Some comfort for everyone in Wales…

The results from the BBC are here. along with the usual colourful map. Complicated little country are we not?

So it’s:
Labour 30 (+4)
Conservative 14 (+2)
Plaid Cymru 11 (-4)
Liberal Democrat 5 (-1)

I’ve refrained from posting on Wales for the last few weeks as I had a growing feeling of impending doom from a Plaid perspective. A few reasons.
1) The top up list system is theoretically proportional but in practice (as with your 6th seats in STV) getting the last seat in the list regions is critical. Last time we got two crucial victories by a handful of votes. This time with the notable exception of South East Wales we lost them by a handful.
2) How do you run an election campaign after being a junior partner in a coalition? As I imagine the Lib Dems might find out strategy is difficult – Attack your partners? Defend the record? – we tried a bit of both…hmmm any advice?
3) I don’t know the bloke but Carwyn Jones looks, feels, sounds and smells like an avuncular man in charge. His mantra is “Proud to be Welsh, Proud to be British”. To me that sounds like “Proud to be Swedish, Proud to be Scandinavian” to others of a different peruasion it sounds like “We’ll fight them on the beaches”.

I was actually a little relieved by the result although Helen Mary Jones losing in Llanelli by 80 votes was a big blow.

So what happens next? Labour 1 short of majority so could go it alone and probably will as I can’t see a deal with the Lib Dems going down well in the heartland and Plaid probably need time in opposition to rebuild.

The saddest story is that of Tory leader Nick Bourne who lost his seat due to the success of Tories in the constituencies. Unlike Scotland you are not allowed to stand in the constituencies and on the list. That was a terrible bit of Peter Hain vindictivness that really doesn’t help democracy in Wales.

The Lib Dems, despite losing 2 of their constituency seats managed to compensate for one of them with an astonishing quirky pick up of a seat on the North Wales list with a paltry 5.9% of the vote…

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  • Darn, you beat me to it:)

    How do you explain the Conservative performance?
    Gain of 2 seats to an outsider doesn’t make sense, particularly relative to their performance in Scotland.

  • Dewi

    Sorry O’Neill – please feel free to post your perspective!

    Tory party in Wales does have a loyal resilience that’s admirable. There’s a theory also that AV brought out some of the Tory in-migrant vote in the North (who tend not to vote in Assembly elections usually) – difficult to verify that actually. On specifics I must admit I thought Labour would take Preeseli Pembs and Carmarthen West – Tories kept both. Lib Dems collapsed in Montgomery (some business about windfarms helped the Tories) – In Aberconwy an extremely popular Plaid AM retired and it reverted to the Tories.

  • Barry the Blender

    I’ve thought for some time that decree that one may not stand in constituency and on lists was just there for party political reasons.

  • rhys

    ‘How do you explain the Conservative performance?’

    There are vast herds of moneyed English buying up property everywhere, and they are likely to be tory or further right. Mostly they don’t vote, but the AV thing probably brought them out.