New poll shows the most important issue for voters in every part of Wales
The economy dominates the concerns of most people in Wales as the country prepares to vote in Thursday’s local elections, a new poll has revealed.
Royal Holloway and Survation have launched a new tracker, which shows the issues that are most important in each of Great Britain’s 632 Westminster Parliamentary constituencies.
They gave voters a choice of five issues – the economy, Covid, Brexit, time and energy.
In Wales, 14 of 40 constituencies chose Covid as the top issue – Ynys Môn, Arfon, Clwyd West, Dwyfor-Meirionnydd, Ceredigion, Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, Llanelli, Swansea West, Neath, Aberavon, Rhondda, Cynon Valley, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney, and the Vale of Glamorgan.
The other 25 constituencies chose the economy as the issue that was most pressing.
Only one constituency chose an issue other than Covid or the economy – Cardiff Central, which chose Brexit as its top issue.
Arfon and Dwynfor-Meirionnydd, which collectively make up the county of Gwynedd, were the constituencies most concerned about Covid, with 45% of voters in each picking that as their top issue.
Cardiff North voters were most concerned about the economy, with 35% picking it as their top issue.
Across the nations of the UK, the results show that the economy in general is the top issue in most constituencies (460), followed by coronavirus (153).
Other issues which appeared as some of the most important were, Brexit (17 constituencies), crime (1 constituency) and energy (1 constituency).
Seats held by Conservative MPs are overwhelmingly likely to indicate that the economy was the most important issue (88%). Seats held by Labour MPs were split more evenly between coronavirus (50%), the economy (43%), and Brexit (7%).
Commenting on the release of the tracker, Professor Chris Hanretty from Royal Holloway’s Democracy and Elections Centre, said: “MPs often talk about what’s important on the doorstep – usually when they want to deflect attention from another issue.
“Now for the first time we’ve got some insight into what’s important at local level. It’s going to be interesting cross-checking these results against what MPs say people are telling them.”
CEO of Survation, Damian Lyons Lowe, added: “We’ve been working in partnership with Royal Holloway for five years now, and it’s great to see that we’ll be able to share the fruits of that co-operation regularly and publicly.”
The tracker uses multilevel regression and post-stratification (MRP) techniques to show which issues matter most in different areas.
MRP works by predicting what survey respondents say using information on the respondents’ characteristics and the characteristics of their area and extrapolating that to constituencies.
Survation polled 14,304 people in Great Britain between the 16 February and 30 March. Respondents were given a list of twenty-two issues and asked to pick the two most important issues facing the country right now.
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