Saturday, 2 March 2019

Plaid should seriously fight Newport West By-election.

So in a few days we have seen two contrasting Welsh Polls , which for the first time in what seem age seem to show a marked improvement in  Plaid Cymru in ages.

Professor Roger Awan-Scully once again has bee scrunching the numbers.

When interpreting these results, in particular, it is probably worth noting some things about how the poll was conducted. First, that it was a telephone poll, and not an online survey like the Welsh Political Barometer polls carried out by YouGov. Second, the sampling for this particular poll was conducted by ICM across quite a long period of time – from 7th to 23rd February. (In contrast, the recent Barometer poll sampling occurred between 19-22 February). Given the various political events during this period, the levels of support reported for the parties may well have been affected by when people were spoken to.
Anyway, what did ICM find? First here are their results for a Westminster general election (with, for the purposes of comparison, the figures from this week’s Barometer poll alongside):
Plaid Cymru13%14%
Liberal Democrats8%6%

The clear difference is of course the change in the Labour vote  and the 8% others which reflects the  18% UK wide support for the newly formed Independent Group seem to be garnering.

The Big story form a Welsh view point is in the Assembly polls.

Plaid Cymru
Liberal Democrats

Professor Roger Awan-Scully writes   
Two things are immediately noticeable about these figures. The first is that ICM put Plaid Cymru in a rather better position than YouGov; this repeats the findings from last year, when – as noted here – Plaid did a bit better in polls from ICM and Sky Data than in near-contemporaneous polls from YouGov. Quite why this should be I am unsure. What we can be rather more sure about is that the 27 percent in this poll is Plaid’s highest score for the constituency ballot on any poll since an NOP poll early in the campaign for the 2003 National Assembly election.

The second important thing to note is that these figures for the National Assembly also show a significant Labour decline on the last such ICM poll a year ago. Then Labour was on 40 percent support on the constituency ballot. There seems little doubt that Labour support has fallen, even if we are unsure about the extent of the decline.
Using once again the assumption of uniform national swings from the last election, this poll projects six constituencies to change hands for the National Assembly. Plaid Cymru are projected to pick up Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Cardiff West and Llanelli from Labour, and Aberconwy from the Conservatives; the Tories in turn are projected to gain the Vale of Glamorgan from Labou

For the regional list vote, ICM found the following:
Plaid Cymru25%23%
Liberal Democrats6%6%
These findings also show a Labour decline since the last ICM poll twelve months ago (when Labour was on 36 percent for the list ballot), and again shows rising support for Plaid Cymru.

Allowing for the constituency results already projected, and once more assuming uniform national swings since 2016, our new poll projects the following overall results for the Assembly’s regional list seats:
North Wales: 2 Plaid, 2 Conservative
Mid & West Wales: 3 Labour, 1 Plaid
South Wales West: 2 Conservative, 2 Plaid
South Wales Central: 2 Conservative, 2 Plaid
South Wales East: 2 Conservative, 1 Plaid, 1 UKIP

These figures thereby generate the following overall result for the National Assembly:
 Labour: 25 seats (22 constituency, 3 regional)
Plaid Cymru 19 seats (11 constituency, 8 regional)Conservatives: 14 seats (6 constituency, 8 regional)Liberal Democrats: 1 seat (1 constituency)UKIP: 1 seat (1 regional)
It will be interesting  to see how much with a rapidly changing UK scene if Plaid can seize on this and start looking  like a Party on a roll and start rising even further at the moment  only Ynys Mon  looks like a target seat in Westminster.

So I wonder if the Party buoyed up with the apparent mini-surge actually have a serious campaign in the forthcoming by-election. in  Newport West .

The by-election will take place on 4 April 2019 following the death of Paul Flynn MP. and on paper looks like  a poor ground for Plaid's prospect
General Election 2017: Newport West
LabourPaul Flynn[5]22,72352.3+11.1
ConservativeAngela Jones-Evans[6][5]17,06539.3+6.8
UKIPStan Edwards1,1002.5-12.7
Plaid CymruMorgan Bowler-Brown [5]1,0772.5-1.5
Liberal DemocratSarah Lockyer9762.2-1.7
GreenPippa Bartolotti[7]4971.1-2.0
Registered electors64,399
Labour holdSwing+2.2

General Election 2015: Newport West[8]
LabourPaul Flynn16,63341.2-0.1
ConservativeNick Webb13,12332.5+0.2
UKIPGordon Norrie6,13415.2+12.3
Plaid CymruSimon Coopey1,6044.0+1.2
Liberal DemocratEd Townsend1,5813.9-12.7
GreenPippa Bartolotti1,2723.2+2.1
Registered electors62,137
Labour holdSwing-0.1

However it has always been a Labour-Tory marginal and no third party has ever really made any impact.

Clearly Plaid can't win the seat but a good third place might make all the difference .

The Liberal Democrats can't  litter the constituency with their "Little Bar Graphs" showing themselves  as the main challenger  and  the Independent Group  sem unlikely to be able to organise a candidate.

This leaves Ukip who may benefit from any delay in the UK leaving the EU, but who may have a problem f we crash out on March 29th.

This leaves Plaid as a Left Pro Europe alternative . It does look like a Pipe dream
but remember  in 1968 plaid came from nowhere ib Caerphilly

Result of the previous general election[edit]

General Election 1966: Caerphilly
LabourNess Edwards26,33074.25+2.11
ConservativeRonald J Maddocks5,18214.61-2.28
Plaid CymruJohn D A Howell3,94911.41+0.43
Registered electors46,180
Labour holdSwing

Result of the by-election[edit]

Caerphilly by-election, 1968[2]
LabourAlfred Evans16,14845.66-28.59
Plaid CymruPhil Williams14,27440.36+29.22
ConservativeRobert Williams3,68710.43-4.18
LiberalPeter Sadler1,2573.55N/A
Registered electors46,578
Labour holdSwing

Of course Plaid start at a much lower base, but nothing  is for certain and if Plaid decide to put proper resources into the by-election rather put up a Paper candidate  a good third is not impossible.


Robert said...

Plaid already have a great candidate in Jonathan Clarke.

Gwyn Isaac said...

Drakeford v McEvoy is the Labour / Welsh Nationalist Senedd election to watch as well as whether Neil stands as a Plaid Cymru, Ein Gwlad or Independent candidate.