Latest Welsh Westminster, Senedd & Independence Referendum Voting Intention (12-13 November 2023)

November 15, 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 20%, unchanged from last month. Altogether, the results (with changes from 14-15 October in parentheses) are as follows:

Labour 44% (-2)
Conservatives 24% (-2)
Plaid Cymru 13% (+3)
Reform UK 9% (-1)
Green 5% (+1)
Liberal Democrat 4% (+1)
Other 1% (+1)

60% of Welsh voters cite the economy and the NHS as among the three most important issues that would determine how they would vote in a General Election. Other frequently selected issues include immigration (33%), the environment (24%), housing (19%), and education (19%). 

Asked their view on the UK Government, a majority of Welsh voters (55%) say the current UK Government is incompetent. Only 17% view the UK Government as competent.

When asked which would be a better Prime Minister between Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer, 41% (-3) of Welsh voters say Keir Starmer against 31% (+1) who say Rishi Sunak. 28% (+2) say they don’t know.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak receives a net approval rating of -23%, three points down from his previous rating in Wales last month. Our poll finds 49% (+2) of Welsh voters disapprove of his overall job performance against 26% (-1) who approve. 

Labour leader Keir Starmer’s net approval rating in Wales stands at +6%, 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% (+1) of Welsh voters approve of Starmer’s job performance, against 30% (–) 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 wider margins in both our constituency and regional list voting intention polls compared to last month

Altogether the results of our Senedd Constituency Voting Intention poll (with changes from 14-15 October in parentheses) are as follows:

Labour 40% (+3)
Conservative 23% (-4)
Plaid Cymru 18% (–)
Reform UK 7% (+1)
Green 4% (+1)
Liberal Democrat 3% (-1)
Abolish the Welsh Assembly 3% (-2)
Other 1% (+1) 

The Labour Party also leads when voters are asked who they would vote for on their regional list ballot. Labour is on 32% (+1), with the Conservatives (21%, –) in second, ahead of Plaid Cymru (18%, -6) 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.

While a majority of Welsh voters currently remain in favour of keeping a devolved Welsh Assembly, the percentage of voters who would now vote to keep the Welsh Assembly is at its lowest level since we started our Welsh tracker in April. When asked how they would vote in a referendum with the question ‘Should there be a Welsh Parliament?’ 55% (-3) of Welsh voters answer yes, 33% (+1) no, while a further 11% (+1) don’t know.

First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford receives a net approval rating of -15% this month, unchanged from last month. Our poll finds 30% (–) of voters approve of his overall job performance as First Minister of Wales against 45% (–) who disapprove. 

Of the Government Mark Drakeford leads, a plurality (40%) now say the current Welsh Government is incompetent, compared to 26% who say it is competent.

Among other party leaders in the Senedd, the Conservatives leader, Andrew RT Davies, holds a net approval rating of +1% (+10), while Rhun ap Iorwerth, the leader of Plaid Cymru, holds a net approval rating of -2% (-1).

Andrew RT Davies maintains a one-point lead over Mark Drakeford when Welsh voters are asked who would be a better First Minister for Wales (32% to 31%, with a further 38% of voters undecided).

Drakeford continues to lead Rhun ap Iorwerth on the same question, although by a margin of only two points (29% vs 27%) as compared with the six-point advantage he enjoyed last month (29% vs 23%). 44% are undecided.

Finally, in a hypothetical referendum on Welsh independence, our Welsh independence referendum voting intention poll finds ‘no’ leading by 23%.

Altogether—with changes from October in parentheses—56% (-3) of Welsh respondents say they would vote ‘no’ and 33% (+2) say they would vote ‘yes’ if there were to be a referendum tomorrow on the question ‘Should Wales be an independent country?’. 12% (+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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