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Gething’s approval ratings plummet in wake of dodgy donations and deleted phone messages

22 May 2024 4 minute read
Vaughan Gething MS – Senedd Cymru / Welsh Parliament

Martin Shipton

The approval rating for First Minister Vaughan Gething has plummeted over the last month, according to a Wales-wide poll conducted by Redfield and Wilton Strategies.

He now holds a net approval rating of -17%, down 27-points from last month. The poll finds only 18% (-15) of voters now approve of Gething’s overall job performance as First Minister of Wales, against 35% (+12) who now disapprove.

Mr Gething’s drop in support follows intense pressure brought to bear on him by his decision to accept donations totalling £200,000 from a waste group owned by businessman David Neal, who has twice been given suspended prison sentences for dumping toxic sludge in a sensitive wetland area near Cardiff.

Evidence also emerged that he had misled the UK Covid Inquiry by failing to declare that he had delete messages on his phone to prevent them from being disclosed under freedom of information legislation.

Among other party leaders in the Senedd, the Conservatives leader, Andrew RT Davies, holds a net approval rating of -11% (-5), while Rhun ap Iorwerth, the leader of Plaid Cymru, holds a net approval rating this month of -1% (-14).


Wales has been a political stronghold for the Labour Party, which has won a plurality of the vote in Wales in every general or Senedd election for the last century – since the 1922 general election. In the 2019 General Election, the Conservative Party did manage to come just 5% behind Labour in Wales, but Labour’s historically strong performance in Wales looks set to continue at the election called for July 4.

In Redfield and Wilton’s latest Welsh Westminster voting intention poll, Labour leads the Conservatives in Wales by 24%, two points more than in last month’s poll. Altogether, the results (with changes from April 22-23 in brackets) are: Labour 43% (+3); Conservatives 19% (+1); Reform UK 15% (-3); Plaid Cymru 14% (–); Green 6% (+2); Liberal Democrat 3% (-3); Other 1% (+1)

Labour lead

When those who say they do not know how they would vote in a general election are included, the Labour Party leads by 21%. After weighting by likelihood to vote, 9% of the sample say they do not know how they would vote, including 8% of those who voted Conservative in December 2019 and 6% of those who voted Labour.

Some 63% of Welsh voters cite the NHS as among the three most important issues that would determine how they would vote in a General Election, ahead of the economy (55%). Other frequently selected issues include immigration (36%), the environment (17%), and housing (17%).

When asked which would be a better Prime Minister between Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer, 42% (-2) of Welsh voters say Keir Starmer against 27% (+3) who say Rishi Sunak. 30% (-2) say they don’t know.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak receives a net approval rating of -27%, seven points up from his previous rating in Wales in mid-February. The poll finds 53% (-5) of Welsh voters disapprove of his overall job performance against 26% (+2) who approve.

Labour leader Keir Starmer’s net approval rating in Wales stands at -1%, up one point from February. Some 33% (-3) of Welsh voters approve of Starmer’s job performance, against 34% (-4) who disapprove.

The Senedd recently voted to change the electoral system under which the next Senedd election, due in 2026, will be held. Instead of voters being asked to vote on two separate ballot papers – constituency and regional list – as before, Welsh voters will now be asked to elect 96 members from 16 constituencies using a closed list system.

Senedd election

When voters are asked how they would vote if a Senedd Election were held tomorrow, the Labour Party leads by 17%. Altogether the results of the Senedd voting Intention poll are: Labour 37%; Plaid Cymru 20%; Conservative 20%; Reform UK 10%;Green 5%; Abolish the Welsh Assembly 5%; Liberal Democrat 3%; Others 0%

Welsh voters narrowly voted in favour of establishing the devolved National Assembly for Wales – as it was initially – in 1997, with the Yes side victorious by a margin of just 6,721 votes. Since then, a vocal minority has continued campaigning for abolishing the Senedd, with the single issue Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party winning almost 4% of the regional list vote in the 2021 Senedd Election.

When asked how they would vote in a referendum with the question ‘Should there be a Welsh Parliament?’ 60% (–) of Welsh voters answer yes, 31% (+1) no, while a further 9% (-1) don’t know.

Finally, in a hypothetical referendum on Welsh independence, our Welsh independence referendum voting intention poll finds ‘no’ leading by 30%.

Altogether – with changes from March in parentheses – 59% (+1) of Welsh respondents say they would vote “no” and 29% (-1) say they would vote “yes’” if there were to be a referendum tomorrow on the question ‘Should Wales be an independent country?’ Some 12% (+1) don’t know how they would vote.

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Dai Rob
Dai Rob
23 days ago

Nearly 33% Indy vote , with Dont Knows excluded. Not Bad…..seems to be stuck around that figure!!

Richard E
Richard E
23 days ago

I think we see his replacement in the pic ?

22 days ago

He’s blown it. Time to go..

Swn Y Mor
Swn Y Mor
22 days ago

Keir Starmer talks of change, I think change needs to happen in Wales. 25 years of virtually one party rule and the country is going backwards now run by a person who is seemingly not fit for the role as first minister.

I find it incredible that after all this time voters will still keep voting for Labour in.

22 days ago

Does anyone still believe that the 1997 “Yes” vote wasn’t fixed?

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