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Cymraeg

New Poll on Attitudes in Wales towards Cuts in Public Spending

01 November 2010

On Tuesday (2 November, 2010), a special event, jointly organized by Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre and Cardiff Business School, will be held at Cardiff University to discuss the impact on Wales of the recently announced cuts in public spending.

Following an address by First Minister Carwyn Jones, some of Wales’s leading economists, including Gerry Holtham and Eurfyl ap Gwilym, will be participating in a round table discussion chaired by the BBC’s Betsan Powys.

In anticipation of the event, researchers working at Cardiff and Aberystwyth Universities are releasing new polling data showing what the Welsh electorate think of the cuts. The poll was conducted by YouGov from 27 to 29 October 2010. The sample size was 1206.

Commenting on the findings, Director of Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre, Professor Richard Wyn Jones says: "Unavoidable, but economically damaging and unfair: that is how the majority of the Welsh electorate view the forthcoming cuts in public spending. While 53% believe the cuts to be unavoidable, 45% believe that they will be bad for the economy as compared to 35% who believe that they will have a positive effect. Only 29% of the Welsh electorate believe that the cuts are being implemented fairly, as compared to fully 57% who believe that they are unfair."

Good or bad for the economy? (%)

Good for the economy

35

Bad for the economy

45

Don't know

20

Being done fairly or unfairly? (%)

Fairly

29

Unfairly

57

Don't know

14

Avoidable or unavoidable? (%)

Avoidable

31

Unavoidable

53

Don't know

16

Professor Wyn Jones says: "As we now enter the run-up to the next Assembly election in May, what I find striking is the fact that a majority of the electorate think that the cuts are unfair to Wales. 48% of the electorate believe that the country is facing bigger cuts than the rest of the UK as compared to 29% who believe that Wales is facing spending cuts in line with the rest of the UK. These polling data will make particularly grim reading for Welsh Liberal Democrat leaders. In contrast to Conservative voters in Wales, the majority of whom believe that Wales is being treated in line with the rest of the UK, a clear majority of the already dwindling band of Liberal Democrat voters see Wales as facing bigger cuts than the rest of the UK. It appears that the worst fears of those Welsh Liberal Democrats who opposed the deal with the Conservatives are being realised."

And do you think that...? (%)

Wales is facing bigger spending cuts that the rest of the UK

48

Wales is facing smaller spending cuts than the rest of the UK

4

Wales is facing spending cuts in line with the rest of the UK

29

Don't know

20

Welsh Liberal Democrat voters (Westminster) only (%)

Wales is facing bigger spending cuts that the rest of the UK

42

Wales is facing smaller spending cuts than the rest of the UK

7

Wales is facing spending cuts in line with the rest of the UK

24

Don't know

28

Commenting on the findings, Professor Roger Scully, Director of the Institute of Welsh Politics at Aberystwyth University, said: "While the evidence indicates that most people in England have been persuaded that the cuts are the fault of the previous Labour government, things look very different in Wales. Most people here are not convinced that it is all Labour’s fault; nor are they convinced that the cuts are being implemented fairly. The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have a lot of persuading to do before next May’s election".

And who do you think is most to blame for the current spending cuts in Wales? (%)

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in Westminster

34

The last Labour government in Westminster

32

The Labour-Plaid government in Wales

3

All of them

19

None of them

4

Don't know

8

Do you think the government are cutting too fast, too slow, or is the pace of deficit reduction right? (%)

Too fast

56

Too slow

3

Pace is about right

30

Don't know

12

ENDS

Editor’s Note. The poll was conducted by YouGov on behalf of Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre and Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Welsh Politics. The lead researchers are Professor Richard Wyn Jones (Cardiff) and Professor Roger Scully (Aberystwyth). The data was collected by YouGov between 27 and 29October 2010. The sample size was 1206.

For more information contact:

Professor Richard Wyn Jones

Professor of Welsh Politics and Director of the Wales Governance Centre

Cardiff University

M: 07734 679 421

To send a reporter / photographer / film crew to the event on Tuesday 2 November 2010, please contact:

Lowri Jones

Public Relations

Cardiff University

T: 02920 870995