Will the Guardian’s ICM poll ease the Labour gloom?

Will the Guardian’s ICM poll ease the Labour gloom?

CON 40 (-3) LAB 30 (+4) LD 19 (-2)

Brown’s party is back in the 30s

After the two terrible polls at the weekend Labour strategists must have been fearing the worst from the Guardian’s ICM survey – the longest polling series in the UK.

Well those projecting a big collapse got it wrong. The poll points to a Tory lead of just 10 points which is barely enough to produce an overall majority. This is seriously good news for Brown Central.

The Sunday Telegraph’s poll at the weekend was by Marketing Sciences Ltd which I understand to be part of the ICM group and which, I believe, follows ICM core polling methodologies. I have been in touch with the ICM CEO, NIck Sparrow, during the day and I am assuming that tonight’s survey for the Guardian is directly comparable.

So the comparisons above are made with the weekend poll and not with the last official poll from ICM at the end of March.

The S. Telegraph’s poll was carried out on Wednesday and Thursday of last week. Fieldwork for this latest survey started on Friday and continued until Sunday and so clearly is that much more up to date.

And while everybody is arguing about the numbers remember the Second Polling Golden Rule:-

The point is that you can only deem a poll as a “rogue” or an “outlier” with the benefit of hindsight and we’ll have to wait to see what further surveys show.

SOME FURTHER THOUGHTS: One factor might have been the almost total absence from the bulletins and the front pages of the Tories since Easter. We’ve seen how there is a correlation between Cameron’s media appearances and Tory ratings. My recall is that we’ve heard from the Tory leader just once – he’s hardly been making the running.

Tomorrow morning we will get the MORI poll for April and the fieldwork took place at exactly the same time. MORI headline figures can be quite turbulent because they only include those who are 100% certain to vote.

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