Is this where Blair’s fate could be decided?

Is this where Blair’s fate could be decided?

ICM building.JPG

    What poll news would be the “tipping point” for the Prime Minister?

On the first floor of this ordinary looking office block next door to the Job Centre in Bedford is a 100 station calling centre operated by the pollster, ICM. It’s the firm’s largest facility and is where a whole or a large part of the field-work for not just ICM polls takes place.

    For it might come as a surprise to learn that ICM carries out surveying work here for other well known polls such as the the Populus survey for the Times and, often, the monthly Communicate Research survey for the Independent.

If Populus is following its normal processes and standard schedule then it is likely to be using ICM again this weekend to carry out interviews for the Times Poll, the results of which usually come out on Tuesday mornings.

Given the highly charged political atmosphere there could well be other non-scheduled polls taking place which will come out tomorrow.

If the Populus and/or others find that severe damage is being done to Labour by Tony Blair continuing in office then it is possible that this would be the spring board that prompts the so called “men in grey suits” to seek an appointment at Number 10.

    The January Populus and YouGov polls had Labour seven points adrift while ICM was reporting a six point margin. How much bigger do these gaps need to be for the “tipping point” to be reached?

I might have to eat my words here but I am not convinced that Labour’s deficits will be that much greater. As I told the Financial Times yesterday I think it is easy to to over-estimate the effect of things like cash for honours.

Latest “Blair leaving Date” betting is here.

  • It should be noted that the role ICM plays for other pollsters is in carrying out the fieldwork. All the other aspects including the design of each survey, the wording of the questions, the weighting and the production of the final figures is carried out by Populus and Communicate Research themselves.

  • Mike Smithson

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