25 years of devolution in Wales: Has enough changed since the 1997 referendum?

Twenty-five years ago this month, Wales went to the polls.

The central issue: Do you want devolution and the creation of a Welsh Assembly?

It split opinion. Labour, who had just won a landslide in Westminster, found it wasn't always easy keeping all the party membership onside.

In case you missed the result - 'yes' won. But it was narrow: 50.3% to 49.7%

Former Welsh Secretary Ron Davies says there hasn't been a strong enough vision in Wales' devolution. Credit: ITV Wales

A quarter of the century on, the leaders of both sides of the campaign have reflected on devolution for ITV Cymru Wales' Sharp End programme.

Ron Davies - Welsh Secretary at the time and now known as the 'Architect of Welsh Devolution' gave a rare interview to the programme.

His verdict - there hasn't been a strong enough vision.

"One thing which I know is lacking is an overarching sense of wanting to create a better way, of wanting to shape our own destiny. I don't see that."

Peter Hain says there needs to be a focus on building a modern economy in Wales. Credit: ITV Wales

His number two in the Welsh office at the time, Peter Hain, says there needs to be a focus on building a modern economy.

"We need to do what we all say we want to do, which is create a more vibrant, competitive, successful Wales economically. But it does mean some pretty tough decisions."

He argues that while it is understandable a lot of public money is spent on health and welfare, more support needs to be given to support the jobs of tomorrow.

Dafydd Wigley was Plaid Cymru leader at the time. His party has since been in coalition with Labour and currently has a co-operation agreement with the Welsh Labour Government.

But Labour has always been in power. He says that needs to change.

"We have yet to see the election in Wales, changing the colour of a government. And democracy in Wales will not have been properly tested until that happens.

A leader of the No campaign, Nick Bourne, later supported devolution and even favours an increase in Senedd Members. Credit: ITV Wales

But the man who's been on the biggest journey is Nick Bourne.

A leader of the No campaign, he later became supportive of devolution and led the Conservatives in the Assembly.

There are now proposals to increase the size of the Senedd - something his party opposes. He says they are wrong to do so.

"We need more members. It's got expanded powers, it's the settled will of the people that we have a Welsh parliament, and that's got to be effective, so by all means, be concerned about value for money, we should be, as any political party should be, but in terms of is it a good idea then the personal view is we need more members."

Should Wales abolish the Senedd (Welsh Parliament)?

A YouGov opinion poll for ITV Wales has found the majority of the public would back keeping the Senedd if there were a referendum question on scrapping it: 46% to 26%.

8% of respondents said they would not take part in a referendum vote, 14% did not know and 3% refused to answer.

  • The reflections from the referendum campaign leaders are part of a special Sharp End documentary: The Night Wales Changed which will be broadcast later this year.