Well, I hope that you agree that last week’s Welsh Political Barometer poll was worth waiting for. (And it’s a bloody shame if you don’t think so, because it will be a while until our next Welsh poll – the next Barometer is not due until February, and I’m not aware of any other scheduled polls before then.) I’ll be assessing the standing of the parties, as revealed by that poll and other evidence, in my annual End of Year Review before long.
But before we wrap up discussion of the latest Barometer poll, there are a few findings that I haven’t yet discussed on the blog. First of all, there was our regular tracker question on the EU Referendum. This time around the figures (with changes from the September Barometer in brackets) were:
Remain a member of the European Union: 40% (-2)
Leave the European Union: 42% (+4)
Would not vote: 5% (+1)
Don’t Know: 14% (-3)
This lead for leave is the first that they have experienced in Wales since the inaugural Welsh Political Barometer poll exactly two years previously. The full run of EU referendum polls in Wales can be seen here:
|Poll||% Remain||% Leave||% DK/ NV||% ‘Remain’ Lead|
|ITV-Wales/YouGov, February 2013||42||35||22||7|
|Western Mail/Beaufort, June 2013||29||37||35||-8|
|WGC/YouGov, July 2013||39||40||21||-1|
|ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, December 2013||38||40||22||-2|
|ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, Feb 2014||44||33||23||11|
|Walesonline/YouGov, June 2014||41||38||22||3|
|ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, June-July 2014||41||36||24||5|
|ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, September 2014||43||37||20||6|
|ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, December 2014||42||39||19||3|
|ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, January 2015||44||36||20||8|
|ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, early-March 2015||43||36||22||7|
|ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, late-March 2015||44||38||18||6|
|ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, May 2015||47||33||21||14|
|BES/YouGov, May 2015||50||33||18||17|
|ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, June 2015||44||37||19||7|
|ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, September 2015||42||38||21||4|
|ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, December 2015||40||42||19||-2|
As I have discussed previously, there has generally been a pattern in EU referendum polling that Scotland tends to be the most pro-Remain nation within the UK (or at least GB; the few polls on the subject in Northern Ireland have also shown clear margins in favour of Remain), and England the most likely to support a Leave position; Wales tends to be somewhat between Scotland and England, although closer to England. These figures are not inconsistent with that general pattern, and with the broad though modest drift in the direction of Leave in most recent polling across Britain. Those campaigning for Leave will certainly be heartened by this poll. But there is a long way to go, and doubtless a fair few fluctuations to occur, before the eventual vote which we now expect some time next year.
There were also a few additional questions which appear to have been added to the Barometer poll by YouGov, but paid for by other clients. I didn’t know about these in advance – because YouGov are a proper company who fully respect client confidentiality. However, it is clear from the published details (sample size and dates of sampling) that they were included in the same poll.
One of these questions was for J. Jones, a long-time contributor to the comments section of this blog (amongst, doubtless, many other accomplishments). The following, rather lengthy, question about educational provision in Wales was asked:
“In most local authorities in Wales, councils are required to survey parents to assess the demand for Welsh medium education in primary schools and make provisions for these demands. In local authorities where there are few or no English medium primary schools do you think local authorities should, or should not be required to survey parents to assess the demands for English medium education in primary schools and make provisions for these demands?”
Overall, 51% of the poll’s respondents chose the “Should be required to survey parents and make provisions for the demands” option; some 21% chose the equivalent “should not” option, while 28% chose the Don’t Know option. At least as interesting as the overall result, however, are some of the detailed breakdowns. Among supporters of the parties in the general election, Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters (and not, as some might have expected, Conservative and UKIP voters) are the most likely to choose the ‘should’ option; much less surprising is that Plaid Cymru supporters are the least likely to do so, and actually split very marginally (45-41) against the idea. The pattern with Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters may well be because the question, as worded, appears to invoke some fairly clear norms of fairness. Among speakers of Welsh there is a more or less even split on the issue (43$ choosing ‘should’ and 42% ‘shouldn’t’; non-speakers of Welsh split more than three to one in favour of ‘should’ – by 53% to 16% – but are also far more likely than Welsh speakers to choose Don’t Know, possibly because they will have be less likely to have thought about issues relating to the language of schooling provision.
Finally, there were a series of questions about Syria, bombing and refugees, asked for WalesOnline. There has already been some coverage of the answers to these questions here. There were a number of questions included on this matter, and the findings are of sufficient interest as to deserve more detailed attention than I can give them in this blog post. The findings deserve a blog post of their own, so I’ll be back fairly soon with that.