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Express claims poll of its readers has ‘dashed fears’ of Welsh independence

06 Mar 2021 3 minutes Read
YesCymru independence march in Merthyr Tydfil. Lluniau gan / Pictures by Lluniau Lleucu

Despite a ComRes poll showing that almost 40% of people in Wales now support Welsh independence, the Daily Express claims that hopes have been “dashed” – by an internal survey of its own readers.

On Wednesday, an ITV poll reported the highest support for independence ever recorded. Excluding don’t know answers, 39% said they would vote ‘Yes’ if a referendum was held tomorrow. This outstrips the previous high of 32% in a YouGov poll in August 2020.

However the Express pointed to its own internal poll answered by 1,929 readers showing that 75% said they are not worried about a split in the union following the latest increase in support for Welsh independence.

Just 24 percent (611 readers) said they were worried by the breakup of the UK, with the remaining one percent (19 readers) undecided.

“‘Union all the way!’ Fears of UK breaking up dashed despite Welsh independence surge,” the Express reported.

The Express currently sells over 230,000 copies a day across the UK but has seen its readership drop by 19% over the last year.

The newspaper is owned by Reach (formerly Trinity Mirror) which also owns the Western Mail and Daily Post in Wales.

‘Rubbish’

One reader quoted by the Express said: “This is rubbish. Most people in Wales that I know are ardent Unionists and outwardly supported UKIP.

“There will always be the no hoping Labour/Plaid Cymru lot who just want to sit back and complain and expect the country to provide them with a free living.

“But for the rest of decent hard working UK subjects, it’s Great Britain and the Union all the way.”

A second reader commented: “As a Welshman living in Wales I do not know anyone here that wants independence.

“So, I don’t know where they are getting these figures from.”

The Express said: “Several other readers also dismissed fears over a breakup of the UK but said Wales shouldn’t be blocked from holding their own referendum if that’s what they would like to do.”

According to the ComRes poll, the top reasons why people would vote for independence, according to those who said they would vote Yes, were:

  • Feel that Wales has different social attitudes to the UK (53%)
  • Feel that Wales is a historically separate nation (51%)
  • Believe Wales will fare better if independent (46%)
  • Unhappy with the UK’s pandemic response (39%)
  • Greater trust in the Senedd than Westminster (36%)

The poll also showed that if an EU referendum was called tomorrow, a majority of Welsh citizens would vote to rejoin.

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