Archive for July, 2013

A Welsh Poll

YouGov have produced a new Welsh opinion poll for Elections in Wales. The Almanac compares it to the ITV/YouGov February poll. The figures in bracket are the results in the last General or Assembly elections.

Labour  continue to dominate Welsh politics. Despite the best efforts of the opposition parties in the Assembly to blame them for poor performance it hasn’t affected their popularity with Welsh voters. According to the poll they gain eight seats in the general election bringing their tally to 34. But they real excitement for Carwyn Jones is that he gains that all important majority all be it by one vote with 31seats.

Its a different story for the Tories. Although they take a hit in the general election losing four seats, the poll shows them decimated at the next Assembly elections. They fall from being the official opposition to being the fourth party with only six seats. Why? They lose three constituency seats but only gain three in the PR regional list system.

UKIP do well gaining eight seats in the regions and leapfrog the Tories into third place. They outpoll the Tories on the regional list system.

Plaid Cymru will be disappointed. There is certainly no breakthrough under Leanne Wood’s leadership in the general election, indeed if the polls are replicated in the general election Plaid are down two seats.

However more cheerful news for them in the Assembly elections. It looks as if Labour supporters have now understood the nature of the regional list system and are not wasting their votes by voting Labour on the lists where they stand no chance of winning seats.  The beneficiaries are Plaid Cymru moving back to being the Official Opposition with 13 seats up two on the 2011 election  results.

The Liberal Democrats fall back to only having a single member from Wales in the UK Parliament and fall from five to two Assembly Members. It seems that the trend continues of the junior party in a coalition gets hit hardest by the voters.

UK General Election Voting Intention

Feb 2013(ITV/YouGov)             July 2013(Elections in Wales/YouGov)

Labour: 51% (+15%)                         Labour: 48% (+12%)

Conservative: 22% (-4%)                 Conservative: 23% (-3%)

Lib-Dems: 9% (-11%)                       Lib-Dems: 8% (-12%)

Plaid Cymru: 10% (-1%)                   Plaid Cymru: 9% (-2%)

                                                                 UKIP: 8% (+6%)

Others: 9% (+3%)                               Others: 4%


Westminster polls

National Assembly Election Voting Intention (Constituency Vote) 

Feb 2013                                 July 2013

Labour: 46% (+4%)               Labour: 46% (+4%)

Conservative: 21% (-4%)      Conservative: 19% (-6%)

Lib-Dems: 10% (-1%)            Lib-Dems: 8% (-3%)

Plaid Cymru: 17% (-2%)        Plaid Cymru: 17% (-2%)

UKIP: 6% (+6%)

Others: 6% (+3%)                    Others: 3%

National Assembly Election Voting Intention (Regional List Vote) 

Feb 2013                                  July 2013

Labour: 26% (-11%)               Labour: 25% (-12%)

Conservative: 14% (-9%)       Conservative: 12% (-11%)

Lib-Dems: 11% (-3%)             Lib-Dems: 9%(+1)

Plaid Cymru: 26% (+8%)       Plaid Cymru: 23% (+5%)

UKIP: 16% (+11%)

Assembly polls


Number of Seats in Assembly


Seats in Assembly

Total sample size of the July poll was 1,012 Welsh adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18-22 July 2013.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Welsh adults (aged 18+).



Miliband and the unions

DAVID_CAMERON.ashx_4Yesterday was a good day to make political capital. The carpet coverage of the birth with nothing much to say allowed a constant repetition of David Cameron making anodyne comments about joy and parenthood.

This follows a good send-off by his MPs following the glimmer that the economy is slowly moving from the doldrums and although austerity is still biting most are tolerating it and living in hope that better times will come.

Of the two it’s the Prime Minister that will be heading for his holidays with a spring in his steps. Although

Despite opinion polls still showing Labour ahead, the last few weeks have been miserable for Miliband.

It all went ape after the debacle of the Hamilton reselection. Now he’s caught between a rock and a hard place if he changes the nature of trade union affiliation to Labour he risks bankrupting his party. But it is a gamble he’s about to take.

Despite most voters not caring greatly about Labour’s ties with the Unions Miliband is pushing ahead with a Spring conference to change fundamentally the relationship between both wings of the Labour movement. At such a conference any changes would have to be agreed with the trade unions still M_f4e4d888-1b14-f7b4-bd30-88908228d8512having 50% of the vote. A big ask.  Plenty of room for horse-trading with the brothers and sisters over policy, me thinks.

According to a poll conducted by Lord Ashcroft union members, to be precise Unite union members, are not rushing to join Labour. There is a very real danger that the trade union payments to Labour will shrink to a very insignificant amount causing the party real financial difficulties.

It is a massive gamble on Ed Miliband’s part; he’s hoping to achieve what John Smith and Tony Blair were to afraid to try.

The size of the task is enormous and he can’t say he hasn’t been warned.  Many union leaders have said that there is no appetite amongst their members to join Labour. There certainly isn’t any evidence to suggest they’re wrong, most union members could join Labour now and at a reduced rate to boot. Have they bothered? No, nay, never as the song goes.

But Miliband said, “We’re going to open up policy-making, clean up the lobbying industry, and take the big money out of politics. And we want to let people back in.”

A noble aspiration and if it works he’ll be able to claim the moral high ground when it comes to the issue of party funding.

He can then turn his guns on the Conservative’s and their links with big business. All the evidence would suggest that such a line of attack would resonate with the public.

All in all it won’t make for a relaxed summer in the Miliband household.


Last week of term


New laws in the offering, eight to be precise, as Carwyn Jones unveils his legislative programme. The full programme can be seen here: (

Standards Commissioner Gerald Elias QC in his annual report warned Assembly Members to be good boys and girls even in their private lives. They were to be “a beacon by which the way is lighted for all public servants and bodies in Wales.” So no more drink fuelled incidents, just an Assembly full of Sunday school teachers.

The jobless figures in Wales were up by 2000 on the month whilst the rest of the UK saw a drop of 57,000. But the good news is the trend year on year is still down by 10,000 on the year – a drop of 7.8%. Which means that both the UK and Wales has the same jobless rate of 7.8%.

The Presiding Officer runs a lottery. No not for a free bottles of National Assembly wine, but for a back-bencher to introduce a Bill. The lucky winner was announced this week and it is Bethan Jenkins AM. She’s going to introduce a Financial Literacy Bill. Its purpose is to make the Welsh more financially savvy.

Fisherman around Welsh coasts will be  delighted that the ten marine conservation zone plans that the Government were proposing have now been scrapped. Environmentalists described it as “an embarrassing U-turn.”  The Minister says he’s going to concentrate his efforts on the 125 existing marine protected areas. But what does that mean? Well, he’s commissioned an assessment.  So there you have it, another assessment by government, gets the pulse raising doesn’t it.

The rest

The UK government are now not going to make their announcement on the first Silk report until the Autumn. Their response has been trailed since the Spring.  Godo would have arrived in a quicker time frame. Now they’ve said they want to do a quick consultation with business on whether Carwyn Jones’s government should get control of stamp duty land tax. This was one of the key recommendations of Silk and could have given the Welsh government an income stream of about £200m a year. A much need income stream if the Assembly is going to borrow money.  The real problem is that the Liberal Democrats in the coalition want all of Silk, a prospect that fills anti-devolutionist David Jones with horror who wants to give as little power to the Assembly as he can get away with. (See:

 The polls this weekpolls 3 july

Look at the trends rather than individual polls.

Both on Wednesday and Monday two polls produced rather different results, why? For instance Monday’s ICM poll show Labour and Conservative running neck and neck whilst Populas show a 7% gap between the two. Well, different polls use different methods, some are online or telephone, some use different methods to get their sample and also how they weight the answers.  The second reason would be normal sample error. All polls are random and the normal quoted margin of error is quoted as plus or minors 3%. So on the ICM poll for instance the Conservatives could be on 33% and Lab could be 39% a 6 point difference.  That is why looking for patterns over time is the safest use of polling data.

Wed.        YouGov/Sun                             Con 32%, Lab 38%, Lib Dem 10%, UKIP 12%.

Wed.         Ipsos MORI/Standard         Con 29%(-2), Lab 40%(+5), Lib Dem 10%(nc), UKIP 12% (nc).

Mon.         ICM/Guardian                       Con 36%, Lab 36%, Lib Dem 13%, UKIP 7%.

Mon.         Populas                                    Con 31%, Lab 38%, Lib Dem13%, UKIP 10%

Sun.           YouGov/Sunday Times         Con 30, Lab 41%, Lib Dem 10%, UKIP 13%,