Is Wales seeing a ‘Corbyn bounce’?

New polling suggests support for the party is up in Wales


As the Labour faithful continue to meet in Brighton for the annual conference, they might be somewhat cheered by news coming from Wales suggesting a potential ‘Corbyn-bounce.’

According to the new Welsh Political Barometer – a collaboration between ITV Wales, YouGov and the Welsh Governance Centre -when Welsh voters were asked how they would vote in a General Election, 42 per cent said Labour.

This is up five percentage points since the last Barometer in June and significantly above the 36.9 per cent share of the vote the party secured in Wales in May

The Conservatives now stand on 26 per cent (down 2 points); UKIP are on 16 per cent (up 1 point); Plaid Cymru are down 2 points to 10 per cent and the Lib Dems are on 5 per cent (up 1 point). Other parties stand on 2 per cent, down 2 points since May.

Replicated across Wales at a Genera Election, such results would see Labour take Cardiff North, Gower and the Vale of Clwyd from the Conservatives.

More significantly, with elections to the Welsh Assembly due in May, 39 per cent said they would vote Labour in the constituency section of the ballot, up 4 points since June. The Conservatives remain unchanged on 23 per cent and Plaid Cymru are down 2 points to 18 per cent.

UKIP are on 13 per cent (down 1 point), the Lib Dems are up 1 point to 16 per cent and other parties are on 2 per cent of the vote (down 1 point).

Asked how they would vote in the regional list section of the vote, 34 per cent of those who responded said Labour (up 2 points); 24 per cent said Conservatives (up 2 points) and 18 per cent said Plaid Cymru (down 2 points).

UKIP are unchanged on 14 per cent with the Liberal Democrats and Greens also unchanged on 5 per cent and 4 per cent respectively. Other parties are on 2 per cent (down 1 point since June).

According to Roger Scully of Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre, replicated across Wales, such polling would see the Assembly looking as follows:

Labour: 29 seats (27 constituency seats + 2 list seats)

Conservatives: 12 seats (6 constituency seats + 6 list seats)

Plaid Cymru: 10 seats (6 constituency seats + 4 list seats)

UKIP: 8 seats (8 list seats)

Liberal Democrats: 1 seats (1 constituency seat)

In his assessment of Labour’s position, Scully observes:

“The details of the poll point to Labour doing particularly well amongst some of those who voted for Plaid Cymru and the Lib Dems in May’s general election: nearly a quarter of those in our sample who voted for Plaid Cymru, and almost a third of Lib-Dem voters, now say they would vote Labour in a general election.”

He goes on to warn, however:

“At the same time, we must remember that it is only one poll; and also that if there has been a ‘Corbyn bounce’ for Labour, the party will need to sustain that all the way to the Assembly election next year for it to produce tangible results.”

In assessing the fortunes of the other parties, he continues:

“For the Conservatives, this poll will also surely be encouraging. Although their support for Westminster has slipped slightly since our poll in May, for the Assembly their numbers remain impressively robust.

“This poll has them in a very clear second place on both ballots for the devolved election, a position on which they can look to build during the campaign. In contrast, for Plaid Cymru this poll must be a disappointment, with their vote slipping by two points across the board.

“That may simply be random sampling variation from one poll to the next, but this poll suggests that far from challenging the Tories for second place in the Assembly election, UKIP may even put them in danger of coming fourth in the popular vote.

“For UKIP, this poll is yet further evidence that their strong election performance in May was no one-off, and that next year’s devolved election is replete with potential for the party.

“For the Liberal Democrats, about the best thing you can say is that this poll suggests that things may have stopped getting worse.”

Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter

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