Western Mail Comment: Low Turnout Sets a Major Challenge for Us All

Article excerpt

IT was the result that all those with a vested interest in the National Assembly feared.

Forget who has the most seats in the National Assembly this morning.

The big question for the National Assembly and the people of Wales this morning is how to respond to the turnout.

The overwhelming majority of the people of Wales yesterday did not vote.

When the dust has settled it may well transpire that in every constituency in Wales the turnout was down.

It seems many people in Wales regard the Assembly as little more important to them than the European Parliament.

It is hard to read anything else into these results except that the people of Wales have demonstrated a profound sense of apathy about their Assembly.

The harder question to answer is exactly why this is.

Those who believe that the glass is half full will argue that if the Assembly is to make a more meaningful contribution to the life of Wales then it must be given more authority.

These would have to include primary legislative and tax-varying powers similar to those in Scotland. …