ICM Welsh poll

BBC Wales had a new ICM poll of Wales out this morning, conducted in the aftermath of the Scottish referendum. Westminister voting intentions in Wales, with changes from the previous ICM Welsh poll in February, are CON 23%(-1), LAB 38%(-4), LDEM 7%(-2), Plaid 13%(-1), UKIP 14%(+7). This puts UKIP up into third place in Wales, though on a uniform swing wouldn’t give them any seat (on his blog Roger Scully projects these figures would produce 28 Labour MPs (up 2), 8 Conservatives (unchanged), 1 Lib Dem (down 2) and 3 Plaid Cymru (no change)). Asked about Wales’s constitutional future just 3% would support Welsh independence, 49% would support extra powers for the Welsh Assembly, 26% support the status quo, 12% would like the Assembly abolished.

Meanwhile tonight’s YouGov GB poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 33%, LAB 37%, LD 7%, UKIP 13%

528 Responses to “ICM Welsh poll”

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  1. This is a Welsh thread, so we really should try and focus on the details of the ICM poll and what it says about the outlook of the Welsh.

    e.g. Q2 – The Scottish people have just voted against independence. How do you feel about that decision? Are you…
    Pleased 67%
    Sorry 7%

  2. @ Phil Haines

    We don’t the motivation for this response, but I suspect many perceive that the position of Wales in a rUK would have been seriously adversely affected. Too much asynchrony between the speed of Wales and Scotland on the devolution road would leave Wales vulnerable to the whims of the Westminster regime on a greater number of issues (those devolved to Scotland but not to Wales).

  3. @Daodao

    Of course it’s just possible that the Welsh like the idea of keeping their country (the UK) in one piece

  4. @ Guymonde

    The UK is a multinational state like the former USSR, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth or Austro-Hungarian empire.

  5. I know that it is just a sub sample but take a look at this week’s YouGov from Scotland.

    The latest sub sample 290 is SNP 45 Labour 29!

    More to the point it has been a trend all week.

  6. @DaoDao

    “devolution is a process not an event, and IMO the terminus of this line of travel is independence…”

    It clearly isn’t, though. Plenty of states have devolved powers away from the centre but few of those regions will seek or achieve independence. There are other, historical reasons why places like Ireland or Catalonis desire independence. That independence can follow devolution demonstrates correlation, not causation.

  7. I often reflect on the fact that the Irish Catholics weren’t originally fighting against an English monarch, but for one. Had the Boyne gone the other way, the United Kingdom would probably still have Ireland in it, and the Irish might be the greatest Unionists of all.

  8. @Daodao

    Many people in those countries regretted the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire which was a haven of peace and stability compared to what followed, as was the.British Empire.

  9. @ RogerH

    Not all trains reach the terminus of a line, but in theory they have the potential to do so. Labour’s error in 1997 was to build the line in the first place, if it wanted to preserve the UK as a single state.

  10. @ Wolf

    And who brought down the Austro-Hungarian empire? Yes, it was those awfully nice liberal interventionists from Blighty, by their fateful decision in early August 1914 to meddle in continental affairs. This also put paid to the constitutional settlement that had been agreed with Redmond et al and led to the Easter Rising and the first fracture of the UK.

  11. Amber Star,

    Actually, if we’re confining things to SLAB, I’ve always found them to be complacent, although this complacency is usually justified by events.

    I imagine most of the people with whom you’ve talked about the issue are SLAB members/supporters, and so their judgements doesn’t surprise me in the least!

  12. @ Bill Patrick

    Yes, that’s exactly what I meant i.e. unsurprising rather than astounding. :-)

  13. @ L Hamilton
    “I know that it is just a sub sample but take a look at this week’s YouGov from Scotland.

    The latest sub sample 290 is SNP 45 Labour 29!

    More to the point it has been a trend all week.”

    Wow! SNP on 15.5%! They really are storming ahead.

    And it ain’t weighted, so its as useful as asking your mates.

  14. Amber Star,

    Oh, I see! Sorry.

  15. Neil A,

    Perhaps, although I do wonder if we’d have retained the monarchy if they’d been Catholics. Would we have gone down a Bonapartist direction?

  16. Guy Monde

    You said it in one sentence. In a third of our counties not a single independence supporter could be found by ICM.

    And to whomsoever said it, I concur : devolution need not be a process towards independence. The original quote in the nationalist direction came from Ron Davies, now one of the least popular politicians in Wales.

    I would nowadays tend to agree with DaoDao that we shouldn’t have built the devolution line in the first place if we wanted to avoid Terminus Independence. However 97% of Wales is hopefully prepared to pull the Emergency cord if necessary. For myself I think it would be a useful development if we pulled back some powers in limited areas where devolution has failed here. The Universities might be such a case. Then we can demonstrate its a 2-way track under the correct devolutionary principle that democratic powers should be exercised at whatever level is optimum for quality and cost, not as a stepping stone to breaking up a state altogether. Boring I suppose. ;-/

  17. @Statto – I believe the ’45’ there is 45%, not 45 respondents.

  18. No doubt we will all have different views on the military action decided yesterday (personally I am strongly opposed) but purely on polling it could be very significant. Military action tends to be popular if it’s successful but governments can be really punished if it fails, or is perceived to have failed. We’ve commented here on the ‘polldrums’ and what ‘events’ would change things – this could be it.

  19. @ Daodao – The UK is a multinational state like the former USSR, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth or Austro-Hungarian empire.

    That’s not true. There are fewer real differences within the UK than there were in those empires, or even countries like the United States.

    The median income for a Scot is on par with an Englishman or Welshman (and I’m including Londoners there, the majority in London really arn’t earning exorbitant amounts). Whereas in the United States the median income in Mississippi is 60% of that in New Hampshire.

    In Britain people move around at will – a family can start off in one place and a generation down they are somewhere else. Everyone mingles and intermarries – you wouldn’t have seen much marriage between Russians and Kazacks in the old USSR or Croats marrying Austrians in the Austro-Hungarian empire.

    We might have been “multi-national” 300 years ago, but at the moment you couldn’t find a greater melting pot. There is no such thing anymore as a “pure” Scot or a “pure” Englishman. Everyone has a little bit of everything. Even newcomers join in – there is a higher percentage of mixed race babies in the UK than in the USA. We broadly think the same, we dress the same, we eat the same foods, we marry each other, there isn’t really any genuine difference in crime rates. Even the taxes we pay are the same despite devolution – England froze council tax and the Scots promptly did the same! We’re marching subconsciously to the same drum.

    Actually even 300 years ago, people like Daniel Defoe were arguing for the melting pot.

    Here’s his satire written when a Dutchman became King:


    The preface he wrote defending his poem is interesting –


    “I confess myself something surprised to hear that I am taxed with bewraying my own nest and abusing our nation by discovering the meanness of our original, in order to make the English contemptible abroad and at home; in which I think they are mistaken. For why should not our neighbours be as good as we to derive from? And I must add that, had we been an unmixed nation, I am of opinion it had been to our disadvantage. For, to go no further, we have three nations about us as clear from mixtures of blood as any in the world, and I know not which of them I could wish ourselves to be like—I mean the Scots, the Welsh and Irish; and if I were to write a reverse to the satire, I would examine all the nations of Europe, and prove that those nations which are most mixed are the best, and have least of barbarism and brutality among them; and abundance of reasons might be given for it, too long to bring into a preface.”

    End Quote

    That’s even more true today.

  20. Mark Reckless, MP for Rochester and Strood, has defected from the Conservatives to UKIP.

  21. CANDY.
    Good Afternoon to you.
    Thank you for your brilliant post here; raising the tone considerably.

  22. Nail A – “I often reflect on the fact that the Irish Catholics weren’t originally fighting against an English monarch, but for one. Had the Boyne gone the other way, the United Kingdom would probably still have Ireland in it, and the Irish might be the greatest Unionists of all.”

    It’s true that the Irish really liked the late Plantagenet Kings, but they didn’t have any great problem with later monarchs either.

    It was Oliver Cromwell who committed the genocide there (500,000 dead) and turned them against “the English”. And that horrible dictator was only in power for 14 years. A lesson in how several centuries worth of damage can be done in a very short time.

    @ChrisLane1945 – Thank you!

  23. Neil – sorry I spelled your name wrong – not sure what happened there.

  24. There have been only three defections of MPs during this parliament – one was UUP to Independent (Sylvia Hermon) and the other two have been Carswell and Reckless (Con to UKIP).

  25. M\ark reckless, another one.

    More petrol for the bonfire.

  26. Last Election:

    Party Candidate Votes % ±%
    Conservative Mark Reckless 23,604 49.2 +6.6
    Labour Teresa Murray 13,651 28.5 ?13.1
    Liberal Democrat Geoff Juby 7,800 16.3 +3.9
    English Democrats Ron Sands 2,182 4.5 N/A
    Green Simon Marchant 734 1.5 N/A
    Majority 9,953 20.7
    Turnout 47,971 64.9 +2.5

  27. BTW his Wikipedia had been updated already.

  28. The tories latest intervention in the housing market, which mainly looks to bolster developers profits while doing little for the housing shortage and bubble, is the kind of thing that probably drives some market believing Tories closer to UKIP. Constant intervention for vested interests.

    All the tories previous wheezes on boosting a bubble for electoral gain havn’t really worked so they are going all out. The idea of actually building outright, which would ensure long term economic stability & lower the £24 billion annual housing benefit bill, seems anathema to them.

    Any news about whether Mr Reckless will be ‘resigning’ his seat before the GE? He may decide that would be a reckless gamble.

  30. “M\ark reckless, another one.
    More petrol for the bonfire.”

    The trickle is gathering pace, possibly a little sooner than I thought. If both win their seats, as I predict they will, then expect more to follow.

    If nothing else, at least it gets us away from the tedious Independence Referendum post-mortem!

    Off to Slovakia for a few days.



  31. I suspect this followed by Clacton might make a slightly duff Ed Miliband speech pale in comparison to what Cameron’s about to go through.

    UKIP mentioned two defectors – is the second one prepared for midway through the Tory conference?

  32. Well if he does resign his seat, the Conservatives have to fight really hard – otherwise it just encourages other MPs who think, “no downside” to defecting.

    I think they made a mistake in not putting a big name against Carswell. It’s like they are signalling to people they don’t mind.

  33. Yes, it’s a by-election

  34. To make matters better for UKIP, Survation has run a poll in Boston and Skegness:

    UKIP- 46%
    Conservative- 26%
    Labour- 21%
    Lib Dems- 2%

    Look at the Lib Dems!!

  35. I think Mr Miliband forgetting his speech will very soon be forgotten.

    Dave needs to play a blinder at Conference.

  36. CANDY

    @” Everyone mingles and intermarries – ”

    A slight exaggeration -9% of people who were living as part of a couple were in an inter-ethnic relationship in England & Wales according to the 2011 Census.

    @” there is a higher percentage of mixed race babies in the UK than in the USA.”-

    Must be due to a higher birth rate then , because inter-racial marriages in USA are about the same as in UK-8.4% of all marriages.

    @” Everyone mingles ”

    A pretty meaningless generalisation-and not accurate either:-

    “Demos, the Left-wing think-tank, said its analysis of Census data for England and Wales showed ethnic minorities are concentrating in particular areas and white people are moving out.
    It found 4.6 million ethnic minority Britons – about 45 per cent of the country’s black and Asian population – are now living in areas where whites are in a minority.
    Ten years ago just one million black and Asian people, or 25 per cent of the country’s then total ethnic minority population, lived in such communities, said Demos.
    In the 2001 Census, 282 of the 8,850 council wards in England and Wales were classed as “high non-white” or “highest non-white” by Demos, but in the 2011 Census that figure had risen to 414.
    David Goodhart, director of Demos said: “This has uncovered a really quite shocking level of concentration of the ethnic minority population, which means there is less opportunity for interaction with the white mainstream.””

    DT 6 May 2013

  37. At the moment the Conservatives and Labour look like Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee.

    Both seem to be trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

  38. Colin – my post was about Daodao believing that Britain was a multi-national country.

    Do you really REALLY believe that Scots and English and Welsh and everyone in-between don’t mingle? Seriously?

    As for inter-ethnic couples – the percentage of them is bang in line with the percentage of ethnic minorities in Britain. It can’t be higher because there arn’t enough ethnic minorities to go around. Simple maths :-)

  39. Candy

    You used the phrase “mixed-race”- so I was just disputing your statements with some facts.

  40. Colin – we’re all a bit mixed, if you go by Daodao’s definition of how the Scots are separate!

    Race was perhaps the wrong word to use – lets say mixed national roots.

    There arn’t any “pure” people in Britain. Just look at politics – Ian Duncan Smith had a Japanese grandmother. Ed Miliband is a Polish jew married to an Englishman. Clegg has some Russian and Dutch ancestry. Gordon Brown is a Scot married to an Englishwoman. Chuka Ummuna is a product of a Nigerian father and the daughter of pukka establishment QC who handled the prosecutions at the Nuremburg trial.

    It’s Daniel Defoe’s vision come to life!

  41. Ed Miliband is a Polish jew married to an Englishman – I meant married to an Englishwoman of course :-)

  42. CANDY

    @”As for inter-ethnic couples – the percentage of them is bang in line with the percentage of ethnic minorities in Britain.”

    Nope- The White ethnic group accounted for 86.0 per cent of the usual resident population in 2011, ONS)

    This leaves 14%-67% higher than the proportion of inter-ethnic marriages ( and of course some of the latter will have been between non White ethnic people.

  43. Amber Star

    So, lots of speculation on here about how dreadful the 2015 GE could be for Labour in Scotland; & of course it could be dreadful or then again, maybe not.

    Has there been any polling which might help us evaluate the situation? There hasn’t been much, just one poll of which I’m aware: Opinium for the Observer on Sat 13th September (53% No 47% Yes).

    And what was the Westminster VI?
    Labour 42% (42%) (2010 % of vote)
    SNP 25% (20%)
    CON 18% (17%)
    LD 6% (19%)
    UKIP 5% (~1%)
    GRN 4% (~1%)

    The Opinium Scottish polls were basically ignored because Opinium had no track record of polling in Scotland and so were an unknown quantity. In fact Opinium actually produced two opinion polls with VIs before the Referendum[1]:

    For the Observer (f/w 9-11 Sep)
    Lab 42%, SNP 25%, Con 18%, LD 6%, Grn 4%, UKIP 5%

    Holyrood (constituency):
    Lab 33%, SNP 40%, Con 13%, LD 6%, Others 8%

    For the Telegraph (f/w 12-15 Sep)
    Lab 43%, SNP 22%, Con 17%, LD 7%, Grn 5%, UKIP 5%

    Holyrood (constituency):
    Lab 33%, SNP 38%, Con 14%, LD 7%, Others 7%

    This looks fairly consistent but that might relate to a problem which I pointed out even before we saw the results. Opinium have a very small panel (30K) less than a tenth of YouGov’s, say. so perhaps only 2.5k in Scotland This means they probably ended up with most of the same people each time, especially with polls so close together Most panel members may not reply or reply in time and both samples were over 1000.

    There’s also the fact that they weighted to the old pre-1996 regions made you wonder about their competence and the age of their targets[2]. So it’s all rather dodgy-looking.

    What was also odd was that the Westminster percentages were based on fewer people than the Holyrood ones[3], despite more people normally voting for the former. This may suggest ex-Labour voters who support SNP for the SP wondering if to transfer their Westminster vote as well (most of the SNP’s WM to HR difference seems to come from DKs). This is the same story we saw in the Survation re-contact poll:


    which had[4]:

    For the Mail on Sunday (f/w 19 Sep)
    Lab 38%, SNP 35%, Con 18%, LD 3%, Grn 2%, UKIP 2%

    Holyrood (constituency):
    Lab 32%, SNP 49%, Con 13%, LD 3%, Others 1%

    this had small effective samples (under 400) but again people were more definite about their Holyrood vote (46%) than for Westminster (43%). Though the difference is less because of a DK option, you should really expect it to be the other way round, not least because Westminster is a year nearer.

    The Survation Westminster figures aren’t really much different from what we’ve seen from them in other polls through the year (it’s only them that regularly ask it) – what I’ve called consolidation where the SNP are picking up preferences for Westminster from those who previously split their vote. And Scottish cross-breaks on UK polls (with all the usual caveats) are tending to tell the same story with SNP and Labour roughly equal, but with a lot of uncertainty. So Opinium look like the outsiders, probably due to the smallness of their panel.

    [1] Mainly referendum polling so I’ve had to work out most of the percents myself.

    [2] It’s also a poor weighting system because Strathclyde dominates the numbers so much with almost as many people as the other 8 put together, in contrast to using the Holyrood regions which are roughly the same (Highland has fewer people).

    [3] This is partly because there doesn’t seem to be a DK option on Holyrood.

    [4] Bizarrely the Survation post-Referendum poll didn’t ask how people voted in the Referendum, so you can’t judge how the different sides are reacting.

  44. I am Danish, English, German-Swiss (with a slight Hebrew seasoning, apparently) and Dutch. And that’s just on my dad’s side.

  45. Is there time to move the writ for Rochester to have it on the same day as the other two? Or have UKIP deliberately timed it to be outside the deadline?

  46. Earliest it can take place is November 13th.

  47. Mrnameless
    Sylvia hermon defected in last parliament. Stood in 2010 as an Independent

  48. @MrNameless,

    Figured as much. No doubt the third defector will be announced in about 3 weeks time.

    If I was the Tories I’d just hold the seats open and not move the writs at all….

  49. The HoC post May 2015 could be really “hung” if there is a substantial increase in the number of MPs from SNP, as well as a significant number from UKIP, particularly if they vote selectively. Whatever one may think of the ConDem coalition, it has provided relatively stable government.

    IMO, the most likely outcome of the 2015 GE will be Labour being the largest party,in the UK (but not England on its own), with no credible coalition partners (the LDs being down to 15 or so MPs and hardly in favour with Lab); this could be really problematic for the disUK.

    PS to Candy: You are incorrect about the median income for a Welshman – per capita GDP in Wales is only about 75% of that for the UK as a whole. Its relative poverty is one of the main reasons why there is currently minimal support for Welsh independence. However, it is a country, not a region; most Welsh folk would agree with the sentiments expressed in the final few words of the national anthem “O bydded i’r hen iaith barhau” and the national motto “Cymru am byth”.

  50. @Mr Nameless
    Sylvia Hermon stood as an independent in 2010 and intends to do the same in 2015, so isn’t really a defector. She may have still been a Unionist at the time, but that wasn’t what she was elected as.

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