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How votes would translate into seats

Expert analysis of the latest poll explains how the parties would fare in Westminster and Assembly elections on their current perfomance

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Parties react to poll

Welsh Labour has responded to the slight drop in support indicated by the latest Wales Barometer Poll. A spokesperson urged voters to view next year's Westminster election as a clear choice between two parties.

The 2015 General Election presents a clear choice for people in Wales, between a Tory-led Government giving tax breaks to millionaires, or a Labour Government committed to tackling the cost of living crisis. Welsh Labour, through schemes like Jobs Growth Wales, has made great strides in improving our economy, but we need a Labour Government in Westminster to make sure the recovery is secure and works for families across Wales.

– Welsh Labour Spokesperson

Meanwhile, Plaid Cymru welcomed the modest improvement in the party's performance suggested by the poll.

It is encouraging to see strong support for Plaid Cymru following a recent poll showing the highest level of support for Plaid Cymru since 2009. The growing disillusionment in Wales of the same old politics from the Westminster establishment parties and a growing desire for a new Welsh way, in contributing to more and more people turning to Plaid Cymru for an alternative.

– Plaid Cymru Spokesperson


Poll suggests Labour vote is slipping

by Nick Powell

The latest Wales Barometer Opinion Poll suggests that support for Labour continues to stagnate, less than a year before the Westminster election. Voting intentions for next year's General Election show a small but significant swing to the Conservatives since the last poll a month ago.

  • Labour 41% (-2%)
  • Conservatives 25% (+3%)
  • UKIP 14% (+1%)
  • Plaid Cymru 11% (no change)
  • Liberal Democrats 5% (-2%)
  • Others 5% (no change)

The shift in support is partly explained by the polling organisation YouGov revising the way it checks that it has a representative sample of Welsh opinion. However, these are minor changes and clearly haven't altered the trend seen in polls over the past few months.

This latest poll was carried out by YouGov for ITV Cymru Wales and the Welsh Governance Centre at Cardiff University. Polling was 26 June to 1 July 2014.

Labour holds Welsh summit

by Nick Powell

Labour leader Ed Miliband is bringing his entire shadow cabinet to Wales later this morning for a joint meeting with Carwyn Jones and his ministers. Wales' role in next year's Westminster election seems likely to figure large in their discussions.

Labour is anxious to stress its achievements in the one part of the United Kingdom where the party is currently in government but also needs a strategy for fending off Conservative and Liberal Democrat attacks on its record in Wales, especially in health and education.

We have plenty to talk about. The next future Labour Government in Westminster will be grappling with the unbridled chaos that has been unleashed in the NHS in England and the fragmentation of the schools system. First and foremost however, Ed Miliband will need to deal with the cost of living crisis that continues to blight the lives of millions, despite the slow and slight improvement in the UK economy.

Welcoming Ed, and his team to Wales, I look forward to discussing and showcasing some of our policies that have protected our communities from the worst excesses of the Coalition Government. We are delighted, for example, that Rachel Reeves is looking to develop a new offer for young people based on Jobs Growth Wales. Other decisions we have taken in Wales, like the Council Tax Relief scheme and our equitable Tuition Fees policy have shown that even in tough times there are alternatives to the UK Government's austerity measures.

That isn't easy, however, when our budgets have been cut so severely by the Tory-led Government in Westminster. A real terms cut over the lifetime of this Assembly means that we have £1.7 billion less to spend on frontline services. This is on top of the £300 million a year that Wales is losing through the UK's unfair funding system.

– First Minister Carwyn Jones AM

The way Wales is funded is one area where Carwyn Jones wants a commitment that a future Labour government at Westminster would offer a better deal. The last Labour Government didn't accept calls to end the system that limits Wales' share of any increase in public spending to its population share.

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


Labour's alternative future for Wales

by Adrian Masters

Labour's opposition to many of the devolution measures proposed recently has allowed its opponents to brand it as an 'anti-devolution party.' What we've seen at Welsh Labour's conference this weekend is a concerted effort to set out an alternative set of proposals that deal with that criticism.

Owen Smith's pledge on income tax is another significant part of that. But there was already controversy over the form of devolution when it was proposed by Scottish Labour. Critics say it's even more inflexible than the 'lockstep' model favoured by the UK Government.

Owen Smith said tax devolution would 'increase the accountability of the Assembly,' something he has repeatedly rejected in the past. Coupled with Ed Miliband's pledge to 'extend devolution' it's a clear attempt to wrest back control of devolution from Labour's political opponents.

Labour promises Scottish-style tax power for Wales

The Shadow Welsh Secretary has committed Labour to giving Wales the same income tax powers that the party is proposing for Scotland. Speaking at Welsh Labour's conference in Llandudno, Owen Smith said 'Labour will take devolution forward again.'

He said that, as long as the disputed funding formula was changed and if voters agree in a referendum, a Labour UK Government would 'make sure the Welsh people are offered the same deal as the Scots on tax.' That proposal would see

  • A future Welsh Government given control over 15p of every pound of income tax raised in Wales
  • The power to increase the to rate of tax from 45p to 50p
  • But Welsh ministers wouldn't be able to cut rates below UK levels

Owen Smith said the move would 'increase both the accountability of the Assembly and its borrowing capacity too.' But he also said it would prevent a 'race to the bottom' with different parts of the UK trying to 'undercut' each other

Shadow Welsh Secretary promises further devolution

The Shadow Welsh Secretary is expected to commit a future Labour UK Government to giving greater powers to the Assembly and Welsh Government. In his speech to Welsh Labour's conference in Llandudno, Owen Smith will say:

David Cameron's War on Wales confirms that the Tories have now abandoned both their ambition to win seats in Wales and their historic mission to govern for the whole of the UK. The Tories new-found belief in devolution is a sham. They are not interested in using devolution as a means to empower the Welsh people, just as a tool to sow division between Wales and the rest of the UK.

Labour remains the only true party of devolution. We see devolution as a means of strengthening the hand of the Welsh people within Wales while also strengthening our voice across the rest of Britain. For Labour, Devolution has always been about sharing power so that each constituent part of the Union comes together to make a stronger whole, not about strengthening our ability to compete against one another within that Union.

Labour will take Devolution forward in Wales, including devolution of tax varying powers, and we will increase the accountability of the Welsh Government for the money it spends. But in stark contrast to our opponents, we will do so in a way which builds great unity across Britain, and which allows Wales to reinstate fairness and social justice at the heart of our tax system.

– Owen Smith MP, Shadow Welsh Secretary
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