Wales politics

Welsh referendum: Low turnout 'a wake-up-call'

Ballot paper graphic
Image caption Provisional figures show a turnout of 35% across Wales for the referendum vote

The low turnout in the referendum on direct law-making powers for the Welsh assembly has been called a "wake-up call for all politicians".

Welsh Lib Dem leader Kirsty Williams said that was especially true of the assembly government.

But First Minister Carwyn Jones said while "not brilliant", the provisional figure of 35% was not "apocalyptic".

Rachel Banner, who led the True Wales No campaign, said people "weren't out on the streets" demanding more powers.

The Yes vote will give the assembly direct law-making power in 20 devolved areas, such as health and education.

The lowest turnout was 26.8% in Wrexham, but it reached 44.36% in Carmarthenshire.

Education Minister Leighton Andrews said: "We are disappointed as everyone is with the turnout."

Deputy First Minister and Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones said referenda generally "tend not to have major turnouts".

'Not enough power'

Ms Williams said: "There is a lesson here for all politicians, especially as we approach the May elections about what we need to do to engage better with the population in Wales," she said.

"We can't use the excuse of not enough power to not deliver for the people of Wales over the next four years."

David Bevan from UKIP Wales who was supporting a No vote, said: "Two-thirds of the Welsh people people have decided that it wasn't worth voting in this referendum.

"I can understand why. They don't feel it is important, but I disagree with them - I think it is very important.

"This referendum is one more salami slice towards separatism."

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