May's Conservatives on track for historic election win in Wales - poll

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prime Minster Theresa May delivers a stump speech at Netherton Conservative Club during the Conservative Party's election campaign, in Dudley April 22, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Radburn/Pool

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservatives are on track to win the majority of parliamentary seats in Wales for the first time in more than 100 years, according to a YouGov poll published on Monday.

The poll of 1,029 people for ITV and Cardiff University, carried out April 19-21 after May announced an early election would be held on June 8, projected the Conservatives would win 21 of the 40 seats in Wales, with Labour second on 15.

That would see 10 seats switching from Labour to Conservative, compared with the last national election in 2015.

"Wales is on the brink of an electoral earthquake," said Roger Scully, professor of political science at Cardiff University in a blog post on ITV's website.

Voters in Wales backed leaving the EU at last year's referendum, and May has said she is holding the election to win support for her Brexit strategy and strengthen her hand in upcoming negotiations.

The poll found 40 percent of voters asked planned to support the Conservatives, up 12 percentage points from the last poll in January, while Labour were down 3 points on 30 percent.

"I can find no precedent in any poll this century either for the Conservatives to be on 40 percent in Wales or for them to have a ten percentage point lead over Labour in general election voting intentions," said Scully.

Most of the rise in Conservative support came at the expense of backing for the anti-EU UK Independence Party, said Scully. The poll put support for UKIP on 6 percent, down 7 points.

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Alistair Smout)