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”

1 7 8 9 10 11
  1. All seems a bit tetchy on this thread.

  2. Very nearly 50% of the last 50 posts have come from the same two people. Sadly this place is becoming a tedious echo chamber. I get the feeling that some of the more humourous and interesting posters are starting to vote with their feet.

  3. Old Nat
    I said I hoped to find this thread an interesting read.
    You see I find reading other people’s comments valuable, even educational.
    It isn’t just about my contributions
    I’m a modest person, no doubt with plenty to be modest about.

  4. CB

    Aye. And I don’t pop by very often either.

  5. Alec. It is a tetchy thread. And I’m about to make it tetchier…

    I was passionately hoping for a no vote. I am now seriously starting to think it may have been worth putting up with permanent Tory governments in exchange for separating UKPR from SPR (with IP addresses in Scotland barred from UKPR). We might then have been saved from the constant sniping and sneering from our dear friends in the north such as Old Nat, Statgeek, and Allan. (I wholly exempt Northumbrian Scot and yourself, of course).

  6. @ Old Nat

    I’ll ask Sarah tomorrow.

  7. Valerie

    Fair enough. But the Welsh poll was done specifically jn the context of the Scottish referendum, so discussion of that recent event is hardly surprising.

    I always find it disappointing that the few Welsh threads that we get seldom have much discussion on Wales. I don’t know nearly enough about that country to do more than raise some issues that the polling reveals.

  8. The complacency is astounding from Labour (although I still think they’ll win a clear OM) but I do wonder if they’re in for a shock. I think a lot of the Aye voters aren’t used to being on the wrong side of history (or at least history thus far) and may find voting SNP a good way to vent their frustrations. They may find this especially attractive if Labour look like they’re going to win and so that “Vote Labour or get Tories” line won’t work as well as in 2010. SLAB can’t depend on the Red Dems like their English compatriots can. Interestingly, this poll seems like Wales is more like Scotland, in that Labour haven’t got much if any boost from the Red Dems.

    So I think that 2015, like 1992 and 2010, will be at least a little different in Scotland from rGB.

  9. Is there no You Gov poll tonight? (or have I just missed it?)

  10. No poll on a Friday

  11. Friday night MOG

    Do keep up.

  12. @R&D:

    Perhaps he forgot his lines and meant to say “Gove wasn’t demoted far enough”.

  13. As an ex college principal now university lecturer I suppose I’m an academic. My rules for debate/discussion have always been:

    talk about the substance – engage with the argument and don’t belittle people

    if you can make your point with passion and good humour so much the better

    don’t be personal – your issue should be with the viewpoint not the individual

    be open to ideas and prepared to learn something

    The rules aren’t always adhered to but, to be fair, they usually are and I think they have some merit.

  14. @ MOG

    Never on a Friday.

  15. All… thanks; silly me!

  16. A tetchy thread? With Oldnat involved? What were they thinking?

  17. Think I’ll invent one then… Shall we say Lab 37, Con 32, UKIP 14, LD 8?

    Dammit… polldrums again!

  18. @ Bill Patrick

    The complacency is astounding from Labour.
    Your the first person I’ve ‘met’ who finds complacency from Labour in Scotland to be “astounding”.

  19. @Richard in Norway

    ‘you are assuming that outsiders ourselves included have any interest in resolving the “underlying conflicts”. It’s a regional and global proxy war with ever shifting sides’

    This is the sort of contribution that explains why I’ve missed your presence on UKPR. I tried to write (without your clarity) much the same a few weeks ago but was shouted down as some sort of conspiracy theorist.

    Thing is, nothing about the situation makes sense until the competing oil and gas pipelines are added into the equation… and then the mists clear.

    Agree re: Israel being content to be surrounded by chaos and hence weakened neighbours but I believe that there is also oil in the Golan Heights and gas fields off Gaza too.

    Saudis appear to have backed Obama’s bombing on the basis that removal of Assad is part of the deal – Assad must be removed having signed up to the Shia pipeline from Iran.

  20. If we assume that this conflict is really about oil, which is quite possible, I shudder to think of the state of the world in 10 or 20 years’ time when it really begins to run short. The sooner we can invent an alternative the better. Electric cars look like the best bet at the moment.

    Then we can let the Middle East get on with killing each other without us having to be involved.

  21. @Syzygy @RiN

    I’m not sure the foreign policy of middle eastern powers is as rational as you assume. After all, ours isn’t, and nor is the USA’s.

    I don’t think Israel has ever escaped the 1948/1956/1967/1973 mindset. They still regard themselves as the beleaguered isolated small country of those days, despite its absurdity now.

    Similarly, the Saudi/Iran split is the Sunni/Shia split writ large. Pipelines are the excuse, not the reason. The antipathy is visceral.

    Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and Lebanon are fighting civil wars (the former two hot, the latter two cold), all with foreign paymasters trying (and generally failing) to steer events. Jordan and the stateless Palestinians are resourceless, both literally and metaphorically.

    What a mess!

  22. RiN/Syzygy

    Not all MPs followed blindly into this new war.

    “There were 42 MPs who voted against the motion outright, plus Rushanara Ali (Bethnal Green and Bow) who abstained by voting in both lobbies.
    23 Labour MPs: Diane Abbott (Hackney North & Stoke Newington), Graham Allen (Nottingham North), Dame Anne Begg (Aberdeen South), Ronnie Campbell (Blyth Valley), Martin Caton (Gower), Katy Clark (Ayrshire North & Arran), Ian Davidson (Glasgow South West), Paul Flynn (Newport West), Stephen Hepburn (Jarrow), Kate Hoey (Vauxhall), Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North), Sian James (Swansea East), Mark Lazarowicz (Edinburgh North & Leith), John McDonnell (Hayes & Harlington), Iain McKenzie (Inverclyde), Austin Mitchell (Great Grimsby), Grahame Morris (Easington), George Mudie (Leeds East), Linda Riordan (Halifax), Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield), Dennis Skinner (Bolsover), Graham Stringer (Blackley & Broughton) and Mike Wood (Batley & Spen).
    6 Conservative MPs: Richard Bacon (Norfolk South), John Baron (Basildon & Billericay), Gordon Henderson (Sittingbourne & Sheppey), Adam Holloway (Gravesham), Nigel Mills (Amber Valley), Mark Reckless (Rochester & Strood).
    Others: One Liberal Democrat opposed, Julian Huppert (Cambridge), as did two Plaid Cymru MPs, Jonathan Edwards (Carmarthen East & Dinefwr) and Hywel Williams (Arfon), and five Scottish National Party MPs, Stewart Hosie (Dundee East), Angus MacNeil (Na h-Eileanan an Iar), Angus Robertson (Moray), Mike Weir (Angus) and Eilidh Whiteford (Banff & Buchan). They were joined in the no lobby by Green MP Caroline Lucas (Brighton Pavilion), three Social Democratic and Labour Party MPs Mark Durkan (Foyle), Dr Alasdair McDonnell (Belfast South) and Margaret Ritchie (Down South) and Respect MP George Galloway (Bradford West).” [Mirror]

  23. Interesting list of opposers, slightly usual suspects crowd there but some of what you might call soft left of centre Labour like Anne Begg and Mark Lazarowicz.

    Ronnie Campbell came and spoke at a mock election hustings at my school once and you immediately knew you were dealing with a “proper” Labour MP.

    The Conservative speaker was a slightly anonymous councillor who was handicapped by being the father of one of the less popular sixth-formers.

    The Lib Dem meanwhile (whose name escapes me) was an early Orange Booker who had a virulent, Thatcheresque hatred of trade unions which made for an interesting but ill-tempered debate (a bit like this thread…)

  24. Northumbrianscot

    It’ll also be interesting to find out which MPs didn’t manage to get to Westminster for the vote – despite what I believe to have been 3-line whips all round.

  25. @Amber

    “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.”

    To be fair, @Northumbrian Scot and myself were both pointing out that even within a fairly extensive range of possible poor outcomes in terms of Labour vote share, that wouldn’t translate into a dreadful loss of seats until quite a high threshold was passed.

    Thanks for the poll, I had missed it.

  26. @ Northumbrian Scott

    Mark Lazarowicz voted against the previous Iraq war (if you didn’t know that already).

  27. Phil Haines

    Also, to be fair, the rest of us who have punched possible vote shares into electoral calculators have also said that the distribution of party support in Scotland and the effect of FPTP means that SNP need something like a 5% lead over Labour to see a significant shift in the number of MPs.

    At the moment, we have little evidence to suggest that such a shift in electoral support will or won’t happen.

  28. @ Phil Haines

    I found your contributions very interesting indeed; both the betting odds & the seat projection. :-)

  29. Indeed I’m on record as saying even a bad 2015 election for Labour in Scotland is unlikely to be much worse than net -5 seats.

    I still think Gordon Brown was a big feature in Scotland’s votes in 2010. Without him as Labour leader in 2015 there is bound to be some drop off but we saw in the referendum campaign he is still a formidable political operator so I’m sure Labour will want him out campaigning in Scotland in 2015.

    Does anyone know if he is planning on standing again next year? A quick Google has brought up an even split of articles saying he is definitely going and definitely running again.

  30. A true story.
    A few years ago ( 2004 I think) I was at a Dinner at an RAF base in the UK. I got talking to a young chap who had just returned from a stint in Afghanistan attached to the US Headquarters as a liason officer. He had been paired up with a US intelligence officer in order to prepare and deliver briefings on the religious background of the Taliban in Afghanistan and across the region.
    Anyway, he was up in front of a lecture room full of senior US officers, expounding on the Wahhabi nature of the strand of Islam that the Taliban subscribe to. He said he thought things were going well, until he overheard one four star general nudge another in the ribs and say ” Hank, what the f*ck is this Brit going on about Japanese mustard for ? ”
    Wahhabism includes among its tenets the view that it is lawful to kill fellow Moslems , if they are heretics or allied with infidels or heretics. This was the justification for the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire, and is still underpinning the belief system of the House of Saud….

  31. @MOG

    “We might then have been saved from the constant sniping and sneering from our dear friends in the north such as Old Nat, Statgeek, and Allan.”

    Any quotes in particular?

  32. Thanks Amber, I knew he voted against Iraq war eventually but on earlier measures like the post 9/11 State of Emergency and the 2nd UN vote in 2002 he voted with the Government rather than the smaller Abbott/Corbyn/Skinner (usual suspects group).

    I was seeing his name being there as signifying there was slightly wider opposition to this action than just that 10-15 Usual Suspects group.

  33. @Statgeek

    If you think I’ve nothing better to do than trawl through past threads for quotes you can think again.

    That comment was worthy of the great OldNat himself.

  34. @MOG

    Well if you won’t qualify your accusations, best not make em.

  35. @ NorthumbrianScot

    Neither Gordon Brown nor Alistair Darling have put themselves forward for reselection yet & there’s lots of chatter but no actual information!

  36. Statgeek

    I’m really surprised about the degree of tetchiness from those who were supportive of the winning side in the Scottish referendum.

    Quite how the constitutional structure of the UK will be altered by the Smith Commission, and the UK’s final proposals is not yet clear, but some degree of change seems inevitable.

    it might be that those who wanted no change are simply dissatisfied that the referendum itself has forced change.

    In that respect, they may just be a mirror to those in the Yes camp that are so unhappy that they are constructing conspiracy theories as to why they lost.

  37. Correction

    “from those who were supportive” -> “from a few of those who were supportive”

  38. @Statgeek

    Na na na na na…. do try harder.


    If you think my comments are in any way connected with the referendum you’re wholly mistaken. This is personal, not political.

    and so to bed….

  39. MOG

    An odd comment to make on a political polling site.

  40. Thanks Amber, keep us updated if you hear more.

    I can see Gordon as a Ted Heath type Father of House still in parliament in 2035, Alistair Darling less so. Suspect Alistair might call it a day next year. We shall see though.

  41. @ NorthumbrianScot

    Interestingly, most people would agree with you. But I actually think Alistair Darling is more likely to stand again than Gordon Brown. That said, I think they will both stand in 2015 if the Labour Party needs them to.

  42. @Oldnat

    Thanks for the list. The Labour MPs are basically the Socialist Campaign Group, often dismissed as being the ‘usual suspects’, but who usually turn out to have been right (correct).

  43. Old Nat

    “You are quite right that support for Welsh independence is the lowest in any recent poll, but then I never suggested otherwise!”

    No you just never mentioned it at all because you rather wanted to imply that the poll supported your nationalist position in Scotland, which isn’t the case.

    “You disagree with your compatriots, but that suggests you are in a small minority group in Wales – albeit a larger group than those advocating Welsh independence.”

    Really ? Well ICM found 26% want no change (specifically no increase) in devolved powers in Wales, and that includes me. If you think that’s a small minority that’s up to you, but other readers might be interested in the facts. Beyond that another 2% want devolved powers reduced, and another 12% want the Welsh Assembly abolished. As you believe in adding everything up, that makes 40% who want current , reduced or no devolved powers in Wales. A small minority…. not.

    “Posting poll data can’t be called “selective” when all the relevant questions from the poll are quoted.”

    This is what you quoted :

    “Poll respondents backed devolving – Welfare Benefits by 56% to 27%, POlice & Justice by 60% to 27%, Income Tax by 46% to 36% “

    Here are a few other points you didn’t post :

    84% thought the result of the referendum would have a small or no impact on people’s “daily lives” in Wales

    The questions eliciting positive responses on further devolution which you quoted were all prefaced with a reminder that “The Scottish Parliament is to be offered more powers” – which of course may provoke the reaction “Well if they are having it, we want it too” – sibling rivalry if you want to put it that way. The Q invalidates any implications that the replies are an objective view on whether Wales should have the extra powers irrespective of the situation in Scotland.

    The devolved powers questions also had a “Neither support nor Oppose” option which you ignored. This bridges the gap in the case of income tax.

    71% think Barnett should be changed “ because Wales loses out on money which will go to a more prosperous Scotland” to quote another rather leading intro from ICM. Again they would say that wouldn’t they with such a broad hint ….not surprised you didn’t quote that one either :-)

    The poll of 1006 voters was broken down by county. Of the 22 Welsh counties ICM could not find a single supporter of Welsh independence in 7 of those counties, not all of which are on the border, and I think they should be recorded here for posterity : Conwy,Denbighshire,Anglesey (yes, Anglesey), Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Powys and Wrexham.. This is a breathtaking result.

    Twice as many Welsh people felt the Scottish referendum had made them feel more British” than before rather than “more Welsh”. Admittedly it’s only 12% vs 6% (81% said it made no difference, but still revealing, perhaps.)

    45% felt that the Union Jack should have a dragon (or some green) for Wales, against 36% for no change and 16% who don’t care because it wasn’t their flag. I am very much in favour myself of changing the background colour from blue to green leaving you guys with a thin white St Andrews cross which symbolises how thin the majority was for staying in the Union. It would look a bit garish though ….;-))

    I think that’s enough of the ICM poll which probably wasn’t taken at the right time to catch a settled view, but certainly doesn’t give Plaid or their influential fellow-travellers much to cheer about, TBH.

  44. Welsh Borderer

    It really is rather arrogant to suggest motivations to other people.

    Naturally, when I quoted the Agree/Disagree numbers, and they don’t add up to 100%, then the shortfall is those that took neither position. It bridges the gap in all questions not just “in the case of income tax.”

    Your suggestion that “the Q invalidates any implications that the replies are an objective view on whether Wales should have the extra powers irrespective of the situation in Scotland.” seems an odd one.

    People react to the actuality of political events, not some esoteric neutral abstraction. Had there been no Scottish referendum, and had the Unionist parties not made a panicked response to deliver more powers to Scotland, then the Welsh response may have been different.

    But there was, and they did.

    The Barnett figures are hardly surprising. Wales is significantly disadvantaged by the formula.

    You are part of a minority of 26%, according to your latest post. From your previous post you seemed to be suggesting that the Senedd should be abolished. If you don’t hold that position, then you are simply in a minority – not a small minority.

    I would agree that Plaid will not find the low support for independence very cheerful, but will celebrate the support for increased powers for the Senedd.

    Quite why you post in such an angry style is not clear.

  45. @ Old Nat

    Quite why you post in such an angry style is not clear.
    Eh? Welsh Borderer’s comment is peppered with good natured smileys.

    You’ve been through a potentially emotional & disappointing experience. It might be a good idea to think twice before you comment on somebody else’s style; you may not be in the right frame of mind to make a fair judgement.

  46. I had a look at the Survation poll that was mentioned earlier. Allan Christie already mentioned that there was such a high level of don’t knows that it rendered the Westminster VI a bit useless!

    Anyways, the remembered 2010 vote looks a bit suspect too. When the Can’t Remembers & Did Not Votes are stripped out, turnout would’ve been 68%. That’s not too far from the actual so it seems reasonably safe to assume that they didn’t vote. Remembered vote (adjusted) is therefore:

    LAB 39% (42%) (Actual 2010 % of vote)
    CON 18% (17%)
    LD 8% (19%)
    SNP 28% (20%)

    So, there’s either too many 2010 SNP voters & too few 2010 LDs in the Survation sample, or people’s memories are faulty.

    All in all, not a very satisfactory poll for anybody!

  47. Not being a Scot I felt myself largely unqualified and not entitled to interfere in the debate about Scottish independence, which I rightly or wrongly thought a matter for the Scots to decide,
    So in the last three months I have followed the debate with interest but with the minimal contribution.
    Since the vote the discussion on the threads have become increasingly partisan and aggressive so I think like many others I will wait until things calm down and not every thread is taken over by the nationalist argument before considering engaging fully again in any discussion.

  48. As someone who does not take a partisan view a priori, there seems to be a misunderstanding by some on this site about the nature of devolved powers and the role of the Westminster parliament. In theory, the devolved administrations are a gift of Westminster, but they were introduced after referendums (and powers increased in Wales after a further referendum), so have democratic legitimacy and can’t be retracted without considerable outcry from the populations of those nations.

    As the former Welsh SoS observed on 19/9/1997, devolution is a process not an event, and IMO the terminus of this line of travel is independence (in the case of the 6 counties, it would be Irish re-unification). How long it takes to get there cannot be predicted, and the Scots said NO on 18/9/14 on the understanding that much greater devolution is to be granted by Westminster. If this fails to be delivered substantially in a timely manner, the question of Scottish independence is likely to be revisited sooner rather than later.

    Wales, because of its geography and lack of many equivalent national institutions vis-à-vis Scotland, is on a much slower journey, whose speed is likely to have been further reduced because of the NO vote last week, as reflected in this ICM poll. Plaid Cymru themselves recognise this, but are keen for increased devolution as a stepping stone.

    Unless the Westminster regime establishes a stable (probably federal) structure for the UK, with EV4EL, the process of fragmentation of this multi-national state is unstoppable in the long-term. That is why there was such (Conservative &) Unionist party opposition to Tony Blair’s ill-thought out devolution proposals in 1997 – they recognised that once the genie was let out of the bottle it couldn’t be put back in. The Labour party was ill-advised to have made these changes in 1997 if it thought that it would make Britain greater – the long-term beneficiaries will be the separatists, despite the NO vote last week.

    It is interesting to note that both the SNP and UKIP do not support the UK’s further meddling in the Middle East, because they recognise that it no longer appropriate for Britain to be prancing about on the world stage as if she is still a great power.

    PS I agree with Ewen Lightfoot above that Wahhabism is the root cause of most of the problems in the Muslim world today, which is why I find the close relationship between the UK and Saudi Arabia incredible from an ideological perspective. The only explanation that I can think of is that the UK is financially beholden to the Saudis and neighbouring oil-rich Gulf states, who are bankrolling the debt-ridden British economy.

  49. @Amber

    I’m not surprised there’s lots of people deluding themselves into thinking they didn’t vote Lib Dem in 2010.

    A fair few people I know were already pretending that a week after the vote. 4 years on they’ve possibly convinced themselves they never agreed with Nick.

    The undecideds do make it a very difficult poll to interpret though.

    “I think it’s the West Lothian thing..Mind you we do have a East Lothian as well.”

    And a Westminster Loatheian thing.

1 7 8 9 10 11