Should the Tories be doing much better in Wales?

Should the Tories be doing much better in Wales?


    Does David Cameron’s appeal stop at Offa’s Dyke?

Lots of excitement seems to have been generated over last night’s NOP poll on the Welsh Assembly elections – just under four weeks away.

For the figures suggesting that the Tories could end in second place and become the main opposition party within the Assembly is being seen in some quarters as big news. But is this such a major development?

Just looking at the numbers and comparisons with what happened four years ago all we are really seeing is a part of the polling movement that has been experienced nationally over the past eighteen months being reflected within the Principality.

These are the figures:-
LAB: 36% (40% in 2003) constituencies:35% (37%) top-up list
CON 23% (20%) and 24% (19%);
PC 20% (21%) and 20% (20%)
LD 15% (14%) and 15% (13%).

So Labour are down a tenth on the last election while the Tories are up between a seventh and a fifth. Those changes are substantially better for Labour than has been experienced in the national polls over the past four years and a bit worse for the Tories.

The latest national polls compared with those from April-May 2003 has Labour down nearly a quarter while the Tories are up more than a fifth.

    So this month’s NOP numbers seem to suggest that Labour is holding onto its vote much more strongly in Wales and the Tories doing less well than in the national voting intention figures.

Whether this will prove to be the case on May 3rd remains to be seen.

There is betting on the Welsh Assembly elections but the markets have attracted almost zero interest. During the three months that betting has been going on just over £1000 has been traded on the Betfair exchange. Maybe this is because Labour’s victory is such a foregone conclusion and nobody is going to get excited about the 0.15/1 price that’s available.

Mike Smithson

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