Support for independence up in St. David’s Day Poll – support for Senedd’s abolition flat

A Welsh Independence march in Cardiff. Picture by Ifan Morgan Jones / Llinos Dafydd. (CC BY 2.0)

Support for Welsh independence has risen again in the latest yearly St. David’s Day Poll, with 11% supporting independence in a multi-option question compared to just 7% last year.

The BBC/ICM poll shows no similar rise in support for abolishing the Assembly, however, with the percentage increasing just 1% on last year and staying in line with previous years.

Every year the St. David’s Day poll offers a multi-option question on Wales’ future, with a) independence, b) more powers, c) the status quo, d) fewer powers and f) abolition offered.

The poll included 16 and 17-year-olds for the first time this year after they gained the right to vote in Senedd elections.

The St. David’s Day Poll has been conducted since 2014:

Independence More powers Status quo Fewer powers Abolition Don’t know / didn’t reply
2014 5% 37% 28% 3% 23% 5%
2015 6% 40% 33% 4% 13% 4%
2016 6% 43% 30% 3% 13% 4%
2017 6% 44% 29% 3% 13% 4%
2018 7% 44% 28% 4% 12% 5%
2019 7% 46% 27% 3% 13% 4%
2020 11% 43% 25% 2% 14% 5%

 

Swing

The poll also shows that support for Labour, the Conservative and Plaid Cymru is neck-and-neck going into next year’s Senedd elections in May.

On the constituency vote, Labour and the Conservatives each poll at 31%, Plaid Cymru and 26% and the Liberal Democrats at 6%.

On the regional vote, Labour poll at 31%, the Conservatives at 29%, Plaid Cymru at 25% and the Liberal Democrats at 5%.

Prof Roger Awan-Scully, Head of Politics and International Relations at Cardiff University, has made the following projections based on a uniform national swing since the 2016 Senedd election: Labour 21 seats, Conservatives 20, Plaid Cymru 18 and the Liberal Democrats 1.

Prof. Awan-Scully told the BBC: “My projections come with the usual health warnings and exceptions.

“On this polling, and using a uniform national swing, Labour could just about hold onto Clwyd South but could lose the Vale of Glamorgan, Vale of Clwyd, Gower, Wrexham and Cardiff North to the Conservatives.

“Labour could also lose Llanelli, Blaenau Gwent, Cardiff West and Caerphilly, on the same basis, but local conditions could impact on this.”

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John EllisRhosdduj humphrysHuw J DaviesK. K Recent comment authors
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convention.cymru
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‘More Powers’ 43% is a lot in a six-choice question. We know the Welsh get confused as to whether a power is a Cardiff one or a London one. So 43% sounds like a Welsh gut feeling that something needs fixing. So call a Convention. Decide what “More Powers” we want. For example: police, party names, family and criminal law, etc – yes. Abolish the Monarchy and the £? Maybe not. When Wales gets ‘More Powers’ straight, the ‘Independence’ vote will start to fly!

j humphrys
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j humphrys

Yes Cymru to call the Convention? Problems for Monarchy when QE2 passes? Welsh National Party will
move things along, too. Things looking decidedly warm for reactionaries…………………..

Leigh Richards
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Leigh Richards

Blimey support for the party that wants to abolish Wales has fallen by nearly 10 points in the last 6 years……

John Ellis
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John Ellis

I see that neither the Brexit party nor UKIP figure in these calculations, which is unsurprising as both are even now entirely redundant. But at least some of the AMs who currently represent them will presumably prefer not to become redundant – especially Messrs Reckless and Hamilton, both of whom had political careers before their election to the Senedd and neither of whom have any hope of continuing said careers other than in the Bay. So we can surely expect them to make the transition to the Abolish The Assembly party some time during the coming year. It’s their best… Read more »

K. K
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K. K

What I don’t understand is why they still invite Reckless on political programmes when he really doesn’t care about Wales or its people. It’s pathetic to be honest to have someone who pretends to be engaged in the political process but at the same time aims to devalue democracy in Wales. Him and Hamilton will join forces because for all their Thatcherite nonsense and pro neoliberalism beliefs they still think it’s OK for the public to pay their wages for yet another five years.

John Ellis
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John Ellis

My experience – I was closely involved in party politics for over twenty years – was that most politicians, once elected, prioritize hanging on to their role above almost anything else in life and will do virtually anything to ensure that happens. There is the occasional exception – here in Wales Guto Bebb springs recently to mind – but on the whole the exceptions serve simply to prove the general rule! Both Hamilton and Reckless once had Westminster political careers which were upended by their own misjudgements: Hamilton was rejected in favour of Martin Bell by the overwhelmingly true-Blue commuter… Read more »

Rhosddu
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Rhosddu

All true, John. Whilst they are generally regarded as parasytical on the Welsh polity in order to earn substantial salaries and are fooling no-one in that respect, I nevertheless consider Hamilton and Reckless, but particularly the latter, to be very dangerous to the political future of Cymru. Reckless’s whole discourse during his attempt this week to promote the ending of devolution was triggered largely by his concern for the future of England and, to an only slightly lesser degree, that of the UK not of Wales. His failure to acknowledge that devolution has been only a limited success because it… Read more »

John Ellis
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John Ellis

When I asserted that both Hamilton and Reckless are set on attempting to preserve their political careers by changing their formal political allegiances in response to the times, I didn’t mean to suggest that either is devoid of political principle. But I do think that the political principles of both are absolutely rooted in the assumptions around the UK’s role in a modern world which were generally held right across Britain – and largely then unquestioned – in the first half of the 20th century. And if they can see a way with a potential to both forward their political… Read more »

Rhosddu
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Rhosddu

Yes to para 1, hence the the couching of their arguments in tems of Anglocentric and/or UK-centred priorities. And definitely yes to para 2 regarding a possible 2021 election result. There might be scope for mischief from them both in that regard, but equally well, any momentum gained by the two new parties will be a driver of pro-devolution sentiment even if it doesn’t lead to Gwlad or the WNP gaining seats (except possibly Drakeford’s). The way for the Senedd to safeguard devolution from Hamilton and Reckless is to press for greater, more effective, devolution. If that can be achieved,… Read more »

John Ellis
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John Ellis

I agree completely with your final paragraph, which I think is self-evidently the best response.

Huw J Davies
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Huw J Davies

Surely the ‘moral high ground’ for the Abolish The Assembly party would be for their members, if elected, to not take up their seats nor draw their salary so as not to contribute to the waste of public money they claim is the Welsh Assembly! Right now, given their complete lack of influence over ongoing Brexit negotiations, Reckless and Hamilton are a total waste of Assembly space and resources. According to teletext page 1010 today the post Brexit US trade talks may ‘boost the UK economy by £3.4bn and particularly benefit Scotland, England’s north-east and the Midlands’. It certainly shows… Read more »

j humphrys
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j humphrys

(The SS Bunter heading for rocks, Trump or not, as the US views Huawei as a security threat.)

John Ellis
Guest
John Ellis

You’re right, of course, about the ‘moral high ground’. But the career politician who prefers the moral high ground over a career opportunity and a salary is a fairly rare sort of bird!