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Author: Elections Wales

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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The Latest Welsh General Election Poll

Labour is fighting back in Wales – but the Conservatives are still on course for an historic triumph at the general election. 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 election battle. Following the shock of our previous poll, which gave the Conservatives an unprecedented ten-point lead in Wales, our new poll once again asked people how they would vote in a general election for the House of Commons. These are the voting intention figures that our poll produced (with changes on the last Barometer poll, conducted in late April, in brackets): Conservatives: 41% (+1)Labour: 35% (+5)Plaid Cymru: 11% (-2)Liberal Democrats: 7% (-1)UKIP: 4% (-2)Others: 2% (-1) The big change on our previous poll is clearly the recovery in Labour support. After doing exceptionally badly in the last poll, they have now pulled back within two percentage points of their Welsh vote share in the last general election. Yet Labour have not been able to eat into Conservative support at all. Although barely changed since our last poll, the Tories’ 41 percent is a new high for them in any Welsh opinion poll, ever. At this early stage of the general election campaign, the two largest parties seem to be squeezing the smaller ones: Plaid Cymru, the Liberal Democrats and UKIP...

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May-Day – and May’s Week?

There is no post-war precedent for having a general election campaign already underway whilst the local elections take place. Living in a competitive ward myself, in a normally marginal seat, I’m feeling the seasonal love that an election brings, and being bombarded with the literature coming through the door. This Thursday will see local elections in some councils in England, throughout Scotland, and across all twenty-two local authorities in Wales. But which party will be flying the flag of victory come May 5th, and will this be a taste of things to come on June 8th? Of course we can expect variations in the council elections because of particular local politics and the strengths or failings of different local parties. But there is no doubt that the national mood does and will influence the results we get in the local elections. The most striking recent example of this is the fate of many Liberal Democrat councillors between 2011-15; the national unpopularity of the party after it entered the coalition government translated into many hard-working local Liberal Democrats losing their council seats. The national mood at present is defined by Conservative dominance. Though many still view them as “the nasty party” (a term coined fifteen years ago by the current Prime Minister), the reality is that the Tories currently face no serious or credible opposition outside of Scotland and Nicola...

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More from the Barometer Poll – Brexit

More from the Barometer Poll – Brexit Brexit has dominated UK politics since the referendum result last June, and there is no sign yet of that changing. Our Welsh Political Barometer polls will therefore be devoting increased attention to the issue for the foreseeable future. For our latest poll, we repeated a series of questions that were added by Cardiff University to the September Barometer poll. The thing that most consistently stands out from the results of the Brexit-related questions in our new poll, just as it did in September, is the substantial gap on almost all matters between those who voted Remain and those who voted Leave in last June’s referendum. The views and perceptions of the two groups are very different: there is no sign of a public consensus on Brexit emerging. With that in mind, I will present results from all our questions in three columns: showing the responses of Remain voters, of Leave voters, and that of our overall sample. First, we asked about the possibility of another referendum: “Would you support or oppose holding a second referendum of Britain’s membership of the European Union to confirm or reverse Britain’s decision to leave the EU?”   Remain Leave Overall Support 69% 7% 36% Oppose 21% 87% 52% Don’t Know 10% 6% 12% So we see here clear majority opposition to the idea of having a...

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Could Things Be Even Worse For Labour?

Could Things Be Even Worse For Labour? The answer is that things could nearly always be worse. In this specific instance, what prompts the question is something that Matt Singh, of Number Cruncher Politics, noticed in the cross-breaks for our latest Welsh Political Barometer poll. Put simply, the point is that, at least for Westminster voting intention, Labour is doing particularly well among those respondents who apparently did not vote in the June EU referendum – and rather badly among many of those who did vote. If we take out non-voters in the referendum, Labour has pretty much no lead at all on general election voting intention. I went back and checked the September Barometer poll, and something of the same pattern appears, although to a less strong extent. Plaid Cymru, we should notice, also do relatively well among those who did not vote in the referendum. And as Matt speculates, “While 2016 taught us to be cautious when it comes to making assumptions about turnout, it’s nevertheless still reasonable to think that people that didn’t vote in a referendum with a 72 per cent turnout probably aren’t the likeliest of voters in a general election. The risk for Labour is that their lead is soft because they’re relying in part on this type of (non-) voter and the Tories aren’t.” You can find Matt’s discussion here. It’s worth a...

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