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Welsh voters back strong public protections as new poll shows cross-party support for rules that keep Wales safe

New polling from YouGov, published today (Friday 19 March) by Unchecked UK, shows that Welsh voters from across the political spectrum are strongly supportive of well-enforced regulations, and value them for the role they play in keeping society running smoothly, in providing a level playing field for businesses, and in protecting Welsh families.

The poll reveals that, in the run up to May’s Senedd elections, a majority of voters of all political persuasions back maintaining or increasing regulation in a number of key areas.  Dispelling myths around ‘regulation-shy’ Brexit voters, the polling also shows that leave and remain voters alike back strong, common-sense regulations.

The polling shows:

  • 70% of Welsh voters want more regulation of large businesses, or to see current levels maintained, with just 4% expressing a desire that large businesses be regulated less.
  • Welsh voters support keeping or strengthening EU-derived rules, such as protections for habitats and wildlife, food safety and cleanliness standards, workplace health and safety protections, and regulations on the production and use of chemicals.
  • Support for regulations is high among both leave voters and remain voters. 78% of Leave voters, for example, think that the UK government should strengthen or keep health and safety rules, and 86% think that protections for wildlife and habitats should be strengthened or maintained.
  • Welsh voters of all age groups, and from all regions, identify most strongly with statements which portray regulations in a positive light. The statement which resonated most strongly with respondents likened regulations to “society’s ‘immune system’”.
  • Three quarters of Welsh voters would like to see workplace health and safety regulations maintained or strengthened.

Ahead of the 2021 Senedd elections, Unchecked UK is calling on all Welsh politicians and candidates to pledge their commitment to maintaining and strengthening standards across public life.

Emma Rose, Director, Unchecked UK, said: “At Unchecked, we think strong protections for people and the environment, properly resourced public bodies, and fair enforcement of the rules are the foundations of a decent society.  Our polling shows that Welsh voters – across the political spectrum – agree with us. 

“As the UK embarks on trade negotiations with countries around the world, there is a risk of a race to the bottom on standards in non-devolved policy areas. We welcome the Welsh Government’s repeated assurances of its intention to keep domestic standards high. However, there is more that can be done in the devolved context to drive high standards across a number of areas.

“Ahead of the Senedd elections, we are calling on all candidates and political parties to do both the right, and the popular, thing, and to commit not only to maintaining and strengthening public standards, but to advocate for strong rules and protections as an integral part of Wales’ future as a prosperous, thriving and fair economy and society.”


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