Wales Barometer Poll

The latest Wales Barometer opinion poll, carried out by YouGov for ITV Cymru Wales and Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University is published today. Polling of a representative sample of 1250 people took place 10-12 February 2014.

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  1. Nick Powell

Welsh Income Tax very unpopular with Tory voters

Despite the row over Welsh income tax between David Jones and Andrew RT Davies, both men agree that there should be a referendum on giving the Welsh Government income tax raising powers -and that the Conservatives would campaign in favour. But Tory voters are deeply hostile to the idea.

Detailed analysis for tonight's Sharp End of the latest Wales Barometer opinion poll shows that Conservative voters are the most heavily against, with Labour voters justifying their party leaders' reluctance to embrace the idea. Lib Dem politicians' enthusiasm is not matched by their supporters.

  • How would you vote in a Welsh Income Tax referendum?
  • Labour: Yes 36% No 41%
  • Conservatives: Yes 16% No 71%
  • Plaid Cymru: Yes 60% No 23%
  • Lib Dems: Yes 35% No 40%

If Plaid Cymru voters mostly want Welsh income tax, they too could be disappointed. Plaid's leader, Leanne Wood, has said a referendum cannot be a priority due to proposed restrictions on any income tax powers. (The analysis is based on how people would vote when choosing their constituency AM).


Poll shows Wales could be isolated in Europe says Plaid

Responding to the findings of the latest Wales Barometer poll, a Plaid Cymru spokesperson said,

This poll’s findings in relation to the Labour Government’s performance are damning and reflect the urgent need for a dramatic change of course in health and education.

The European election is some months away, but there is a danger that Wales - our economy, our communities and our culture- could be left totally isolated and under threat if we allow the scaremongering, right wing politics of UKIP to shape our future.

People have a choice in this election, and we would urge voters to vote for Plaid Cymru, the only party that will put the interests of Wales first.

– Plaid Cymru spokesperson

Welsh Conservatives welcome poll findings

In response to the latest Wales Barometer Poll, Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said,

This poll confirms that the Welsh Conservatives remain the main challengers to Carwyn Jones’ lazy Labour Government, which has been in power continuously for 15 years.

Welsh Conservatives are the party of low tax and big ideas to get the Welsh economy growing again and put more money in the pockets of hardworking people.

These figures demonstrate that an increasing number of people recognise that Labour’s Welsh Government is to blame for poorer standards in schools and hospitals and the underperforming Welsh economy. There remains some way to go in reminding people where responsibility lies and the only poll results which matter are those on election day itself.

– Andrew RT Davies, leader of the Opposition

Opinion shifts on European Referendum and on Welsh Income Tax

Despite the strong showing in UKIP support for this May's European Election, the Wales Barometer Poll shows that supporters of staying in the European Union now outnumber those who would vote in a referendum to leave the EU.

  • Stay in EU 41% (38% in December)
  • Leave EU 38% (40% in December)
  • Don't know/Won't vote 22% (22% in December)

Meanwhile, as the prospect of a referendum on the devolution of income tax powers appears to be receding, support for the whole idea is also in decline.

  • Yes 31% (35% in December)
  • No 42% (38% in December)
  • Don't know/Won't vote 28% (26% in December)


Poor ratings for Welsh Government's performance

The latest Wales Barometer poll asked people if they thought the Welsh Government is doing a good or bad job in three of the main policy areas for which it has responsibility. The figures show that there is widespread disappointment with its performance.

  • Is the Welsh Government doing a good or bad job with the NHS?
  • Good 25%
  • Bad 43%
  • Neither/Don't know 32%
  • Is the Welsh Government doing a good or bad job with schools?
  • Good 24%
  • Bad 39%
  • Neither/DK 37%
  • Is the Welsh Government doing a good or bad job with the economy?
  • Good 25%
  • Bad 31%
  • Neither/DK 44%

The performance of the Welsh Government has been heavily criticised by Labour’s opponents. To see whether such criticisms have had much resonance with the public we asked respondents to evaluate the Welsh Government’s record since the last Assembly election in 2011 in three key policy areas. The results will not make pleasant reading for Carwyn Jones and his team.

– Professor Roger Scully, Wales Governance Centre

Since the 2011 Assembly election, Labour has governed alone after winning exactly half the seats in the Senedd. Labour supporters were somewhat more positive about government performance.

  • Is the Welsh Government doing a good or bad job with the NHS?
  • Good 37%
  • Bad 31%
  • Neither/Don't know 31%
  • Is the Welsh Government doing a good or bad job with schools?
  • Good 36%
  • Bad 26%
  • Neither/DK 39%
  • Is the Welsh Government doing a good or bad job with the economy?
  • Good 41%
  • Bad 20%
  • Neither/DK 39%

What will surely frustrate Labour’s opponents in Wales is the apparent lack of connection between voters’ assessments of Labour’s record in government in Wales and their current voting intentions. Not many people seem to think that Labour have done a good job in government in Wales, yet many Welsh people still intend to vote Labour.

– Professor Roger Scully, Wales Governance Centre

UKIP leap to second place

The first data from the latest Wales Barometer opinion poll shows UKIP now in second place for the European Election in May. A big increase in the party's support since the last poll in December means it has overtaken the Conservatives. Labour are still well ahead.

  • Labour 39% (41% in December)
  • UKIP 18% (13% in December)
  • Conservatives 17% (20% in December)
  • Plaid Cymru 12% (13% in December)
  • Liberal Democrats 7% (9% in December)
  • Others 7% (4% in December)

Wales has four seats in the European Parliament. At the last election, in 2009, UKIP won a Welsh seat for the first time, with 13% support. The Conservatives, with 21%, Labour on 20% and Plaid Cymru on 19%. each also won a single seat.

If the latest opinion poll figures are repeated on election day, Labour would win the first two seats, UKIP the third seat and the Conservatives the fourth. Plaid Cymru would be without an MEP for the first time since the present voting system was introduced in 1999.

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