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A Few Things You Might Have Missed

We’ve all been having such a poll-tastic time recently that it is easy to miss out on some things. Last week’s latest Welsh Political Barometer poll had a few results that might have slipped past you. So this post is to help you all catch up.

First, the Barometer poll has continued to ask questions about voting intention for the two referendums that are most like to occur in Wales in the next few years: on Britain’s membership of the EU, and on income tax-varying powers for the National Assembly.

For the EU, the results (with changes from our previous poll, conducted earlier in March) were:

 

Remain in the EU: 44% (+1%)

Leave the EU: 38% (+2%)

Don’t Know / Wouldn’t Vote: 18% (-4%)

 

This is how the latest poll looks, in relation to the previous ones we have conducted:

 

Wales, EU Referendum Polls

Poll % Remain % Leave % DK/ NV % ‘remain’ Lead
ITV-Wales/YouGov, February 2013 42 35 22 7
Western Mail/Beaufort, June 2013 29 37 35 -8
WGC/YouGov, July 2013 39 40 21 -1
ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, December 2013 38 40 22 -2
ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, Feb 2014 44 33 23 11
Walesonline/YouGov, June 2014 41 38 22 3
ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, June-July 2014 41 36 24 5
ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, September 2014 43 37 20 6
ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, December 2014 42 39 19 3
ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, January 2015 44 36 20 8
ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, early-March 2015 43 36 22 7
ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, late-March 2015 44 38 18 6

 

Thus we can see that although the polls on this question have tended to be very close, those wishing Britain to remain in the EU have led in every one of the last eight polls conducted by YouGov on this topic, and in every poll conducted during 2014 and 2015.

What about income tax? Although the likelihood of this referendum actually taking place continues to recede, we have persisted in asking about it. Out latest poll’s result (with changes from the previous Barometer poll again in brackets) was:

 

In Favour of income tax-varying powers: 37% (no change)

Against income tax-varying powers: 40% (+4%)

Don’t Know / Wouldn’t Vote: 22% (-5%)

 

And here, again, are the run of previous polls on the topic:

 

Wales, Income Tax Referendum Polls

Poll % Yes % No % DK/ NR % ‘No’ Lead
ITV-Wales/YouGov, February 2013 39 34 27 -5
ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, December 2013 35 38 26 3
Western Mail/Beaufort, December 2013 32 30 38 -2
ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, Feb 2014 31 42 28 11
ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, May 2014 33 39 28 6
Walesonline/YouGov, June 2014 34 41 25 7
ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, June-July 2014 32 42 26 10
ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, September 2014 38 39 24 1
ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, December 2014 37 38 25 1
ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, January 2015 37 39 24 2
ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, early-March 2015 37 36 27 -1
ITV-Wales/WGC/YouGov, late-March 2015 37 40 22 3

 

Here again the balance between those in favour and those against remains tight, but those opposing tax powers have resumed their narrow lead after being very slightly behind in the previous poll.

One further topic that was explored in the recent poll was the importance of different issues. YouGov asked a pair of questions:

  •  ‘Which of the following do you think are the most important issues facing the country at this time?’; and
  • ‘Which of the following do you think are the most important issues facing you and your family?’

Respondents were invited to choose up to three issues from a lengthy list (hence the percentages below add up to well over 100). In the tables below I’ll produce the results, in order, for both questions from among our sample in Wales. For comparison I’ll also show alongside these the findings from a GB-wide poll that asked the same question that was conducted approximately ten days prior to our Barometer poll.

 

Most Important Issues Facing the Country:

Issue Wales Britain
Health 52% 45%
Immigration and Asylum 49% 51%
The economy 46% 45%
Welfare benefits 27% 27%
Education 18% 16%
Housing 17% 23%
Europe 12% 17%
Pensions 11% 9%
The environment 10% 9%
Tax 9% 10%
Crime 8% 9%
Family life and childcare 7% 7%
Increased powers for Wales 5%
Transport 3% 2%
None of these 1% 1%
Don’t Know 3% 2%

 

Most Important Issues Facing You and Your Family:

Issue Wales Britain
Health 47% 40%
The economy 39% 43%
Pensions 27% 27%
Welfare benefits 20% 15%
Tax 19% 20%
Immigration and Asylum 18% 19%
Education 15% 16%
Family life and childcare 13% 14%
Housing 12% 16%
The environment 9% 10%
Europe 7% 7%
Crime 6% 6%
Transport 5% 7%
Increased powers for Wales 5%
None of these 4% 2%
Don’t Know 5% 4%

 

Thus, we see few major differences between Wales and the rest of Britain. Health is a little higher in the list of both personal and national priorities in Wales. And housing is a little lower – which is perhaps understandable if you consider that a significant proportion of the GB-wide sample are having to cope with London/South-East England property process. But, overall, the issue agendas are strikingly similar.

There are also few substantial differences between the national and personal agendas evident here. Immigration and Asylum, and also Europe, recede somewhat in importance when we ask people to focus on what they see as important to them and their families. But much of the agenda is common. These lists emphasise the over-riding importance of the economy and the NHS – and why we will be hearing a great deal more about them over the next few weeks.

Comments

  • Rysiu

    The post from April 7th reports a poll in which
    “when asked whether or not the UK would be better off remaining in, or outside, the European Union, there was a strong balance (63% to 33%, with 4% Don’t Knows) in favour of remaining in the EU.”

    The poll reported above suggests 44% would vote in favour of remaining in the EU. Unless I am missing something obvious, there is a discrepancy – what would explain it?

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