Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Impressionable politicians

"Politicians want more power" must be up there with "Tour cyclist fails drugs test" as among the more predictable headlines of the summer.

Perhaps it's testimony to the accuracy of the Ipsos MORI survey that the results were as expected - 80 per cent of Welsh Assembly Members want Scottish Parliament-style powers.

The results of the "most impressive AM" were less predictable, perhaps because most of the 36 AMs interviewed refused to give a preference. The "don't knows" totalled 58 per cent - only 15 named AMs.

Of those who did, 17 per cent opted for Health Minister Edwina Hart, 13 per cent for Plaid Housing Minister Jocelyn Davies and 12 per cent for Tory Jonathan Morgan.

Before Mrs Hart starts ordering telephone lines for her leadership campaign, she might care to glance at the raw figures (the percentages are weighted to make the sample more representative).

She was the choice of 6 AMs; 5 AMs mentioned Jocelyn Davies, 4 Jonathan Morgan, and 2 Ieuan Wyn Jones, Nick Bourne and David Melding.

Among UK politicians, Alex Salmond and Adam Price fared well, helped by a disproportionately high number of "don't knows" among Labour AMs curiously reluctant to endorse Gordon Brown.

The representative sample of 36 AMs were interviewed face-to-face last September and October although the results have only just been published.

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