Poll reveals how much political leaders are liked and disliked in Wales

The poll revealed voters' feelings about political leaders including Boris Johnson, Ed Davey, Paul Davies and Mark Drakeford Credit: PA

Only Labour political leaders are more liked than disliked in Wales, with Conservatives and the new Liberal Democrat leader doing particularly badly, according to a poll commissioned by ITV Cymru Wales.

As well as asking people which party they would vote for, the Welsh Barometer poll measures how much voters like - or dislike - party leaders.

The findings show that Mark Drakeford has moved ahead of Labour's UK leader, Sir Keir Starmer, and now tops the list of six Senedd and Westminster party leaders that we asked about.

First Minister Mark Drakeford has been growing in popularity for some time Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

The First Minister has been rising in public estimation for some time, probably because his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic has raised his profile and generally won approval.

Meanwhile the new leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Ed Davey, came out with the lowest popularity rating.

People were asked to score the following political leaders out of 10, with 10 meaning that they strongly liked them and 0 that they strongly disliked them.

  • Mark Drakeford, First Minister of Wales - 5.3

  • Sir Keir Starmer, Leader of UK Labour - 5.1

  • Adam Price, Leader of Plaid Cymru - 4.7

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson - 3.9

  • Paul Davies, Leader of Welsh Conservatives - 3.7

  • Sir Ed Davey, Leader of Liberal Democrats - 3.7

In an era when politicians are often deeply unpopular, it's an achievement to get above five. That's a feat managed this time only by Labour politicians.

The new entrant is Sir Ed Davey who has only just become leader of the Liberal Democrats. Most voters said they simply didn't know what they thought of him but most of those who did, tended to dislike him.

Almost certainly that's tied to the collapse in Welsh support for the Liberal Democrats; just 2% said they would vote for them in a Westminster election. Sir Ed himself, on his first visit to Wales as leader, made it clear that he had no illusions about his party's plight.

"What I'm saying to the party nationally is wake up and smell the coffee. People don't think we're on their side any more. Voters don't think we share their values. And if we're going to put that right, we've got to listen to voters", he said.


  • 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.