viernes, 4 de marzo de 2011

Wales says Yes in referendum vote

The Yes results were mounting up as the first referendum results were announced across Wales 
Wales has said a resounding Yes in the referendum on direct law-making powers for the assembly.
Almost all 22 Welsh counties have declared, and all except one, Monmouthshire, backed change. Turnout is provisionally put at 35%.
As celebrations began, First Minister Carwyn Jones said: "This has been a Yes vote across the whole of Wales."
A Yes vote will give the assembly direct law-making power in 20 devolved areas, such as health and education.
With only a couple of counties left to declare, the final result is now a formality.
A No vote would have kept the current system where the assembly asks parliament for powers to be transferred to Cardiff on a case-by-case basis.
Roger Lewis, chairman of the Yes For Wales campaign, said he was delighted, adding: "It is clear, the people of Wales have spoken."
Rachel Banner of True Wales, which wanted a No vote, appeared to concede defeat early, but said the result should not be seen as a "ringing endorsement" of the assembly's record.
Turnout has been below 30% in some areas, which was described by First Minister Carwyn Jones as "not brilliant, but then not apocalyptic, which some people predicted."
Education Minister Leighton Andrews was disappointed with the turnout
He said the low turnout was partly due to there being no official Yes or No campaigns, and he took a swipe at "abysmal" coverage "from UK media".
Lee Waters, of Yes for Wales, said the opinion polls had been consistent for three years "but we were never sure whether that would be translated into votes in the ballot box."
He said the result and swing in an an area such as Denbighshire showed that "Wales has changed".
But he said there was frustration in getting what they believed was a "common sense argument across to enough people."
Assembly Presiding Officer Lord Elis-Thomas said he was not happy with the level of debate, and voters did not have enough information. 
He said a House of Lords committee had recommended that referenda should be on "fundamental matters", but this vote was about a question "cobbled" together by the Labour Party.
An opinion poll for BBC Wales this week found almost half of potential voters felt they lacked enough information to make an informed decision.
A poll conducted by ICM in the days leading up to the referendum found 48% of respondents said they had not received enough information. Exactly half said that they had.
It suggests an assembly with law-making and some taxation powers remains the most popular option - 35%.
Eighteen per cent supported the sort of law-making assembly without taxation powers that will exist if a Yes vote is declared on Friday, while 17% want the assembly to continue as it is.
Independence was favoured by 16%, and 15% wanted the assembly abolished.
ICM interviewed 1,003 adults on 1 and 2 March.
Some 2.2m people were eligible to vote in the referendum.
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