Wednesday, 30 March 2011
Plaid Cymru: Drop in the polls
The latest ITV Wales/YouGov survey shows a further drop in the poll for Plaid Cymru. They drop another 2 percentage points in the polls.
The fieldwork for the poll was done after Plaid's conference. It is usual for parties to have a bounce immediately after their conferences this doesn't seem to have happened for Plaid Cymru.
A downward trend is the last thing a party wants as they approach a general election. They have fallen 4 percentage points since January and 5 percentage points since the last Assembly election.
A similar drop is also shown in the regional list.These figures make some of their existing seats very vulnerable.
Their senior partners in Government continue to do well. Labour are on 47 pre cent. They have been in the high 40's most of the year and is a considerable improvement on the last Assembly election were they only got 32 percent. These figures point to them gaining a majority of members and opens up the prospect of them being able to govern alone after May.
The Conservatives continue to hover around the lower 20s, a figure that broadly reflects their traditional vote in Wales. But on these figures they are likely to overtake Plaid Cymru as the second largest party and would give them the status of their leader being Leader of the Opposition.
Liberal Democrats continue to be in single figures and if these figures were replicated on election day they can expect a drop from their current six Assembly Members. It even makes their leader Kirsty Williams vulnerable in her Brecon and Radnor heartland.
It is likely that this poll reflects more the voters reaction to what is happening in Westminster than any action or non-action by the parties in Wales. Consequently, Labour are seen as the alternative to the Conservative led coalition in Westminster and have benefited from the current antipathy to the UK government. The Liberal Democrats have been particularly punished by the Welsh electorate for what is seen as a betrayal of their radical tradition in propping up the Tories.
Plaid Cymru must be particularly worried because they always do well when Labour form the government in Westminster and the converse is also true - a situation likely to be the case for the next five years at least.
Of course, election campaigns can shift opinions. But In Wales parties suffer the disadvantage that many people receive their news from a media that give little or no coverage to Welsh politics. So undoubtedly, the campaign that is about to be embarked on, suffers from this disadvantage. The effect will probably mean the campaign will only have a marginal influence if at all on many Welsh voters, so they will vote if vote they do on their attitudes to the Westminster Parliament rather than the Assembly and its work.
The poll results are published below.
ITV Wales/YouGov The sample was 1117, the fieldwork 28th to 30th March. We released the figures on our 13.55 news bulletin.
May 2007 Jan 2011 4-8 March 2011 28-30 March 2011
Labour 32% 45% 48% 47%
Conservative 22% 21% 20% 21%
Plaid Cymru 22% 21% 19% 17%
Lib Dem 15% 7% 7% 8%
Others 8% 6% 7% 6%
Labour 30% 41% 45% 45%
Conservative 22% 20% 20% 20%
Plaid Cymru 21% 21% 18% 16%
Lib Dem 12% 8% 5% 8%
UKIP 4% 4% 5% 6%
Green 4% 2% 4% 2%
Others 8% 4% 2% 2%