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Author: Elections Wales

Labour Support Reaches 50% in Wales: the new Welsh Political Barometer Poll

The Labour party’s resurgence has taken them up to fifty percent support in Wales. This is the standout finding from the latest Welsh Political Barometer poll, the first systematic test of public attitudes and voting intentions since last June’s general election. Our new poll explored voting intentions for both Westminster and the National Assembly. These are the voting intention figures for a general election that our poll produced (with changes on the general election result in June indicated in brackets): Labour: 50% (+1.1)Conservatives: 32% (-1.6)Plaid Cymru: 8% (-2.4)Liberal Democrats: 4% (-0.5)UKIP: 3% (+1)Others: 2% (+1.5) There are no major changes since the general election – if anything, Labour’s already very strong position has improved very slightly, but all such changes are well within the polling ‘margin of error’. If we project these results onto Wales, using the standard method of computing uniform national swings since the June general election, then our latest poll implies the following overall result (with projected seat changes since June in brackets): Labour: 30 seats (+2)Conservatives: 7 seats (-1)Plaid Cymru: 2 seats (-2) Liberal Democrats: 1 seat (+1) On the projection, three parliamentary seats would be won by different parties from those who were victorious in June. Labour would capture Aberconwy from the Conservatives, and Arfon from Plaid Cymru. Plaid would also lose Ceredigion to the Liberal Democrats. All of these seats were ultra-marginal in...

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Why there is an accountability deficit in Welsh politics

Today’s blog post is a guest article by my Wales Governance Centre colleague Dr Einion Dafydd. You can find Einion on Twitter (@EinionDafydd). Devolved institutions in Wales were established to improve representation and to strengthen accountability. Labour won a majority of seats in Wales at every general election during the years 1922–97, yet the Conservative Party was in power for most of this period. Devolved elections in Wales have been a success story in at least one regard: the composition of its devolved government has more accurately reflected the popular will in Wales, with Labour either governing alone or leading coalition governments throughout the period since 1999. By this specific measure, devolution can be said to have improved political representation in Wales dramatically. However, politicians (see also here) and commentators have long voiced concerns regarding the strength of accountability in devolved Wales. Voters’ ignorance is a key issue. Fewpeople in Wales consume news created in Wales, and coverage of devolved politics in Wales by the London-based news media (widely consumed in Wales) is limited and often inaccurate. The result, it is claimed, is that Welsh voters are too ill informed about devolved politics to hold representatives to account. To create true accountability, citizens must evaluate the performance of their political representatives and must be willing to sanction them at the subsequent election. This means that citizens must know who...

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The Electoral State of the Parties, 1: Labour

Following the tradition invented on this blog over the last four years, I’m going to use this period – as summer holidays end and we begin a new political year – to reflect on the electoral standing and performance of the main political parties in Wales. As always in Wales, we begin with Labour. The long-standing dominance of the Labour party in elections in Wales has been well-rehearsed, here and elsewhere. December next year will mark a century since the last general election where Labour did not come first, in both votes and seats, in Wales. And in all that time, there has only been one Wales-wide electoral contest – the 2009 European Parliament election – that Labour didn’t win. For a time this year, though, it looked as if things might change. The first two Welsh Political Barometer polls of the general election campaign put the Conservatives on historic highs in terms of support, and gave them clear leads over Labour. Though some were sceptical about these polls, the swings since 2015 that they portrayed were very much in line with those in the Britain-wide polling. Moreover, there were plenty of apparent reasons for Labour to be doing badly, and perhaps particularly in Wales. Some of these reasons related to long-term factors, such as the erosion of Labour’s traditional support base. But the short-term context of the 2017...

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Electoral Reform in Wales

As you may have noticed, the blog has been rather quiet over the weeks since the general election. Well, even us psephologists need to re-charge our batteries now and then – and perhaps particularly after an unexpected general election… Anyway, the next few weeks will likely continue to be fairly quiet. I’ll be having some holidays, and also working on some larger writing projects. But as the political class come back from their summer holidays and the new political year starts again, I’ll be running my annual series of essays on the Electoral State of the Parties. We’ll also be due our next Welsh Political Barometer poll in September. September will also mark the twentieth anniversary of the 1997 devolution referendum. Expect me, and my Wales Governance Centre colleague at Cardiff University, to have plenty to say about that; I’ll certainly be making some comments about the evolution of public attitudes to devolution since Wales very narrowly said Yes. In the meantime… some of you may be aware that there are some interesting possibilities regarding electoral reform opening up in Wales. The recent Wales Act devolves powers over local and devolved elections in Wales to the National Assembly. There have been at least two major responses to this. The first is that the Presiding Officer of the National Assembly, Elin Jones, has set up an Expert Panel to examine...

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Seminar on the 2017 General Election

On the morning of 5th July, the Wales Governance Centre (@WalesGovernance) organised an analysis seminar on the 2017 general election. The seminar was chaired with much aplomb by Catrin Haf Jones of ITV Cymru-Wales (@CatrinPenlan) – diolch yn fawr iawn iddi hi! It featured a presentation by me, and then a Q&A session with my colleague and friend Prof Laura McAllister (@LauraMcAllister). A PDF copy of the slides used is available here. A video of the event is available here: [embedded content] Share...

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