A Settling Will? Wales and Devolution, Five Years On

Richard Llywelyn Wyn Jones, Roger Scully

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper 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 paper 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
Pages (from-to)86-106
Number of pages21
JournalBritish Elections and Parties Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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