YouGov have put out their first Welsh poll of the campaign, conducted for ITV Wales and Cardiff University. Topline figures, with changes from the previous YouGov Wales poll in January, are CON 40%(+12), LAB 30%(-3), LDEM 8%(-1), Plaid 13%(nc), UKIP 6%(-7). Fieldwork was Wednesday to Friday last week.

These are, it’s fair to say, fairly startling figures. A twelve point increase for a party over a relatively short length of time is extremely unusual, but the direction of travel is the same as Britain as a whole. GB polls had the Tories around forty percent at the start of the year, and have them pushing towards fifty percent now. As in Britain as a whole, the reason seems to be largely the UKIP vote collapsing decisely towards the Tories.

The result is remarkable though because of Wales’ history – it is a Labour heartland, even more so than Scotland was before the SNP landslide. Wales has been consistently won by Labour since the 1930s. The only time the Tories have won Wales in modern political times is the 2009 European elections.

If these shares are repeated at a general election then on a uniform swing the Conservatives would gain 10 seats (taking them to 21, an overall majority of the seats in Wales), Labour would lose 10, there would be no change for the Lib Dems or Plaid. The Tory gains would be much of North East Wales, including Wrexham, both the Newport seats and two Cardiff seats, pushing Labour back to little more than the South Wales valleys.

Roger Scully’s write up is here.

There was also a new ICM poll for the Guardian out earlier today, with fieldwork conducted between Friday-Monday. Topline figures are CON 48%, LAB 27%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 7%, GRN 3% – full tabs are here.

206 Responses to “YouGov Welsh poll – CON 40, LAB 30, LD 8, Plaid 13, UKIP 6”

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  1. I really am staggered by this.

    Truly earth shattering….IF this plays out.

  2. I posted this on another thread but I shall repeat it here because it’s more relevant to this one.

    I’ll tell you the reality of how this is panning-out in the real world.

    I am 60 years old. I am a member of Plaid Cymru and I go out campaigning for them etc etc and have been for the forth-coming council elections. I consider myself a traditional working class left-wing pro-welsh independence republican.

    I have never, ever, in my entire life ever even considered voting Tory.

    However, just this once I will be lending Theresa May my vote in June. BREXIT is far far bigger than party idealogies. We have gt to get on with it and we have got to be seen as having a strong pro-BREXIT government in power.

    And I know I’m not the only one that’s doing likewise. I know Plaid and Labour councillors, Plaid members and Plaid and Labour voters that will, in the secrecy of the booth, be putting their cross against the tory candidate. I even know some Lib Dems that will be doing likewise.

    Personally, I think the level of Tory support is understated.
    Leanne Wood doesn’t seem to have any idea what’s going on in her pwn grass roots support and I would be very very surprised if Plaid increased it’s seats.

  3. Quite extraordinary. There is a long way to go but it seems that many people have decided that, as this is a one horse race, they may as well be on that horse.

  4. As the Communist Party of Britain have now endorsed Corbyn, expect another 5+ swing to Tories in the polls next week.

  5. Stunning result for the Tories. I’m starting to think this election will be like the SNP landslide in 2015. No sign of life from the Lib Dems, a floundering Labour, and an SNP vote that can only go down. TM has played this very well!

  6. @RUDYARD “Truly earth shattering….IF this plays out.”

    I think the question to ask is why it won’t play out?

    I have not seen a cogent argument as to why this will not be a Brexit dominated election. The Leave vote is more united in purpose. It is also the majority vote in 2/3rds of the constituencies. Half the remain vote now accepts Brexit.

    Therefore TM cannot lose this election on her platform. So the other question to consider is how big of a shellacking will Labour eventually get. Battered by the Tories on one side, and undercut by the Lib Dems on the other-side.

  7. Sea Change

    “I have not seen a cogent argument as to why this will not be a Brexit dominated election.”

    Tory complacence? That’s the only one I can imagine (actually, replacing Corbyn on the 5th of May is another, but why would anyone take the risk?) at the moment.

  8. To some degree incumbency could also help Labour (only 12 of their MPs won’t stand), and by the look of it, (at least) many seal off outside influence, and campaign as a local MP.

    I also have to add (I don’t know if it’s important) – I haven’t seen any leaflet yet from any party.

  9. @Laszlo

    I don’t think the Tories will become complacent. They have a wafer thin majority and they are ruthlessly pragmatic. They will show a chaotic Labour no quarter, nor should they. As to Jezza standing down – it’s a possibility I mused about the other day, but that is likely to mean even more chaos. Neither scenario would necessarily change the verdict that this will be decided on by Brexit.

  10. I think the circumstances of this election are exceptional. A lot of Brexit supporters who have never voted tory are “lending” their votes to May’s government. these votes will unwind pretty quickly, but for the purposes of the election they will be significant. 2017 will be a tory high water mark like 1983 and 1959.

  11. My posts tend to be intermittent because I can only post from my old tablet which “has issues” with continuous internet access. For some reason the site will not accept my logon from any other machine, nor will it let me change the password (as that seems to be the problem) as it won’t send email confirmation. If AW is about he could perhaps give some advice.

    I note the comments about the French Presidential elections, which are of some interest to me as I now live there. It would be an immense shock now if Macron does not win. Our Commune voted narrowly for Le Pen, one vote more than Fillon, but nobody got more than the mid 20s. This is a very rural community of some 526 voters and leans to the right but Macron is expected to win the next round comfortably here. Fillon, or any centre right candidate, would have won comfortably if corruption was not an issue. Interestingly, my neighbours regard Le Pen as corrupt but voted for her as a protest because “she won’t be president.”
    I should add that Macron was definitely not endorsed by Hollande, at least not until after the vote. Now he is being endorsed by everyone.

  12. RMJ1

    Has Mélenchon endorsed Macron? I missed it.

  13. @LASZLO,

    No, at least not yet. Melenchon is in something of a sulk it seems. He would not concede until the last votes from the Parisian suburbs had been counted.

  14. @Sea Change

    It’s not so much about the Tory party being complacent as their voters. One could imagine that if Tory voters believe their side is certain to win, they might not bother to vote.

    In my opinion, the reverse may happen. A lot of people seem rather dismayed by politics in general, whether they be demoralised Labour supporters, resigned Remain supporters or just fed up in general. The only large group that will turn out heavily are the Leave supporters wanting to ensure that Brexit happens, most of whom will vote Tory.

    So the overall prediction would be a relatively low turnout, but an result for the Tories even better than suggested by the polls thanks to the Leave support.

  15. Predictions game update. Hope I’ve not missed anyone.

    Any more turnout predictions from anyone? Will it be high, low or ‘average’?


    (28) CATMANJEFF (24/4)

    Con (389)
    Lab (169)
    LD (12)
    SNP (55)

    (29) EDGE OF REASON (24/4)

    Con 43% (361)
    Lab 27% (197)
    LD 13% (20)
    UKIP 6% (0)
    SNP 4% (50)
    Oth 7% (21)

    (30) JIM JAM (24/4)

    Con 43% (372)
    Lab 28% (189)
    LD 11% (15)
    SNP (52)
    Oth 18% (22)

    (31) REGINALD (24/4)

    Con 50% (410)
    Lab 25% (150)
    LD 13% (15)
    UKIP 4% (0)
    Grn 4% (1)
    SNP (46)



    Con 42.0% (379)
    Lab 26.0% (179)
    LD 14.3% (20)
    SNP (52)

    Turnout 64%


  16. Are the Tories really only going to gain *49* seats? Seems a bit low yes?

  17. @Peter Crawford

    Exactly. The election after this one could be very interesting as the current “temporary Tories” look for a new home. But it’s hard to make predictions for that without knowing what will happen to the opposition.

  18. I think the Conservatives might get 400 seats.

    Liberals might do ok on a seat by seat basis, perhaps 16-18 seats. Farron seems to be getting out and about with what appears to be his new side kick that MP who reminds me a bit of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. Forgot her name.

    Prediction (rough)

    Cons 400
    Lab 159
    LD 18
    SNP 50


    (Just picking up from earlier chat re Macron, thought this was very interesting)

    Makes a lot of sense to me. He didn’t come and see the PM in London in February because he wanted to make her life miserable later. They are both pragmatists, and both in need of international allies.

  20. Good evening all from a quite dull and dry Itchen Valley.

    I saw this poll on my way home this evening and wasn’t at all surprised. The Brexit (leave vote) is coalescing around the Tories in England, Wales and even in Scotland the Tories have seen a surge on the back of Brexit.

    Wales is also quite anglicised in some areas, especially the areas near the English border with a lot of English retirement types who would have voted for Brexit and make rich pickings for the Tories.

    It’s interesting Labour in Wales look set to hold onto the traditional working class areas such as the Valleys were the Welsh-born population is around 90% as opposed to areas such as Pows, Monmouthshire, Wrexham and Flintshire were English born almost exceed Welsh-born in many of the areas within each region.


    On a smaller scale, the same thing is happening in Scotland. A while back there was an independence poll which showed some churn with more independence supporters who voted Brexit going over to the Unionist side than remain voters going over to the independence side.

    To an extent, I think this is also being reflected in the two recent Scottish polls for Westminster.

  22. Out here in East Wales….from my expericne in NE Wales….we are getting Plaid cymru and labour voters lending Tories a vote to “make sure we get brexit”…..

    Its nonsense though, because brexit is happening whatever……but some people are adamant that if Tories dont get in, they will stop brexit

    Many people I have chatted to on the doorstep and the street are

    1) not fond of corbyn and dont understand why so called ‘nationalists’ (plaid cymru) werent more pro-leave.

    These people were not really against Plaid Cymru…………they just didnt know how they were any different from labour or lib dems AND the brexiteers were unhappy at Plaid Cymru not being natural Leave allies.

    2) more shockingly, many people I interviewed were shocked when I told them that EU funding will stop once we leave. – quite a few thought the EU could keep giving Wales money even if the UK leaves.
    Left me a bit gobsmacked tbh

    A third answer cropping up was parties like labour and plaid cymru arent as trusted in economics, they truly believe that there is no money left in the UK…………even though many trillions is in offshore bank havens (something they werent aware of)

    I was on the fence with the EU……………but what shocked me…..was the economic illiteracy of the Welsh…………..also very Welsh are aware of Welsh anything……economy/history/culture.,…….quite shocking

    Im born and bred Northampton English btw.! Moved into Wales around the 90s

  23. There is also a Welsh local election poll out.

    Welsh local election voting intention:

    LAB: 28% (-9)
    CON: 26% (+13)
    PC: 19% (+2)
    UKIP: 8% (+7)
    LDEM: 7% (-1)
    OTH: 12% (-10)

    (via YouGov)

  24. Allan,

    You could be right.

    According to wiki about 21% of the Welsh population is from England.
    This is the distribution map.

    In contrast for Scotland it is just under 9% although it has a very odd distribution with strong concentrations in rural areas.


  25. The longer interval between the two Welsh poll make this look spectacular, but similar effects are showing up in the GB polls with a big spike since the election was called.

    TM’s stance on Brexit is resonating with Brexit supporters and UKIP’s VI is migrating across to Con.

    Lab continues to drift down with a net benefit to Con VI, although how much is direct and how much is churn is unclear.

    Other former Lab strongholds in places like the NE of England with strong UKIP showing in 2015 are likely to be showing similar behaviour to these Welsh polls. Con aren’t just picking up in their own heartlands they will be snapping at Labour’s heels in seats like Hartlepool..

    For TM the UKIP VI is going to be the gift that keeps on giving, especially with antics like Paul Nutall hiding in a conference room rather than face the press.

  26. This is the Map for England, although inverted to show those of all nationalities born outside England.

    Only 84% of the population are English.

    Northern Ireland only has under 4% from England and a fairly high 88% born there. I suppose 30 years of conflict didn’t make it that attractive.

    Just to finish off this is the Irish Republic.
    No graph I am afraid just these figures….

    Irish (including dual-Irish/other): 86.9%, UK: 2.5%, Other EU 27: 6.1%, Other Europe: 0.7%, Asia: 1.5%, Africa: 0.9%, USA: 0.2%, Other countries: 0.5%, Multiple nationality: 0.1%, Not stated: 1.2% (2011)

    More people from Poland than the UK! 122k v 112k.


  27. penderyn

    i think that you need to be accompanied by a fact checker on the doorstep.”many trillions” in offshore tax havens?are you suggesting to voters that the UK could if they wished use that money.
    No wonder voters in wales are fed up with Labour and PC

  28. Big trouble for Labour here, looking at those figures, even Torfaen looks vulnerable if UKIPers go Tory.

    Plaid still my favourites for Ynys Mon, but that will be meagre returns considering a Labour collapse.


    I’m right into demographics and to a small extent, part of my current job remit involves looking at census data, population trends, employment market, education levels and so on.

    What I would say about Wales is that in some of the areas where English-born exceeds over 50% or that of the Welsh-born population, it’s in part down to major hospitals in England being handier than Welsh hospitals so therefore some parents will have their children born across the border.

    Scotland’s English-born population (excluding Edinburgh and NE Fife) tends to be concentrated in rural areas. If you click on this link to the Scottish census website, (scrol) then click on 2011, click on (select area type) scroll down to (postcode displayed at output area) then you will see the map of Scotland broken up into census output areas. You can also click on locality, Headboard region, Westminster and Scottish parliament seats

    Zoom the map in and click on any area you want, then click on (get data) and if you then click on identity it will give you information on where people were born language, religion etc plus a whole lot more. It’s a great interactive tool.

    This is the Map for England, although inverted to show those of all nationalities born outside England.
    Only 84% of the population are English.

    England has seen quite a remarkable change in its demographics. In 2011 79% of the population in England were classed as white British. If you then subtract Scottish, Welsh and NI born from the white British total in England then white English in England would be around 72%.

  31. A thought on the so-called Brexit election.

    It appears that Leavers* are keen to ensure a Tory Brexit, but Tory Remainers are making clear that they are Tories first and Remainers second!

    That’s the rub. The reason the Tories are heading for a big win is precisely because this is NOT a Brexit election. If it were we would have roughly the same amount of Leave and Remain MPs, bit clearly that will not be the case.

    *Mainly Ukip Leavers Labour’s vote nationally actually appears to be pretty resilient. It is down so far from 2015, but not by anything like the 35-40% of Labour 2015 voters that voted Leave.


    Interesting to compare the maps for demographics with those for population density. England “only 84% are English” but only 73% in Wales are Welsh.
    Non-English in England heavily influenced by London, where not English is >50% and the population is high. Other cities too though to a lesser extent.

  33. Stop with the apartheid maps already! Jeez!

  34. @RAF “this is NOT a Brexit election”
    It is certainly not an election which will rerun the vote on Brexit. It is however a vote on how to get a good deal now that our exit from EU is decided. That gives it presidential or leadership overtones, and may influence the selection of candidates, Conservative ones in particular.

  35. Alan C
    “…then white English in England would be around 72%.”

    And some folks seem surprised that many voters want to curb immigration!

  36. Here’s the BBC Referendum vote map.

    I am not sure if there really is a similarity between Leave and the number of English people in a constituency.

    From my experience although their were probably more English people who voted No than Yes in the Referendum their were plenty who wanted Independence.

    I am sure it in part has an impact but I am not sure it would be big enough to alter the rest by much!


  37. @Dave

    “It is however a vote on how to get a good deal now that our exit from EU is decided. ”

    I know that’s the premise but i cant see how it can be at all accurate when we have very little idea what a good deal looks like and how we would go about getting it, let alone how long it will take.

    “That gives it presidential or leadership overtones, and may influence the selection of candidates, Conservative ones in particular.”

    Yes. But do we really know how good or bad an executive leader Theresa May actually is, or how good or bad she is at negotiating international trade deals? It seems that people are being asked to pass judgment on gut feeling and nationalist sentiment (us v them) alone.

  38. David Colby,

    “Stop with the apartheid maps already! Jeez!”

    Keep your paranoia to yourself.

    Discussing whether nationality and the population distribution by nationality can impact election results is a perfectly legitimate area for discussion.

    If people are more likely or not to vote a certain way because of nationality then the proportions of different nationalities in different areas could impact an election result or indicate why particular areas are showing the results they are.

    No one so far (unless it’s you) has even suggested that there is anything wrong or let alone sinister about this.

    It’s just another factor like Gender, Age or Education.


  39. It’s only really dawned on me reading anecdotes on these threads today from posters of different political stripes – all telling the same story re 1st time / lent Tory votes – what may be happening.

    Furthermore, the masterstroke for Tories will, IMO, be the council election results. Whilst doubtless very good for the Tories, they won’t in themselves represent an equivalent national vote share similar to GE polls. This will be used as evidence that nothing can be taken for granted; it’s probably closer than people think; and “every vote is needed” to ensure May gets the mandate she needs to play a strong hand in negotiations with the EU. Therefore complacency from Brexit supporters evaporates, and TM gets a record breaking landslide with nearly 50%.

    Well, that’s one theoretical possibility anyway!

  40. @peteb

    So you think that only a white person can be English enough for you?

  41. Hireton
    It was actually Alan C who pointed out the 72% figure. I don’t think I stated my own opinions on the matter, just surmised that it is no wonder that many voters want to restrict immigration.

  42. Marine le Pen has stood down as leader of her party.

  43. Candy

    From the last thread….

    “Has Macron figured out how he is going to govern (assuming he wins), given he has no people in the French assembly? I understand his new party will be contesting all the seats, but how likely is it that they can oust the Republicans and the Socialists?
    If he can’t get anyone elected, I presume he’ll do deals with the other parties to get stuff through?”
    Well Le Pen has only 2 MPs. I guess he hopes that, with his movement on the march as it were, he will win seats in the assembly elections. If the worm has turned (against the ruling elite) then why would it not produce MPs for him, as well as his own election as President? He has policies which would appeal to both left and right, so he might manage ok if he didn’t win many seats but there will be a lot of horse trading and then does he become part of the ruling elite? Interesting times.
    He seems a very personable individual, sort of Blair like he was in 1997 (not as now). If the LDs had someone like him to lead them, instead of the happy, clappy, chappy, with the everlasting grin, they might be getting somewhere.
    As for Macrons effect on the eu. Expect to see a ressurection of the Franco/German axis, which will not please the Eastern European countries, or indeed make TMs job any easier in the negotiations.

  44. 37% voted for Brexit. There are few indicators of any regrets from them. They must be very inclined to vote Tory, the only party who seem keen and able to deliver their objective. Of the 35% who voted Remain, a significant proportion, maybe around a half, have accepted the result and want to get on with Brexit. Of the 28% who didn’t vote at all, most presumably don’t care and are thoroughly bored with the whole process. They also probably want to get on with it.

    So if this is a Brexit election, I reckon that means that about 65-70% of voters will have a natural lean towards the Conservatives. And Labour, the LDs, Greens, SNP and Plaid are fighting over the 30-35%.

    I am disregarding UKIP, who won’t win a seat, and Northern Ireland.

    I think this might explain the polls.

  45. @peteb

    Neat sidestep.

  46. PeteB

    Seems it’s symbolic to show that she is above party politics. If she doesn’t win the Presidency, expect her to return as leader, Farage like.

  47. Robert
    Yes that seems about right. It could be her best chance of winning.

    I don’t know whether you’re trying to provoke an argument, but I’m not playing. G’night all.

  48. @peteb

    Not at all. Your view was clearly expressed.

  49. SSSimon, My prediction

    Cons 398
    Lab 167
    LD 12
    SNP 50

    Sticking with what I said on the day the GE was announced.

  50. I was recalling how,.prior to the EUref, there was much speculation as to whether there would be a realignment in the politics of E&W, as had happened in Scotland after the indyref.

    While one can exaggerate the similarities between different polities, there are some similarities and the differences seem explicable.

    In Scotland, all the parties took clear positions on independence, so that it was clear to indy supporters that their allegiance was more naturally linked to SNP/Green, while Unionists continued with a three-way split of their vote. Hence the 2015 GE result in Scotland.

    In E&W there wasn’t that close identification with party and attitude to constitutional change.

    After the EUref, Labour lost support – but all the discussion was about Corbyn, and his unelectability – not about underlying shifts of opinion.Indeed, people still discussed where the UKIP vote would go!

    That question seems to have been answered at least. The “British” [1] voters who were pro-Brexit have coalesced around the largest party wanting to break with the EU. (In process terms, very like what happened in Scotland 2014-15).

    An election later, Scotland has moved on to “phase 2” of political realignment, with Unionists rallying behind a single party banner.

    Over the next 5 years, will those in E&W who oppose the dominant ideology in the polity, similarly realign through support for one party?

    We’ll maybe get some insight into that by 2019 – but under FPTP, a realignment of these folk may produce a reduction in the Tory dominance in E&W (as a reduction in SNP dominance seems likely here).

    [1] It’s always worth bearing in mind that, for many in England, the terms England, Britain and UK are synonymous – which they aren’t among Scots, NI or (perhaps some) Welsh folk.

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