Saturday, 8 April 2017

The main Welsh Opposition Parties ignore Heads of the Valleys contests .Why?

There has been some comment over the lack of a Ukip  in Merthyr Tydfil but there seems to be very little of a battle from other parties other than Labour,

  • Conservatives: 1
  • Liberal Democrats: 4
  • Labour: 33
  • Plaid Cymru: 1
  • Independents: 29
  • Merthyr Independents: 3
  • Welsh Communist Party: 1
A similar story  seems to be the case for Blaneau Gwent  and Torfaen

The Liberal Democrats did look look like they were about to break through in 2008 winning 6 seats

Election results by party
Party nameSeats won% of votes
 Labour Party / Llafur Cymru837%
 Welsh Liberal Democrats/ Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol Cymru617%
 Merthyr Independents36%
 Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales02%
 Communist Party0< 1%
Proxy votes:16
Only to lose all of them in 2012

2012 Merthyr Tydfil Council Election[2]
PartySeatsGainsLossesNet gain/lossSeats %Votes %Votes+/−
Liberal Democrat0-65.1910-10.9
Merthyr Independents2-16.14.4797-1.1
Plaid Cymru003.9703+1.2


Plaid of course famously won control of the council on the 1970 but now struggles to find candidates.

Ehy are the Head of the Valleys  Council seats seemingly a No-Go area for political parties ?

Clearly the Labour vote is not rock solid as UKip amd the Lib Dems have found in Methyl

Welsh Assembly Election 2016: Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney[1]
LabourDawn Bowden9,76347.2-7.1
UKIPDavid Rowlands4,27720.7+20.7
Plaid CymruBrian Thomas3,72118.0+9.2
ConservativeElizabeth Simon1,3316.4+0.1
Liberal DemocratsBob Griffin1,1225.4-7.4
GreenJulie Colbran4692.3+2.3
Labour holdSwing-13.9

and Plaid in Blaneau Gwent

Welsh Assembly Election 2016: Blaenau Gwent
LabourThomas Alun Rhys Davies8,44239.7−24.3
Plaid CymruNigel Copner7,79236.6+31.2
UKIPKevin Boucher3,42316.1+16.1
ConservativeTracey West1,3346.3+1
Liberal DemocratsBrendan D'Cruz3001.4−0.4
Labour holdSwing−28.0

But when it comes to local government despite the occasional "Flash in the Pan" local government  which often sees over 4 political Parties contesting wards in other parts of Wales sees the main Parties struggling to get six candidates for the entire council in Merthyr.

Surely the people of the Head of the Valleys councils deserve more choice.

Maybe a election by STV would  provide more of an imput .

In the 1976 Merthyr Tydfil made History and UK coverage when it won control of the council,
On May 4th 2017 the result will probably create a Yawn, 

Merthyr, Blaneau Gwent , and Torfaen need more than Labour who treat them like a Fiefdom  and Independents who may be hiding sinister views .


Cibwr said...

I couldn't agree more, it is remarkable that Park in Merthyr, which once had both Plaid and Communist councillors can't get a real contest. The caliber of Labour councillors in Merthyr is dire.

Gwyn Isaac said...

Shy torises standing as Independents?

Anonymous said...

Leanne Wood and her team have been contacted several times in the past 4 years by locals in the Merthyr & Rhymney constituency willing to stand and campaign for PC and asked for help building the party locally. Various reason for the lack of action have been given from a lack of money to it's not a priority for Plaid Cymru. I know because i one of them.

The irony being Plaid Cmyru would be pushing at an open door especially in the Council elections because Merthyr's Labour party has struggled to field new candidates in several wards. They've had to resort to begging older Councillors who were going to resign to stay on the situation is so bad.

And UKIP does have at least one candidate standing in Merthyr Tydfil as an independent in Town ward, the kippers know the brand has become toxic and are using the Tories old trick and standing as independents to keep peddling their far right hate agenda, lapped up by too many in Merthyr.

Anonymous said...

The lack of non Labour candidates probably reflects the lack of local party organizations. To field a full slate of candidates you need obviously a candidate in each ward so in the case of Merthyr that is 33 candidates. Then you need a proposer and seconders that lives in each ward and then another eight nominators that also need to live in each ward and to be on the electoral roll. So you have to have 11 people in each ward toget onto the ballot paper. So to get a full slate you need 330 registered electors evenly spread across Merthyr. I am pretty sure you do need that number of people to nominate to be able to stand as an AM, MP or MEP which in my opinion is why it is difficult for smaller or less established parties to fully engage meaningfully at a local level when using FPTPThis also means when you look at the overall result in many local authority areas in terms of votes cast it is pretty meaningless as in a huge numbers of seats you do not have the opportunity to vote for a party you support.