A seat for Dafydd Wigley

The first part of this post probably doesn't need saying. The system of giving people life peerages is hopelessly corrupt. Gordon Brown didn't bother even putting forward any Plaid members for a peerage. The system left it entirely up to him, and he simply chose not to. Paul Flynn made that point very well in this post.

Of course we might expect a Prime Minister to act reasonably and fairly ... but why should he? His idea of politics is not to do what's right, but to do what benefits him and his party. That's why Mandelson and Kinnock (G) were rushed in at the drop of a hat.

The question is, What do we do about it?
The answer is, Get Dafydd Wigley elected instead!


But where? Vaughan Roderick asks the question on his blog, which Simon Dyda has kindly translated:

The question that arises next of course is will Dafydd try to return to the Assembly? The party rules giving women the first place on the regional lists prevented that from happening last time. That won't be a problem in 2011 if he decides to try for a place on the North Wales list. The system was changed following the last elections.

The problem is that there is no certainty that Plaid will win any seats on the regional list for North Wales next time if support for Labour at the constituency level continues to decline. As in Mid and West Wales it's possible enough that some of the northern regional seats will become consolation prizes for Labour next time.

Dafydd could look for a seat in another part of Wales, of course. He decided not to do that last time for personal and family reasons. If he felt different this time there are a few opportunities available especially if the Conservatives in Westminster stick to their intention to overturn the rule preventing individuals from trying for a constituency seat and a regional one at the same time.

Merthyr, where Dafydd began his political career, is a possibility. It would be strange if Plaid Cymru's new development unit weren't to target that constituency. More attractive perhaps would be the constituency that Dafydd "won" in the 1994 European elections, namely Montgomeryshire. With Mick Bates resigning perhaps the Liberal Democrats will have to re-paint their "Wigley out" slogan there in Comins Coch.

Original - Translation

Yes, he is quite right to say that Plaid's regional seat will almost certainly be lost if we gain another FPTP seat in North Wales. The safe thing is to stand for a seat which Plaid already hold, but I definitely don't want to see someone die, get taken ill, or "spend more time with their family" in order for him to get it.

Yet I don't think Merthyr is right for him. He's from the north, and if he doesn't stand in a northern seat he will be seen as no better than a candidate parachuted-in. But Montgomery is, well ... awkward. These are the figures from 2007:


LibDem ... 8704 ... 39.03%
Con ... 6725 ... 30.16%
Plaid ... 3076 ... 13.79%
UKIP ... 2251 ... 10.09%
Lab ... 1544 ... 6.92%

The constituency is just too right wing. We would have to make up more than 5,000 votes. So I'd like to suggest a better seat, Clwyd West. These are the 2007 figures:

Clwyd West

Con ... 8905 ... 33.98%
Lab ... 7309 ... 27.89%
Plaid ... 7162 ... 27.33%
LibDem ... 1705 ... 6.51%
UKIP ... 1124 ... 4.29%

These are my reasons:

• First, Plaid is starting from a much stronger base.

• Second, the constituency is more left leaning than right leaning. If, as we all expect, Labour's vote is going to plummet, who are their traditional supporters going to turn to? Isn't it likely that they will vote for a party that has not forgotten the social values that Labour used to stand for?

• Third, the LibDems are nowhere. If there is going to be any degree of tactical voting, it certainly won't go their way.

• Fourth, if UKIP make good on their promise following the Euro elections they will draw votes away from the Tories rather than from any other party.

• Finally, he has at least some connexion with the consituency in that he was at Rydal Penrhos School in Colwyn Bay.

Of course that still makes nothing certain. It means only that it is going to be a two horse race between Plaid and the Tories. The Tories are probably favourites right now, but Dafydd Wigley is a "big name" candidate in a way that the sitting Tory can't possibly match ... and that should make enough difference to swing it.

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Unknown said...

MH - As you rightly point out, I think that Clwyd West is the best option for DW. But I would not rule out Merthyr - he does have connections there, and he would be able to lead a general push in the valleys which could deliver many regional votes, and probably seal Caerffili and Cynon seats as well.

Especially with Adam Price fighting in Neath....

Alwyn ap Huw said...

As Gareth Jones will be 73 in 2012 will he be likely to stand again? Might Aberconwy be an option for Wigley? (nb I am not suggesting that Gareth will or should stand down)

Cibwr said...

Dafydd was my councillor in Merthyr - so he does have history there...

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