Nearly two-thirds of voters backed ‘don’t know’ over Vaughan Gething or Jeremy Miles in the contest to become the next Welsh first minister, new polling has shown.

In a major embarrassment for the Labour rivals bidding to replace Mark Drakeford, 62 per cent answered ‘don’t know’ when asked who would make the better leader.

This compared to just one-fifth (20 per cent) who supported Mr Gething, and 17 per cent who backed Mr Miles.

Mr Gething, the economy minister, and Mr Miles, the education minister, are the two contenders to be the next Welsh Labour leader.

The winner of the leadership contest, who will be announced on 16 March, will then replace Mr Drakeford as the new Welsh first minister.

Mr Drakeford announced his resignation in December after five years in office.

Nearly two-thirds of voters backed 'don't know' over Vaughan Gething or Jeremy Miles in the contest to become the next Welsh first minister, new polling has shown

Nearly two-thirds of voters backed ‘don’t know’ over Vaughan Gething or Jeremy Miles in the contest to become the next Welsh first minister, new polling has shown

This compared to just one-fifth (20 per cent) who supported Mr Gething (pictured), and 17 per cent who backed Mr Miles

This compared to just one-fifth (20 per cent) who supported Mr Gething (pictured), and 17 per cent who backed Mr Miles

Mr Gething, the economy minister, and Mr Miles, the education minister (pictured), are the two contenders to be the next Welsh Labour leader

Mr Gething, the economy minister, and Mr Miles, the education minister (pictured), are the two contenders to be the next Welsh Labour leader

The winner of the leadership contest, who will be announced on 16 March, will then replace Mark Drakeford as the new Welsh first minister

The winner of the leadership contest, who will be announced on 16 March, will then replace Mark Drakeford as the new Welsh first minister

The More In Common poll, reported by ITV Wales, surveyed 1,000 people in Wales between 24 January and 6 February.

It suggested there was little enthusiasm within the wider Welsh public for either candidate – although the new first minister will only be elected by Welsh Labour members and affiliated organisations.

The survey also showed Welsh voters preferred a strong vision for the future over a strong record in government.

Nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) backed a ‘strong vision for the future’ compared to 16 per cent who said a ‘strong record in government’ was their priority.

The poll also found 45 per cent of voters thought Mr Drakeford had been a ‘very good’ or ‘quite good’ First Minister, compared to 43 per cent who said he had been ‘quite bad’ or ‘very bad’.

Conleth Burns, associate director of More In Common, said: ‘As Labour members cast their votes in the first minister leadership election, our polling shows Vaughan Gething and Jeremy Miles neck and neck in the polling.

‘However, the in-tray facing the new first minister is stark. Three in five Welsh people think that the Welsh Government has done a bad job on the economy and the NHS

‘And what they want to see from the next first minister is a strong vision for the future rather than the next first minister running on their record in government.’

Mr Drakeford announced his resignation after a rollercoaster half-decade in power.

He saw his popularity surge as he led Wales through the Covid crisis. But his approval ratings later slumped amid continued woes for the NHS in Wales and the controversial imposition of widespread 20mph limits on Welsh roads.

Mr Drakeford, in his last few weeks in power, is currently facing protests by farmers over his new subsidy scheme.

Farmers will have to commit to planting trees on 10 per cent of their land and allocate another 10 per cent for wildlife habitats as part of the Welsh Government’s proposals.

But the National Farmers’ Union has warned the Labour administration’s plan to shift to sustainable farming would – by its own assessment – lead to 122,200 fewer livestock, 5,500 job losses and a £199million loss to farm incomes.

Post source: Daily mail

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