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The Conservatives are on the march in Wales where Labour are "in deep trouble"

Welsh flagToday's Western Mail carries what Political Betting's Mike Smithson  reports as YouGov's first ever Wales-only Westminster voting intention poll. It saw over 1,000 Welsh voters surveyed last week.

The results are extremely encouraging to say the least, with the parties on the following standings:

Labour - 34%
Conservatives - 31%
Plaid Cymru - 15%
Lib Dems - 12%

At the European election in June the Conservatives beat Labour in the popular vote in Wales for the first time in living memory, and if the findings of this poll were replicated at the general election, it looks like being a close run thing again at the general election.

These figures would represent a Labour to Conservative swing of 9.2% across Wales as compared with the 2005 general election, when the party gained three seats - Monmouth, Preseli Pembrokeshire and Clwyd West.

On these projections, we could expect to add another nine seats to that tally - eight from Labour and one from the Lib Dems:

  • Cardiff North
  • Vale of Glamorgan
  • Aberconwy
  • Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire
  • Brecon and Radnorshire
  • Vale of Clwyd
  • Newport West
  • Gower
  • Bridgend

Based on a universal swing across Wales, this would deliver Labour just 20 seats, with the Conservatives on 12, Plaid Cymru on 5, the Lib Dems on 2, along with the one Independent in Blaenau Gwent.

The Western Mail goes on to quote two Welsh academics who underline the healthy state of the Welsh Conservative Party:

Richard Wyn Jones, Director of the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University: “This poll serves to underline that the Conservatives are continuing to make very significant progress in Wales. Having been wiped out completely in 1997, they appear on course for one of their best ever results at the next UK general election. For Labour, on the other hand, this is more dismal news from what was formerly its most staunch of heartland areas.”

Roger Scully, Director of Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Welsh Politics: “Labour is clearly in very deep trouble in Wales, as in the rest of Britain, and the party that is benefiting most from that is the Conservatives. And while Plaid Cymru can be moderately pleased by their showing, they are not making the same impact as their sister party, the SNP, is Scotland.”

Jonathan Isaby


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