Latest poll shows Plaid surge as Tories falter

Could you detect a hint of smugness as the Tories reacted to the first poll of the campaign earlier this month, putting them in second place ahead of Plaid Cymru? 'Corporal Jones tells Plaid: don't panic' scoffed Nick Bourne (via the press officer). Others were slightly more cagey. Not so Glyn Davies, who insisted the poll was "precisely the same as I've been predicting for months. Which is rather good news for the Conservatives."

Well, Glyn, I bet you haven't been predicting this:

Constituency vote %:
Labour 32 (-8)
Plaid 26 (+5)
Con 19 (-1)
Lib Dem 15 (+1)
Others 8 (+4)

Regional vote %:
Labour 34 (-3)
Plaid 24 (+4)
Con 18 (-2)
Lib Dem 15 (+2)
Others 9 (-3)

Seat prediction:
Labour 25 (-4)
Plaid 15 (+3)
Con 10 (-1)
Lib Dem 8 (+2)
Independent 2 (=)

As before, these results need to be taken with a McDonald's chip servery-sized pinch of salt. Last time, some Tories went large and now look a bit silly. It is, of course, still worth remembering that the way the poll data is gathered and the way the predictions are calculated provide a far from definitive picture of how Wales will vote on May 3rd. But there are feelers here which indicate certain trends, perhaps the most surprising of which is the strength of UKIP.

As I suggested earlier this month, UKIP could well pick up votes from Tory discontents. They are now the only party who oppose devolution. And there are an awful lot of voters who oppose devolution too. This poll puts them on a whopping 5% in the regional vote. That's 5% that could cost the Tories dearly on the lists, even if they pick up a couple of constituencies.

Of course, the most obvious reading of this poll is that Labour voters appear to be disembarking en masse and getting off at the big flowery platform marked 'Plaid Cymru'.

So what's the big picture? Well, it's a sort of Monet landscape at present - it does reflect what appears to be going on (Labour plummeting, Plaid picking up, Tories struggling to motivate their core vote) but it's still very blurry. Expect Plaid to denounce this poll as they did the previous less favourable one (what else can they do without losing face?). The Lib Dems will become quite excitable at the prospect of doubling the amount of seat(s) they expected to win and UKIP will shout very very loudly at anyone who is unfortunate enough to be within a three-mile radius of their Barber-clad candidates.

This poll is a wake up call for the Conservatives. It also fails to provide any statistical artillery for the Labour voices who continue to insist a vote for Plaid is a vote for a Tory first minister.

But if this is the result our caffeine stung eyes are confronted with on May 4th, I'll eat my pants.

Labels: , , ,

posted by Blamerbell @ 6:07 pm,

24 Comments:

At 6:40 pm, Anonymous Daran said...

A speedy and reliable source of data Mr B, especially as the news item failed to share the regional figures with us.

In the same way that Plaid felt the last poll underestimated them, the Conservatives will claim their own chances are underestimated in this poll. It certainly seems quite a shift (though the polling sample this time round was smaller wasn't it?)

National polls are fun, but like you I remain sceptical of their value in mapping increasingly localised campaigns. For example, I understand that the battles in the three Labour seats in west Wales are remarkably different even though they are all geographically aligned and politically marginal and would fall to other parties under not huge swings.

I think Glyn accepted the point last time round that the actual seat by seat predictions from the 1st poll were a little out, but he felt the overall figures were right.

Once more, the results don't show a total Labour meltdown - just the most vulnerable seats seem to be in danger if you accept the mapping.

Feel the estimate on minority party voting on the second ballot (9% now compared to 5% three weeks ago) was a bit closer to what we can really expect.

Still, I'm sure this is all food for thought before we settle down for another Thursday night of dubious fun...

 
At 6:53 pm, Blogger Henlaw said...

Congrats on a good and fast analysis. As a recall poll it should show up the trends at least. I reckon daran has it right about the minority rightwing parties - that's how it feels. I'm a bit surprised that the Labour vote shows as well as it does - the feel along the north coast is that it's a bit worse then this. If Rhodri gets 25 seats or more, it will be a great deal better than Labour does in England - he must be doing something right!

 
At 7:16 pm, Blogger Rod said...

There is a good article in the Spectator in support of a Plaid-Tory coalition:-

http://www.spectator.co.uk/the-magazine/features/29219/a-toryplaid-cymru-pact.thtml

 
At 7:51 pm, Blogger cymrumark said...

The significance of this poll and another one out tomorrow is that those people who will vote to get rid of Labour now know what to do...vote Plaid.

On the seat predictions I dont see how the lib dems go up to 8 on the poll figures...

 
At 8:14 pm, Anonymous daran said...

Actually with regard to minority parties I don't think UKIP will be the sole significant factor - the Greens did relatively well last time (about 5% on their own).

The more I think about this poll and its outcome, the less convinced I am about its accuracy in certain respects. Do the rest of you honestly expect the Conservatives to LOSE a seat overall?

 
At 8:28 pm, Blogger UK Daily Pundit said...

Will the results for Assembly seats be announced overnight or the next day?

 
At 8:38 pm, Anonymous daran said...

"On the seat predictions I dont see how the lib dems go up to 8 on the poll figures..."

Rough guess

1 extra in SE Wales: Conservatives take Cardiff North, Lib Dems get their 2nd list seat

1 extra in Mid Wales: Plaid having picked up Llanelli and Carm West on these figures would yield a list seat to Labour; the Conservatives presumably one down off the list which would go to the Lib Dems.

As ever, could be wrong, but I'll put my head above the parapet. It would have to be a small parapet for me to peer over it.

 
At 9:00 pm, Blogger Jeremy Jacobs said...

"Actually with regard to minority parties I don't think UKIP will be the sole significant factor".

UKIP is the fourth LARGEST party in the UK.

 
At 9:20 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

"Will the results for Assembly seats be announced overnight or the next day?"

Overnight. BBC, ITV and S4C all have through the night coverage. I'm told there'll be some interesting interactive features in the BBC's output.

"The more I think about this poll and its outcome, the less convinced I am about its accuracy in certain respects. Do the rest of you honestly expect the Conservatives to LOSE a seat overall?"

No. Hence my final sentence!

 
At 9:31 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem isn't with the poll as such but with the ridiculous seat prediction. It simply can't be done and Denis is destroying decades of credibility by doing it. Is Balsom associates that desperate for money?

 
At 10:11 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

in both polls from ITV it shows just how biased the current system is - Labour drops in support and still ends up with the lion share of AM's

do tell me what the point of election in Wales are?

and before you start im not a party animal plaid, tory, lid dem, labour or other !!!

 
At 10:12 pm, Blogger bethan said...

I know Plaid come out better in this poll, but I still don't trust it! I think the only thing we can rely on is May the 3rd. I don't want to do a Glyn davies and be all smug only to have to hide in a corner,if for example, we don't do so well on election day. Our result in Ceredigion at the last Westminster election where I was at the count tells me that I should never ever be complacent.

 
At 10:20 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yI don't know but this poll seems a bit of a rogue. How Plaid deserve such high support is a puzzle. What is their solution to the Housing problem, give first time buyers £5000 - this is economic illiteracy and will just push up the price by...er £5000. Their leaflets in my locality are a disgrace, just piddling gesture politics with no radical agenda.

I'm voting Plaid as I have done since 1970 and hoping for a Plaid-Tory coalition. No doubt Plaid's loony wing will veto that one, but Wales needs to bury socialism if we are ever to reach our potential as an independent nation.

 
At 10:21 pm, Blogger cymrumark said...

wise words from Bethan...but if the poll tomorrow shows the same thing :)

 
At 10:25 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That 5% for UKIP is hardly a surprise, although I bet that 80% of their support comes from incomers. Hopefully they'll fail to take a seat and the Welsh Tories carry on their Long March away from Little Englandism.

 
At 10:31 pm, Blogger Valleys Mam said...

Polls are a distraction and can actually harm a party
What is good is the gut feeling of those who tramp the streets and get a real feel for where the mood is
All I can say is that there is not the certainty in Merthyr this time
There are questions over Labour and how they are acting and there are a whole bunch of candidates to choose from and good ones too
I would love to see a whole bunch of independents elected to the Assembly always bodes well for democracy

 
At 11:31 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

"I know Plaid come out better in this poll, but I still don't trust it! I think the only thing we can rely on is May the 3rd."

Well, obviously. But I suspect you'll lend yourself a quick smirk after you've read the Western Mail tomorrow aswell.

"That 5% for UKIP is hardly a surprise, although I bet that 80% of their support comes from incomers. Hopefully they'll fail to take a seat and the Welsh Tories carry on their Long March away from Little Englandism."

How much did they poll last time?

"What is good is the gut feeling of those who tramp the streets and get a real feel for where the mood is "

Problem is they all think people are flinging rose petals at them.

 
At 12:56 am, Blogger Ian said...

As a Plaid candidate in a winnable seat (Swansea West), I am a little dubious about the conclusions of this pole. There are so many local issues such as Morriston Neurosurgery that can skew a local result.

Having said that, I canvassed as a high voter turnout area which could vote for any of the main parties and the anti-Labour message was very strong. Mr. Davies has a problem.

 
At 1:20 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

why should people be surprised that Plaid is doing well, after all nobody has picked up on what
the effect is in the Welsh election
as a result of a possible SNP win in Scotland
logic says a surge in support for Plaid Cymru

 
At 7:09 am, Blogger bethan said...

nobody has picked up on what
the effect is in the Welsh election
as a result of a possible SNP win in Scotland
logic says a surge in support for Plaid Cymru

I've mentioned the fact a couple of times on my blog that SNP success should give us the confidence here in Wales to move forward. Your totally right.

 
At 7:17 am, Anonymous Daran said...

Bit slower with the Western Mail data, Mr B...

I won't spoil it in case it depresses paper sales (as well as readers of a certain hue)
;)

 
At 8:18 am, Blogger Left Field said...

Bethan Wrote:

nobody has picked up on what
the effect is in the Welsh election
as a result of a possible SNP win in Scotland
logic says a surge in support for Plaid Cymru


I'm not so sure Scotland has any effect. The government used that logic for the 1997 referendum. Scotland voted the week before us. I think the government hoped that a strong Scottish 'Yes' would encourage people here to vote 'Yes'

Given the narrow majority for a Welsh Assembly, I'm guessing the effect was, at best, minor.

 
At 9:30 am, Blogger Henlaw said...

How many Anons are there on this site? There seem to be at least 3 personalities, but I guess one person could have them all! Is the hope of a Plaid/Tory coalition a bluff or a double bluff? Surely you can't mean it? The Welsh Tories are moving steadily and wisely leftwards but there is still an unbridgeable gap with Plaid, even in the north. Anyway, back to the poll - I think Tory support is underestimated, Labour is overestimated and Plaid is about right. In the north at least.

 
At 9:48 am, Blogger Blamerbell said...

"Bit slower with the Western Mail data, Mr B...

I won't spoil it in case it depresses paper sales (as well as readers of a certain hue)"

But this one came with gigantic unsubtle hints. Not interested!

 

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