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Attitudes to Europe: Two Interesting Tables

More details have now been released of the comparative study of attitudes in England, Scotland and Wales that the Wales Governance Centre here at Cardiff University has conducted with Edinburgh University, IPPR and YouGov.

There’s been plenty of coverage in the press of aspects of our findings about England. But there is some interesting stuff as well in the comparisons between the three nations. Much more will be published when the full report comes out in the summer. But for now, I thought that many of you would find these two tables rather interesting: I’ll just leave these for you to ponder.

 

European Election Voting Intentions, April 2014 (%)

Party

England

Wales

Scotland

Labour

30

39

31

Conservative

22

18

12

Liberal Democrats

11

7

7

Plaid Cymru/SNP

11

33

UKIP

29

20

10

Other

8

6

6

N of respondents

2846

793

782

 Voting Intention in ‘In/Out’ EU referendum (%)

England

Wales

Scotland

Remain

37

39

48

Leave

40

35

32

Wouldn’t vote/Don’t Know

22

26

20

N of respondents

3695

1027

1014

Comments

  • J. Jones

    I read today that in England there was a relationship between those who Identified as English and strong support for withdrawal. The article said that no such relationship existed in Wales. Being curious I looked at the 2014 ICM/BBC St David’s day poll which asked about attitudes to the EU.
    “On balance I believe that the UK would be better off outside the EU”
    Agree by Identity:
    Welsh…….45%
    More Welsh than…….45%
    Equal…….36%
    More British…….36%
    British…..41%
    None……28%

    So on one strand of UKIp’s appeal there is actually a correlation with a high degree of Welsh identity. Anti-EU sentiment however is only one strand of UKIPs election strategy; anti-immigration being the other. It would be easy to imagine that in Wales attitudes to immigration would be relaxed because levels of immigration are so small in comparison to England. Once again the ICM/BBC poll:-
    ” Do you think that the level of immigration from outside the UK into Wales is too high?”
    Agree by Identity:
    Welsh……66%
    More Welsh than……..72%
    Equal…..65%
    More British…….48%
    British……44%
    None….24%

    There has been previous research pointing to intolerance to immigration by people who Identify as “English” or “Welsh” but not “Sottish” or “British”.

    • Roger Scully

      Thanks for this Jon, and for your continued interest in the Blog which is much appreciated.

      I don’t think the piece in the Western Mail was misleading; the samples in this particular study found no relationship between national identity and attitudes to EU withdrawal. However, there will be much more detail to come when the full report is published – including on immigration.

  • J. Jones

    The key to WHY those identifing as Welsh or more Welsh tend to be more anti immigration is explained by this study:
    http://www.wiserd.ac.uk/files/7513/6549/9382/WISERD_RRS_009.pdf

    “In Table
    8, viewing immigration as undermining cultural life receives its most support in Wales (52%)
    with only 27.6% in Wales viewing immigrants as enriching cultural life. In Table 9, there is a
    similar pattern for Wales with 52% (Very bad or bad) viewing immigrants as making the
    country a worse place to live compared to only 24% (Very good or good) considering
    immigrants as making the country as better place to live. For 2008 at least therefore it is in
    relation to culture and quality of life, less so for economy, that the view of immigration as bad
    or very bad gains its most support in Wales.”

    And:-
    “In fact, Wales
    reports one of the highest proportions of respondents agreeing with the view that
    immigration should be reduced a lot. The pattern in Wales is similar to that of many regions
    in England, particularly those in the Midlands and the North.”

    Although Wales has high percentages of people wanting a reduction in immigration (similar to the North and the Midlands) the difference is that only Wales already has low levels of immigration.

    When it comes to National identity and attitudes to immigration within Wales:

    “The figures in the tables above indicate that expressing the view that the number of people
    coming into Britain should be reduced is linked to identifying nationality with one of the
    constituent nations of Britain (being Welsh or English), rather than with Britain as a whole
    (being British). In Wales (Table 3), 66.1% of those considering themselves to be ‘Welsh’
    considered the number of immigrants should be ‘reduced a lot’, compared to 59.3% of those
    considering themselves to be ‘British’.”

    My point being Roger that the article in the Western Mail yesterday was misleading in the light of available evidence. Anti European attitudes have not manifested themselves to the same extent in Wales but it’s untrue to say that a general suspicion of immigration from wherever (one of the main objections to the EU voiced by UKIP) isn’t linked to National Identity.

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