A new poll shows that Labour remains easily on course to be the largest party in Wales at a general election despite Mark Drakeford being far less popular than UK Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer. Polling company Redfield & Wilton Strategies launched a monthly Welsh poll tracker back in April.

The latest Welsh Westminster voting intention poll finds that Labour leads the Tories by 20% which is unchanged from last month though both parties saw a two-point drop overall. Altogether the results (with changes from 14-15 October) were:

Labour 44% (-2)
Conservatives 24% (-2)
Plaid Cymru 13% (+3)
Reform UK 9% (-1)
Green 5% (+1)
Liberal Democrat 4% (+1)
Other 1% (+1)

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When it comes to the big issues 60% of Welsh voters cite the economy and the NHS as among the three most important issues that would determine how they would vote in a general election. Other frequently-selected issues include immigration (33%), the environment (24%), housing (19%), and education (19%).

Asked their view on the UK Government, a majority of Welsh voters (55%) say the current UK Government is incompetent. Only 17% view the UK Government as competent.

When asked which would be a better Prime Minister between Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer, 41% (-3) of Welsh voters say Keir Starmer against 31% (+1) who say Rishi Sunak. A further 28% (+2) say they don’t know.

The polling was carried out last weekend during the angry scenes in London and the calls to sack then-home secretary Suella Braverman. Mr Sunak receives a net approval rating of -23%, which is three points down from his previous rating in Wales last month. The poll found 49% (+2) of Welsh voters disapprove of his overall job performance against 26% (-1) who approve.

Labour leader Keir Starmer’s net approval rating in Wales stands at +6%, up one point from last month, and the highest net approval rating he has recorded since the poll tracker started in April. In total 36% (+1) of Welsh voters approve of Starmer’s job performance against 30% (–) who disapprove.

There was also some interesting polling when it came to Welsh elections with the next Senedd election in 2026. When voters were asked how they would vote if a Senedd election were held tomorrow the Labour Party leads by wider margins in both constituency and regional list voting intention polls compared to last month. Altogether the results of our Senedd constituency voting intention poll were:

Labour 40% (+3)
Conservative 23% (-4)
Plaid Cymru 18% (=)
Reform UK 7% (+1)
Green 4% (+1)
Liberal Democrat 3% (-1)
Abolish the Welsh Assembly 3% (-2)
Other 1% (+1)

The Labour Party also leads when voters are asked who they would vote for on their regional list ballot. Labour is on 32% (+1) with the Conservatives (21%, =) in second ahead of Plaid Cymru (18%, -6) in third. Plaid were briefly ahead of the Tories last month.

First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford receives a net approval rating of -15% this month, which is unchanged from last month when he saw a steep fall in his popularity after the introduction of the 20mph limit. The poll found 30% of voters approve of his overall job performance as First Minister of Wales against 45% who disapprove. Of the government Mr Drakeford leads 40% now say the current Welsh Government is incompetent compared to 26% who say it is competent. Andrew RT Davies maintains a one-point lead over Mr Drakeford when Welsh voters are asked who would be a better First Minister for Wales (32% to 31%, with a further 38% of voters undecided).

Philip van Scheltinga, director of research at Redfield & Wilton Strategies, said: "Drakeford is still seeing the fallout in public option towards him due to the rollout of the 20 mph speed limits.

"But that negativity towards Drakeford has not damaged the Labour Party overall, in part because the national brand is doing well, especially relative to the Conservatives. Note that there is a wide differential between Keir Starmer’s approval rating and Rishi Sunak’s."

Since Brexit Welsh independence has been a more prominent issue. The poll asked for intentions if a hypothetical referendum on Welsh independence took place. The "no" side led by 23%. However there was an increase in support for independence with 33% saying they would vote yes (up two from last month) compared to 56% saying they would vote no.