Beaufort contributes to Independent Commission’s final report on Wales’s constitutional future

Delighted to see the report of the Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales launched last week at the Senedd and proud that Beaufort’s research among the Welsh public has fed into its conclusions.

Over the course of a year and a half we worked with the Commission to ensure the views of the Welsh public (and importantly not just those most interested in or engaged with politics) were taken on board. We carried out longitudinal qualitative research using two stages of deliberative citizens’ panels, supplemented by an online community, and a pan-Wales survey of a large, representative sample of the public to provide robust, representative data to inform the Commission’s work.

Government structures and constitutional change are obviously challenging topics to explore, especially against a backdrop of low engagement in politics, so we had to find innovative ways of presenting and explaining the subject and getting people interested to obtain useful feedback. The deliberative process equipped participants with the information they needed to develop a more informed opinion on the constitution and options for the future and many became more engaged and interested as the months went by.

We were rewarded by seeing participants going on a journey with us, where some started out feeling they knew nothing (and often didn’t care) about how Wales is run but ended up feeling the process had opened their eyes to a subject they’d given little thought to previously.