by Stephen Tall on April 15, 2014
In the snapshot of Westminster voting intentions, the Lib Dems are unchanged from last month on 12%, ahead of Ukip on 11% (+2%). Labour lead the Conservatives by 37% (-1%) to 32% (-3%). All the figures are within the margin of error. The party will be relieved to see that there’s no sign of ICM putting us anywhere near the 7% recorded by one pollster, ComRes, a couple of days ago.
Until, that is, you turn to the Euro voting intentions for the 22 May election in 5 weeks’ time. This time the Lib Dems are down to just 6% (-3% compared with February), level with the Greens, with Ukip in third place on 20%. Labour lead the Conservatives by 36% (+1%) to 25% (no change). All the figures are, again, within the margin of error.
Taken at face value, this Euro finding is deeply disappointing for the Lib Dems. Polling 6% in the actual election would likely see the Lib Dems entirely wiped out of the European parliament. It really does highlight, as I pointed out here, that every percentage point makes a major difference for the Lib Dems.
There are, though two oddities about the ICM Euro poll. First, it shows very little movement at all: Tories and Ukip unchanged, Labour up 1%. Maybe that points to its reliability, but considering all the debate there’s been in the two months since ICM last published a Euro poll that’s surprising.
But not as surprising as Ukip being in third, so far behind both the Tories and Labour. ICM is the only one of the six polling companies who’ve asked about Euro voting intentions in April which has produced this result. Ukip’s 20% with ICM is 8% lower than the average of the other five polls, while Labour’s 36% is 5% higher. They’re either going to look exceptionally accurate on 22 May, or have egg on their faces.
* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.