Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Wales’s ‘Mystic Meg’ on the election result in Wales

Not much change in popular support but some musical chairs in 2 or more seats.

In a few hours the final YouGov poll forecasting the likely outcome of the General Election in Wales will be available for us all to consider and review. So in eager anticipation of the moment…

There have been three such polls to date and the last one showed a remarkable transformation in the fortunes of the Labour Party. The first two polls having indicated an unprecedented Conservative revival in Wales.

The last poll indicated Labour at 46%; Conservatives 35%; Plaid Cymru 8%; Liberal Democrats 5%; and UKIP 5%.

In terms of seats this translated into Labour with 26; Conservatives 10; Plaid Cymru 3; and Liberal Democrats 1.

My hunch is that very little will change in the next poll, in terms of percentage points, but there might well be changes at the margins with some musical chairs.

So my prediction is that Plaid Cymru could well have 4 seats with Ieuan Wyn Jones winning Anglesey, Labour regaining Gower,  and Ceredigion a very tight contest between the Liberal Democrats and Plaid.

The major feature of this election has been the return to two party politics as it pretty much was pre-SDP and Alliance days. There have been a number of reasons for that—including decline of the Liberal Democrats post-2010 and its voice in almost all debates in the Welsh Assembly effectively silenced, the collapse of UKIP and the Brexit effect  being the most prominent influences.

Finally two questions have to be thrown into the mix which could muddy the waters - which party or parties will benefit most from the collapse of  UKIP support in individual constituencies and what part tactical voting will play in certain seats. It is envisaged that tactical voting will be the highest it has ever been.  

An interesting aspect to watch out for will be how the 18-24 year old people vote. Across the UK there has been a massive surge in voting registration amongst that age group. UK opinion polls strongly indicate that over 60% of them will be voting Labour.

So what will happen in Wales? I have a feeling that Plaid Cymru will be vying with Labour for their support. …

There we go – I will have to wait couple of hours