ICM’s poll findings about Cambridge

ICM have now released the full tables for their recent poll in four Lib-Dem-held constituencies, including Cambridge. The headline finding for our city is that Julian Huppert is set to lose his seat to Labour’s Daniel Zeichner if Nick Clegg remains Lib Dem leader, but might do better if Vince Cable or Danny Alexander were to take over. Here are the numbers:

However, the poll also asked a number of other questions about political attitudes in Cambridge, which make fascinating reading for anyone interested in local politics. One question was whether people could name the current MP for Cambridge. Here are the responses:

It may seem surprising to anyone even slightly interested in local politics that so few people could name Julian Huppert, who seems to have a pretty active local media presence. They might be even more surprised to learn the figures for his main rival for the Cambridge seat, Labour’s Daniel Zeichner:

It’s pretty remarkable that Daniel Zeichner, who fought the last election in Cambridge for Labour and was reselected as their candidate in 2012, has name recognition among only 5% of Cambridge voters with less than a year left to go until the General Election.

The poll also asked whether people thought Julian Huppert was doing a good job. He can be moderately encouraged by the answers:

Relatively few of his constituents think Julian Huppert is doing a bad job, though there are plenty who don’t know. Here are the numbers for Daniel Zeichner:

Again the positives outweigh the negatives, but two thirds of people didn’t have an opinion. The poll also asked about Conservative Nick Hillman, which might have been a surprise to him – since the 2010 General Election he has moved away from Cambridge to London, and he isn’t intending to restand in Cambridge in 2015 – the Conservatives have yet to select their candidate. Unsurprisingly, Don’t Know dominated the responses.

Finally, here’s a graph showing the top ten local issues in Cambridge that people named. See the tables for full details, including other issues that didn’t make it into the top ten. The percentages show how many people named each issue. People could name more than one issue, so they don’t add up to 100.

It’s not often Cambridge gets a full-scale opinion poll like this one, though it’s already a bit out of date – fieldwork was done from 4-8 April. It remains to be seen how opinion will shift by the time of the General Election.

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One Response to ICM’s poll findings about Cambridge

  1. Poll Me says:

    Looks like the question they asked about job performance for Huppert and Zeichner was a bit dodgy either in design or execution. In both cases it seems that most people, on the basis of little knowledge as evidenced by the relative lack of name recognition both enjoy, were unthinkingly pushed into giving them the benefit of the doubt, with many more people giving the benefit of the doubt to the incumbent MP who is, by virtue of his status, better known. The pattern on the bar chart seems too uniform.

    Polling questions on job performance make sense when we’re talking about a national party leader or an entire party, but when it comes to candidates for MP in one city (with a significant student and/or transient population) it seems to be less revealing, and potentially even misleading. Particularly given the first polls on what impact a change of Lib Dem leader would have, it seems that the opinions many Cambridge voters towards Huppert are shaped by national affairs.

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