The December Barometer Poll: Voting Intentions11 December 2018
Our ‘Bonus Barometer’ poll was constructed mainly around the parliamentary ‘meaningful vote’ –which is now, it appears, not going to happen – and Brexit. But the poll also gives figures on voting intentions for Westminster and the Assembly.
Our new poll puts support for the main parties as follows (with changes on the previous Barometer poll, last month, in brackets):
Westminster Voting Intention
Labour: 43% (+1)
Conservatives: 31% (-2)
Plaid Cymru: 13% (+3)
Liberal Democrats: 6% (-1)
UKIP: 3% (-1)
Others: 4% (+1)
It is obvious that our new poll shows only fairly small changes in party support from our previous one; all of these are within the normal polling ‘margin of error’, and so perhaps nothing more than random fluctuations. Labour support has apparently stemmed the very gentle declines seen for much of the last year; Plaid seem to edge back up here after moving down by three points in the previous poll. The broad message is that all the turmoil in UK politics continues to have strikingly little impact on levels of party support.
Using the standard method for projecting electoral results from poll figures, computing uniform national swings since the last general election, the figures from our latest poll suggest that absolutely no seats would change hands between the parties at a general election! That would mean a general election having the same overall outcome in seats as that in June 2017:
Labour: 28 seats
Conservatives: 8 seats
Plaid Cymru: 4 seats
What about voting intentions for a devolved election? YouGov found the following support levels for each party on the constituency ballot in a National Assembly election (with changes since last month’s Barometer poll once again indicated in brackets):
National Assembly Constituency Voting Intention
Labour: 40% (+2)
Conservatives: 25% (-3)
Plaid Cymru: 20% (+1)
Liberal Democrats: 7% (+1)
UKIP: 5% (-1)
Others: 3% (no change)
As with Westminster, for the National Assembly we see limited changes since our last poll. Just as with Westminster voting intention, Labour support here has apparently edged upwards, and that for the Conservatives moved down slightly. But these changes are again within the ‘margin of error’, and may therefore be little more than statistical ‘noise’. Using uniform national swing to project changes since the 2016 Assembly election, the new poll suggests that – as with Westminster – not a single constituency seat in the Assembly would change hands.
What about the regional list vote? Our new poll generated the following results (with shifts since last month’s poll once again in brackets):
National Assembly Regional Voting Intention
Labour: 36% (-1)
Conservatives: 24% (-2)
Plaid Cymru: 20% (+2)
Liberal Democrats: 4% (-2)
UKIP: 4% (-1)
Others: 11% (+2)
(We might note in passing, however, that the figure for ‘others’ includes the Abolish the Assembly party being on 5%, a figure which places them above UKIP for the first time ever – albeit only by a single percentage point).
Allowing for the constituency results already projected, and once again assuming uniform national swings since 2016, our new poll projects the following overall results for the Assembly’s regional list seats:
North Wales: 2 Conservative, 2 Plaid
Mid & West Wales: 2 Labour, 1 Conservative, 1 Plaid
South Wales West: 2 Conservative, 2 Plaid
South Wales Central: 3 Conservative, 1 Plaid
South Wales East: 2 Conservative, 1 Plaid, 1 UKIP
These figures, in turn, generate the following overall result for the National Assembly:
Labour 29 seats (27 constituency, 2 regional)
Conservative 16 seats (6 constituency, 10 regional)
Plaid Cymru 13 seats (6 constituency, 7 regional)
UKIP 1 seat (1 regional)
Liberal Democrats 1 seat (1 constituency)
Coming only a short time since our last poll, it is hardly a shock that this latest one sees little change in party support levels. But little has changed in the last year. Voting intention appears to be in something close to suspended animation – waiting for something to happen with regards to Brexit.
Non-partisan thoughts on elections, voting and political representation from Roger Awan-Scully of Cardiff University.