Two parties could win seats for the first time ever
A bombshell new poll has suggested there could be major changes in representation in the Senedd (the Welsh Parliament). If the poll were repeated at the next Senedd election – currently scheduled for 2026 – it would see the Green Party and Reform UK win their first ever seats in the devolved body.
The Senedd is currently elected by a mixture of first past the post and proportional representation. At present, voters get two ballot papers – one to elect a constituency representative, and the other to elect regional Senedd members via PR.
Polling firm Redfield and Wilton asked voters in Wales how they would vote on both ballots. On the constituency vote, Labour are way ahead on 40 per cent, the Tories in second on 23 per cent, Plaid Cymru third on 18 per cent, with Reform UK and the Lib Dems trailing behind on 7 and 3 per cent respectively.
However, it’s on the regional vote that things get interesting. Labour still come out on top with 32 per cent, then the Tories on 21 per cent and Plaid Cymru on 18 per cent.
The Green Party – which has never before won seats in the Senedd – is in fourth place on the regional vote, with 9 per cent of voters saying they’ll go Green. Reform are on 7 per cent and the Lib Dems on 6 per cent.
According to polling aggregator Stats for Lefties, this would produce a major shakeup in the Senedd. Labour would be the largest party with 30 seats, the Tories second with 12, and Plaid Cymru third with 9. In what would be a stunning result, Stats for Lefties is projecting the Greens to win 5 seats on these figures, with Reform UK picking up 3 and the Lib Dems 1.
Gains for the Greens and Reform would be at the hands of the Tories and Plaid Cymru, both of whom would be projected to lose seats.
Polling numbers like this bode well for both the Greens and Reform, as there are currently proposals to make the Senedd larger and be elected wholly through proportional representation. If the election were to be held in that form, it would be far easier for smaller parties to win seats.
Chris Jarvis is head of strategy and development at Left Foot Forward
Image credit: Welsh Parliament – Creative Commons