Exclusive: Poll shows Labour can hold 'Red Wall' but still needs to strike deal in Senedd

  • Political Editor Adrian Masters breaks down the findings of the poll

A new poll for ITV Wales suggests that Labour has gained ground in the lead up to the Senedd election.

It shows that in Cardiff Bay, the party could keep the so-called Red Wall seats that were lost to the Conservatives in the last General Election in 2019.

But, Labour also faces losing ground to Plaid Cymru and potentially having to do a deal with them in order to secure a government majority.

The poll, conducted by YouGov, suggests that Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party remains on course to win seats in the institution it wants to scrap, and the Liberal Democrats could hold one seat despite falling support.

So why might opinion have shifted in the past month?

One factor could be that the UK government hit a peak in popularity a month ago, with the vaccine rollout underway. Another is the impact of the Senedd election campaign itself, with how people will vote no longer a hypothetical question.

The election result in two weeks' time will depend on how people cast their two votes - one in the 40 constituencies, the other for the 20 regional list seats.

Support for Labour has increased by 3% since the last poll

Here's what the poll found for the constituencies, with the shift in support since the last poll shown in brackets:

  • Labour                      35% (+3%)             

  • Conservative            24% (-6%)             

  • Plaid Cymru.            24% (+1%)            

  • Reform UK                4% (+1%)                              

  • Abolish the Assembly 3% (no change)                   

  • Lib Dems                   3% (-2%)               

  • Green                        3% (+1%)   

Expert analysis by Prof Roger Awan-Scully of Cardiff University shows that if the shift in support since 2016 is applied uniformly across Wales, there would be just one Conservative gain from Labour, in the Vale of Glamorgan, which has been a Tory seat at Westminster since 2010.   

But, the Conservatives are no longer on track to repeat their 2019 General Election gains from Labour in Ynys Mon, Vale of Clwyd, Delyn, Wrexham and Clwyd South in north Wales, plus Bridgend in south Wales.

Plaid Cymru would not only hold Ynys Mon but make two gains from Labour, in Llanelli and Blaenau Gwent.

Plaid Cymru are projected to hold onto the constituency of Ynys Mon but also make two gains from Labour, in Llanelli and Blaenau Gwent.

The Liberal Democrats would retain Brecon & Radnorshire. But as always, the battle for control of the Senedd will be decided when the regional list seats are allocated.   

Here's what the poll found when people were asked how they would cast their regional list votes

Here is what the poll found when people were asked how they would cast their regional list votes, again with the changes since last month shown in brackets.

  • Labour                       33% (+2%)          

  • Plaid Cymru              23% (+1%)         

  •  Conservative             22% (-6%)         

  • Abolish the Assembly   7% (no change)         

  • Green                           5%  (+2%)           

  • Lib Dem                        4%  (no change)        

  • Reform UK                    2%   (+1%)           

Because the number of constituencies a party has won reduces its entitlement to list seats, Labour would win far fewer than Plaid Cymru and the Conservatives. Professor Awan-Scully projects that Plaid would take nine list seats, the Tories seven, Labour two and the Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party two.

The total of sixty constituency and regional seats in the Senedd would be divided up as follows:

  • Labour 26

  • Plaid Cymru 17

  • Conservative 14 

  • Abolish the Assembly 2

  • Liberal Democrat 1

As both Labour and Plaid Cymru have ruled out doing a deal with the Conservatives, it is only a Labour-Plaid deal that could command more than 30 seats and so secure a majority for government business.

The two parties did form a coalition between 2007 and 2011 but an understanding short of a full coalition is also possible.

YouGov polled a representative sample of 1,142 Welsh voters, aged 16+, between 18th and 21st April for ITV Cymru Wales and Cardiff University. The margin of error was +/-4%.