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New poll reveals growing dissatisfaction with First Minister

30 May 2024 4 minute read
First Minister Vaughan Gething – Image: Ben Birchal

Emily Price

A new poll has revealed growing dissatisfaction with First Minister Vaughan Gething from across the political spectrum.

Results gathered between 22-27 May by More in Common from a weighted sample of 805 found that only 3% of Welsh voters thought the new First Minister was doing ‘a very good job’.

Driving this low approval appears to be the scandal surrounding the £200,000 donation he received from a man convicted of environmental offences during his campaign to be Welsh Labour leader.

A third (32%) of Welsh people think Mr Gething should both resign over the scandal and give the money back.

A further 27% think he should give the money back but not resign.


Asked to pick words to describe Mr Gething, the most popular option was “don’t know” – with 33% selecting this.

But the second top word chosen was “shifty” (19%) , followed by “out-of-touch” (15%) and “incompetent” (13%).

Other top attributes to describe the embattled First Minister were “opportunistic” (12%) and greedy (12%).

Only 2% described Mr Gething as “empathetic” and 5% said he was “honest”.

30% said they thought electing Mr Gething as First Minister was the wrong decision rather than the right decision (24%), although 46% said they don’t know (46%).

Only 15% of Welsh people think that Mr Gething – who came into office in March – is an improvement on former First Minister Mark Drakeford.

Mr Gething faces a vote of no confidence in the Senedd next week over the controversial £200k donation to his leadership campaign and the deletion of message in a ministerial group chat during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds has made calls for the First Minister to return the donation cash.

She said: “This poll shows that the public care about integrity in politics and agree with what we have been calling for – for Vaughan Gething to hand back the donation.

“Yet despite having the opportunity over the recent months to do the right thing and hand the money back, he has failed to do so.

“The Liberal Democrats want to see a different kind of politics, one where donors have far less influence on our politics, that is why we have proposed a cap on donations to all political parties.”


But More in Common’s polling of Welsh adults shows that Labour’s brand remains strong, even if voters hold unfavourable views about the First Minister.

Results gathered since the General Election announcement show Labour starts the campaign with a 45% vote share with the Tories falling from 36% in 2019 to 21% if an election was held today.

Labour the most trusted party on every issue those polled were asked about such as the cost of living crisis, the NHS and affordable housing.

On Ukraine and the conflict in the Middle East – the Conservatives lead slightly.

However, on standing up for Wales in Westminster Plaid Cymru polled as more trusted than Labour.

Another key insight from the results is the collapse in the Tory vote as disillusioned voters flock towards Reform UK and Labour.

The Conservatives have retained 52% of their 2019 voters in Wales, with 10% now intending to vote Labour, and 15% intending to vote Reform.


Disillusioned Labour voters are also leaving the party on a smaller scale having retained 75% of their voters in Wales – but almost one in ten now intend to vote for Plaid Cymru instead.

Plaid Cymru candidate for Caerfyrddin, Ann Davies, said: “It’s clear that people are fed up of Labour taking Wales for granted, and that the Tories cannot be trusted when it comes to standing up for our communities.

“For too long, Wales has been a blip on the radar in Westminster – but times are changing.

“The people of Wales are realising that Plaid Cymru is the only party that always put Wales first, and will demand the fairness that our communities deserve. With so many issues facing our communities, it’s more important than ever that a strong team of Plaid Cymru MPs is elected to stand up for Wales.”

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Morfudd ap Haul
Morfudd ap Haul
3 days ago

More in Common’s polling of Welsh adults shows that Labour’s brand remains strong

3 days ago

Gething – GOING, GOING, ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

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