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Welsh Political Barometer details available

10 July 2015

The full details of the latest Welsh Political Barometer poll are now online for you to look over – click on the Opinion Polls header near the top of the home page, and scroll down to the bottom. (It’s the June 2015 Barometer poll you’ll be looking for).

One question that was included in the poll, results for which have now been published, was one that ITV-Wales decided to run on attitudes towards Welsh-language education at English-medium schools in Wales. The specific question was:

“Until when, if at all, do you think it should be compulsory for children in English speaking schools in Wales to learn Welsh?”

The results have attracted a bit of media comment today, as the largest single group of people (some 33%) chose the option “It should not be compulsory for children to learn Welsh at all”. But I think the results are perhaps open to a rather more nuanced interpretation than most people will probably give them. Many people react negatively to any suggestion of compulsion in anything, yet a clear majority of Barometer respondents actually favoured Welsh being compulsory at least until the end of Primary School.

Anyway, no doubt lots of people will have views on this, and will find forums in which to express them! I hope you find the details of the poll interesting.


  1. R Tyler

    Interesting to note that Plaid is significantly ahead in Assembly voting intentions among 18-24 year olds.

    • Roger Scully

      Yes – although please be aware that those sub-groups are generally quite small. Also, the poll is weighted to try and achieve overall representativeness of the sample; each individual sub-group is not also so weighted. So it is possible to get individual sub-groups in a sample that are rather atypical of that sub-group within the overall population.

      In short, look at sub-samples with interest, but also considerable caution!

  2. J.Jones

    I make it that 64% of all respondents who want less than the present amount of Welsh language tuition, in fact they don’t want pupils to take any external examination in Welsh. Amongst non Welsh speakers that percentage goes up to 69%. Of course there is no “control” question; “Do you think that a modern foreign language should be compulsory to the age of 16?” might have given an interesting perspective.

    The BBC St David’s day poll used to ask a question about compulsory Welsh in schools but they dropped it this year. From memory 54% of adults with children did not want any compulsory Welsh lessons.

    It’s interesting to see the dislocation between government policy and public opinion. If there was a political party that campaigned on a promise of less Welsh language in education they would probably attract a sizeable minority following.

    • Roger Scully

      Am I not allowed to take a Saturday off?!

      Anyway, thanks for linking to that piece, which does point out that there are different ways of interpreting the figures.

  3. J.Jones

    Leaving aside the fact that I’m not from Serbia, the figures should be taken seriously. If you look at the cross tabulations it’s clear that amongst the voters of the largest party, Labour, a majority, 52% would either make Welsh language provision either optional or would end compulsory Welsh at age 11. The next largest party, the Conservatives have 60% who are of the same mind and UKIP have the same percentage, 60%. 41% of Tories and almost half of UKIP, 49%, don’t want compulsory Welsh at all in schools. Taken together, supporters of the three largest parties in Wales are of a significantly different opinion to their leaderships and the present Welsh teaching provision.
    Even looking at the 4th most popular party in Wales, Plaid, only 29% are content with the situation as it stands.

    The social and educational consequences of compulsory Welsh medium primary education can be seen from the figures given in this FOI:-

    The first thing that you notice is that, because of the restriction on employing non Welsh speakers in the public sector in the fro Cymraeg, pupils who are first language English speakers are twice as likely to live in poverty. The other figures look at the educational achievement of Non free school meals pupils. It’s clear that learning through their second language has a detrimental outcome on levels of academic achievement.
    There are few logical certainties surrounding politics and academic research in Wales but I can suggest two: YouGov won’t run that contentious question again and the Welsh government won’t be giving WISERD a grant to explore the apparent academic underachievement of pupils learning through their second language, even though the MCS is suggesting the same problems that my FOI uncovers.

    • Roger Scully

      YouGov ran the question because ITV-Wales asked them to do so. They will run it again as and when one of their clients asks them to do so.

  4. E Jenkins

    The delightful Mr Protic has an almost pathological hatred of the Welsh language. Something to do with ethnic cleansing, perhaps.

  5. Jacques Protic

    Amazing arrogance by the nationalist trolls with their never ending use of abuse, racial slur and hysteria but never anything tangible to defend indefensible which is the imposed Social Engineering in Wales by the Welsh Labour Government of truly Orwellian proportions.

    For your information and for what it’s worth E Jenkins I do not hide behind assumed names and what I have to say is always in my name or through Glasnost UK.

    You are doing a great injustice to J. Jones who over the recent years has done amazing work in exposing lies and deceit behind promotion of Welsh language not only by the Welsh Government but equally shameless stance of BBC Wales and some other Welsh media upon the same issues.

    Going back to your assertion that I have ‘almost a pathological hatred’ of the Welsh language I find it truly absurd. I do respect the Welsh language and understand its importance to Welsh speaking areas of Wales especially in Gwynedd and Anglesey.

    Having said this and with all due respect to you and other Welsh speakers the Welsh language is simply a tribal language of the few, sadly imposed on many and absolutely irrelevant to most!

    Finally on my real motives behind fighting unfairness behind Welsh language compulsion is that I happen to be a parent to two young children in Welsh education and can see it first hand the immense damage the imposed Welsh language is doing to children from non Welsh speaking homes.

    Parents in Wales must have the freedom to opt out of Welsh language and have their kids educated in schools who then must be equally free of the straightjacket of only being allowed to employ Welsh speaking teachers in primary schools!

    • E Jenkins

      Delusional and schizophrenic to boot. A scary combination.

    • R Tyler

      “the Welsh language is simply a tribal language of the few”
      Well, I think that comment undermines any reasonable argument you might have had. The arrogance is astonishing.

  6. John R Walker

    With 69% of English speakers and 45% of Welsh speakers wanting less tuition in Welsh than we have forced upon us now by statute it would suggest that any party prepared to grasp the nettle and put a manifesto commitment to roll back compulsory Welsh might gain some more votes, as well as providing a more viable platform to improve educational standards in maths and English as evidenced in the MCS and a growing number of FoIA enquiries to the WG and LEAs. From the other figures the people most likely to support that line are the older age groups and the party most likely to benefit would be UKIP with the Tories second.

    I have long argued that UKIP should do precisely that – make a manifesto commitment to put the teaching of Welsh onto a voluntary basis in all LEAs – and here is some timely survey evidence to support the widely held view amongst the people I talk to that there is viable support for such a policy, especially in South Wales from the geographic breakdown. I wonder if Mark Reckless will take any notice of this data when he drafts the 2016 UKIP Wales manifesto?

  7. E Jenkins

    Dear Dr Scully, Just in case you are unaware, some links to let you know who Jaques Portic aka J. Jones is:
    From other Welsh bloggers who have had the misfortune to encounter this individuals bile:

  8. J.Jones

    Hopefully for the last time Elwyn, Jacques Protic isn’t me. Just because Royston Jones concocted a nice little myth that everyone who criticised Welsh language politics was in fact one person doesn’t make it true.

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