A very good night for the Green-EFA group

Of course I'm very disappointed that Plaid didn't top the poll in Wales. I didn't make my earlier predictions out of hype, I genuinely believed we could do it. But we've kept our one seat, and increased our share of the vote ... so we've certainly gone forwards rather than backwards.

However some of the things I predicted did prove to be accurate.

The first is that the three main parties were very close together in share of vote. Tories 21.21%, Labour 20.28%, Plaid 18.51% ... only 2.7 percentage points apart.

The second is that I was right about the Green share of the vote in Wales. I said 5 or 6%, they got 5.57%. If, as I had hoped, only half of those who voted Green had voted tactically for Plaid, our vote would have been 126,702 + 19,080 = 145,782. We would have just beaten the Tories and topped the poll. Unfortunately it wouldn't have won us the fourth seat because of UKIP's share of the vote ... but it would have felt good.

This is worth bearing in mind for the next European election. I would like to see Plaid and the Greens joining forces and fighting on a Green-EFA platform. Not for all elections, just for the European parliament. It would also be a very positive move for us to be seen to be fighting the next European election not simply on domestic issues, but on the wider European issues.

From Plaid's point of view it would have to mean putting a Green candidate second on our list. That of course is a sacrifice but, to counter that, the Green Party in Wales seems very receptive to supporting independence for Wales (as indeed the Scottish Greens do for Scotland). I'd be interested to know if others in Plaid or the Green Party feel the same way ... especially bearing in mind what happened in Ceredigion.

I'm delighted that the Green Party increased their share of the vote everywhere else in the UK, but sad that they still ended up with only two seats.


Turning to the overall European situation, we can celebrate the fact that the Green-EFA group has done very well. We previously had 41 seats, we now have 50, an increase of 22%. It is also possible that the EFA could pick up some more seats from newly elected parties that the BBC wouldn't have associated with stateless nations in Europe.



As you can see from the graphics on the BBC website (2009 on top, 2004 below) none of the bigger groups has improved. The PES (Party of European Socialists) are down from 203 to 184, the EPP (European Peoples Party) down from 282 to 263, and the ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe) down from 86 to 83. The EPP's drop reflects the Tories' withdrawal from that group.

That is good news for European politics, which—believe it or not—is what this election should have been about.

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Draig said...

Plaid's share of the vote has only gone up because the turnout was way down - I make it around 30% as compared to 42% last time. Overall less people turned out and voted Plaid than last time. What does that say?

Anonymous said...

The fact is that we didn't win enough votes. End of. This was extremely promising political time for us, and we didn't win enough votes. We should have been at least second. We held up, but we didn't get enough votes numerically to be where we wanted to be.
I hope our senior elected members will take note of this.
There are important elections on the way, and on this showing we are far from the breakthrough we need. We wouldn't even come second in an Assembly election.

Anonymous said...

Anon, not sure I follow you, these results if repeated at the next election would in fact be Plaid's best ever performance at a UK General Election. If that isn't the breakthrough we need, I don't know what is!

Anonymous said...

The main reason Plaid didn't make more progress was the failure of many of its elected members to campaign at all. This, in turn, disabled party activists. Hard campaigning was left to local initiative. The guilty ones include Bethan Jenkins and Rhodri Glyn Thomas but there are many more at all levels. I question whether they deserve re-selection. Independence is a constant campaign not a part-time job.

I fear that Plaid is not enough of a European party. Too many elected members have been co-opted by the British state. See some of their blogs; they love cosying up to and being flattered by unionists. As a socialist, I think the most pathetic ones are the sleeve-wearing 'lefties': they don't seem to understand that Brit Left means, primarily, British.

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