Welsh vote ‘yes’ to more legislative powers

By Hannah Brenton

Wales has voted overwhelmingly to give the Welsh Assembly more power.

Nationally, there were 517,132 votes for the motion and 297,380 votes against.

Only one of 22 counties, Monmouthshire, voted against the motion – by a margin of 320 votes.

The referendum will grant more lawmaking powers to the Welsh Assembly.

At present, laws passed by the Welsh Assembly have to go via Westminster before they can be enacted – but the ‘yes’ vote means the Assembly can enact laws directly.

Turnout has been low across the country, drifting between the 30-40% mark in most counties.

Celebrations are reportedly taking place in the Senedd in Cardiff, where the leaders of the Welsh coalition have campaigning strongly for the change.

Speaking after the result Ieuan Wyn Jones AM, Plaid Cymru’s leader and deputy first minister, said the vote heralded a “new era of Welsh devolution”.

“The people of Wales have today told us that they share our ambitions for a better Wales.

“They want to see our nation succeed and they want our Assembly to take responsibility and to change Wales for the better.

“I can promise you, this is what we are now determined to do. This yes vote finally gives us the tools to do the job.”

Welsh Labour leader Carwyn Jones said earlier he was hoping for a “resounding result”.

“No one should wake up on Friday morning and say to themselves, ‘I wish I’d voted Yes’,” the Welsh first minister said.