Majority of Welsh want Westminster to give Senedd more powers, new polling finds

EDITORIAL USE ONLY The Senedd, home to the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff joins Tourism Irel

The Senedd, home to the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff - Credit: PA

Nearly 60% of Welsh people believe Westminster should cede more powers to the Senedd, new polling has found.

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

The "devo-max" option would see powers transferred from Westminster to the Welsh parliament in Cardiff - including the right to control tax and welfare budgets.

The polling comes after Boris Johnson said devolution had been a "disaster" in Scotland and that he did not "see a case" for relinquishing more powers to the devolved governments. The prime minister was also hit with another blow on Wednesday after peers voted his Brexit bill down.

Peers voted 367 to 209 for a cross-party amendment that would prevent Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for being "bypassed" once the UK's Brexit transition period ended on December 31.

Sion Jobbins, YesCymru chair, hit out at the prime minister's comments, saying: "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.

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"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."

Jobbins added: “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.

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"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."

There was support for greater devolution across all regions of Wales with 64% of respondents in Cardiff and south-central Wales backing the move - the highest in the nation.

A sizeable chunk - 82% - of 18-24 year-olds said they would vote yes to the Welsh government being given more powers.

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