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The December Barometer Poll: Voting Intentions

Our ‘Bonus Barometer’ poll was constructed mainly around the parliamentary ‘meaningful vote’ –which is now, it appears, not going to happen – and Brexit. But the poll also gives figures on voting intentions for Westminster and the Assembly.

Our new poll puts support for the main parties as follows (with changes on the previous Barometer poll, last month, in brackets):

 

Westminster Voting Intention

 

Labour: 43% (+1)
Conservatives: 31% (-2)
Plaid Cymru: 13% (+3)
Liberal Democrats: 6% (-1)
UKIP: 3% (-1)
Others: 4% (+1)

 

It is obvious that our new poll shows only fairly small changes in party support from our previous one; all of these are within the normal polling ‘margin of error’, and so perhaps nothing more than random fluctuations. Labour support has apparently stemmed the very gentle declines seen for much of the last year; Plaid seem to edge back up here after moving down by three points in the previous poll. The broad message is that all the turmoil in UK politics continues to have strikingly little impact on levels of party support.

Using the standard method for projecting electoral results from poll figures, computing uniform national swings since the last general election, the figures from our latest poll suggest that absolutely no seats would change hands between the parties at a general election! That would mean a general election having the same overall outcome in seats as that in June 2017:

 

Labour: 28 seats

Conservatives: 8 seats

Plaid Cymru: 4 seats

 

What about voting intentions for a devolved election? YouGov found the following support levels for each party on the constituency ballot in a National Assembly election (with changes since last month’s Barometer poll once again indicated in brackets):

 

National Assembly Constituency Voting Intention

 

Labour: 40% (+2)
Conservatives: 25% (-3)

Plaid Cymru: 20% (+1)
Liberal Democrats: 7% (+1)
UKIP: 5% (-1)

Others: 3% (no change)

 

As with Westminster, for the National Assembly we see limited changes since our last poll. Just as with Westminster voting intention, Labour support here has apparently edged upwards, and that for the Conservatives moved down slightly. But these changes are again within the ‘margin of error’, and may therefore be little more than statistical ‘noise’. Using uniform national swing to project changes since the 2016 Assembly election, the new poll suggests that – as with Westminster – not a single constituency seat in the Assembly would change hands.

What about the regional list vote? Our new poll generated the following results (with shifts since last month’s poll once again in brackets):

 

National Assembly Regional Voting Intention

 

Labour: 36% (-1)
Conservatives: 24% (-2)
Plaid Cymru: 20% (+2)
Liberal Democrats: 4% (-2)

UKIP: 4% (-1)

Others: 11% (+2)

 

(We might note in passing, however, that the figure for ‘others’ includes the Abolish the Assembly party being on 5%, a figure which places them above UKIP for the first time ever – albeit only by a single percentage point).

Allowing for the constituency results already projected, and once again assuming uniform national swings since 2016, our new poll projects the following overall results for the Assembly’s regional list seats:

 

North Wales: 2 Conservative, 2 Plaid
Mid & West Wales: 2 Labour, 1 Conservative, 1 Plaid
South Wales West: 2 Conservative, 2 Plaid
South Wales Central: 3 Conservative, 1 Plaid
South Wales East: 2 Conservative, 1 Plaid, 1 UKIP

 

These figures, in turn, generate the following overall result for the National Assembly:

 

Labour 29 seats (27 constituency, 2 regional)
Conservative 16 seats (6 constituency, 10 regional)

Plaid Cymru 13 seats (6 constituency, 7 regional)
UKIP 1 seat (1 regional)
Liberal Democrats 1 seat (1 constituency)

 

Coming only a short time since our last poll, it is hardly a shock that this latest one sees little change in party support levels. But little has changed in the last year. Voting intention appears to be in something close to suspended animation – waiting for something to happen with regards to Brexit.

Comments

  • Harry Hayfield

    On the surface no real change, but underneath some very interesting surprises, including swings of around 3% to Labour in a large number of seats that Plaid did well in in 2016, the Conservatives holding their own in their strongholds (and a 4% swing against Kirsty in Brecon and Radnorshire).

  • Colin Williams

    How absolutely awful world Labour have to be to lose votes? They are terrible yet they still survive. I just don’t get it. Btw I was Labour when I lived in England and would vote for them there still but they are just rubbish here.

  • Kenneth Vivian

    Who cares? Welsh voters, like their sheep, are conditioned to unquestioningly follow tradition of the father and the father before him. Leading sheep are confident that the herd look no further than a mouthful of mountain grass – so has it been for the last hundred years.

  • Leo Jones

    Answering Colin, part of the reason people keep on voting Labour whilst being unhappy with Welsh public services is that a shockingly high number of Welsh people still don’t understand how devolution works, not assisted by the way the UK media refer to England only departments of state like health and education as if they cover the whole UK or England and Wales when they do not.
    So quite a few people cast their vote in Wales for Labour as a way of saying they are unhappy with NHS Wales, Welsh schools, Welsh roads, Welsh social services, thinking that the Tories run them from London!

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