Plaid Cymru have selected their candidates for the Mid & West Wales Regional list in the National Assembly elections on May 5th.
Following the final hustings meeting, held at a packed Canolfan Morlan in Aberystwyth (and subject to final ratification by the Party’s National Executive), the list candidates will be:
1/ Simon Thomas – well-known former MP for Ceredigion who lives in Aberystwyth
2/ Angela Elniff-Larsen – an experienced campaigner on rural, community and women’s issues
3/ John Dixon – Chair of Plaid Cymru until recently and the writer of a regular excellent blog
4/ Rhys Davies – a Carmarthenshire County Councillor and Community Development officer in Cwm Gwendraeth
Regional list candidates for the Assembly elections are part of the additional member system of proportional representation whereby the 40 Assembly Members elected in each constituency (for example Elin Jones in Ceredigion) are topped up by a further 20, according to the support each party has received, in order to achieve an Assembly that more truly represents the way the population has voted. In practice only the top one or two from each party’s list has any chance of being elected. The current Assembly Members for the Mid & West Wales region are Plaid Cymru's Nerys Evans, Joyce Watson and Alun Davies for Labour and Nick Bourne for the Conservatives.
Ever since he narrowly lost the Ceredigion Westminster seat in 2005 people have been wondering if/how/when Simon Thomas will get back into public political life. I’ve spoken to several politicians from other parties who have been full of praise for his work in parliament, especially on the green agenda. There’s a strong argument that people of his calibre are wasted at Westminster and that Wales’s most capable politicians need to be in the Assembly. Depending on how the constituency votes go on May 5th, this looks like his way back.
The picture shows Simon with John Dixon after the result was announced today.