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New Barometer Poll: Westminster Vote Intention Figures

10 March 2015

The latest Welsh Political Barometer findings on how people are intending to vote in May’s general election are good news for both Labour and the Conservatives, but provide rather poorer tidings for UKIP and the Liberal Democrats.

When asked by YouGov how they would vote in a general election, our respondents gave the following responses:

Labour: 39% (+2)

Conservatives: 25% (+2)

UKIP: 14% (-2)

Plaid Cymru: 10% (no change)

Greens: 6% (-2)

Liberal Democrats: 5% (-1)

Others: 1% (no change)

If we apply uniformly across Wales the swings implied by this poll from the May 2010 general election result, we see the following outcome in terms of seats:

Labour: 28 seats (holding the 26 they won in 2010, and gaining both Cardiff Central from the Liberal Democrats and Cardiff North from the Conservatives);

Conservatives: 8 seats (losing Cardiff North to Labour, but gaining Brecon & Radnor from the Liberal Democrats);

Plaid Cymru: 3 seats (no change);

Liberal Democrats: 1 seat (losing both Cardiff Central and Brecon & Radnor, and holding on only to Ceredigion).

There are a number of significant features about these findings. A notable feature of Welsh opinion polls throughout 2013 and 2014 was the steady erosion of Labour support. This is the third poll published in Wales this year, and all three have indicated clearly that this decline in Labour support for the general election has been halted – and may even, to some extent, have been reversed. Labour are now back above the vote share which they won in Wales in May 2010.

The Conservatives will also be heartened by these findings. Their poll rating is now nearly up to the level of support they won in the 2010 election, and they currently appear on course to pretty much hold their ground in Wales at this general election. That is a much better outcome for them than looked likely some 12-18 months ago, and strikingly good for the lead party of a government that has spent five years implementing a programme of austerity.

While Plaid Cymru are holding their ground in this poll, the same cannot be said for either UKIP or the Liberal Democrats. This is the second Barometer poll in a row that shows UKIP slipping two points in their general election vote intention. Taken along with the recent very disappointing poll for the party in the Vale of Glamorgan constituency, there does seem to now be evidence that the UKIP bandwagon in Wales has, for the moment at least, gone into reverse.

While the poll shows only a very modest decline for the Liberal Democrats, well within the ‘margin of error’, to be polling at only one-quarter of their 2010 vote share, and actually to be slipping back in the wake of their recent Welsh party conference, must be disappointing for the party. Five years on from Clegg-mania, the Lib-Dems are in sixth place in Wales. Indeed, further bad news for the Liberal Democrats comes from an additional question in the poll, which asked respondents to rate on a 0-10 scale (where 0 means ‘definitely will not vote’ and 10 means ‘definitely will vote’) how likely they were to vote in the general election. Among supporters of the other main parties there were no substantial differences in the proportion saying that they would definitely vote. But supporters of the Liberal Democrats were not only rather few in number; even those few who remain appear somewhat less certain to participate in the election.

I’ll be back later with more discussion of other results from the poll, including some very interesting figures on National Assembly voting intention.

Postscript (11.35am, 10/03/15): As well as the standard Uniform National Swing projections of the figures here, I’ve also now been able to work out Ratio Swing projections.(It is such an exciting life that I lead…). These produce the following figures:

Labour: 29 seats (holding the 26 they won in 2010, and gaining Cardiff Central from the Liberal Democrats, Cardiff North from the Conservatives, and Arfon from Plaid Cymru);

Conservatives: 8 seats (losing Cardiff North to Labour, but gaining Brecon & Radnor from the Liberal Democrats);

Plaid Cymru: 3 seats (losing Arfon to Labour but gaining Ceredigion from the Liberal Democrats);

The Liberal Democrats would lose all their three current seats on this projection (Cardiff Central to Labour, Brecon & Radnor to the Conservatives, and Ceredigion to Plaid Cymru).

Please remember, though: a projection of a current poll, using whatever method, is not a prediction of what will happen in May.


  1. Cllr Gethin James

    Nearly every poll since the three anti UKIP propaganda program’s have been aired on TV have shown a decline in support for UKIP. They have obviously had an effect on swing voters who had been minded to support UKIP. The program’s were produced in such a way to scare voters back into accepting the status quo. I am amazed at the anger directed at UKIP by the mainstream parties who call UKIP members and supporters Facists and Racists. I believe that these program’s had the potential to insight violence against UKIP supporters. The mainstream parties keep telling us that we live in a democracy and that freedom of speech is a fundamental right in this country, yet thier activists and supporters are angrily protesting against UKIP, smashing windows on UKIP shops and offices and shouting Fascists and Racists while they are doing it. Something is very wrong in this country and the so called Anti Fascists are now the Fascists. It is now deemed Racist to say that unskilled migrant workers from within the EU should not be Advantaged over Skilled workers form the rest of the world.
    UKIP supporters are being portrayed as hatefull intolerant people that want to chuck out all immigrants. We just want a fair and controlled immigration system to determine who comes to Work and settle here in the UK so that Governments can plan and deliver effective healthcare and public services.

    As for our stance on European Union membership, opinion polls consistantly show that a high percentage of people from all walks of life and political persuasions would like Britain to Leave the EU, yet the propaganda is that by voting UKIP would the world come to an apocalyptic end.

    Every other political party is saying The European Union must be Reformed but all we hear back from the EU is that they want closer union and more centralised control. Voting UKIP becomes the only option and does not mean that you are Intolerant Racist or Fascists.

    • Simon

      Cllr Gethin James
      It is reasonable to assume that many people will not admit to the pollsters that they intend voting UKIP for the reasons you state.

    • russ

      The TV program succeeded … the UKIP people who permitted it should have known that …

      They lose voters convinced that racists can get high office in UKIP.

      They lose voters convinced that when racists get high office in UKIP they get thrown out.

      Lose… Lose.

      Let us hope that lessons have been learned … Not ALL publicity is necessarily good publicity.

  2. Lyn Thomas

    The fall in UKIP’s projected vote share is to be expected. With greater exposure comes the obvious cracks. As it tries to be more than a single issue party its policies and personalities come under greater scrutiny. I would reject the assertions of Cllr James that these were intended to stir up hatred of UKIP, but were designed to shine a light on some of the less savory aspects of the party. I don’t really want to get into a political slanging match but its policies do dog whistle to the racist elements of society and I think that while people like their baser prejudices reinforced its not something a serious political party should be engaging in. The closer it gets to power the more it will be subject to scrutiny. To its credit when the worse excesses of racism and homophobia have been exposed UKIP has taken disciplinary action.

    Wanting to exit the UK from the EU is a perfectly legitimate viewpoint, scapegoating people isn’t.

  3. Bill Chapman

    UKIP in Wales is going through a bad patch, although things will improve when its manifesto is published in June. Lots of questions remain to be answered. Let me ask two. Firstly, what has happened to the UKIP candidate for Monmouth who is accused of supporting and promoting the EDL? Secondly, what has happened to the UKIP candidate for Carmarthen East & Dinefwr, one Norma Woodwood who has disappeared under mysterious circumstances? There is even a suggestion that she did not exist!

    There are other UKIP scandals on the horizon, as I am sure Gethin James is aware. UKIP provides us with lots of entertainment but very little politics.

    • Roger Scully

      One would imagine its manifesto would come out before June, Bill – given that the election is in May. Still, they are a party that likes to do things differently, so who knows?!

  4. Mike Anderson

    Interesting that the so called party of Wales is fourth behind two avowedly unionist parties. So much for Liberals saying the Conservatives are not a national party!

  5. John Jones

    How is Labour and the Tories roughly where they were in 2010 “good news” for Labour?

    Labour ended up with only 258 seats across the UK in 2010. If they were on track to end up with more seats than the Tories this time around they’d certainly need to be looking at gaining a significant number of seats from the Tories in Wales as well as in England, especially given the requirement to compensate for what looks like it will be 30 or even 40 fewer Labour MPs in Scotland. Merely replicating the status quo from the 2010 defeat is effectively going backwards.

    Frankly, Cameron would snatch your hand off if you offered him the same 8 Welsh Tory MPs he has now in May while Miliband, with just three more Labour MPs from Wales, would be reaching for the handgun and the bottle of whisky.

    • Roger Scully

      Well, John, what I meant was that it was fairly good news in the context of recent polling in Wales. If you have lost fully one-third of your support over the previous two years, as Labour had, that stemming that decline, and possibly even reversing it a bit, is positive. Labour are certainly some way short of where they need to be for Wales to be contributing its share towards a Labour majority, but things have at least apparently stoppped getting worse for them in Wales.

  6. Albert

    That’s sweet, coming from a supporter of Plaid Cymru!

  7. Dave

    “This is the second Barometer poll in a row that shows UKIP slipping two points in their general election vote intention. Taken along with the recent very disappointing poll for the party in the Vale of Glamorgan constituency, there does seem to now be evidence that the UKIP bandwagon in Wales has, for the moment at least, gone into reverse.”

    It seems just as likely that the 18% UKIP share in December 2014 was a rogue high.

    • Roger Scully

      I don’t think so, Dave. A rogue is one result that is well out of line with the others. Several other polls late last year (both the published ones listed on the Wikipedia link, and an unpublished one I was shown) had UKIP at that level or very close to it. We’ve not had three polls this years that have all suggested some – albeit not huge – slippage in UKIP support in Wales for the general election.

  8. Oona Houlihan

    There seem to be two -at first glance- contradicting voter strategies in crises: a) vote for the big incumbents because (“don’t rock the boat”) these seem to safeguard a “soft landing” (whatever the crisis). Or, like in Greece right now, vote for the rogue outcast and try a radical turnabout. I think the latter happens after voters have tried the former yet seem to have gotten ever further away from what they would feel could be a solution to the perceived crisis. Having said that, and with less and less voter fidelity as opposed to the first decades after WWII, you could still have a violent shift in either direction (i.e. also towards a “rogue” party winning 70% of the popular vote unexpectedly), IF something dramatic happened between today and the day the polls open. And with the way Greece operates, this “dramatic situation” might well unfold just in time to tip the current elections!

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