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Author: Elections Wales

One Week To Go… The Latest Welsh Poll

The revival in the fortunes of the Welsh Labour party is holding firm, while Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats are on course for historically bad election results. These are the standout findings from the latest Welsh Political Barometer poll, which has measured where the parties stand with just one week to go in the general election battle. This has been an erratic election in Wales: the first two polls of the campaign showed clear Conservative leads, and indicated that the Tories were on course for an historic electoral breakthrough. But our last poll indicated a dramatic Labour fightback. Now, our new poll shows the following voting intention figures for the general election (with changes on the last Barometer poll, conducted earlier this month, indicated in brackets): Labour: 46% (+2)Conservatives: 35% (+1)Plaid Cymru: 8% (-1)Liberal Democrats: 5% (-1)UKIP: 5% (no change)Others: 0% (-3) There are no substantial changes since our previous poll; all movements are well within the ‘margin of error’. If we use the standard method of projecting these polling numbers across Wales – computing uniform national swings since the 2015 general election for each constituency –then our latest poll implies the following overall result. (Projected seat changes from the 2015 result are in brackets): Labour: 27 seats (+2)Conservatives: 9 seats (-2)Plaid Cymru: 3 seats (no change)Liberal Democrats: 1 seat (no change) The first two previous polls of...

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New Polling on Welsh Independence

Difficult though it can be for some of us to believe at times, there are things going on in addition to the general election. Among the matters of interest to me has been the recent publication of some new evidence by Yes Cymru on levels of support for, and opposition towards, Welsh independence. A few words of background to start with. As I have said previously on the blog, there is no self-evidently correct way to ask about attitudes for independence. In the context of a referendum on the matter, referendum voting intention (with a question based around the wording on the referendum ballot paper) would presumably be the main question that most polls would look to ask. But we are not in that context in Wales at present. A number of different questions have therefore been asked, at various times: Various versions of multiple-options ‘constitutional preference’ questions. Here respondents are given a number of different options for how Wales should be governed, normally ranging from independence to no devolution, with a few intermediate possibilities. The proportion of people choosing the independence option could then be taken as indicating the level of support for independence. A small number of surveys have asked a slightly different question: giving people some sort of scale, anchored by end points of No Devolution and Independence, and asking them to indicate their own preference...

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The New Welsh Political Barometer poll

Support for the Labour party in Wales has surged in the last two weeks, while the Conservative momentum in Wales appears to have gone into reverse. These are the key messages to come out of the new Welsh Political Barometer poll, the very latest measure of where the parties stand in the general election battle. The first two polls of this campaign showed clear Conservative party leads in Wales, and indicated that the Tories were on course for an historic electoral breakthrough. Our new poll once again asked people how they would vote in the forthcoming general election. These are the voting intention figures that our poll produced (with changes on the last Barometer poll, conducted earlier this month, indicated in brackets): Labour: 44% (+9)Conservatives: 34% (-7)Plaid Cymru: 9% (-2)Liberal Democrats: 6% (-1)UKIP: 5% (+1)Others: 3% (+1) The most important change from our previous poll is clearly the resurgence in Labour support. This is broadly in line with the Britain-wide polls, which have generally been showing a narrowing of the gap between the Conservatives and Labour in recent days. But the extent of the Labour rise, and Conservative fall, are rather greater in Wales, and are sufficient to put Labour back into a significant lead in Wales. Meanwhile, as was seen in our previous poll, the smaller parties continue to be squeezed: Plaid Cymru are down two more points,...

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Some of my recent writings on the general election

As a few of you may have noticed, there’s a general election going on. With Wales shaping up to be potentially one of the interesting stories of this election, I’ve contributed a few pieces to various sites. Here are three things that I wrote for the New Statesman (most recent first): And here are a couple of pieces that I wrote for the Spectator: I also published something in the Sunday Times yesterday. As for many of you the piece is behind a paywall, here is a pre-publication version of the text: An opinion poll earlier this week confirmed that Wales is on the verge of an historic political transformation at the forthcoming general election. Yet the Welsh themselves can’t quite believe it. A shock poll at the start of the campaign gave the Conservatives an unheard of ten-point lead with Welsh voters. The latest iteration of the Welsh Political Barometer – a polling collaboration between Cardiff University and ITV-Wales – showed that Labour are not about to just curl up and die in their ultimate heartland; after they did much better in Wales than elsewhere in the local elections, the new poll put Labour support up five points to 35 percent. But the Tories are stronger than they have ever been in Wales: their 41 percent support in the latest poll is unprecedented. Such polling figures run directly...

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The 2017 Local Elections in Wales

Amidst everything else that has been going on, I have not had time to devote sufficient attention on this blog to the results of the recent local elections. However, with the very considerable help of my excellent PhD student Jac Larner (@Jaclarner on Twitter), I have been able to assemble some relevant information and a few thoughts. Here, first of all, is a table with the total number of councillors won, the number of councils under majority control, and the net gain/loss in council seats, for each party in Wales: Party Total Councillors Councils Net Seat Gain/Loss Labour 472 7 (-3) -107 Plaid Cymru 202 1 (no change) +33 Conservative 184 1 (+1) +80 Lib-Dems 62 0 (no change) -11 UKIP 0 0 (no change) -2 Green 1 0 (no change) +1 Independents 322 3 (+1) +13 Others 6 0 (no change) -7 And here is the total numbers of votes cast, and the percentage of the total for each party: Party Total Votes % Labour 560,860 35.05 Plaid Cymru 240,061 15.00 Conservative 330,475 20.65 Lib-Dems 107,560 6.72 UKIP 13,247 0.84 Green 11,835 0.74 Ind/Others 335,909 20.99 At least a couple of issues arise from these figures. The first is the significant differences between the percentage vote totals in the table immediately above and those in the Welsh Political Barometer poll in late April. That poll gave the following...

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