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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 March 2007, 06:45 GMT
Half voters 'unaware' of election
Rhodri Morgan top left and clockwise Ieuan Wyn Jones, Mike German and Nick Bourne
Can you name the Welsh party leaders?
Half of people in Wales are unaware that an assembly election is looming, according to a poll for BBC Wales.

The ICM phone poll also suggests 3 May's vote could see another low turnout.

When it came to the recognition factor, only First Minister Rhodri Morgan scored well, with 43% able to name him.

Just 7% could name Plaid leader Ieuan Wyn Jones, and only 6% recognised Tory leader Nick Bourne or his Welsh Liberal Democrat counterpart Mike German.

It appears that despite all of the main political parties campaigning hard since last autumn, only half of people polled were even aware that there was an election in May.

The recognition was stronger in key battlegrounds such as Blaenau Gwent and Conwy and lowest in Cardiff, Bridgend and the border county of Flintshire.

Another worry for the parties was the suggestion that only 40% were certain to vote, with the figure rising to 60% who were either likely, very likely or certain to vote.

The turnout at the last assembly election in 2003 was only 38% down from 46% in 1999.

KEY ELECTION ISSUES
Ballot box and Welsh flag
Health - key for 90% of voters
Education - 82%
Law and order - 78%
Tax and public services - 71%
Environment - 68%
Transport - 64%
Economy - 62%
Principal issues that would determine vote. Source: ICM phone poll for BBC Wales

The poll was published exactly a year after the official opening of the Senedd building in Cardiff Bay.

Health was ranked as the principal issue with 90% of voters.

Education and law and order were other major issues.

But the poll suggested that Iraq would not have an overwhelming impact on the way people voted - just 44% said the war was an important issue in this election.

More than 80% of people said the departure of Tony Blair from Downing Street ahead of the election would not make a difference to their vote.

The poll suggested a "bounce" of about +7% for Labour if the Prime Minister went.

The poll indicated that Tony Blair's departure from Downing Street before the election could add 7% to Labour's support, four to Plaid's, one to the Conservatives' and reduce Liberal Democrat votes by 2%.

The poll was carried out for BBC Wales by ICM Research, who interviewed a random sample of 1,011 people by telephone on 23-26 February 2007.




SEE ALSO
Poll supports assembly powers
04 Mar 05 |  Wales

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