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Independence... Where do the main parties stand?

Andrew RT Davies, Mark Drakeford, Adam Price (Mark Hawkins/Barcroft Media/Getty). (Y Ddraig Goch: Gwalia).

An opinion poll released on Tuesday (20 April) revealed that 35% of the public are in favour of independence, once 'don't know' options are omitted.

So how do the country's main political parties stand on the issue of independence; are they in favour or against?

Labour — Against independence

The Labour Party is seeking UK-wide constitutional reform along the lines of federalism and therefore opposes Welsh independence.

First Minister Mark Drakeford is also strongly opposed to independence and has recently described the idea as the "height of recklessness."

In its 'Moving Forward' manifesto for the forthcoming Senedd election, the party has devoted an entire chapter to "Our Nation", which outlines its position on constitutional issues and the country's place in the United Kingdom.

In the manifesto, Labour reiterates its commitment to forging a "new and successful United Kingdom, based on a far-reaching federalism".

It supports the UK-wide Constitutional Commission established by UK Labour to begin a conversation around constitutional reform.

Labour says that the UK in its current form is "irreparably broken" and will remain so without a UK Labour Government.

The party therefore pledges to pursue "radical constitutional change" through federalism.

Despite this, there are some voices calling for independence from within the party, such as Labour for IndyWales that advocates for "socialism through independence."

Three of the party's candidates for the upcoming Senedd election also support independence— although all three are contesting seats that the party is unlikely to win.

A recent opinion poll has shown that forty-seven per cent of Welsh Labour voters support independence.

Plaid Cymru — In favour of independence

Plaid Cymru is strongly in favour of independence.

The party has devoted an entire in-depth chapter in its Senedd election manifesto to "Independence and the emerging Welsh state."

Plaid views independence as a priority and the mechanism by which to achieve transformational change for the country.

The party has pledged to hold an independence referendum by 2026, should it form the next Welsh Government.

The party has also promised to create a National Commission to "oversee the process leading to the referendum", including drafting a "Welsh Constitution".

Plaid says it will conduct a detailed exploration of how an independent Cymru should interface with "the other nations of Britain."

Conservatives — Against independence

The Conservative and Unionist Party is strongly opposed to Welsh independence.

The leader of the Conservatives in the Senedd Andrew RT Davies has recently described Plaid Cymru's plan to hold an independence referendum as "giving a drunk driver the keys to your car."

The party opposes the further devolution of powers to the Senedd and its election manifesto contains no promises of constitutional reform.

In the manifesto, leader Andrew RT Davies pledges to "build a better Wales in a strong United Kingdom."

There is also an anti-devolution streak in the party. Two of the party's candidates for the upcoming election— councillors Joel James and Calum Davies— have previously set out their intention to abolish the Senedd in their candidate CVs.



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