Friday, 31 May 2019

Leave Parties may work together, but no electoral pact is possible.

In what is an extraordinary poll, the prospect of a snap General Election seems very unlikely, whereas some kind of Brexit conformation referendum  must surely have risen.

The you gov poll has  given us these numbers

LD 24%
BXP 22%
LAB 19%
CON 19%

Political Betting tell us that.
As had been leaked earlier yesterday evening the latest Times YouGov poll has historic changes in the party order with the Lib Dems on 24% two points ahead of BXP with Labour and the Tories both on 19%.This has simply not happened before in the history of polling. It is totally unprecedented for neither of the two major parties currently forming the government and the opposition to perform so poorly. Clearly the uncertainty of the Brexit is taking a major toll on the way voters are looking at politics.It should be noted that the the pollster, YouGov, was one of just two that got the order right ahead of last week’s euro elections.Whether these positions will be sustained or indeed seen by other firms we shall have to wait and see but there is little doubt that we are going through some very turbulent times.The two parties at the top in this poll, of course, are the ones which have the clearest view on the big issue of the day Brexit. For the Lib Dems this is its best polling position since the peak of Cleggmania ahead of the 2010 general election.This all makes next week’s parliamentary by-election in Peterborough even more interesting. This has been a seat that has flipped between Labour and the Conservatives and could it be that the same thing that is happening in the polls be seen there with good results for the Brexit party and the Lib Dems? Could neither LAB nor CON make the top 2?
How much this relates to Plaid Cymru leader  call for Remain-supporting parties to discuss working together in a snap general election or second EU referendum, is a Moot point
Adam Price has written to the Liberal Democrats, Green Party, Change UK and the SNP.
He said they should work together for "as long as necessary" to deliver another vote on EU membership.
"With the Brexit Party having won the highest number of seats, there is now a grave risk that the result will be used to justify a no-deal Brexit," Mr Price said.
"I am particularly concerned that it will be used to influence the candidates running to become the next leader of the Conservative Party."
He described an "urgent need" for the parties to work together to "ensure that all the nations of these islands are not dragged headfirst towards a no deal Brexit for which there is no mandate".
Mr Price added: "We are passionately pro-European parties who believe that our nations' rightful place is at the heart of Europe.
"We must not let the politics of the Brexit Party
divide us as we seek to maintain our nations' place in Europe."
 Mr Price invited fellow leaders to meet him for an "initial, exploratory" discussion.A Welsh Liberal Democrat spokesman said the party was always happy to discuss ways of achieving "our common aims".
He added:
 "Since June 2016, Liberal Democrats have led efforts in Parliament to secure a people's vote, and this has included work with other parties with varying degrees of success.
"We've done this because Remainers expect us to work together where necessary to deliver a People's Vote."
Personally I think the SNP have led the opposition to Brexit but there you go .  Though it indicated the problem of the task ahead  as Parties look at any coalition largely how it will benefit them in the long run.
Change UK MP Chris Leslie said the party remains ready to continue working with other parties, including Plaid, to "prevent a disastrous no-deal Brexit".
He added that Change UK has "already engaged in an unprecedented level of cross-party cooperation since we formed".
The Green Party and the SNP have been asked to comment
I doubt very much if an electoral pacr is possible .

For a start the SNP will want to win as many seats as possible in Scotland and might be even aiming for a clean Sweep of Scottish constituencies  nd the Liberal Democrats with four in Scotlan at the moment are unlikely to wish to be restricted.

In Wales there are very few seats at the moment, that the Liberal Democrats  (though it may change) could  gain even with a pact and Ceredigion (which Plaid hold) is thier main target seat for the next election.

It is of course in England that a pact between the Greens , Liberal Democrats  and Change may make some kind of pact but even then would it make a difference/

In 1983 the  massive increase of support for the Alliance at the expense of Labour meant that, in many seats, the collapse in the Labour vote allowed the Conservatives to gain. Despite winning over 25% of the national vote, ( 7,794,77 to Labours 8,456,934)  he Alliance got fewer than 4% of seats, 186 fewer than Labour.

Of course the current Polls indicate a difference and a General Election in which Farage's Brexit Party Limited Company could throw a spanner in the works.

A second referendum in which there is a vote to Remain will of course see Farage's Party also Remaining .

Could Corbyn and whoever becomes Tory leader be banking on a Second Referendum that sees us voting to Leave again as a way to defeat both a Remain coalition (however loose) and the threat of Farage.


Thursday, 30 May 2019

It's not Leanne Wood who should apologise for calling out Euro Far Right.

Believe it or not there were some of us even as we were watching the UK results in last weeks European  elections  and hoping for Plaid do do well,   who were watching for what was happening in other European States.
Concerns that a promised populist surge  of far right parties  were somewhat eased but after months of boasts, bluster and apocalyptic rhetoric about the end of the old Europe, the far right made striking gains in some countries but losses in others.
There were expected strong showings for leading figures of the European far right, such as Hungary’s anti-immigration prime minister, Viktor Orbán, whose Fidesz party took more than half the vote, and Italy’s interior minister, Matteo Salvini, whose Lega was the biggest party. Marine Le Pen’s National Rally also narrowly topped the polls in France.
Salvini said the vote showed “Europe is changing”. Orbán spoke of “a new era in European politics”.

So I cant see why former Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has been criticised for an image she shared on her Facebook account.
Ms Wood shared an image of a figure, dressed in an EU flag, wrestling with a swastika.

It was titled "Canlyniadau heno/results tonight".
While some said the post included a "great picture" which summed up the current political situation, others criticised Ms Wood - a remainer - for using the image in a Facebook post made in the wake of the European election results.
She has responded to those criticising her use of the image by saying it is not about Brexit but a "comment on the rise of the far right and the need for people across Europe to be united if they are to be defeated

David Williams was one of those who responded to her post. "You are saying all who voted leave are far right? You have insulted 53% of Welsh voters and wonder how many votes Plaid would have lost if you posted before vote -probably why you didn't!"

But the very fact that Farage lijks himself with the far right Paries in the European Parliament  is a cause for concern
According to the SUN
NIGEL Farage has reportedly walked out of talks to form a “supergroup” of Eurosceptics in the European Parliament.
He allegedly said he would sign up his Brexit Party’s 29 MEPs — the joint largest single party in Brussels after last week’s elections — only if he became leader. Nigel Farage wanted to lead a Eurosceptic supergroup in Brussels3
Nigel Farage wanted to lead a Eurosceptic supergroup in BrusselsCredit: EPA
A source said Mr Farage told Italy’s Matteo Salvini and France’s Marine Le Pen it would need his “star quality and recognisable face” for their “Europe of Nations” gang to take off.
But Salvini and Le Pen were said to be put off by his demands which included transferring his staff on their current pay.

Salvini and Le Pen are also said to be wary of appointing a leader who may have to leave the Parliament in just four months’ time, if Britain quits the bloc on October 31.
Those  who voted for and  who stood for Farage  Party   limited company may not share  the views of Salvini and Le Pen , and it may be that Farage realises that  if he was to take them into this group and since he has total power in it , he could split his MEP's in less than a month.

Leanne Wood has no need to apologise for anything.

Indeed  it is up to her critics to show  that they do not share the views of those she was aiming at and by their actions prove it.

Unless they regard Salvini,,Le Pen and Hungary's Orbán approvingly.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Should Plaid consider standing aside in Brecon and Radnorshire.

The European Elections are over but clearly the Brexit Party may well not a flash in the Pan and in a weeks time it may well have its first Member of Parliament as Political Betting point out.
"When earlier in the year Peterborough’s former MP was jailed over a speeding points issue a recall petition was initiated which ended with her losing her seat. The campaign to secure the requisite 10% of voters was backed by both the Tories and LAB and the total required was surmounted by a big margin.The by-election takes place a week on Thursday and this has the possible rarity of being in a seat which flips between CON and LAB with majorities in the hundreds. Unlike most recent Westminster by-elections this is a tight marginal.Also after the Euros result yesterday it looks ideal territory for Farage’s Brexit Party. Given the way the two “main” parties are perceived at the moment on Betfair TBP is rated as a 77% chance to succeed.Although the LDs do hold a few council seats in the city this does not look like obvious territory for them although they are campaigning hard on their opposition to Brexit. ChangeUK is giving this one a miss. The LDs main hopes are pinned on the recall petition currently under way in Brecon and Radnor – a seat they held until GE2015.With two elections so close to each other my guess is that turnout will be right down even below last Thursday. You can see voters there being election weary especially when faced with fifteen candidates on the ballot paper.

Peterborough (East of England) result:

Brex: 38.3% (+38.3)
Lab: 17.2% (-7.9)
LDem: 15.4% (+10.9)
Con: 10.9% (-14.7)
Grn: 10.8% (+5.1)
UKIP: 3.6% (-29.9)

It should be noted that the vote splits from last Thursday’s election above are for the borough which is wider than the parliamentary constituency".

Obviously it would have been too soon for any party to pull out in favour of a Remain  party and it would probably have been the Greens who would make the sacrifice anyway and there quite a list of candidates

ConservativePaul Bristow
LabourLisa Forbes
English DemocratStephen Goldspink
BrexitMike Greene
Monster Raving LoonyAlan 'Howling Laud' Hope
UK EU PartyPierre Kirk
No descriptionAndrew Moore
SDPPatrick O'Flynn
Common GoodDick Rodgers
Christian PeoplesTom Rogers
Liberal DemocratBeki Sellick
No descriptionBobby Smith
RenewPeter Ward
GreenJoseph Wells
UKIPJohn Whitby

But there's likely to be another byelection soon in Brecon and Radnorshire

Clearly the Lib Dems should be the favourites  to take the seat 
General Election 2017: Brecon and Radnorshire[9]
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
they also hold the equivalent  Assembly seat

or were before Farage's Party (or  rather limited company )  entered the scene

The Powys result which contains Brecon and Radnorshire in the European election was 

  • Brexit Party: 14,932  35.3%
  • Lib Dems:10,069 23.8%
  • Plaid Cymru: 5.177 12.2%
  • Conservative Party: 3,818 ,9%
  • Labour: 3,199  7.3%
  • Green Party: 2,962 7%
  • Ukip: 1,384  3.3%
  • Change UK: 822 1.9%
Considering Labour and Conservatives  will not withdraw a Plald and Green decision to stand aside  in favour of a Remain Liberal Democrat might stop the seat falling to Farage's limited company.

Whereas the Greens might do so  and claim  the higher ground though in reality it may be for  for financial reasons.

Plaid however face the dilemma of standing aside in favour of a Lib Dem gian and face that party rather than being grateful claiming they are having a revival in Wales  and pointing to the Ceredigion seat as their next gain.

Peterborough  will be a test.  If it is a victory for Farage then Brecon and Radnorshire may well be next .

Which is best for Wales Farage's limited company  or the the Liberal Democrats ?

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

How did Plaid do in 10 target seats/

I saw very little of campaigning on the streets in my part of Wales , and received only the Royal Mail election communications, From Plais , The Brexit Party , Labour and UKip.

Nothing from the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Greens.

As for the Plaid leaflet

Looking at the front page, I counted  30 of the 40 Welsh constituencies listed , which leaves me to assume that Plaid fought a more concentrated campaign in the other 10.

So how did they do in the 10? Not easy to work out because count was done by councils areas.

Conwy Plaid second
Ynys Mon First
Rhondda (second in Rhondda Cynon Taf
Caerphilly  Third in Council Area
Carmarthen East and Dinefwr  second in council area  of Carmarthen but presumably First
Llanelli as above but unknown
Ceredigion First
Arfon (highly likely as part of Gwynedd) First
Dwyfor Meirionnydd as above

Neath Port Talbot Third

Its still a lot better than any of the mainstream parties and there's a possibility that Gwynedd had the highest percentage vote for a winning Remain party.

Taking the Tsunami that hit Wales as a result of the Brexit Party , Plaid will be more elated than the others.

But  it will need to win all ten target seats in the next Assembly Election  (and many more) if it is become the largest party in  Cardiff Bay.

But who know what the future hols for the next two years/

Monday, 27 May 2019

Cymru votes for an Anglo-British Far Right .

 So by far the largest vote in the European Elections in Wales went to an Anglo-British  right wing party that has no policies no  membership and is run like a corporate company.

It is a plot worthy of a Dystopian Science Fiction novel.
Nigel Farage's Brexit Party now has two Welsh MEPs after a sweeping victory in the European elections in Wales, winning in 19 of the 22 council areas.
Plaid Cymru kept its MEP, coming second, with third-placed Labour taking the fourth seat, ahead of the Lib Dems.
  Brexit Party MEP Nathan Gill said it was a "very strong message from Wales - we want our Brexit and we want it now".
The Tories lost their seat and dropped to fifth in the vote, just ahead of the Green Party, UKIP and Change UK.󠁬󠁳󠁿
It means Mr Gill, first elected in 2014 under the UKIP banner, retains his seat in Brussels as a Brexit Party MEP, alongside his new party colleague James Wells.
Mr Gill said only his party was "committed to respecting the vote of the people of Wales" to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum.
Jill Evans stays as Plaid Cymru's MEP and Jackie Jones replaces Derek Vaughan and retains Labour's Welsh seat in the European Parliament.
It is the first time Plaid has beaten the Labour Party in a Wales-wide election, and only the second time Labour has lost such a poll in a century.
Plaid leader Adam Price said the result "shows that the tectonic plates of Welsh politics are shifting".
"Support for the Westminster establishment parties is crumbling and Plaid Cymru is preparing to form the next government of Wales in 2021," he added.
Yes but in what direction/

Vote totals and share

  • Brexit Party - 271,404 - 32.5%
  • Plaid Cymru - 163,928 - 19.6%
  • Labour - 127,833 - 15.3%
  • Lib Dems - 113,885 - 13.6%
  • Conservatives - 54,587 - 6.5%
  • Green - 52,660 - 6.3%
  • UKIP - 27,566 - 3.3%
  • Change UK - 24,332 - 2.9%

Plaid did win in three areas  with Gwynedd producing a totally different result from the rest of Wales see all here.

  • Plaid Cymru: 50.8%
  • Brexit Party: 22.3%
  • Labour: 7.8%
  • Lib Dems: 6.3%
  • Green Party: 5.1%
  • Conservatives: 3.7%
  • Ukip: 2.4%
  • Change UK: 1.4%
But that does not hide the fact that by far the largest numbers of Welsh voters  have decided to plump for Farage's "Party".

Unlike Scotland where he SNP is on course to increase its number of MEPs from two to three in the European elections amid a collapse in support for Scottish Labour.
With 31 of the 32 Scottish council areas having declared their results, the SNP has 37.9% of the votes - up from 29% in the last EU election.
Nigel Farage's Brexit Party has the second most votes and will have one MEP, as will the Lib Dems and Tories.
Labour is fifth with just 9.3% of the votes - down from 26% in 2014.
It means Labour will lose both of its MEPs in Scotland.
The Western Isles will not declare its result until later on Monday, but it is unlikely to affect the overall Scottish result.

True Plaid's second place means that it can argue that it is the main challenger  to Farage's Xenophobic platform and it could mean that Wales is heading in the same way as Scotland in that politics is split between Left leaning  emocraticatc Independistas  and Right Wing Unionist. but we clearly have a long way to go.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

There is no constitutional reason for next PM to call GE2019.

I must admit I do not share the view that because a governing party changes their leader then there should be a General Election to follow.

As Bella Caledonia points out 
Yesterday I tweeted that there’s “only about 70,000 members of the Conservative Party. Basically a dwindling coterie of some of the worst people in Britain are about to choose a candidate from a selection of some of the most repugnant politicians in the UK. That person will be our Prime Minister.”That was untrue.
It turns out the Conservative Party has nearer 120,000 members in the UK (source Laura McAllister & Roger Awan-Scully of Cardiff University).So that means that 0.18% of the UK will soon decide the next Prime Minister of the UK & the fate of the UK.

Of course it is the Monarch  who appoints the Prime MInister (and would probably be the same under a President) the person elected to the leadership of the Tories will have to go Lizzie and ask for permission to form a government

It could be that the election contests so divides the Tories  that he or she may suggest that it is impossible to form a government and either recommend  that Lizzie calls for Jeremy Corbyn to have a go or call a General Election.

Of course we do things differently in the Assembly  and Scottish Parliament where it is the members of that body who approve the next First Minister.

Something that Scottish Tory Leader Ruth Davidson seems to have missed.

But, obviously, fine for a First Minister to be 'installed' in Bute House without a Holyrood election. Eh, Nicola?
Quote Tweet
2. Her departure will not solve the Brexit mess that the Tories have created. Only putting the matter back to the people can do that. Given current circumstances, it also feels deeply wrong for another Tory to be installed in Number 10 without a General Election.
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Some may remember that The Labour party was  faced with deadlock in the Welsh assembly after an informal coalition of Plaid Cymru, the Conservatives and Ukip successfully blocked a vote to reappoint Carwyn Jones as the country’s first minister.
The leader of Plaid Cymru, Leanne Wood, was able to draw level with Jones in the vote on Wednesday, with 29 assembly members each. The nationalist leader received the unlikely support of the Tories and Ukip.
Throwing the process into confusion, the meeting was adjourned until further notice and the parties were expected to begin talks in an attempt to break the stalemate.
Eventually Carwyn Jones became First Minister  but it proved that the leader of the largest party does  not necessarily become become First Minster and the leader of a Coalition does.

The same could be said of Westminster , where we do not seek public approval for a coalition government after an election.

As I have pointed out before  the Prime Minister of such a coalition does not necessarily demand that this would be the leader of the largest party and there would be nothing unconstitutional in a Lab,SNP,Lib Dem, Green  rainbow coalition   that Plaid's Liz Saville Roberts could be UK Prime Minister.

The chances are I admit highly unlikely, but it does show that whoever emerges from the bloodbath of the Tory leadership contest  has no constitutional impairment to becoming Prime Minister and there is no reason he or she should call a General Election.

of course if the contest saw  a rise of the Tories in the polls they man gamble of an election , but unfortunately  that is up to them.