The latest YouGov poll for ITV Wales shows Labour maintaining the strong showing that secured exactly half of the 60 seats in the Senedd at last year's Assembly election. The figures for how people say they would cast their constituency votes are as follows, with the change on last year's actual results in brackets.
- Labour 50% (up 8%)
- Conservatives 19% (down 6%)
- Plaid Cymru 17% (down 2%)
- Liberal Democrats 7% (down 4%)
- Others 8% (up 5%)
More striking are the figures for how people say they would cast their regional list votes.
- Labour 35% (down 2%)
- Plaid Cymru 20% (up 2%)
- UKIP 12% (up 7%)
- Conservatives 11% (down 12%)
- Liberal Democrats 8% (no change)
- Greens 7% (up 4%)
- Others 6% (no change)
Such a voting pattern would lead to a radically different Assembly. Expert analysis by Dr Denis Balsom, the editor of The Wales Yearbook suggests that Labour would have an overall majority for the first time. Plaid Cymru would regain the status of the official opposition and the Conservatives would find themselves level-pegging with UKIP, which would have AMs for the first time. Dr Balsom's seat projection is as follows:
- Labour 33 (up 3)
- Plaid Cymru 13 (up 2)
- UKIP 5 (up 5)
- Conservatives 5 (down 9)
- Liberal Democrats 4 (down 1)
Success for UKIP, the United Kingdom Independence Party, has so far been almost entirely confined to European Parliament elections. Of course it believes that Britain should not have any members of the European Parliament, as the party wants the UK to leave the European Union. It also wants the abolition of the National Assembly for Wales.
The next Assembly election will be in 2016 and much could change between now and then. Not least to the way the Assembly is elected. The Welsh Secretary's preferred option of fewer constituencies and more list members would deny Labour a majority in an election where its list vote was lagging so far behind its constituency support.
The next all Wales election will be for the European Parliament in 2014 and the poll result suggests the UKIP can hope to hold the seat it unexpectedly gained last time. It also shows that the Conservatives are right to fear the electoral damage they would suffer if UKIP gains ground. The poll also asked how Welsh people would vote in a Westminster election.
- Labour 54% (up 18%)
- Conservatives 23% (down 3%)
- Plaid Cymru 10% (down 1%)
- Liberal Democrats 4% (down 16%)
- Others 9% (up 3%)
Compared with previous polls, these figures suggest some further strengthening of Labour support and further weakening of the Liberal Democrats' position. The poll of 1,000 people was carried out by YouGov for ITV Wales on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th July, 2012.