Devo Max is a communicable disease!


By Dave Taylor

A Welsh poll by YouGov conducted in early August but only just released says 57% of the Welsh think that the Welsh Government and National Assembly should have the biggest say in how Wales is run, as opposed to only 22% who want Westminster to predominate.

6% want predominance to lie with the councils – which has a strange resonance with Johann Lamont’s commission on devolving power (cruelly caricatured on the BBC Scotlandshire website).

Unsurprisingly, 84% of those who intend to vote Plaid for Westminster want the Senedd to predominate, but so do 75% of Lib-Dems.  More importantly, I suspect (though the tables conceal party voting intention), 70% of those Welsh intending to vote Llafur Cymru also want Wales to make most of the decisions that affect Wales.

Even 37% of Welsh Tories wanted the Senedd to play the most important role in governing Wales.  It was interesting that 2% of Welsh Tories wanted no democratic body to predominate, but for “Big Business” to make the important decisions.

The other questions reported on relate to the Olympics, and we can see a clear impact of the TV coverage, in the August responses, compared to those from early July.

Asked “What impact, if any, do you think the Olympics have had on your local area?” With July figures in brackets, the August responses were:

Positive impact 54% (15%) : Negative impact 23% (4%) : No impact at all 10% (73%).

The poll also asked whether respondents “pride” in Britain or Wales had been impacted by the Olympics.

  • 57% were “more proud” of Britain, 3% “less proud”, 40% felt “no difference”.
  • 38% were “more proud” of Wales, 2% “less proud”, 59% felt “no difference”.

Taken at face value, clear indications of a “British” Olympic legacy.  The question for Unionists, with the Scottish referendum looming in 2014, is whether such an effect endures and whether it can withstand the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games effect.