Only 18% oppose the Welsh Government’s one million Welsh speakers target
Only 18% of people oppose the Welsh Government’s target of one million Welsh speakers by 2050, according to a new survey by YouGov.
The poll of 1086 adults in Wales, carried out between 25th February and 1st March this year, suggests widespread acceptance and support for revitalising the language.
37% said they did not have strong feelings either way about the one million Welsh speaker target, while 38% said they supported the aim.
More Conservative Westminster voters however opposed than supported the efforts, by a narrow margin of 30% to 27%, while Labour and Plaid Cymru voters were 46/15% and 77/3% supportive compared to opposed.
Mid Wales had most in favour at 40% while the South East had the highest percentage opposed at 21%.
The one million Welsh speakers by 2050 target was set in July 2017. It also sets out a target to double the percentage of people that speak Welsh on a daily basis from 10% to 20% by 2050.
But the Welsh Government has attracted criticism since then by some who say that little has been done to meet that aim. The Culture, Welsh Language and Communications found in 2017 that “considerable additional resources and clear targets” would be needed to reach the target.
The Senedd’s research unit however noted last year that “the data shows limited progress to date – while the number of secondary school teachers able to teach in Welsh remained broadly consistent between 2016 and 2020, the number of primary school teachers able to teach in Welsh has declined slightly.”
The 2021 Cenus will likely reignite the debate as it will suggest whether the Welsh Government is on track to meet its aim, after the 2001 census saw a slight drop in the overall number of Welsh speakers.
“If the Census 2021 data shows an increase in the number of Welsh speakers, it will provide some vindication for the ambition and targets set in Cymraeg 2050,” the Senedd’s research unit said.
“A decrease will only intensify pressure on the next Welsh Government to consider a different approach.”
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