Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Latest Poll takes us back to square one in Wales

The latest Welsh barometer poll  comes as shock only that it shows a  a return to the norm with huge reversal in the positions of Labour and the Conservatives, with Labour up nine points and the Tories down seven.
Previous polling had suggested that the Conservatives were about to make a historic breakthrough in Wales, seizing a slew of seats from Labour and sending more Welsh MPs to Westminster than any other party. However, if these numbers are accurate, only a single seat will change hands — as Labour take Gower back from the Conservatives. 
Conservatives: 41% (+1)
Labour: 35% (+5)
Plaid Cymru: 11% (-2)
Liberal Democrats: 7% (-1)
UKIP: 4% (-2)
Others: 2% (-1)
A situation one commentator seemed to think was not so bad if  it kept out Plaid out.
The Tories look set to make deep inroads into South and North Wales. Veteran contrarian Paul Flynn is set to lose while Kevin Brennan is in a dead heat in Cardiff West. Perhaps most strikingly, Owen Smith, who challenged Jeremy Corbyn last year for the leadership, is within a couple of thousand votes of losing in Pontypridd.
However, as bad as the situation looks, it could be worse. What happened in Scotland does not seem imminent in Wales.
It’s notable that Plaid’s number one target, Ynys Mon, a seat where they finished just 1% behind Labour in 2015 looks set to swing to the Tories rather than them.
The structure of Labour’s problem in Wales is as elsewhere across England: banks of Ukip votes tumbling to the Tories while Jeremy Corbyn turns off traditional Labour voters. Dreadful as this is, it’s still better than Plaid expanding across North Wales, breaking into South Wales and shutting Labour out entirely, as the SNP have in Scotland.

Of course there may be a few changes in individual  seats however but it looks the squeeze on other Parties is on.
For Plaid in particular it id a disappointing  poll after what did look like promise.
Some have been comparing Plaid to the SNP  but lets remember that even with a much more viable Scottish Media  the SNP 

974 (Feb)Increase 21.9%
7 / 71
1974 (Oct)Increase 30.4%
11 / 71
High-water mark, until 2015. Increased presence contributed to Labour holding a devolution referendum in 1979.
1979Decrease 17.3%
2 / 71
Poor performance compared to the two 1974 elections caused internal ructions during the 1980s.
1983Decrease 11.7%
2 / 72
1987Increase 14.0%
3 / 72
During this period the SNP did win the Govern By election with Jim Sillars
1992Increase 21.5%
3 / 72
A large rise in the SNP vote saw no increase in seats but did highlight that Scotland had voted against the Tories and despite  50 Labour MPs the  feeble 50) these were largely useless when it came to fighting Scotland cause
1997Increase 22.1%
6 / 72
Th year of Balir's victory  and when there were no Tories in Scotland and Wales
2001Decrease 20.1%
5 / 72
2005Decrease 17.7%
6 / 59
2010Increase 19.9%
6 / 59
2015Increase 50.0%
56 / 59

The Independence referendum changed everything , but in order to to do this the SNP had to win in Holyrood .
Before then they, as Plaid are now were caught in a Catch 22 situation that in order to garner momentum they first had to win .
No Plaid leader has managed to make such an impact in UK elections as Leanne Wood  and I suspect a replacement would find it very hard..

Unless Plaid were to get lucky and there's a by election  win in the next few years which would create the momentum , but after the elation of 1974 the SNP found it hard going,
Clearly the answer is to win control of the Assembly , but even this could be a hard task.


Bill Chapman said...

I hope you don't mind if I make one or two comments. You write about Scotland that "The Independence referendum changed everything". I don't think that refeendum changed anything at all. Scotland remains part of the United Kingdom, and I don't see any sign of that changing.

It seems to me that Welsh Labour is the National Left Party. We should back Labour loyally in the General Election.

glynbeddau said...

Bill, whee to start?

The Independence Referendum aftermath saw the SNP win 56 of the 59 seats and Labour . The battleground in Scotland is now between a SNP led center left independence movement and a right wing Tory led (with Labour support) Unionism.
As for Wales how many Labour candidatures could you really describe as centre left?

The choice we have in Wales is either Plaid and independence or permanent Tory rule from Westminster. How much longer are Labour supporters like yourself going to choose the latter by voting for a Unionist Party?