The party's dramatic Welsh rebound continues
Just weeks after it suggested that the Conservatives in Wales would find themselves ahead of Labour on polling day next week, the latest Welsh Political Barometer out this afternoon suggests that Labour is once again retaining and consolidating a dominant position in Wales.
According to the Barometer, a collaboration between YouGov, ITV Wales and Cardiff University, Labour are now on 46 per cent of the vote, up two point since the last Barometer earlier this month.
The Conservatives are on 35 per cent (up one point) whilePlaid Cymru are on eight per cent (down one point), the Lib Dems are on five per cent (down one point) with UKIP on five per cent (no change). Other parties are on zero per cent (down three points).
Replicated universally, such a result would hand Labour in Wales 27 seats in the Commons, two more than they currently hold. Both of the seats they would take, Gower and the Vale of Clwyd, would be taken from the Conservatives. All the other parties would retain the seats they won in 2015.
In his analysis of the findings, Professor Roger Scully of the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University observes:
“They show, first of all, that the dramatic Labour revival seen in our last poll was not simply a fluke, or merely the product of a sympathy factor after the sad death of Rhodri Morgan.
“Welsh Labour, these polls are suggesting strongly, are very much back. Indeed, if the figures from this poll were to be produced on election day then we would see the Labour party gain their largest vote share in Wales at a general election since 2001. That would be an extraordinary achievement for the party.
“Labour success appears to be grounded particularly among younger voters: these have long been more inclined to support Labour than the Conservatives, but the Labour advantage among 18-24 year old voters in our latest poll is running at approximately three-to-one.”
With Welsh Labour Leader, Carwyn Jones, Jeremy Corbyn and Plaid Cymru Leader, Leanne Wood all rated more highly in Wales, according to this poll, than Theresa May, Scully notes that ‘the May versus Corbyn contrast that the Conservatives have sought to make central to the campaign could be working much less well for them now than it was doing.’
This is despite voters in Wales saying that Brexit is the most important issue for them in the election, for which the Conservatives are thought most likely to handle the best.
“This could turn out to be an historic general election in Wales, although perhaps not in the ways we were thinking when the Conservatives were storming ahead of Labour in the polls. Our new poll gives the two largest parties a combined 81 percent of the vote. The last time that Labour and the Conservatives jointly won over eighty percent of the vote in Wales was 1966.But, for the moment at least, two-party politics seems to be back. And Labour are holding their position as the leading party in Wales.”
Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor at Left Foot Forward
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