Tories open up 4% gap in the July ICM poll

Tories open up 4% gap in the July ICM poll

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    But Cameron needs more than 39% before he can think of Number 10?

After all the waiting the delayed figures from the Guardian’s July ICM survey are now out and they have the Tories moving forward, Labour holding steady but the Lib Dems falling back.

These are the shares with comparisons on the last ICM poll which was in the Sunday Telegraph nearly three weeks ago. CON 39 (+3): LAB 35 (nc): LD 17 (-1).. Note that the reports that the Guardian is putting out have comparisons with the paper’s June ICM poll – not the last survey by the pollster.

For the Tories this survey, the latest in the longest continuous series of polls in any UK newspaper, is very good news particularly as it comes after the disappointments of the Bromley by-election. It will reinforce David Cameron in his efforts to shift the party in the face of growing opposition.

For Labour there must be some relief that the party is not paying a price for the loans for honours affair. Holding onto the 35% – just one point down on the General election – is perhaps more than they could have hoped for in the circumstances. Also a deficit of just 4% is manageable and the party would probably end up with most seats if this was the outcome at a General Election.

For the Lib Dems the numbers must be a disappointment particularly as they come after Bromley, some better performances by Ming Campbell, and signs that the policy and media relations operation is working better.

The message from these numbers is that the next General Election is wide open. It will be interesting to see if the trend is confirmed by YouGov which should be out in the next couple of days.

Mike Smithson

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