Wales politics

Welsh voters want extra powers, poll indicates

Welsh assembly at night, Cardiff Bay
Image caption If voters say yes, the Welsh assembly will gain further devolved powers from Westminster

The majority of Welsh voters are likely to vote for the devolution of extra powers from Westminster, according to an opinion poll.

A referendum on extra powers is due to be held on 3 March, 2011.

The poll, conducted by ICM Research for BBC Wales, suggests 57% would vote in favour of giving the assembly increased law making powers.

It also showed that 24% would vote against the move and 18% are not yet sure how they would vote.

The poll indicates that the 'yes campaign' are ahead in all 22 local authorities, as well as all social classes and age groups.

But the research also suggests that there may be a moderately low turnout for the referendum.

Only 37% said they were certain to vote, of whom 77% intended to vote yes and 23% intended to vote no.

This may imply that the lower the turnout, the better it is for the yes vote - with those who are strongly in favour of further devolution, most likely to turn out to vote.

Image caption Overall those polled did not think it was important for Prince William and Kate Middleton to live in Wales

Thirteen percent said they were certain not to vote in the referendum, with the remaining people polled - representing around 50% of the total - uncertain about whether they would vote at all.

Jones' anniversary

Ahead of his first anniversary in the post of first minister, and a year to the day since he was elected Welsh Labour leader, the pollsters also asked how good a job Carwyn Jones is doing as the leader of the assembly government.

Those who thought Mr Jones is doing a good job totalled 53% with only 14% said he is doing a bad job while 32% said they 'don't know'.

Cutting MPs

Researchers also asked how people felt about the UK government's proposals to cut the number of Welsh MPs.

Forty percent said the number of MPs should not be reduced, 20% said they wanted any reduction to reflect Wales' geography and status, while 27% agreed the number of MPs should be reduced to reflect Wales' population.

On the UK government's public spending cuts, 70% think that the cuts are necessary while 22% think they are unnecessary.

However, 39% think the necessary cuts are being implemented too quickly, with 22% thinking implementation is at about the right speed. Nine percent do not think they are going fast enough.

In terms of the pressure this places on public spending in Wales, there is some dissatisfaction with 42% saying Wales is having to find more than its fair share, while 35% think it is fair.

Asked about the domestic implications of next year's royal wedding, 69% did not think it is important for the happy couple to maintain a permanent home in Wales, although 29% would like to see them to do so.

ICM contacted 1,000 people for this poll, which was conducted by telephone between 25 and 28 November 2010.

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