Poll says Labour set for assembly election losses

Polls aren't easy to come by in Welsh politics, so when they happen we all sit up and take note.

For geeks like me, this was the most eagerly awaited edition of ITV's Wales Tonight for a long time. And it began with the revelation that time had skipped forward 24 hours, 'Welcome to Friday's Wales Tonight' grinned the presenters.

Back in the real world where Thursday succeeds Wednesday and precedes Friday, today's poll from ITV Wales/NOP does nothing to change the general impression that Labour are going to struggle in the forthcoming assembly elections. Meanwhile, Plaid aren't seeing the boost they think their new professional operation warrants and the Lib Dems may make small gains. The Tories will be happiest this evening, as their percentage of the vote is predicted to increase quite heftily in both the constituency and regional ballot. The results in full:

Constituency %
Labour 36 (-4)
Plaid 20 (-1)
Con 23 (+3)
Lib Dem 15 (+1)
Others 6

Regional %
Labour 35 (-2)
Plaid 20 (=)
Con 24 (+5)
Lib Dem 15 (+2)
Others 5

ITV Wales optimistically translated this into seats, with Labour losing four and the Tories gaining three. This election, however, is so finely balanced that these predictions are impossible to make. Constituency seats depend on a handful of votes in a few key marginals. These in turn have an enormous impact on the distribution of the regional seats.

Conclusion: bad news for Labour but the other parties should look at these results with a huge pinch of salt.

UPDATE: With Labour keeping schtum on their manifesto until Tuesday, it was with great interest that I listened to Jane Hutt on ITV's Wales Decides earlier tonight. Given 30 seconds to sum up why people should vote for her party in May's election she said Labour would be fighting this election on its record in government: 'we will keep free prescriptions, keep free bus passes, keep free swimming pools...' Not a single policy proposal. Not a single pledge. One begins to wonder if they'll bother to publish a manifesto at all when an homage to Rhodri Morgan would happily suffice:)

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posted by Blamerbell @ 6:12 pm,


At 6:46 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

Blamie you bugger!!!

I was waiting till 11 to find this out!!

It reminds of the times when i would purposely stay away from Final Score so i could watch match of the day without knowing the scores and then my brother would act a jive turkey and say 'oooh good result for Liverpool- bet your chuffed' or 'you will be gutted when you see the liverpool game' or because we never used to get on just blurt out all the scores!!

At 7:53 pm, Blogger Left Field said...

Yeh, me too.

Still, now I can spend all evening playing with the figures.

At 8:24 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apart from the drop in Labour's vote, and the rise in the regional vote for the Tories, I'm not convinced by neither the constituency percentages nor the allocation of seats. We've still got a long way to go before we get any decent, comprehensive and, more importantly to some degree, regular polls in Wales,not just last minute election ones.

At 8:54 pm, Blogger cymrumark said...

HTv should publish the proper poll figure not the weighted poll. The figures they quote are based on the notion that Tories are more likely to vote in an assembly election than Plaid supporters. Its a joke.

At 9:16 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"cymrumark said...
HTv should publish the proper poll figure not the weighted poll. The figures they quote are based on the notion that Tories are more likely to vote in an assembly election than Plaid supporters. Its a joke."

Where do you get this idea of a wighted pole cymrumark. Could you expand on it?

At 10:42 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

I just realised i cant get bloody HTV Wales on my freeview box!!!

well peeved!!!

At 7:37 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From what I hear the overall poll percentages put Plaid one point ahead of the Tories on the constituency vote. Come on HTV a bit of openness please about the actual poll results!

At 7:48 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surprise surprise, Mark David Jones - the Plaid candidate in Vale of Clwyd - doesn't like the results of the HTV polls.

The only joke here is the fact that Plaid zealots such as CymruMark just cannot accept that the Tories are actually looking good for this election.

As usual, Plaid election hype has been exposed as just that - a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing.

Having the predictable moans from Plaid activists about anything that doesn't go their way demonstrates exactly why people are not voting for them - so much for a 'positive campaign'!

At 8:07 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

He makes a fair point, Denis Balsom attaches weights to the raw poll figures to predict the outcome in line with the projected differential turnout. Dr Balsom has been known to get it wrong. In fairness there is as much art as science at play in applying the weights

At 12:11 pm, Anonymous daran said...

In terms of differential turnout, I'd suggest based on 1999 and 2003 that Plaid is FAR better than the other parties at getting their core vote out at ASSEMBLY election time. In 2003 95% or so people who voted Plaid in the 2001 UK General Election turned out, which is about 30% higher than any other party. The Conservatives will rightly be pleased with their showing too. Having said, that I felt there were positive aspects for Labour in last night's poll too: no meltdown and retention of their mid-range vulnerable seats.

Like many others, I would like to have seen more data from last night's poll. As they were in Llanelli it might have been nice to have been told who had won that seat for example (but maybe they did and I didn't notice.)

One other issue that surprised me was the seeming collapse of the independent/other vote on the second ballot. In 2003 11.8% of the electorate cast their vote in this way, but last night's poll showed just 5% taking that road. This is really quite surprising bearing in mind recent trends to "unconventional" voting.

At 3:36 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alwyn gives a good explanation of why the poll is useless here

At 4:36 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

At the end of the day, no matter what result had come out the parties who did well in it would be saying 'this shows the progress we are making etc' and the party that hasnt done so well would say 'this poll is rubbish'...

I would love the tories to be the main opposition quite frankly, might see some genuine politics in the assembly. Plaid would be kind of buggered too as they said that they wont serve under a tory first minister...

At 3:08 pm, Blogger hedd said...

Western Mail:

Plaid released details of a poll of those certain to vote delivered to it by Beaufort Research, showing Labour on 37%, Plaid on 30%, Conservative and Lib-Dems both on 14%, Greens1% and Others 4%.


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