Just a fairly brief up-date on a few matters.
First of all, the Wales Governance Centre organised a post-election seminar at the Wales Millennium Centre on Tuesday. I gave a presentation, which both looked at the election results in detail and also presented the very first results from the post-election voter survey conducted by the 2016 Welsh Election Study. We then had a Q&A session, chaired – with her usual aplomb – by Catrin Haf Jones of ITV-Cymru Wales. Anyway, for the benefit of those of you who couldn’t make it but might still be interested, we filmed the session. I’ll put that up on the site, along with my slides, in the next day or two.
Second, the post-election survey by the Welsh Election Study give us our most recent evidence on voting intentions for both Westminster and the EU referendum in Wales. The EU referendum numbers will be published tomorrow by my friends at ITV-Cymru Wales. The Westminster voting intention numbers are (with changes on the most recent Welsh Political Barometer poll in brackets)
Labour: 36% (no change)
Conservative: 23% (-2)
UKIP: 18% (+1)
Plaid Cymru: 14% (+2)
Liberal Democrats: 6% (-1)
(The sample was gathered by YouGov, via the internet, between 6-22 May; a total of 3234 respondents, with data weighted for national representativeness).
If the changes since the May 2015 general election indicated by this poll were repeated uniformly across Wales, then three seats would change hands: Labour would win back both the Vale of Clwyd and Gower from the Conservatives, while Plaid Cymru would gain Ynys Mon from Labour. (I’ll try and find some time to run through the Ration Swing projection later today).
Third, while this is the most recent evidence, we should soon have some more, with another Welsh Political Barometer poll. For this next poll there will be some very small tweaks in the YouGov methodology. As I mentioned in my last blog post, the final pre-election Welsh Political Barometer poll performed very well when compared to the actual result of the National Assembly election. In particular, long-standing problems in Wales with over-stating Labour support, and under-stating the Conservatives, appear to have been eliminated.
Nonetheless, although the final pre-election poll performed well, it was not flawless. In particular, we over-stated UKIP support. To address this, YouGov will be making some minor tweaks to their methodology. In the words of Adam McDonnell, the YouGov Research Executive who works closely with us on the Welsh Political Barometer polls:
“While our recent polls in Wales, Scotland and London surrounding the elections in May were in general very accurate, we have slightly amend our weighting across the board to address the areas where we were slightly out, namely an overstatement of UKIP support. This minor tweak takes into account respondents’ party identification, something that has historically been a useful indicator of voting intention, and we are confident that this addition will help us more accurately present political polls in Wales and the rest of the UK.”
So, other things being equal, we should probably expect UKIP’s vote intention numbers to edge downwards a bit. That doesn’t necessarily indicate a real fall in their support.