Reputations matter, so let's tot up the scorecard on a few

Reputations matter, so let's tot up the scorecard on a few

ICM Unlimited's director and pollster rates how the main players' reputations have fared in general election campaign so far.

Theresa May

She started out strong and stable but right now is routinely touted as wobbly and – according to some journalists – actually just not that good.

It’s almost indigestible for the Tories to think that an entire campaign built on the perceived personal qualities of a Presidential-style leader was found wanting in such a dramatic and grand style. If you are presenting yourself as steadfast, about-turning with record speed is not a good look. Still, if the Prime Minister can hold on for a sizable overall majority, she’ll get over it.


Nick Timothy

Pit-bull protector of the prime minister and allegedly the man behind the social care policy debacle, he’s apparently been downgraded in the campaigning pecking order in favour of Sir Lynton and the 2015 band which has been put back together.

Timothy won’t be going anywhere, but if the musings of frustrated cabinet ministers and MPs whose access to the PM has been limited by him and Fiona Hill is anything to go by, he has a repair job on his hands.


Sir Lynton Crosby 

Back at the heart of the campaign and if he pulls it off his reputation will be stratospheric.

If he doesn’t, Crosby can justifiably say that his early campaign advice was not heeded and miracles could not be worked.

A win-win dream scenario for the Australian campaigning guru.


Jeremy Corbyn 

Saw off the indefatigable Paxman with relative comfort only to stumble next day on Woman’s hour. Meets Triumph and Disaster regularly and treats those two imposters just the same, but really, his low-grade leadership skills are probably priced in and he’s having the kind of campaign expected of him. Which is to say, lethargic, laced with moments of energy in the way that a kindly uncle snoozes after a long lunch but wakes to play with nieces for half an hour.


Tim Farron 

Who? We know more about his family than we do him after his naming of all of them in his answers to questions at the ITV debate.

With the Lib Dems still flailing around their 8% floor, outside of a (possible) polling shock, his grasp of the leadership looks somewhat tenuous.



Thanks for asking. Three weeks’ ago polls sailed serenely along projecting stunning Tory majorities. And yet, and yet….

YouGov just produced a new seat projection model projecting a hung parliament of all things. The new methodological battle is now all about turnout, with the likes of ICM Unlimited showing 12-14 point leads and YouGov and Survation down there on 4-6 point leads.

Polls apart? 2015 all over again? Oh dear, I hope not; but suddenly it’s entirely reasonable to wonder what on earth is going on.

Polls do now at least have a great deal of methodological plurality, but in the absence of monumental last week ‘herding’ somebody will have egg on their face. Hope it’s not me.


Martin Boon is director and pollster at ICM Unlimited

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