Saturday, 6 July 2019

Will the Plaid Lib-Dem pact bear future fruits?

The news that Plaid Cymru has done a deal with the Lib Dems to not field a candidate in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election and instead endorse Lib Dem candidate Jane Dodds does not come as a surprise though the fact that there has nor been an outcry from  grassroots activist does.

Plaid's leader Adam Price signalled this could be the start of "a wider vision of having a remain alliance".

The Green Party had already said it will not field a candidate to "maximise the chances" of the remain-backing candidate beating the Conservative Party and the threat of the Brexit Party.

Plaid have never saved their deposit for decades  (if ever)  and indeed  one can wonder if even all their voters were to "lend" their vote would it make a difference.

As John Davies points out over at Borthlas points out 

"Personally, I’m not sure how much difference it will make. Doing the mathematics of looking at how people voted in the past and adding up the votes for ‘remain’ and ‘leave’ in a way which gives a majority for a particular outcome is easy enough to do; but mathematical theory isn’t the same thing as electoral fact. It is by no means certain that people who support a party will vote for a different party just because ‘their’ party asks them to. And when a party has such a low vote in a constituency as Plaid does in Brecon and Radnor, the probability is that a higher proportion of those voters are committed to the party’s fundamental aim than is the case where the party enjoys much wider support. That means that asking them to vote for a party fiercely opposed to the stated aims of ‘their’ party may turn out to be counterproductive".
Political betting points out that
"This looks like a three-way fight between the LDs, the Tories, for whom Mr Davies is he standing, and the Brexit party which is hoping to carry on the momentum created at the Euro elections and then followed up with a excellent second place in the Peterborough by-election last month.Labour, which got 17.7% at GE2017 are likely to be squeezed in the manner that the Lib Dems have in the past proved themselves able to do in by-elections when they can establish themselves as the main party to take on the Tories. Remember what happened at Richmond Park in December 2017 when the LAB vote was fewer than the Labour Party membership in the constituency?The main factor that could impact on the bet is a good showing by the Brexit party. The question here is how much will it put into the constituency. Farage is understood to have carried out his own Survation poll and has declared that the LDs will win".

So it may be that it will be Labour voters who make the difference

At the last election they had a respectable vote and even at its height Ukip only got less than 10%.

General election 2017: Brecon and Radnorshire[10]
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

The seat way back in the 70's was a Tory-Labour  marginal which the latter lost in 1979.

Indeed  Labour could have been the main challengers today but at the height of the SDP- Liberal Alliance it wa s won by Richard Livsey who earned the unfortunate title of the most boring voice in the commons.

1985 Brecon and Radnor by-election[1]
LiberalRichard Livsey13,75335.8+11.4
LabourFrederick Willey13,19434.4+9.4
ConservativeChris Butler10,63127.7−20.5
Plaid CymruJanet Davies4351.1−0.6
Monster Raving LoonyScreaming Lord Sutch2020.5N/A
One Nation ConservativeRoger Everest1540.4N/A
IndependentAndre C.L. Genillard430.1N/A
Registered electors48,371
Liberal gain from ConservativeSwing+16.0

The seat moved between the Liberals and Tories  for a number of election, but began to look like a Lib-Dem safe bet, until it was lost in the Lib Dem wipe out in 2010.

Perhaps when it comes to Plaid decision not to stand in a seat where it might make no difference, will only come out if there  are further deals.

One wonders if this involves the Liberal Democrats   doing their own opinion poll in Ceredigion and their chances of unseating Plaid's Ben Lake who has proved to be a popular MP. 

Would they stand down for the chance  of a Plaid  pact giving them Montgomeryshire, and  Cardiff Central we can only wait and see.


1 comment:

Gwyn Isaac said...

In Ceregigion, it depends when the next election is. If it is during the academic year, say next October, then the University student vote could be decisive in who the next MP there is. Historically, it is a Liberal seat with Cynog Davis and the current Plaid MP minding the shop, as it were.