New ICM Poll – Conservatives Cut Labour’s Lead to 5%
There is a new ICM poll in the Guardian tomorrow showing the Conservatives reversing most of their post-Budget slump, with a jump of 3%:
Conservative 36% (up 3%)
Labour 41% (no change)
Lib Dem 11% (down 4%)
Labour’s five-point lead is their second biggest with Guardian/ICM since the general election, beaten only by the eight-point advantage they opened up last month. But the Conservatives’ continuing edge in the economic blame game has enabled a limited political recovery. Asked to choose between four possible culprits for the new recession, 29% of voters continue to blame debts racked up by the last Labour government, as compared to just 17% who point the finger at the coalition’s cuts. Meanwhile, 24% identify chill winds from the eurozone as the principal problem and 21% cite the banks’ reluctance to lend.
Mistrust of Labour also emerges when people are asked to put their overall political preference to one side, and consider which team they most trust to run the economy properly. Some 44% prefer Cameron and chancellor George Osborne, as against 35% who would rather Ed Miliband and his shadow chancellor Ed Balls were in charge of the finances. While substantial, this nine-point Tory lead on the economy has been diminishing steadily. The gap was 21 points in December, 18 in January, 17 in March and 13 in April before closing by another four points over the last month.
The news for the Liberal Democrats is unremittingly bleak. Up until now ICM’s methodology has suggested a less precipitous collapse in Lib Dem support than has been seen in other surveys since the coalition was formed. But third party’s standing now shrivelled to its lowest level in 15 years, since the time when Tony Blair’s all-conquering new government briefly attracted support of 60%. The last time the Lib Dems did so badly in a more ordinary political environment was over 20 years ago, during the party’s miserable early days at the very start of the 1990s.
ICM Research interviewed a random sample of 1002 adults aged 18+ on 18-20th May 2012. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults.
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