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Conservatives hit 40% with ICM

by Paul Goodman

I believe that state-of-the-parties opinion polls will have little significance until much nearer the election (on the assumption that the Coalition lasts).  They'll be of interest in relation to big sets of local and national elections, such as those that will be held next May, but will tell us nothing for a very long time about how people will vote in a general election.

This is a good time for me to make the point, because I can't be accused of writing to soften bad figures for the blues.  ICM's poll tomorrow for the News of The World (£) is rather good for them, if you take these things seriously.  The figures are as follows:

ICMNoTW Mike Smithson on Political Betting describes the poll as a "boost for the Tories", noting that the Party is in the 40s with ICM for only the second time since the election, while the Liberal Democrats equals the lowest figure from the company since that date.

Since many ascribe more importance to these polls than I do, I suspect there will be some relief in some Tory quarters that the survey finding large proportions of those polled believing the Comprehensive Spending Review to have been unfair doesn't translate in this survey to a shift to Labour.

Smithson writes: "It's Labour that will be worried most by these numbers.  For instead, as had been widely hoped, of being in the lead at this stage they are still behind by a reasonable margin."  The last ICM poll he cites, taken for the Sunday Telegraph after the conference season, showed both the two main parties lower.

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