A new election forecast appears to show that Ukip is on track to become the second largest party in the Welsh Assembly, following the 2016 elections.
Data released yesterday from UK-Elect Welsh Assembly elections in 2016 indicated a strong Ukip surge, with the party possibly taking as many as 11 seats and placing second only to Labour in the national governing body.
The forecast base was the 2011 Welsh Assembly election, which saw the 30 Labour Assembly Members, 14 Conservatives, 11 members of Plaid Cymru and five Liberal Democrats take their seats in the partially devolved 60 member assembly and used a Uniform National Swing method to calculate the results.
The forecaster then allocates the seats to the first party in each constituency and performs a d’Hondt calculation on the forecast regional results to allocate the additional members.
In pictures: The rise of Ukip
In pictures: The rise of Ukip
1/8 1993: Alan Sked forms Ukip
History professor Alan Sked had been active in anti-EU politics for a while beore he founded Ukip in 1993. He resigned from the party after the 1997 election, concerned that it was attracting far-right members, and has been critical of Ukip since. Picture: Reuters
2/8 2005: Kilroy defects
Former TV presenter Robert Kilroy-Silk founded Veritas in 2005, after a failed bid to become leader, and took many of Ukip's elected members with him. But the party slowly lost its popularity and didn't put forward any candidates in the last election. Picture: REUTERS/Kieran Doherty REUTERS KD/RUS
3/8 2010: Farage becomes leader, again
Farage had led Ukip from 2006 until 2009, when he stood down to fight against the Speaker, John Bercow, for his Buckingham seat. He failed to win the election and returned to lead the party in November 2010. Picture: REUTERS/Kieran Doherty
4/8 2010: Ukip fights for election
Nigel Farage was injured in a plane crash on polling day in the 2010 general election, but his party increased its success in the votes. It fielded 572 candidates and took 3.1% of the vote, though failed to win any seats. REUTERS/Darren Staples
5/8 2013: Eastleigh gains
Ukip's candidate Diane James got the highest ever number of votes for any candidate from the party, but was beaten by the Liberal Democrats. The surge in support gave Ukip confidence ahead of local and European elections later in the year. Picture: Reuters
6/8 2013: Bloom kicked out
Godfrey Bloom, who served as an Ukip MEP from 2004 to 2014, had the whip withdrawn in 2013 after sexist comments and an attack on a journalist. He sat as an independent MEP until 2014, when he ended his term in office. Picture: REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
7/8 2014: European election success
Ukip got a higher proportion of the vote than any other party in 2014's European elections, adding 11 new MEPs and taking its total to 24. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
8/8 2014: Carswell defects
Douglas Carswell defected from Ukip at the end of August, and was followed by Mark Reckless at the end of September, who resigned from the Tories amid rumours of many more defections to come. Picture: REUTERS/Toby Melville
UK-Elect spokesperson Tim Bickerstaff cautioned against the results, saying the indication was that the margins would be "extremely tight" between Ukip and Plaid Cymru.
Despite the forecast predicting that Ukip would place forth in votes cast overall, behind Labour, the Conservatives and Plaid Cymru, based on feeling towards the party in Wales presently it would still merit enough support to secure a possible 11 Assembly Members.
"Ukip wins many of these additional members, partly because it isn’t forecast to win any constituency members, but the margins are extremely tight, especially between it and Plaid Cymru, so the Ukip seat range might well be 9 to 11."
Video: Can Labour win in 2015?
Nathan Gill, Ukip MEP for Wales, said: "This just proves what we are finding on the doorstep when we are talking to people. While the other parties bury their heads in the sand we are coming up with forward thinking policies to deal with the issues people are facing. Lots of our support is coming from traditional Labour areas and since Wales was a traditional Labour area the growth is unsurprising."
In remarks in October Dr Rebecca Rumbul of the Wales Governance Centre said she thought the party would win seats as the Welsh Assembly is elected on a system of proportional representation – giving smaller parties a far better chance than the First Past the Post system, which is used nationally.
The results are a further boost to Nigel Farage’s party, which in September an ICM Research project reported had increased its popularity in Wales by seven points – up to 14 per cent from last March.
The telephone query – which contacted over 1,000 Welsh residents – was conducted after Scotland lost its independence referendum and found a Welsh appetite for independence was small.Reuse content