Monday, 8 April 2019

Where does the "Welsh" Unionist parties election funding originate?

Over at political betting, psephologist Welsh Liberal Democrat  (he's a ceredigion community councillor) Harry Hayfield  gives a reasonable assessment  of the result of the Newport West By-Election.
Newport West by-election, 2019[18]
LabourRuth Jones9,30839.6-12.7
ConservativeMatthew Evans7,35731.3-8.0
UKIPNeil Hamilton2,0238.6+6.1
Plaid CymruJonathan Clarke1,1855.0+2.5
Liberal DemocratRyan Jones1,0884.6+2.4
GreenAmelia Womack9243.9+2.8
RenewJune Davies8793.7N/A
Abolish the Welsh AssemblyRichard Suchorzewski2050.9N/A
SDPIan McLean2020.9N/A
Democrats and VeteransPhilip Taylor1850.8N/A
For BritainHugh Nicklin1590.7N/A
Registered electors63,623
Labour holdSwing-2.4

He writes..

...Labour’s vote fell by 13% on the general election, the fourth biggest drop in the Labour vote share in a Labour defence since 1950 (Caerphilly 1967 -29%, Rhondda West 1968 -27%, Carmarthen 1966 -13%), the turnout was down 30% (on a par with Islwyn in 1995) and the 2.4% swing to Con was the first swing to Con in a Lab defence where the Conservatives came second since Abertillery in 1965 which means that the Conservatives would be rubbing their hands with glee, right?Wrong! The Conservative vote fell by 8% (2% worse than the average change in every Welsh by-election since 1950) and their worst performance in a Con target since the 1956 Newport by-election (which only needed a 3.71% swing to gain).So, if Labour’s vote was falling and the Conservatives were not picking it up, then who was you might ask? Well, UKIP gained an extra 6%, breaking their rather lacklustre performances in Welsh by-elections since Islwyn in 1995, the Greens gained 3% (just a fraction behind their increase in Cardiff South in 2012) and Plaid picked up 3% as well (although that is by far one of their smallest increases in recent times and will bring some to wonder whether Adam Price is having the effect in the Labour heartlands that they hoped for).The main people who gained were the myriad of Others who stood, combining to a total increase of 6% (their highest increase in any Welsh by-election ever).Does this mean that Wales is rejecting the two mass powers of British politics and standing up for those less likely to be represented in Parliament? Well, it’s a bit early to tell, but if Wales was, it would not be the first time. Pontypool in 1958 saw the time that Plaid Cymru polled double digits in the share of the vote, Carmarthen in 1966 was the first seat to elect a Plaid Cymru MP, Blaenau Gwent in 2006 was the first constituency to stay non party at a by-election, and of course what review of Welsh by-elections cocking a snook at the mainstream would there be if reference to Brecon and Radnor in 1985 wasn’t given.
Notice there seems to be no reference to the Liberal Democrats third place , in a seat that they have previously (well before they became Cameron's bag carriers) of the poor performance of the Liberal Democrat (or is it Welsh Liberal Democrat's) candidate

Don't worry  because he goes on to say 
What we need is another by-election in a constituency where all three main parties have an reasonable chance of winning the seat, where the constituency voted LEAVE by roughly the same margin as the United Kingdom as a whole and has a history of giving Westminster what for!. And wouldn’t you know it, such a seat is in the offing, if the sentencing of Chris Davis MP (Con, Brecon and Radnorshire) triggers either a by-election or a recall petition.

Of course Harry's Bell-weather Seat is a "Welsh"Liberal Democrat target and one they throw the kitchen sink  backing their candidate "Welsh" Leader Jane Dodds, and if they are hoping for an chance  of returning to their Pre-2010 standings it will be a must win.

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

General Election 2017: Brecon and Radnorshire[8]
ConservativeChristopher Davies20,08148.6+7.5
Liberal DemocratJames Gibson-Watt12,04329.1+0.8
LabourDan Lodge7,33517.7+3.0
Plaid CymruKate Heneghan1,2993.1-1.3
UKIPPeter Gilbert5761.4-6.9
Registered electors56,010
Conservative holdSwing+3.4
General Election 2015: Brecon and Radnorshire[9][10]
ConservativeChristopher Davies16,45341.1+4.5
Liberal DemocratRoger Williams11,35128.3−17.8
LabourMatthew Dorrance5,90414.7+4.2
UKIPDarran Thomas[11]3,3388.3+6.1
Plaid CymruFreddy Greaves1,7674.4+1.9
GreenChris Carmichael1,2613.1+2.3
Registered electors54,441
Conservative gain from Liberal DemocratSwing+11.1

General Election 2010: Brecon and Radnorshire[12][13]
Liberal DemocratRoger Williams17,92946.2+1.3
ConservativeSuzy Davies14,18236.5+1.9
LabourChris Lloyd4,09610.4−4.5
Plaid CymruJanet Davies9892.5−1.1
UKIPClive Easton8762.3+0.4
GreenDorienne Robinson3410.9N/A
ChristianJeffery Green2220.6N/A
Monster Raving LoonyChris "Lord Offa of the Dyke" Rogers2100.5N/A
Registered electors53,589
Liberal Democrat holdSwing

Whether much will be made of the "Welsh"  part of Liberal Democrats  is unclear.

In theory the The Welsh Liberal Democrats (is a political party in Wales and a member of the federal Liberal Democrats, along with the Scottish Liberal Democrats and the English Liberal Democrats. So the "Welsh" part  may have a bit more authenticity  that the "Welsh" of the other Unionist parties.

Call me an old cynic (and you will be right) but I doubt the tens of thousands  of pounds that the Lib Dems  pour  (and probably have started) into the Brecon and Radnorshire will not come from the 15th floor of Brunel House in Cardiff.

I suspect the same was true of Newport West and the only party not to be financed purely in Wales was Plaid.

There may be an argument that this is a Westminster Election, but I wonder if it is not the case in Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliamentary Election.

Of course if you are a Unionist party you will see no problem , but then why try and claim a "Welsh" or "Scottish"  identity.

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