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One Last Welsh Poll…

11 December 2019

YouGov released results from their final ‘MRP’ poll last night. This is, to put it very simply, a Britain-wide poll with a very large sample (of approximately 100,000 voters), which attempts to use sophisticated statistical techniques to estimate the types of voters, and types of places, that are leaning in different directions; and then uses this information to project constituency-level estimates for every one of the seats.

The headline vote intention numbers from the YouGov MRP poll for Wales are as follows:

Labour 43%

Conservative 34%

Plaid Cymru 10%

Brexit Party 6%

Liberal Democrats 5%

Others 2%

This is clearly a little different from the figures given by the final Welsh Political Barometer poll, published on Monday. While there is not much difference for the smaller parties, Labour are three points higher than in our last Barometer poll, and the Conservatives three points lower. There are likely two reasons for this. The first is simply sampling error – the standard ‘margin of error’ that all polling carries. The second factor is that, as YouGov communicated to me last night, “we have picked up a small rise in the Labour share and fall in the Conservatives share GB-wide over the last two days that would have been missed in most of the fieldwork for the Welsh Barometer.”

What does this mean for seat estimates? The detailed YouGov MRP estimates for all the forty seats in Wales are available here :

But while the constituency-level estimates are fascinating, the final seat outcomes are very similar to what you would get from a uniform national swing projection. The YouGov MRP model generates the following seat totals:

Labour 26

Conservative 10

Plaid Cymru 4

The seats changing hands would be the Conservatives winning Wrexham and the Vale of Clwyd from Labour, and regaining Brecon and Radnor after its loss in the August by-election to the Liberal Democrats.

A uniform national swing model, meanwhile, projects only two different seat outcomes: Vale of Clwyd narrowly stays with Labour, rather than going to the Conservatives; and Ceredigion is very narrowly won by the Liberal Democrats; thus giving the overall following projected outcome.

Labour 27

Conservatives 9

Plaid Cymru 3

Liberal Democrats 1

The key message from all of this data, though, is that there are many seats very much up for grabs. In YouGov’s MRP model, the following Welsh seats are all won by margins of four percentage points or less: Aberconwy, Alyn and Deeside, Bridgend, Clwyd South, Delyn, Vale of Clwyd, Vale of Glamorgan, Wrexham.

This election isn’t done just yet.


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