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Public not on board with Senedd expansion plans, poll suggests

23 Jun 2022 2 minutes Read
The Siambr. Picture by National Assembly (CC BY 2.0)

The public aren’t on board with plans to expand the Senedd from 60 to 96 members, despite the Welsh parliament voting earlier this month to go ahead with the changes.

A YouGov poll asked the public: ‘Do you support or oppose increasing the number of seats in the Senedd, from 60 to 96?’

With ‘don’t’ knows’ removed, only 39% backed expanding the Senedd, with 61% opposed.

A large chunk of respondents, 33%, however, fell into the ‘don’t know’ bracket, suggesting that there is a lack of public knowledge about the plans.

The poll by YouGov / ITV Wales had a sample size of 1020 adults in Wales and was conducted between 12 and 16 June.

A Western Mail poll in March found that people backed expanding the Senedd by 48% to 30%, with the rest saying they didn’t know.

However, as part of that poll respondents were also given background information, including the fact that the Scottish Parliament has 129 elected members while the Northern Ireland Assembly has 90.

For that poll, a statement read to the participants said: “The Senedd / Welsh Parliament is currently considering whether to increase the number of elected Senedd Members.

“A panel of experts said the current number of 60 was too low to represent the people of Wales, hold the Welsh Government to account and deal with its growing workload effectively.

“As a result, they recommended an increase to around 90 members. This will incur extra costs.

“The Scottish Parliament has 129 elected members while the Northern Ireland Assembly has 90 elected members.”

Referendum

The Welsh Conservatives have called for the plans to expand the Senedd to be put to a referendum before they go ahead in 2026.

“I would suggest that the proper course of action for Welsh Government is to seek the approval of its voters before proceeding with any of these costly measures,” Welsh Secretary Simon Hart said.

However, speaking in the Senedd, the First Minister Mark Drakeford accused the Conservatives of complaining about expansion of the Senedd on one hand while increasing the number of peers in the House of Lords on the other.

“Every nine months, the Prime Minister appoints more people to the House of Lords than we propose adding to the membership of the Senedd—every nine months. Where’s the referendum on that, I wonder?” he asked.

Boris Johnson has appointed 79 new peers since becoming Prime Minister in 2019.


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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
7 days ago

If the Tory party, the mother party of the Welsh Conservatives, can just decide to throw away our human rights because of their supposed mandate, then the Senedd can decide to expand democracy within Cymru under the mandate given to it by the people of Cymru in the last election.

Dave
Dave
7 days ago

another Tory poll telling us what we can do, they are rigged to get the answer the Tory Liars want to publish in the Telegraph. Wales decides how Wales is run.

Not My Real Name
Not My Real Name
7 days ago

Another example how online polling can be skewed by tactical voting of single interest groups.
In the same way this site got invaded by fans of E-Collars the other day. The majority not seen before, or since.

Phil
Phil
7 days ago

Hardly surprising.

Gareth
Gareth
7 days ago

YouGov, has links to the Tory party through Nadhim Zahawi, A while ago they declined to publish results of a poll in favour of Jeremy Corbyn over the Tory’s. Strange, how when given the facts, people want to expand the Senedd, so YouGov don’t offer the facts, just a simple yes or no and “hey presto”, the result the Tory party wanted as opponents of better governance in Cymru.

Gavin
Gavin
7 days ago

The public are beginning to confuse all politicians as being one and the same and thus are turning on all of them.

The Senedd needs to be expanded to resist the very politicians who are poisoning peoples perceptions of politics in general.

Richard
Richard
6 days ago

Not a major issue on the No61 deeside to mold bus yesterday or the harbour front in Holyhead today.

Whst is an issue is long waiting lists at Ysbyty Gwynedd or the 20 hours waiting for an ambulance for the wife of a friend of mine in prestatyn last friday.

R W
R W
6 days ago

This merely proves you get different results in polls according to the way the question is framed. Two different polls taken over the last few days have contradicted each other when it comes to the RMT strikes, one showing a large majority in favour whilst the other poll had a large majority against, which simply proves my point.

R W
R W
6 days ago
Reply to  R W

BTW, it was a YouGov poll that suggested that the majority were against the strikes. Enough said!!

Mark Hoffer
Mark Hoffer
6 days ago

The Senedd is nothing to do with the Westminster “Welsh” Secretary.
He should butt out and mind his own business.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
6 days ago

My opinion is that expanding the Senedd is a good idea, as this will enable better scrutiny of legislation and it will enable the further devolution of powers.

However, the proposal to use a closed list electoral system, with super-large constituencies is a poorly thought out idea that will only serve to push politicians further away from the people they serve.

Jac
Jac
5 days ago

With all due respect to nation.cymru, this is a highly misleading headline. ‘With don’t know’s removed, …’ So the public are actually undecided, then, if we’re talking in terms legitimacy by Thrasymachean majorities. Although popular amongst opinion poll-interpreters and political pundits, removal of ‘don’t know’s’ really serves no purpose, when conducting an empirical commentary. The end product will probably be that the commentary itself will influence future opinion polls and illustrate the precedent scene for readers, in a construed way. I hope this type of reporting isn’t made commonplace. One is lead to infer the biased nature of the reporting… Read more »

Last edited 5 days ago by Jac
Hell Glibson
Hell Glibson
1 day ago

From what I gather from speaking to people on this, most are in favour of the expansion of the number of representatives. However, most are against the automatic and compulsory gender balance, insisting on having 50% women. Perhaps a more nuanced question could be put to the people, for us to decide for ourselves?

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