Political

Opinion poll puts Jane Dodds in the lead for Brecon and Radnorshire by-election

A constituency opinion poll from Matt Singh of Number Cruncher Politics puts Liberal Democrat Jane Dodds on course to win the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election:

Jane Dodds (Liberal Democrats): 43% (+14 on 2017)
Christopher Davies (Conservative): 28% (-21)
Des Parkinson (The Brexit Party): 20% (+20)
Tom Davies (Labour): 8% (-10)
Lady Lily Pink (Monster Raving Loony Party): 1% (+1)
Liz Phillips (UKIP): 1% (n/c)

Fieldwork: 10-18 July
Method: online, using a special methodology for small geographic areas

There are no Green or Plaid candidates as both parties have decided to back Jane Dodds.

Matt Singh famously got the 2015 general election right thanks to his innovative analysis and has since started conducting opinion polls. His European Parliament election poll was, however, only moderately accurate, possibly because – as in even more the case with this by-election poll – the fieldwork concluded well ahead of polling day.

His poll does, however, suggest a repeat of something that happened in those Euros – greater enthusiasm amongst Remain voters than Leave voters:

Those planning to vote Lib Dem (88% say very likely) and those who voted Remain in 2016 (82%) currently show the highest levels of enthusiasm, contributing to the extent of the Lib Dem lead. Nevertheless, 1-in-7 2016 Leave voters intend to back the Europhiles at the by-election, along with around half of 2017 Labour voters.

Two big caveats apply to this poll: it is the first use of the methodology for a Parliamentary by-election, and the fieldwork has also been completed a fair way out from polling day. The latter is a far from trivial matter given how much support can shift during a by-election (and hence the patchy record of Parliamentary by-election polls conducted well before polling day, as documented in PollBase).

In particular for Liberal Democrats, note how powerful a combined Conservatives/Brexit Party voice could be. That matters both for not taking this by-election for granted (more on how to help here) and also for thinking about what might be wise to do in the event of a general election this year.

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