Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

As Brexit Party enters Senedd, poll projection gives it 13 seats after election

Mark Reckless began his now weekly questioning of the First Minister this afternoon. Credit: Senedd TV

The Brexit Party's position as an official group in the Assembly looks secure following yesterday's ruling by the Llywydd, recognising the four AMs now led by Mark Reckless.

One Welsh Government insider said that the ruling could not be overturned retrospectively and another senior Labour figure said attempts to block the formation of a group consisting entirely of AMs elected under UKIP colours had been "gazumped".

In his leader's questions to the First Minister, now to be a weekly event, Mark Reckless was heckled by some AMs before drawing attention to his new party's expected victory in Thursday's European election.

First Minister, you face your first electoral test on Thursday, but no-one knows where you stand on Brexit or whether people should be made to vote again. Who do you expect to receive a mandate from the people of Wales?

– Brexit Group Leader Mark Reckless AM
The First Minister responded to questions from the Brexit Party among others. Credit: PA

Mark Drakeford retorted that it was clearly "an afternoon for irony" in the Senedd, given what he called the Brexit leader's "peripatetic approach" to politics.

The Member asks me about respect and mandate. Here is somebody who I shared a platform with during the run-up to the last Assembly election when he urged the audience in front of us to support the United Kingdom Independence Party. No sooner had he arrived here under that ticket than he flew across to the other side of the Chamber to be a cuckoo in the nest of the Conservative Party. Now the bird has flown again.

– First Minister Mark Drakeford AM

On present opinion poll figures, the Brexit bird has a safe perch in the Senedd. Yesterday's ITV Wales poll showed the party doing well when people were asked how they would vote in an Assembly election, especially in the regional list seats.

  • Brexit Party 23%
  • Plaid Cymru 22%
  • Labour 21%
  • Conservatives 12%
  • Green Party 8%
  • Liberal Democrat 7%
  • Others 7%

The Brexit Party was a bit further behind in the constituency vote.

  • Labour 25%
  • Plaid Cymru 24%
  • Brexit Party 17%
  • Conservatives 17%
  • Liberal Democrats 9%
  • Green Party 5%
  • Others 3%

Analysis of the these figures by Professor Roger Awan-Scully of Cardiff University suggests the following distribution of constituencies:

  • Labour 19 seats
  • Plaid Cymru 12 seats
  • Conservatives 7 seats
  • Liberal Democrats 2 seats.

Llanelli, Blaenau Gwent, Aberconwy, Cardiff West, Caerphilly and Neath would all be Plaid Cymru gains from Labour. Labour would also lose the Vale of Glamorgan and the Vale of Clwyd to the Conservatives, and Cardiff Central to the Liberal Democrats.

The regional list seats would be distributed as follows:

  • North: 3 Brexit, 1 Green;
  • Mid & West: 2 Brexit, 1 Lab, 1 Green;
  • South Wales West: 2 Brexit, 1 Plaid, 1 Green
  • South Wales Central: 3 Brexit, 1 Green
  • South Wales East: 3 Brexit, 1 Green

So the overall result would be as follows:

  • Labour 20 seats
  • Plaid Cymru 13 seats
  • Brexit Party 13 seats
  • Conservatives 7 seats
  • Greens 5 seats
  • Liberal Democrats 2 seats

So the election would also be a breakthrough for the Green Party but it is worth noting that the row over the formation of the Brexit Party group has pushed the tricky issue of changing how the Assembly is elected higher up the agenda of some AMs.