Tories take biggest ICM lead since 1992

Tories take biggest ICM lead since 1992


    ..and YouGov trend data gives Cameron more to smile about

Today’s June ICM poll in the Guardian has with comparisons on a month ago CON 37 (-1): LAB 32 (-2): LD 21 (+1) and underlines that the Tory position is becoming more robust.

Because of its methodology ICM tends to be much less volatile than Mori and the 5 point Tory margin is the biggest the party has enjoyed with the pollster’s Guardian since August 1992 – the month before the ERM crisis. Labour’s 32% is what it recorded in April and is the lowest rating for nearly twenty years.

The Lib Dem figure showing a small increase follows a month when it has managed to get good publicity for a number of policy statements and when Ming Campbell’s PMQ performances have shown a marked improvement.

The monthly ICM Guardian poll is the longest running poll series in the UK and is probably the most respected. Today’s figures will reinforce Labour jitters.

    For the poll is the twelth in a row from four different pollsters showing clear water between Labour and the Tories and there is no sign yet of “the Cameron bubble bursting”.

In fact a new report from YouGov’s daily BrandIndex survey and made available to Anthony Wells of UK Polling Report suggests that there was a tipping point about the time of the local elections and Labour has not recovered.

On Cameron’s personal ratings, subject of much debate here, Anthony writes “.. YouGov trackers do indeed show that Cameron’s approval ratings were just beginning to decline prior to the local election when he was being faced with criticism about having his chauffeur follow his bike carrying his briefcase and attacked by Labour as a blue chameleon… but the local election results changed that..Cameron’s approval ratings and positive or negative perception rating both peaked after the Conservatives made the most gains in the local elections on May 4th and have been on a steadily upwards trend since then. The difference is presumably because Cameron is now seen as a ‘winner’, putting him in a positive light. The local elections came along at just to right time to give his image boost; it seems he has once again been very lucky indeed.

This is the first time that this YouGov data has been made available and Anthony’s report lists a number of caveats. Clearly it is better at monitoring trends than giving daily figures which could be distorted for all sorts of reasons.

In spite of all this apparent good news for the Tories it has to be said that a 5% ICM lead is not enough. Whichever of the seat calculators you use the shares still give Labour more seats albeit in a hung parliament situation. The Tories still have a long way to go.

Mike Smithson

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