The First Welsh Poll of the General Election

Something extraordinary could be about to happen. Wales is on the brink of an electoral earthquake. The Conservatives appear to be on course to win the majority of Welsh parliamentary seats for the first time in the democratic era, while Labour faces losing a general election in Wales for the first time since 1918. These are the sensational findings from the latest Welsh Political Barometer poll – the first opinion poll to be conducted in Wales since Theresa May called the snap general election.

Our new poll asked how people would vote in a general election for the House of Commons. The poll was conducted on Wednesday to Friday last week, after Theresa May had announced her intention to seek approval for an election from parliament. These are the astonishing voting intention figures that our poll produced (with changes on our last Barometer poll, conducted in early January, in brackets):

Conservatives: 40% (+12)
Labour: 30% (-3)
Plaid Cymru: 13% (no change)
Liberal Democrats: 8% (-1)
UKIP: 6% (-7)
Others: 3% (-1)

A few words of explanation may be needed as to why these figures are quite so amazing. Labour’s 33% vote share in our previous poll was its lowest in Wales since before the 2010 general election; it has now fallen three further points. Only one poll this century (in July 2009, at the very nadir of Gordon Brown’s fortunes as Prime Minister) has had Labour lower in Wales during this century. And I can find no precedent in any poll this century either for the Conservatives to be on forty percent in Wales or for them to have a ten percentage point lead over Labour in general election voting intentions.

The huge leap in the Tory rating since our last poll has come mostly at the expense of UKIP. The headline figures in our poll seem to reflect a direct move by many former UKIP supporters into the Conservative ranks: very nearly two-thirds of all our respondents who voted UKIP in the 2015 general election now say that they intend to support the Tories. Theresa May’s gamble of seeking a mandate for Brexit from the British people appears to have particular appeal to many of these voters. While UKIP seem to be on the slide in Wales, the other parties are stagnant. Plaid Cymru will presumably be pleased that the Tory surge has not eaten into their support, and they do start the general election campaign a percentage point or two better off than they did at the equivalent point two years ago. For the Liberal Democrats, this first Welsh poll of the election must be a disappointment – they show little signs of recovery from their disastrous 2015 general election performance in Wales. Much more will be needed from the Lib-Dems if they are to win back some of the votes and seats that they lost last time.

Following the standard method of projecting poll results into seat outcomes – that is, assuming uniform national swings from the 2015 general election – our latest poll implies the following overall result. (Projected changes from the 2015 result are in brackets):

Conservatives: 21 seats (+10)
Labour: 15 seats (-10)
Plaid Cymru: 3 seats (no change)
Liberal Democrats: 1 seat (no change)

Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats are projected, by this poll, to hold the seats they currently have but make no gains. Sensationally, however, a full ten seats are projected to be gained by the Conservatives from Labour. The ten seats are: Alyn and Deeside, Bridgend, Cardiff South and Penarth, Cardiff West, Clwyd South, Delyn, Newport East, Newport West, Wrexham, and Ynys Mon.

Were any such result to be produced on June 8th this would obviously be a big shift from the 2015 result in Wales. But it would also be a result of long-term historic significance. The Conservatives have not won a majority of Welsh seats at a general election since the 1850s – before the era of mass democracy. Labour have won the most votes and the most seats in Wales at every general election from 1922 onwards; and have won an absolute majority of Welsh seats in the last twenty successive general elections (from 1935 on). For the Conservatives potentially to be in a position not merely to finish ahead of Labour but even to win over half the seats in Wales indicates that we are on the brink of something truly seismic. And Labour seem to be facing a defeat of historic magnitude: even in the disastrous 1983 election under Michael Foot, things were never this bad.

Some caution is needed. This is only one poll. Moreover, there are more than six weeks of both national and local campaigning to go. It could be that the sight of Jeremy Corbyn on their television screens night-after-night will encourage voters to flock back to Labour. Or perhaps not. But even if this continues to be a difficult election overall for the party, their local campaigners and sitting MPs seeking re-election will be hoping that their hard work will enable them to buck what currently appear to be the national trends. That sometimes works – although as plenty of Liberal Democrats found out in 2015, more often it does not.

But while showing due caution, we also should not underplay these findings. For once, words like sensational and unprecedented do not seem out of place. Wales has been Labour for longer than any voter taking part in these elections can possibly remember. We could be just over six weeks from that near-century of one-party dominance coming to an abrupt end.

 

Postscript: As per usual, for readers of this blog, I have also calculated the projections of the poll numbers by Ratio Swing. This produces the identical results as Uniform National Swing except that on Ratio Swing Plaid Cymru rather than the Conservatives narrowly gain Ynys Mon from Labour.

 
The poll, for ITV-Cymru Wales and Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre, had a sample of 1029 Welsh adults and was carried out by YouGov from 19-21 April 2017.

Comments

  • Rhys

    Interesting. I find it strange how Plaid haven’t managed to capitalize on Labour’s collapse in Wales yet. Will the assembly poll be out soon or is that being held back until after June 8th?

  • Taliesin

    ‘1029 Welsh adults and was carried out by YouGov from 19-21 January 2017’

    Poll from January or April?

  • J.Jones

    I think that the genie was allowed out of the bottle with the emergence of UKIP and the awakening of a group of people who had not voted for decades.
    People in Wales refused to leave Labour but as much as anything it was the sight of Carwyn and Leanne telling everyone how unthinkable it was for Welsh men and Women to vote “leave” that cemented this turn-around.
    After Wales voted “leave” the remaniacs continued to taunt the Welsh people who had voted Brexit in the most immoderate terms; to such an extent that it became a personal issue with many to make sure that Brexit happened.
    UKIP is now effectively defunct…the rallying cry of “Brexit means Brexit” is the only slogan in town as far as ex-kippers are concerned.
    No one is convinced that Corbin would actually take us out of Europe and in Wales we know that Carwyn, Leanne and Kirsty are pro-EU and anti Brexit.
    As long as Welsh politicians could point at Westminster Tories and say “We in Wales are not like them” then Wales voted Labour and Plaid. Now it is the Welsh political leaders who are not like the Welsh voters and the people in Wales are very much like the English voters.

  • David

    Very interesting to say the least!

    I may have misunderstood the methodology but is it safe to assume uniform swings? Plaid Cymru and Lib Dem support in particular are concentrated in quite limited geographical areas so may they do better than the 13% and 6% vote shares would suggest?

    I also wonder if this poll itself might have an impact on voting intentions.

    Labour has been so dominant in parts of Wales for so long that people may assume they will win regardless.

    Is it possible that some people who would consider voting Tory to ‘teach Labour a lesson’ (almost a protest vote) might have second thoughts if they think it will actually get them a Tory MP.

  • Louise

    Fantastic news! But I think Plaid will take Anglesey.

    General elections are always difficult and a bit pointless for Plaid.

    But amazing that Labour’s stranglehold on Wales will finally end.

  • Sandra Lewis

    Everyone who has been stuffed by the Conservatives should make use of their vote and get rid of them

  • Graham Hathaway

    I sense sweeping generalisations of a very rigid kind. Isn’t it about leadership. The feelings that Labour isn’t cutting it with reliance on a stale agenda and borrowing.
    I hope people remember that Wales over a generation hasn’t prospered from Westminster rule. Certainly not from a Tory one. I can’t see how things will change from 2 party dominance. The same retoric and tone, the party of low taxation and the other high taxation. It’s fallow and tired. The French election is a much better fayre. Mores the pity.

  • Lewis

    Shouldn’t it be 19th-21st April (not January) at the end? Can’t believe the poll is that old…

  • leigh richards

    While there’s no downplaying the significance of this poll i also feel bound to remark that it would appear a large chunk of the welsh electorate seem to have forgotten what a british tory governent did to wales in the early 1980s

  • Gary

    Unfortunately the political leanings of the Welsh electorate are defined by the English news agenda and as such people are inclined to think in terms of Conservative v Labour rather than think of who could best serve their constiuency.

  • Martin

    The opposition has been mounted and it seems an almost picture perfect opportunity. Whether or not Labour are still in the frame when it comes to decision – I’m still not convinced they are out of it just yet

  • Hywel Jones

    Come on now. All on the basis of a sample of 1029.

  • Gareth

    Shouldn’t the polling dates at the end of the article be in April rather than January?

  • Nigel Marriott

    Roger, pleased to see these numbers are in line with my crossbreak model.

    Can you tell me when the tables will be made available?

  • J.Jones

    What are the issues that people in Wales are most concerned about? Education?..Welsh Assembly, Labour/LibDem. Economy? Welsh Assembly, Labour. Welsh NHS? Welsh Assembly, Labour. And Labour rules with permission from Plaid.
    If people are most concerned about Immigration, well, fair enough it’s a Westminster issue but I remember that before the Assembly elections people still considered that to be an issue for the devolved elections. In fact Labour and Plaid in Wales are both very keen to see Wales as a “sanctuary state” for refugees. Is that really the wish of the majority in Wales? I suspect not.
    It is little use resurrecting the Tory Bogey-man in Wales when the day to day running of our most pressing matters of concern are devolved and run by Labour…rather badly. You don’t want Grammar schools? No problem, but if you don’t want to have PISA results that are only marginally better than Turkey then take it up with your Labour AM.
    For the most part Wales is staunchly Unionist. Plaid has gained no traction with its demands for Independence and the unedifying spectacle of Leanne Wood in a group cuddle with Nicola Sturgeon, standing side by side to break up the UK doesn’t win over most people in Wales…usually about 6%.
    Why would anyone outside Welsh speaking Wales vote Plaid? And even the Fro Cymraeg vote is an incoherent rage against the hated English; the Summer time invaders and retirement home geriatric warriors.

    I’m sure that many hate the idea that Wales might go Conservative but isn’t this just a repeat of what is happening elsewhere? Ironically the biggest swings towards the Con. party seem to be in Scotland and Wales. The Unionist backlash perhaps?
    Whatever the reasons it’s just one poll as Roger says. Count the seats when it’s all over but forgive me if I point out that there are none more scathing of the “Labour voting donkeys” of the valleys than people in Plaid. If the “Donkeys” have thrown off their harness isn’t it a good thing in your eyes? Ah! I see, you expected a switch to join the Plaid voting donkeys of the Fro Cymraeg!

    Ho Hum.

  • Arthur

    Great article, Roger and really fascinating. Am I right in thinking that, when pollsters have got it wrong, they’ve tended to over-estimate Labour support? Is that right and if so, could it be worse for Labour even than this poll suggests?

  • John T.

    Mmmm quite a lot of wishful thinking and stereotyping running loose tonight. It seems from the projected gains list that in the border areas English patterns are being mimicked here in Wales at least at this early stage. Plaid has managed to hold its own despite the storm of all storms and so to a certain extent have the Lib Dems. No progress towards a better Wales and a progressive future? No, it would seem not, but in truth what difference does it really make which of the “main” parties rule Wales? The Conservatives will do what they always do (I need not elaborate) and Labour will fail to repair the damage when their turn comes around because they are tied to a London agenda in which Wales does not feature. As Roger says these are early days and this is one poll but if the dark clouds of Mordor really do descend this low we Welsh will cope as we always have and a better day will come. Ymlaen.

  • J.Jones

    As for “sweeping generalisations” Graham Hathaway, by coincidence I was just looking at what I said above about the UKIP/Leave voters being the genie released from the Welsh bottle and I find this from Roger writing for ITV Wales news:-

    “So the referendum -and in some cases a period of supporting UKIP- appear to have left some traditional Labour voters ready to vote Conservative.”

    Much the same thought being thunk elsewhere then.

    Even the Assembly poll gives the Conservatives a narrow lead over Labour with Plaid where Plaid usually are…around 22%.

  • Rhisiart Ap Dafydd

    I actually found the comments as interesting as the post. The problem with all of thes hypotheses is it’s based on assuming that people in Wales actually have an interest in politics they are clearly under informed, as the confusion over which area is devolved or not is compounded by a lack of local and Wales national coverege. This not only results in a democratic defecit but sees English trends crossing borders-for Wales see England never rung so true. I don’t think such a result as suggested by this poll would necessarily mean that the Welsh electorate has suddenly realised what a poor party of government it has been in Wales. Although seemingly poor for Plaid Cymru that it hasn’t made gains, lack of local press does relegate their message and it’s happiness to cosy up to Labour in Wales doesn’t set them apart in a country which is post industrial and now seemingly post socialist. Despite this their core remains steady and yes this is probably in part to do with y Fro Cymraeg willing to vote for a plaid donkey, but also suggests that despite being on the wrong side of Brexit, before and after the referendum this hasn’t caused them as much pain as it has done Labour. The field is a lot more open maybe there is room for another nationalist party in Wales which can unchain itself from the dead weight that is socialism? I see plaid making one or possibly two seats gain whatever the poll says I don’t see Ynys Môn going the tories way. Under Leanne Wood Plaid have lost their way, being radical, left wing, champion of LGBTQ immigration, non-nuclear is not Wales anymore ( if it’s ever been) traditionally Wales is a conservative country and too parchus to vote for such an exotic and fancy cocktail of policies and stances. I do think that increasingly the indigenous Welsh outside the south east are beginning to draw some battle lines which will inevitably be challenged by a May led Tory government, I think the next couple of years will be very exciting for Welsh politics, maybe a conservative landslide in Wales is the wake up call needed?

  • James D

    I’m sceptical about the projected gains for a couple of reasons:
    1) The lack/inadequacy of a Conservative ground game in roughly half of those constituencies.
    2) That I can’t help but think that there’s some regional structuring going on that this is missing. Is Plaid Cymru going nowhere because they are actually going nowhere, or is that an increase in support in the Valleys offset by vote shedding to the Conservatives in the rural North? Is the Conservative percentage at least in part due to the piling high of votes in the existing Conservative constuencies?

  • Welshyboy

    My guess is Conservatives will win but not by quite as much as this indicates. In 1997 Labour ran up similarly huge leads in polls before falling back a bit by Election Day. I think after some weeks of campaigning, barring a disaster, old loyalties will kick in a bit. My guess is Conservatives ~42-44%, Labour ~25-27%.

  • Bill Roy

    This poll is backed up by the cross-break analysis carried out by Nigel Marriott of recent national polls and shown in his blog. Seems like there will be plenty of amazing headlines on June 9th, but none I think like the results from Wales.

  • J.Jones

    Nigel did a very good job there under difficult circumstances. Roger says that the YouGov poll is confirmed by the 50/50 split in those stating that they voted Remain/Leave at the EU referendum. It looks to me like a 4% error in the raw sample.
    Still, it’s an early poll not an election result.

  • Pender

    You know you are Welsh when you vote for Westminster as your saviour, when it was Westminster that caused a lot of your problems

    Wealth drain / Youth drain/ Skills drain / Lack of reinvestment of past profits / Lack of infrastructure / Destruction of culture and language….

    So yes in a way , most Welsh resonate much more with English cultural nationalism……they do not even mind Wales not being on the UK 1801 flag haha

    Colonialist mindset 101

    Plaid Cymru needs a big wake up…..and raise more funds somehow

  • MW

    Well don’t expect the Tories to do Wales any favours. Parts of Cornwall are some of the poorest in Western Europe and are run by…the conservatives ,and have been for a while.

    So it seems we’re all donkeys eh? Labour voting donkeys of the valleys. SNP donkeys, Plaid donkeys of the Fro….What does that make the 13 million Tory voters? Jackasses?
    You can have that one for free….
    To be honest I voted Tory in the last two elections. Not this time. The party that took us out of Europe, and took Britain to the right and subjugated us with fear….But then again I’m a scientist and we’ve. I also like a bit of immigration. Have you been to places where there is no immigration? The food is aweful…

  • AaronD

    Perhaps the Welsh are actually responding to Theresa May’s ‘Back me’ appeal. The Assembly’s response to Wales’s Leave vote has been lukewarm at best, always complacent, obstructive at worst. A lot of Leave voters are mightily unimpressed. I would imagine recent experience has taught most Welsh people to expect little practical difference to their lives whatever the colour of government – at Westminster or Cardiff, and that the Brexit theme may loom large in their calculations.

  • David Johnson

    MW, most of the poorest parts of the country have been run by Labour for fifty years.

  • J.Jones

    ” Parts of Cornwall are some of the poorest in Western Europe and are run by…the conservatives ,and have been for a while.”
    As a scientist you may be aware that correlation does not necessarily indicate causation.
    I,like you, think that immigration is on the whole beneficial and, I’m sure you will agree few if any of us are anything but mongrels.
    Where we differ perhaps is that I have lived my life in Gwynedd where anti-English racism is rife and is defended and encouraged by Nationalists under the guise of “protecting our language and culture” “defending our local young people from unaffordable house prices” or “defending our overburdened health services”. All slogans used by the British Nationalist Party of course but sanitised in Wales by the Welsh Nationalist party.
    In South Wales the Nationalist message is all about the downtrodden poor abandoned by Labour and offering an open Welcome to immigrants from all over the world who will be housed in Cardiff, Newport, Swansea and Wrexham.
    The Plaid voters in North Wales; farmers, small business men and public servants don’t actually identify with those laudable aims spouted by Leanne Wood. They are for the most part Cultural conservatives and isolationists who are happy to see immigrants welcomed to the Urban South but, you know, in the Rural Fro Cymraeg, there is the Language and culture to defend…

  • Graham Hathaway

    MW comments on the those who might use raw categorisation of voters that although colourful, doesn’t lead us very far into the classification of voter preferences. But threaded into these references are some worthy points of discussion. There seems little doubt that with a low % of followers for Indy, but stoic, that you might conclude that by far the majority are in favour of the Union.
    But this isn’t just a Tory voting public. It forms the bedrock too of those from other parties.
    It just makes it more of a confused picture about reasons and motives in voting for a Parliament that has presided over a continued decline of the poorer reaches of the U.K. Most namely Wales. The reference to the decline in educational standards in Wales cuts to the very reason of our decline.

  • Dave England

    Let’s just remember that J.Jones is the “reasonable” cover for the poster Jacques Protic.

    You might just pick up his anti-Welsh bigotry in his posts here. I do find it necessary for everyone to be aware so that they can take his ramblings with a massive pinch of salt

  • Richard Owen

    If this result, or something close to it, comes about, then the Westminster electoral map will be similar to the Yes/No map of the 1997 referendum, with the Tories predominant in the No area and Lab/PC/LD in the Yes area.

  • J.Jones

    But Graham in what way can you attribute a decline in education standards (for instance) to the government in Westminster when Wales and Wales alone has had responsibility for education since 1999? We all know that when devolution was decided Welsh school standards were far higher than standards in England. We all know that it went wrong when we cancelled SATs and League tables and started to recover only when “Banding” (AKA league tables) and more rigid moderation of pupil assessments coupled with Literacy and Numeracy testing was brought in.
    We can’t have it both ways! I realise that about a third of the population in Wales don’t know that Education is devolved and between 40% and 50% are unaware that the control of the WELSH NHS (clue in the name) is also devolved but we can’t blame Wales’s woes on Westminster whenever it suits us.
    What can we blame Westminster for exactly? Immigration? We have the lowest immigrant population of the UK mainland. It’s not a problem.

    • Graham Hathaway

      You have given as good a narrative on the overall picture of the decline in health of the education system in Wales. With no prospects of much positive change in a marginal coalition at the Bay. You could look at the funding issues, morale in the profession, yearly contracts of employment, changes in policy direction and front line management and more. But the facts are all there to see. But let’s not forget what may be the most critical factor of all and its continued one party state domination that you have highlighted. It’s not only education. The latest publication from Ann Clwyd and her thoughts on Labour’s rule since Devo says it all. It’s time for change, a long time ago.

  • Nigel Marriott

    I have now looked at the breakdowns on the YouGov and I can see some very interesting opportunities to refine my crossbreak model. I need to do more work on this and will my post here and on my blog when I have done this.

    But I will give you one of the most outlandish implications of this poll based on a preliminary analysis..

    Blaenau Gwent is in play for the Conservatives!

    Figures are:

    GE15act LAB 58, CON 11
    GE17urs LAB 49, CON 25
    GE17nrs LAB 36, CON 37

    GE17urs is my current crossbreak model I used to predict this poll. URS stands for Uniform Regional Swing.

    GE17nrs is my provisional non-uniform regional swing.

  • J.Jones

    Cardiff and South Central remains the only Welsh region with a robust (10%) polling advantage for Labour although the LibDems at 12% there, double their national polling, may take a seat if their support is very localised.

    The trouble with national polls is that you don’t know whether Con areas are just moving to be overwhelmingly Con. whilst marginal seats remain just as marginal.
    Blaenau Gwent may, judging from the Assembly elections, be a three way marginal.

  • K. Vivian

    Rants against ‘Welsh speaking Wales’ demonstrate spleen and voting intentions of J.Jones. Does he not understand that only the language gave and gives Wales, and himself, national identity. Scotland with its own laws has a political personality; the newcome Welsh Assembly is but a specious sop.

  • Neil Burman

    The county council elections 1st.
    and a clear out for Carmarthenshire is high on the list of electors who have not been affected by aphagia.

  • S. Nolan

    Is this a national poll? A friend said that Channel 4 news reported that the respondents were all from Newport. Is there any information about where they were from?

  • Nigel Marriott

    JJones, you’ve picked up what I noticed, namely that uniform swing in Wales gives different results to the regional crossbreaks in the poll. I noted that for the Conservative vote, the difference between the crossbreak vote and the implied vote with uniform swing was correlated with the Leave with a correlation coefficient of +0.8.

    So it appears that the strongest Leave seats will be disproportionately Tory and Blaenau Gwent was the most Leave seat last year hence my comment that it could be in play for the Tories.

    Conversely the remain seats will be less tory. What I am exploring is the best way to build this effect into my model not just for the Conservatives but for other parties as well.

  • MW

    Please….I’m from an immigrant background and I have experienced far more racism in England than I have in Wales.

    As a non Welsh speaker, of course your going to feel hard done by. If you did speak Welsh than your outlook would be different. You’ve spent your life in Gwynedd, and I would hazard a guess that you’ve got, 30 to 40 years on me. That means Y Fro were still 80-90% Welsh speaking when you were my age. I’m sorry, but if you have lived there for 60+ years there is something to be said about not learning Welsh at all. Heck I’m sure you’d excel at it. If you put the same effort into learning it that you do for writing to the Western Mail and Co. who lap up anti Cymraeg letters you’ll do fine. Even if you conservatively took 5 years at a steady pace to become fluent and you started 20 years ago, you would have been able to experience 15 years of both linguistic cultures in Wales.
    Your right the rural North Walians are culturally conservative. The fact that gaelic is down to 1% native speakers in Scotland and Ireland but Wales, despite everything is touching on 20% tells you just how important the people, and I stress the people- not the parties- value it. Even last years poll suggested surprisingly high levels of support amongst non Welsh speakers. They would give many things to ensure their language and cultural survives.

    I can’t imagine Wales without two languages. You apparently can. Can’t we just all get along Mr Jones?

    Of course I am aware that correlation doesn’t equal causation. The point I was trying to make was that a Tory led WA won’t drag deprived parts of Wales out of poverty.

    Credit where credit is due- A smart move by Teresa May. She could have come in saying she wants to unite both sides of the debate, a party for all of Britain etc etc. But by painting the torys as ‘The’ Brexit party she almost rises above party politics for many and aligns herself with 52% of Welsh and English voters and over a third of Scottish voters.

  • Tom Jones

    People in Bridgend interviewed following Theresa May’s visit were nearly all past Labour supporters intending or thinking about voting Conservative.. Something unprecedented has happened. Brexit is seen as safer in the hands of Theresa, and that’s what has and will swing it for many

  • Rowena Hiscox

    We shouldn’t be surprised by this poll. It has been increasingly obvious for some time that Labour’s dominance in Wales had more to do with historical factors than with any attachment to Labour values on the part of the population; and that’s so whether the ‘Labour values’ we’re talking about are Corbyn’s, Carwyn’s, Blair’s or any of the other available options.

    I guess the question is whether it was Labour support for Remain in the referendum that was the turning point, or whether the split on the right between the Tories and UKIP temporarily concealed a re-alignment that has been going on since at least 2010.

  • Dave Edwards

    There is a way out…
    Labour are already an ineffective opposition and unelectable for the foreseeable future.
    A strong vote for the Lib Dems would give us at the very least a strong, effective opposition.
    Don’t be fooled into thinking we would simply try to stop Brexit, that is not what we are fighting for (yes of course we would like it to be reversed) but what we believe is that the people should have the final say on the ‘deal’ or for that matter the situation if there is ‘no deal’.
    That is democracy in motion and is the safest route because, all said & done I can’t believe anyone truly voted ‘leave’ at any cost…

  • AHP

    Roger, could you clarify whether the poll asked for Assembly Voting Intention or whether it was only Westminster?

  • Graham Hathaway

    It’s difficult to unstitch the consensus the true state of politics in Wales. Rampant Tories, Plaid which is unmoved but in GE, withering Labour, LDs in bother, and UKIP in trouble. It points to red turning blue in unprecedented numbers. Whatever your politics it’s only Brexit that is the main issue with Tom Dick or Harry.
    Whatever your diet. A problem created by a Tory will not be solved by a Tory. The loser will be Wales. The Assembly is in serious danger of collapse to Westminster direct rule, until we realise that only Welsh guile and self belief, whatever the party or parties in power, will see us to better days. As sure as the day is long, it will happen. Ymlaen/Forward

  • C Davies

    And ratio swing? A similar result, but with different details?

  • AHP

    So you’re saving the results till later? You tease, you!

  • J.Jones

    Teresa May apparently raised another issue on her brief trip to Wales:-

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-election-idUKKBN17R136

    I didn’t see it picked up but I suggest that May is taking on the mantle of a true Conservative and UNIONIST leader of the UK after three decades where both Labour and, particularly, Tories have seemed determined to undermine the Union and cave in to every demand for “More, more, more devolution”. Maybe the Devolution train journey has just hit the buffers.

    “”We want to ensure that Britain is a more secure and united nation – that means acting against the extremists who want to divide us but it also means standing up to the separatists who want to break up this precious union of nations.”

    Now this is cunning stuff; to lump the extremists that we know and despise (Islamic fundamentalists/BNP) together with Scottish and Welsh Nationalists attempting to dismantle the UK, shows perhaps that Mrs May knows full well that in Wales we are almost exclusively Unionist and, if she has paid any attention to the cross breaks on several Welsh exclusive polls, she knows that UKIP and Tory voters also did not want the last tranche of devolution to the Welsh assembly. In particular she may have heard quite loudly that, in Wales, the failure of the Cameroon government to hold a referendum on the devolution of income tax raising powers was seen as a major piece of treachery by many in Wales. The Silk commission was just one more establishment stitch up of the Unionist majority here. Maybe the Ex-Empire will strike back?

  • J.Jones

    I’m fascinated by what Nigel Marriot is doing. Normally cross tabulations can give a very misleading picture because of the small size of the sample. Nevertheless I enjoy looking at them because from time to time you see a very distinct indication even though the sample is small; so if 75% of even a small sample says something then it is believable that more than 50% of people in that place or of that party think that way.
    Nigel has done what I did yesterday; looked at UK polling and the Guardian/ICM voting intention poll and looked at the Wales cross tabs. The ICM poll is quite large (2000+) and it shows Conservatives on 52% in Wales with Labour on 30% and Plaid on 10%.
    52% seems outlandish but the 30% for Labour is consistent with the barometer and the 10% for Plaid is much what they would tend to poll at this stage before a GE.
    There is something else though that is worth looking at;
    Survation did a poll in Scotland at the Weekend and got figures of SNP 43%, Con 28%, Lab 18% Libdem 9%.

    If you look at the cross break for Scotland in the ICM poll you see these figures:-
    SNP 44%, Con 27%, Lab 16%, LibDem 10%.

    Now it’s probably coincidental but to have a sample of 150 coincide so exactly with a sample of 1000 is amazing and does raise the issue that I have raised before…do Barometer polls overstate Lab/Plaid and understate Con in Wales and, if so, is the tiny Wales sample in the ICM poll actually credible?

    A sobering thought.

    • Nigel Marriott

      JJones,

      You do have to be very careful not to read too much into a single crossbreak. The margin of error is very large so the coincidences you spotted are just that coincidence. But every now and again you get a startling result such as 70% for the Conservatives in the East Mids in a Panelbase poll today!

      I have to say the Scottish polls didn’t surprise me at all since the rolling average of the crossbreaks was pointing that way. The latest crossbreak from Panelbase shows the Tories and SNP only 2 pts apart.

      My approach is to average the crossbreaks across many polls. Since each pollster tends to have a different regional breakdown, a little statistical modelling is needed before a moving average is calculated.

      One thing I have decided to do for the election is increase from a 9-poll to a 15-poll rolling average. I will still give polls like the Barometer & the Scottish polls significantly greater weight. The reason for the increase is the volume of polls has increased considerably which makes this worthwhile.

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