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I have to say thanks to both the Western Mail and RMG:Clarity for respectively commissioning and producing such a detailed breakdown of the result of their latest opinion poll. Click the image to open it:


For someone like me, the information is invaluable; though it comes with the obvious health warning that with a sample of just over 1,000 the margin of error on some of the more detailed cross-breaks is quite large, so we have to be careful about the conclusions we draw from it.

The headline figures on voting intention will obviously draw most attention, and here the factor that I think is going to prove most significant is the extremely poor level of support for the LibDems. This and other polls are showing it at less than half that of either Plaid Cymru or the Tories, and this is crucial in determining how many regional seats they will win. It means that both Plaid and the Tories will win two seats before the LibDems can win one ... after, of course, taking into account any seats won at constituency level.


It is particularly satisfying to see the large level of support for devolving the police and criminal justice system and tax setting powers to Wales.

Would you like to see the Assembly gain responsibility for police and the criminal justice system?

Yes ... 56.2%
No ... 30.9%
Don't know ... 12.9%

Would you like to see the Assembly have the power to raise and lower taxes?

Yes ... 55.8%
No ... 36.2%
Don't know ... 8.0%

The percentages are very similar to those in the poll held just before the referendum, as I mentioned here, except that there are far fewer don't knows. This is only to be expected now that any uncertainty about the result of the referendum has been put to rest, and by the sheer scale of the victory. It shows that a clear consensus has developed in favour of further devolution.

The One Wales Agreement did actually make a commitment to:

Consider the evidence for the devolution of the criminal justice system within the contexts of (a) devolution of funding and (b) moves towards the establishment of a single administration of justice in Wales.

And this was indeed "considered" ... but not taken any further than that. Labour were lukewarm about it and effectively kicked it into the long grass. This poll serves as a reminder that the public desire for progress in this area is much greater than Labour's appetite for it. The One Wales agreement was made in 2007, and we have since seen this area successfully devolved to Northern Ireland in the face what might at one time have seemed to be insurmountable difficulties. It is now very hard to justify this being devolved to both Scotland and Northern Ireland, but not to Wales.

On taxation, we know that Labour are very happy to simply decide how to spend the money Wales gets in the form of the block grant, but terrified of having to take responsibility for deciding how any of that money is raised. On this issue, they are very clearly out of step with what people in Wales want.

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Cibwr said...

I would caution everyone from trying to do too many projections on who will win which seat from these figures, the sample is just too small to give useful information on individual constituencies.

MH said...

Absolutely right, Cibwr. The overall national picture should be as accurate a snapshot as other polls with a similar sample size, maybe about 3%. The regional picture, with about 200 people per region, will have a greater margin of error but should still be useful indicator. But the sample size per constituency is on average only 25 people.

Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on tactical voting at constituency level? I think this might have to happen in order to prevent an overall Labour majority.

MH said...

All will become clear in the analyses for other regions beside South Wales West, Anon.

Watch this space ;-)

Anonymous said...

I'm considering voting tactically to make sure Wales doesn't become a One State Party under the Labour party.

The party which messed up the UK economy and health and education in Wales can't be allowed to rule by themselves. They can't be trusted.

MH said...

Be careful, Anon. If Labour do win more than 50% of the vote, they should rightfully have a majority of AMs. That's not a one party state, that's democracy.

But democracy is also about persuading people that there is a better alternative than voting Labour ... and I intend to do a lot of that in the next few weeks.

Siônnyn said...

Two thing strike me about these results - the first is how far Wales has come since rejecting the very idea of devolution in 1979, to now when a clear majority of people support devolving Police and Criminal justice! Plaid have achieved a lot!

The other one is that the Labour/Plaid coalition appears to have gained favour with so many people. Who would have thought that possible in 2007?

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