Opposition to Welsh independence has fallen to its lowest ever level, with half of people now saying they would vote No in a referendum on the issue.
WalesOnline’s exclusive St David’s Day poll from YouGov shows that 50% of people say they would definitely oppose independence in a national vote on the issue.
Our poll shows the continuation of the growth in support for the independence movement, which has seen consistent growth since the Brexit referendum.
While active support for independence remains at the 25% high watermark recorded in polling throughout the pandemic, the proportion answering “don’t know” has swelled to 14% – adding to the swelling uncertainty about the future of the UK.
Among those giving a definitive answer, 33% say they would vote Yes on independence for Wales, while 67% say they would vote no.
What did the figures show?
In answer to the question “If there was a referendum tomorrow on Wales becoming an independent country and this was the question, how would you vote?”, 25% said they would answer yes, 50% said no, 9% said they would not vote, and 14% said they didn’t know, with a further 2% refusing to answer.
The figure of 50% of those polled saying they would vote against independence is the lowest level seen in polls where this question has been asked.
A YouGov poll of 2014 put the figure at 70%, dropping to 65% straight after the EU referendum in 2016, most of the polls in 2019 put the “no” level at around 57% with a series of polls since the crisis putting it in the low 50s at between 52-54%.
The percentage of people who would vote “yes” to independence was fairly consistent with other recent polls.
Beneath the headline data there was also differences in attitudes to independence with on age, previous voting location in Wales all having an impact on people’s propensity to support independence.
The younger people are, the more likely they were to support independence with 40% of 16-14 year olds saying they would vote yes if there was a referendum on Welsh independence tomorrow. This falls to just 15% in over 65s.
Area of Wales
The part of Wales with the highest levels of support for independence was the Cardiff region with 34% of those polled indicating they would vote yes. The north of Wales was the most sceptical with just 17 indicating support. The poll did not differentiate between north east and north west Wales.
People who voted Plaid Cymru in the last general election were massively in favour of independence with 62% supporting independence. Conservative voters skewed the other way with just 8% supporting it. Previous Labour voters seemed far more on the fence with 38% saying yes and 39% saying no.
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A split was also seen based on how people voted in 2016 referendum on EU membership with leave voters 18 percentage points more likely to vote against independence than remain.
Our St David’s Day poll from YouGov covers issues including Brexit, this year’s Senedd elections, independence for Wales and coroanvirus.
Our political writers have also analysed some of the poll findings.