Labour Senedd seats at risk as poll suggests three-party battle next May

300720 Front of Senedd New Credit: Senedd Commission
Credit: Senedd Commission

The exclusive Welsh Barometer poll for ITV Cymru Wales suggests that at least two parties will be needed to achieve a stable government in Cardiff Bay after next May's Senedd election.

How people say they will vote is largely split between Labour, the Conservatives and Plaid Cymru, with the Brexit Party and Liberal Democrats facing electoral disaster.

Here are the figures for the constituency ballot (with changes in support since June indicated in brackets): 

Labour: 34% (no change)

Conservative: 29% (-2)Plaid Cymru: 24% (+2)

Brexit Party: 4% (+1)

Green Party: 3% (no change)

Lib Dem: 3% (-2)

Others: 3% (no change)

Voters are largely divided between three main parties, likely to divide all but one of the Senedd seats between them. Credit: ITV Wales

All the changes are well within the polling ‘margin of error’. With the Conservatives just slightly down, there is a modest consolidation of the Labour lead.

Polling expert Professor Roger Awan-Scully of Cardiff University describes the figures as "a robust rating for Plaid Cymru; and historically bad numbers for the Welsh Liberal Democrats".

"Despite the poll indicating Welsh Labour support being almost at the level it was in the 2016 Senedd election, a uniform swing projection of changes since then indicate Labour to currently be on course to lose seven constituency seats that they narrowly held last time", he said.

The Conservatives are projected to gain the Vale of Glamorgan, Vale of Clwyd, Gower and Wrexham; at the same time, Plaid Cymru are projected to capture Llanelli, Blaenau Gwent and Cardiff West.

However, Professor Awan-Scully cautions that local factors since 2016 may make both of those latter two gains for Plaid much less likely than the mere arithmetic suggests.

The 6% for "others" includes 4% for the Abolish the Assembly Party. The Liberal Democrats are in seventh place on the regional list vote.

For the regional list vote, the new Barometer poll produced the following results (with changes since the June Barometer poll once again indicated in brackets):

Labour: 33% (+1)

Conservative: 27% (-1)

Plaid Cymru: 23% (-1)

Abolish the Assembly: 4% (no change)

Brexit Party: 4% (+1)

Green Party: 4% (+1)

Lib Dem: 3% (-2)

Others: 2% (+1)

Once again Labour’s lead over the Conservatives has apparently extended slightly, with Plaid Cymru in a strong third place. But Professor Awan-Scully describes the Liberal Democrats as "taking a beating".

"As with the constituency ballot, this is the worst poll rating that the Welsh Lib Dems have ever recorded. This is also the first time ever that the party has been reported to be in seventh place for the regional list vote", he said.

On uniform national swing since 2016, the new poll projects the following overall results for the Senedd’s regional list seats:

North Wales:2 Plaid, 2 Labour

Mid and West Wales: 3 Labour, 1 Conservative

South Wales West: 2 Conservative, 2 Plaid

South Wales Central: 3 Conservative, 1 Plaid

South Wales East: 3 Conservative, 1 Plaid

That leads to the following overall projected result for the Senedd:

Labour: 25 seats (20 constituency, 5 regional)

Conservative: 19 seats (10 constituency, 9 regional)

Plaid Cymru: 15 seats (9 constituency, 6 regional)

Lib Dem: 1 seat (1 constituency)

The Welsh Political Barometer poll, for ITV Cymru Wales and Cardiff University, had a sample of 1,110 Welsh voters aged 16+ and was carried out online by YouGov from 28 August to 4 September 2020.