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. The sheer refusal of Labour to poll below 35-38%, no matter what for the last 4 years, should delight Labour and be of genuine concern to the Tories, especially given the more efficient Labour vote distribution.

    Labour seem to have a core vote ‘locked in’ no matter what, and that will hand them a workable majority. I’m seeing a 2005 margin of victory all over again – 36% vote share, sizeable majority.

    For years we’ve been hearing about ‘swingback’, ‘economic competence’, ‘prime ministerial’ etc and how this will mean a certain Tory victory. And it’s turning out, in the dynamics of coalition and fixed-term parliaments, to be totally wrong. As many of us have been saying with increasing certainty that it would be.

    EM has buckets of manure poured over him by the press on a daily basis. It is for nothing. It hasn’t shifted VI one iota and indeed when it was particularly intense after the Euro elections Labour VI increased.

    I think it’s time to face the facts. Labour have a core vote + left-wing LD defectors who simply are never going to vote Tory. And I should know, being an ex-LD myself. Barring some kind of unforseen catastrophe, Labour have 2015 in the bag.

  2. I wasn’t in favour of STV until i saw how well it worked in the Irish general election. In particular i loved the concept of a party being “transfer toxic” or “transfer friendly” That the results didn’t just hinge on how many supporters a party had but also its likeability outside it’s core support, it was also interesting to see how some candidates overcame their party’s unpopularity with huge personal votes. There were independents most of them didn’t get elected but some did, there was a new party which while it didn’t get many seats did have a significant influence on the election.

    It was the most interesting, fascinating election I’ve ever followed even though I had no personal stake in the outcome. It painted a picture of the national mood on that day. It may seem strange to call an electoral process beautiful but it was.

  3. CANDY
    “sorting out the issues of the day.”
    The point of having a ten year plan is, I hope, that it will sort out starting in day one issues of grroundhog day: the conjoined abuse of white chidren and the neglect of the training, employment and integration needs of ethnic minority youth, and failures of policing combined with faiures of local governance, enacted in Derby in 2012 and identically repeated in Rotherham in 2014 and in how many other boroughs now and in the future. Has it all been solved through a combination of Prevent, expensive barristers and Westminster hand-wringing?

  4. “Barring some kind of unforseen catastrophe, Labour have 2015 in the bag.”

    I posted my observation from the referendum on the last thread about certainties in politics. That observation was the one about how we were told with merciless regularity that Yes voters were much more committed and determined, and that the risk was from soft No voters not turning out.

    Results told a different story. Turnout was lower in Yes voting areas, higher in No areas. We can’t be 100% certain, but the evidence suggests the complete opposite of what we were confidently told (by everyone – not just Yes supporters).

    Never say never, I know, but never say anything in politics is certain.

  5. @ “Barring some kind of unforseen catastrophe, Labour have 2015 in the bag.”

    For “unforeseen catastrophe” read “Events, dear boy, events”

    May be unforeseen, but not unlikely.

  6. Regrettably, I think nibbles or whatever you call yourself, you’re right…

    can’t see labour getting under 34% in the general election, in which case the tories have to get a better share than last time to stand a chance of being the largest party in a hung parliament. it’s that simple.

  7. @RiN

    It’s a nice anecdote. But would you have felt the same in the past, when Fiana Foil and Fine Gael both went well out of their way to court the preferences of Sinn Fein primary voters? The politics of Ireland has changed, but it’s had STV since the countries foundation – do we introduce STV and hope it comes good in 90 years?

  8. @drmibbles

    “The sheer refusal of Labour to poll below 35-38%, no matter what for the last 4 years, should delight Labour and be of genuine concern to the Tories, especially given the more efficient Labour vote distribution.”

    I counted 21 instance of Labour dropping below 36% over the past three years. Nine occurred in the Spring of this year, and eleven occurred in the past two months (eight this month).

    Labour seem to be hitting the lows just as things need to be sewn up (the Conservatives are no better).

  9. Events would have to be truly shocking to trump the mathematics.

    With an efficient vote distribution, solid core vote, the Lib Dem collapse, UKIP, and an enduring Tory brand issue (party of the rich, etc)… yes, events would have to be quite something.

    Could Cameron have the good luck of another Falklands type event? It’s certainly possible. Just incredibly unlikely. And even Thatcher couldn’t improve on her 1979 vote share in the 1983 landslide!

  10. The only totally fair voting system would be for the votes to be cast and counted for the country, as a whole, as in the Scottish plebiscite and then mP’s are allocated in proportion to the votes cast for each party as a percentage of the total vote. That way no one can grumble. Each party would compile their own lists of mP’s for appointment.

    The big disadvantage though is that it would break the mp to locality tie. But really, is that such a big deal? After all, your doctor and your bank manager change from time to time with no great disadvantage. Most mP’s are just managers who blindly vote with their party, not with their conscience, anyway. They often pay scant regard for the wishes of their constituents.

  11. Don’t agree. It may not be dressed up as devolution but there’s enormous dissatisfaction with the remoteness of much decision-making.
    ————-
    If the above was true, I’d expect turn out for local & devolved elections to be similar to general elections instead of which, the turnout is usually much lower.

  12. The polls have been interesting to look at over the last couple of years, but now we are getting closer a GE I wonder the trend will be for the VI to close. I’m also interested to see the polls once the conference season is over and the parties are back at Westminster.

    I think the tories will be concerned if they are still polling with the same figures come the end of March.

  13. @Mibbles, Statgeek

    Electionforecast.com currently have Labour 8 seats ahead of Conservative, and equal on voteshare, a two seat gain since yesterday on pretty much unchanging polling.

    The model assumes “swingback”, but in the brief period that the model has been “stabilised” there has been an overall swing to Labour in the predicted result. As with Fisher this is the result of the lack of movement in the polls – the Tories should be gaining more and Labour fading more, and the longer this doesn’t happen the more strongly the model will predict a Labour victory.

    How good this model is compared with others I don’t know, but authors are cast-iron academics and they’re using some fancy mathematical modeling gear to produce their results – a bit more sophisticated than the “Robin Hood” analysis, let’s say!

  14. DRMIBBLES

    I was really hopng that Labour would have an excellent Conference this week but sadly that was n’t to be.

    Nevertheless, your analysis has rather cheered me up and given me renewed hope that in less than eight months we might at last see the useless Etonian Fish Pointer consigned to the dustbin of history. Bring it on!

  15. what’s a fish pointer?

  16. @Robert Newark

    No that wouldn’t be a totally fair “system”, it would just produce a proportional assembly. If that assembly formed a coalition that excluded 1/3 of the population would that be fair for those voters? This is why such theoretically fair systems produce such dreadful results in countries with ethnic divides. It takes a lot more than proportionality to produce “fairness”.

    And if the local MPs area party hacks when the electorate might just notice how they voted and vote them out, how much more would they be hacks when the party leadership decided their fate. Half a loaf is better than none.

  17. @Surrey Soul Man

    I’m afraid ‘Etonian Fish Pointer’ rather passes me by, though I share your sentiments.
    The conference may have been underwhelming but I’m still astonished by that Survation poll which showed the policies as almost unbelieveably popular (though nobody on here seems to be interested/agree!)

  18. @GuyMonde

    I’m interested, but I don’t know what it signifies, so I’m not posting on it!

  19. @AmberStar

    “If the above was true, I’d expect turn out for local & devolved elections to be similar to general elections instead of which, the turnout is usually much lower.”

    No, the dissatisfaction with the powers available to local government is the reason for the low turnout. The electorate is only too well aware that local government is almost completely impotent.

  20. @ Robin

    I think people feel that all government is impotent. i.e. That all governments defer to global corporations, competition, the markets, the EU etc.

  21. Could someone with more knowledge of Scottish politics explain why the Labour Party are going to do so badly in Scotland at GE2015?

    They were on the winning side (albeit by the skin of their teeth) in the referendum and whatever grumbling there will be from Labour YES voters, at GE2015 they will be faced with the usual choice of Labour or Tory and only Labour can really deliver the extra powers promised to Scotland – or am I missing something?

  22. @ROBIN
    The public is totally unaware of the powers or otherwise of local government. MP’s surgeries are dominated by local government issues and Local councillors are constantly betrayed about water and sewage and the NHS. While the big parties continue to campaign on national issues in local elections this confusion will continue.

  23. @PAUL A

    “Could someone with more knowledge of Scottish politics explain why the Labour Party are going to do so badly in Scotland at GE2015?”

    Mostly wishful thinking, I suspect.

  24. I think the SNP like to keep creating narratives in Scotland and hope everybody goes with it.

    “Nobody votes Tory up here!”
    Despite the tories only getting 80,000 less votes than the SNP (Albeit 5 less MP’s due to the system)

    Followed by
    “The momentum is with us, we will win!”
    and
    “The labour party is falling apart! Look! Quick! it’s falling apart! Listen to us! Please!”

  25. paul a

    “Could someone with more knowledge of Scottish politics explain why the Labour Party are going to do so badly in Scotland at GE2015? ”

    I just go by Couper2802 and A Christie’s independent analysis: are you suggesting it may be incorrect?

  26. ROSIEANDDAISIE

    I am normally suspicious of these over-hyped claims from partisan commentators but when so many people are saying it, it does start to make you wonder if there is some truth in what they are saying.

    I didn’t notice the Scottish Labour contingent at the Conference being particularly gloomy – no worse than the overall exhaustion of the rest of the Labour Party anyway!

  27. @Paul A

    “at GE2015 they will be faced with the usual choice of Labour or Tory and only Labour can really deliver the extra powers promised to Scotland – or am I missing something?”

    Nice try. :))

  28. Have there been any polls today?

  29. DRMIBBLES

    There will be tremendous pressure on Miliband over the coming months as the electorate are forced to choose between him or Cameron as PM. It’s that simple and that is how it must be portrayed. I think some of the Red Dems will head back home nearer polling day as the incumbency factor and long standing loyalty come into play. That’s not going to save seats in places like Burnley and Bradford but it will make a difference to the Labour share. I strongly believe it can be restricted to 30-31 come the big day.

  30. @Pressman

    As I said to Paul A, “nice try”.

    Considering we already have a coalition of two parties, we can easily manage with another coalition in 2015. Whether party supporters want it or not is not the issue. The nation can cope with it.

    So with that fact taken into consideration, There’s Con, Lab, Lib, UKIP, Green, SNP, PC, and any other parties that might be on offer to a voter in their constituency.

    Let us not forget that we don’t vote for Cameron or Miliband. We vote for a person to be our MP, with or without a party attached.

  31. @PaulA

    You may find this Alex Massie piece interesting:

    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2014/09/beware-scottish-labour-is-a-zombie-party-and-the-undead-still-walk/

    So in terms of seats, there has to be a large swing against Labour before they start losing seats in significant numbers under FPTP. So 2016 may be a bigger challenge for Labour than 2015.

    As far as new powers for Scotland are concerned, Labour came up with the least ambitious set of proposals of the three Unionist parties so it doesn’t follow that they are the best choice for Scots who want to see them delivered despite Gordon Brown’s latter day conversion to Home Rule on the road to Kirkcaldy. The best 2015 result.for them will be a much increased number of SNP MPs in a very finely balanced HoC!

  32. I’ve been mulling over the “swingback issue” in recent days, and to me it seems possible that instead of a gradual swingback, fuelled perhaps by renewed economic confidence, there might be a “non-linear swingback” (ahem), which looks like nothing much happening at all, but then when the election campaign is almost upon us, we’ll get a lot of it very quickly. Or else the appearance of no swingback “yet” means there’s not going to be any?

    I think there will be “some” swingback but not enough to leave Labour more than 1-2% behind the Conservatives. Perhaps some Con -> UKIP leaners will be encouraged to vote UKIP if Labour are not far ahead in the polls.

    I’m also wondering what an “Etonian Fish Pointer” is.

  33. @PaulA

    I suspect Scottish Labour will do OK in 2015 and then a bit worse in 2016 for the Holyrood elections.

    However there are potential reasons why they might do badly in one or both of these elections despite being on the winning side. This is because people’s referendum votes do not correlate that strongly to their usual party vote.

    There are a number of past SNP (and Green) voters who supported the party despite voting against independence. Polling evidence seems to suggest around 10-20% of SNP voters and more like 30% of Greens are No voters.

    Meanwhile there are a number of Labour voters who voted Yes – maybe 20-30%.

    The question is will anyone change their future party voting intention because of the referendum result?

    Anecdotally the Yes supporters are much more likely to be aggrieved by the result. I see a fair few ex Labour supporters on social media swearing they will never vote Labour again.

    On the other side people who voted SNP/Green despite opposing independence seem unlikely to switch away from these parties now the vote has been won.

    If anything people who like what the SNP is doing in Government but were scared of independence may now be more likely to vote SNP (especially at Holyrood).

    So it will be interesting to see polling data as the election nears but there are reasons why Scottish Labour could lose votes.

    In order for that to translate to a loss of more than 3-4 seats it needs to be a fairly large swing as there are relatively few SNP/Labour marginals at Westminster and both SNP and Labour will be looking to gain seats from the Lib Dems.

  34. Not read the Massie article yet, but it seems likely that there will be some swing towards the SNP. Mainly this will merely reduce Labour majorities, rather than taking seats- but a few LD seats could go.

    I suspected that a No would be really bad for the SNP, but the Yes bandwagon and the fact that the party now has more members than all other parties put together looks like being a big boost- provided they can handle the growth of membership.

    SNP currently at 49% for Holyrood- looks like those No voters will stay at home in 2016!

  35. “Anecdotally the Yes supporters are much more likely to be aggrieved by the result. I see a fair few ex Labour supporters on social media swearing they will never vote Labour again”

    If the referendum taught us anything, it is to ignore the noisy minority on social media telling us what is going to happen.

    I’ll trust in the polling.

  36. PostageIncluded

    Read up on Condorcet voting, trust a mathematician to come up with something like that (and to prove it will always form a definite winner IF people vote on a closest neighbour political spectrum method)

    I’m interested to see how that Electoral forecast model holds up, if all that happens is it converges a different number equalling the polls the day before the election then I’d have to say the prediction was poor 6 months out. it’ll be fun to see how far back their prediction holds steady at the right enough answer. Yes their might be shocks (events) leading up to the final result but if their was significal drift in the absence of events then their swing back model probably isn’t applicable.

    One other concern is with relatively few elections it sounds like they didn’t use a different slice of data to backtest/calibrate factors within the model.

  37. Correct me if I’m wrong (it would hardly be a new experience) but wasn’t a large part of the Aye story – never have a Tory govt again. A vote for SNP in Westminster elections will unquestionably make a Tory govt more likely than will a vote for Lab.

    @PI
    I don’t know what it signifies either, but as a novice poll watcher I was hoping some of the grizzled veterans would fill me in on whether the poll was as abnormal as I think it is.

  38. @Guy

    If England votes for a Conservative government (majority of seats), it’s possible but unlikely that Scotland’s seats will stop it. 2010 was unusual in that regard.

    If Scotland was 59 seats to one party and they shifted en masse to another, then Scotland might make a difference in plenty of elections, but it’s not the case.

    If current polling continues to GE 2015, Lab will be down a dozen or so seats, and the SNP up twenty or so. The Conservatives will be up 1-4 seats depending on localised majorities (perhaps more), and will not be looking to Scotland to increase their seat share.

  39. Anecdotally you could just as easily say that Labour supporters who haven’t voted in years became re-engaged by voting No in the independence referendum.

  40. @Statto

    I agree that it was a very important take-home message that is just starting to sink in. Having an extremely vociferous social media presence can make you seem more popular than you actually are, but a lot of people – especially those *part* of that presence – struggle to get that at the moment.

    Hello UKIP.

  41. Billy Bob

    That would only be “anecdotally” if people were telling such anecdotes.

    If it had substance, then one might expect Labour and the other Unionist parties to be demonstrating that by publishing their rising membership figures that would be a reasonable expectation if there was actual “re-engagement” by those “who haven’t voted in years”.

  42. @Guymonde and Statto

    That is the million dollar question. At recent Westminster elections Scottish voters have tended to vote Labour to avoid getting Tories.

    The question is are there a group of 2010 Labour voters who now feel the constitutional question is of more importance than even Tory avoidance and so will vote SNP?

    You may dislike anecdote but my impression is it proved broadly correct in the referendum, there was a group of noisy ex Labour voters who switched to Yes but not in large enough numbers to win the vote.

    The only polling we have since the referendum is the Survation on 21/9. It shows broadly similar Westminster numbers to pre referendum polling with 39% Lab 35% SNP.

    However it does have a much larger percentage of undecideds than previous Survation polls with 46% undecided compared to 17% in their last Westminster question in June.

    This perhaps indicates there may be the possibility of some churn, post referendum.

    As I say we need to wait and see more polling evidence, but there are certainly reasons why the referendum result might change previous VI.

    I still think that 2016 is where we will see more dramatic churn than 2015.

  43. The fish pointer refers to rather staged pictures of Cameron and his wife pointing at fish in a market for two years running.Not sure if they were in the same place,Portugal,but the pictures were very similar.

  44. Northumbrianscot

    We have little evidence thus far as to Scottish voting patterns in 2015.

    I will make a confident prediction on this matter on 8 May 2015.

  45. @oldnat

    In terms of the anecdote re-engaging in the democratic process might just mean quietly turning up a polling station when there’s a ballot.

  46. I don’t begrudge Cameron and his wife going on holiday to Portugal and looking at fish – hopefully after My 7th 2015 he will have all the time in the world to indulge in that activity! (I genuinely wish him well on a personal level – I get the impression he has merely ticked a box in having been PM and will no doubt go on to other things in the future.)

  47. Smithson on PB suggesting two more Tories set to defect to ukip.

  48. @Paul A

    “They were on the winning side (albeit by the skin of their teeth) in the referendum and whatever grumbling there will be from Labour YES voters, at GE2015 they will be faced with the usual choice of Labour or Tory and only Labour can really deliver the extra powers promised to Scotland – or am I missing something?”

    This was the very point that Tom Devine was making last Friday and, rather more surprisingly, Fiona Hyslop of the SNP too. Hyslop was more ambivalent but I think she represents a strand of thought in the SNP that rather hopes Labour does well in the Westminster poll in order to prevent a UK Tory Government, but poorly in the Scottish Assembly elections so that the SNP can control Hollyrood.

    When you think about it, maybe a little counter-intuitively, you can see where politicians like Hyslop are coming from. A strong showing by the SNP in May 2015 makes a Tory UK Government much more likely. I doubt whether this point will be lost on Scottish voters either.

  49. I’m not being partisan (well maybe I am) but hopefully we will see a surge in the SNP’s vote in 2015. I think in Scotland voters have been duped for far too long now that a vote for Labour is the best deal around.

    The referendum has engaged people with politics and to those who have never voted before or have always voted Labour because they thought that’s what the rule books says will hopefully “lend their vote elsewhere” in 2015.

    I’m not sure how Labour are going to sell (a vote for the SNP will let the Tories in) when Scotland will have so much more devolution to cushion against the …..wink wink……nasty party!!

    Oh hang on..Labour don’t want to give away as much power as the Tories…could it be Labour are scared of a strong Scottish parliament which might deplete their chances in a UK election where they are seen as more irrelevant by the Scottish voters?

  50. CROSSBAT

    “When you think about it, maybe a little counter-intuitively, you can see where politicians like Hyslop are coming from. A strong showing by the SNP in May 2015 makes a Tory UK Government much more likely. I doubt whether this point will be lost on Scottish voters either”
    ______

    Yip that old chestnut still flying around I see. Is that all Labour has to offer to the voters…Vote SNP and the Tories will get in. It’s past it’s sell by date…its boring….its highly unlikely….move on batty.

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