Support for Welsh Independence continues to increase

YesCymru has released the findings of a YouGov opinion poll commissioned this week, which shows that a third (33%) of the people of Wales who had a view would vote for an independent Wales if a referendum was held tomorrow. 

YesCymru Chair, Sion Jobbins, said:

“Support for independence is the strongest it’s ever been, with 33% of the people of Wales now saying that they would vote for Welsh independence if a referendum was held tomorrow. That’s a 6 point increase from January, and a massive 11 point increase since December last year.

“It's very clear that more and more people are coming to the conclusion that Westminster doesn’t work for Wales. We’ve seen this not only with the poll results, but with a huge surge in YesCymru membership, recently hitting 15,000 paid up members, where we were at around 2,500 in January. That’s more members than nearly every political party in Wales.

“In light of Boris Johnson’s comments on devolution being ‘a disaster’, and our recent poll that showed 59% would vote for devo-max in a referendum - a move that stops just short of independence - it really is time for the Welsh Government to get serious about what it wants to happen, and make its constitutional position clear. The status quo just isn’t an option anymore.

“People want change, but that change won’t come from Westminster. Change is happening in the minds of people across Wales, but with the Senedd elections on the horizon, it needs to be reflected in the members voted into the Senedd. Wales has to vote for people who won't wait for orders or favours from Westminster, we have to vote for the change we want.

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Overwhelming support for giving more powers to the Senedd

A new poll has shown overwhelming support for giving more powers to the Senedd / Welsh Parliament.

In the survey carried out by YouGov on behalf of YesCymru, the campaign for an independent Wales, 59% of respondents who had a view, said they would support a “devo-max” option in a referendum.

The so-called devo-max option would see powers transferred from Westminster to the Welsh Parliament in Cardiff, including the right to control taxation and welfare in a move that stops just short of independence.

YesCymru Chair, Sion Jobbins, said: 

“In light of Boris Johnson’s comments on devolution being ‘a mistake’ it really is time for the Welsh Government to get serious about what it wants to happen, and make its constitutional position clear. It’s clear the people of Wales value devolution, but with devolution being threatened by the Conservatives in Westminster, everyone in Wales needs to join together to protect our democracy.

“We have at least four more years of Johnson's Tories in Westminster. They’re chomping at the bit to scrap our Senedd. What is the Welsh Government going to do to protect and strengthen our parliament?

“The best way to protect the people of Wales is for Wales to take control of its own affairs by becoming an independent country. We would then be in the same position as the Irish Republic, where Westminster can't just get rid of the Irish parliament on a whim. That is not an option on the table at the moment, but it can be if we make it an issue in the May Senedd elections.

“We have had a huge surge in YesCymru members over the past few weeks, recently hitting 15,000 members, but it’s very telling that there has been no such surge in the membership of political parties. There is a huge appetite out there for change but people still don’t feel that the political parties are the best way to bring about that change. No one political party can take YesCymru supporters for granted.

“Of the two major unionist parties in Wales we only know where the Tories stand - they want to roll back devolution. Labour now needs to step up and make its constitutional position clear - waiting and hoping for a Labour win in Westminster in 2024 is not an option especially as the Tories are planning to get rid of 20% of Welsh seats and Scotland will probably have left Westminster by then.”

There was support for increasing the powers of the Senedd through devo-max in all regions of Wales, with 64% of respondents who had a view in Cardiff and south central Wales backing the move, the highest level of support in the country.

There was also huge support for devo-max from younger respondents with 82% of respondents aged 18-24 who had a view saying they would vote for Wales to have more powers.


The question asked was: "If there was a referendum tomorrow on the transferring of more powers to the Senedd (Welsh Parliament), including control of tax and welfare, but excluding defence and foreign affairs, how would you vote? Should more powers be transferred to the Senedd (Welsh Parliament)?

Wales
YES 59%

Age groups
18-24 - YES 82%
25-49 - YES 73%
50-64 - YES 51%
65+ - YES 43%

Regions
Cardiff and South Central - YES 64%
South East - YES 63%
Mid and West - YES 61%
North - YES 53%
South West - YES 52%

Full results available to download here (pdf).

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YesCymru membership passes 15,000

At the start of the year YesCymru's membership stood at around 2,500, but a combination of factors has seen the campaign for Welsh independence gain momentum. Membership had more than trebled to over 8,000 by mid October, and has now nearly doubled once again to over 15,000 paid members in 3 weeks.

Siôn Jobbins, YesCymru Chair, welcomed the new members, he said: “This is fantastic news! YesCymru is determined to create a welcoming, colourful and progressive mass movement for independence. We believe that there will be a referendum on Scottish independence in the coming years, followed by the reunification of Ireland, what then for Wales?"

"Due to Westminster’s handling of COVID-19, the people of Wales are seeing that they and the Senedd can do a better job of looking after our interests than Westminter."

"When the Senedd has ignored Westminster and put the interests of Wales first, they have done things better. The two week lockdown in Wales, which was difficult and stressful for us all, was mocked by Westminster and sections of the UK media. But now the Wrestminster Government has had to lock England down, and for longer. Where Wales leads, others follow."

"But devolution isn’t enough. We need independence."

"Westminster is rolling back devolution. In the Internal Market Bill – a boring document which we in Wales 'need not worry about' – Westminster has taken away powers from our Senedd, powers we in Wales have voted for in not one but two referendums."

"Westminster is incompetent. We’ve seen the UK Government in London give contracts worth billions to their friends, with money paid upfront to brand new companies to deliver PPE which doesn’t work. Some £12bn – more than the entire health budget in Wales – is being wasted on a privatised track and trace system that barely works!"

"Westminster doesn’t care about Wales. During our lockdown, The First Minister asked the UK Government for money, which the Welsh Government even promised to pay back, to support our businesses and our people. Westminster said “NO”. When Johnson announced the English Lockdown, suddenly the ‘magic money tree’ began blooming!"

"Our new members are already adding a massive boost to the movement. Our members are vibrant and passionate in their determination to build a new Wales that looks after all of its people."

"2021 is going to be a very interesting year in the history of Wales, and it will be onwards and upwards for YesCymru and the campaign for an independent Wales.”

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YesCymru membership passes 8,000

YesCymru, the campaign for an independent Wales, has seen a huge increase in support this year, recently hitting 8,000 members, up from around 2,500 at the start of the year.

Sion Jobbins, YesCymru Chair, welcomed the new members, he said: “This is fantastic news! These new members are already adding a massive boost to the movement. Our members are vibrant and passionate in their determination to build a new Wales that looks after all of its people.

“What has helped speed the growth of YesCymru, is that people have seen that the Senedd in Wales is much more competent at running Wales’ affairs than Westminster, and we can do so with more empathy and compassion as well.

“Traditional campaigning has not been possible this year, with the cancellation of three large independence marches in Wrexham, Swansea and Tredegar due to Covid-19, but our members are bright and innovative and we are already seeing new ways of convincing others of the need for independence. 2021 is going to be a very interesting year in the history of Wales, and it will be onwards and upwards for YesCymru and an independent Wales.”

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Yes, Yes, Yes Cymru! - iTunes Charts

Music fans and supporters of Welsh independence are being urged to rally around and get Dewi Pws Morris’ song Yes, Yes, Yes (Cymru) into the iTunes charts.

Adam Phillips from YesCymru wants members of the public to download the song this week, starting on Friday October 16, to try and make the tune a hit.

Keen musician, Adam Phillips from Wrexham, said: "This is a fun way for people to do something for the Welsh independence cause. The news recently has been pretty depressing, but this might just bring a little lighthearted fun into the world. Hopefully as many people as possible will go to iTunes and download the song. It’s a fun upbeat song and reflects the optimism of the Welsh independence movement and the better future that independence can achieve."

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Letter to Labour Politicians - Constitutional crisis brewing in Westminster

Below is a copy of the letter that has been sent to all Labour MSs and MPs


Dear First Minister, Welsh Government ministers, Labour Senedd Members, and Labour Members of Parliament,

You will no doubt be aware of the constitutional crisis brewing in Westminster. Therefore I am writing to you as Chairperson of YesCymru, the grassroots campaign for an independent Wales, to request that you:

  1. Clarify your plan for securing Welsh interests in light of the dangers posed by the UK Internal Market (UKIM) Bill;
  2. Articulate your “plan B” for protecting Wales’ constitutional future, in the event of the break-up of the UK; and
  3. Commit to including a statement in your 2021 Senedd manifesto stating that the right to call any future referendum on independence should sit entirely with the Senedd.

Wales voted to leave the EU. Many Labour supporters voted to leave the EU, as did some supporters of YesCymru. While a number will have voted to “take back control”, not one voted for powers to be taken from the Senedd and concentrated at Westminster. And yet this is exactly what the UKIM Bill does. Jeremy Miles, Counsel General and Minister for European Transition in the Welsh Government, on examining the white paper, was quoted in the Financial Times stating plainly that the proposal “represent[s] a direct attack on the current model of devolution” and “emasculate[s] the current rights of the devolved institutions to implement changes to the regulatory environment.” Given that, according to a recent YouGov poll, an overwhelming majority of the people of Wales trust the Senedd to look after the interests of Wales, as compared to fewer than three in ten who trust Westminster to do so, I would request that you clarify your plan for securing Welsh interests in light of the dangers posed by the UKIM Bill.

A second, less certain, effect of the UKIM Bill is the acceleration of the break-up of the UK. The same article in the Financial Times quotes Jeremy Miles as stating exactly that. His assessment is supported by two recent polls which show that the majority of Scots support independence for their country, and by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement that the SNP’s manifesto for the 2021 Holyrood elections will contain a commitment to hold a second independence referendum. Former First Minister Carwyn Jones was quoted by ITV News as saying that “if Northern Ireland voted to join with the south and Scotland left, I don't think England and Wales works...it is possible for us to slip into it [independence] without having any choice...A bad Brexit carries with it the seed of the UK's own disintegration.” Given the almost certain passage of the UKIM Bill through the UK House of Commons, I would request that you articulate your “plan B” for protecting Wales’ constitutional future, in the event of the break-up of the UK.

When considering Wales’ constitutional future, I and the other members of YesCymru would support our country being independent. However, no matter whether you support the status quo, favour greater devolution, or agree with a majority of Welsh Labour voters that all decisions about Wales are best made solely by the people of Wales, I would hope that you can agree that Wales’ future should be decided by the people of Wales, and not by the UK government. Therefore, given that the same YesCymru YouGov poll showed that a majority of people believe that the Senedd should have the power to call a referendum on independence, including 80% of Welsh Labour voters, I would request that you commit to including a statement in your 2021 Senedd manifesto stating that the right to call any future referendum on independence should sit entirely with the Senedd.

The unprecedented global pandemic that we are all currently living through was unforeseeable. The present constitutional crisis, on the other hand, has long been anticipated. It would be entirely remiss of the Welsh Government, and of the party that the people of Wales have entrusted with their interests for over a century, to ignore its dangers and to not grasp its opportunities by failing to plan for all eventualities.

Yours sincerely,

Sion Jobbins

YesCymru Chair.

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Majority of Labour voters would vote in favour of Welsh independence

New polling carried out by YouGov on behalf of YesCymru - the campaign for an independent Wales - has shown that the majority in Wales believe the power to call a referendum on Welsh independence should lie with the Senedd (Welsh Parliament).

With those who didn’t know removed, 55% of respondents backed the Senedd having such powers with 45% against.

And for the first time, the majority of Labour voters said that they would vote in favour of independence if a referendum was held tomorrow.

With the figures adjusted to remove those who refused to answer, didn't know or said that they wouldn't vote, 51% of respondents who voted for Labour in 2019 said they would vote for Welsh independence with 49% against.

The overall number in favour of independence remains at 32% in favour and 68% against.

There was also strong support for independence among younger voters, with 43% of those in the 18-24 year old category backing independence, and 42% of those in the 25-49 year old category saying that they would vote yes.

Siôn Jobbins, chair of YesCymru - the campaign for an independent Wales - said:

“These are incredible figures. It’s clear that Labour supporters are now backing independence as the best hope for making Wales a better place in which to live, and for defending Wales against Westminster policies.

“They have been let down time and again by the Westminster system - rich communities have got richer, whilst poorer communities have become poorer and hollowed out.  

“People only need to look around them to see the stark failings of being ruled from Westminster despite Wales being a country rich in resources.

“They live in communities ravaged by failed austerity policies that have put the City of London ahead of the people of Wales.

“It’s only with decisions about Wales being made here in Wales that we can put the happiness and well-being of ordinary people at the forefront of government policy.

“People in Wales also see that 55% of people in Scotland support independence and that the SNP will hold a referendum on independence. Wales can’t afford to put its head in the sand. The Senedd needs to have plans in place to give Wales the option of voting on independence.”

And Mr Jobbins had a warning to London politicians who want to hold back devolution:

“We have seen in this poll and other recent polling what institutions people trust. Any attempt to roll back devolution, any attempt to undermine our Senedd and any attempt to tell the people of Wales ‘no you can’t’ is doomed to failure.

“The people of Wales support devolution and they want to see their rights upheld by our own government and parliament.”

 


 

  • YouGov opinion poll – YesCymru: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1035 Adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 24th - 27th August 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all adults in Wales (aged 18+). All figures discount those who responded with ‘Don’t Know’, ‘Refused’ or ‘Would not Vote’.

 

Do you think the Welsh Government should or should not have the right to call a referendum on Welsh independence if the majority of the Senedd (Welsh Parliament) approves?

Should – 55%
Should not – 45%

If there was a referendum held tomorrow on Wales becoming an independent country and this was the question, how would you vote? Should Wales be an independent country?

OVERALL
Yes – 32%
No – 68%

2019 LABOUR VOTERS
Yes – 51%
No – 49%

18-24 AGE CATEGORY
Yes – 43%
No – 57%

25-49 AGE CATEGORY
Yes – 42%
No – 58%

Results in full (pdf)

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Nearly three quarters do not trust Westminster to look after the interests of Wales

72% of the people of Wales do not trust Westminster to look after the best interests of Wales a new poll has found.

With all figures adjusted to remove ‘don’t knows’ there are some startling results for those who want the union to continue.

The poll carried out last week by YouGov on behalf of Yes Cymru – the campaign for an independent Wales – shows that 65% of respondents trust the Senedd (Welsh Parliament) to look after the interests of the people of Wales but only 28% trusted the UK parliament to do the same with 72% of respondents saying they do not trust the Westminster parliament.

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A Third Would Vote for Welsh Independence Tomorrow

YesCymru - the campaign for an independent Wales - has released the findings of a YouGov opinion poll commissioned earlier in August, which shows that about a third of the people of Wales would vote for an independent Wales if a referendum was held tomorrow.

YesCymru Chair, Sion Jobbins, said:

“Once again, this poll shows that around a third of the people of Wales who said they would vote would vote for independence if a referendum was held tomorrow. That’s a massive increase in support from just a few years ago.

“It also shows that support for independence is now mainstream and cross-party, with 42% of those who voted for Labour in 2019 saying that they would vote for independence if a referendum was held tomorrow.

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Welsh Independence - Historic debate in the Senedd

Responding to the historic debate in the Senedd (Welsh Parliament) calling for Wales to have the power to hold an independence referendum, the Chair of YesCymru - the campaign for an independent Wales - Siôn Jobbins said:

“Life and politics in Wales is changing very quickly. Today sees the first ever debate on independence in the Senedd and the right of the Welsh Parliament to be able to decide on the future of Wales. 

“The issue of an independent Wales is becoming more mainstream as people from different backgrounds see that the Welsh Parliament can do a better job of running Wales’ affairs than Westminster. 

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