A 'settling will'? Public attitudes to devolution in wales

Richard Wyn Jones*, Roger Awan-Scully

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores the development of public attitudes to devolution in Wales since the September 1997 referendum that narrowly approved the creation of the National Assembly. After reviewing the history behind Welsh devolution, we examine survey evidence on public attitudes, demonstrating that though perceptions of the Assembly failing to improve many areas of life are widespread, opposition to devolution has fallen substantially since the referendum. These findings are reinforced by evidence from focus group research. Although such data indicate only limited public engagement with devolution, the principle appears widely accepted, with much support existing for giving the National Assembly greater powers. The final section of the article constructs a multivariate model to explain variation in support for devolution. Attitudes to the principle of devolution appear well-defined (primarily by national identity, party attachments and generational differences), but differences in the level of devolution desired are much less readily predictable.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBritish Elections & Parties Review
EditorsColin Rallings, Roger Scully, Jonathan Tonge, Paul Webb
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780203495209, 0203495209, 0203584120
ISBN (Print)0714655260, 0714684198
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2003

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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