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How Did They Do? How Did We Do?

27 May 2019

The European election result is now confirmed – and we can compare the fates of the respective parties not only with how they did in the equivalent contest five years ago, but also with our final Welsh Political Barometer poll, which was published on the Monday before polling day.

So how did the parties do? And how also did our final poll do in relation to the actual result? The table below provides the total number of votes cast across Wales for each party, their share of the vote, the change in this share since 2014, and the difference between the vote share won by each party and what was suggested by the final Barometer poll.

PartyVotes % Vote (Change from 2014)% Difference from Barometer Poll
Brexit Party271,40432.5 (+32.5)3.5
Plaid Cymru163,92819.6 (+4.3)0.6
Labour127,83315.3 (-12.9)0.3
Liberal Democrats113,88513.6 (+9.6)3.6
Conservatives54,5876.5 (-10.9)0.5
Greens52,6606.3 (+1.8)1.7
UKIP27,5663.3 (-24.3)1.3
Change UK24,3322.9 (+2.9)0.9

There will be time enough for detailed analysis of the performance of the various parties over the following days and weeks. Regarding our poll, I think – and particularly considering that sampling concluded on the Monday before the election, rather than going as close to polling days as possible – that the Welsh Political Barometer performed rather well. For only two parties was their estimated support different from their final vote share by more than the standard ‘margin of error’ of three percentage points: our final poll over-stated Brexit Party support, and under-stated that for the Liberal Democrats, by almost exactly the same amounts. But we got the position of the four leading parties correct, and were also right in suggesting that it would be very close between the Conservatives and the Greens for fifth place in Wales.

The mean average error in estimates of party vote shares was only 1.55 percentage points. That, by anyone’s standards, is a very good performance. Well done to our colleagues at YouGov, who conduct the polls – and, indeed, to everyone at team Welsh Political Barometer.


  1. Jac Pro-biotic

    Good work – but why do you put the Brexit Party at +32.5% when this is basically the UKIP vote from last time + a little? Last time around, Farage was leader of that party; now he has his own vehicle (actually a company rather than a party, but we’ll let that pass for the moment). The most accurate measure is to compare UKIP last time with Brexit + UKIP this time – which (though still significant) is not as dramatic a rise as +32.5%

  2. Jonathon Andrew Harrington

    It matters not other than to note that a great many people appear to have become frustrated that the democratic mandate given to parliament to end our membership of the EU has been torpedoed by various members of most parties. Particularly disappointing is the way in which those MPs who promised to abide by the referendum result have done exactly the opposite. Deselection of those who have done so should follow.

  3. J. Jones

    Hard to believe that Labour could be so incompetent as to fail to put out a clear message before the EU elections but I would also say that Drakeford is not going to inspire the party in Wales or its voters although some probably thrilled to such manifesto promises as:-

    “‘Raise the social ask’ of big businesses
    operating in the foundational economy,
    through the new Economic Contract”

    or perhaps the pledge to look at the planning requirement for garden sheds…

  4. John R Walker

    Just think we could have saved about £100 million by letting YouGov divide up the pointless MEP seats – wouldn’t have made much difference in the end and it would have been a lot less boring.

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