Poll finds that Wales would vote to rejoin the European Union

Our relationship with the European Union remains a divisive issue for Welsh voters.

More Welsh voters would vote to rejoin the European Union than those who would vote against in a referendum, a poll for ITV Wales has found.

Despite the relief that the UK and EU reached a last minute deal on their future relationship, 44% said they would vote to rejoin the European Union, as opposed to 38% who said no.

  • Yes to rejoining EU 44%

  • No to rejoining EU 38%

  • Don't Know 19%

Wales narrowly voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum and although most voters have not changed their mind, there has been a slight swing to a pro-EU position.

12% of Leave voters now say they would definitely vote to rejoin, 9% of Remain voters are certain that they would vote against.

A trade deal between the EU and UK was agreed in December Credit: PA

The poll results indicate that attitudes towards the EU are closely linked to party loyalty.

80% of those who voted Conservative at the 2019 General Election would vote against rejoining.

69% of those who voted Labour would vote in favour, as would 74% of Plaid Cymru supporters.

No party is currently arguing for another EU referendum, with rather more discussion of a referendum of Welsh Independence, which is backed by Plaid Cymru.

Support for independence in Wales has stabilised with 22% saying they would support an independent Wales

Although support for the idea has grown in the last two years, the polling figures seem to have stabilised:

  • Yes to Welsh Independence 22%

  • No to Welsh Independence 53%

  • Don't Know 25%

Although the poll showed increased support for Plaid Cymru, it suggested the party was heading for third place in this year's Senedd election. But if Labour needs Plaid support to stay in government, could Plaid secure a referendum as part of deal? The First Minister has said that would be wrong.

Mark Drakeford told Sharp End that it would be wrong to offer Plaid Cymru and independence referendum as part of anyb post-election deal.

On this week's Sharp End, Mark Drakeford said there wouldn't be a mandate for a referendum.

“My view on the referendum question is this. If a party in an election proposes a referendum, secures a majority, of course there should be a referendum because that then has won the democratic approval of people of Wales.

“If that isn’t the position there will be no mandate for anybody to go ahead with a referendum because parties not in favour of a referendum will be in the majority.

“The key thing is whether you can agree on a programme, not a political fix, not a deal between parties. It’s the hard work that goes into finding a programme for government that you can agree on if you can and then putting it to parties to see whether it can be endorsed."

The poll also suggested that there could be a couple of MSs from the Abolish the Welsh Assembly party elected to the next Senedd. There are also some Conservative candidates who would like to end devolution. But the poll found that was another idea not likely to be backed in a referendum:

  • Yes to abolishing the Senedd 26%

  • No to abolishing the Senedd 45%

  • Don't Know 30%

Ask to choose their main national identity, the poll found that people were slightly more likely to think of themselves as primarily Welsh.

A major factor in people's attitude to the EU, Welsh independence and devolution is their sense of national identity. Asked to pick just one nationality, more people said they are Welsh than said they're British:

  • Welsh 45%

  • British 41%

  • English 6%

  • Scottish 1%

  • Irish 1%

  • Other 3%

  • Don't Know 3%

The Welsh Political Barometer poll, for ITV Cymru Wales and Cardiff University, had a sample of 1,018 Welsh voters aged 16+. It was carried out online by YouGov from 11-14 January 2021.