An ICM survey for today’s Guardian makes grim reading for Tony Blair. Labour is at its lowest level – in an ICM opinion poll – since 1987. Labour is down 3% on the last ICM poll (for Channel 4) and 5% down on the last ICM poll for The Guardian. ICM doesn’t appear to offer any numbers on the BNP.
Anyone who saw the sanctimonious Patricia Hewitt address yesterday’s Unison conference will know that Labour has a real problem with its base. A Labour health secretary – who is presiding over a massive health budget – was treated with stoney coldness by a union that hates even the most timid steps towards reform and the use of the private sector. Downing Street must fear a real collapse in turnout amongst its supporters next week. This ICM survey was taken before voters had digested Ms Hewitt’s ‘the NHS is having its best year’ remarks. 88.43% of 9,941 voters on a BBC Online poll disagreed with the Health Secretary.
Such a collapse in turnout will help the Tories who are flatlining in the ICM surveys. The LibDems will be most hopeful about 4th May. At 24% the LibDems appear to have suffered no lasting damage from the Oaten and Kennedy problems of January.
ICM also found that Menzies Campbell’s party was most trusted on the environment. 29% thought that the LibDems were the best party to protect the environment. 22% opted for the Tories (at this early stage of David Cameron’s green campaign) and just 17% chose Labour.