ICM puts the Tories four points ahead
As the chart, reproduced from today’s News of the World shows, the first ICM poll of 2006 provides further evidence that the Tory turnaround which started with the election of David Cameron continues to gather force.
The voting intentions (with changes since ICMâ€™s last poll in December) are CON 39%(+2): LAB 35%(-1): LD 20%(-1).
The poll is excellent news for the Tories and is also reassuring for the Lib Dems which had seen shares down to 16% in the recent Populus and BPIX surveys.
The phone interviews took place on Wednesday and Thursday after the coverage of the Kennedy departure had died down and after, also, the launch of Labour’s new “Respect” agenda. In the last ICM poll before the leadership result was announced it was CON 33: LAB 38: LD 19.
So in just two months the Tories have turned a 5% ICM deficit into a 4% lead – and the change has been at the expense of Labour with the Lib Dems more than holding their own
As with all polls I like to see the full data-set before coming to full conclusions but there is little doubt that the Tories will be cheered by their best position in an ICM poll since September 4-5 1992 – the week before Britain’s forced withdrawal from the ERM.
The “most seats at the General Election” market has seen further moves from Labour and the best price you can get is 0.9/1. You can still get 11/8 on the Tories from a conventional bookmaker.