Plaid Cymru would regain its position as the second largest party in the Assembly if an election were held today, a St. David’s Day Poll by the BBC and ICM suggests.
The poll also shows support for independence at 7% – up only one point from last year but having grown from its low of 3% in 2014.
Growing fears about Brexit were also clear as 49% thought Brexit would have a negative impact on the Welsh economy, with only 24% thinking it would be positive.
ICM interviewed a representative sample of 1,001 adults aged 18+ by telephone on 8-25 February 2018.
The Assembly constituency poll has Labour on 40% (+5.3%), Plaid Cymru on 24% (+3.5%), and the Conservatives on 22% (+0.9%). The big loser is UKIP whose support falls 7.5 points to 5%.
Regional voting intention has Labour on 36% (+4.5%), Plaid Cymru on 22% (+1.2%), the Conservatives on 21% (+2.2%), UKIP on 8% (-5%) and the Liberal Democrats on 6% (-0.5%).
Political scientist Professor Roger Scully estimated that the poll results would leave Plaid Cymru on 15 seats to Labour’s 30, with the Conservatives in third place on 13.
UKIP and the Liberal Democrats would win only one seat each, according to his projections.
“This poll is significantly better for Plaid Cymru, and rather less good for the Conservatives, than recent Barometer polls – certainly in terms of National Assembly voting intentions,” he said on his blog.
“This may be a reflection of differences between the methods of YouGov and ICM. Alternatively, it could be that the problems being experienced by the UK government are starting to have some impact on the standing of the Tories. Or it could just be an ‘outlier’ finding.
“At any rate, after a difficult few months internally for the party, this offers some encouragement for Plaid.”
The poll suggests that support for more powers for the Assembly is unchanged on 44%, support for the status quo was down one point at 28%, and support for fewer powers up one point at 4%.
Support for abolishing the Assembly had fallen one point to 12%.