Sunday, 23 November 2014

Plaid will need to double it seats in 2016 to be relevant.

I can imagine the day after teh Scottish referendum the Unionist parties slapping themselves on the back  and assuming that the SNP would now collapse into despair and  infighting as it had in 1979.

I must admit I expected a fall of in support for the Party and both the Tories and Blue--Labour allies making gains .

But I had in been in Scotland during the campaign.

Who outside Scotland saw a fundamental change in political campaigning.

Although I saw indication of this I try to be objective because I was reading Pro YES Blogs and tried not to be swayed into to much optimism.

Still ii bet even the SNP have been shocked with the phenomena

 Yesterday tthe SNP new leader Ncola Sturgeon who locks like she can even surpass Alex told a rally of more than 10,000 people at Glasgow SSE Hydro:  that membership of the SNP had surpassed the 90,000 mark.

She said 
 “Reaching over 90,000 members is an extraordinary achievement - up from some 25,000 on referendum day - and underlines the huge energy and dynamism in Scottish politics which is driving SNP poll ratings to record levels.
Indeed :  Membership of the Labour Party for the whole of the UK is about  189,53 and the Tories 174,000. They would both have to be approaching 2 million members  to match the SNP.

But Ms Sturgeon  has now set her eyes not back to the referendum but to next years General Election
“I am in no doubt that independence, and exercising full powers in Scotland, is the best future for this nation - and would also act as a catalyst for reform south of the border.”

She added:

 “The old Westminster system doesn’t work for Scotland, we know that all too well.
“But you know what, it doesn’t work for many other parties other UK either. So when we send a strong team of SNP MPs to Westminster, we will seek to build alliances with progressive forces across these islands.”
“My aim is that the SNP wins the general election in Scotland, and there is every prospect of a hung parliament at Westminster.
“The SNP would never act to put the Tories in power. In these circumstances, our constructive approach is that the SNP will seek common cause in a balanced parliament with progressive forces across the regions of England, Wales and Northern Ireland to rebalance the UK in political and economic terms.
“Scotland can play a leading role in this process, and bring an end to the failed austerity economics which has gripped the front benches of the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems at Westminster.
“In turn, we can build wider support for some of Scotland’s priorities - such as achieving the powers we were promised by the No campaign, and preventing a new generation of Trident nuclear weapons being dumped on the Clyde.”
She added:
That is the outward-looking, forward-looking perspective we will bring to the general election campaign - which I believe will carry huge support in Scotland, and be welcomed by most people south of the border too.”
She highlighted the possibility of SNP MPs working with Welsh nationalists in Plaid Cymru and the Green Party at Westminster.

With both these parties led by women - Leanne Wood of Plaid Cymru and Natalie Bennett for the Greens - Ms Sturgeon said: “Westminster be warned, the age of female politics is here and it’s not going away.”

It echos  Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards  announcement  that they  will form 'anti-austerity bloc' with SNP and Greens in bid to stop 'catastrophic' Labour and Tory policies, 

It looks like the two parties have already agreed a strategy  Mr Edwards  who is likely to lead the Plaid Westminster Group said the parties were “signed up to a strategy that radically redefines the role of the state to one which is based on a model more associated with the United States where the public sector is starved of cash and only provides a bare minimum of services”.
We warned at the time, and have been proven correct, that reducing public investment too sharply would reduce economic output therefore prolonging the length of the recession. Deficit reduction targets have been missed comprehensively...
“Labour have said they will match Tory spending plans if they form the next Westminster government. Based on the plans of the Treasury, by the time that the deficit is eliminated in 2018-19, spending on public services as a share of GDP will only be 38%, far lower than anything we witnessed under Thatcher governments.
“Spending on public services as a percentage of GDP has not been that low since 1938.”
Mr Edwards said the parties were “signed up to a strategy that radically redefines the role of the state to one which is based on a model more associated with the United States where the public sector is starved of cash and only provides a bare minimum of services”

For Plaid it will be vital  to increase their numbers at Westminster . The SNP are heading for a majority of Scottish seats and will need to ensure that Wales will not be a side show over Scottish Aspirations and a rise in  the call for English votes for English Laws.

Plaid probably hope to win Ynys Mon, Cerdigion and Llanelli but if it is to play a role in the 'anti-austerity bloc it may have to set its sights higher

Maybe its time Plaid stated to talk itself up.

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