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National Assembly Voting Intentions in the New Barometer Poll

16 April 2015

Most of the attention of all political observers is, of course, currently focussed on the forthcoming general election. Nonetheless, our new Welsh Political Barometer poll has also continued to ask people about how they would vote in an election to the National Assembly. What did it find?

For the constituency vote, these were the figures (with changes from the most recent previous YouGov poll in Wales indicated in brackets):


Labour: 37% (-1)

Conservatives: 23% (+2)

Plaid Cymru: 20% (+1)

UKIP: 11% (no change)

Liberal Democrats: 6% (-1)

Greens: 3% (-1)

Others: 0% (-1)


On the standard assumption of uniform national swings, this poll would project only two constituency seats to change hands from the last Assembly election in 2011: the Liberal Democrats would narrowly regain Cardiff Central from Labour, while Labour would also lose Llanelli to Plaid Cymru.

The figures for the regional list vote were as follows (with changes from the last poll again indicated):


Labour: 34% (-2)

Conservatives: 23% (+1)

Plaid Cymru: 20% (+1)

UKIP: 11% (no change)

Liberal Democrats: 6% (+1)

Greens: 5% (no change)

Others: 2% (no change)


Again assuming uniform swings from 2011 across Wales, and after taking into account the distribution of constituency seats in allocating the list seats, this gives us the following projected overall outcome:


Labour: 28 seats (26 constituency seats + 2 list seats)

Conservatives: 14 seats (6 constituency seats +8 list seats)

Plaid Cymru: 11 seats (6 constituency seats + 5 list seats)

UKIP: 5 seats (5 list seats)

Liberal Democrats: 2 seats (2 constituency seats)


The numbers in this particular poll project the Greens just losing out on a regional list seat in Mid and West Wales, in contrast to some other recent polls that have had them narrowly winning a seat there. Instead we have five parties winning seats – but with Labour remaining a long way ahead of all the other parties.

Overall, the new Barometer poll shows for the National Assembly, as it does for Westminster, mainly small changes in the support levels of each of the parties. All of the changes on the previous poll reported here are well within the standard 3% ‘margin of error’, so they could well be the result simply of the normal variation that one would expect to see between the different samples that individual polls are able to gather. Nonetheless, it is always better to see your numbers going up rather than down, and so one would expect the Conservatives and Plaid Cymru to be modestly encouraged by the numbers here. While Labour might be a little disappointed to see their support levels slip marginally, they will also be pleased to remain well ahead of all the competition. The poll adds to the body of evidence suggesting that while UKIP are not attracting quite the same level of support now that they did late last year, they are currently on course to be a significant presence in the next National Assembly. And the poll continues to provide evidence that the Liberal Democrats are not yet recovering their support base; for them to remain a substantial force within the National Assembly after May 2016, something will have to change.


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