Plaid Cymru Leadership Odds

I sent an email to one of the betting comparison sites this afternoon to find out if any bookies were offering odds for the Plaid Cymru leadership race.

None of them had, but I got another email an hour or so later to say that Paddy Power had just done so. Their prices are:

Elin Jones ... 4/7
Dafydd Elis-Thomas ... 10/3
Leanne Wood ... 5/1
Simon Thomas ... 5/1

Oddschecker, 22 December 2011

Any comments?

Part of my reason for asking was that Martin Shipton had described Dafydd Elis-Thomas as "the front runner in the race to become leader of Plaid Cymru". I didn't think that was likely to be true ... but if it was, it certainly isn't any more.

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44 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are there odds on RON?

Richard said...

Pretty good odds for Leanne...might put a tenner on now. I'd expect to see that 5-1 shorten pretty quickly.

Anonymous said...

£5 on Leanne looks a decent bet

Anonymous said...

If I were a betting man, I would put £20 on Leanne. 5-1 seems a very good deal to me. But I don't bet, unfortunately!

Iwan Rhys

Siônnyn said...

Me too - not a betting man, but 20quids on those odds seems too good to miss!

Siônnyn said...

(ps - on Leanne, of course!)

Anonymous said...

Leanne will always do well amongst the outspoken and most engaged/connected parts of the party membership, but remember there are literally hundreds of older members in particular in the rural areas who don't post online or don't use the internet that much. This is meaning no disrespect to Leanne or her supporters.

Anonymous said...

You would be wrong to think we don't post online or use the internet that much, but in most other respects you are correct. Leanne will appeal to the far left, bunny hugging, wimmin's brigade, but not to the more pragmatic centre ground. I would quote evens on Elin and The Lord.

Anonymous said...

I'm centre left and live in Gwynedd but I won't be backing DET because of his pro Nuclear stance. Elin is definately my 2nd choice, but I will be backing Leanne because of her potential appeal outside the heartlands and because she is articulating an exciting and positive vision for an independent Wales.

Anonymous said...

The problem with Leanne is that she is a republican, which might make it more difficult to attract more supporters to Plaid. Alex Salmond's pro-monarchy views has helped him tremendously.

Anonymous said...

"The problem with Leanne is that she is a republican, which might make it more difficult to attract more supporters to Plaid."

I don't think many monarchists in Wales would vote Plaid anyway.

Scotland is a different kettle of fish - the Royal family is closely linked with the Protestant identity and religion has a much more important role in people's lives up there.

Anonymous said...

Leanne for leader! those odds will reduce on her very shortly ;-) My belief is she can broaden our support in the valleys where she's active and popular.
I have the utmost respect for Elin Jones, she was a great minister (ask the farmers) but she comes across poorly whilst speaking in English.
Simon Thomas holds the 'social democratic' view within the party as for LORD DET, never, no way, never!!
As for 'wee Eck' Scotland and the royalty don't forget she's Elizabeth 1st up there and we have no real connection with them apart from the obvious lol!
I'm a republican and a socialist and i would be whatever country i come from.
Only Leanne imho will take us forward Wales wide,
Vote Leanne!

Anonymous said...

"Scotland is a different kettle of fish - the Royal family is closely linked with the Protestant identity and religion has a much more important role in people's lives up there."

That doesn't matter, there are plenty of people in Wales who still want to keep the monarchy, we got to be more realistic about things here.

Cool Cymru said...

It's going to be a very open race. As a Leanne supporter, my concern is her ability to pick up second choices, rather than any lack of first choices.

She does however offer the chance to properly have a good go and make some inroads. We need to take some risks and we need to break out of our ghetto. Leanne is radical on the language, but symbolically having someone from the valleys who isn't fluent in Welsh has the potential to make an impact. We have a strong enough team to speak to our heartlands, so it's not an either or situation.

I think with 'the cuts' being a central part of political life for the next decade, whatever your political stance, Leanne would be a credible voice in that debate and one which would gain traction in the media.

And let's be blunt, when Adam Price comes back, I am sure there will be a pretty good transition, they are of the same cloth, age and politics so to speak.



DET would be a disaster, but he will come 3rd at best.

Elin Jones, too regional perhaps, the farmers daughter schtick doesn't work in the valleys. She is however a very accomplished AM and former Minister and I think the one where pretty much everyone would go along with if pushed, but that's more about the conservative nature of our membership, particularly the old heads. Her performance on question time was pretty bad, which worries me if she becomes leader.

She won't be a change candidate though and I don't see how our fortunes will improve with Elin as leader - she was the One Wales generation.

Simon Thomas, bright and probably the most effective communicator, but not sure he has a built up enough support. Certainly has all the ability though.

Ultimately none of them are flawless, the 'front runner' comment was nonsense to try and make the story about DET stick.

I do think there could be some tactical voting and in truth 'anyone but DET' seems about right for me.

Leanne can and I think will win, despite not being a favourite at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Odds on Simon Thomas should be 50/1 and its not because of his centre right social democratic ideals that sits comfortably with me; its the fact that he is that unattractive to voters that he succeeded in losing Ceredigion. He really needs training on how to connect with people!

Anonymous said...

There is nothing centre-right about Simon Thomas anon 10:33!

Anonymous said...

not sure terms such as 'left' and 'pragmatic centre' etc mean a lot in terms of this election. All of the candidates standing are significantly to the left of welsh labour - not difficult admittedly - and would all im sure be comfortable to be described as 'socialists' of one description or another....yes even dafydd el....who i understand was freely describing himself as marxist in his radical much sideburned 70s heyday.

im often hearing about these so called 'right wing nationalists' in plaid cymru but have to say that in over 15 years i've yet to encounter anyone meeting that description. Plaid cymru is a progressive party...and that wont change whoever the new leader is.....my personal choice is leanne because i feel she is the candidate best placed to broaden the appeal of plaid throughout wales and to bring new forces into the party..such as disillusioned welsh trade unionists and young people looking for a progressive red/green agenda.....

Leigh Richards
swansea

Anonymous said...

This blog seems very anti DET,But do remember that it is not a converance vote where only activist attend, It is one member one vote,and the bulk of the members are in Dyfed and Gwynedd, and the most of the members that I know will be voting for DET.
But more importantly be positive in supporting the candidate of your choice, do not be negative on the others, or this party of ours will be splitt as soon as the result is known.

Anonymous said...

Anon 13:06

I'll definitely be out of Plaid if DET becomes its leader. He's by far the most divisive candidate.

We don't know where he stands on just about anything.

If he aspires to leadership then he has to be prepared to be in the firing line. The party, if it accepts the nomination of someone who is to say the least ambivalent about independence, when its a nationalist party, then its time for it to shut up shop. Might as well vote for one of the other unionist parties.

Some of us have kept quiet for far too long about the attitudes of senior elected members. Now is the time to say 'enough'.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to add above @ 13.48 that Leanne is the best of the bunch, and I'll be supporting her, for the reasons given by others above, especially Leigh.

Siônnyn said...

I too will be tearing up my membership card if DET wins. I have yet to see anything in the way of a statement of vision for Wales - ie a manifesto - from any of the the candidates apart from Leanne's laudible piece HERE. I also look forward to the hustings - Leanne is a formidable debater, while DET is so emollient as to be positively wet.

Anonymous said...

As an elderly, rural dwelling, Welsh speaker, I shall be rushing down to my local bookmakers to put £20 on Leanne. In this part of the world she is way ahead of the other three.

Money for old rope I'd say.

Jac o' the North said...

As an outsider looking in, as it were . . . the problem for me is that all four candidates are to the left of centre. Exposing yet again that Plaid is not a 'broad church' like the SNP.

Add that to the persistent limitation of being too closely associated with rural, Welsh-speaking areas, and it could be that Plaid needs rather more than is offered by any of these candidates to really broaden its appeal.

MH said...

I'd like to pick up on a few things. First there won't need to be any tactical voting - i.e. voting for someone who is not your first preference because you think they have a better chance of beating a candidate you definitely don't want to see elected. People will put a 1 next to their first choice; and can put a 2 next to their second choice, a 3 next to their third choice etc. if they want to.

Second and third choices will be critical. Fairly obviously, I want one of the two consistently pro-independence candidates to win. So whichever woman you vote for, it is important that the other woman gets your second preference. I hope that both Leanne and Elin will make that point strongly in their campaigns.

Finally, Plaid Cymru is a left of centre party, so of course right and centre right nationalists like Jac aren't going to like any of the candidates.

Jac o' the North said...

If I read Leanne correctly (on WalesHome) she quotes a couple of thinkers who point out that Wales is, and always has been, a colonial, extractive economy, with everything from roads to profits running to the imperial centre. (Something I have always believed.) Consequently we were never able to develop a healthy indigenous economy that served Welsh needs.

Yet in talking of co-operatives and similar forms of collective endeavour in the same context as independence Leanne makes it sound as if, even in an independent Wales, Plaid Cymru would not want a balanced economy that encouraged private enterprise.

For me, co-operatives, such as Mondragon, are for the pre-independence stage when a nation lacks the levers over macroeconomic power. I fear that even in an independent Wales Plaid, or Leanne Wood, would prefer state intervention, co-operatives and what I have have elsewhere described as an 'economy' of the third sector.

This would neither be a balanced nor a healthy economy.

MH said...

What's "unbalanced" about cooperatives and collective endeavour? Mondragon looks like something good to me, and is one of the reasons why Euskadi is more prosperous than any part of Spain. Do you seriously think they'll dismantle it when they become independent?

And what's wrong with government intervention? Governments should intervene to correct the distortions of the market and ensure fairness.

But right wing governments do just as much "intervening" ... just look at all the favours that have been done towards the City of London and financial services.

You're a right wing nationalist, Jac. Don't expect Plaid Cymru to change its aims as a party just because there are some nationalists in Wales who are on the right of the political spectrum. If you can't vote for Plaid as an unashamedly pro-independence, left of centre political party, then why don't you set up a right of centre nationalist party and take votes off right of centre unionist parties like the Tories and LibDems?

Jac o' the North said...

MH, to answer your question, "If you can't vote for Plaid as an unashamedly pro-independence, left of centre political party, then why don't you set up a right of centre nationalist party and take votes off right of centre unionist parties like the Tories and LibDems?"

First off, let me say that I have always voted for Plaid, despite it being left of centre and ambivalent on the issue of independence. (And I'm being very generous there.) So there will be no reason to change when Plaid is committed to independence.

Setting up a right of centre nationalist party would undoubtedly damage Plaid Cymru. For while you know Plaid activists are mainly left of centre you cannot be certain of Plaid's voters. Many are like me. (A worrying thought, I know.) Others have been turned off socialism by decades of Labour hegemony (which is another reason why snuggling up to Labour is not such a bright idea).

Having said that, I would like to see a right-of-centre nationalist party. If nothing else, it would keep Plaid Cymru 'alert' and on its toes; stop it going 'stale' and moribund as it is today. (And of course, I believe in competition.) But I don't think it's going to happen. Though if Plaid doesn't become more dynamic and pro-active under its new leader then the liklihood of - indeed, the case for - such a party becomes much stronger.

Anonymous said...

A few are annoyed that DET is contesting.
However I am actually quite exited- the reason I say this is because FINALLY after 20+ years- he will have to clearly lay out his opinions on all issues.

He is the one member I'm unsure of where he stands on just about any issues. So purely on this basis I'm pleased he's running!

As for leader; apart from independence I quite like Simon. However I think Leanne may be the best candidate; just so we are able to attract a good crowd.

Anonymous said...

a very interesting exchange between jac and MH! Of course in a fully self governing wales im sure there would be parties on the right of the political spectrum......and there would be nothing wrong with that.Indeed such a development would be healthy for the new democracy we would be trying to create in wales, as we would want all political views to be reflected in our country.

There would probably even still be organisations in wales that would argue for a continuation of the 'union' with england, as organisations like ukip and their supporters in wales (remember they won 20 percent of the vote in 2009) arent simply going to disappear overnite if wales becomes a self governing nation.

In a sense however the fact that people with right wing views in wales tend to vote for unambiguously 'unionist' parties like the tories and ukip perhaps demonstrates the difficulties faced by 'right wing' welsh nationaists in that in wales, for whatever reason, there is no 'indigenous' right wing tradition.

People on the political right or centre right in wales - jac honourably excepted - tend to be appalling on the 'national question' Generally opposing even a modicum of devolution let alone self government for wales....just take a look at the composition of the no campaigns in 79...97....and 2011....bursting with union jack waving wales hating little englanders.....

But such debates are probably for the future...the reality is that plaid cymru is the only meaningful political organisation campaigning for independence for wales...so it goes without saying that anyone who wishes us to become a self governing nation should vote for plaid cymru at election time.

And given plaid's critical role in making self government for wales a reality it is of course imperative that the next leader of plaid cymru actually supports the parties stated actual aim ie for independence for wales.

And while all of the candidates have their qualities only two of the them...leanne and elin....are on record as supporting this aim, tho if im wrong about simon someone please correct me...while dafyd el's views on the matter are well known......

Leigh Richards
swansea

Aled G J said...

I genuinely think that this old and tired left v right debate will be neutered if Plaid vote for a pro-independence leader( either Leanne or Elin). A real drive for Independence, and an emphasis on control of our natural resources and the development of our economy can unite all nationalists like never before. Having said that, I am particularly interested in Leanne's reference to The Collective Entrepeneur in her piece on Wales Home.It suggests that she is seeking to move on from her traditional position to embrace a new political model in Wales, which would seek to build on our co-operative values with a fresh emphasis on entrepeneurship. This could form the basis for a new Welsh polity which could transcend the divisive left v right thinking- which is after all, an essentially British concept foisted on Wales.

Jac o' the North said...

Aled G J, I hardly think that left v right thinking is "an essentially British concept foisted on Wales". It's universal.

Anonymous said...

Anon 23/12/11 00:41...

"As for 'wee Eck' Scotland and the royalty don't forget she's Elizabeth 1st up there and we have no real connection with them apart from the obvious lol!
I'm a republican and a socialist and i would be whatever country i come from.
Only Leanne imho will take us forward Wales wide,
Vote Leanne!"

23 December 2011 00:41

You missed the point. The majority of voters in Wales and Scotland are not republicans and value western style democracy.

"I don't think many monarchists in Wales would vote Plaid anyway."

I bet 20 years ago people were saying the same about the SNP. Salmond got himself a reality check on this issue. The time to debate Scottish Republicanism is later on after independence, because if you try to promote it now it will put voters off. Also when you have Bethan Jenkins calling for a Welsh newspaper to be run by the Welsh Government this frightens peope away. It would be a propaganda mchaine, and is something that a communist country would do. If you want to live in that kind of world go live in North Korea or Russia, I like most of us in Wales want to keep my personal and economic freedoms.

Im getting a bit worried about how tribal Welsh politics is becoming. On one side Leanne Wood could take Plaid down a republican and left wing path, making almost possible for them to be electable in 2016, and on the other side we have Andrew RT Davies taking the Welsh Tories down an right-wing Unionist path. The ones who benefit from this tribalism will be Welsh Labour, because this will make them even more dominant in Welsh politics, and THEY are the biggest threat to democracy in Wales.

I agree with Jac o the North, we need a right of centre nationalist party that would not only keep Plaid on its toes but also the Welsh tories. At the next Assembly elections in 2016 Labour will have held onto power here for 17 years, in 2020 it will be 21 years. We desparately need a non-labour alternative here, and if that means a Rainbow Coaltion then so be it!

I hear this alot among Plaid supporters: "never do a deal with the tories, they are the party of Thatcher", as I do among the Tories as "stay away from the nationalists, they want to breakup Britain and make us a Republic"!! These people will constantly complain (and rightly so) about how Welsh Labour are incompetant in governing Wales and how they take the Welsh electorate for granted, yet when push comes to shove they are not prepared to do anytihng about it, because it means working with their 'constitutional opponents.' If the DUP and Sinn Fein can work together then the same can happen here.
Personally I beleive the Tories will become more pro-devolution whereas Labour will become more devo-sceptic as time passes by. Why, because they will eventually realise that UK federalism could become be the only way to keep the Union together. Labour in England on the other hand are more dependant on Scottish and Welsh voters.

Every democracy in the world has a left v right balance, its just that some are more left or right than others. For example Wales is more left wing then England, and the USA is more right wing then the UK. Thats why many centre-right supporters in Wales will not vote tory, and why most British Conservatives backed Obama than McCain.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Republican myself but I don't see any great appetite in Wales to become a Republic.

Anonymous said...

I'll definitely be voting for Dafydd El.

Aled G J said...

Jac- I would still argue that in Wales, the left v right issue has been coloured essentially by a Westminster mindset built around two British parties. Promoting the Welsh national interest(independence) provides an opportunity to devise a totally new model to suit Wales alone. This model could draw on the best of our traditions,and come up with new thinking to fully address the needs of today.

Anonymous said...

Anon 13:11

"..I don't see any great appetite in Wales to become a Republic."

The electorate has never had a debate about the monarchy, let alone an informed debate. The media and the press, particularly the BBC grovels to royalty. This morning's 9am bulletin on BBC news was a prime example.. the first ten minutes was all about some old fella who's had a stent put in and has had to stay a second night in hospital.

That's the kind of undemocratic crap the UK population has to put up with, whether they're English, Welsh, Scottish or whatever.

I think many people are at best ambivalent about the monarchy throughout the UK, and especially so in Wales. It is, after all, the 'English' royal family, and of Anglo-German ancestry. Its relationship to Wales has been negative historically to say the least from the medieval period up to today. In that sense Wales differs from Scotland.

As I've grown older my republican sentiments have deepened.

Do we as nationalists in Wales cloak our true sentiments in order to gain electoral support or should we be open and honest about them?

I think the latter is the best option in an age when political parties will say anything to get elected, and consequently all politicans are held in low esteem. In any case most people aren't fooled by weasel words.

The case for republicanism is strong when presented rationally. I believe that the state the UK is in today, an unbelievable mess, stems from its constitutional structure, rotten from the top down. Unless and until there's root and branch reform, then it will continue its downward spiral.

Thankfully we in Wales can vote ourselves out of it. I pity the poor English as they are stuck with it forever unless they have a revolution.

I'm with Leanne as far as her republican views are concerned, and will support her bid for Plaid's leadership. Its a matter of regret to me that Plaid is not a republican party.

Anonymous said...

"Also when you have Bethan Jenkins calling for a Welsh newspaper to be run by the Welsh Government this frightens peope away. It would be a propaganda mchaine, and is something that a communist country would do."

Sheer ignorance. What about in Norway and Sweden where there are state-funded newspapers? Or even in France. Bethan didn't call for it to be "run" by the Government, it was to be run by journalists as a co-op. The Government element would be to fund it. With all due respect, get your facts straight before spouting off about "freedom" and "living in North Korea". The debate must be mature, not raising the spectre of Kim Jong-Il because Bethan wants to do the same thing as those ever-so-Stalinist Norwegians. I think a huge problem with so-called "centre-right nationalists" is that alot of them haven't got a clue really about the world beyond Wales or what is happening elsewhere in Europe.

Anonymous said...

"I'm a Republican myself but I don't see any great appetite in Wales to become a Republic."

Plaid Cymru is not a republican party and Leanne becoming leader alone would not change that. They could only become republican if enough party members and branches agreed. That's called democracy!

MH said...

Hope everyone had a good Christmas, but I suppose it's now time to get back to the comments.

First to Jac. I have to say that I'm surprised at what you said about voting Plaid. I had got the impression that you had long given up on the party, and you have mentioned trying to set up an alternative party (or at least an alternative movement) before. So I read you wrong, and I'm sorry for that.

It must be difficult for you and others that Plaid is not exactly the sort of party you want it to be. I have made a big point about what Plaid's aims as a party are over the last few weeks and months on the issue of independence and membership of the UN. But another of the same fundamental aims is to decentralist socialism. That puts nationalists who are on the right of the political spectrum in as awkward a position as those who, say, just want "a bit more autonomy and protection for the language" rather than outright independence. The way to square that circle is to realize that Plaid Cymru might have a few thousand members, but it has thirty or forty times as many voters. People who vote for Plaid don't have to agree with all the party's aims, they just have to believe that Plaid is a better option than any of the alternatives on offer at election time. Sadly, we have an unfair election system which splits the votes of parties that have similar policy platforms, so a new right of centre nationalist party would not be a good idea unless it only drew votes from those who could not vote for Plaid Cymru (which is something that could never be guaranteed). With STV (or even AV) there would be no such problem.

-

The idea of "snuggling up to Labour" sounds odd. As I see it, Plaid went into coalition with Labour from 2007-11 for one over-riding reason: because we needed a two-thirds majority to get the referendum through, and without Labour that would have been impossible. The only reason for being in coalition with another party is that it gives us something that we think is best for Wales but that we couldn't get without them. Labour have nothing to offer us now because they're not in the position to deliver anything while out of power in Westminster.

So far from "snuggling up" to Labour, I see Plaid's role as being to fight Labour head on and win over the hearts and minds of traditional Labour voters whose loyalty to Labour is generational. Only an unashamedly left of centre party can hope to do that, and Plaid's support of the trade unions against Labour run local authorities can only help. We have to show them that Plaid stands for the valuers that Labour used to stand for before it sold its soul in order to win the votes of middle England.

This is also critical in terms of the leadership race, for both Dafydd and Simon have said that they want to see Plaid back in coalition with Labour as soon as possible, because they think that having a little influence is better than being in opposition. For people who hope to lead Plaid, this is a huge tactical mistake. It will almost guarantee Plaid's future as nothing more than "Labour's little helpers" when we should be looking to beat Labour into second place (or lower) in the polls and lead a future Welsh government ourselves.

MH said...

On the subject of republicanism, we need to be careful not to conflate two issues. We can be independent and still have a head of state from the Windsor family. Canada, Australia, New Zealand and a dozen other countries are no less independent because they have kept the monarchy. So Plaid should not complicate the independence issue with something that is irrelevant to our independence. Independence for Wales is much more important.

But that doesn't affect anyone's personal position on the issue. I would vote for an elected head of state to replace the monarchy on principle. And if such a referendum were called while Wales was still a part of the UK, I would vote to abolish the monarchy for the UK. I'd do the same if I were a citizen of any country that had an unelected head of state.

Republicanism and independence are separate issues, and we should resist any attempt to link them.

Anonymous said...

PaddyPower has since removed the odds. Maybe they will bring out updated ones tommorow.

Anonymous said...

Lindsay Whittle and Bethan Jenkins endorse Leanne Wood.

MH said...

The odds at Oddschecker have just come back on line. The only figures are from Ladbrokes:

Elin ... Evens
Leanne ...3/1
Dafydd ...3/1
Simon ... 8/1

These were the odds reported on ITV's Wales Tonight. The famous Karl gave these odds to David Williamson:

Elin ... 4/6
Leanne ...3/1
Dafydd ...7/2
Simon ... 7/1

And I think Karl has got it about right, though personally I'd prefer Leanne with Elin a close second.

Anonymous said...

William Hill odds:
Elin - 10/11
Leanne - 9/4
Dafydd- 3/1
Simon - 10/1

Ladbrokes:
Elin - 6/4
Leanne - 7/4
Dafydd - 3/1
Simon - 8/1

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