Wales politics

UKIP 'could win nine Welsh assembly seats' based on poll

UKIP rosette Image copyright PA

UKIP could win as many as nine seats in the 2016 assembly election, according to expert analysis of a new poll.

On constituency votes, the ITV/Wales Governance Centre poll puts Labour on 35% (-4), the Conservatives on 23% (no change), Plaid Cymru 20% (+2), UKIP 15% (+2) and Lib Dems 5% (-1).

Analysis suggests Labour would be short of a majority on 27 seats, down three.

It gives the Tories 12 seats (down two), Plaid 10 (down one), UKIP nine, and Lib Dems two (down three).

The analysis, by Prof Roger Scully from Cardiff University's Wales Governance Centre, takes into account regional list voting for the 20 of the 60 AMs elected using a form of proportional representation.

That data puts Labour on 34%, Conservatives 23%, Plaid Cymru 18%, UKIP 16% and the Lib Dems and Greens both on 4%.

Were Labour to win 27 seats in Cardiff Bay, it would face a choice between governing as a minority or reaching a deal with one of the other parties.

The election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader in the summer appears not to have a led to a sustained improvement in the party's poll ratings.

Image caption Prof Scully warned that small changes in UKIP's support would mean it winning fewer seats

Prof Scully said: "Labour remain some way ahead of the field.

"But we see their support for the devolved election slipping notably since September.

"The main thing to jump out from these findings, however, is that UKIP are currently projected to win nine list seats in the assembly: two in every region of Wales except for South Wales West.

"We should note that these list seat calculations are subject to change on quite small variations in support: with only small changes in public preferences UKIP might be projected to win several fewer seats."

The poll for ITV and the Wales Governance Centre had a sample of 1,005 Welsh adults and was carried out by YouGov from November 30 to December 4 2015.

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