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23 July 2013
A new opinion poll about voting intentions in Wales has revealed that the Labour party is on course to make major gains in Wales at the next general election in 2015. Conducted by YouGov for the new Elections in Wales blog (blogs.cf.ac.uk/electionsinwales), the poll suggests that Labour could win more than three quarters of seats in Wales in 2015, making gains at the expense of the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru. It also finds that Labour is currently on course to win an absolute majority of seats in the National Assembly, for the first time ever, in the 2016 devolved election. Other findings reveal that both the parties in the UK coalition government, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, to be losing support in Wales, with Plaid Cymru to be making, at best, only limited progress. The poll also suggests that support for UKIP has risen in Wales, which may put the party in position to win seats in the Welsh Assembly in 2016 – and possibly even finish ahead of the Conservatives. The following levels of support for the main parties were found (changes since last election in brackets): UK General Election Voting Intention Labour: 48% (+12%) Conservative: 23% (-3%) Lib-Dems: 7% (-13%) Plaid Cymru: 9% (-2%) UKIP: 8% (+6%) Others: 4% Translated into seats (assuming that the swings shown in the poll were repeated uniformly across Wales), this would mean Labour winning 34 seats at the next UK general election – fully 85% of all the 40 seats in Wales. The Conservatives would see their Welsh parliamentary representation halved from eight to four; while both the Liberal Democrats (holding Ceredigion) and Plaid Cymru (retaining Dwyfor Meirionydd) would be reduced to a single MP at Westminster. The seats to change hands would be: Aberconwy (LAB gain from CON) Arfon (LAB gain from PC) Brecon and Radnor (CON gain from LD) Cardiff Central (LAB gain from LD) Cardiff North (LAB gain from CON) Carmarthen East and Dinefwr (LAB gain from PC) Carmarthen West and South Pembs (LAB gain from CON) Preseli Pembrokeshire (Lab gain from CON) Vale of Glamorgan (LAB gain from CON) National Assembly Election Voting Intention (Constituency Vote) Labour: 47% (+5%) Conservative: 19% (-6%) Lib-Dems: 8% (-3%) Plaid Cymru: 17% (-2%) UKIP: 6% (+6%) Others: 3% National Assembly Election Voting Intention (Regional List Vote) Labour: 25% (-12%) Conservative: 12% (-11%) Lib-Dems: 9% (+1) Plaid Cymru: 23% (+5%) UKIP: 16% (+11%) Others: 24% (+9%) Constituency seats to change hands for the National Assembly would be: Aberconwy (LAB gain from CON) Carmarthen West and South Pembs (LAB gain from CON) Preseli Pembrokeshire (Lab gain from CON) The final seat outcome, after allocation of the regional list seats, would be: Labour: 31 seats Conservative: 6 seats Lib-Dems: 2 seats Plaid Cymru: 13 seats UKIP: 8 seats Commenting on the poll’s findings, Professor Roger Scully, who is Professor of Political Science at Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre and one of Wales’ leading political commentators, said "As parliament and the National Assembly begin their summer recess, this YouGov poll provides a valuable end-of-term assessment of where the parties stand in Wales. It shows that the resurgence in Labour support in Wales since the 2010 general election continues unabated. And Labour is taking support from all the other parties. Conservative support is now coming under pressure, threatening many of the eight parliamentary seats the Party now holds in Wales and the Tories’ status as the official opposition in the National Assembly. "The poll does reveal some limited good news for Plaid Cymru. Their strong showing on the regional list vote means that they are currently on course to regain their status as the second largest party in the National Assembly. But the poll offers little comfort to the Liberal Democrats. It also suggests that UKIP’s English breakthrough is having some resonance in Wales – although, ironically, this is more likely to result in seat wins for the National Assembly than in the UK parliament". More details on the opinion poll can be found on the new Elections in Wales blog (blogs.cf.ac.uk/electionsinwales)
Details on Poll: Total sample size was 1,012 Welsh adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18-22 July 2013. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Welsh adults (aged 18+). Elections in Wales blog: blogs.cf.ac.uk/electionsinwales Elections in Wales is a new blog, devoted to the discussion and analysis of elections, voting and political representation in Wales. The blog is run by Professor Roger Scully of Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre. Prof Scully is co-author of Wales Says Yes: Devolution and the 2011 Welsh Referendum (University of Wales Press, 2012) and was Director of the 2011 Welsh Referendum Study and the 2011 Welsh Election Study, both of which were funded by major grants from the Economic and Social Research Council of the United Kingdom. About the Wales Governance Centre The Wales Governance Centre is a research unit at Cardiff University. It is formally based between the Cardiff University School of European Studies, Translation and Politics, and the Cardiff University School of Law. The Centre was formed in 1999 in response to the creation of the National Assembly for Wales and its related devolved institutions in order to fully engage with the new legislature. During the Centre’s first ten years, it held a number of events and contributed to research on devolved Wales. The Wales Governance Centre conducts a range of research, events and projects in political, constitutional and policy themes in Wales. The Centre supports directly registered PhD students, has an MSc programme available for full-time or part-time study, and regularly hosts visiting students and scholars from UK, European and International institutions. Most recently, a partnership agreement between the Wales Governance Centre and the National Assembly for Wales has seen the Centre re-locate to offices in the Pierhead Building in Cardiff Bay. Our residence in this iconic building was agreed with the aim of increasing public engagement and participation in active democracy. This partnership enables us to provide a varied programme of events and activities for public and civil society organisations, and provides a stimulating environment in which participation and debate are encouraged and facilitated.
Professor Roger Scully Professor of Political Science Wales Governance Centre Cardiff University T: 02920 87 5597; 07510 321 228 E: ScullyRM@cardiff.ac.uk
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