The Scale of Welsh Independence

Anthony B. Masters
4 min readJul 20, 2019

After a May march on the streets of Cardiff, Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price AM claimed:

Support for independence in Wales is rising like never before.

Additionally, Vice UK asserted that support for Welsh independence was ‘mainstream’.

Questions arise: how popular is Welsh independence, and is that support increasing?

Dywed yr arolwg

A long-running question on Welsh independence has been run by the social research company ICM Unlimited, on behalf of BBC Wales. The question is asked by telephone, offering five affirmative responses:

Which of these statements comes closest to your view?

Wales should become independent, separate from the UK;

The Welsh Assembly should have more powers than it currently has;

The powers that the Welsh Assembly has are sufficient and should remain as it is now;

The Welsh Assembly should have fewer powers than it currently has;

The Welsh Assembly should be abolished and Wales directly governed by Westminster.

The latest reading, surveying 1,000 Welsh adults between 7th and 23rd February 2019, shows support for Welsh independence at an estimated 7%. Greater powers for the Welsh Assembly is the most popular choice, backed by an estimated 46% of Welsh adults.

The independence share was unchanged from ICM’s 2018 poll — beneath its estimated support in 2011 (11%), but higher than the 2014 polls (3% and 5%). In each of the 11 polls, independence has been less popular than abolishing the Welsh assembly.

Support for independence has fluctuated. (Source: ICM Unlimited/BBC Wales polls)

Annibyniaeth: ydy?

There is a regular polling series called the Welsh Barometer, undertaken by YouGov through their internet panel. This polling is…

Anthony B. Masters

This blog looks at the use of statistics in Britain and beyond. It is written by RSS Statistical Ambassador and Chartered Statistician @anthonybmasters.