Welsh Political Barometer: Labour leads in latest poll

The latest Welsh Barometer Poll predicts another lead for Welsh Labour.
The Senedd and Pierhead Buildings. Source: Rtadams (via. Wikimedia Commons).
By Morgan Perry | Political Editor

Welsh Labour continue to lead in the latest Welsh Political Barometer poll, which was released on Monday evening.

The poll, conducted in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic by YouGov for ITV Cymru Wales and Cardiff University, gives us a fresh look at the state of play before the Welsh Parliamentary elections in May 2021.

The Welsh Conservatives lost a 3% vote share across the constituency and regional list results, compared to the last poll. Meanwhile, Labour has gained a predicted 1% overall, with 33% of the regional list votes and 34% at a constituency level. 

This gives Welsh Labour a projected 25 seats in the Senedd, with the Welsh Conservatives winning 19 seats overall. 

The latest results, therefore, predict a return of just four parties to the Senedd next spring, with no seats for the Brexit Party, UKIP, Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party or Neil McEvoy’s Welsh National Party.

Despite this, no party has overall control – as was seen in the last poll in June – meaning a coalition government is ever-more likely. 

The predicted make-up of the Senedd is as follows:

The results of the latest Welsh Barometer poll.

🟢 Plaid Cymru: 15 (+5)
🔴 Welsh Labour: 25 (-4)
🟡 Welsh Liberal Democrats: 1 (=)
🔵 Welsh Conservative Party: 19 (+8) 

Source: YouGov for ITV Cymru Wales/Cardiff University. Changes with current Senedd make-up.

Constituency voting intention

LAB: 34% (=)
CON: 29% (-2)
PC: 24% (+2)
BRX: 4% (+1)
LD: 3% (-2)
GRN: 3% (=)
Others: 3% (=)

Source: YouGov for ITV Cymru Wales/Cardiff University. Changes with 29 May – 1 Jun.

Regional voting intention

LAB: 33% (+1)
CON: 27% (-1)
PC: 23% (-1)
Abolish: 4% (=)
BRX: 4% (+1)
GRN: 4% (+1)
LD: 3% (-2)
Others: 2% (+1)

Source: YouGov for ITV Cymru Wales/Cardiff University. Changes with 29 May – 1 Jun.

And then there were four

Although the Conservative Party is currently the largest party at Westminster, they’ve never had the chance to lead in the Senedd. The party is projected to win 19 seats, 12 off a ruling majority but an increase of eight seats. 

The largest projected increase in vote share comes for the Brexit Party, who are predicted to gain 2% of the vote at both a regional and constituency level. Despite the projected gains, however, the latest Welsh Political Barometer gives them no seats in the Senedd, meaning their single MS, Mark Reckless, would not be re-elected. 

The Liberal Democrats appear set to lose 4% of their overall vote share, with 2% lost from both the regional and constituency list, giving them the greatest loss in vote share in this poll. The party maintains its one constituency list seat, however, meaning Kirsty Williams, incumbent education minister, would likely return to the Senedd. 

Recent polling has shown support for Welsh independence to be at an all time high. This translates to a mere 1% increase in vote share for Plaid Cymru, as well as losing votes at a regional level, though the latest Welsh Political Barometer poll predicts 15 seats for the party, an increase of 5. This means they could be set to return to coalition with either Welsh Labour or the Welsh Conservative Party, were they to perform this well in May.

T-minus seven months

There are still several months before the Welsh Parliamentary elections, but this poll gives us the most up-to-date look at how the Senedd could look this time next year.

The Welsh Conservatives have recently changed their approach, promising wide-spread electoral reform in Wales and a “dose of Dom”, referring to Dominic Cummings’ desire to reform the civil service. The latest polling, however, suggests that this messaging may not be resonating with voters.  

Limited change in the vote share for Welsh Labour also suggests that voters may – at least – be content with the party’s handling of the Coronavirus pandemic in Wales. With the current projections, however, Welsh Labour are not in a position to continue their leading coalition with the Welsh Liberal Democrats. 

Plaid Cymru last entered coalition with Welsh Labour in 2007, when they also won 15 seats, lending support to Rhodri Morgan, Welsh Labour leader at the time. Senior Conservatives have previously stated that they may look to work with Plaid in the event that they are unable to form a government on their own, though Plaid Cymru later rebutted these suggestions.

The latest Welsh Political Barometer poll, therefore, shows that the election is still all to play for come May.

Follow @gairrhyddpol for all of the latest updates from the world of politics.

Politics Morgan Perry

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