Quarter of population support Welsh independence – YouGov

Picture: Rhydian Hughes

A quarter of the public now favour independence for Wales, according to YouGov.

Support rose to a third if the Conservatives increase their majority at Westminster at the upcoming Westminster General Election.

People were asked to rate their support for independence between zero and ten. Of those polled:

  • 26% favour independence (support between six and ten)
  • 16% were neither in favour nor against (five out of ten)
  • 47% were against (zero to four)

Those most supportive of independence were those that voted Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru in 2015 and the 18-49 age group. Those that voted Conservative and UKIP in 2015 were the least supportive.

The poll was undertaken by YouGov on behalf of Yes Cymru between the 9th and 12th of May.

Tory majority

When the same people were asked how they would feel if the Conservatives increased their majority in the House of Commons following the elections on 8 June, support for independence rose to 32%.

When “don’t knows” were discounted, 36% favoured independence if May was returned to Downing Street after the election, according to the poll.

When undecideds were discounted, 47% of Labour voters favoured independence under this scenario, with 23% being strongly in favour.

‘Cross-party support’

The Chair of Yes Cymru, Iestyn ap Rhobert, said that the results were “superb” for the campaign for Welsh independence.

“It’s really encouraging to see so much cross-party support, even though those parties are not currently making the case for freedom for our nation,” he said.

“The political parties need to let the people of Wales decide on the fate of our nation – this campaign is the people’s campaign, and the momentum is growing.”

Iestyn ap Rhobert said that it was “only sensible that decisions about Wales should be made in Wales”.

“We have the right to be an independent country, and Westminster has no divine right to reign over us,” he said.

“We believe in an inclusive citizenship, that welcomes and celebrates the fact that everyone who chooses to make Wales their home – regardless of background – is a full citizen of the new Wales.”

Picture: Llinos Dafydd

Analysis

This is the first poll conducted by YouGov which has asked the public to rate their support for independence.

Support for independence for Wales has been measured yearly by ICM for the BBC, but as a multi-option question.

The last poll conducted on St. David’s Day found that 6% favoured Wales becoming an independent country.

Most respondents, 44%, felt that Wales should have further self-determination, while 29% felt that the Senedd had sufficient powers.

Only 16% felt that Wales’ parliament should have fewer powers or that it should be abolished.

Yes Cymru are holding their annual meeting in Aberystwyth on Saturday 17 June.

The questions asked

Respondents were asked the following questions:

  • Q1: On a scale of 0-10 where 10 is very strongly in favour and 0 is very strongly against, how do you feel about Welsh Independence?
  • Q2: Now assume that the Conservatives win an increased majority in the UK general election. In this instance, on a scale of 0-10 where 10 is very strongly in favour and 0 is very strongly against, how do you feel about Welsh Independence?

The full figures

The results for the population, in general, showed that:

  • 26% of people in Wales were in favour of Welsh independence with another 16% neither in favour or against.
  • When asked how they would feel if the Conservatives won an increased majority in the UK general election the figure rose to 32% with another 11% neither in favour or against.
  • 29% of people in Wales (excluding Don’t Knows) were in favour of Welsh independence.
  • When asked how they would feel if the Conservatives won an increased majority in the UK general election the figure rose to 36% (excluding Don’t Knows).

The figures for the Labour party showed that:

  • 29% of 2015 Labour voters in Wales were in favour of Welsh independence with another 16% neither in favour or against.
  • When asked how they would feel if the Conservatives won an increased majority in the UK general election the figure rose to 43% with another 8% neither in favour or against, and 21% saying that they would be very strongly in favour of Welsh independence.
  • 32% of 2015 Labour voters in Wales (excluding Don’t Knows) were in favour of Welsh independence.
  • When asked how they would feel if the Conservatives won an increased majority in the UK general election the figure rose to 47% (excluding Don’t Knows) with 23% saying that they would be very strongly in favour of Welsh independence.

The figures for 18-49-year-olds showed that:

  • 34% of 18-49-year-olds in Wales were in favour of Welsh independence
  • When asked how they would feel if the Conservatives won an increased majority in the UK general election the figure rose to 39%.
  • 39% of 18-49-year-olds in Wales (excluding Don’t Knows) were in favour of Welsh independence
  • When asked how they would feel if the Conservatives won an increased majority in the UK general election the figure rose to 48% (excluding Don’t Knows).

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21 Comments

  1. Nick Stradling

    Will admit to secretly wanting the Tories to increase their majority, as my own knowledge of human psychology shows that this will increase support for the common sense idea of independence in Wales among the left. Of course I could never vote for the Tories. At the moment either I could not vote for Labour while so many of their MPs have patronising, colonialist views about self-determination. The Labour support though need to be shown the sheer pointlessness and unhealthy cycle encouraged by staying in the false union of the UK. Wales staying in the UK is antithetical to left-wing values. Time to be bold for the sake of the kids and their kids.

    • Richard Jenkins

      Please post this on FB? It’s an excellent comment on of the political state of Wales! More need to read this?

  2. Tybed oes gennych linc i’r arolwg gan YouGov – does dim son am y pol piniwn ar eu gwefan nhw ar hyn o bryd. Diolch.

  3. Strange that the question wasn’t asked, ‘How would you feel about independence if Scotland’ became independent?’

  4. Didn’t find the druvey either – but the one on “EnglandAndWales would vote against Scotlan being independant” kind of would me up – the country breakdown in is is “England” and “EnglandAndWales” … I have no words! http://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/iyw6mrq64u/YG-Archive-Pol-Sun-results-261113.pdf

  5. That’s certainly a morale boost! I’m not sure if the question has ever been put to people in this way before, but it does (tentatively) suggest Welsh independence may be more popular than is given credit and that Yes Cymru are starting from a higher base than they might’ve expected. The trouble, I suppose, is whether this translates into votes at Assembly elections to get an independence referendum on the table SNP style.

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  7. Gwion Hallam

    Calonogol iawn. Rheswm arall dros fynd heno i Galeri Caernarfon i lansio Yes Cymru Caernarfon. Dim ond cynyddu wnaiff y nifer sy’n mynd i weld mai dim ond trwy reoli ein hunain fel y gwlad y gallwn sicrhau dyfodol gwell i Gymru – ym mhob ffordd.

  8. Harry Hayfield

    Link to Poll please?

  9. The question did not ask for a Yes / No answer and thus it’s slightly misleading to say 26% support independence. Some of those 26% of respondents presumably gave the idea of independence 6 out of 10. That’s hardly a resounding endorsement or unequivocal support. Given that this poll was commissioned by the Yes Cymru campaign, the fact that the full results have not been released suggests the balance of the support lent towards 6/10 rather than 10/10. Indeed, the question was probably framed on a scale rather than Yes/No to able to produce more favourable results. Nonetheless, momentum for independence does appear to be growing even if it remains more a gentle breeze than a gale.

  10. Where are the details of this “poll” ? – I.e. tables showing number of people in sample, weightings etc ? Cant find any mention of the “poll” on yougov website – the last real poll showed the only party even talking about Welsh independence (plaid) on 9% – so support for full blooded independence probably still around 3% – Sorry!

  11. I hope you aren’t going to welcome and indulge the likes of ‘Davy Gam’ and his friends. They’ve got nothing to say, they just look for platforms on which to spout their BritNat bigotry. If they come to my blog I just tell them to fuck off. It’s the only language they understand.

    • cambrouidunlainge

      Its pretty grim that some self loathing Welshman would pick Dafydd Gam as a handle. That said I feel we do need to see the data behind it.

  12. Let’s have a little reality attached to the the question. I’m sure that a large majority of the people would prefer the seat of government to be less remote than Westminster, the debating club down the bay notwithstanding, but the economics of the question are obviously of first importance otherwise the whole thing is just so much idle chatter.

  13. Jac
    Thank you for your somewhat emotional “response” to my post. If you read it again you’ll see that all I did was question the accuracy of this poll, which is wildly at odds with all other polling evidence – based as it is on a sliding scale, preference model – which inevitably encourages respondents to instinctively gravitate to the middle, a device frequently used by companies & organisations to artificially inflate support for their product/views. I promise you however that the moment any polling expert such as John Curtice, Peter Kellner or our own Roger Scully backs up the poll, I’ll be back here to eat humble pie.

    Your response was to say that making this observation equates to “nothing to say”, to resort to knee- jerk profanities & to imply that any views which contradict the standard nationalist narrative should never be heard

    I would suggest that engaging in rational dialogue would be a better way of persuading others to your cause

    DG

  14. This is an important poll to have, and fits in with what I have experienced myself – that the attitude towards Independence for Wales is by no means as negative as a lot of people (including people who are pro Independence!) assume. Information like this is important, and the Welsh people are sadly and drastically lacking in information regarding their own country, so fair play to Yes Cymru for paying for this poll, it was needed by the people- and will therefore have a good effect. And the answer to the first question would have had that effect itself.

    I do think it is a bit odd though, that – for a non-party organisation – Yes Cymru -should organise a poll which asks two questions, one general and one about the Conservative party. It could come across as party political. Asking a different question (e.g. about attitude if Scotland left), or more questions abut other parties, or no second question at all (the first question itself is a marvellous effective fact in itself!) may have been better. As it is, this may be used in campaigning as ammunition against the Tories – indeed, as questions are asked for deliberate reasons, and money is an issue, it would seem that is the main idea behind it – and I wouldn’t want to be part of that in Yes Cymru Abertawe.

    • Capitalist and Welshnash

      Agree with you. After independence Wales will still have Conservative and capitalist voices. If you don’t want to include those of us not on the Left as part of Wales after independence, we have a problem.

      • The independence movement must incorporate all political ideas. Having said that, the Conservative party and the Labour party still have a UK London based structure.

        There may have to be new parties re-constituted for the centre-left and the centre-right in Wales (and possibly elsewhere).

        The Conservative party is NOT a true centre-right liberal capitalist party – their UK party is in support of a global monopolistic capitalist system run centrally from London – it has never promoted mass individual share public ownership of local industries with accountability and has instead promoted multi-national companies over small companies.
        The Labour party is NOT a ‘democratic socialist’ party, just look back to the Blair years for proof.

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