As I have explained, I track the regional breakdowns to produce this chart. Every now and again, a full on poll takes place to explore a region in more detail and this allows me to check how good chart R1 is.
Three days ago, Roger Scully who runs the Election in Wales blog, gave advance notice of the latest Welsh Barometer poll. In this he hinted that the results would be quite dramatic. I immediately decided to use my R1 chart to estimate what the poll would say and if you look at the comments in that advance notice, you will see I made a prediction on 23rd April.
Today, the results were published and they show that the Conservatives are set to top the poll in Wales for the first time in a century and to win a majority of the seats in Wales for the first time ever. The numbers as you can see were pretty close to my predictions and so I am feeling confident that my R1 chart is a valid approach to estimating regional trends.
For the record, here are my predictions and what the Welsh Barometer poll showed.
- My prediction – CON 39, LAB 26, PC 13, LD 9, UKIP 9
- Published poll – CON 40, LAB 30, PC 13, LD 8, UKIP 6
All errors are within the boundaries of normal poll errors.
By the way, an ICM poll today shows the Conservatives in Wales with 52% of the vote! This is only one poll with a small sample in the crossbreak but it confirms that dramatic changes are underfoot in Wales.