There has been a 5% increase in support for independence since the General Election, according to a YouGov poll published tonight.
Removing would not vote, don’t knows and those who refused to answer, the poll projects that 27% would support an independent Wales in a referendum.
The same YouGov/ITV poll at the beginning of December suggested that 22% supported an independent Wales.
There was also concerning news for supporters of devolution, however, with 33% keen on scrapping the Welsh Assembly altogether, with 67% in favour of keeping it. This was the first time the question had been asked by YouGov as a straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as in a referendum, rather than as a multiple choice.
Responding to the new poll, Siôn Jobbins, Chair of the YesCymru campaign for Welsh independence, described it as a solid foundation from which to build.
“It is very encouraging to see the increase in support for independence that occurred during 2019 continue into the new year,” he said.
“Indeed, there has been a 5% increase in support from the previous YouGov/ITV poll, held on the eve of the UK general election.
“While there are still many people to convince, 27% support for an independent Wales is a solid foundation on which to build during the first year of this new decade.
“The constitutional future of Wales is far from set in stone. Our future, and that of our children, is up for grabs. YesCymru believes Wales’ future is as a part of the international community as an independent nation, no better or worse than any other nation.”
The poll comes as a Panelbase poll on Scottish independence showed today that support for Yes had it 52%.
Last week a YouGov poll had Yes in the lead for the first time since 2015, by 51% to 49%.
Sir John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University told The National newspaper in Scotland: “On average three polls undertaken in the last fortnight put Yes ahead by 51% to 49%. This is the first time that Yes have been ahead in polls of indyref2 vote intention since immediately after the EU referendum.
“Now that Brexit has happened it looks as though a few more Remain voters have switched sides – adding to the evidence that the pursuit of Brexit is serving to undermine the foundations of support for Union.
“At present, at least, Unionists are clearly on the back foot in the constitutional debate north of the border.”
YesCymru intend to ramp up its campaign further this year with marches in Wrexham (18/04), Tredegar (06/06) or Swansea (05/09).
Siôn Jobbins that highlighting Westminster’s record in Wales would be a means of increasing support for independence.
“Wales is about to lose £5bn to the wasteful HS2 project whilst our rail network is creaking,” he said.
“One in three of our children live in poverty. But Wales is potentially a rich country – we have twice as much electricity than we use and have 15% of Europe’s tidal energy potential. Westminster keeps Wales poor.
“With a Scottish independence referendum to be held in the next few years, and likelihood of Ireland reuniting, Wales needs to be ready to demand the same status politically as it does in the world of rugby and football; an independent nation.
“YesCymru will continue to work throughout 2020 to convince people that a better Wales is possible, that an independent Wales is possible.”
Fieldwork dates for the poll were 20th – 23rd January 2020.