YouGov Welsh poll

ITV Wales has a new YouGov poll of Welsh voting intentions out today, summarised by Roger Scully here. The various different VIs, with changes from December’s poll, are as follows:

Westminster VI: CON 22%(+1), LAB 47%(+1), LD 7%(-1), Plaid 11%(-1), UKIP 9%(-1)
Welsh Assembly (Const): CON 21%(+2), LAB 42%(-1), LD 9%(nc), Plaid 19%(-1), UKIP 5%(-2)
Welsh Assembly (Reg): CON 19%(nc), LAB 39%(-1), LD 9%(nc), Plaid 17%(+2), UKIP 10%(nc)
European: CON 17%(-3), LAB 39%(-2), LDEM 7%(-1), Plaid 12%(-1), UKIP 18%(+5)

Roger calculates that if repeated at a Welsh Assembly election Labour would retain 30 seats, so still the tinest whisper short of an overall majority, and UKIP would enter the Assembly for the first time with 5 seats. If the European election intentions were repeated in May Labour would return two MEPs, the Conservatives and UKIP one each, meaning Plaid would lose out.

There are three YouGov polls out today, Britain, Scotland and Wales. Starting with the regular daily poll for the Sun, GB voting intentions stand at CON 34%, LAB 39%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 12% – a five point Labour lead, the third in a row from YouGov. Full tabs are here.

There was a second YouGov poll in the Times, this one a Scottish poll on referendum voting intentions. YouGov have the YES vote at 33% (up one point since September), the NO vote at 52% (no change). Excluding won’t votes and don’t knows the figures are YES 39%, NO 61%. This is the first YouGov poll since the independence white paper and clearly shows no significant change in referendum voting intentions. John Curtice has a nice summary of the three post-white paper polls we’ve seen so far on his blog here – a little narrowing in the lastest wave of polls, but “a touch on the tiller, rather than a game changer”. Full tabs for the YouGov poll are here.

Finally there is a new YouGov Welsh poll for ITV Wales and the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University, the first of a regular series of Welsh voting intention polls. Welsh voting intentions are:

Westminster – CON 21%, LAB 46%, LDEM 8%, Plaid 12%, UKIP 10%
Welsh Assembly constituency – CON 19%, LAB 43%, LDEM 9%, Plaid 20%, UKIP 7%
Welsh Assembly regional – CON 19%, LAB 40%, LDEM 9%, Plaid 15%, UKIP 10%

No changes from the previous poll as YouGov have changed how they prompt their Welsh assembly polls, as we explored yesterday. More generally the Westminster figures represent a 7.5 point swing from the Conservatives to Labour since the general election (not wildly dissimilar from the GB national picture), while the Welsh Assembly figures suggest an improvement for UKIP, but not a vast change for the other parties – if repeated at a Welsh assembly election Labour would retain the same number of seats they won in 2011, just short of an overall majority. Full Welsh tabs are here.


Regular readers may recall a YouGov poll of Welsh voting intentions back in July for Roger Scully’s elections in Wales site. It produced some rather strange results – not least because it had Labour at 46% in the Welsh Assembly constituency vote (perfectly reasonable), but only 25% in the Assembly regional vote, which seemed implausible. In 2011 Labour’s vote was 5 points lower in the regional vote, but 21 points lower seems extremely unlikely. This had happened several times in YouGov’s Welsh polls in the last couple of years, apparently starting since YouGov changed their blurb at the start of Welsh polls in 2012. The suggestion was that people who might not be too familiar with the voting system were misinterpreting the question, and instead of giving a regional vote, were giving a second preference.

Anyway, as Roger explains here, YouGov did a bit of testing to find out. Using a three-way split sample they tested three different wordings. The first was the wording that YouGov used to use pre-2012:

“If there were an election to the National Assembly for Wales tomorrow, and thinking about the constituency vote, how would you vote? And thinking about the regional or party vote for the National Assembly for Wales, which party list would you vote for?”

The second was the wording YouGov have been using since 2012 – note the phrase “your second vote” in there:

“In elections to the National Assembly for Wales you have two votes. One is for an individual member of the Assembly – or AM – for your constituency. The second is for a party list for your region. If there were a National Assembly for Wales election tomorrow, which party would you vote for in your constituency? Now thinking about your second vote, for a party list in your region, which party would you vote for?”

The third group got some new wording, very similar to the current one, but taking away the words “second vote”:

“In elections to the National Assembly for Wales you have two votes. One is for an individual member of the Assembly – or AM – for your constituency. The second is for a party list for your region. If there were a National Assembly for Wales election tomorrow, which party would you vote for in your constituency? Now thinking about the regional or party vote for the National Assembly for Wales, which party list would you vote for?”

As you’d expect, the different wordings made virtually no difference to how people answered the constituency vote question, but it made a massive difference to how people answered the regional vote question:

Old wording (no explanation)- CON 18%, LAB 39%, LDEM 4%, PC 21%, UKIP 9%
Current wording (“second vote”) – CON 16%, LAB 19%, LDEM 8%, PC 24%, UKIP 20%
New wording (“regional vote”) – CON 18%, LAB 35%, LDEM 5%, PC 21%, UKIP 14%

Using the current “second vote” wording there was once again an implausible 19 point difference between Labour’s constituency and regional vote. Using the old wording, or the new wording that takes away the phrase “second vote” the gap between Labour’s constituency and regional vote becomes a far more realistic 3 to 5 points. Going forward, YouGov will be using the new wording, using the words “regional or party vote”, rather than “second vote”.

Note, for the record, that these figures aren’t comparable to normal Welsh polls for sampling reasons (basically a proper Welsh poll will have a sample targeted at Welsh demographics, this was all about the comparisons, so it just went to a big lump of Welsh respondents, split three ways).

Tuesday round up

There have been several interesting polls out today. First up Lord Ashcroft has released some polling of members of the Unite trade union. Many of the answers are what we’d expect, although not entirely comfortable for the Unite leadership – as you’d probably expect, Unite members don’t universally support the Labour party (amongst those who would vote, voting intention was Conservative 23%, Labour 49%, Lib Dem 7%, UKIP 12%). Shown a picture of Len McCluskey only 24% said they could recognise him (and only 16% actually got it right!). Again, rather awkward, but not wholly surprising – turnout in McCluskey’s election was only 15% and I suspect many members join up for protection of their rights in their local workplace, and have little concern for national trade union politics.

The core of the poll though is naturally about political funds, party affiliation and opting in. Asked if they contributed to the political fund, 37% of the Unite members polled said they did, 30% said they had opted-out, 33% didn’t know. This is interesting. The reality is that only about 5% of Unite’s membership have opted out of the political fund… so it could be that the sample is strangely skewed (though I can’t think of any obvious reason why it would be skewed towards opt-outers!), or that Unite’s rank and file members really do have little idea whether they are contributing to the political fund or not. Asked if they think the political fund should be opt-in or opt-out, 57% of members said they thought it should be opt-out, and asked what they would do if it was opt-in, only 30% said they would opt-in (comparing that to the 95% who currently contribute to the political fund I can’t imagine Unite going down that route!)

Ed Miliband’s proposals don’t affect Trade Union’s own political funds of course, rather he has suggested that Trade Union members should only be affiliated to the Labour party if they opt-in. Asked what people would do under these circumstances, 12% of Unite members said they’d opt-in to affiliating to the Labour party. Whether this is good or bad news for Labour is a matter of perception – yes, it’s only a small minority of Unite members, but it would be well over a hundred thousand new party members for Ed Miliband so I doubt it would upset him too much (in terms of finances for the Labour party, who knows, whose to say the affiliation fee wouldn’t be higher under the new regime to make up for lower numbers and, as others have pointed out, if the political funds themselves were still opt-out the money would still be there for Unions to donate if they wanted to).

Secondly, there is a new YouGov poll of Wales, carried out for Roger Scully’s new website Election in Wales. Voting intentions there are below (note the very sharp differences between how people say they’d cast their constituency and regional votes – the difference in Labour support in particular looks startling).

Westminster: CON 23%, LAB 48%, LDEM 8%, PLAID 9%, UKIP 8%
Welsh Assembly (constituency): CON 19%, LAB 46%, LDEM 8%, PLAID 17%, UKIP 6%
Welsh Assembly (regional): CON 12%, LAB 25%, LDEM 9%, PLAID 23%, UKIP 16%

Finally TNS BMRB have a voting intention poll out with topline figures of CON 28%(+1), LAB 38%(+2), LDEM 9%(+1), UKIP 16%(-3). There is clearly no obvious narrowing of the Labour lead here, though the drop in UKIP support is interesting. We’ve seen a decline in UKIP support amongst the telephone companies and YouGov who tend to show lower UKIP support anyway, but this is the first time the companies that tend to show higher UKIP support have shown them coming off the boil a tad.

I’ve been out and about today so haven’t had chance to do my normal write up of the YouGov Sunday Times poll. For the record the full tables are here, and the topline voting intention figures are CON 30%, LAB 41%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 13%.

The eleven point lead for Labour is higher than YouGov have been showing lately (indeed, it’s their first double digit Labour lead since June). All the normal caveats apply – sure, it should be the start of Labour climbing back into double-point leads, or it could equally well be normal margin of error and we’ll be back to more typical seven or eight point leads in the next poll.

The poll also asked about Ed Miliband, Labour and the Unions and found much the same as the YouGov polling midweek. There was a positive reception to Miliband’s proposals: 62% of people say they support the proposed changes to how union members pay fees to Labour, and people think he is right to try and reduce Labour’s links to the unions by 44% to 13% (22% think he is not actually trying to reduce links at all). However 37% of people still think Miliband is too close to the Unions, up from 29% last week, and while his figures on being a strong leader are slightly more positive than a week ago, it’s not by very much – he is still seen as a weak leader by 46% of people, a strong leader by only 12%.

Moving on, 62% of people agree that MPs should be working full time on their main jobs, and that second jobs risk corruption or conflicts of interest. In comparison, 21% think that MPs doing second jobs keeps them in touch with ordinary people and is better than just having full-time politicians. 56% would support a ban on MPs having second jobs. The poll also had questions on airport capacity and high speed rail, and the replacement of Trident.

Also new out yesterday was a Beaufort poll of Wales for the Western Mail asking how Wales would vote in a referendum on EU membership. 29% would vote to stay, 37% would vote to leave and 35% said either wouldn’t vote (21%) or don’t know (14%). Full report in the Western Mail here.