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ICM: Great for Ming but more questions about Gordon?

January 23rd, 2007

gordon ming.jpg

    The Guardian’s pollster has the Lib Dems going up five points

The monthly ICM survey for the Guardian which has been going continuously for nearly a quarter of a century records a sharp jump for the Lib Dems and shows that the Labour deficit would be bigger if Gordon Brown was leader.

The main vote shares are with changes on December – CON 37% (-3): LAB 31% (-1): LD 23% (+5).

When the second question was asked – how would you vote if it was Cameron’s Tories up against Brown’s Labour and Ming’s Lib Dems – the respondents said: CON 39%: LAB 31%. The online edition of the paper does not record the Lib Dem share.

On a technical note ICM’s turnout filter is applied to the headline figures but not the “named leader” question. Also ICM’s “spiral of silence adjustment” is made to former and not the latter. The result is that the two sets of figures cannot be compared directly and Labour’s relative position with Brown named is probably worse. More detailed comparisons should be possible when the full data is published. Please see comment 52 by Nick Sparrow – head of ICM

I regard the response to the named leader question as highly significant and led the story here on the Populus poll a fortnight ago which showed, for the first time in a year from any pollster, Labour’s position in relation to the Tories being better with the Chancellor in charge.

    Given that the ICM survey took place at the end of Brown’s high profile week in India and in the immediate aftermath of the Turner arrest his party’s deficit should surely have been smaller and not bigger when this question was put?

For we have seen one flattering profile after another and extensive picture coverage showing him to be far more relaxed. As I have said repeatedly Gordon needs some consistent good polling news which we have not had.

In addition ICM found that a total of 30% of those interviewed said their view of Brown had become worse over the past year, compared with 17% who said it had improved. When the same question was asked about Cameron with 25% said their opinion of him had improved in the last year against 14% who say it has gone down.

  • For the Lib Dems there will be relief to see their polling numbers move up by such a jump. Campbell has had some assured performance in the Commons recently and has been making the running on the Saudi arms investigation – an issue that has downsides for both Labour and the Tories.
  • An early election? The poll found 76% of voters saying they would like Brown to call a contest within a year of succeeding Blair.
  • The poll’s impact on the betting. The fact that yet again a poll is raising doubts about Gordon could influence the next leader and Blair exit date markets.
  • Mike Smithson






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