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  1. Prof Roger Scully

What the latest Welsh poll means for each party

Credit: YouGov/ITV/Cardiff University Jan 19-21, Sample: 1,036

Party politics in the UK currently seems more uncertain and turbulent than for a longtime –maybe more than it has ever been. We’ve seen big recent movements in the support levels of several parties, including the rise in Wales of UKIP and now a notable increase for the Greens. Yet, at the moment, a direct projection of poll findings produces only very small changes in terms of who wins which seats.We could be on course for an election in which lots of things change, but the basic fundamentals of which parties represent us in parliament are hardly disturbed.

Overall, what does this poll tell us about the prospects for each party, as we enter the final hundred days of campaigning?

For Labour, this poll is at least modestly encouraging. A persistent feature of the opinion polls in Wales during 2014 was the decline of Labour support: they finished the year well below the point that they started it. Our new poll seems to suggest that Labour have stopped, and may even have begun to reverse, this erosion in their support. This poll doesn’t put Labour on course to gain as many seats as they would need to help secure a parliamentary majority for Ed Miliband. But it does place them slightly ahead of where they were in 2010, and indicates that Labour are currently on track to make at least some ground in May.

The Conservatives have surprised many observers with the robustness of their support levels since 2010, holding steady at a level only slightly below the vote share they won in the last general election. Here is yet another poll that supports this pattern. Although the poll projects the Tories to lose the ultra-marginal Cardiff North, on these figures they ought to retain all their other Welsh seats. And it puts them in with a very good chance of taking Brecon & Radnor from the Liberal Democrats.

For theTories’ coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats this is yet another in a long series of disappointing polls. They have at least managed a very small up-tick in their support levels. But this poll still indicates that they have lost more than two-thirds of the support that they gained in Wales in 2010, and with the rise of the Greens they are now in sixth place! There seems to be no substantial improvement in their position in sight. The best the party can do for now, it seems, is to try to hang on to the three seats they currently hold. But even that will now be very difficult.

For Plaid Cymru this poll will be at least a little disappointing, putting them as it does a little below their vote share in 2010. One piece of slightly better news for them comes from a question where YouGov asked respondents how certain they were to vote in the election: Plaid supporters were the most likely to indicate that they were absolutely certain to vote. This poll suggests that Plaid may well be able to hold their existing seats. But they are nowhere near threatening the sort of breakthrough that their sister-party is doing in Scotland.

For UKIP, this poll may also be mildly disappointing. Perhaps the big story in Welsh politics in 2014 was the UKIP breakthrough. Our latest poll indicates, as have many of the recent Britain-wide ones, that UKIP’s forward momentum may well have been checked, at least for the moment. Nonetheless, UKIP have not yet gone into a clear reverse.They are currently on course to get lots of votes in Wales in May. But the party still remain up against it to convert this significant public support into a win in any specific constituency.

Finally, what about the Greens? This poll shows them making significant ground in Wales, relegating the Liberal Democrats to sixth place (as they did in last May’s European elections). As with UKIP, however, it is currently very difficult to see the Greens converting such support into actually winning a seat anywhere. But the more proportional voting system used for devolved elections makes a Green presence in the National Assembly after 2016 look increasingly likely.

More detailed analysis of this new poll will be provided in several posts over the next couple of weeks on my blog, Elections in Wales (http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/electionsinwales/).

The WelshPolitical Barometer is an unique polling collaboration between ITV Cymru Wales,the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University, and the leading polling agency YouGov.

Professor Roger Scully is Professor of Political Science in the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University. The poll for ITV and the Wales Governance Centre had as ample of 1,036 Welsh adults and was carried out by YouGov on 19-21 January 2015.

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Labour support up slightly, Greens now in fifth place

Credit: YouGov/ITV/Cardiff University Jan 19-21, Sample: 1,036

The latest Wales Barmometer Poll, for tonight's Sharp End, shows Labour up 1% on the last poll in December and no change for the Conservatives. UKIP are down 2% and Plaid Cymru have slipped 1%. The Lib Dems are 1% up but have been pushed into sixth place by the Greens, who are up 3%.

More on this poll on tonight's Sharp End. And more detailed findings on line later tonight and in the morning.

  1. Nick Powell

Poll shows concerns about Welsh NHS

Just over half the people questioned in an ITV Cymru Wales poll are confident that the Welsh NHS will give them a high standard of healthcare when they need it. The gap between those who are confident and those who are not is now just 10%

Credit: YouGov/ITV/Cardiff University Jan 19-21, Sample: 1,036

The poll result suggests that a year of bad headlines has shaken confidence in the service. A similar poll in October 2013 found 72% confidence in the Welsh NHS. Satisfaction with the treatment people have actually received remains high, at 72%, though that's down from 82% in the previous poll.

Credit: YouGov/ITV/Cardiff University Jan 19-21, Sample: 1,036

The Welsh Health Minister has welcomed the overall result as a sign of continuing support for the NHS and the way that it's run in Wales.

This poll shows once again how people across Wales value and respect the approach we have taken in respect of the NHS, which does a remarkable job in providing excellent standards of care, free at the point of need for all people in Wales. Research continually shows people across Wales have confidence in their NHS.

– Health Minister Mark Drakeford AM

The latest poll was also conducted in England, where there were higher levels of confidence in the NHS and satisfaction with the treatment that people had received.

Credit: YouGov/ITV/Cardiff University Jan 19-20, Sample: 1,344
Credit: YouGov/ITV/Cardiff University Jan 19-20, Sample: 1,344

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Take heart from poll -and take fight to UKIP, First Minister tells Labour

First Minister Carwyn Jones has been talking about the latest Welsh Political Barometer poll, which shows Labour support for next year's Westminster election down to 36%. Two years ago, the party enjoyed 54% support in Wales.

UKIP is the only party showing a gain in support Credit: ITV Wales News

What I take heart from is the fact that despite being in government for 17 years, despite what we've seen happening unfortunately to our colleagues in Scotland, we remain by far the most popular choice for the people of Wales.

– First Minister Carwyn Jones AM

Carwyn Jones also said that Labour was ready to take the fight to UKIP, which appears to be on course to become a significant force in the Senedd, according to expert analysis of how people said they would vote in an Assembly election.

Labour still hold the majority with 28 seats Credit: ITV Wales News

We are very keen to combat them by emphasising that UKIP is -when they decide what they stand for- very much a party of the right.

– First Minister Carwyn Jones AM

Wales values us, says Labour

Welsh Labour have welcomed today's opinion poll that puts them on course for two seats in the European Parliament, with support well ahead of the second placed party, UKIP.

The poll also suggests that if voters were choosing a new Assembly, Labour would slip from 30 seats to 29 in the Senedd, leaving the party outnumbered by the combined opposition.

Today’s poll shows clearly that the people of Wales value the hard work of Welsh Labour standing up against the Tories and Lib Dems in Westminster, and delivering for Wales in the Senedd. It’s evident that the Tory war on Wales has backfired and failed to give them the boost of support they were hoping for. Only a vote for Labour in May’s European election will send a message to David Cameron.

For Leanne Wood and Plaid Cymru this poll is not just bad - it’s embarrassing. The so-called party of Wales have stagnated under her leadership. If this poll is accurate only around one in ten people will vote for her party this year and next.

– Welsh Labour
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