polling Report notes:

On the other hand, even if the absolute level of the lead in this poll is off, there has been a significant change in the lead since last month’s poll, and one that is consistent with the ComRes poll at the weekend. Sure the absolute levels of the Tory lead in the two polls is very different (because ComRes have adopted a very different turnout model to ICM), but the trend in the two polls was the same – ComRes had the Tory lead dropping by five points, ICM had the Tory lead dropping by seven points.
Even if there is reason to doubt the size of the lead in this poll or the ComRes poll, the common trend appears interesting – could the Conservative infighting and division over Europe be damaging their support?

I find the dynamics at play here fascinating. It’s as if – and we hear this refrain from Nick Cohen, etc, that the very idea of an LP led by J. Corbyn to be so beyond the beyond that it is impossible it can resonate with the UK electorate. But what if that thesis is incorrect in and of itself. Some who comment here are no fans of Michael White of the Guardian (I like his stuff myself, even if I disagree on some pretty fundamental issues). But he made a point when Corbyn was elected that the latter’s steadiness and patience might begin to appear very attractive as time went one when compared and contrasted with Cameron and a range of other contemporary UK political figure. This doesn’t mean the LP is cruising towards a victory – anything but, but it might mean that the space is there for a consolidation of a somewhat more left wing approach as one that is valid and legitimate in UK politics. That’d be a change.

But hold on. Last week another poll had the following. This time for YouGov:

Meanwhile voting intention stands at CON 33%, LAB 34%, LDEM 6%, UKIP 16%.

UK Polling Report put it nicely:

People were understandably wary of reading too much into one poll, but we now have two polls both showing Labour and the Conservatives neck-and-neck, suggesting something is genuinely afoot.

Perhaps that point White made was indeed prescient.


1. Mick Hall - March 24, 2016

Yet you would not have heard much about this from UK mainstream media. Corbyn’s strategy is slowly slowly catch the Tory monkey. (apologies to all apes)


2. Phil - March 24, 2016

Fascinating, isn’t it – “well, obviously this poll showing Labour and the Tories neck and neck shouldn’t be misinterpreted as showing that Labour and the Tories are neck and neck…” Then another poll – from Antony’s own YouGov – putting Labour *ahead*.

Clearly this is very bad news for Jeremy Corbyn…!


gendjinn - March 24, 2016

Clearly. Obviously Labour would be leading by 5 points if it weren’t for this anchor!

And that fella Gerry Adams, he’s electoral kryptonite.


3. Joe - March 24, 2016

Yes it’s good stuff.
But note of warning: didn’t the polls before the last GE show them neck and neck as well?


sonofstan - March 24, 2016

Even if they are neck and neck nationally, a whole lot of people could vote labour in the South East without producing any seats, so large are a lot of the Tory majorities. They could double their vote around here and still get nowhere near.


4. Liberius - March 24, 2016

The two polls out today continue this trend of the gap closing between Labour and the Conservatives.

Comres have headline figures of Con 37%, Lab 35%, UKIP 9%, Lib Dems 7%, SNP 5%, Green 4%, OTH 2%

Ipsos-Mori have figures of Con 36%, Lab 34%, UKIP 11%, Lid Dems 10%, Greens 3%, OTH 6% (inc. SNP).

On the point about Corbyn’s steadiness, all that guffawing yesterday over the ‘list’ at PMQs by Cameron & co. contrasted to Corbyn’s questions about the benefits situation might have seemed inside the Westminster bubble as a loss for Corbyn (certainly blairite MP John Woodcock thought so), but for someone outside of that bubble it just looks like Cameron is a callous arse cracking jokes about nothing whilst Corbyn is asking serious questions about things that effect people’s lives. It’s a potentially positive comparison rather than a negative one, though without a friendly media landscape it might not really matter.

Liked by 3 people

5. 1798Mike - March 24, 2016

This does not fit the corporate media consensus . It doesn’t fit the PLP Blairite/Brownite narrative, so widely accepted by the BBC/Guardian/Times axis – and on Corbyn there is one!
Watch with interest: Attacks/smears/misrepresentations will redouble.
Note how the Times published “a leaked documument” supposedly of ‘a Corbyn list’ rating MPs on loyalty/disloyalty. It was obviously contrived to distract from the Cameron/Osborne budget debacle, but the interesting aspect of this is how Blairite Guardian & Independent journalists have tried to give this piece of Murdoch press mischief-making credence.


Ed - March 24, 2016

Guardian giving ‘Stella Creasy Attacks Momentum’ prominence on its site at a time when the Tories are under severe pressure over stories and issues that actually matter to the general population. A time like this really shows up all those concern-trolling articles by Guardian types explaining that they would REALLY love to see Labour do well under Corbyn but they must sorrowfully conclude that it just isn’t possible. The first sign of Labour making progress, they’re doing their very best to throw a spanner in the works.


Sloe_Jim - March 25, 2016

After seeing working class white men actually vote in their own economic interest in the Dem primaries for the first time in my life – only for the New Statesman podcast to chalk up supporting Sanders as further evidence that they’re an utterly benighted bunch, I’ve concluded the “left” of the MSM does actually want anything lefter than Blairism. Which would be very left over here.


Sloe_Jim - March 25, 2016

*doesn’t want


6. Michael Carley - March 24, 2016

A certain kind of Blairite will excuse Corbyn failing but will never forgive him if he wins.

Liked by 1 person

Pasionario - March 24, 2016

Blair said as much himself. I’m not sure about these polls. History suggests Labour needs a huge lead in mid-term opinion polls to go the distance at the ballot box. I voted for Corbyn but do not really believe he can win (nor did I think any of the other candidates were “winners” — to use the grating Campbellism). It’s more about the long-term project of altering the terms of debate and making the party into a campaigning social democratic force, which could then win an election under a different soft left leader at some point in the future.


7. paulculloty82 - March 24, 2016

Of course, the caveat must be added that relative Labour unity contrasting with Tory disarray over the EU referendum may be responsible for Corbyn’s lead. If Britain does remain on the EU, Cameron will be able to portray himself as having secured a victory and ostensibly united the party, but the Scottish and Welsh votes wìll be pivotal for Labour momentum.


WorldbyStorm - March 24, 2016

Can’t disagree with you, even despite best efforts of UK press to portray LP as fractured Tory disarray is significant


8. Mick Hall - March 25, 2016

Of course it’s early days and many local LP’s are moribund having been hollowed out in the New Labour years. Many of these people still control local parties and have no wish to see them democratised from the ground up. Nevertheless polls like this are important as they raise morale within the Corbyn left.

The May local election will be a start of a process which to be successful will take a number of years. Having said that we are witnessing the more people see Corbyn’s polite tenaciousness the more they like him.

All is still to play and I have never been so optimistic about the English left. For the first time in my life the LP has a leader whose politics roughly chime with mine. Come the 5th of May, for the first time I will vote Labour with a smile of my face, a spring in my step and without a peg on my nose.

lutta continua


sonofstan - March 25, 2016

Huff post reporting approval ratings for Corbyn way ahead of Cameron and Osborne


9. dublinstreams - March 25, 2016

5 years out from election what does any of this matter?

Liked by 1 person

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