Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Ceredigion in 1992 shows how a Progressive alliance can win.

has 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,

He writes.

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.
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.
Just let us look at the vote in that Constituency 

General Election 1992: Ceredigion & Pembroke North
Plaid CymruCynog Dafis16,02030.3+15.0
Liberal DemocratGeraint Wyn Howells12,82725.1-11.6
ConservativeJohn Williams12,71824.8-2.0
LabourJohn Davies9,63718.8+0.3
Plaid Cymru gain from Liberal DemocratSwing13.3
It is very rare for a Party that came fourth in the previous election to win particularly if there is no media circus, around it.
General Election 1987: Ceredigion & Pembroke North New Seat
LiberalGeraint Wyn Howells17,68336.6-5.2
ConservativeJohn Williams12,98326.9-3.0
LabourJohn Davies8,96518.6+4.0
Plaid CymruCynog Glyndwr Dafis7,84816.2+3.3
GreenMrs Marylin A. Wakefield8211.7+0.8
Liberal hold
It was as psephologist  Ivor Crewe noted the biggest surprise of the Election.

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.


  1. yes glyn jac always has his own take on matters - and lets face it we woundnt want it any other way. its thanks to people like jac, yourself and others that wales has its own distinctive and dare i say it vibrant blogosphere.

    im sure it wont come as a surprise to you however to learn that we at green dragon dont agree with jac's take on this matter, and that we concur with your perspective that those on the left in welsh politics - and in that category i would include the wales greens and a number of people in plaid cymru - should be working together to try to create the progressive wales we all want to see.

  2. Jac can speak for himself, but I suspect he like me suspect sees the differences between us are that you and green dragon are when push comes to shove are lefties first and welsh nationalists second, exactly like Leanne Wood and her ilk, it's good news for the UK left and Labour and bad news for Wales.

    But you wont have to worry about choosing before long Wales will only exist as a memory because the welsh will be a minority in as little as 30 years in every part of what is rapidly becoming Western England with an odd accent.

  3. anon refers to some of us as 'lefties first and welsh nationalists second', but with all due respect anon it is entirely possible to be both. indeed its frankly difficult to thnk of anything the political right have done to ensure the survival of the welsh nation.

  4. As a left of centre nationalist, I have some disagreements with what Jac has to say, but on this issue Glyn, he has a point. Whilst there was a surge in the Plaid vote, there was also a big reduction in the LibDem vote. In 1992 the major change that took place was the effect of the 'community charge' or 'poll tax'. There is a large contingent of students from England who were studying at Aberystwyth, a significant proportion of the electorate in Ceredigion. In 1992 they were on the electoral register at their home address in England as they were exempt from the poll tax at home or disappeared off the electoral register if they found term time employment. This had a significant reduction on the LibDem vote within Ceredigion at the time. Also I do not think the surge in the Plaid vote was down to an alliance with the Greens, more to do with a very effective political campaign by Plaid Cymru. In your 'statistics', only 821 votes of the 16,020 can be attributed to the alliance.

  5. worth bearing in mind that the greens are currently running at 7 percent in some welsh poll projections for the 2016 senedd elections. thus they are arguably not that far from securing a seat at the assembly via a regional list seat wthout even - please take note - any kind of arrangement or electoral pact with plaid. also please take note that the welsh green party are not going to go away, however much some people appear to want them too. after all we need a party in wales we can feel sure will oppose things like nuclear power and not support it when apparently it suits them.

    that said it clearly makes sense for two primarily left of centre parties in wales to be talking to one another - indeed plaid and the greens already work together at westminister and in the european parliament.

  6. From JacotheNorth's blog - is it true Green Dragon?

    Green Dragon I believe is Martyn Shrewsbury convicted fraudster charlatan hypnotherapist and is currently agent for green party English Ashley Wakeling Uplands Swansea council by election. He is promoting Pippa for leader the jag driving woman made her money working in the security industry/Thales/AWRE and when asked about policy regarding the Welsh language? Especially in regards to business, education, and government

    Looks like Green Dragon is a green lefty not a welsh nationalist and i was right first time.

  7. categorically untrue anon - green dragon includes among its editorial team supporters of the wales green party, plaid cymru and of no party at all. we are all people who want to help bring about a progressive, green and of course nuclear free wales. the kind of wales which the likes of jac and other right wing nationalists would appear to despise. surprised anon that as a self proclaimed left wing nationalist you would appear to be lining up with such people

    it is however a somwhat strange kind of natnalist for the britisah state's nuclear industry

  8. sincere apologies for the numerous typos at the end there lol. we were trying to point out that its a strange kind of welsh nationalist (jac etc) who seems happy at a state of affairs by which the british state can impose nuclear power on wales and we in wales are powerless to do anything about it.

    this of course is why we at green dragon are strongly in favour of all energy matters being devolved to wales - a position some so called welsh nationalists would seem to oppose.