Watching the results come in

Having snatched a few hours rest earlier this evening, I and my trusty espresso machine should be able to make it through the night watching the results come in.
 

     

Perhaps I'll get egg all over my face if my predictions turn out to be wrong. But never mind, I'll scrape them off and enjoy them lightly poached with a garnish of caviar.

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I'll also have one eye on the Scottish election, and even though I'm sure it will be mentioned on S4C and BBC Wales, I'll be watching STV's coverage, which will be online here. From past experience it's much less deferential than the BBC's coverage.

The Scottish election has the promise of being much more momentous than ours; for if the SNP and Greens can get a majority, there will be a referendum on Scottish independence within the next four or five years. Whether it is won or lost, the processes leading to it—in particular the legal and constitutional questions that will have to be asked and answered—will go a long way towards setting out a route map for other non-independent countries in the EU to become independent, including Wales.

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For Wales, whatever the results, I think Labour will continue to lead us on a steady downhill course in terms of economic performance and prosperity relative to the rest of the UK. If we don't vote to change anything, why should we expect anything to change? We will only change this when we are ready to take the levers of the Welsh economy into our own hands. But who knows, perhaps we will take one or two steps towards weening ourselves off dependency in this Fourth Assembly ... even if we have to drag Labour to the point where they are no longer terrified of us taking responsibility for ourselves.

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91 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looks like a complete DISASTER for Plaid.
Leadership change?

Anonymous said...

It's too early to say what will happen. But Plaid have got to understand that :

1. You need a carismatic leader - go compare Swinney with Salmond.

2. Echoing the Labour narrative stenghtenes the Labour vote. As Dicw said in Barn this month and tonight on S4C, Labour were afraid that if Plaid and SNP had gone hard and long term after the 2010 Westminster election that Labour had betrayed an opportunity to have a rainbow coalition in London and denied the Tories, then they would have been in trouble. That should have been in ever Plaid inverview for 10 months that Labour's hubris and hatred of the SNP stopped them creating a genuine, progressive government for the UK which could have managed the cuts. Plaid in stead, became a Labour echo chamber.

Diolch Cynog Dafis et al for getting rid of Wigley. Very bloody clever!


Cardiffian

MH said...

How come, 23:34? What I've heard is that Ron Davies might not win Caerffili and Helen Mary lose Llanelli.

Well, if that does happen, it's still likely that we'll make up for it in the two lists. Lindsay Whittle and Simon Thomas could make it instead.

MH said...

I'm inclined to agree with Cardiffian, but for one slightly different reason. Labour actually offered the LibDems AV without a referendum. If they had taken that, we could then have had another Westminster election which would have made a stable LabLib coalition possible.

Plaid fought a lack-lustre campaign, with no big ideas and no forcefulness.

MH said...

WalesHome are saying that Ron Davies has "all but conceded". But I've not heard that on S4C.

The rumours are that Labour might win Aberconwy but the Tories hold Clwyd West. I didn't expect that, but it's still the same in overall terms as the Tories winning Aberconwy and Labour winning Clwyd West.

MH said...

From S4C. LibDems not hopeful about Montgomery. Great news. This makes it more likely that Plaid will get a list seat if Helen Mary loses Llanelli.

They're also confident about Cardiff Central. Again good news. It makes it more likely that Chris Franks keeps his SWC list seat. Helps the Greens too.

MH said...

Huge swing to SNP and swing away from LibDems in first Scottish declaration in Rutherglen. Labour hold safe seat. LibDems lose deposit.

MH said...

Lower turnout in Blaenau Gwent than in 2007. Big surprise to me. I thought it would be higher because of the AV referendum. But low turnouts are also a sign of foregone conclusions. Labour were always going to win this easily.

MH said...

Another big swing to SNP, +10.3%. They gain East Kilbride. Andy Kerr, potential Labour replacement leader, ousted. LibDems lose deposit again with 1.6%

MH said...

Just a thought, SNP appear to be hoovering the LibDem vote in Scotland. If we kill off the LibDems in Wales, will they come to Plaid? After all, the LibDems want more devolved to Wales (taxation, police and justice, etc) than the other two unionist parties?

MH said...

Hamilton L&S, another big SNP gain from Labour. SNP share of vote up 17.7%. Another LibDem lost deposit.

MH said...

The LibDem vote looks bad in and around Swansea. Tories overtaking them. If this is reflected in the LibDem regional vote, it's looking black for Peter Black. But Plaid need to get twice the LibDem regional vote to make this certain.

MH said...

SNP gain Clydesdale from Labour. LibDems didn't contest seat. SNP up 16.1%.

MH said...

No surprises in Blaenau Gwent. Assimilation complete. Resistance was futile.

MH said...

Jake Griffiths waiting 'til the end of the count. It all depends on Cardiff North now. If the Tories hold it, he should be in.

MH said...

LibDems worried about losing deposit in Bridgend. They were on 15.2% in 2007. That means they'll have lost more than two-thirds of their vote. Great news for Dai Lloyd.

MH said...

90 votes in it in Llanelli. Recounting.

Anonymous said...

Which way round in Llanelli?

Welshguy said...

Lab

Anonymous said...

Llanelli? we've lost it.Aberconwy probably also Need a serious look at how to take Plaid. Should have seen the writing on the wall at the UK election. Sorry, but Ieuan has to go

MH said...

Didn't say, Anon. But Labour are smiling.

Just heard that UKIP are confident in South Wales East. If Ron Davies has lost Caerffili (as seems likely) Plaid need to get more than twice the UKIP vote and more than two-thirds of the Tory vote for Lindsay to get in.

MH said...

LibDems loose another deposit in Eastwood. SNP up 8.6%.

Iain Grey, Labour leader in Scotland, facing recount.

MH said...

LibDems loose another deposit in Eastwood. SNP up 8.6%.

Iain Grey, Labour leader in Scotland, facing recount.

MH said...

Labour only just hold Uddingston, their 5th safest seat in Scotland. SNP up 14.6%. LibDems lose deposit.

Anonymous said...

the point going forward is "what is Plaid for?" why does the party exist. To those of us who always vote Plaid, it's obvious, but to the rest of society, including some of the Libdem votes that we should have looked to hoover up. The talk will now be look at Scotland, Labour are on the carpet and Salmond is on the march. What went wrong here?

MH said...

Don't be too hasty to cry gloom. Plaid could still get 14 seats as I predicted. Remember the lists.

MH said...

SNP gain Airdrie, +10.8%. LibDems lose deposit.

Nicola Sturgeon of SNP gains Glasgow Southside.

Plaid share of vote holds in Islwyn. This makes me more confident of us getting two list seats.

MH said...

Glasgow Southside, SNP up 14.8%. The pattern is becoming clear.

Anonymous said...

Sian Caiach kills it for Plaid

Anonymous said...

Great shame about Llanelli, whether or not made up on the list. Aside from the other points already raised, looks to me as if holding the AV vote on the same day has brought out types of voters who don't normally vote in Assembly elections which will have boosted the Unionist parties.
Efrogwr

MH said...

Helen Mary loses by 80 votes. Shame, she's been a good AM. Did Sian Caiach's 2,004 make the difference?

MH said...

Just beat me to it, 03:13 ;-)

Welshguy said...

Turnout is down though. If the AV referendum is bringing new people out, one would expect that to be higher.

Anonymous said...

Good point, Welshguy and yes, Caiach's vote is obviously significant.
Efrogwr

Anonymous said...

no, Caiach did it hope as a nationalist she likes the fact that the language is now back under attack in Llanelli, but you still have to ask the big questions of party direction for Plaid.

MH said...

Great result in Montgomery. The Tory win means that Simon Thomas will almost certainly get a list seat to make up for Llanelli.

Tactical voting works!

Welshguy said...

The one reassuring fact is that once again, despite throwing everything at the seat, Labour can only manage another tiny majority. The only significant majority ever won in this seat was by Plaid: the seat is obviously Plaid-leaning; and will be won back in the future (barring its obliteration by radical boundary changes...)

Anonymous said...

Welshguy,
and another Bfitish Assembly election, plus a jolly old Bfitish Royal Wedding, plus a spiffingly Bfitish AV referendum. All stacks up to all things for blighty being well, as played a blinder by Labour

MH said...

I only hope that campaign resources weren't diverted from Llanelli to Carmarthen West. If that happened, it was a huge tactical mistake on our part.

Welshguy said...

Ceredigion - Thank god, I was worried for a moment!

MH said...

John Mason, a really nice guy, wins Glasgow Shettleston for SNP. +17.4%. Results coming in thick and fast. SNP ahead 11 seats to Labour's 7.

Elin holds Ceredigion.

Was anyone worried? I hope not, but perhaps we're all a bit relieved.

Anonymous said...

not a massive majority though. Considering the veritable wipeout of the Libdems elsewhere

Anonymous said...

Plaid were let down by poor leadership - but the best alternative is in US and second best lost her seat tonight! Elin is competent, but not a charismatic leader. Daf El? No. Alun Ffred? No. Bethan, Leanne,..... is anyone out there??

Penddu

MH said...

LibDems fall behind BNP in Neath, both lose deposit. Makes it look good for Plaid to get two list seats. We need to get more than twice the LibDem regional vote.

Anonymous said...

Simon Thomas?

MH said...

Jonathan Edwards looking like a very disgruntled cowboy (it's the boots) on S4C. It really isn't that bad ... at least not yet. Nothing has yet happened to knock us off 14 seats. But it might. Depends on Cardiff North for SWC and the SWE regional vote.

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Kirsty holds B&R. I think she'll only have 2 colleagues.

Anonymous said...

I think that with a good minder to keep her out of trouble, Plaid could do a lot worse than picking Bethan Jenkins. But she would need to avoid the political correctness claptrap...

Penddu

Anonymous said...

Yep, Edwards needs a bit more meedja training. Stop wiggling that foot and slumping ;) i'm watching on S4C Clic and, as in the British General Election, I'm impressed by the standard of the Welsh language results broadcast.
Efrogwr

Anonymous said...

Jonathan Edwards always looks a mess on telly - needs soemone to dress him!

Penddu

MH said...

Shock, horror ... Alex Salmond loses seat!






No, only joking! But he's lost his footing ... he's floating about three feet off the floor!

Anonymous said...

I'm watching a proper nationalist leader winning his seat massively in Aberdeen. Show us the way to independance Alex

MH said...

Rhodri GT holds Carmarthen East fairly comfortably. Give that man a cigar!

... on second thoughts ;-)

Anonymous said...

MH, are you still thinking 14 seats. Even with Aberconwy, that's 7 regional seats is it?

Welshguy said...

Ron Davies got whipped. So much for that.

Welshguy said...

Ron's 7,500 suggests that only about 1,000 of those who voted for him as an independent were willing to do so when he stood for Plaid - the rest went right back to Labour.

MH said...

Ron Davies loses Caerffili by big margin. Now associated with failure (J will understand).

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"ECKY THUMP" the headline in the Scottish Sun.

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Carmarthen West held by Angela Burns. Very good result for her. Big question now is Preseli. If the Tories hold it, Nick Bourne looses his list seat.

MH said...

So far, yes, I am thinking 14, 04:34. Provided the Tories hold Clwyd West, Labour winning Aberconwy still gives us a possibilty of two list seats. All depends on the overall regional vote.

I'm most worried about losing one list seat in SWE.

MH said...

Thinking more about Ron Davies, Welshguy, the other factor is that some in Plaid, at least some people I know, couldn't bring themselves to trust him. Perhaps more people were loyal to him personally than we think.

Siônnyn said...

talking of BBC coverage, did you see dumbledore trying to patronise Salmond? He was easily dispatched, nursing a bloody nose by easily the most consummate politician in the British Isles.

MH said...

LD vote halved in Cardiff South, not important in itself. But just heard 68 votes in it in Cardiff Central, in Labour's favour. This would be a serious blow. It would give Labour 30 and Plaid might lose a regional seat.

MH said...

No, I missed it, S. Was watching S4C, now listening to the radio.

MH said...

Unbelievably close in SWW, Peter Black scraped in by just 54 votes. I'd have thought that justified a recount.

I'm desperately sorry for Dai Lloyd.

Brings LibDems up to 4. Plaid down to 13.

MH said...

Simon Thomas gets third MWW seat to make up for Llanelli.

Nick Bourne out. Sad. A decent Tory who made his party more Welsh than anybody could have imagined ten years ago.

Didn't expect the LibDems to get a seat, so they get one more than I expected. Labour get one less than I expected.

MH said...

It's now turning into a bad day. Labour gain Cardiff Central by 38 votes. Gives Labour one extra, takes away a regional seat, meaning one less for Plaid and the Greens to fight over.

Might get worse if Labour get Cardiff North too.

MH said...

Brilliant. Lindsay Whittle gets a list seat. Poetic justice for someone who's given his all for Plaid over many years. Well done, Lindsay!

I didn't expect the Tories to get two.

Tories lose Cardiff North by a bigger margin tahn I expected. I think that means Chris Franks will lose his seat, and the Greens won't win one.

Labour looking good for 30. Still a bit too tight to govern alone.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't Plaid get rid of IWJ in after 2003? When Plaid lose Llanelli by 80 votes and have made no gains. Why did they get rid of Wigley - what came over them?!

We're now in a position where there are just no names for leadership - HMJ would have been a good feisty fighter - gone. Dafydd El has to not stand for Llywydd - he has to put his party before his ego for once.

MH - the LD vote in Wales is a very British one. Their voters are not prodevolution. Wales desperately need 4 parties, we're not going to get LD votes.

I'm looking at who Plaid now have and they're not very strong.
Bethan Jenkins is too weak;
Jocelyn is competent but not charismatic at all; Leanne is a fighter but not a leader;
Simon Thomas is intelligent but comes over a bit lefty and wet;
Elin is good but terrible uncharismatic;
Alun Ffred too moody;
IWJ has to be told he blew it - 4 years as DFM and he decided not to use it to promote Plaid and Welsh nationalism - he's a drip.
That leaves DET who is intelligent, can be charismatic but I guess just too self-centred. But it's only DET left.

Cardiffian

MH said...

Looks like WalesHome have overstepped their bandwidth allowance. Account suspended. That's good in a way, it means they must have had a lot of visitors.

MH said...

It would be pointless getting rid of IWJ without someone who can replace him. IWJ is our leader because he is the best we've got. He has grown in stature and done some good things as DFM.

Yes, I can criticize him. I can criticize anybody. But the last thing we need is to start stabbing each other in the back.

Bear in mind that Labour aren't there yet. For the majority they say they want, they have to win both Aberconwy and Clwyd West. The Tory vote has held up quite well.

Lyndon said...

Oh crap.

Still, look at the Scottish results to cheer yourselves up. Labour have been absolutely annihilated :)

MH said...

Silver lining for those who believe in a distinctively Welsh Tory party. With Jonathan Morgan out, David Melding should get a list seat.

MH said...

Yes Lyndon. With only half the seats counted, the SNP have won 46, as many as they did (within 1) in 2007. Just possible for them to get a majority in their own right (65) but the Greens will provide a majority for the independence referendum if they don't quite make it.

Cibwr said...

I wonder if the AV referendum has helped to boost the Tory vote?

Anonymous said...

Poetic justice indeed for Lindsay. Melding could have an important role to play if the London government wants to devolve further powers.
Efrogwr

MH said...

Just done the maths on Lindsay's win.

Plaid ... 21,850 / 2 = 10,925
LibDems ... 10,798

Lindsay got in by just 127 votes!!!

I suppose I have to say that makes up for Dai Lloyd losing to Peter Black by only 54.

MH said...

Time to finish things off. If the Tories had held Cardiff North and the LibDems had held Cardiff Central, Chris Franks would have held his seat.

But we got less than two-thirds of the Tory Vote, and less than twice the LibDem vote, so only one of them would not have given us a second seat.

MH said...

Tories hold Clwyd West, Labour now need either Aberconwy or a regional seat for 31. Arfon and Ynys Mon held by Plaid as expected. The five Labour seats will remain Labour.

MH said...

Just heard that Plaid are only just short of getting four NW seats overall, i.e. hold Aberconwy and get one or lose it and get two.

Anonymous said...

Tories have won Aberconwy with a large drop in PC's vote, no doubt partly due to Gareth Jones' personal vote.
Efrogwr

MH said...

Tories get Aberconwy. Llyr Huws Gruffydd certain to get seat, Heledd Fychan might just miss out.

MH said...

Yes, Gareth Jones had a lot of popular support, Efrogwr.

Big question is whether Labour get a list seat. Hope they don't, suspect they will.

Cibwr said...

That is what Labour seem to be hinting at, which would give them their majority. Interesting that running on UK themes ruined Labour in Scotland but was a success in Wales.

MH said...

Time for Dafydd ET to think clever. If he stands down as Llywydd, the new one must be Labour (probably Rosemary Butler) this will give Plaid one more vote and take one from Labour.

The new deputy would have to be Tory, as second largest party and official opposition.

Or at least he threatens to do that unless Labour do a deal with Plaid.

Anonymous said...

MH: 'Time for Dafydd ET to think clever.'


... erm, not put his ego before his party methinks! DET can't be allowed to be Llywydd again for the very reason you've outlined. He also needs to remember that he was elected on the Plaid Cymru ticket and start behaving like a semi-official member.

If he wasn't such a pseud he'd be a good leader - he's capable, intelligent, fairly well-known who could (I said, could) reach out to different people.

After 10 years of IWJ Plaid has to have some new fresh air. IWJ's lack of charisma, lack of oomph and lack of bravery is crushing for the party.

Anonymous said...

Poor campaign by Plaid with no real vision or leadership. No clear, positive message at all( compare this with SNP's flagship policy of re-industrialising Scotland and providing 100% of Scotland's energy needs by 2020). We need a period out of government to define what PC really stands for now. We also need Adam Price to take over as Leader over the next year or so- maybe Rhodri Glyn can be persuaded to retire to allow AP to come into the Senedd? In the meantime, I wonder whether we need a caretaker leader- dafydd elis thomas maybe?

Anonymous said...

DET caretaker leader, RhGT to make way for Adam Price. It's for the good of the party. They've had 12 years since 1999, a good innings, now get out of the way.

CB

MH said...

Great, Labour didn't get it. They have a headache now. 30 seats is not the majority Carwyn said he wanted. DET can resign as Llywydd and effectively make it 29.

Labour have to do a deal with someone.

MH said...

Not yet CB. The next election is five years away. We do not need to do it now.

As Roderick and Dicw were saying, 150 votes and Plaid could have been on 14, as I had predicted. Everyone would have hailed that as a great result for Plaid.

Carwyn is a don't rock the boat kind of guy. He might well want to do a One Wales 2, especially with a party he doesn't think will want any trouble. IWJ is the man for that.

Plaid needs to change its vision, and work out what it want to achieve. A new leader can only communicate that once we have got it worked out for ourselves. We haven't. We were caught on the hop because we had put so much effort into the referendum that we hadn't really thought about what we wanted to do after we'd won it. We had a disjointed shopping list, but no overarching route map. That's our failure.

Anonymous said...

IWJ just been on Radio Cymru. An absolute embarrassment. Very tetchy, not answering simple and obvious questions, insisting there will be an internal investigation etc.

Came over as rude. The other panelists were obviously embarrassed for him and slightly gob-smacked. IWJ kept telling interviewer, 'let me answer the questions' but then not answering the question!

Frankly, lacking the gravitas, the dignity, the humour, and the humility to be a leader of a political party. Also lacking the bravery to be a leader.

You're right, MH, another 200 votes and it would have felt differently. Those 200 votes were lost because PC effectively had no leader. That's how close it is. PC needs a leader who can milk every single vote and when you're losing seats with such small margins, then having a dead-weight like IWJ means you lose seats.

There are a lot of factors, lot of contradictionary factors to contemplate. But IWJ cannot be leader for the next election. It's as simple as that. If he doesn't go, then I'm not renewing my membership. He's a dog in a manger - wants to be leader but doesn't want to lead.

Cardiff Boy

Anonymous said...

'Another 200 voted and it would be different'.
Is that all Plaid has come to; to be happy with 14ish.

The leader issue has come as some big suprise to Plaid. Lets be serious; as I've said before we did terribly in 2010, and in earlier council elections. The writing was on the wall. We got rid of him because he was unable to do the job well, yet we still have him- crazy.
Had we had a charismatic leader like Wigley I'm sure we'd be in a position the SNP are in right now.

IWJ will go, but I hope he stays on for a year or two. A review MUST be made of the Party. What do we stand for? are people like Dixon what Plaid stands for- or is it the Labour-ite style of Leanne Wood. Once that is sorted, a leader can be chosen.

However a problem is that there really is NO suitable leaders in the Assembly (some say the New North Wales AM is good- but I know little of him) so Plaid are in a huge mess.

So why can't we do what the SNP did- before an election have somebody outside of the Assembly as leader (like Salmond) and then fight it.

The review of the party will be dangerous, and I feel there will be a split. If we decide that we are not to be a radical party I for one will walk away from them.

Terrible night for Plaid, and I question how we get out of this hole!

Anonymous said...

With the results my view is that there should not be a OneWales 2 for five years. Note the five years. What Plaid could do is spend the year reviewing what the party stands for, get a new leader. At the same time, have an unofficial agreement with Labour on votes. Once a leader has been chosen, drop this agreement. At this time Labour will be unpopular (due to the cuts), ConDems may well still be in trouble. Then comes the knight in shining armour- Plaid Cymru.

But MH, I agree- for Plaid to be able to do this. It needs to have a vision. That vision can only be independence otherwise we are just Labour in green. If they decide this vision, they need to shout it. They need to say how if Wales was independent there would not be cuts and so on. But for now IWJ should stay.

BTW: does anybody else think it's a bit selfish of Plaid for allowing oldies like Daf El, IWJ and Rhodri Glyn for carrying on? surely it would be fairer to get a breath of fresh air particularly in safe seats like Dwyfor Meirionydd.

Plaid also should not have the Presiding Officer role in my view.

Owen said...

I don't think there's anyone in the Plaid group who could realistically challenge IWJ. There's Elin Jones at a push and DET, but I don't see the fortunes of the party improving under either, it would be an interim measure.

Plaid needs a leader that can bridge the gap between Y Fro and the Valleys. Dafydd Wigley almost did it. Adam Price and Ron Davies could've done it, perhaps HMJ as well. IWJ can't seem to do it, try as he might.

I don't think now is the time for a change of leader, it's a time for reflection. Chaos is exactly what Labour will want right now. Having said that IWJ needs to calm down and take the result on the chin.

I concur that DET should turn down the Llywydd role as well.

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