07/05/2010

Ceredigion – the stark facts

I don’t suppose anyone reading this blog needs to be told the election result in Ceredigion. There are some pretty stark facts in it for all the losing parties and it's probably best to face them:

* It was the best Lib Dem result in Ceredigion ever in terms of proportion of the vote (50%) and the highest in numbers of votes since 1983.

* It was the biggest margin of victory in the constituency since 1959.

* It was Plaid Cymru’s lowest proportion of the vote since 1987, i.e. since the election before Cynog Dafis’s historic 1992 win when he more than doubled his vote (could be grounds for hope there then).

* It was the worst Conservative performance since 1974

* It was the worst ever result for Labour in Ceredigion

* It was the worst Green result since the first time they stood here in 1983 and the first time they’ve ever come as low as sixth.

Sobering stuff. More reflections to follow.

Meanwhile, Plaid's candidate, Penri James, who demonstrated at the count that he was a good loser, has offered this statement:

"I’ve thoroughly enjoyed meeting the people of Ceredigion on the doorstep during the election campaign and I thank them for their support. I also congratulate Mark Williams on his re-election.

“It was always going to be difficult as a first-time candidate in Ceredigion. However, with Plaid Cymru excluded from the TV Leaders’ Debates, it was a particularly challenging election for the party throughout Wales.

“I’d like to thank the many Plaid Cymru members and volunteers for their dedication and hard work on our enthusiastic and professional campaign, which has laid firm foundations for future elections”.

10 comments:

  1. We're just back, and judging from the posters Plaid was coasting it! The TV debates have a lot to answer for in wales.

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  2. Iwan RhysMay 08, 2010

    As the BBC believe that only party leaders with any slim hope of leading the country should participate in national live televised debates, I'm assuming only Carwyn Jones, Ieuan Wyn Jones and Nick Bourne will be taking part in televised debates leading up to the Welsh Assembly Elections next year.

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  3. AnonymousMay 08, 2010

    In fairness, the Libs will be standing in all Welsh seats. However, you may well ask the significance of UK politicians visiting their 'Welsh region' parties and getting media publicity.

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  4. AnonymousMay 08, 2010

    Did Lib Dems win so spectacularly because of:
    Student vote?
    Partisan support by Cambrian News?
    Low profile of Plaid candidate?

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  5. AnonymousMay 08, 2010

    You certainly can't put it down to the TV Debates. If you do, then this is apparently the only seat in the country with a tangible Clegg-mania.

    And I think all of the things mentioned above by anonymous went into their win, as well as the "personal vote" factor and the incumbency factor.

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  6. AnonymousMay 08, 2010

    A significant part of the LibDem vote in Ceredigion was essentially an anti-Plaid vote. That's obvious. I also believe there's a latent anti-Welsh feeling among some of their voters. Or, to put another way, a feeling that Ceredigion shouldn't be 'too Welsh'.

    For me as a Welsh-speaker it really does feel that people in the county have told me 'know your place Welshie'.


    Aber boy

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  7. AnonymousMay 08, 2010

    I'm still in shock but should the fact that he lost his council seat have prepared us for something like this.

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  8. AnonymousMay 08, 2010

    I believe this result has very little to do with the TV debates. The factors impacting the result for me as an outsider dissapointed with the Plaid result in a number of seats are:

    1) Impact of the student vote. Need to see some analysis if this impact but personal belief is that it cannot be right that people living in the constituency for 3 years say can choose who should be the MP for the others for 5!
    2) Quality of the Plaid candidates. I know very little about Penri, but his performance myst be looked at.
    3) Campaign quality. Look I have been part of the campaign in another area and we all work really hard. I question however whether we need to step up and move to the future in terms of our tactics and use of media.
    4) Broader issuer with Plaid leadership. Can any party surrvive under 3 different leaders?
    5) Making Plaid relevant in London elections. We should be careful here not to ignore the other issues and get another bloody nose next year.
    6) Getting our policy messages right. Nothing wrong with our core beliefs but there are better ways to communicate them.

    So there we go. What was going to be a quick response turns into a bit of a long on! Perhaps I should get a blog of my own!

    Still Plaid forever.

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  9. AnonymousMay 09, 2010

    For me (who voted Plaid) I thought that the website was absolutely awful. I wanted to find out about Plaid policies - the Libs were easy to find and listed simply. A lot of people I know went to look at Elin Jones' website...It didn't work. Everything looked last minute.

    Also there had been a lot of talk about local Plaid councilors around certain parts of Aber not turning up to meetings and so on, and the whole Badger thing.

    Basically, the only way out of this is for Plaid in Ceredigion, councilors etc to have a lot of input into local politics and basically be everywhere and attend everything, or they'll be out if the Libs get their act together.

    Personally I like the idea of lobbying (even when out of power), we only have to look at the way that Friends of the Earth use websites/facebook and lobby the government. Also ally with groups like Froends of the Earth, support campaigns, and local events.

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  10. AnonymousMay 10, 2010

    The leaders' debates did pay an enormous part in the vote in this constituency. It is clear that many voters who had thought of supporting the Lib-Dems in many constituencies changed their minds - for whatever reason - at the veryu last minute, opting for one of the two parties who were most likely to form the next government. They did not have that choice in Ceredigion, that vote had nowhere to go.

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