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Conservatives set to make 'significant gains' in Wales as Labour's lead is cut, poll shows

Credit: PA Images

The Conservatives are on course to make "significant gains" in the general election in Wales, an exclusive poll for ITV shows.

With just three days to go until polling, the latest Welsh barometer poll conducted by YouGov with Cardiff University shows the Tories closing the gap on Labour and winning eight seats from the party.

Labour is up 2% but the Conservatives are up 5% since the last poll two weeks ago

The poll shows both parties gaining support at the expense of the other smaller parties with the Conservatives being the main beneficiaries of that squeeze. The results put the Tories just three percentage points behind Labour in Wales.

It also shows one in ten voters in Wales are yet to make up their minds on who to support.

Labour is still ahead overall but is in danger of losing some marginal seats.

Political analyst Professor Roger Awan-Scully of Cardiff University said it would be an "an astonishing performance" by the Conservatives - and would be their highest vote share in Wales since 1900.

The poll sees the Conservatives winning more seats than Margaret Thatcher's landslide victory in 1983 Credit: PA Images

Margaret Thatcher's landslide in 1983 was the last time the Conservatives got significantly into the teens in terms of their number of seats - that was 14 then.

This would be some considerable distance and their best performance in a general election in Wales since World War Two.

If our poll is accurate, it does suggest we're going to see quite a historic election here in Wales. We're going to see the Conservative party making advances of a sort that we haven't seen for many many decades. "

– Professor Roger Awan-Scully, Cardiff University

Here's the full result, with the changes on last time in brackets:

  • Labour 40% (+2)
  • Conservatives 37% (+5)
  • Plaid Cymru 10% (-1)
  • Liberal Democrats 6% (-3)
  • Brexit Party 5% (-3)
  • Green Party 1% (no change)
  • Others 1 % (no change)

Watch as Political Editor Adrian Masters and Professor Awan-Scully analyse the results:

Prof Roger Awan-Scully of Cardiff University has made the following projection of how many Welsh seats each party would receive, using uniform national swing from the 2017 result:

  • Labour - 20 seats
  • Conservatives - 16 seats
  • Plaid Cymru - 3 seats
  • Liberal Democrats - 1 seat

According to the results, Labour lose Wrexham, Vale of Clwyd, Gower, Cardiff North, Delyn, Bridgend, Clwyd South, and Alyn & Deeside to the Conservatives, who would also win back Brecon & Radnorshire, which they lost to the Liberal Democrats in a by-election earlier this year.

Plaid Cymru would lose Ceredigion to the Liberal Democrats.

Prof Awan-Scully said this would be the "worst Labour seat total in Wales since 1983", when there were only 38 Welsh seats.

Members of the public were also asked their views on the two main party leaders - Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson.

40% of people asked said they think Boris Johnson would make a good prime minister Credit: PA Images
40%
Said they believe Boris Johnson would make a good prime minister.
33%
Said they believe Jeremy Corbyn would make a good prime minister.

"This is very unusual to see by the end of a general election campaign in Wales", Professor Awan-Scully observed.

"This place that the Labour party has won for the last 26 general elections in a row. We have an English Conservative leader as the top choice for best prime minister.

"The improvement of Jeremy Corbyn's ratings seem to have flattened out.

"Boris Johnson's poll ratings have stayed effectively stagnant, rather than going down as Theresa May's did last time, and Jeremy Corbyn improved for the first half of the election campaign and now effectively nothing - he's staying the same position."

The environment was among the top issues on people's minds this election Credit: PA Images

In terms of election issues, the public were asked their views on what they considered the most important.

Brexit is the top of the agenda, followed by health, the environment and the economy.

"While Brexit is at the top, it is actually scoring lower than it did in the 2017 campaign", Professor Awan-Scully said. "Maybe lots of people are fed up and they want it all to be over which perhaps why the slogan 'Getting Brexit Done' is very effective - and why the Conservatives may well be on course for a very good election performance."

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  • YouGov polled a representative sample of 1,020 Welsh adults 6-9 December 2019.