ICM/Sunday Telegraph Wisdom Index - Nov 2012

18th Nov 2012

ICM/Sunday Telegraph Wisdom Index - Nov 2012

Martin Boon

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The latest prediction by the public of what might happen if there were an imminent General Election counters recent polls which suggest that Labour have widened the gap over the Conservatives. Indeed, the ‘Wisdom’ prediction is now showing a consistent trend toward narrowing of the Labour lead over the Tories, from a high of 8% to a low of 5% now. Indeed, the projected Labour share is itself the cause of this, having dropped from 39% in the first published Wisdom poll to a new low of 36% now. Ironically, this may well fire up the Labour team, who have repeatedly questioned their conventional polling numbers if only to avoid any thoughts of complacency within the ranks.

The Conservative share holds steady on 31%, 6-points down on its 2010 General Election showing, while the Liberal Democrats again fare much better than conventional online polls suggest. Given the consistency in the Wisdom data, the public can be presumed to simply disbelieve that if there were a General Election tomorrow, the party would shed almost two-thirds of the vote share it got in the 2010 General Election.

ST Online                           1,965        30-31 May 2012           31%   39%   16%   14%    8%
ST Online                           2,029        27-28th June 2012       31%   38%   17%   14%    7%
ST Online                           2,003        8-9th August               31%   38%   17%   14%    7%
ST Online                           2,209        20-21 Sept 2012          31%   37%   18%   15%    6%
Not published Online          2,002        24-25 Oct                    32%   37%   16%   14%    5%
ST Online                           2,024        14-16th Nov                31%   36%   18%   15%     5%

How the Wisdom Index tracks or differs from ICM’s conventional telephone polling is shown in the graphic below.

The BBC has recently run into problems over the allegations surrounding Jimmy Savile, and an incorrect allegation about ex-Conservative Party Treasurer Lord McAlpine. As a result of these events, trust in the BBC appears to have tumbled. Over of half the public (53%) say they are less likely to trust the organsiation, with women (57%) and older people (65+: 58%) chief among them. Just over a third say that these events make no difference (38%).

Lord Patten appointed the Director General of the BBC George Entwistle, who lasted only 54 days in the job. With Entwistle having gone over the Newsnight affair, Lord Patten is himself under severe pressure to take responsibility for the situation. The public tend to belive he should go (44%) rather than stay (26%) but many people are uncertain – which is definitely NOT something that could be said for Patten’s decision to pay off Entwistle with a £450,000 golden handshake. Four in five (82%) think this was too much to pay someone whose tenure was so short.

The Prime Minister faces a stern test in Brussels next week, trying to fight budget increases for the European Union at a time of European austerity. He has threatened to use his veto to prevent inflation busting increases, and in that the public are solidly behing him. Three-quarters (73%) think he should prevent an increase, with only a tenth (10%) saying it would be right to accept the will of the majority if they decide to accept the EU’s demands.

ICM Research interviews an online sample of 2,024 adults aged 18+ on 14-16th November 2012. Data has been weighted to reflectthe profile of the GB popualtion. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

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Martin Boon

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