As it happened: Wales Referendum

Wales referendum results as they happened, as reported by BBC Wales's Daniel Davies:

1601 Thanks everyone for following our live page report of the referendum results. And thanks to all of you who wrote in - we included as many of your contributions as we could. Look out for more live page coverage of breaking stories from BBC Wales in future. We hope you can join us then.

1600
Betsan Powys
The penultimate word goes to our political editor Betsan Powys who compares today's resounding Yes with the 1997 referendum when the assembly squeaked into existence: "Just look at that change in attitude."

1549 This referendum - a key pledge of the coalition deal between Labour and Plaid Cymru - had cross-party backing in the assembly. First Minister Carwyn Jones said the Yes vote had made Wales "equal partners within the UK". "Today, an old nation came of age," he said. Plaid's Ieuan Wyn Jones said: "The heart of this nation still beats strong". Welsh Lib Dem leader Kirsty Williams said: "A new era of devolution must now begin." And Nick Bourne - the Welsh Conservative leader who campaigned for a No vote in 1997 and a Yes vote this time - said: "On this spring day, Wales takes a new step."

1545 Roger Lewis's opposite number, Rachel Banner of True Wales, has taken the platform to give her "warm and heartfelt thanks" to No campaigners. She congratulated the Yes campaign. The result was a "turning point in the history of our nation", she said. She said Wales would have to wait to see if "just 42 backbench AMs can provide high quality scrutiny for making laws". "Is this 2011 referendum going to result in more centralisation here or is it going to result in devolution to the people, true devolution?" Ms Banner, a schoolteacher and Labour Party member, added: "We are not going away."

1529 Roger Lewis, leader of the Yes campaign and Welsh Rugby Union chief executive, addresses a cheering audience at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay: "Today Wales has spoken. Wales has said Yes. Today is a truly remarkable moment in our nation's history. Laws which only affect Wales will henceforth be made in Wales. Today we can stand alongside Northern Ireland and Scotland as full and equal partners in a stronger United Kingdom."

1528 Let me update those numbers I gave you at 1512. Final turnout is 35.4%. The Yes share of the vote 63.5% with a majority of 220,392.

1519 NATIONAL RESULT Wales votes Yes. Yes: 517,132. No: 297,380

1517 RESULT Cardiff votes Yes. Yes: 53,427. No: 33,606

1516 Neath MP and former Welsh Secretary Peter Hain is in the Senedd. He's just watched his 2006 measure bear fruit in a big Yes vote. "Personally, it's fantastic," he tells the Referendum 2011 programme. But what next? Tax-raising powers? "You would have to have a referendum if you wanted to go down that road, but frankly that's on nobody's agenda at this time," he says. What is important now is that the politicians in Cardiff Bay tackle Wales's economic and social problems. He adds: "There's a big responsibility on AMs now to deliver. Now they can go full speed ahead. But 'delivery, delivery, delivery' now has to be the watchword."

1512 Some numbers for you while we wait for Cardiff to announce. With one of the 22 results outstanding, the national turnout is 35.4%. The Yes vote has a 63.7% share and a majority of 200,571.

1506 We're told the Cardiff announcement - the only one left - will be made in a few minutes time. Our man there, Nick Servini, says Yes campaigners at the count are feeling very confident.

1500 Former Conservative MP and AM Rod Richards says the No campaign was outgunned by the well-resourced Yes campaign. "The No campaign had the people's pennies compared to the parties' millions," he tells the BBC.

1456 Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan, who stayed out of the campaign, says it is a very good day for Wales. "I'm delighted to be having a very clear outcome which is good for Wales." She said the Conservatives "were very sensible" about the way they approached the referendum: "We know there are differences of opinion in our party and the Labour Party. I think we were realistic in allowing people to have a free vote."

1452 Former First Minister Rhodri Morgan tells Radio Wales of his "absolute delight" at the result. Despite the technicality of the question and difficulty in explaining it, he points out that the turnout was as good as that which elected Boris Johnson as Mayor of London.

1447 "It's fantastic. It's incredible," Yes campaigner Ali Yassine tells the BBC's Refferendwm programme on S4C. Mr Yassine is well known to football fans as the announcer at Cardiff City Stadium. "At last Wales has spoken for itself and has shown the world that we are ready to make our own decisions." He says that once the Yes campaigners got through the "complete nonsense" of the No campaign's argument, people could understand the case for a Yes vote. He adds he is not really disappointed about Monmouthshire. "Wales has spoken. We're talking about just one county, so we can't be too disappointed about that," he says.

e-mail sent in by reader
1441 Thanks to all of you who have been emailing your thoughts. My inbox is overflowing. Responding to the result, Paul Leonard in Caerphilly says: "This is fantastic, it sends a clear signal to London." But Mark Higginson from Stoke-on-Trent says: "Another nail in the coffin of the 'United' Kingdom of Great Britain."

Betsan Powys
1436 Betsan has been talking to Professor Roger Scully from Aberystwyth university, who makes a fascinating observation. The gap between the largest and smallest Yes majority was 34.5% in 1997 - today it's 23%. That is "significantly smaller". Does the closing gap mean Wales is more unified?

1434 RESULT Gwynedd votes Yes. Yes: 28,200. No: 8,891. Achieved on a comparatively healthy 43% turnout.

1433 A very happy Roger Lewis, chairman of Yes for Wales, tells the Press Association: "It is clear, the people of Wales have spoken."

1427 A quick history lesson. Monmouthshire voted No with a majority of 320 votes. Compare that to 1997 when the majority against devolution was 11,811.

1426 Celebrations have started in the Senedd. Carwyn Jones is being applauded by Yes supporters from all parties. Smiles all round. Election campaign starts soon, so don't expect the good will to last long.

1424 RESULT Monmouthshire votes No. Yes: 12,381. No: 12,701.

Betsan Powys
1419 Wales says Yes. You can't argue with the maths. That last result from RCT takes the Yes campaign over the winning line, says Betsan.

1418 RESULT Rhondda Cynon Taf votes Yes. Yes: 43,051. No: 17,834.

1414 RESULT Carmarthenshire votes Yes. Yes: 42,979. No: 17,712. That's a 6% swing to Yes since 1997 when Carmarthenshire was the last result announced. You might remember how the outcome of the entire referendum hinged on the county last time around.

1407 RESULT Ceredigion votes Yes. Yes: 16,505. No: 8,412

1403 RESULT Bridgend votes Yes. Yes: 25,063. No: 11,736. A thumping majority for the Yes camp in Bridgend. Would have been embarrassing for Carwyn Jones if it hadn't been - it is his seat after all.

1400 RESULT Torfaen votes Yes. Yes: 14,655. No: 8,688. Torfaen voted No - just - with a 50.2% majority in 1997.

1356 Labour sources say looks like Monmouthshire will vote No, but only by around 400 votes. Could Monmouthshire be the only county to vote No?

1354 RESULT Flintshire votes Yes: 21,119. No: 12,913 - that is a whopping 24% swing towards Yes since 1997.

1350 RESULT Vale of Glamorgan votes Yes. Yes: 19,430. No: 17,551

1345 RESULT Caerphilly votes Yes. Yes: 28,431. No: 15,751

1345 It's halfway point in the results. Martin Shipton, chief reporter of the Western Mail newspaper, says the Newport result is "astonishing". He tells the Referendum 2011 television programme that there is, however, some evidence of a geographical split in Wales, with a higher turnout in the west. Perhaps No voters in the east have stayed home. Welsh Conservative and No voter Bill Hughes says: "The party will move on, and we belong to the United Kingdom which to me is very very important, particularly given the non-productivity within Wales."

1343 Another quick word from Betsan who tells me she's hearing Monmouthshire could be close. The county voted 68% to 32% against devolution in the 1997 referendum.

Betsan Powys
1341 "Neath Port Talbot, last time round, delivered the biggest majority for the Yes campaign," Betsan tells the Referendum 2011 programme as the NPT Yes vote is announced. Whether it will be the largest this time remains to be seen, she says. There is talk of a big Yes vote in Rhondda Cynon Taf. But the No campaign's Rachel Banner seems to be throwing in the towel, she adds. However, Kirsty Williams, Welsh Liberal Democrat leader, is in the Senedd and is "all smiles".

tweet
1339 Our political correspondent Tomos Livingstone tweets: "Those political figures who looked at the polls last year and decided backing a 'no' campaign wasn't worth the time and effort vindicated?"

1333 RESULT Neath Port Talbot votes Yes. Yes: 29,959. No 11,079 - a 7% swing to Yes since the 1997 referendum

1331 RESULT Merthyr Tydfil votes Yes. Yes: 9,137. No: 4,132.

Betsan Powys
1330 As one county after another votes Yes, Betsan tells the Referendum 2011 results programme on BBC Wales that people are now asking if any parts of Wales at all will vote No.

1326 RESULT Powys votes Yes. Yes: 21,072. No 19,730 - that's a 9% swing to Yes since 1997.

1323 RESULT Swansea votes Yes. Yes: 38,496. No: 22,409. Results are coming thick and fast now.

1315 RESULT Pembrokeshire votes Yes. Yes votes: 19,600. No votes: 16,050

1315 RESULT Conwy votes Yes. Yes votes: 18,368. No votes: 12,390

1315 RESULT Newport votes Yes. Yes votes: 15,983. No votes: 13,204

1309 RESULT Ynys Mon/Anglesey votes Yes. Yes: 14,011. No: 7,620

1259 Former Welsh secretary Paul Murphy says his patch, Torfaen, is heading for a Yes. Mr Murphy made his own contribution to that by changing his mind about devolution and voting Yes. There was a narrow No in Torfaen in 1997. Mr Murphy says the shift in opinion in his Labour constituency is a consequence of having a Conservative-led government in Westminster. The assembly needs extra powers to "protect Wales," he says.

1250 The Merthyr recount is a verification recount, not a vote recount. Most recent turnout figure from there is 13,287 - 30%.

Vaughan Roderick
1240 A striking result at Wrexham, says our Welsh affairs editor Vaughan Roderick, speaking to the BBC's Refferendwm programme on S4C. There were people who had thought the whole north east would vote No. But the change this time, compared with 1997 is incredible. And compared to 1979 it is a total transformation. It's possible that scarcely anywhere will vote No this time, he says.

1240 Politics expert Professor Richard Wyn Jones from Cardiff University's Wales governance centre points out that the Wrexham results is a "big, big swing" from 1997 when the town voted against devolution. Why is the turnout low? Prof Jones says perhaps because the referendum asked such an "anorakish, narrow question".

1237 RESULT Wrexham votes Yes. No: 9,863. Yes 17,606

e-mail sent in by reader
1225 Peter Ganesh emails from Merthyr to say: "Given the low turnout perhaps we need to look at other forms of voting to engage people."

Betsan Powys
1220 Betsan hears that Yes campaigners now think they're in with a shout of a "clean sweep" in north Wales.

1216 Time to recap. Two results in so far: Blaenau Gwent and Denbighshire, which both voted Yes. Helen Mary Jones, Plaid Cymru AM, says Denbighshire is "a very positive sign". Could be a result from Conwy in the next 15 minutes. We think average turnout so far is about 35%. Stay with us through the day for all the latest.

1211 More intriguing gossip about the recount in Merthyr - indications of 65% Yes.

e-mail sent in by reader
1205 Angharad Roche, from Cardiff, originally from Pembrokeshire, says in an email that while the referendum is taking place in Wales, pro-democracy supporters are dying in revolutions in the Middle East: "I'm delighted that a 'Yes' vote seems to be on the cards however it is a great disappointment that the turnout of the electorate has been so low."

1205 Presiding Officer Lord Elis-Thomas tells Radio Wales he's pleased with the first result announced in Blaenau Gwent - "a very creditable result".

1203 Iola Wyn is at the count at Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire - my home county and that of Jamie Owen. She tells BBC Radio Cymru the turnout is 38.7%. The county voted No in 1997. It is divided between a Welsh-speaking north and English-speaking south. Yes is stronger in the north, No in the south. It could be close here.

1159 RESULT Denbighshire votes Yes. No: 9,742. Yes: 15,793.

1155 Well done Blaenau Gwent for announcing the first result. What's going on in nearby Merthyr Tydfil? They're having a recount.

1150 RESULT Blaenau Gwent votes Yes. No: 5,366. Yes: 11,869.

1149 More from Welsh Conservative leader Nick Bourne, who tells Radio Wales he regrets the lack of official campaigns which would have ensured greater penetration of the message to people who can't or don't consume Welsh media. They may be political opponents, but he and Carwyn Jones are in agreement on this one. See the First Minister's comments at 1126.

1145 We're expecting results soon now. Blaenau Gwent and Conwy look like they could be the first to announce.

1144 Conservative leader in the assembly Nick Bourne tells Radio Wales it looks like good news for the Yes camp. He also says the campaign vindicates the Conservative party's decision to be neutral and let its MPs, AMs and members make their own minds up. "I think the party's behaved in a rather mature way."

tweet
1140 Plaid Cymru MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr Jonathan Edwards tweets: "Great day for wales. High turn out and over whelming yes vote in amman valley."

1134 Official turnout in Conwy is 33.79%. Rumours that Yes votes are in the ascendancy, with No votes strongest in the coastal belt of Llandudno, Colwyn and Abergele. Vote share put at 50/50 in some wards.

e-mail sent in by reader
1132 Writing from London, reader Neil Reynolds says: "A low turnout is not good I agree, but if people don't vote in a democracy it's their choice."

1126 First Minister Carwyn Jones tells the Refferendwm programme on S4C that the signs are very good for the Yes campaign. Areas in the east which are more likely to get their broadcast news from England are likely to have a stronger No vote. Further West, the Yes vote increases, he says. Turnout may be low, but the London assembly was set up on a 34% vote, he adds. If people were fundamentally opposed to the national assembly they would have turned out in large numbers to vote No.

1126 BBC Radio Cymru's results programme hears from Dafydd Evans in Blaenau Gwent that the count has finished and a result is due very soon. Turnout is around 32%.

1124 Time for a recap. Official turnouts are trickling in. Rhondda Cynon Taf: 34.6%. Flintshire: 29.4%. Neath Port Talbot : 38%. Yes campaigners seem upbeat, meanwhile Rachel Banner of True Wales says it "doesn't look as if it's gone our way" and former Welsh Conservative chairman Eric Howells, another No campaigner, feels "very sad".

1114 Following those comments from Rachel Banner, No campaigner Sir Eric Howells tells Radio Wales he feels "very sad" and admits it looks as if the Yes camp has won, but he claims it's only by default due to a low turnout - "they'll have 20% to our 10%".

1112 Over on Radio Wales, former Conservative AM and MP Rod Richards speculates on why a referendum was written into the 2006 Government of Wales Act, instead of taking the assembly straight to full primary legislative powers. "Peter Hain funked the issue in 2006 - he should have held a referendum then - he didn't because of internal squabblings in the Labour Party."

1103 True Wales spokeswoman Rachel Banner said: "It doesn't look as if it's gone our way." Speaking on BBC One Wales' results programme she said that the turnout isn't going to be very high "and we've said all along that there are not people out on the streets demanding more powers for politicians in Cardiff Bay".

1055 Owain Clarke, our man at Swansea leisure centre, where counting started about 45 minutes later than elsewhere in Wales, tells BBC Radio Cymru's results programme there are rumours the postal vote has been around 60%, but that it is very low in the main ballot in some areas. The Welsh-speaking areas in the north of the county seem to be indicating a strong Yes vote. Elsewhere it's closer. Result is due at about 1300.

1055 BBC Radio Cymru's results programme hears from veteran No campaigner Bill Hughes that if Wales has voted Yes, then people should realise where they have gone wrong. Welsh education has deteriorated, and poverty has increased since devolution, he says. His comments are perhaps a reflection of how some No campaigners tried to turn the referendum into a vote against the performance of the assembly since its establishment in 1999.

1050 Official turnout figures are coming in now. Merthyr Tydfil: 29% (12,760). And more unofficial numbers - BBC Wales education correspondent Ciaran Jenkins is keeping an eye on things in Anglesey where estimated turnout is 44% - down 13% on 1997, but the same as the last assembly election.

1046 Betsan Powys - let's just call her Betsan, I'm going to be typing her name a lot today - is hearing some gossip from around Wales, including Rhondda Cynon Taf where there's talk of a 75% Yes vote. Rhondda AM Leighton Andrews, the education minister, has told BBC One Wales that the Yes camp is "quietly confident", but adds: "Of course we would have liked to have seen a higher turnout."

1035 Some feedback from politicians around Wales. Alun Davies, Labour AM for mid and west Wales, is confident of a good Yes vote in Blaenau Gwent where he is his party's candidate for the assembly election in May. Shadow Welsh secretary Peter Hain tweets: "Confident of a big Yes in neath". Neath Port Talbot returned the biggest Yes vote in favour of devolution 1997 - 66.5%

1032 Live television coverage now underway on BBC One Wales and in Welsh on S4C

1030
tweet
Daily Post Welsh affairs correspondent Tom Bodden - an experienced Bay watcher - tweets : "Most smiles among Yes campaigners wondering how many counties voted No, if any in #welshreferendum."

1015 Arwyn Jones is in Wrexham for BBC Wales and says early counting suggests a Yes vote. If that's correct it will be a turnaround from 1997 when there was a No-vote majority of around 4,000 against devolution in Wrexham.

1010
comment from blogger
Our political editor Betsan Powys has blogged from the Senedd where votes from around Wales are being totted up. She'll be broadcasting all day until late tonight. She starts her busy day by pointing out that if the opinion polls are right and there is a Yes vote, the UK will have four legislatures with primary law-making powers: "The jigsaw of different policies will become more complicated, the differences potentially more puzzling to citizens."

1000 Plaid Cymru leader and deputy first minister Ieuan Wyn Jones issued a statement after polls closed last night: "The message we've been getting back whilst talking to people across Wales is that they want their assembly to have the right tools to get on with the job."

0953
e-mail sent in by reader
Feel free to send us your thoughts about the referendum. Shaun Jones from Llangollen emails to ask: "Should the referendum vote Yes, do we now need a second chamber to scrutinise and revise proposed legislation?"

0950 Unofficial turnout for Flintshire: about 30%.

0925 BBC staff are hearing some unofficial turnout figures. Carmarthen: 44%. Denbighshire: 30-35%. Newport: below 30%. This matches reports from Yes campaigners who say turnout has been higher in the west of Wales than in parts of the east.

0910
tweet
Our political correspondent Tomos Livingstone tweets: Rachel Banner tells BBC Wales True Wales will continue to campaign - a Welsh tea party?

0837 Almost half of potential voters felt they lacked enough information to make an informed choice about the referendum, according to a poll commissioned by BBC Wales. The referendum was held without officially designated campaigns. A decision by True Wales not to apply to become the official No campaign effectively denied both sides the chance to use broadcast slots and free Royal Mail deliveries to set out their case.

0831 Former first minister Rhodri Morgan has said "it's quite possibly going to be a very low turnout". Speaking on BBC Radio Wales he pointed out that the referendum was on a technical question and was conducted before the clocks went back. "It's just a hurdle that has to be crossed so it makes no difference, the turnout, really," he said.

0826 Stay with us for the latest updates, including reports from our correspondents. You can contact us via email or Twitter @walespolitics. We'll publish what we can. We're using the hashtag #bbcref.

0825 Welcome to the BBC's live page coverage of the result of the Welsh assembly powers referendum. Votes will be counted in Wales' 22 counties and totted up at a central count in the Senedd. I'm BBC Wales political reporter Daniel Davies and I'll be bringing you the latest from Cardiff Bay.



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Referendum 2011 - The Result
04 Mar 11 |  UK


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