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Vote 99 Friday, 7 May, 1999, 06:16 GMT 07:16 UK
Devolution may signal end of union - poll
Devolution could see the end of the union
Nearly half the people in Britain believe the creation of the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly could signal the end of the United Kingdom, according to a BBC survey.

Of those asked across Britain, 47% thought the new bodies would lead to the break-up of the union with 39% disagreeing.

And when asked if they would be sorry to see the union end if Scotland became independent, 50% of respondents said they would neither be pleased nor sorry, with just under a third saying it would be a shame for the union to end.

Vote 99 Special Coverage
The poll, carried out by ICM, also suggests that devolution in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland may be creating significant support for a constitutional shake-up in England itself.

Nearly half of those quizzed say they would prefer changes to the English constitution and nearly a third say devolution for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will be followed by an English Parliament, with 41% plumping for the status quo.

But the survey suggested little support for the government's proposals for regional assemblies for England with only 17% backing the idea.

The poll was conducted between 30 April and 2 May. Altogether 967 people were quizzed across Britain, 804 of whom lived in England.

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Peter Snow looks at how popular previous political leaders were with the voters
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The BBC's Wyre Davies: "The end of a historic day"
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