The latest political poll in Wales shows that the majority of people in Wales don’t trust the new UK Prime Minister Liz Truss and her government to make the right decisions for the country. The YouGov poll, conducted for ITV Cymru Wales and Cardiff University, shows 66% of people do not have faith in the Conservative politician.
Just over one in ten (12%) of those that were surveyed thought Ms Truss would make a good prime minister, but nearly half of the participators thought she’d be a ‘poor or terrible’ Prime Minister. According to Dr Jac Larner of Cardiff University’s Welsh Governance Centre, Liz Truss, who won the Conservative leadership contest against Rishi Sunak at the beginning of September, faces the most hostile political and economic situation that any incoming Prime Minister has had in recent decades.
Speaking to ITV News Wales, he said: “Far from enjoying an initial polling ‘bounce’, the public appear to have little confidence in her as Prime Minister or in her ability to make the right decisions for Wales.
“This is true even when we only look at 2019 Conservative voters, with only 29% confident she will be a good Prime Minister and 38% saying they don’t trust her government to deliver for Wales.
“Looking at Westminster vote intention, the poll has Labour on its highest share of the vote since March 2018 and the Conservatives on their lowest since June 2016. This brings the gap between the parties now to a substantial 23 point lead for Labour, the highest in almost a decade.”
Meanwhile, a separate UK poll showed the Labour party is on course for a healthy majority at the next election. The poll, conducted by Savanta ComRes for LabourList.MRP, showed that the party would win a comfortable 56-seat majority.
The model suggested that Labour would regain many of the so-called ‘Red Wall’ seats that they lost to Conservative MPs in the last election, including Ashfield, Bassetlaw, Blyth Valley, Sedgefield and Workington. The seat-by-seat analysis also showed Labour taking seats held by prominent Tories MPs, including those that were thought to have considered leadership bids in Steve Baker (Wycombe) and Ben Wallace (Wyre and Preston North), and the former Prime Minister, Boris Johnson (Uxbridge and South Ruislip).
The YouGov poll in Wales also indicated that Labour would have its highest share of the Westminster vote since March 2018 and the Conservatives on their lowest since June 2016. Dr Larner pointed out that in regards to Senedd voting intention, we’d see a similar pattern with Conservative figures dropping to their lowest levels since the summer of 2019, but modest changes for Labour.
Westminster voting intention:
Conservative – 23% (-3)
Labour – 46% (+5)
Liberal Democrats – 5% (-2)
Plaid Cymru – 15% (-1)
Reform UK – 5% (+1)
Green Party – 3% (-1)
Other – 3% (+1)
As a result, Plaid Cymru could return to become the second largest party in Wales in the constituency and list votes, Dr Larner said. “Though this is less a result of their numbers growing but more the Conservatives considerable drop,” he added.
This comes after it was revealed that Liz Truss hadn’t been in contact with First Minister Mark Drakeford since become the new Prime Minister. The three previous Prime Ministers — Theresa May, Boris Johnson and David Cameron — all rang the First Minister of Wales on the day they became Prime Minister. It’s understood King Charles also made the call, despite his mother having died in the previous 24 hours and the enormous scale of the operation that followed.
Liz Truss became Prime Minister on September 6 but had yet to pick up the phone to the leader of Wales. Speaking in Plenary on Tuesday, September 21, Mark Drakeford said that he “hoped that it will be possible to conduct relationships between the UK Government and the other nations of the United Kingdom in that spirit of mutual respect” but that “there has been no opportunity as yet to test the appetite of the new Prime Minister for such an approach.”