Valleys of trouble – Labour’s difficulties in their Welsh heartland

Last night’s leaders debate marked the introduction of Leanne Wood, and her party Plaid Cymru, to the British mainstream political audience. Plaid received 165,394 votes in the 2010 General Election, fewer than the DUP (168,216) and Sinn Féin (171,942). Leanne Wood unashamedly played to the audience at home throughout the debate, and it is very likely that her party will receive a boost in the Welsh opinion polls in the aftermath. But, from Labour’s perspective, there was another party leader … Read more

Who is Leanne Wood?

When I posted the link to Radio 4’s Profile of Nigel Dodds last weekend, Nevin commented: I do know of Nigel Dodds but not of Leanne Wood : ) And as if by magic, the Plaid Cymru leader (whose party has a mere 3 MPs in the House of Commons) was the subject of this week’s Profile. Listen and learn … Alan Meban (Alan in Belfast)Alan Meban. Normally to be found blogging over at Alan in Belfast where you’ll find … Read more

70% of laws made by EU claims European Free Alliance (SNP & Plaid)

In the first Nigel Farage vs Nick Clegg debates the Deputy Prime Minister claimed only 7% of our laws were made in the EU. In the second debate Farage countered this and Clegg changed his assertion was about ‘Primary laws’. However in 2003 Nick Clegg said “Probably half of all new legislation now enacted in the UK begins in Brussels.” Now the European Free Alliance which includes the SNP & Plaid Cymru have released a video for the 2014 elections … Read more

An Ynys Môn by-election – a psephologist’s dream.

Tomorrow sees an Assembly by-election in Ynys Môn as Ieuan Wyn Jones seeks pastures new. (from the BBC). I won’t dream of predicting the result as Anglesey people taught thrawn to you lot… There’s only one rule that the islanders follow. Once elected you only lose by retiring, dying or being thrown in clink…. Here’s the list of UK Parliament MPS since the war: 1929 – 51 Megan Lloyd George Liberal 1951 – 1979 Cledwyn Hughes Labour (the exception to … Read more

“I respect those who believe that he should shake hands with the Queen as part of his role, but it does not mean that I personally have to support this.”

There’s been a bit of a political kerfuffle in Wales over the forthcoming ‘historic’ meeting between the Northern Ireland deputy First Minister, Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness, and the Queen as she tours the UK to mark her Diamond Jubilee.  [Mark Devenport is on tour?! – Ed]  No, he’s not the Queen. As the BBC reports A Plaid Cymru Assembly Member is taking a break from Twitter after describing Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness as “naive” for agreeing to meet the Queen. Apparently, … Read more

The red tide returns – Labour win big in Wales.

Labour won 10 of the 21 councils contested in Wales (there are a few issues on Anglesey delaying elections there until next year). Here’s the detail from the BBC. Labour gained 231 seats to get to 576. All other major parties lost. Plaid lost 41 to fall to 158 seats, Tories fell 61 to 105 and the poor Lib Dems are down 66 to 71 seats. On a technical point we don’t use PR and much of urban Wales has … Read more

Plaid’s new leader – a Rhondda woman.

This is a big deal. Leanne Wood is the new Plaid Cymru leader. (From the BBC). A pretty convincing victory: First preferences: Leanne 2,879 Elin Jones 1,884 Dafydd El 1,278 Leanne almost won on the first vote and after transfers won a convincing victory. A few things: 1) The first non first Welsh language leader in our history. 2) The first leader from the South Wales valleys. 3) Our first female leader. Llongyfarchiadau a phob lwc Leanne.   DewiWelsh Nationalist. … Read more

Plaid’s leadership election…time for a change?

Here’s the BBC on the four candidates in the Plaid Cymru leadership election. Hot off the press in Golwg comes the news that Adam Price is backing Leanne Wood in the contest. (The Google translate for that is here). Today also sees the endorsement of Elin Jones by Arfon MP Hywel Williams. (Nice, sincere video) There are four candidates: Dafydd Elis Thomas, Simon Thomas, Ms Jones and Ms Wood. It seems that Dafydd is viewed as yesterday’s man – although we must remember that … Read more

Budget Deadlock in Cardiff Bay – What happens next?

The BBC reports on the tied Budget vote in Wales here. Adrian Masters on ITV reports on Labour’s reluctance to deal with the Tories here. The Welsh Government has ruled out doing a budget deal with the Conservatives and will from now on only talk to Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats. It’s no surprise that a Labour government would find it difficult to reach any such agreement with the Conservatives, but it’s still a significant step to rule it … Read more

Liz does in for Ieuan Wyn ?

Cynog thinks it’s time for Ieuan Wyn Jones to step down as Plaid Cymru leader (from Wales Online): Former Plaid MP and AM Cynog Dafis said he could see a “compelling” case for Mr Jones to go so that the party can secure a power-sharing deal with Labour. And there are others within the nationalist community who want Mr Jones to relinquish his position as leader so the party can move on. The Plaid leader came under fire this week … Read more

Adam ain’t lost it….at least you left “us” Canada…

Once again Thanks to Syniadau. – I’m becoming a bit of a conduit…. That’s a great video of Adam Price giving the Harvard graduate oration. It’s only 7 minutes odd long – well worth a watch. DewiWelsh Nationalist. Rugby Fan. Know a bit about History and Railways…

Ieuan Wyn to quit as Plaid leader…

The BBC reports on Plaid leader Ieuan Wyn Jones’ decision to quit as leader (for the second time) sometime in the next two and a half years. From Ieuan: “I have also witnessed many historic and momentous events during that period, not least leading the party into government for the first time in its 86-year history and the referendum on law-making powers,” Also: “The party obviously needs time to reflect on the results, look long and hard at our message, … Read more

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 … Read more

Plaid (of all people) mix up our poets…

Plaid launch our manifesto (of which more later)…. Plaid’s vision for what it describes as the next decade of delivery is reflected in the title of the document “Ambition is Critical”. As Wales prepares in 2014 to mark a centenary since the birth of Dylan Thomas, his words have been adopted by Plaid as their guiding principle for both the manifesto and the next Welsh government. Except..wrong poet…introducing David Hughes… Oh well, the slogan is good and all publicity….. DewiWelsh … Read more

Strange Tale from Wales…

Chris Bryant, MP for the Rhondda, raised this strange business at Westminster. Here’s the BBC report.: (it’s worth watching the video for a Bercow put-down…) Labour and Plaid Cymru are locked in a row about dirty tricks over an assembly election campaign leaflet. The leaflet, which attacks shadow Welsh Secretary Peter Hain, has been posted on the internet. It calls on voters to deny Labour a majority and accuses Mr Hain of plotting behind the back of Welsh Labour leader … Read more

Sunday polls: Conservatives nose ahead in a volatile race

Still not brilliant news in Sunday’s polls for the Tories, but I would rather be in their shoes than Labour’s today: no momentum and the campaign (substance vs, erm, ‘the damned Tories’) is slowly disintegrating. Things are still holding up pretty well for the Lib Dems. And after last week’s wobble (as Clegg came into the frame) Cameron’s ratings seem to be heading north again. If I were a Labour hack, one thing (amongst many) to worry about is not the polls … Read more