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ICM data shows Brown retaining just 60% of Labour ’05 voters

September 28th, 2006

Lab poster launch 2005.jpg

    New polling innovation shows problem for Ming as well

In a major new way of presenting and collating polling information the detailed data from Friday’s ICM September poll in the Guardian, just out, gives a breakdown of what people will do based on how they voted in the 2005 General Election. The news is not good for the Fife neighbours, Gordon Brown and Ming Campbell.

    For only three out of five people who voted Labour in 2005 told ICM they would do the same at the next General Election if Brown was leader.

We are able to track this because in what I believe is a first for a pollster we are now able to see how allegiances have switched between the parties since the last election and how different groups respond to questions like how they would vote with different people named as party leaders. This could be a vital resource if Labour’s succession is to be decided by a contest.

    In the past we have only been able to make informed guesses about how votes were moving between the parties. Now ICM is giving us firmer information.

It shows on the main voting intention question, for instance, that 77% of Labour voters last time intend to do the same at the next election. A total of 8% of them now say they will vote Tory and 11% would vote Lib Dem with the balance going to “others”

Thus for the Tories the retention factor is 91% with 4% going Lib Dem and 1% to Labour. A total of 74% of the 2005 Lib Dem supporters stay with 14% going Tory and 8% going Labour.

The real shock comes when respondents were asked how they would vote if Cameron/Brown/Campbell are the leaders – for there are significant losses for both Labour and the Lib Dems. These are the main points:-

  • Labour ’05 voters Just three out of five say they would stick with the party with Brown as leader. A tenth would go to the Tories; a tenth to the Lib Dems. The balance is accounted for by “others” “don’t knows” and refusers.
  • Lib Dem ’05 voters Just 59% say they would stay Lib Dem with this line-up of leaders – the party losing 16% to the Tories and 11% to Labour.
  • Tory ’05 voters. Cameron’s Tories retain 83% with 2% going to Labour and 3% going to the Lib Dems. The party picks up significant Labour and Lib Dem support
  • Clearly in each case you gain a few votes in one direction and you lose a few in the other. However you look at it the figures for Labour and the Lib Dems when Brown and Ming are named as leaders are not encouraging.

      This is the first time data has been collated in this way and we need the evidence of a number of polls before we can draw firm conclusions – but the Brown retention element might be seized on by the Blairites who are trying to stop him.

    ICM have built up a reputation as a pioneer in the polling business and should be congratulated on this welcome innovation. I am really looking forward to the next ICM poll to see if there changes are consistent. Let’s hope that other pollsters follow suit.

    In the Labour leadership betting Brown is 0.48/1.

    Mike Smithson






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