The Public Legitimacy of the National Assembly for Wales

Roger Scully*, Richard Wyn Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the public legitimacy of the National Assembly for Wales. Both the Assembly and the broader system of devolved government for Wales initially enjoyed very limited public support. It is shown that support for devolution in general has risen substantially, while some elements of public attitudes towards the Assembly itself now appear distinctly positive. However, it is also demonstrated that public legitimacy, defined as ‘diffuse support’ for the Assembly, remains limited. The article then examines what factors explain levels of diffuse support for the National Assembly. It is found that variation in such support is best accounted for by factors associated with ‘non-material consequentialism’: perceptions of the impact of the Assembly on the process of government. The conclusion assesses the implications of the findings for the National Assembly, as well as for the study of devolution and political institutions more generally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-533
Number of pages19
JournalThe Journal of Legislative Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2015

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Law

User-Defined Keywords

  • consequentialism
  • deontologism
  • devolution
  • diffuse support
  • National Assembly for Wales
  • public legitimacy


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