Equal support for Welsh independence and direct rule as Tories “misread Welsh public mood” on coronavirus response

(Title Image: Llywelyn200 via Wipiedia and under Creative Commons Licence BY-SA-4.0)

The latest polling on attitudes towards independence and devolution has, for the first time, shown equal support for Welsh independence and abolishing devolution, with support for both standing at 25% in a yes-no question.

Additionally, when presented with a choice between direct rule from London and independence, 45% of respondents to the ITV/Cardiff University Political Barometer poll would support abolishing devolution, with 33% favouring Welsh independence.

In a multi-option poll, almost as many people (24%) favoured leaving devolution as it currently is, as those who favoured fewer powers or abolition (27%) or more powers or independence (36%).

Polling also showed a massive fall in approval ratings of UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson and his government, as well as increased support for the Welsh Government’s more cautious approach to easing coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Writing for The Spectator, Prof. Roger Awan-Scully said the Conservatives – who have been vocally critical of Wales differing from England’s response to the pandemic – had misread the public mood.

He added: “Following a strong performance in last year’s (UK) general election, Welsh Tories have harboured hopes of a historic breakthrough at next May’s Welsh Parliament election. But to achieve anything like such a breakthrough, they may need to respond to where public opinion is on the dominant issue of the day, not where they think it is or ought to be.”

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