Skip to main content
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Latest updates.


The Welsh Political Barometer

11 December 2013

As was announced last night at the Welsh Political Awards, in City Hall Cardiff, today sees the launch of the Welsh Political Barometer: a series of regular opinion polls in Wales.

The Barometer is a collaboration between ITV Cymru Wales, the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University, and the polling agency YouGov.

A brief discussion, by me, of the Barometer, and the results of the first poll, can be found here. More detailed results can be found here.

I’ll be back later in the week with more detailed analysis of the poll’s findings.


  1. Jon Jones

    So…..on this vexed question of income tax varying powers we have three polls (2 Yougov, 1 RMG) with a degree of unanimity when it comes to what percentage would vote for or support Income tax raising powers for the Assembly; 39% for, 35% for and 40% for. And we have the “Independent” Silk Commission on further devolution in Wales with 64% in favour of income tax varying powers for the Assembly.

    What to believe???

  2. Roger Scully

    Well, they are very different questions, Jon.

    Asking someone whether they support something in quite general terms is not the same as asking them whether they would vote for a more specific proposition relating to that general idea in a referendum.

    And, as we have seen this week already, asking about the same thing in even slightly different ways can make a difference!

  3. Jon Jones

    “Well, they are very different questions, Jon.”

    No Roger, they are different questions but not VERY different questions because there is a logical link between desiring an outcome and taking an action to secure that outcome. The question of voting didn’t come up in the ICM poll for Silk but if a supplementary question had been put; “in the event of a referendum would you vote in favour of income tax varying powers” no one would expect that the percentage answering “Yes” would be only 38%.

    The example that you were discussing earlier, in your post about the three questions asked by Yougov on voting intentions, isn’t a good example of just a “Variation” in question. It is an example of a question that can be (and was) misunderstood by some people. Question wording cannot be used as an explanation for every major variation in outcome to similar questions.

    On another point; the difference in attitude to EU membership between people in Wales and people in England doesn’t look all that great.

  4. Roger Scully

    Agree on your last point, Jon.

    I don’t agree on your first point. While I don’t disagree about the logical connection, people don’t necessarily answer survey questions in ways that appear logical to those of us on the outside. (Particularly those of us who probably care much more about the issues than many of those doing the surveys). Thus, you may be right about what the outcome of a referendum question in the survey to which you refer would have been – but I’m not clear that we can necessarily infer that for sure.

    “Question wording cannot be used as an explanation for every major variation in outcome to similar questions”. Indeed. But wording effects are most likely when they are tapping into issues about which people probably don’t have very deeply thought-through views. I suspect that tax powers for the Assembly is one of those issues.

    As you appear to feel quite strongly about these issues, would you like to maybe put together a piece for the Blog early in the new year? About 1000-1500 words? It might give your views more prominence than they can gain via comments at the bottom of my posts. It might also provoke some debate.

  5. Jon Jones

    That’s a very generous offer Roger but what I write often generates, not so much “debate”, as riot.

  6. Roger Scully

    Well, please give the offer some thought, Jon. Obviously I’d check it over before posting it, and make clear that it was a guest post, and that “the views expressed here are not necessarily those of the management”.

    it is important that we raise the level of debate in Wales. And debate does require differing opinions and perspectives.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *