There was an interesting difference in the response to the powers of the Welsh Assembly, which led to me to the above title.
As our favourite number cruncher Professor Roger Awan-Scully reports over at Elections in Wales. writes.
Last month’s Welsh Political Barometer poll i Publication of these questions was held back by ITV Wales for use in programmes around this week’s twentieth anniversary of the first sitting of the National Assembly; however, the results have now all been released, and so can be discussed.
The first of these questions was a standard question – one used in many previous studies – asking how respondents would like to see Wales being governed. People were offered several options from which to choose their most preferred one. Such questions normally provide respondents an Independence option, an option equating to no devolution, and a few intermediate options. In this case, the full list of responses offered to people completing the poll were the following:
There should be no devolved governmentThe National Assembly for Wales should have fewer powersWe should leave things as they are nowThe National Assembly for Wales should have more powersWales should become independent, separate from the United KingdomDon’t know
No such question will be perfect, and any particular formulation can be criticised for the number of options offered, or the particular wording of some of them. I have previously discussed some of the complications with trying to ask such questions in various places, including here. One clear pattern which has emerged from past studies is that questions which offer respondents multiple options report significantly lower levels of support for either independence or the abolition of devolution than do questions that give people a simple yes/no choice for either of these propositions. As ever, people with strong views tend to choose the results that are most favourable to what they support.Anyway, what responses did this question prompt in the latest Barometer poll? The table below shows the pattern of answers across our overall sample:
No Devolution 15%
Fewer Powers 4%
Leave as now 25%
More powers 27%
Don’t Know 17%OK the number who want More powers/Independence 39% is much larger than those who want less powers, but its not really encouraging .
But I wonder how the qualification separate from the United Kingdom affected the Independence question .
No such qualification were addded to the other questions and the really interesting thing is that when there is it can give a vastly different redult.
Professor Roger Awan-Scully continues.
Finally, the Barometer poll gave people a series of pointed statements, and asked whether they agreed or disagreed with each. As is normal in such surveys, a balance of statements were included representing different points of view. The statements used were as follows:
The National Assembly should have the same level of powers as the Scottish ParliamentHaving a National Assembly has improved the way Wales is governedHaving a National Assembly has improved the way the UK is governedThe National Assembly has been too dominated by the Labour PartyThe National Assembly has paid too much attention to CardiffHaving a National Assembly has simply meant more jobs for politiciansThe Nati 51% onal Assembly has cost too much to set up and runThe National Assembly has been too dominated by Welsh speakersIt is often difficult to work out which level of government is responsible for whatThe table below shows the overall pattern of results:
|Statement||% Agree||% Disagree||% Neither||%Don’t Know|
|Same powers as Scottish Parliament||51||19||17||13|
|Improved way Wales is governed||34||24||26||15|
|Improved way UK is governed||16||29||36||19|
|Too dominated by Labour Party||43||14||26||18|
|Too much attention to Cardiff||53||11||22||15|
|More jobs for politicians||48||13||23||16|
|Cost too much||44||16||21||20|
|Too dominated by Welsh speakers||19||31||33||18|
|Which Govt responsible for what||61||7||19||13|
OK let's look at the first Question 51% agreed with the statement that Wales should have the same powers as Scotland compared with 39% for More powers/Independence in the previous poll .
I don't think for one moment that Idependistas like myself should abandon our goals, but maybe Plaid for example should emphasise parity with Scotland up to the next Assembly Election?
Note ITV survey asking whether Welsh speakers ‘too dominant’ in Assembly, was a disgraceful question which only seems to meant to alienate people you can read further on this on Nation Cymru