Wales could be an independent nation state within a generation.
That’s the key finding from a new poll published by YouGov and commissioned by the grassroots independence campaign group Yes Cymru.
The headline figure from the survey that was published by the exciting new Wales news service, Nation.Cymru was,
Quarter of population support Welsh Independence
The Western Mail, the only other news outlet to have reported on the survey so far, went one step further in their sub heading,
“A quarter would back it – with that figure rising to a third if the Conservatives were to increase their Westminster majority.”
We discussed previously how the wording and context of polls can influence the outcome.
This poll shows that, as things stand, a quarter of people in Wales support Independence. This figure rises to a third if the Conservatives were to win power on June 8th, and stand in stark contrast to the BBC’s polling which shows support for independence standing at no more than 6%, if you believe their spin.
As the Plaid politician
Adam Price said,
This alone changes the whole dynamic around the discussion about Welsh Independence. The media and politicians have avoided talking about it because, we are told, so few support the idea.
This myth has been blown out of the water.
Instead of giving people a binary Yes / No choice the pollsters asked respondents to rate their support for independence on a sliding scale, ranging from 0 (strongly opposed) to 10 (strongly for).
Those who chose six or above have a clear favourable view of independence.
“On a scale of 0-10 where 10 is very strongly in favour and 0 is very strongly against, how do you feel about Welsh Independence?”
26% responded favourably. When excluding the Don’t Knows that figure rose to 29.4%.
However, when posed with the second, more hypothetical (yet realistic) question,
“And please now assume that the Conservatives win an increased majority in the UK general election.
In this instance, on a scale of 0-10 where 10 is very strongly in favour and 0 is very strongly against, how do you feel about Welsh Independence?”
The figures rose to 32% and 36.2% respectively.
Let that sink in for just a moment.
In the absence of any real campaign, no public discourse, and several centuries of being told that we’re too small and too poor to be independent, in the face of all of this nearly 30% of the people of Wales have a favourable view towards Welsh Independence with that figure rising to over 36% in the event of a Tory victory in June.
That’s simply astonishing.
Further analysis of the polling figures is even more heartening.
Firstly, we can say with confidence that this is a national view. This isn’t an ambition confined to the north or to the west, as many might believe. Each Welsh region posted similar results,
On a scale of 0-10 where 10 is very strongly in favour and 0 is very strongly against, how do you feel about Welsh Independence?
(second number is the result excluding Don’t Knows)
Mid and West Wales 26%/31%;
North Wales 29%/32%;
South East 28%/30%;
South West 23%/28%;
And when asked to imagine a Tory victory in June, the results were nearly identical across each region:
Mid and West Wales 30%/36%;
North Wales 31%/36%;
South East 32%/37%;
South West 32%/38%;
Wales, the nation, is stirring, from Cosheston to Caldicot, from Holyhead to Holywell.
But why did we start this piece by saying that Wales could be and independent nation state within a generation?
Well, this is the exciting bit.
33% of 18-24 year old’s have a favourable view of independence. This increases to 36% when the Don’t Knows are excluded.
In the next age category, 25-49, 35% have a favourable view of independence raising to 40% when Don’t Knows are excluded.
When looking at the likely scenario of a Tory Government in June, these figures rise to
18-24 – 44%/52% (Excl. DK)
25-49 – 36%/45% (Excl. DK)
This is staggering.
But, as Jimmy Crickett used to say, there’s more.
The net negative figures, those who selected 0-4, are as follows,
View on Welsh Independence (net negative):
(second number is the result excluding Don’t Knows)
18-24 – 42%/46%
25-49 – 39%/44%
Welsh Independence post-Tory victory (net negative):
18-24 – 34%/41%
25-49 – 32%/40%
More people in these age groups have a positive view on independence than a negative view.
Furthermore, opting for ‘5’ was neither a negative nor a positive, and a significant number of people chose ‘5’ across all data sets. In fact, except for the hard-core Unionists who are opposed to Independence at all costs (and they are a significant minority across all data sets), the next largest spike was in those who opted for ‘5’, effectively a ‘don’t know’ choice, but willing to be convinced.
Welsh Independence (neither negative nor positive):
18-24 – 15%
25-49 – 14%
50-64 – 18%
65+ – 15%
View on Welsh Independence post-Tory victory (neither negative nor positive):
18-24 – 7%
25-49 – 12%
50-64 – 15%
65+ – 9%
These are not insignificant percentages.
These are people willing or indeed wanting to be convinced.
You, dear reader, might be one of them.
Putting the positive case for independence forward will only see these positive figures in support of the cause increase, and with more in these age groups already having a positive view we are confident that time is on our side to make the case and win it.
That is why we are saying with confidence that Wales could, no, will become an independent nation state within a generation.
Independence is the natural state for any nation. It is what every nation aspires to.
The people of Wales are awakening to the realisation that ours is an unnatural state, and that we too have a right to self-determination.
There is no reason why Wales cannot play her full part in the family of nations. We are neither too small nor too poor, and the people of Wales know that.
All we need is the confidence to declare this self-evident truth: that Wales should be an Independent Nation directing our own affairs, and making full use of our greatest resource: our people.
Join in the campaign for an Independent Wales.
The full data can be found on the Yes Cymru website.