Thursday, 3 March 2011

Welsh Referendum

Today we are voting in Wales. The 3 March 2011 Referendum concerns the law-making powers of the National Assembly for Wales. The Welsh Assembly can pass legislation in 20 devolved areas or fields, which include Health and Education (but not defence, tax or welfare benefits). Field 1 concerns legislation on Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry and Rural Development; while Field 8 concerns Food.

A NO (NAC YDW) vote will maintain the status quo, under which the Welsh Assembly must apply to the UK Parliament in Westminister, London, for agreement on any legislation it passes in the 20 devolved areas.

A YES (YDW) vote would mean that the Welsh Assembly would not need to go through the costly and time-consuming process of getting Westminster's agreement for each piece of legislation. It would streamline Welsh politics and give the Welsh Assembly a degree more autonomy.

All the major political parties in Wales support a YES vote. A range of fringe groups hope that voter apathy will discredit the referendum.

I've voted YES, and this morning the turnout at the Community Hall where I am the coordinator has looked very respectable.

Stephen Nottingham added on 4 March 2011:
The YES vote was 63.5% (517,132 voters) and the NO vote 36.5% (297,380 voters). 21 of the 22 counties in Wales voted YES (and the result in the other was very close). The turnout was 35% overall. Here in the Vale of Glamorgan the turnout was just over 40%.

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