Thursday, 10 February 2011

National Assembly 2011 : Three Months to go

In a little over three months time, the composition of the new National Assembly will be known and (if the referendum passes in March) will get to grips with new powers in twenty key areas that are currently governed by Westminster. But which party's policies will be at the fore? Between now and election day, I will be offering my own assessments based on polls and past Assembly elections to try and figure out how the new Assembly will look.

Polling in Wales has not been all that frequent, indeed between the first Assembly elections in 1999 and the 2007 elections, I can only remember there ever being six polls on the Assembly in total. Thankfully this has now changed and since May of last year You Gov have been doing monthly polls, therefore it only seems sensible to take an average of all these polls and see what impact that could have in May:

Constituency Vote:
Labour 43% (+11% on 2007) Plaid Cymru 21% (-1% on 2007) Conservatives 21% (-1% on 2007) Liberal Democrats 10% (-5% on 2007) Others 6% (-3% on 2007)
Regional Vote:
Labour 41% (+11% on 2007) Plaid Cymru 21% (n/c on 2007) Conservatives 20% (-1% on 2007) Liberal Democrats 8% (-4% on 2007) Others 12% (-4% on 2007)
Regional Others Breakdown:
UKIP 5% (+1% on 2007) Green Party 3% (n/c on 2007) BNP 2% (-2% on 2007) Others 2% (-2% on 2007)

As you can see Wales appears to be following the national trend of a massive increase in the Labour vote since the general election (coming pretty much equally from Liberal Democrats and smaller parties such as the BNP), but what would happen if these numbers were reflected in an actual Assembly Election?

Labour 29 seats (+5) Plaid Cymru 6 seats (-1) Conservatives 2 seats (-3) Liberal Democrats 3 seats (unchanged) Others 0 seats (-1)
Clwyd West, Preseli Pembrokeshire, Carmarthen West from Con, Llanelli from Plaid, Blaenau Gwent from Independent
Near misses: Conservatives HOLD Cardiff North (0.41% majority) Liberal Democrats HOLD Montgomeryshire (0.62% majority)
Regional Lists: Conservatives 10 seats (+3) Plaid Cymru 8 seats (unchanged) Liberal Democrats 2 seats (-1) Labour 0 seats (-2)
Regional List Allocations:
South Wales Central:
Conservatives 2 seats (unchanged) Plaid Cymru 2 seats (unchanged)
Mid and West Wales: Plaid Cymru 1 seat (unchanged) Conservatives 3 seats (+2)
North Wales: Plaid Cymru 1 seat (unchanged) Conservatives 3 seats (+1)
South Wales East: Conservatives 1 seats (unchanged) Plaid Cymru 2 seats (unchanged) Liberal Democrats 1 seat (unchanged)
South Wales West: Plaid Cymru 2 seats (unchanged) Conservatives 1 seats (unchanged) Liberal Democrats 1 seat (unchanged)
Overall Assembly: Labour 29 seats (+3) Plaid Cymru 14 seats (-1) Conservatives 12 seats (unchanged) Liberal Democrats 5 seats (-1) Others 0 seats (-1)

Which would leave Labour short of an overall majority by two seats and with the option of either carrying on with the One Wales agreement or (as they did between 2003 and 2007) going on in a minority, however if Labour were to gain Cardiff North and the Conservatives were to gain Montgomeryshire then the composition would be:
Labour 31 seats (+5) Plaid Cymru 14 seats (-1) Conservatives 11 seats (-1) Liberal Democrats 4 seats (-2) Others 0 seats (-1)

and would Labour to govern with a majority (allowing for the Presiding Officer not being able to cast a vote in the Assembly). Which just goes to show how every single vote in the Assembly elections can make all the difference.


  1. Harry

    How are you calculating the seat numbers here ... e.g. Cardiff North Lab +11, Con -1, LD -5, PC -1, would give you Lab 41.9; Con 44.3; LD 7.7; PC 6.4 and thus Con Maj of 2.4?

  2. More importantly :-) Llanelli has a Plaid majority of 14.1% How do you get Labour gaining Llanelli based on your figures?

  3. All calculations are based on the average of polls since June 2010 to January 2011 and are calculated using UK-Elect (a computer programme used by all parties across all devolved and national parliaments)

  4. As to the question of Cardiff North and Llanelli, as someone who I expect accompanied Helen Mary Jones in her wailing and gnashing of teeth when she lost Llanelli in 2003 (on a swing from Plaid to Lab of 1.26%), you will be aware that the swing nationally in 2003 was 4.84% from Plaid to Lab. To suggest that every single constituency in the country will behave the same way as a national poll is not the signs of an experienced psephologist (and besides if the Lib Dems were to lose 5% in every constituency, you would have negative Lib Dem polls in Ynys Môn (-1.6%), Llanelli (-1.2%) and Islwyn (-0.2%))