Mark Drakeford's popularity falls below Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer for first time

Both the leaders of the Welsh and UK Governments are proving unpopular with voters in Wales. Credit: PA

Welsh voters' faith in both the UK and the Welsh Government's leaders has taken a hit, latest poll data reveals.

Mark Drakeford's popularity with the Welsh public is at an 18-month low as more than half of respondents (56%) believe he is doing a bad job of being First Minister.

But the latest ITV Wales/YouGov BarnCymru polling shows the Conservative leaders are also not looked upon favourably - with the majority (69%) of those polled stating Prime Minister Rishi Sunak isn't doing a good job either.

The PM hasn't proven to be a popular figure in Wales all year - back in May the majority were unimpressed with his performance - and as 2023 closes even fewer people have faith in his ability, with just 19% stating Mr Sunak is doing well.

Westminster voting intention: December 2023

Conservative: 20% (+1)Labour: 42% (-8)Liberal Democrat: 7% (+2)Plaid Cymru: 15% (+3)Reform UK: 12% (+4)Green: 3% (-2)Other: 1% (-1)

The latest poll shows a steady decline in Mark Drakeford's popularity over time. Back in September last year, the majority (54%) of voters believed the Welsh Labour leader was doing a good job as FM, with 35% unimpressed with his premiership.

Now, the majority of Welsh voters (56%) have lost faith in his ability as First Minister, with just 31% believing he is still doing a good job of running the country.

We asked: How well or badly do you think Mark Drakeford is doing as the First Minister of Wales?

Dr Jac Larner from the Wales Governance Centre explained why the FM has become substantially less popular over the last 12 months.

He said: "Two things to bear in mind is that he is the figurehead for Welsh Labour and the Welsh Government, so it would make sense that if there’s any unpopular decisions, he would take the blame for that.

"The second thing is that he’s just not as visible as much as he was during the pandemic when he was on TV every day.

"Even despite this big drop off, he remains the most popular leader of any of the Welsh parties, especially when you take into account how well known he is compared to Andrew RT Davies and Rhun ap Iorwerth."

Keir Starmer is more popular than Welsh Labour leader Mark Drakeford for the first time since he took charge of the party. Credit: PA

December's polling puts Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer above his Welsh counterpart for the first time - albeit by just 1%. That's despite the rebellion the party leader has faced over his stance on the Israel-Gaza conflict, which saw MP Jess Phillips quit the front bench in protest.

32% of Welsh voters believe Sir Keir Starmer is doing a good job of being leader of the Labour Party - but the majority (53%) still believe he doing badly. 16% didn't know either way.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak remained the least popular leader according to the Welsh public, with a large majority stating he isn't doing a good job of running the country.

We asked: How well or badly do you think Rishi Sunak is doing as the Prime Minister?

Dr Larner said: "There might just be a more general distrust in politicians at the moment and that can be linked to difficult living standards for example, but the fact is that all political leaders are feeling that hit to some degree.

"Rishi Sunak was inheriting a lot from previous Prime Ministers which had been very unpopular in Wales.

"Since then he’s been linked to large issues like the economy and with the Covid-19 inquiry underway, it’s a difficult time for politicians to improve their numbers in a meaningful way."

YouGov polled a representative sample of 1,004 Welsh voters, aged 16+, between 4th-7th December for ITV Cymru Wales and Cardiff University.