Will ICM add to the jitters within the Lib Dems?

Will ICM add to the jitters within the Lib Dems?


    The firm’s 16% is the lowest since Clegg became leader

The most significant news in a new ICM poll in the Sunday Express is that the Lib Dems have slumped to their lowest ratings from the firm since well before Nick Clegg became leader last December. The shares with changes on the last survey from the pollster nearly a fortnight ago are: CON 45% (+2): LAB 29% (+1): LD 16% (-3)

This is a particular blow for the party because ICM’s methodology is generally more favourable to the Lib Dems than any of the other firms – so a drop of this scale could add further to the unease in the party following the disappointing by election performances in Crewe & Nantwich, Henley and Glasgow East.

    Also the 16% is not much better than the 14% that ICM had at the start of October 2007 just before Ming announced that he was going.

This is, of course, the holiday season and odd results can emerge. But Nick Clegg will be really hoping to see better figures than this from the firm by the time of his party conference in mid-September.

The Lib Dems are suffering because they have been more squeezed out of the news agenda than usual as all the political focus has been on the Labour leadership.

Also in the poll are inconclusive findings on whether Labour would be better or worse off if they changed their leader.

Paul Maggs should be following with his Sunday newspaper review later.

Mike Smithson

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