Welsh Referendum – “Yes” have the big Mo….

Been away for the weekend so have only just seen Saturday’s Western Mail Poll on voters’ intentions in next March’s referendum.
60% of voters said Yes, 28% No.
Of those certain to vote (a meagre 39% of the sample) a stunning 73% said Yes v 23% No.
Over the last month the gap seems to have widened considerably. How?
Here’s John Osmond from the Institute of Welsh Affairs on Labour’s plan for a seamless run in to Referendum and then onto May’s Assembly Elections. John quotes from Mark Drakeford’s(Labour Candidate to suceed Rhodri Morgan as AM for Cardiff West) article in this quarter’s Agenda (not on-line).

Mark Drakeford, Rhodri Morgan’s former political adviser, rightly points out that the campaign will merge seamlessly into the National Assembly elections, being held two months later on 6 May. The party or parties most closely associated with a successful outcome in the referendum campaign stand to benefit in the Assembly election as well.

It looks like Labour have started on this plan. From Carwyn: Fairly, eh, bluntly..

The third reason why we need a ‘YES’ vote is the most recent and in some ways the pressing reason we require more powers. And over the last six months, it has become more sharply into focus with each passing day. Put bluntly, we need to strengthen devolution now to act as a buffer against the worst of ConDem excesses in the years ahead.
We have seen in just six months the damage the Tories and their accomplices the Lib Dems have wreaked on Wales.
The recent CSR announcement from the Welsh Assembly Government perspective was undoubtedly a hammer blow. In addition to, in the space of just three weeks, the ConDem Government axed Newport Passport Office with the loss of the 300 jobs, abandoned the Severn Barrage project and scrapped the St. Athan Defence Technical College losing Wales up to 2,500 training and support jobs and 1,500 construction jobs in the process.
All of this sends one simple message to the people of Wales. As a Party we need a ‘YES’ vote to help us stand up for Wales and protect Wales’ interests from the ideological agenda being driven through in Westminster.”

All the conversations I have with concerned parents here show that the tuition fee policy is wildly popular.
All going well then….Yes – except back to that poll. We have a regional split which reveals a significant oddity – the lowest % in favour, at 50%, was in the citadel of Labour dominance, the South Wales Valleys. Whilst it is dangerous usually to split a sample down in this way, in a simple two way vote significance is easier to obtain…….so no counting chickens….
For detail of the referendum see my previous post.
And breaking news…WRU Head Roger Lewis To chair the Yes Campaign – an inspired choice I think.