Labour continues to dominate in Welsh polls

UKIP's support in Wales is declining as the campaign proper gets underway


Labour remains in a dominant positions in Wales ahead of May’s local elections according to new research.

According to the Pre-Election Wave of the 2016 Welsh Election Study – a major study of this year’s Assembly elections, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council of the UK and directed by Prof Roger Scully of Cardiff University – UKIP is also taking a tumble as the election campaign proper gets into gear.

Asked how they would vote in the constituency section of the vote respondents said (changes in brackets from the last Welsh Political Barometer survey in February):

Labour: 34% (no change)

Conservatives: 22% (no change)

Plaid Cymru: 21% (+2)

UKIP: 15% (-3)

Liberal Democrats: 6% (+1)

Others: 3% (+1)

According to the research, applied uniformly across Wales, this poll would see three constituency seats change hands, with Plaid Cymru taking Llanelli, the Conservatives gaining Cardiff North, and the Liberal Democrats capturing Cardiff Central. All of these gains would be at the expense of Labour.

The figures for the regional vote were (with changes from the previous Welsh poll in February again indicated):

Labour: 31% (no change)

Conservatives: 22% (no change)

Plaid Cymru: 22% (+3)

UKIP: 14% (-4)

Liberal Democrats: 5% (+1)

Greens: 4% (+1)

Others: 3% (no change)

Assuming uniform swings, and after taking into account the projected outcome of the constituency seats, this, according to the survey, projects the distribution of the regional seats as follows:

North Wales: 2 UKIP, 1 Conservative, 1 Plaid Cymru

Mid & West Wales: 2 Labour, 2 UKIP

South Wales West: 2 Plaid Cymru, 1 Conservative, 1 UKIP

South Wales Central: 2 Plaid Cymru, 1 Conservative, 1UKIP

South Wales East: 2 Plaid Cymru, 1 Conservative, 1 UKIP

Combining the two sets of figures produces the following overall projected outcome for the National Assembly:

Labour: 27 seats (25 constituency seats + 2 list seats)

Plaid Cymru: 13 seats (6 constituency seats + 7 list seats)

Conservatives: 11 seats (7 constituency seats + 4 list seats)

UKIP: 7 seats (7 list seats)

Liberal Democrats: 2 seats (2 constituency seats)

In his assessment of the results, Professor Roger Scully of Cardiff University commented:

“Labour remain some way ahead on both votes. And although this new evidence does not show Labour’s position improving at all from February, the party will surely be encouraged by the fact that our new survey shows Labour stemming the decline in their support that had been seen in both the last two Welsh polls . . . At the same time, Labour’s position in 2016 is looking significantly less robust than it was five years ago.”

On prospects for Plaid Cymru, Scully notes:

“Plaid Cymru will clearly be pleased to see their support moving upwards on both votes in this survey. It is possible that the party was helped by the fact that the first few days of sampling occurred immediately after the party’s – apparently successful – spring conference . . . Plaid will also, one imagines, be pleased to see the threat from UKIP apparently receding. But this poll still indicates that they will need a very strong Assembly campaign in order to come close to realising their electoral ambitions in May.”

On prospects for UKIP, whilst this data suggests a fall in support, Scully observes that ‘the evidence continues to suggest that UKIP is still firmly on course to win seats in May – indeed, to enter the Assembly in quite significant numbers. It would now be a major shock if they were to fail to do so’.

Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor at Left Foot Forward

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4 Responses to “Labour continues to dominate in Welsh polls”

  1. Martyn Wood-Bevan

    I ideally want Labour to win a majority, but a coalition with Plaid would be a good alternative. What UKIP are doing in Wales is almost beyond me. I can only imagine that their misreporting of what immigration does to the NHS and housing availability is affecting people who know no better. The fact that the NHS is totally dependent on immigration to function at an acceptable level (50% of Radiologists come from the EU, and sustain our Cancer Services). Further, 228,000 of our construction workers are from the EU and supplement severe shortages in UK construction industry. Lower immigration would mean a shortage of facilities not more.

  2. Julia Gibb
    Much of the above probably applies to Wales. They should vote PC because the Labour Party is just a career choice for the selfish now. The politicians don’t even respect the democratic will of the members to return to socialism.
    I wish Corbyn/mcDonald etc every success but when their own MPs are feeding the Tory press I don’t hold out much hope.


    UKIP are divided and in decline. It seems people now realise that we do not need former right wing English Tories parachuted in to run Wales. Also, there will be no need for their party to exist when people decide to remain in the EU. Wales needs a Labour overall majority. Considering that this poll suggests Labour are falling short, surely it would give the Labour campaign a huge boost to see Jeremy Corbyn, and John Mac holding public meetings all over Wales with the Welsh leadership. Their vision of a democratic society with progressive policies matches the views of welsh people. They invigorated the party with a huge increase in membership now its time to invigorate the general public with a vision for a fairer society.


    We that actually voted in our leader Jeremy Corbyn know he is a truly lovely person . Having met him , and listened to this gentle giant he shares our visions for the LABOUR PARTY WE WANT NOW. He is a grass roots leader , one that actually LISTENS TO WE THE MEMBERS AND ELECTORATE . He will ALWAYS stand shoulder to shoulder with we members . His vision of a different Labour Party , is how WE WANT IT, we know staying with the grass roots and standing up for ALL , is the way to go . NO NEED FOR TORIES AUSTERITY . They caused it , it is wrong , wrong for our Islands , our people deserve a better UK , A MORE EQUAL SOCIETY . Time to get behind Jeremy , support a winner . he won the leadership by a massive landslide, tripled the membership . and now were on a roll . come and join a winning party . We now have the LARGEST PARTY EVER . We MUST GET RID OF THIS EVIL TORY MONSTER AND HIS CABINET. He is causing to much misery and pain to every single one of us , except for the top1% of richest . We could be seeing a snap election . soon , or a general strike , WE MUST ALL DO OUR BIT TO OUST THIS EVIL GOVERNMENT OF THE RICH . COME, JOIN LABOUR PARRTY, WE CAN-WE WILL oust them .

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