Latest Welsh Westminster, Senedd & Independence Referendum Voting Intention (10-11 December 2023)

December 13, 2023
R&WS Research Team
Approval Rating | GB Politics | GB Public Figures | UK Elections | UK Politics | Voting Intention

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As one of the four nations that comprise the United Kingdom and with its own devolved Government, Wales holds a unique and important place in British politics. With the next General Election likely to be about a year away, we at Redfield & Wilton Strategies launched in April a monthly Welsh tracker poll.

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 hundred years (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 next election.

In our latest Welsh Westminster Voting Intention Poll, we find Labour leading the Conservatives in Wales by 25%, five points up from last month. Altogether, the results (with changes from 12-13 November in parentheses) are as follows:

Labour 47% (+3)
Conservatives 22% (-2)
Plaid Cymru 11% (-2)
Reform UK 10% (+1)
Liberal Democrat 6% (+2)
Green 3% (-2)
Other 0% (-1)

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 (61%). Other frequently selected issues include immigration (39%), housing (21%), and the environment (20%). 

Asked their view on the UK Government, a majority of Welsh voters (62%) say the current UK Government is incompetent. Only 14% view the UK Government as competent.

When asked which would be a better Prime Minister between Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer, 47% (+6) of Welsh voters say Keir Starmer against 25% (-6) who say Rishi Sunak. 28% (–) say they don’t know.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak receives a net approval rating of -34%, eleven points down from his previous rating in Wales last month and the lowest rating he has recorded in our Welsh tracker. Our poll finds 56% (+7) of Welsh voters disapprove of his overall job performance against 22% (-4) who approve. 

Labour leader Keir Starmer’s net approval rating in Wales stands at +7%, up one point from last month, and the highest net approval rating he has recorded since we began our Welsh monthly tracker in April. 36% (–) of Welsh voters approve of Starmer’s job performance, against 29% (-1) who disapprove. 

The next Welsh Senedd Election is not due to be held until May 2026. Nevertheless, when voters are asked how they would vote if a Senedd Election were held tomorrow, the Labour Party leads by a wider margin in our Constituency Voting Intention poll compared to last month, although the party’s lead in our Regional List Voting Intention Poll has narrowed to just 4%.  

Altogether the results of our Senedd Constituency Voting Intention poll (with changes from 12-13 November in parentheses) are as follows:

Labour 41% (+1)
Conservative 22% (-1)
Plaid Cymru 17% (-1)
Reform UK 7% (–)
Liberal Democrat 7% (+4)
Green 3% (-1)
Abolish the Welsh Assembly 3% (–)
Other 0% (-1) 

The Labour Party also leads when voters are asked who they would vote for on their regional list ballot. Labour is on 28% (-4), with Plaid Cymru (24%, +6) in second, ahead of the Conservatives (20%, -1) in third.

Welsh voters narrowly voted in favour of establishing the devolved Welsh Senedd 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.

However, a majority of Welsh voters remain in favour of keeping a devolved Welsh Assembly, with the percentage of voters who would now vote to keep the Welsh Assembly having increased by five points since last month. When asked how they would vote in a referendum with the question ‘Should there be a Welsh Parliament?’ 60% (+5) of Welsh voters answer yes, 30% (-3) no, while a further 10% (-1) don’t know.

First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford (who announced his resignation as Welsh Labour Leader on Wednesday) receives a net approval rating of -17% in our latest poll, down two points from last month, and the lowest rating he has recorded in our Welsh monthly political tracker. Our poll finds 28% (-2) of voters approve of his overall job performance as First Minister of Wales against 45% (–) who disapprove. 

With Mark Drakeford having confirmed on Wednesday his imminent departure from office, thoughts now turn to who will replace him as First Minister

In polling conducted for WalesOnline before the First Minister announced his resignation, a plurality (46%) of Welsh voters said they don’t know who they would most like to replace Drakeford from among a list of current senior Welsh Labour figures. Vaughan Gething (16%) and Eluned Morgan (13%) are the two most popular named candidates, although both are less popular choices than an unnamed ‘someone else’ (19%).

Of the Government Mark Drakeford leads, a plurality (38%) now say the current Welsh Government is incompetent, compared to 22% who say it is competent.

Among other party leaders in the Senedd, Conservatives leader Andrew RT Davies, holds a net approval rating of -15% (-16), while Rhun ap Iorwerth, the leader of Plaid Cymru, continues to hold a net approval rating of -2% (–).

Meanwhile, Mark Drakeford has re-taken a lead over Andrew RT Davies when Welsh voters are asked who would be a better First Minister for Wales (35%, +4 vs 32%, –). A further 33% (-5) of voters are undecided.

Drakeford continues to lead Rhun ap Iorwerth on the same question, having extended his advantage by a further two points compared to last month (31%, +2 vs 27%, –). 41% (-3) are undecided.

Finally, in a hypothetical referendum on Welsh independence, our Welsh independence referendum voting intention poll finds ‘no’ leading by 24%.

Altogether—with changes from October in parentheses—58% (+2) of Welsh respondents say they would vote ‘no’ and 34% (+1) say they would vote ‘yes’ if there were to be a referendum tomorrow on the question ‘Should Wales be an independent country?’ 9% (-3) don’t know how they would vote.

To find out more information about this research contact our research team. Redfield & Wilton Strategies is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Follow us on Twitter

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