Page last updated at 10:11 GMT, Tuesday, 27 October 2009

'Most want' more powers for Wales

The Pierhead building and the Senedd in Cardiff Bay
People were questioned over various aspects of politics in Wales

A majority of voters would vote yes in a referendum on extra powers for the Welsh Assembly - but only by a small majority, a YouGov poll suggests.

Of 1,078 adults surveyed, 42% said they would vote yes and 37% would vote no.

Although, when asked whether Wales should have the same powers as the Scottish Parliament, 63% were in favour and just 28% were opposed.

A report by the All Wales Convention - a consultation into the constitutional future - is due on 18 November.

The Labour-Plaid coalition assembly government has promised a referendum on the matter if it looks winnable.

Sir Emyr Jones Parry, who has led the £1.5m consultation into the issue and has collected thousands of opinions, has said people will be surprised by the "extent of its recommendations".

Ahead of his report, the YouGov poll found that a large proportion of Welsh voters do want the assembly government to call a referendum - with 63% in favour and 20% objecting to having a referendum.

Sir Emyr Jones Parry
Sir Emyr Jones Parry's report is to be given to the First Minister in November

When asked which constitutional settlement most closely represented their most favoured option, 34% backed a Welsh Parliament with full law making powers and tax varying powers; 27% wanted to keep the existing arrangements as they are, and 17% wanted abolition.

There was no option given by the pollsters for a Welsh Parliament without tax raising powers.

The poll, which was carried out online in early October, suggests that in such a referendum, almost one in five female voters, as well as younger voters (18-34) do not yet know how they would vote.

More trust

The poll also suggests that a majority of people now feel that Wales is better governed as a direct consequence of devolution - with 55% in favour of this statement.

The views of 10% think Wales is worse off in terms of governance, and 24% are of the view that it has made no difference.

The poll's results suggest that the level of trust in the UK government and MPs as a whole is significantly lower than for the assembly government and assembly members.

Only 46% of respondents to the poll trust the UK government to act in Britain's best interests, compared to 68% for the assembly government.

And 62% do not trust MPs to act in Britain's best interest, compared to 27% who do not trust AMs to act in the best interests of Wales.

All Wales Convention Q & A
13 Jan 09 |  Wales

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