The 2017 General Election: some first thoughts, and a first seat projection21 April 2017
That is not a headline I had expected to put over a blog post. Although I had been saying for months that I thought there was a compelling political logic to Theresa May calling an early election, until Tuesday morning it appeared as if she would not do so. Hence, I had booked this week as annual leave. With predictive skills like that, I am sure you will all look forwards eagerly to my thoughts on the election itself.
Some of my first thoughts on the election were published by the New Statesman here. To give you just a taster, the first paragraph says: “For almost a century, general elections in Wales have been about Labour victories. Labour got the most votes in Wales for the first time in the 1922 general election, and it has done so at every general election since then. But this could just be the election where that formidable run comes to an end. Yes, things really are that bad for Labour.”
In case anyone is thinking that I am being over-dramatic there, let us do the following simple analysis. If we take the swing since the last general election implied by the first two major GB-wide polls of the campaign (conducted by ICM and YouGov), and simply project those swings across Wales, then the Conservatives would capture all of the following seats from Labour:
Alyn & Deeside
Cardiff South & Penarth
Labour would also lose Ynys Mon to Plaid Cymru.
That is NOT a prediction of what WILL happen. But that is where the number are right now.
Meanwhile, the first Welsh poll of the campaign, the latest Welsh Political Barometer poll, is due to be published on Monday. I have just seen the results – and they are dramatic indeed. They will be worth the wait, I can promise you.
Non-partisan thoughts on elections, voting and political representation from Roger Awan-Scully of Cardiff University.