Labour are projected to tighten their grip on Wales at next week’s Westminster General Election, further squeezing Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats’ support, according to a new YouGov poll.
The poll projects that Labour will regain Gower and the Vale of Clwyd, seats lost to the Conservatives at the 2015 election.
After polls at the end of April showed them losing their hold on Wales for the first time in a century, Labour has surged to 46% of the vote.
The YouGov poll shows the Tories on 35% and Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats on 8% and 5% respectively.
It’s a big turnaround for Labour. The first poll of the election, sampled on 19-21 April, had the Conservatives 10% if the lead, on 40%, and Labour on 30%.
Professor Roger Scully of Cardiff University’s Governance Centre said that the results suggested that the Labour fightback seen in the last poll was not simply a fluke, or merely the product of a sympathy factor after the death of former First Minister Rhodri Morgan.
“This has been an erratic election in Wales: the first two polls of the campaign showed clear Conservative leads, and indicated that the Tories were on course for a historic electoral breakthrough,” he said.
“For the Conservatives, the reversal in their fortunes seems to reflect less a decline in their support and more the success of Labour.
“After all, this poll still has the Tories almost eight percentage points higher than their actual Welsh vote share in 2015.”
But he cautioned that Labour’s vote was particularly dependent on younger voters, who tend to vote in fewer numbers that older voters.
“Of course, such younger voters are often less reliable in terms of turnout, so one of the key factors for Labour in this last week of the campaign will be converting supportive attitudes amongst younger voters into actual votes in the ballot box,” he said.