Confidence in Welsh government’s handling of coronavirus falls 21pts in a month

Adam McDonnellAssociate Director of Political and Social Research
December 15, 2020, 9:00 AM UTC

Trust in First Minister also falls following new rules for hospitality in the country

Public confidence in the Welsh government’s handling of COVID-19 has plummeted since early November, according to the results of a new YouGov study. Where before the Welsh public were overwhelmingly confident in their devolved government, they are now divided.

The number saying the Welsh government is doing a bad job has increased from 28% to 47%, while the number saying they are doing well has fallen from 66% to 45%. This leaves them with a net score of -2, their lowest rating since the start of the outbreak.

These latest figures come after the introduction of new hospitality lockdown rules forcing pubs and restaurants to close by 6pm and preventing them from serving alcohol. The public are similarly split when it comes to this policy, with 45% supporting the move and 46% opposing it. This support is considerably lower than that for many other lockdown policies the Welsh government has introduced over the past year. Back in October for example, the public supported the ‘firebreak’ lockdown by 60% to 26%.

Amidst push-back over the new rules for the hospitality industry, First Minister Mark Drakeford said “If I have to make an unpopular decision because it is the right decision, I will make the right decision and not just the one that makes me popular”. Our latest figures show that his personal ratings around COVID-19 have indeed fallen, with 44% saying they trust Drakeford a great deal or fair amount, compared to 45% who say they do not trust him much, or at all. In November the Senedd leader had been trusted by 55% to 33%.

One thing that the First Minister may be able to take solace in is that despite the drop in both his personal and his government’s ratings, they are still doing better with the public than the UK government and Prime Minister.

By 62% to 31% the Welsh public think the UK Government are handling the coronavirus crisis badly, while 67% don’t trust Boris Johnson to make the right decisions (compared to only 26% who do). Furthermore, half of adults in Wales (53%) still favour the approach taken in Wales to tackle the virus compared to just 15% who would prefer the approach across the border in England. A quarter (25%), say they would not be happy with either. 

See the full results here