The recent political history of Wales is dominated by the Labour party. Since 1955 they have always held an absolute majority of seats in Wales. At their weakest, they won 38% of the vote and 20 seats in 1983. At their strongest they won 60% of the vote and 32 seats in 1966. Labour’s strength lies in the densely populated south of Wales. In the more rural centre and north of the country, the Conservatives and Plaid Cymru are the main electoral contenders.

The fortunes of the Welsh Conservatives have swung with their UK wide success. When in government, they have typically held 8 to 12 seats. Margeret Thatcher was able to capture 14 seats in 1983 as a result of the SDP cutting in to Labour’s vote. Normal service resumed in 1987 when the Tories lost 6 of those seats. They were completely wiped out in 1997 and have spent the early part of the 21st century rebuilding to currently hold 14 seats.

Plaid Cymru emerged as an electoral force in the 1970’s at the same time as the SNP in Scotland. From 1974 onwards they have always been able to hold two or three seats and win up to 12% of the vote but they have been unable to break through beyond that. Unlike the SNP they have not been able to win over disaffected Labour voters in the large deindustrialised cites. They remain confined to the rural arears of Wales.

The boundary changes that will be implemented for the next election will see Wales lose seats. This is not just because the Welsh population growth is not keeping pace with England but because the quota of voters per seat is being equalised between the two. In the past Wales had fewer people in each seat, this is being changed following the expansion of powers for the Welsh Government. Scotland went through a similar process in early 2000’s.

General Election Time Series

Seats Won in Wales 1955-2019

Share of the Vote Won in Wales 1955-2019

Polling Index

Polling Average for UK General Election Voting Intention in Wales

2019 General Election

Seats Won in Wales in 2019, by Preserved County

Share of the Vote Won in Wales in 2019, by Preserved County

Share of Seats Won in Wales in 2019, by Preserved County

Change in Vote Share and Seats Won in Wales in 2019, by Preserved County

Local Government Composition

Local Councils Held 1973-2023 in Wales

Local Council Seats Held 1973-2023 in Wales

Election Model Forecast for Next Election

ConstituencyCountyNotional Winner 2019Forecast WinnerClassificationForecast Party ChangeBattleground
Aberafan MaestegWest GlamorganLABLABSafe0NA
Alyn and DeesideClwydLABLABSafe0NA
Bangor AberconwyGwyneddCONLABSafe1NA
Blaenau Gwent and RhymneyGwentLABLABSafe0NA
Brecon, Radnor and Cwm TawePowysCONCONLean0NA
BridgendMid GlamorganCONLABSafe1NA
Cardiff EastSouth GlamorganLABLABSafe0NA
Cardiff NorthMid GlamorganLABLABSafe0NA
Cardiff South and PenarthSouth GlamorganLABLABSafe0NA
Cardiff WestMid GlamorganLABLABSafe0NA
Ceredigion PreseliDyfedPLCPLCLikely0NA
Clwyd EastClwydCONLABLikely1NA
Clwyd NorthClwydCONLABSafe1NA
Dwyfor MeirionnyddClwydPLCPLCSafe0NA
GowerWest GlamorganLABLABSafe0NA
Merthyr Tydfil and AberdareMid GlamorganLABLABSafe0NA
Mid and South PembrokeshireDyfedCONLABLean1NA
Montgomeryshire and GlyndwrPowysCONCONLikely0NA
Neath and Swansea EastWest GlamorganLABLABSafe0NA
Newport EastGwentLABLABSafe0NA
Newport West and IslwynGwentLABLABSafe0NA
PontypriddMid GlamorganLABLABSafe0NA
Rhondda and OgmoreMid GlamorganLABLABSafe0NA
Swansea WestWest GlamorganLABLABSafe0NA
Vale of GlamorganSouth GlamorganCONLABSafe1NA
Ynys MônGwyneddCONLABLean1NA

Abbreviations used in the table: CON = Conservative, LAB = Labour Party, LIB = Liberal Democrats, GRE = Green Party, UKI = UK Independence Party (UKIP), PLC = Plaid Cymru – The Party of Wales, REF = Reform UK