Voters back Labour on welfare, and the Tories are unpopular with women – but the poll lead is down

21st January, 2013 3:08 pm

There’s a conventional wisdom challenging poll out from the Guardian/ICM today. Conventional wisdom says that Labour’s poll lead has stabilised at 8-12 points, but ICM has the lead down to 5 points (38 to 33) in their latest poll. Presumably that’s because (conventional wisdom again) Labour have taken a ‘risky’ position on welfare?

Yet ICM also found that the public overwhelmingly favour Labour’s position on the “Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill” to the government position. Labour’s position (of benefits rising with inflation) is backed by 58% of voters, compared to just 36% for the Tories.

squeezing benefits

 

There’s also a profound gender split in the latest ICM poll. Whilst the Tories are leading Labour by one point amongst men, Labour leads the Tories by 16 points among women:

gendergap

Some will of course draw attention to the headline voting intention figures of this poll (despite the fact that such a result in 2o15 would deliver a healthy Labour majority). Indeed it’s always concerning to see the poll lead fall, but it’s also important to look at trends rather than individual data points. Or as Hopi Sen put it succinctly on Twitter:

“OK If anyone in Labour starts to talk about a 38/33 poll as being bit worrying, I am going to carve the words Margin of Error on your face.”

Quite…

  • aracataca

    Its an ICM poll – always bigging up the LibDems

    • John Ruddy

      Thats a result of their methodology reallocating Dont Knows back to the party they voted for in 2010.

  • Amber_Star

    At 38L 33C 15LD, Labour would have a 52 seat majority based on a universal swing & assuming no boundary changes.

    • tanith

      YEP labour will win ED our next PM I predicted it over a yr ago x

  • kb32904

    A single poll result is meaningless. Trends are much more meaningful and the trend is showing a steady Labour lead.

  • Monkey_Bach

    I do not believe that this poll is attributable to Labour’s correct attitude towards the welfare cap. I see no evidence to support such a contention, rather the opposite in point of fact. But if the Tories can win a few percent of voters back from Labour by outbidding Labour as far as visiting suffering upon the poorest and most vulnerable in society goes the Party would still be right to take a less extreme contrary position, because the Tories would simply promise to deliver harsher, more unfeeling, and cruel policies than Labour could compete with, even with Liam Byrne at the DWP. Eeek.

    • http://twitter.com/waterwards dave stone

      Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.

      • Monkey_Bach

        Labour should stop conceding ground to the Tories and allow policy to continually drift rightward. Labour should tirelessly be seeking to pull the centre of gravity of British politics from the right, leftward, back towards sanity, decency, and innate compassion of the middle ground. Eeek.

    • Dave Postles

      … is a person of double capacity public and private, and that may be one reason, why he is said to deal doubly with all men that have to do with him. He is but a pimp to his place.’ (Samuel Butler, Characters</i 1667-9, cited by Conal Condren, Argument and Authority in Early Modern England … (Cambridge, 2006), p. 54)

  • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.blott Matthew Blott

    Yes yes yes Mark Ferguson, the last paragraph is all very well but it could just as easily apply to the other polls. I’m afraid the Labour lead is incredibly soft and a Labour victory looks pretty far away from where I’m sitting – certainly a Labour majority is almost certainly out of the question. Why? Well you say look at trends and if you do that the worrying factor is Labour is making no traction on the economy despite everything this government is doing to run it into the ground – and that is pretty damning.

    This is like the 1980s revisited. Mark Ferguson tells us how the public are with Labour on welfare but when has that not been the case? Polls in the ’80s showed voters agreed with Labour that we should invest more in the economy and public services but Labour always polled behind the Tories on the economy. And also, to compound things, Neil Kinnock’s personal ratings were always very poor – ditto Ed Miliband.

    Mark Ferguson is a bit younger than me and likely doesn’t remember the Thatcher years but I remember many large poll leads, bigger than Miliband has at the moment. And as election day neared, the leads evaporated. I agree we can obsess over polls too much but if you look at the underlying trends it is very worrying for Labour.

  • Redshift1

    The headline figure – random sample variance. Looking at previous ICM polls its well within the margin of error.

  • Redshift1

    This is actually complete nonsense.

    There is no trend suggesting the Labour lead is going to evaporate.

    Even if it does shrink (which I am by no means saying won’t happen), this poll isn’t evidence that it is doing so, indeed as of yet there is no evidence it is doing so.

    Excluding outlying polls, the Labour lead has in general been 8-12 points since the budget last year. Before that it was about 5 points consistently for a good 18 months with only two shortlived blips, one 8-10 lead during the Murdoch scandal and a Tory 1-2 point lead during the whole EU veto situation. Apart from the latter, all of those poll leads would deliver a comfortable Labour majority and some a huge one.

    80s polling is irrelevant. Polling methods were far less sophisticated and were a lot more prone to dodgy results than they are now.

    Labour is less behind on the economy than it has been since the general election. Indeed, we are about neck-and-neck. Compared to our position in 2010 that’s a massive improvement and suggests a trend of people coming over to our view. Not only that the economics of our position has been vindicated, even if the cut through to the public has been limited. Our position could well be further vindicated if, as some forecasters believe, we are heading for a triple-dip.

    • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.blott Matthew Blott

      Given the growth destroying path this government has taken the fact Labour is neck and neck is extraordinary. Economic downturns don’t last forever – even ones this bad – and if the green shoots start to appear we’re Donald Ducked.

Latest

  • Comment Labour needs its centre-left more than ever

    Labour needs its centre-left more than ever

    I’ve decided who I am voting for, but for a lot of this campaign I’ve wanted to abstain, or go on holiday. It has been a pretty difficult time to be on the centre-left of the Labour Party . The quality has been low, and nobody fully reflects people on what we might call ‘the soft left’. Lots of people I respect, generally from the left of the party in some shape or form, have been hugely inspired during the Corbyn […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured Sajid Javid could be the sign the electorate is looking for that the Tory party has shed its ‘nasty party’ reputation

    Sajid Javid could be the sign the electorate is looking for that the Tory party has shed its ‘nasty party’ reputation

    This article is from the new Progress pamphlet ‘Face-off’, examining the potential successors to David Cameron as Conservative leader. You can read the full pamphlet here. Few leaders inspire true fear in their opponents. Those that do, do so because they force people to think again about the party they represent. Britain’s most electorally successful politicians, Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher, were able to reach such heights because they confounded the electorate’s expectations: Blair believed that wealth creation was not […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Tony Blair hits out at Corbyn’s “politics of parallel reality”

    Tony Blair hits out at Corbyn’s “politics of parallel reality”

    Tony Blair has made a new intervention in the Labour leadership contest with an article in today’s Observer, which the paper has splashed with on the front page: The former Labour Prime Minister confesses that he doesn’t “get” frontrunner Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity, but claims that he is “trying hard” to understand it, and compares it to similar waves of support for Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in the US presidential race. Blair also says he appreciates that his advice against […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Unions Anti-trade union legislation could face legal challenge for contravening human rights

    Anti-trade union legislation could face legal challenge for contravening human rights

    Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper is ready to raise the prospect of challenging the Tories’ proposed anti-trade union laws in the courts, claiming it might contravene human rights legislation. Cooper says she has received legal advice that points to potential breaches of Article 11 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which preserves the right of freedom of association, including trade unions. The leadership contender will accuse the Conservatives of trying to use their position to cripple the opposition with […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Labour have been “in denial” about threat from UKIP, says Dan Jarvis

    Labour have been “in denial” about threat from UKIP, says Dan Jarvis

    Dan Jarvis has slammed Labour for being “in denial” about the threat caused by UKIP, in a new report published this weekend. ‘Reconnecting Labour’, which was commissioned by Andy Burnham in July as part of his campaign to become leader, looks specifically at how Labour wins back votes lost to the anti-EU party. Jarvis raises concerns that the EU referendum a new high-profile platform that could cause further problems for Labour. He says that Labour were too relaxed about the […]

    Read more →
Share with your friends










Submit