ICM puts Labour’s lead up 5%

ICM puts Labour’s lead up 5%


    Restoring the smile on Tony Blair’s face

The ICM March survey for the Guardian tomorrow gives a real boost to the Labour campaign and shows a big increase since the last survey a month ago. The figures are:- LAB 40 (+3): Con 32 (-2): LD 20 (-1).

    [But the BBC’s Newsnight programme has reported tonight that a poll by the British Election Survey has the Tories ahead amongst those who are certain to vote. We have not been able to find a link yet for this poll]

The ICM trend is broadly in line with other recent polls and show that the Tories have not managed to maintain the momentum of last month when they enjoyed a big boost in the wake of their immigration policy statements. The poll was conducted between Friday and Sunday.

For Labour this will be seen as a great relief after a faltering start to their campaign.

For the Tories there will be real disappointment that their dominance of the news agenda has not produced improved poll ratings.

For the Lib Dems there will be some relief that after the Budget they have only slipped one point.

For gamblers we expect a serious reverse in the Tory spread-betting price which had only faltered a little after the budget. The ICM Guardian poll is probably the most price sensitive of all the surveys.

One factor about ICM is that they operate a “spiral of silence” calculation that last month gave Labour a boost of almost two per cent. We will have to look at the detailed figures tomorrow to see how this has worked this time. Without it they would have been just 1.13% ahead – not 3%.

Almost three quarters of those surveyed, 71%, said they believed Labour will win, including 60% of Tory voters.

One crumb of comfort for the Tories is that in all but one General Election over the past fifty years the party in second place in the polls at the start of the final week has improved its position.

So far tonight the spread-markets do not seem to have caught up with this poll.

IG IndexLAB 350-355: CON 199-204: LD 68-71

SpreadfairLAB 350 -350.9: CON 200-203.7: LD 68.7 -69

Click here for other General Election betting markets with the conventional bookmakers.

Mike Smithson

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