The full tables for YouGov’s Welsh poll for the University of Aberystwyth are now available here.

As well as the Westminster voting intentions, there are also figures for the Welsh Assembly:

Constituency: CON 25%, LAB 32%, LDEM 12%, PC 24%
Regional: CON 27%, LAB 30%, LDEM 11%, PC 21%, BNP 4%, Green 3%

That’s actually relatively little change in constituency vote since the last election, but an increase in regional support for the Conservatives. By my calculations, on a uniform swing that would produce an assembly with 24 Labour members (down 2), 17 Conservative members (up 5), 12 Plaid Cymru members (down 3), 6 Lib Dems (no change) and 1 independent.

There was wide support for a referendum on giving the Assembly full law-making powers, with 63% in favour. Voting intention in a referendum though was far more evenly split: 42% would vote YES and 37% NO. On the broader question of Wales’s status, 14% would prefer an entirely independent Wales, 34% would prefer Wales to remain in the UK but with a full Parliament with law making and tax raising powers, 27% preferred the status quo and 17% would like to see the Assembly abolished.

The outgoing First Minister Rhodri Morgan retains very positive approval ratings, with 63% of people thinking he is doing well and only 19% thinking he is doing a bad job (though of course the poll was taken after he announced his retirement, if you recall, when Tony Blair finally got round to stepping down his figures suddenly became far more positive). Figures for how well people think his potential successors would do are unenlightening, with huge proportions of people saying don’t know.


37 Responses to “More from YouGov’s Welsh poll”

  1. The Welsh show, in an even more pronounced way, a pattern that’s observable in Scotland. At a UK GE some Nationalists are willing to lend their vote to a UK party.

    Party, UK GE, Welsh Constituency
    Con, 31%, 25%
    Lab, 34%, 32%
    LD, 12%, 12%
    Plaid, 15%, 24%

    Looking at the Plaid votes for Welsh Assembly constituencies, it’s interesting that their UK GE voting intentions are Con 16% : Lab 12% : LD 5% : Plaid 65%

  2. They probably figure that nationalist assemblymen will be more inclined to screw cash out of the centre (and probably better at it).

  3. Rhodri Morgan was pretty good at twisting people’s arms to get cash. He had plenty of practice in his various jobs in economic development even before he became an MP and then AM.

  4. Or it could be the other way round – that people who would normally count themselves as supporters of one of the three main GB-wide parties lend their votes to Plaid / SNP in devolved elections because of a perception that an assembly / devolved parliament controlled by those parties would be more likely to stand up for Wales / Scotland than one where the nationalists were weak.
    That was certainly what I found in the 2007 Welsh Assembly elections, where dyed in the wool Conservatives and Socialists were willing to lend their votes to Plaid for the Assembly elections, without actually knowing what Plaid’s position was on any of the issues that they claimed to feel most strongly about, but intending to return to their normal choice at the next General Election.

  5. Mike Wood

    That’s true. A bit of both I assume. And that will be more the case in Wales where you don’t (yet) have law-making powers – though the poll suggests that that will change.

    You’ll know that we have had much more polling of this type in Scotland than in Wales, and it has been increasingly the case that the Scottish Parliament is seen as the focus of voting identity. It’s a while since YouGov has asked an appropriate question on this. The last one I remember was in Aug 08 when the question was asked “Which do you think cares MOST about the needs and interests of you and your family?” Responses : Scottish Govt 52% , UK Govt 16% , neither 24%.

  6. @Oldnat,

    In a sense that’s inevitable I think, because of the general nature of the division of responsibility between UK and Scottish/Welsh government. The UK government is basically in charge of defence, immigration and taxation. They’re not exactly touchy-feely issues. It is the Scottish parliament that heals your sickness, educates your children, subsidises your cultural interests etc. Basically your “needs” are a devolved issue. The country’s (UK) needs are not.

  7. Neil A

    I agree that it’s inevitable. In the same way that the EU is seen as distant, and political identities don’t resonate with EU Parliamentary groupings, UK issues are increasingly of less importance in creating political identity. It has to be remembered that devolution is only 10 years old, and many people had their political loyalties fixed pre-devolution. It’s a process and while the UK exists, increasing numbers of voters will have their identities determined in Scotland/Wales, rather than in the UK.

  8. An interesting non political point on the survey is that the number of people who responded that they can speak Welsh is rather higher than other published figures circa 26% IIRC . It could well be that a number of those who claimed to speak Welsh but not fluently in reality can speak just a very few words and would not meet a recognised level of proficiency .

  9. 24 Labour members (down 2), 17 Conservative members (up 5), 12 Plaid Cymru members (down 3), 6 Lib Dems (no change) and 1 independent.

    Currently the Assembly is governed by a Labour-Plaid coalition (41/60 seats).

    Possible coalitions under these new figures are:
    Labour-Tory (unlikely)
    Labour-Plaid (current)
    Tory-Plaid-Lib Dem (proposed after the last election, nearly happened but might cause Plaid to split on the left)
    Any of the above with Trish Law (unlikely)
    Labour-Lib Dem-Trish Law (would give huge amounts of power to Trish Law, but plausible)

  10. Edmund

    Those figures are based on UNS. How likely is that in Wales?

  11. I know nothing of Welsh politics but I wonder why Labour are still so popular (on a good day nearly 10 points higher than the rest of the nation). What have they done for Wales?

  12. Phil’s Dad

    Which nation?

  13. I think you have to compare their showing to the past strength in Wales and they really are doing badly from that point of view.

    The reason Labour is strong in Wales is that about a quarter of Welsh seats are traditional south Wales valley seats where Labour usually polls well above 50%, which is obviously a lot higher than the 36% they scored in the UK overall in 2005. Another quarter of Welsh seats are in industrial towns like Cardiff, Newport and Swansea where Labour is also a lot stronger than the UK average.

  14. It’s a fascinating struggle in Wales, as mentioned Labour will always poll higher than the UK average, it’s in the blood so to speak!
    Plaid Cymru will hold their seats and gain 2, possibly 3
    which would be a good result in all honesty.
    There are a few seats where they’ll do well, Caerffili, is one and Cardiff west another.
    I’m still reluctant to call a big swing to the tories in Wales as memories of Maggie and the miners strike still carry a certain ammount of weight in S Wales.

  15. Phil’s Dad. Coal.

  16. From the Nationalist perspective, what is most astounding about this part of the poll is that even with an increased share of the vote a strong Tory performance could see them ending up with as little as 12 seats, which would in fact be pretty disastrous. Plaid Cymru take note.

  17. @Phil’s Dad

    I remember someone saying somewhere that voters do not reward parties for what they have done, they vote on what they think the party will do.

    In Wales, coal-mining is ever more a distant memory, as is the NUM and the cultural role it once played. The last generation to spend a couple of decades down the pit are now grandparents. Why would new voters be tied to Labour by that?

  18. Jasper,

    assuming you are referring to Westminster elections (in WA elections Conservatives are likely to get more than 12 seats), 12 seats is 30% of all available seats. I think that for 12 seats to be “disasterous” the Conservatives would need to be polling around 45% in Wales. Not exactly likely in my opinion.

  19. Neil,

    I think Jasper was referring to 12 PC AMs, which would be a “disaster” for the nationalists since it would represent 20% of available seats and place them firmly in third place behind Cons.

    What the differential between the constituency and regional votes shows is that if Plaid fail to win FPTP seats in a close contest with Cons (which could apply in much of North and West Wales) they will not be compensated by the regional list in the way that Cons would. Thus, if Cons do well in constituency section, then Plaid, even with a higher share of the vote than previously, end up losing seats.

    I can see why tthat would be deemed a disaster for Plaid.

  20. I enjoyed reading Peter Kellner’s short story in this week’s Sunday Times Magazine.

  21. Ah I see, I misunderstood Jasper’s post, sorry.

    With regard to the Conservatives performance for Westminster in Wales, what do people think is the likely impact of differential turnout? I would have though that Wales is somewhere that the Conservatives will get a higher swing in the marginals than in the average seat because in Labour strongholds the Conservatives aren’t likely to get much of a swing. If that were to be the case it would put a nice handful of seats within the Conservatives’ reach.

    I think the most likely Conservative seats in Wales in 2010 are as follows:

    1. Monmouth (HOLD)
    2. Preseli Pembrokeshire (HOLD)
    3. Clwyd West (HOLD)
    PLUS
    4. Aberconwy
    5. Cardiff North
    6. Vale of Glamorgan
    7. Carmarthen W & S Pembrokeshire
    8. Vale of Clwyd
    9. Newport West
    10. Brecon & Radnorshire

    I think these 10 are very likely, if the Conservatives don’t take these they will be disappointed.

    11. Gower
    12. Bridgend

    On UNS of 9% the Conservatives would also take these 2, giving them an exceptional 12 Welsh seats.

    13. Delyn
    14. Clwyd South
    15. Cardiff West
    16. Newport East
    17. Cardiff South & Penarth
    18. Alyn & Deeside

    These 6 are plausible on a good night with differential turnout.

    Obviously I am not suggesting the Conservatives will win 18 seats in Wales, I think 10-12 is more likely, but it is quite clear that the Conservatives are right back in the running as a major party in Wales.

  22. Just a word of warning on this poll. I understand it was weighted to meet to reflect GB demographoics as opposed to welsh demographics. Therefore slightly more AB class voters for example.

    I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong. if that is the case there may be a slight sample bias towards the Tories.

    Given the normal 3% margin of error this poll, in terms of Plaid support, is roughly in linme with others.

    The assembly poll is interesting but given we are 18 months away and will probably have a different government in westminster its best not to get to excited about it.

  23. Cymrumark

    I checked the weighted numbers by class in this poll and the GB poll from 22/23 Oct.

    Wales – ABC1 = 45% : GB – ABC1 = 55%. Though it looks like newspaper readership is also a factor in Wales as it is in Scotland.

  24. Cymrumark – as Oldnat has already said, it was weighted to Welsh demographics, not the normal GB ones.

    If it had been weighted to GB demographics and past vote there would have been a massive bias to the Conservatives. But it wasn’t :)

  25. What is interesting in that survey was..

    Do you think Wales should have an assembly with full legislation powers? NO: 37%

    The National Assembly for Wales should have the same level of powers as the Scottish Parliament?”
    TOTAL DISAGREE: 28%

    And which do you think SHOULD have the most
    influence over the way Wales is run?
    The Welsh Assembly Government: 55%

    Wales should remain part of the UK, with its own
    elected parliament which has law-making and
    taxation powers: 34%

    Like Scotland, there are ardent Tories (yes Tories) that think the parliament that should be scrapped. In Wales, it seems much more ambiguous… only around 10% think the Welsh Assembly Government has done a bad job!

    Also, look at the approval rating for David Cameron compared to the support for the Tories. Only 9% think he will do a good job!

    Likewise, more younger speaker consider Welsh their first language!

    This poll is crazy!!! Go on Wales!!

  26. Never under estimate the power of ” i vote Labour cos’ my Mum and Dad did”.
    This mentality is very prevalant in inner city areas around Britain, especially the north(Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool etc), i suspect parts of Wales are no different. It does seem a decent recovery for the Conservatives if they can take around 12 seats but i suspect it will take more than David Cameron and George Osbourne to overhaul the deep rooted Labour leanings in parts of South Wales, where i think the Tories are definately seen as England’s party.

  27. Firstly with the Tories…

    The UKIP voting intentions have not been included in this poll for the Assembly. At the last election in 2007 they scored 4% on the list and nearly 2% in the constituencies. My guess is that the UKIP vote will probably increase too. And where do UKIP gather most of their votes from? The Tories. So I would say that immediately the Tory vote is overestimated.

    Secondly, the top up list in the Assembly does not favour the Tories, where their winnable seats are evenly spread around the 5 regions. For example, if they take Cardiff North and the Vale of Glamorgan at the next election, they are highly likely to loose a seat to the Liberal Democrats on the list in South Wales Central. Likewise, in North Wales, if they win another seat, they are going to loose that second seat on the list. Its difficuilt for them to increase substantially without a dramatic increase in their vote, and I dont see that happening.

    Plaid Cymru seats are mostly concentrated in Mid and West Wales and North Wales, which makes their list seats safer.

    Thirdly, when the next assembly election takes place, the Conservatives will have been in power for a year, and given their current policy platform, it doesnt look like its going to be a comfortable one. Welsh people will vote Conservative, but history shows that they are rarely enamoured for very long.

    Neil: Given that the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats currently holds Brecon and Radnor with more than 50% of the vote, I think it highly unlikely that the Tories are going to pick it up. Gower and Bridgend will not fall. The incumbents are two Labour leadership contenders, and I dont see them loosing their seats. I also think Cardiff West is highly unlikely. Plaid Cymru look set to increase substantially in this seat, and it will stop the Tories from breaking through.

    North Wales is their only realistic prospect now I think, and if they pick up for example, two seats there, then its probable that they would loose both of their North Wales list seats. They pick up Newport West and the Vale of Glam, but I cant see more than that.

  28. That will teach me to believe things I read on other blogs:)

    Good to see the poll from Wales. Chad is right of course regarding the assembly elections. I understand that in North Wales the two regional Tory Ams are both seeking selection for constituencies.

  29. @ Chad

    “And where do UKIP gather most of their votes from? The Tories.”

    I don’t think that polling evidence supports you; there was a poll a few weeks ago about the voting patterns of parents, suggesting that UKIP voters weren’t overwhelmingly Tory in origin.

    “My guess is that the UKIP vote will probably increase too.”

    Why? It didn’t in 2005 after they suddenly won a lot of seats, and the polling UK-wide doesn’t show that either.

    “Its difficuilt for them to increase substantially without a dramatic increase in their vote, and I dont see that happening.”

    Surely this poll does show an increase for the Tories, as Anthony says?

  30. Someone asked what has labour every done for Wales?
    As John Cleese might have said.
    Yes but apart from the NHS, mini wage, the assembly, a secretary of state, welsh language acts, tax credits, redistribution of income from rich to poor, what has labour ever done for Wales?

  31. I think the poll tells us a little about where things are in a period of relative doldrums for Welsh politics. There are some profound changes ahead which will shake things up. Not least of these is the debate over when to hold a Referendum on increased powers for the National Assembly. Then there’s the hoary chestnut of what will happen in the Tories win power in Westminster. That should turn the Welsh political scene upside down and inside out. How will Welsh Labour voters react for a start. Tory government from London v. Labour/Plaid government from Cardiff? That could increase the influence of the pro-Welsh or nationalist wing of Welsh Labour (which is in reality the home of the likely new leader of Labour in Wales). Can we envisage a stronger Tory party then taking hits for inevitable cuts in public services etc… stoking up support for the Assembly and more devolution in the valleys heartlands? It will do Plaid no harm either. It could be a fascinating period!

  32. Richard and Phil why would working and lower middle class people not vote for the party that increases taxes on the rich and invests in public services, that they use, and redistributes income form the rich to the poor. The odd thing is why people in regions that were decimated in virtual genocidal destruction of the coal mining regions less than 30 years ago would ever vote tory. It is as insane as a rich banker in Kensington voting for the communist party. The tory policies actually lowered life expecterncy and even cut IQs due to the developmental damage that the massive poverty inflicted. It is near genocide what Thatcher and Major did to these regions, I find it odd the tories get anywhere in these regions.

  33. @ Dirty Euro

    I advise you look up terms such as “genocide” in the dictionary before you use them.

    After that, look up “3-day week” and “the British disease” in a 1970s history book, then “pneumoconiosis”.

    And then, after all that book-work, think why 12 years of Labour hasn’t seen a single Thatcherite trades union act repealed.

  34. Dirty Euro,

    If you look at the detailed tables in this poll you might well ask yourself whether you are in tune with Welsh voters at all. The age group in which Labour are weakest is 18-34, which suggests that Richard and Phil’s dad are correct in deducing that Wales is moving on from its historic tribal loyalties.

    Once people are free to assess the policies on offer now and for the future, rather than relying on past laurels, then the prjudice you display becomes irrelevant.

    Finally, as to your comment on the sanity of voters, I don’t know about Kensington bankers, but are you aware that for many years the only Communist in parliament was an hereditary peer ?

  35. “for many years the only Communist in parliament was an hereditary peer ?”

    That must have been before Gordon Brown, Peter Hain, John Reid and Dennis Skinner got into parliament?

  36. Surely if one is going to judge a man by his teenage foibles then Peter Hain is a Liberal.

  37. There was a poll around December 1992 which showed George Bush senior (defeated that November) had satisfaction ratings of IIRC 70%+.

    Also, in Britain, in 1979, there seemed to be a bit of a come back Jim Callaghan, all is forgiven mood, as the Thatcher government immediately started serving up the harsh economic medicine, with a 1% Labour lead after the budget that same June, and about 9% a few months later. (Callaghan still led the Labour party, before their difficulties from early 1981 onwards).

    Perphaps eople get a bit nostalgic when you’re going.