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…

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