YouGov Welsh poll

YouGov have published that rarest of creatures, a Welsh opinion poll. In this Parliament so far all we’ve had for Wales are a couple of Beaufort research polls, who don’t have the most shining reputation, and some commissioned by the BBC which haven’t included voting intention, so it’s a delight to have some proper figures.

According to YouGov voting intention in Wales stands at CON 31%, LAB 34%, LDEM 12%, PC 15%. Since the general election this represents a 9 point rise for the Conservatives, a 9 point drop for Labour, a 6 point fall for the Lib Dems and a 2 point rise for Plaid Cymru – the equivalent of a 9 point swing from Labour to the Conservatives, and roughly the same sort of figures we’ve been seeing in GB polls, so Wales seems to be following the national trend.

On a uniform swing, these figures would see Labour lose 10 seats, the Conservatives gain 9, the Lib Dems lose 2 and Plaid Cymru gain 3.

17 Responses to “YouGov Welsh poll”

  1. Conservatives could feasibly win in Wales? What is going on there?

  2. Anthony,

    That really is good to see. Any chance of it becoming a regular occurence ?

    This poll represents something of a recovery for Lab since the Euros when Cons did indeed win in Wales.

  3. A poll suggesting an excellent result for the Tories and a near disaster for Labour. If Labour’s decline proves to be a durable one, could we see Wales with a Tory First Minister after the next Assembly elections?

  4. @ Beans

    Yes, it’s true; I think that much of the “Labour collapse” speculation in the European elections coverage was driven by the fact that Labour hadn’t lost to the Conservatives in Wales since the 1920s, when Labour became a true political force.

    @Paul H-J

    I think that YouGov has created a “Wales” group for this polling according to Anthony post or two ago; I guess they’ll keep that going.

    It would be nice if they got enough people to them for each area/nation of the UK, so SW England, Scotland, etc too. This might allow region/nation-based speculation without tempting extrapolation from tiny sub-samples!

    And will we get stuff from N Ireland? Since each of the 3 main parties (Con/Lab/Lib) now have electoral pacts with parties in Norn Iron (UUP/SDLP/Alliance), what might happen over there?

  5. I wonder what NEIL and GLENYS think of that?

  6. As one of the candidates for the Conservatives in Wales in June, it is pleasing to see the progress being made by the Welsh Conservative team …

    On historical notes – the last time Conservatives topped the poll was probably 1859 when there were about 2,500 voters in Wales – the last time Labour didn’t top the poll was in 1918!

    I wonder what others think of this – is part of the reason that the Conservatives did not win 2 MEP seats for Wales the UKIP vote in the traditional Labour areas? If so, what does that mean for the traditional Labour vote? What do the other parties need to do to start to win it?

  7. The Welsh are hardly Tory by nature so is this not a measure of peoples’ dislike of the current government?

    Am I right in thinking that variations in this pole would be rather less use as a measure of Conservative support than as a valuable guide to the thinking of disaffected voters?

  8. Anthony – just to clarify the figures:

    Currently, the breakdown for the 40 seats in Wales is:-

    Lab: 30. Lib: 4. Tory: 3. PC: 2. IND: 1

    If the poll is correct then the change would be:

    Lab: 20. Lib: 2. Tory: 12. PC: 5. IND: 1

  9. If this poll is anything like to correct, it does point to a genuine sea-change in political opinion in Wales, confirming what happened in the Euro elections where Labour were beaten for the first time since 1918.

    The changes in Wales could be more dramatic than in England or Scotland at the next election.

  10. Anthony,

    Just out of interest what is the approximate swing from Labour to Tories in Scotland since the last eletion.


  11. The reason for Labour’s decline in popularity in Wales is linked to a number of factors.

    The urban South coast of Wales (Newport, Cardiff, Swansea, Bridgend) have undergone a massive change in the last 10 years. There is no longer total reliance on unionised heavy industry, and the subsequent ‘pack’ mentality, which has served Labour well over decades has dwindled.

    If you head to affluent areas such as Monmouthshire, Pembrokeshire, Brecon Beacons, then these areas have never been dominated by Labour in any case.

    Moving to North Wales, Wrexham and Flintshire have undergone massive demographic changes, which started with the improvement of the road network (Connah’s Quay to Manchester airport can be managed in less than an hour). Denbughshire and Conway tend to be bell weather areas in any case

    Rural mid Wales has never been strongly Labour in any case.

    This leaves the South Wales Valleys. Even in these Labour strongholds there will be some erosion of their vote.

    My view is that Wales cannot be compared to Scotland, which I think will always be red!

  12. Re Neil Turner:
    Quite nonsensical when Wales has always been more Labour than Scotland as has been aid Labour has never not been the largest party In Wales whilst scotland was relatively tory as recently as 1950s.
    Those “affluent” areas are a fragment of the poulation and the most lived in by the English.
    The rural areas have not necessarily been Labour but often strongly Plaid (centre left party) and very anti Tory which they see as an “English” party.

    Even in the much trumpeted Euro elections if you added the Labour and PC votes (both left wing parties) together the tories would have been hammered. A few English immigrants votes less and the Tories would have finished third.

  13. Peter,

    I think the swing Lab-Con in Scotland is somewhere in the region of 6.5%, but polls in Scotland are quite varied, whereas this is the only Welsh one we have to go on. Also, the SNP are likely to record an even bigger swing against Labour, probably around 9%.

    Thats based on Scottish figures of Lab – 32%; SNP – 29%; Cons – 22% – I’m not entirely sure if these figures are accurate, but I think they broadly reflect Scottish opinion polls for Westminster – maybe you have better figures.


    Technically, Dai Davies is not an Independent, he is leader of the “People’s Voice Party”. I gather they are putting up at least two candidates in Wales in 2010 – Blaneau Gwent and Torfaen. Obviously they are in with a reasonable shout of holding BG, and apparently they could come fairly close in Torfaen too. Could it be said that there is genuine 5-party politics in Wales?

  14. NEIL – “Could it be said that there is genuine 5-party politics in Wales?”.

    No – 1 seat and a candidate in 3 constituencies is far from a Welsh wide party.

    KIERAN – “could we see Wales with a Tory First Minister after the next Assembly elections?”

    No – at the Assembly the Tories have a three way fight on their hands as Plaid polls strongly (as this latest poll confirms). The only way for the Tories to get into government is via a coalition and since Plaid and the Lib Dems would never enter a Tory-led coalition then any coalition they would enter would be as the minor party not the lead party.
    Bizzarly, this means that if the Tories overhaul Plaid and become the second biggest party in the Assembly then they have zero chance of entering government in anyway, but if they remain third then there’s always the chance of a Plaid-led Rainbow coalition of Plaid/Tory/Libs or even Plaid/Tory.

    NEIL TURNER – “My view is that Wales cannot be compared to Scotland, which I think will always be red!”

    Um….isn’t the SNP in government in Scotland?

  15. Hen,

    PV are more significant than you think. 1 MP (very possibly rising to 2 next year, an AM – who could be influential in an institution which is permanently under NOC (even in 2003 Labour only managed 30 seats), and 8 local councillors – 5 of them in Blaneau Gwent – is the makings of a party. If you compare them with UKIP (1 MP by defection), Greens and the BNP (0 MPs each) – all of which are considerable as minor parties in the UK – PV seem to be doing pretty well.

    Other than Torfaen and BG, I am not sure where PV are standing, but there has been talk of a further 6 seats – Islwyn, Monmouth, Newport East, Swansea East, Swansea West and Blackpool (showing that they don’t want to confine themselves to Wales.

    It is quite feasible that within 2 or 3 elections PV could have candidates in up to half of the Welsh seats, and some English and possibly even Scottish seats too.

  16. Neil:

    “I think the swing Lab-Con in Scotland is somewhere in the region of 6.5%.”

    That’s not possible. Death of their core vote will offset the few gains. They will win one seat for sure and mayby one out of three outside chances on a good day.

    Most disaffected Labour voters will go somewhere other than The Party of Thaatcher. The party that will gain most is the SNP and it won’t do them much good.

    They are in third place in many constitencies and cannot hope to overturn the hugh Labour majorities in the West even if they are in second place. Next time will be different.

    Perhaps as few as half a dozen Scottish seats will change hands in total. The SNP will make one or two gains from third place which will only surprise those who don’t live in these constituencies. Their vote is so dispersed that under FPTP they could win the majority of the Scottish vote and have very little to show for it.

    All the parties are regional parties to some extent and any “national” swing is not enough to predict the outcome in individual seats.

  17. Hi Exiled

    Good to see some passion in the debate. However, your numbers just don’t stack up when refering to rural Wales. The simple fact is that the Tories have won more rural Welsh seats than Plaid Cyrmru since and including the 1979 election.

    Maybe you believe that Plaid will win more seats in Wales than the Tories at the next GE – I will sing the Welsh national anthem naked in the Millenium Stadium if they do!

    As for Labour in Wales, watch this space. The Tories will achieve a much higher share of the vote in Wales next time around than they will in Scotland.

    Before you play the ‘English’ card, I was educated in Machynlleth. Maybe you should join question time and talk about the ‘Indigenous Welsh’.