Labour 14 points ahead in Wales

The final Welsh poll before the election has given Welsh Labour a 14 point lead over its rivals


The final Welsh Political Barometer before the election has given Welsh Labour a 14 point lead over its rivals.

The Barometer, a regular poll conducted in collaboration between YouGov, ITV Cymru and Cardiff University puts Welsh Labour on 39 per cent of the vote, up three points on their performance in 2010.

The Conservatives are down one point to 25 per cent with Plaid Cymru on 13 per cent, up two points from 2010.

Dramatically, today’s poll puts UKIP in Wales on 12 per cent, up a substantial nine percentage points from its performance in Wales at the 2010 General Election. The Lib Dems meanwhile have slumped 12 points to find themselves on just 8 per cent of the vote whilst the Greens are up two points to 2 per cent.

According to the analysis to go with the polling, this would give Labour 28 seats, two more than they gained in 2010. Applied universally such numbers would see them take Cardiff Central from the Lib Dems and Cardiff North from the Conservatives.

The Conservatives would retain the eight seats they currently have in Wales, with the loss of Cardiff North offset by gaining Brecon and Radnor from the Lib Dems.

Disappointingly for Plaid Cymru who had hoped that the greater exposure their leader, Leanne Wood, has had in the election debates would boost their prospects, these polling numbers suggest they will merely hold steady on the three seats they won in 2010.

The Liberal Democrats meanwhile would slump to one seat, keeping hold of Ceredigion.

In his analysis of the results, Roger Scully, Professor of Political Science at the Wales Governance Centre and director of Research  (Politics) at Cardiff University notes that the poll findings “suggest that the campaign has had only a limited impact in terms of changing the mind of the Welsh voters”.

Assessing Labour’s position, he notes that they look seat to “gain fewer seats in Wales than they would need in order to be on course for a parliamentary majority in the Commons” and notes the “robust” support the Conservatives continue to enjoy in Wales.

Scully continues:

“Two parties have the polls suggest, made some progress during the campaign. One, perhaps surprisingly, is the Liberal Democrats. While their overall support remains well below half of the level they won five year ago, they are up three points on the start of the campaign. If this rise in support is concentrated in their existing seats, then the Lib-Dems may well have a chance of hanging on to all three of them.

“The one party that has made some, modest progress is Plaid Cymru. Their support has risen by three points from YouGov’s previous Welsh poll. This is the second successive poll that has placed them – narrowly – ahead of UKIP in third place, and they are up four points on their low-point in a poll early in the campaign. Nonetheless, on uniform swings Plaid would still be struggling to add to its current three seats.”

“The poll adds further evidence that UKIP’s support is now several points below its highpoint last autumn. It also suggests that the Greens have had a poor campaign. Neither party would now appear to have realistic hopes of winning a parliamentary seat in Wales in 2015.”

Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward

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