"After a gruelling seven-month-long Welsh Labour leadership contest, Mark Drakeford was today announced as the winner, and soon to be new First Minister, with 53.9% of the vote.
The early favourite was probably the best of the three candidates, none of whom exactly set Welsh politics on fire with bold new ideas.
Despite holding views on a second Brexit vote that were at odds with much of the party, and reports of some bad-tempered comments at the hustings, his opponents largely failed to land a blow him.
However, it’s unlikely that Drakeford’s merits as a potential First Minister played much of a part. This Labour leadership contest was indicative of many of the problems with Welsh politics as a whole, which is that the success or failure of parties and candidates is largely governed by Westminster issues beyond their control.
I follow numerous Welsh Labour Facebook groups and the leadership contest was hardly mentioned. It was the Corbyn v May battles at Westminster that dominated.
Beyond set-piece hustings and TV debates, I saw hardly any discussion amongst members of the important issues regarding powers that the new First Minister will wield in areas such as health, education and tax.
The contrast with Plaid Cymru’s almost too combative and passionate (perhaps bad-tempered) leadership race over the summer, where ideological differences were treated like fissures, has been stark.
In fact, at times Plaid Cymru members seemed to have more interest in the ins-and-outs of Labour’s leadership contest than Labour member".
The winner was declared on 28 September.
Plaid at least provided us with the actual voting number s rather than just the percentages.
|Candidate||First round||Second round|
|Rhun ap Iorwerth||1,613||28.0%||+348||1,961||36.0%|