Sunday, June 07, 2009

Wales turns Blue!

I've just listened to the declaration for the Euro - election in Wales from Haverfordwest. Stunning. Absolutely stunning. The Conservatives have beaten Labour into second place in Wales. This has not happened since Labour became a significant political party early in the last century. The dominating fact of this election is that Labour's share of the vote fell from 33% to 20%.

Congratulations to UKIP on winning a seat in the European Parliament for the first time. I had hoped that if we succeeded in overtaking Labour, we would have won a second seat in Wales - but this hope has been dashed by the huge surge in support for UKIP.

The number of votes cast were;

Conservatives - 145,193
Labour - 138,193
Plaid Cymru - 126,702
UKIP - 87,585
Liberal Democrats - 73, 082

Elected were Dr Kay Swinburne (Conservative), Derek Vaughan (Labour), Jill Evans (Plaid Cymru), John Bufton (UKIP).


Two fluid ounces said...

Opps - first European seat in Wales goes to UKIP ... for a moment there I was thinking of a certain other party that should not be named, but I gather that party did win a seat - up in Yorkshire.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

... and Button won the Turkish GP!

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Just heard from my Facebook buddies that BNP have won a second MEP seat. This is BAD people. Evil in fact. Jews can't rest easy hearing this news. BAD BAD BAD. Europe/EU has to connect with the people - low turnout increases the chances of extremist groups winning seats - their members are highly motivated. The EU needs to come up with a solution to the low turnout issue.

Anonymous said...

I am not defending the BNP, who I would never want to form a government, but the major parties must not dismiss the BNP's vote as just a protest, and dismiss people's real concerns about jobs, social cohesion and the direction Britain is going. The less the Big 3 are willing to really look into a long term sustainable future for Britain and British citizens, then extremes in politics will only get stronger.

Tired of Treorci. said...

As the parties and players make their pronouncements, let`s not forget that the majority of British voters stayed away, as did their European neighbours.

Being elected by a minority, is still somehow a valid result, but maybe amidst all the back-slapping and victory celebrations, thoughts should be given to the sixty percent or so of citizens and tax-payers who expressed their indifference by abstention.

penlan said...

Rhodri Morgan's bequest to the Nation.At both Westminster and Cardiff there is a total paralysis of Labour leadership.Even the red rosette on a donkey voters stayed home.They got what they deserved.

Anonymous said...

Talking of the BNP, did anyone see BBC breakfast news this morning? Featuring an interview with the leader of the BNP live from Welshpool. The association of our town with that man just makes me angry!!

Anonymous said...

In fact, with all the talk about the BNP, UKIP and collapse of Labour - in my view there is an 'Elephant in the Room' situation here, and that is the SNP. I am no fan of the SNP (not that I think Scottish Patriotism is wrong, but their rabbid pro-EU stance is hypocritical with this) but they polled more than Labour in Scotland - if there is a General Election soon, there is a real chance the SNP would poll most votes in Scotland again, gain most seats, and COULD declare UDI. The UK would be at an end and Labour would never form a government again.... its possible, and in months.

Anonymous said...

With less votes than last time, and a lower share of the vote than in 1999, no Glyn, the Tories haven't "beaten" Labour into 2nd place. They won by default as Labour collapsed.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Just an idea: how about offering an x% tax allowance/write-off (which can be carried forward for up to n years for those not currently paying taxes).

Say 2% tax write-off c/f up to 5 years?

The European governments automatically add 2% voter tax, which is cancelled if the voter votes in those national and international elections based on the proportional voting systems? To make it easy could just make it a tick-box honour system.

Would likely boost voting numbers into the 80% plus range.

Yes, not nice, but hey, we don't want pre-WWII Nazi parties to come to the fore, which is what can happen with low turnouts and proportional voting. The disaffected stay at home causing a skewing effect.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

... and Plaid didn't follow in SNP's footsteps ...

Wales deserves economic leadership from WAG - Rhodri Morgan's team is delivering everything but.

It is high time Welsh Labour paid the price of their insular focus on staying in power instead of delivering job and economic growth for Welsh families.

Welsh Labour in its current form is a weight around Wales's neck. A debilitating weight - that weighs down on economic progress, turning it into economic decline.

Rhodri Morgan has failed at turning Wales's world-class universities into economic dynamos - he has failed in harnessing Wales's greatest asset: its people.

Rhodri Morgan should GO!

His 'leadership' style is harming Wales, holding Wales back. Just look at the GVA figures, Wales is now below 80% of the UK GVA average.

How does Rhodri Morgan respond?

With flowery words - I know, I have heard them up close and personal - I sat fee away when he gave a flowery speech in March 2009, and earlier where he gave an appalling speech full of political gaffes in Washington, DC.

I have personally listened to several speeches given by politicians in DC - one by the then Mayor of Cardiff at a World-Cities Alliance meeting in downtown Washington, DC; another by Lord Shaftesbury at a business biotech promotion/celebration event in the gardens at the British Embassy in DC. Then some years later a political gaff a minute speech at what should have been a Welsh culture promotion event at the British Embassy earlier this year.

Frankly, Wales deserves better than Welsh Labour and certainly deserves better than Rhodri Morgan's 'leadership'.

The wind of change is finally lapping over Wales's shores - Wales has a chance at economic growth, new jobs, a thriving private sector verses what Welsh Labour delivered (or rather what they promised to deliver but failed to deliver: JOBS).

Excuse typos ... got deadlines ..

Anonymous said...

Dr Wood's comments "Jews can't rest easy hearing the news..."

Haven't the BNP turned their venom against the other shemites namely the Muslims?

Wasn't Saunders Lewis a big fan of AH and hated the Jews?

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

PS … forgot to point out that I have attended several British politicians’ speeches in the USA – they were all brilliant compared to Rhodri Morgan’s gaff a minute speech at the British Embassy in Washington, DC. By luck of special invite, I got to meet Tony Blair PM, along with a British Professor (at Northwestern University) who was the then Chairperson of Labour International in Chicago, we met him just before the British PM gave a speech before the Economic Club of Chicago (one of the most powerful and influential bodies in Chicago), the first active (in office) British PM to give a speech in Chicago (Winston Churchill once travelled through Chicago on a train but didn’t get off). Just about every senior politician with links to Chicago/Illinois was at that event – including ex and present Senators. The British PM gave a fantastic speech, as did Lord Shaftesbury at the British Embassy, as did the then Mayor of Cardiff in downtown DC. The point being Americans are easy audiences for British politicians to give speeches too, but for some weird Rhodri Morgan reason, he gave a speech that was insulting to several Americans – I know not way, but that is what he did – at an event where it was easy-pizzi to give a speech to willing ears, to Welsh-Americans, but oh no, Rhodri Morgan had to mess it up, and mess it up he did.


Stonemason. said...

A good win for the Conservatives.

And there are those that have said it was impossible.

There was a twitter that P.C. were in for a double act in Brussels, but then beaten into third place, times are changing.

Anonymous said...

"but then beaten into third place"

Er, actually Plaid were already IN third place, Stonemason

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Anon (07:21)> no doubt you are right on that score.

Probably the best solution to this issue is high voter turn out.

If we run an honours system: tick a box on the tax return to avoid an n% tax penalty if you intend to vote in specified Euro elections. Yes, people could tick the box and decide not to vote at all, but it would be a good start (honour system will avoid expensive admin costs, perhaps the voting stations can give out a receipt which can go in a person's personal tax-folder and hence could, in theory, be audited for compliance.

Such a system might boost voter turnout to 80% plus.

Glyn Davies said...

I've posted on my take on the BNP successes.

Simon - An interesting take on democracy - which I thought was based on winning more votes than the other side. However what you say is true, and was the basis of what I said to my Campaign Strategy Meetring this morning. We did have a good result, but much the most significant feature of the vote was the incredible collapse in the Labour vote.

Bran ap Gwilym said...

I fear it is a very sad day in Cymru. The tories gaining more votes than ever. Don't people realise that the tories are only Hoity-toity versions of the BNP. They are still anti-Cymraeg, closely followed by the UKIP (anti-Welsh party).

Anonymous said...

"Simon - An interesting take on democracy - which I thought was based on winning more votes than the other side."

Winning by default I said, as opposed to "beating into second place".

By the way, what is this "huge upsurge" in the UKIP vote you speak of? Like all the mainstream parties UKIP won fewer votes than in 2004.

Christopher said...

Given the low turnout it's more 'to do with' trends than absolute voter numbers.

It is pretty clear that Welsh Labour is trending down and Plaid was unable to trend up sufficiently to take top spot.

Anyways/Milliways, Labour get the rubbing they deserve given the insular and contemptible way they treated the Welsh people...

Welsh Labour have largely ignored the **jobs**jobs**jobs**jobs** issue ... to their peril.

Welsh people have the capacity to forgive a lot of sins, but lack of credible action on the job front compounded with the expense scandal was too much even for the generous of heart in Wales.

Glyn Davies said...

Simon - Its a matter of language preference. I prefer 'beating into second place' - and as far as UKIP'S advance is concerned I'll accept that I should have typed 'mini-surge'.

Christopher - What was significant is that Labour were 'trending down' significantly more in Wales than anywhere else. You are right to suggest that it may be to do with te incompetence of Rhodri Morgan and Ieuan Wyn Jones' Governement. The failure to deliver anything positive except words on our economy must have played a part in the Welsh voter's response.