Monday, May 02, 2016

Looking Ahead to Thursday's Elections.

First Assembly Election hustings I've attended in the canteen at Welshpool Livestock Market this morning. Felt sorry for the candidates. So much noise they needed a mic or voices like foghorns.  Thought 'my' two boys did OK. Russ George now looks the part of a seasoned politician, and Plaid's Aled Morgan Hughes, to whom I am related coped well with the background noise - even if I should upbraid him for cracks about "You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family." Mostly all agreeing that motherhood and apple pie are approved of. But disagreement over culling badgers as a Bovine Tb control. Plaid, Ukip and Welsh Conservatives think Yes, while Lib Dem and Greens think No.

My first hustings of the election got me thinking about what to expect on Thursday - across Britain as well as in Wales. Normally, six years into a Conservative-led/Conservative Govt, and my party is in the midst of a thunderous gloves-off battle over the EU Referendum vote, Labour should be making huge gains. But it looks not to be so. In most of  Thursday's elections, labour looks a mess - probably losing ground - especially in Council and Scottish Parliament elections. Labour losing ground in Wales too, but voting system means they will still be dominant party. Our One-Party-State in Wales still alive and kicking. Polls tell us Labour candidate for Mayor of London may win. Hard to believe. Some things are beyond my understanding.

UKIP will probably do well on Thursday, helped by the publicity and focus on the EU that the Referendum has conveniently arranged for them. They are likely to have a significant presence in the Welsh Assembly. One of the AMs serving my area is likely to be former MP, Neil Hamilton. Plaid seem to be doing OK, according to the polls. We'll see. And Lib Dems will win a few Council seats to just about hang on as a mainstream party.

Thursday is a tough ask for the Conservatives. Parties in government usually struggle after 6 years of power. But it's looking quite good. Ruth Davison winning great reviews in Scotland. We may well make some Council gains across England. But in Wales, the Additional Member voting system means UKIP list success may well impact on us. Anyway I'm off out now with Russ to knock on a few more doors. That's the thing about elections. We all try to do our best.

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