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Exclusive ITV Wales poll shows strong support for Assembly rule

Most people recognise that power is divided but there is a clear view about where most it should be Photo: ITV Wales News

Tonight Adrian Masters presents a special Wales This Week to mark 30 years since the programme began investigating every aspect of Welsh life. He asks one of the biggest questions of all, Who Runs Wales? Adrian's conclusions about who's really in charge will be debated in an especially extended edition of Sharp End on Thursday. And ITV Wales has commissioned a YouGov opinion poll about where people think power lies and who should call the shots.

1,000 people across Wales were asked to pick the three power-brokers with the biggest say in the way Wales is run.

  • UK Government and Parliament 58%
  • Welsh Government and Assembly 54%
  • Councillors and Local Government 19%
  • European Union 16%
  • Big Business 8%
  • Trade Unions 3%
  • Religions 1%
  • Armed Forces 1%
  • Other 1%
  • Don't know 10%

Clearly political institutions are seen as the main power-brokers, with even big business a distant fifth. It's probable that at different times in the twentieth century, religions, the armed forces and the trade unions would have rated much more highly in a similar list. The Welsh Government and Assembly wouldn't have been there of course but they have nearly caught up with the UK Government and Westminster. When the answers are broken down by party political support, Labour, Plaid Cymru and Lib Dem voters are in broad agreement about where power lies but Conservative voters are more likely to pick Welsh rather than UK institutions.

People were then asked to pick one institution. Not necessarily the one that did have the most power but the one that they thought should have the biggest say in how Wales is run.

  • Welsh Government and Assembly 57%
  • UK Government and Parliament 22%
  • Councillors and Local Government 6%
  • Trade Unions 1%
  • Big Business 1%
  • Armed Forces 1%
  • European Union 0%
  • Religions 0%
  • Other 3%
  • Don't know 10%

The majority for the Welsh institutions is very clear. It does not mean that people don't like having power split between Westminster and Cardiff Bay but it is an indication of what would happen if they were forced to choose. If Scotland becomes independent there could be an argument between the London and Cardiff governments about whether there should be more devolution or less in what was left of the United Kingdom; this poll result suggests who would have the most public support.

Once again, Labour, Plaid Cymru and Lib Dem voters all broadly share the same view. But Conservatives preferred London to Cardiff by 50% to 32%.

Conservatives MP, David Davies, has given us his comments on the poll:

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