Less an earthquake more a mild tremor that’s what we can expect on the night of the general election in Wales according to the latest all-Wales poll.
With One Hundred Days to go before the election the Welsh Political Barometer- an unique polling collaboration between ITV Cymru Wales, the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University, and the leading polling agency YouGov, poll 1,036 Welsh adults.
The poll show Labour remaining the largest party in Wales polling 37%, a 1% increase on the last poll. The Tories remain unchanged on 23%, but with 16% UKIP become the the third force in Welsh politics certainly as far as the general election is concerned, all be it they are down 2% on the previous poll.
Plaid Cymru will be disappointed to be languishing on 10% a percentage point down on last time and breathing down their necks are the new kids on the block in the form of the Greens who command a healthy 8% three points higher than previously. Perhaps they ought to dust down the old Green/Plaid alliance that delivered Ceredigion to Cynog Dafis.
With only a slight improvement of 1% the Liberal Democrats languish at the bottom with 6%.
But what does it mean in seats? According to Professor Roger Scully not a great deal, Labour gain two seats, returning 28 Members of Parliament. Both the Tories (8 seats) and Plaid Cymru(3 seats) remain the same. Again it’s the Liberal Democrats that take the hit with only one representative from Wales down from the three seats they hold now.
Professor Scully sees three seats, of the forty in Wales, changing hands. Cardiff North and Cardiff Central would both be won by Labour (from the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats respectively); Brecon & Radnor would be narrowly gained by the Conservatives from the Liberal Democrats.
Despite big increases in the polls neither UKIP or the Greens translate these into seats. The first past the poll system helps the current holders.
In Lord Ashcroft’s latest UK poll the Conservatives and Labour are running neck and neck on 32%, the Liberal Democrats are on 6%, UKIP 15% and the Greens are on 9%.
For my analysis of Welsh seats see previous blog. http://welshpolitics.co.uk/2015/01/seats-to-watch/