Page last updated at 07:23 GMT, Sunday, 12 October 2008 08:23 UK

Tory voters against full powers

The Senedd in Cardiff Bay
The survey was to find out how people saw the Welsh assembly

Conservative voters are least likely to back more power for the Welsh assembly, but a third want a full parliament or independence, a poll suggests.

Half of Labour supporters surveyed back Wales having a full parliament or independence, a survey for the Assembly Commission has revealed.

Results showed that Plaid Cymru and Lib Dem voters were also strongly in favour of a full parliament for Wales.

A total of 2,538 people across Wales were questioned for the research.

It reflects growing support for the extension of law making powers to the National Assembly for Wales
Dafydd Elis-Thomas, presiding officer

The majority of Plaid Cymru supporters who took part in the survey were in favour of a full parliament, with 27% wanting full independence.

Lib Dem voters were also strongly in favour of a full parliament.

The poll was carried out by the Institute of Welsh Politics (IWP) for the Assembly Commission, to conduct research into public attitudes and knowledge of the assembly.

The survey also showed how people living in mid and west Wales are most likely to vote in favour in a referendum on further powers, with the least enthusiastic region being those in South Wales Central.

Results also suggested that there was confusion over the roles of the Welsh Assembly Government and the assembly.

The assembly government exercises the functions devolved from the UK government (including the economy, health, education, and local government) and to make decisions on those matters as well as making regulations and guidance and also to propose Assembly Measures (or Welsh laws).

The role of the assembly is to scrutinise and monitor the assembly government.

Dafydd Elis-Thomas, assembly presiding officer and chair of the Assembly Commission said: "It reflects a heartening level of interest throughout Wales in the work of the National Assembly for Wales, and reflects growing support for the extension of law-making powers to the National Assembly for Wales.

"But it also signals a warning regarding the timing of the referendum that is required by the Government of Wales Act 2006, to trigger greater legislative powers being granted to the Assembly.

"It also underlines the confusion there exists amongst people in Wales about the relationship between the National Assembly and the Welsh Assembly Government.

"I believe that the [assembly] government could take one very simple action to help clear the confusion and that is to remove the word 'assembly' from its title. At a stroke, it would clarify the relationship between the two bodies."


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