Other Welsh Political Barometer Findings, 2: Party Leaders

The final part of the findings from the new Welsh Political Barometer which remains to be discussed is the party leader ratings.

As we have done in multiple previous Barometer polls, and as we also did in the March Pre-Election wave of the Welsh Election Study, we asked respondents to rate the leaders on a 0-10 scale, where 0 means ‘strongly dislike’ and 10 means ‘strongly like’. We asked the question about all the main UK and Welsh party leaders. Here are the average scores out of ten for each leader (from those who felt able to give each leader a rating; many others chose Don’t Know) in our latest poll, alongside the figures for the February Barometer poll and the March Welsh Election Study survey:


Leader April Barometer March WES Feb Barometer
David Cameron 2.9 3.2 3.3
Jeremy Corbyn 4.2 4.1 4.0
Tim Farron 3.8 3.5 3.7
Nigel Farage 3.2 3.1 3.6
Natalie Bennett 4.0 3.7 3.8
Carwyn Jones 4.7 4.6 4.9
Andrew RT Davies 3.4 3.4 3.4
Kirsty Williams 4.3 4.0 4.3
Leanne Wood 4.6 4.5 4.5
Nathan Gill 3.1 2.9 3.0
Alice Hooker-Stroud 3.3 3.2 3.1


There is some turbulence in the figures from poll to poll. That is mostly down to normal sample variation – we really shouldn’t worry too much about differences of 0.1 or 0.2. But the broad picture remains clear and pretty stable: Carwyn Jones is consistently the most popular leader, followed closely by Leanne Wood and then Kirsty Williams. All are normally more highly rated than any of the Westminster leaders – although not by big margins in our latest poll the case of Jeremy Corbyn, whose ratings have edged upwards in the last couple of polls.

There is some apparent decline seen here in ratings of David Cameron – this very much fits with the general decline in the poll ratings of the Conservatives since February. Given how prominent the Prime Minister has been in much of the Conservative literature that Welsh voters have received in recent months (and, living in Cardiff North, I see plenty of that material!), any decline in his popularity will do nothing to help the electoral prospects of his party. That the Prime Minister is now apparently the most unpopular political leader in Wales cannot be good news for the Tories.

One of Welsh Labour’s prominent figures apparently described Carwyn Jones the other day as being ‘head-and-shoulders’ above any other Welsh party leader or politician. In terms of broad political ability and leadership – well, it’s really not for me, a humble psephologist, to comment. In terms of popularity the First Minister is hardly head-and-shoulders above the others, and Leanne Wood in particular. Carwyn Jones’ ratings are also about one whole point (on this 0-10 scale) below where they were five years ago. But he remains relatively popular, and is I think clearly still one of Labour’s biggest electoral assets in Wales.


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