By Dave Taylor

The BBC has celebrated St David’s day by publishing a poll on Welsh views on the constitution.  However the corporation paid ICM to ask the constitutional question in a strange way.

They offered these options as answers to “Which one of these statements comes closest to your view?

  • Wales should become an independent country, separate from the UK. (7%)
  • The Welsh Assembly should have more powers than it currently has. (36%)
  • The powers it currently has are sufficient and it should remain as it is now. (29%)
  • The Welsh Assembly should have fewer powers than it currently has. (2%)
  • Wales should remain part of the UK and the Assembly should be abolished. (22%)

Technically this isn’t “push polling”, but good polls don’t load the responses in a way which will push respondents in a particular way.

The inclusion of “Wales should remain part of the UK” in only the final option, when it would have been equally appropriate in responses 2-4, seems peculiar to say the least.

Despite that, the poll shows a significant demand in Wales for devolution to be extended and more powers to be returned to the nation.  Strangely, while only 43% wanted all or more powers for the Senedd, 64% wanted all or most taxation in Wales to be raised by it.

Doubtless the 22% who want Wales returned to direct rule from Westminster will include the 18% who think that the changes being proposed for NHS England should be imposed in Wales as well (77% reject that idea).  And will make up most of the 28% who think education in Wales has got worse over the last 5 years.

Plaid AM Llyr Huws Gruffydd said: "The people of Wales are increasingly putting their trust in the assembly and devolution and they want to see more decisions made in Wales."


# clootie 2012-03-02 06:35
However they have had several hundred years of brain washing and transfer settlement to ensure suppresion. A model being copied by China in Tibet - the long game.

It is remarkable the the nation of Wales has retained any identity after the sustained campaign to absorb them.

Give them time.
# Welsh Sion 2012-03-02 09:38
Thanks, Clootie. Did you know (and I bet you did) that Wales was legally off the map from 1535 to 1967?
# UpSpake 2012-03-02 08:11
Please advise me where I might be able to lay my hands on a copy of this elusive Constitution ?. I tried my local bookshop but they said No. I tried the local Library but they to said No. I went on-line but you can probably guess, the computer said No!.
So a written Constitution doesn't exist so how on earth can there be a discussion on a something which simply isn't there ?.
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-02 08:28
I can't help thinking that the reason it doesn't exist is so that we can't have a discussion about it. Because that might result in changing it.
# bobb4you 2012-03-02 19:23
No constitution = opaque totalitarianism .
# Welsh Sion 2012-03-02 08:28
Thanks for the article and the comments. Additionally, to point out, that should Scotland go independent, the figure seeking independence for my nation rises to 12%.

As Clootie says, give us time. I think that once we see how beneficial independence proves north of Carlisle, we'll start manifesting more self-confidence in becoming free of Westminster too.

To let you know, I was NOT one of the people surveyed - they only interviewed people in Wales.

Best wishes,
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-02 08:31
Hopefully, Scottish independence will provide an example to the Welsh and that figure will rise even further. In the meantime, take Clegg at his word and grab as much devolution as you can get. (Nick Clegg says he supports the idea of further devolution for Wales, saying "we can't go fast enough")
# Macart 2012-03-02 08:42
WS - Anyone who thinks the Welsh are not independent minded, really does not know them very well.

Ye'll get there just fine.
# Welsh Sion 2012-03-02 09:34
Sings: "With a little help from [our] friends"

Broad smiley face.

See you in Glasgow, I hope - and anyone else. :)
# Teri 2012-03-02 20:05
Sion, like the Basque country, you too could consider being part of Scotland instead of rUK if there isn't a great appetite for Welsh independence. We would welcome you with open arms.
# Welsh Sion 2012-03-06 22:52

I'll be among the first in line to ask for a Scottish passport then - once the Scots themselves have received them.

Any chance of you having a wee word with Alex or Fiona to arranging this?

Hope to see you in Glasgow!
# tartanfever 2012-03-02 09:17
This is bizarre. I watched the BBC 6'0 clock news last night and they had a report from our dear pal, Betsan. I'm positive she said that whilst support for independence is low, the majority of people supported more powers for the Assembly - and that this was quite a surprise as only last year more powers had been handed over.

This poll shows the 'more powers' camp slightly behind if anything.

Anyway, it seems that our Welsh brothers and sisters are enjoying more powers of their own and at least over a third want more powers still. Good for them, we should and will support them every step of the way.
# Welsh Sion 2012-03-02 09:33
For those of you wanting the link to Betsan's comments:

Tartanfever, more gets more, right? We're still someway behind Scotland in the legislative field too. But are happy there's an older brother who takes an interest in us, as opposed to a flouncy, oppressive cousin.

Lead news item at home is that Clegg of the Lib Dems (who they?) is proposing more devolution regarding taxation.
# tartanfever 2012-03-02 13:38
Blimey, Cleggy offering more powers ! - Well, he's said it now and it's a matter of public record. Let's see if he backs out. I wonder what his boss thinks of this ?

Thanks for the link to Betsans blog, I'm just heading over there now.
# tartanfever 2012-03-02 14:05
Betsan's blog - help required !

If anyone has a spare moment, why not take a visit to Betsan's blog over on BBC Wales and leave a comment.

I think we could leave some positive comments about our situation in Scotland that may help the debate.

Link here:
# Welsh Sion 2012-03-02 15:52
I guess you'll have seen it by now, tartanfever, but for those who haven't, regarding Clegg and devolution of tax raising powers:

Thanks for all your support via Betsan, big brothers (and sisters).
# roger 2012-03-02 20:18
I like how after independence, the rump of the uk will be called the former united kingdom, or.. f.u.k for short
# pmcrek 2012-03-02 21:23
We'll just wait and see what the polls say in Wales in 2020.

Its only a matter of time. I hope we can become a good example for them.
# Legerwood 2012-03-02 22:25
The thing that struck me when I read this was not the results of the pooll - interesting as they may, or may not, be -but just why was the BBC using licence payers money to commission a poll on a political topic i.e. more powers for the Welsh Assembly?

This, in my opinion, is the BBC inserting itself into a political debate which is not what it should be doing. It is supposed to REPORT the news NOT commission the news. Is this not a breach of its responsibility to be impartial;?

It smacks a bit of their behaviour at the start of the Holyrood elections last year when they commissioned a poll on what were the voters main priorities with respect to policies.
# WelshnotBritishdotcom 2012-03-04 16:01
I wouldn't focus too much on the 7%. Remember people are only allowed one option and so many people who dream of independence would simply opt for the the safer and more practical approach of more powers.

We still have a fascination with Labour down here and despite having these new powers they haven't done anything with them.

There have also been recent calls for Wales to have control of it's natural resources and The Crown Estate land but these were rejected by UK Labour and UK Tory. That is despite Welsh Labour and Welsh Tories (the AMs not the MPs) wanting more powers.

Then you have the 64% who want tax powers, strange how the figure is so different to the 43% who want more powers. Surely that shows people don't really understand the question.

On St Davids Day radio Wales' mid morning phone in led with the 7%. The panel for the show consisted of the Welsh Tory leader and spokeswoman for the No Campaign for last years referendum. That tells you all you need to know about their impartiality.

WelshnotBritish : www.WelshnotBritish .com
# K Mackay 2012-03-08 13:52
You're links a bit broken, you've got a wee space in there before the .com

Good effort on setting up the blog, looks great, really like your piece on representation in EU, would like to see same info laid out in same way for Scotland, very useful for distributing on facebook etc.

Good luck with it

You must be logged-in in order to post a comment.


Donate to Newsnet Scotland


Latest Comments