PRIME minister Rishi Sunak has a matter of months to change the Conservatives' fortunes if they want to avoid what would be an historic Labour win in a General Election.

That is according to analysis by pollsters YouGov, which surveyed 14,110 people across the UK between December 12 and January 4.

Respondents were asked: "If there were a general election held tomorrow, which party would you vote for?"

Those results translated into a 385-seat victory for Labour - more than the 365 managed by Conservatives in 2019.

That outcome would realise a total reversal in the Westminster landscape just five years after it was Labour who suffered a gut-wrenching defeat.

So, what is the political state of play in Monmouthshire, Newport and Islwyn?


South Wales Argus: Labour candidate Catherine Fookes (L) is vying to oust Welsh secretary David TC Davies from his Monmouth seatLabour candidate Catherine Fookes (L) is vying to oust Welsh secretary David TC Davies from his Monmouth seat (Image: Supplied)

Monmouth has gone to the polls five times since 2005 and elected David TC Davies every time.

Mr Davies, who will mark his 19th anniversary as the town’s MP in May, also sits at the cabinet table as Mr Sunak’s secretary of state for Wales.

Despite an historic tenure in the Commons which spans seven prime ministers, recession, Brexit and Covid, YouGov's model suggests Mr Davies faces an uphill battle to hold his seat.

Despite this, the Welsh secretary is confident and insists he is "looking forward to the election".

The poll knocks 19 percentage points off the Conservative’s vote share from 2019.

That one possible outcome in Monmouth mirrors the likely event of Tory decline - and Labour resurgence - nationwide.

Monmouthshire councillor Catherine Fookes is the Labour candidate hoping to reap those rewards.

“There’s no doubt the polls are looking good for us, but we know from previous elections it doesn’t guarantee a Labour win in Monmouthshire,” admitted Cllr Fookes. “The only poll that matters is the one on polling day.”

She argues voters have “lost trust” in the Conservatives after scandals during Covid and a cost-of-living crisis caused by “economic mismanagement”.

“It’s going to be a tough campaign ahead, but I will be working hard for every single vote, and I'm looking forward to it,” she told the Argus.

Mr Davies said: “When I go out every week, local residents want to talk to me about Labour giving Wales the longest waiting lists in the UK and the worst education standards.

“And when they’re not insulting farmers by forcing them to give up their land for tree planting, they are spending tens of millions on 20mph default speed limits and hiking our council tax.

“Labour’s only job creation scheme is to spent over £100 million of taxpayers’ money on creating dozens of extra Senedd Members.

“This is why I’m looking forward to the election.”

Newport East

South Wales Argus: Conservative candidate Rachel Buckler (R) says the poll shows 'little enthusiasm' for Labour in Newport EastConservative candidate Rachel Buckler (R) says the poll shows 'little enthusiasm' for Labour in Newport East (Image: Supplied)

As Keir Starmer’s parliamentary private secretary, the MP for Newport East enjoys a close link to the Labour leadership.

If Jessica Morden wins re-election and her party forms the next government, she is poised to become an important player for the first Labour prime minister since 2010.

She is also a shadow minister for Wales.

Newport East Conservatives have selected Monmouthshire councillor Rachel Buckler as their candidate to take her on.

January’s poll put Labour on 47 per cent in Newport East, up three points from 2019, and Conservatives on 24 per cent, down 15.

Cllr Buckler says it is “interesting” to see “little enthusiasm for Labour” in the figures.

“In Newport, the constituents live with the effects of a failing Labour-run council and an ineffective Labour Welsh Government,” she told the Argus.

“In Newport, there is the stark reality of an overwhelmed health care provision and lower educational standards, which are all at the door of the Labour Welsh Government.

“The climate engendered by this means a loss of investment coming into the area, and a lack of opportunity for people in Newport East.

“The Conservatives believe in enabling people to fulfil their potential, not stifle it like Labour.”

Jessica Morden told the Argus people across the UK will have a choice at the election between “more of the same” or a “driven” Labour government.

She said: “At the next election, the people will have a choice to either vote for more of the same from this useless Conservative government who have overseen 14 years of declining growth and declining living standards, or a Labour government - driven to give Britain its future back with green investment, sustainable growth and lower bills for families.

“Here in Newport East, I and the Labour team will not be taking anything for granted - every vote needs to be earned and nothing is a given.

“Over the coming weeks and months - as we have been constantly since the 2019 election - we will be out and about, speaking to residents right across the constituency to hear their views and to understand more about what they’d like to see for the future of Newport and the wider UK.”

Newport West and Islwyn

South Wales Argus: Newport West MP Ruth Jones ( West MP Ruth Jones (

Newport West and Islwyn, formerly two separate constituencies, will be merged at the election following boundary changes.

Ruth Jones, the incumbent for Newport West, will contest the seat for Labour after a narrow victory in 2019 in which she finished just two points ahead of the Conservative candidate.

If the YouGov model bears out, Labour could shed three of those precious points and still increase their margin from the Conservatives - who could shed more than a dozen.

Ms Jones, who will no doubt be hoping for a more comfortable contest, says support for the Conservatives has “plummeted” as “ordinary people bear the brunt of the cost-of-living crisis”.

She also points to news of job losses at Tata Steel and uncertainty over the future of Newport Wafer Fab as examples of a “lack of disrespect” from the Conservative Government.

She told the Argus: "Current polling in Newport West and Islwyn is encouraging, but we can't take any vote for granted.

“Labour's commitment to a New Deal for Working People will be crucial in providing more protections in the workplace and it's a set of policies that's really resonating with voters on the doorstep."

In autumn, local Conservatives selected former Torfaen councillor and party treasurer Nick Jones as their candidate for the general election.