Poll points to Brexit election

The priority voters are giving to Brexit as an election issue appears to be driving the growth in Conservative support Credit: ITV News Cymru Wales
  • By Nick Powell

Beyond the our opinion poll's headline finding that the Conservatives remain ahead in Wales, challenging Labour's near-century long dominance of Welsh politics, there are clues to why such a seismic shift could be underway.

People were asked to name the three most important issues in this election -and Brexit easily came top, ahead of more traditional concerns about the NHS, immigration and the economy. And the Conservatives have a commanding lead on the question which party can best handle Britain's exit from the European Union.

At Welsh Labour's campaign launch this morning, First Minister Carwyn Jones addressed Labour's need to get across a clear message on Brexit -and to get voters thinking about other issues. He said this election must be about what he called "seven years of Tory failure".

The Tories, we know are desperate to make this an election about anything else – about Brexit for example. Which is deeply ironic given the absolute disaster they’ve made of that so far. It is another reason we need Welsh Labour MPs in Westminster, to make Brexit work for Wales – we know the Tories won’t do that. But, this is not the Brexit election. That was the referendum last year. A result I respect.

First Minister and Welsh Labour Leader Carwyn Jones AM

Clearly that's an argument that many voters aren't buying at the moment but our poll did have some crumbs of comfort for Carwyn Jones. He has just nudged ahead of Theresa May as the political leader most liked by Welsh voters. The ratings are out of 10 but even getting close to 5 out of 10 is a significant achievement for a politician.

Carwyn Jones, Theresa May and Leanne Wood lead the pack, well ahead of Jeremy Corbyn and other leaders. Credit: ITV News Cymru Wales

Our poll also suggests that Labour would find itself in a rather better position if this was an Assembly election, although one more its the Conservatives who are looking at a record level of support.

The poll underlines that people would vote differently in an Assembly elections. Credit: ITV News Cymru Wales

Voters seem to be increasingly willing to switch their votes depending on the level of government being chosen. Our last poll suggested that Labour was still ahead when it came to electing local councillors, as indeed was the case in last Thursday's council elections in Wales.

  • The poll, for ITV-Cymru Wales and Cardiff University’sWales Governance Centre, had a sample of 1018 Welsh adults and was carried out by YouGov from 5-7 May 2017