Support for Welsh independence up 5% in new YouGov poll

Rugby pundit and commentator Eddie Butler speaks at a YesCymru rally at Merthyr Tydfil. Lluniau gan / Pictures by Lluniau Lleucu

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.”

 

Brexit

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.”

‘Status’

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.

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Jonathon Harringtonj humphrysMargaret HeyburnSibrydionmawrJohn Ellis Recent comment authors
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Royston Jones
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Devolution was, on its record, indefensible; now it begins to look unsustainable.

Sibrydionmawr
Guest
Sibrydionmawr

Labour remain in power in Wales despite being woefully bad because there is no credible alternative. Plaid puffs itself up and is busy once again setting itself up for failure come next year’s Welsh election simply because it doesn’t realise that it has to do the hard slog donkey work of building a movement and support at constituency level in areas where it hopes to break through. Wasn’t it yesterday that there was an article on NC analysing Plaid’s election expenditure as it it was the crucial element as to whether Plaid makes a breakthrough or not, when the reality… Read more »

Cambro
Guest
Cambro

I think listening is what Plaid need to do. It’s about the moderates of our movement. Plaid needs to win us/them over and it’s just not doing that. Win moderates, win election. That simple.

Jonesy
Guest
Jonesy

Completely agree – there is no branch activity working in their communities at all; any events are for the converted; their abysmal record in local government shocking – see Carmarthenshire CC led by Plaid and doing their darnedest to block democracy and transparency. And the shockingly bad election campaign

Cambro
Guest
Cambro

I think the major difference between Wales and Scotland (and the success of the SNP) is that Scotland has gone through the motions of statehood to greater extent than we ever got a chance to do. It’s given a strength to their shared identity we just do not have. I don’t think we ever had a chance to turn devolution to the advantage of our people – I’d agree it’s not been a hindrance either though.

Leigh Richards
Guest
Leigh Richards

If the senedd goes the welsh nation itself will go – our historical assimilation into england will be complete ?

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

Reluctantly, I agree. But Royston Jones is right; the Senedd has overseen the steady anglicisation and exploitation of Wales. Nevertheless, the only safe time to ditch it will be on the day independence is declared. Right now, Plaid Cymru should be using what limited ‘devolved’ powers the Senedd currently has to tackle Cymru’s problems head-on, at local and national level, and to expose Welsh Labour’s complicity in what is happening to our country. There is, for instance, no reason at all why they couldn’t campaign for JR Humphreys’s Jersey model of house-selling and residency in order to give local people… Read more »

Jonathon Harrington
Guest

Not necessarily; how would you feel about ridding ourselves of the AMs and replacing them with our own MPs? It would be far cheaper and they would be abliged to vote in the same way as they did on Parliament hence making our regions much more aligned.

Royston Jones
Guest

Devolution has been no hindrance to the SNP because it took on Labour head-on. It regards other parties as Unionist parties. It believes in independence.

Plaid Cymru’s ‘ambition’ extends no further than devolution, with them in a virtue-signalling ‘progressive’ coalition with Labour. With Wales becoming poorer and less Welsh.

Mcollins
Guest
Mcollins

The Labour party have put devolution in jeopardy by their total failure in Government since 1999.

Unfortunately Labour = devolution and no wonder a lot of people want to get rid of the whole lot.

McEvoy and his new party can’t come soon enough

Richard Suchorzewski
Guest

The interesting aspect of this Poll is that 33% support Abolition of the Welsh Assembly – a figure far higher than many previously thought, and quite possibly a figure far lower than will result once the true costs of the Assembly and its failures are fully revealed

Leigh Richards
Guest
Leigh Richards

Be honest it’s not just the senedd you want to abolish – you wont be happy till Wales itself is abolished ☹️ Strange how these union jack waving wales haters dont seem to mind billions being spent tarting up westminster

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

Be honest with yourself, Richard, much of that 33% consists of people who regard independence as a preferable option to ‘devolution’.

Can’t you bring yourself to call it the Senedd, by the way? “Assembly” is so 1997.

Andrew Innes
Guest
Andrew Innes

Scotland was only at 28% Yes, at the start of the first referendum campaign. Now I think most people see it as an inevitability.

Debbi Beer
Guest
Debbi Beer

Have you not seen all the ScotNats fuming about Sturgeon’s speech and saying they are not voting for them next year? SNP are corrupt to the core. ScotNats are still in the minority. SNP have just brought out a poll that says 52% in favour of indy to sway those voters that they have lost. Polls are not true anyway…around 1K are asked. I have NEVER been asked! Depends who you ask on the day, and of course, us up here know full well that if you ask in places like Glasgow or Edinburgh, you are more likely to get… Read more »

KK
Guest
KK

‘Scots Nats are still in the minority’.

47/59 seats in Westminster.

62/129 in Holyrood.

‘And that’s why the ballot box is THE only TRUE poll!’

So your argument is??

Debbi Beer
Guest
Debbi Beer

I’m talking about the voters not the MSPs and their seats. They still only got 45% of the vote, same as indyref 2014. Even Sturgeon admits not all votes were for indy mandate as she had asked for people to lend their votes to get Boris out of No.10. Why has she not called for indyref 2? Supposed to be big announcement last Fri, but it was a damp squib and she has pissed off a lot of indy people.

Margaret Heyburn
Guest

I dont think u know what ur talking about. I was at the march in glasgow there was at least 80,000 there. And a lit of folk couldn’t come we have lots of support for independence and if u want to be ruled by lying pedos u can but we dont.

KK
Guest
KK

Whilst I can’t answer all of the points raised I don’t think it’s entirely fair to say that devolution has had a virtually zero effect on the Welsh economy. If one were to look at the growth of the economy over the past year or so then one would realise that it is one of the best performing areas in UK. This is against a backdrop of a Westminster government who have not only massively underfunded Wales but continue to ignore shelve projects such as the tidal lagoon and electrification of the railways in Wales. With regards to the 33%… Read more »

Leigh Richards
Guest
Leigh Richards

Blimey a third of people want to vote Wales out of existence – because thats what voting to abolish the senedd would mean. Without our own national democratic body we will just be another part of england – cornwall with bilingual road signs! Our historical assimilation into england would be complete ???

Debbi Beer
Guest
Debbi Beer

Well maybe it should be run better then; it’s as bad as Holyrood. I have family and friends in Wales so I know how bad it is in Wales.

KK
Guest
KK

‘I have family and friends in Wales so I know how bad it is in Wales’

And there in a nutshell is the problem with people like Debbi. Without any real experience or knowledge she is able to evaluate the everyday experiences of millions of people in Wales despite not actually living here. My friend has a telescope in his house and he reliably tells me that the moon is made of cheese. Honestly Debbi, I wouldn’t lie to you.

Debbi Beer
Guest
Debbi Beer

So you’re saying I have family and friends that lie? All you Nationalists are the same. Do I not have a right to an opinion? Just because I don’t agree with you, does not make me, or my family and friends, liars. I’m all for devolution, but the whole country is in a mess, not just England.

Ernie The Smallholder
Guest
Ernie The Smallholder

I agree England, Scotland and Wales is in a mess. We have a system in Westminster that is centralised and corrupt, one unelected chamber, the only one that is elected is by a corrupt FPTP electoral system. They will not give the devolved nations more control over their own affairs that they need to improve their people’s wellbeing. …And the whole system is going to split us from our largest trading market – the EU with no real consultations and feedback. The Welsh 1st minister knows what that will mean to the Welsh economy but won’t dig-in his heels to… Read more »

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

Of course you have a right to your opinion, Miss Beer. But if you seriously think Scotland and Cymru would be better off under direct Westminster rule, then surely you’ll see why most Welsh and Scottish people would challenge your opinion?
What’s needed in Wales is effective use of devolution, not its abolition; at least, until the majority of people come to the conclusion that independence is the best prospect for the country.

Sibrydionmawr
Guest
Sibrydionmawr

I don’t think it makes either you or your friends and relatives liars if they sincerely believe what they are telling you is true, but unless you can verify these things yourself, then you can only present what they say as their opinions, not as facts. I have friends and relatives who think that Brexit is the best thing to have happened, and that it really will Make Britain Great Again – but that’s just their (deluded) opinion, and I certainly wouldn’t rely on their judgement, no matter how much I love them.

Jonesy
Guest
Jonesy

is it as bad as Westminster Debbie “Kunsberg” Beer? I think not, not even in corruption, money spent on MPs personal mortgages and duck ponds, cronyism, lack of democracy and the amount being spent on renovating that cess pit. If you cannot speak using facts, don’t speak at all.

Debbi Beer
Guest
Debbi Beer

Kunsberg?? So I assume you think there’s no corruption anywhere else other than WM? If you do, you are deluded!

Rhosddu
Guest
Rhosddu

You are correct on that point. Wales, for instance is extremely corrupt, and its corruption has been very effectively exposed in the Jac o’ the North blog. This has happened under devolution, and will probably only come to an end when independence is achieved. But few doubt that in comparison with direct rule from Westminster it is the lesser of two evils. If we voluntarily surrender the slender foothold on autonomy that devolution (despite its plethora of shortcomings) gives us, they’ll never give it back to us. Then it’ll be “Nos da, Cymru”. You don’t want that, I hope.

John Ellis
Guest
John Ellis

Having moved from England into Wales just over three years ago, our overall impression is that life here’s on the whole better than life there. Especially in terms of the public services here. Even the NHS, and that despite the fact that we live in the ‘special measures’ Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board area. Given my age and stage I’d worried a bit about tht prior to moving, in the light of the political dog-fights about it. But both of us have been at the receiving end of both primary and secondary health care here, and we’ve found our experience of… Read more »

jr humphrys
Guest
jr humphrys

Under a 10 year residence voting requirement, you would probably find the “third” would be drastically reduced, if not wiped out. We require, at minimum;
A Jersey style residence law.
Bilingual requirement for all civil servants (studying Cymraeg will count in the interim).
Local citizens front of queue for social housing/right to buy.

Jonesy
Guest
Jonesy

Unfortunately I think that you are mistaken there. its not just them that move here it is also us.. comes down to the national psyche

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

Residence laws will save the situation we find ourselves in. Psyche, is something else.

Vlad the Inhaler
Guest
Vlad the Inhaler

Considering that the original vote for devolution in Wales was only won by a small majority I think 67% now in favour is a massive improvement.

Rob
Guest
Rob

The problem is people still tend to blame the institution of the Assembly rather than the Welsh Labour Government. To me this is a big issue because not only can it make Welsh politics more devisive than it actually needs to be, but also gets Labour off the hook. What happens to Wales if Scotland and Northern Ireland do leave? This question was asked to Andrew RT Davies on Sharp End last night in which he couldn’t answer. Kingdom of England and Wales, no thanks. We need a federal UK if the union is going to be saved. This is… Read more »

Ann Owen
Guest
Ann Owen

Andrew T. Davies REFUSED to answer! Didn’t want to face or admit the increasing probability of Scottish independence!

Sibrydionmawr
Guest
Sibrydionmawr

The reason why people tend to blame the Assembly rather than the WAG is that they don’t actually realise that there is a difference. One of the things the Welsh government should urgently be doing is ensuring that we have a functioning national media. We could, for example. take a look at how things operate in Norway where there is state subsidy for newspapers so that there is an independent media capable of holding governments to account. A national media also highlights to citizens how their country actually works, who has what responsibilities etc. There is something clearly wrong when… Read more »

CapM
Guest
CapM

Firstly it’s excellent that this article provides a link direct to the actual YouGov data for this poll. YouGov are certainly not coy about asking those polled about their voting behavior, sex, age and social grade all of which are personal questions. From the data it is very clear that the younger those polled are the more supportive of Welsh Independence, Y Senedd and an elected Head od State they are. Other patterns and trends are doubtless to be found in the data if you can put in the effort to find them. However YouGov avoids yet again asking one… Read more »

Sibrydionmawr
Guest
Sibrydionmawr

I personally think it’s more than high time that we started to celebrate who we are as Welsh people in a similar way to which Norwegian people celebrate who they are on May 17th every year. It was a major eye opener to me as a child to see a nation celebrating their pride in their nation and themselves in a manner that was an inclusive, non jingoistic. non militaristic and non threatening all out celebration of just being Norwegian without reference to anyone else – not even the Swedish!

j humphrys
Guest
j humphrys

Ha ha, good one! We should make a big fuss about St David’s day, and I think this is growing?

Glen
Guest
Glen

Faced with the prospect of 4 more years of Labour complacency and incompetence aided and abetted by a sympathetic Llywydd and their ever faithful Plaid lap dogs, I’m tempted to vote to abolish the Assembly.

Rob
Guest
Rob

Or you can vote them out out in favour of a party you believe can do better.
If I don’t like Boris Johnson’s government I don’t say ‘”abolish Westminster” I will vote them out in favour of someone else.
The issue here is about how Wales should be governed & not who should be in government.

George D. Aber
Guest
George D. Aber

As an American with Welsh roots, I am happy to say that I was able to purchase Welsh cheese at the supermarket yesterday, first time I ever saw a “Welsh” national product available here in the States!!!! What else can you/do you export for us ex-pat’s to purchase towards a more self-regulated, Independent Wales?

Sibrydionmawr
Guest
Sibrydionmawr

Just done a bit of Googling, and whilst there are lots of references to food produced in Wales, there is virtually nothing about Welsh exports particularly to the USA and not much on food exports in general, as most articles seem to focus on non food . However, apart from cheese, there is Halen Môn and of course Tŷ Nant water that’s often used to be ‘product placed’ in movies and TV dramas – in the iconic blue bottles. Of course, there is also the well know Raspberry Pi single board computer that’s produced in Wales and exported all over… Read more »

Huw Davies
Guest
Huw Davies

Polls are even less reliable than weather forecasts, so please don’t get too attached to any findings. Just get into a more combative, competitive mindset and rip into the current regime’s miserable performance.

Jonathon Harrington
Guest

It rather depends on what one wants for the people of Wales. If you want Wales to be a self funding independent nation trading with other countries and probably relying on The EU for a massive subsidy then ‘independence’ would appear to be a good option. If however one wants the best for the people of Wales then the obvious thing to do is to align ourselves on an East-West basis with the three parts, South; Mid and North all working with our English neighbours who kindly provide an enormous subsidy from taxes and earnings mainly generated around London and… Read more »