Jac in his recent Blog Plaid Cymru and the Green Party of Englandandwaleshas come in his usual acidic way with a very different viewpoint to myself over the potential of a Plaid - Green alliance for the 2015 Genera; Election .
It should be read by those of us who support the idea because it does show the problems we might face.
However my argument is that such an alliance is necessary because the People of these Islands need an alternative in 2015 and that includes England and in that Nation the only party they can really turn to is the Greens.
It is in the offer to people of an alternative that I believe Jac misses the point,
Despite this insight into the Green colonialist mindset Cynog Dafis stood at the 1992 General Election on a Green-Plaid ticket in Ceredigion and Pembroke North. He gained the seat from the sitting Liberal Democrat MP Geraint Howells with a majority of 3,193. To a number of nationalists at the time, myself included, Howells was a good old stick, a Welshman of the old school, and preferable to Dafis, especially if the latter was going to dance to some hippy tune for the duration of the parliament. Though there remains some dispute as to whether Dafis was ever a joint Plaid-Green candidate, certainly, the official record lists him for posterity as a Plaid Cymru candidate, and some grouplets within the Green Party insist he was never formally adopted. Whatever the truth of his position, Plaid’s leadership, Dafis to the fore, had convinced itself that the party needed Green votes to win Ceredigion, and perhaps other seats.Just let us look at the vote in that Constituency
So were the Green votes influential, even decisive? Well, let’s look at the neighbouring constituencies where no deal was struck to see if they can point us towards an answer. To the south, in the Pembroke constituency, the Green candidate got 484 votes, or 0.8% of the vote. To the east, in Brecon & Radnor, the Green candidate limped in last with 393 votes, or 0.9% of the vote. Moving north, into Meirionnydd Nant Conwy, there the Greens – in the form of Busby’s mate, Bill Pritchard – were ecstatic over their 471 votes and 1.8%. Though in Carmarthen the Greens couldn’t even find a candidate. The flash-in-the-pan nature of the Green Party’s 1989 Euro election result was betrayed at the first ‘real’ election, which also told us that Plaid Cymru would have comfortably won Ceredigion and Pembroke North without any pact or agreement with the Greens.
|General Election 1992: Ceredigion & Pembroke North|
|Plaid Cymru||Cynog Dafis||16,020||30.3||+15.0|
|Liberal Democrat||Geraint Wyn Howells||12,827||25.1||-11.6|
|Plaid Cymru gain from Liberal Democrat||Swing||13.3|
|General Election 1987: Ceredigion & Pembroke North New Seat|
|Liberal||Geraint Wyn Howells||17,683||36.6||-5.2|
|Plaid Cymru||Cynog Glyndwr Dafis||7,848||16.2||+3.3|
|Green||Mrs Marylin A. Wakefield||821||1.7||+0.8|
I was in Aber during the previous Election and campaigned for Cynon who was easily the best candidate to the extent that a fellow mature student from Bolton who was life long Labour supporter expressed his dilemma of remaining loyal to his party or backing the candidate who was really nearest to their outlook.
What happened in 1992 was that voters who voted for one of the three main parties because it was the least objectionable to them had an serious alternative.who could win.
I can't say for certain that Cynog wouldn't have won in 1992 as a sole Plaid Candidate but the Plaid vote in the rest of Wales hardly moved in that election.and in the other seats in 1992 where there was joint candidate the vote were derisory.
It may be the problems of a formal alliance particularly over seat distribution may be to great
But for two parties that have much in common and who can rely on a sizeable like-minded contingent coming from Scotland it surely makes sense for all these Parties to work together before the election and not just after.