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Megaphone Diplomacy

Betsan Powys | 14:32 UK time, Friday, 5 June 2009

As I put (rushed) the children to bed last night a car drove past the top of our road ferrying a megaphone-carrying First Minister around his constituency. He was doing his bit to persuade the voters of Cardiff West not to go to their beds without casting their vote.

The response from some, we're told, wasn't good and when Rhodri Morgan gets the cold shoulder in Canton, that is very bad news for Labour.

Labour in Wales are privately admitting that they're facing the real possibility of a double electoral whammy come Sunday night:: Plaid topping the poll and getting more votes than them, while the second of the two seats Labour held in the European Parliament goes to Ukip. Ukip need 50% of the vote of the party that tops the poll + 1.

Losing the seat would hurt. Losing to Plaid would hurt far more and make the hard yards they already face in 2009 even harder.

There are stories around that Labour are trailing Ukip in Pembrokeshire, losing out to both Plaid and Ukip in Llanelli and Carmarthen West.

I wonder whether Rhodri Morgan will be more determined to run for that garden shed to start writing his book or whether the calls on him to stay on until the party can deal with his departure will get louder?


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  • 1. At 3:06pm on 05 Jun 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:

    Its nice to hear that dear old Rhodri taking the trouble to get the vote out for Plaid.

    Thats what I call a true coalition.

    As a traditional Labour I voted for the Jury Team and will continue to do so until we have a Labour party worth voting for.

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  • 2. At 9:34pm on 05 Jun 2009, mrllanelli wrote:

    The early indications from Llanelli are that Plaid has won comfortably, UKIP have at least equalled Labour if not beaten them and the Tories and Liberals have been pushed out - the Liberals much more than the Tories.

    If Labour cannot even come SECOND in Llanelli then it is game, set and match for the General Election.

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  • 3. At 10:47pm on 05 Jun 2009, casnewyddion wrote:

    Possible chance that the Liberals have again pushed Labour hard in Newport East, according to some things I've heard. Probably only second again, but considering it is one of their target seats apparently, it might be worth watching?

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  • 4. At 00:30am on 06 Jun 2009, Bob7291 wrote:

    Looks like Labour has taken a kicking around the country and now the crew are jumping ship. Can the prime minister hold it together, especially now the Tories have made so many gains across England. I suppose it depends on how the media handle it in the coming weeks.

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  • 5. At 08:06am on 06 Jun 2009, mapexx wrote:

    all message...

    Of course Labour can hold it together. One swallow a summer does not make, nor a mid term blip a failed government.

    How many of you miserable carping closet Tories can stand with hand on heart and say the Conservatives, Lib Dem, UKIP, BNP, et al could have done as well under such trying circumstances.

    Keep in mind, the present circumstances were not of Labour's making, yes, it may have been too lax in following the last Tory administrations lassai fair attitude to the money markets, far too slow in reining in the manipulators and speculators, but don't forget, unlike that last administration, have been subjected to a sleaze factor that covers ALL parties.

    Tory sleaze helped bring down Major, and the Tories in 1997, but how can you bring down one party, in this case Labour when all are or were at it?

    No, you people look to your own, if you think this will damage Labour then you are just being totally blinded by the rubbish churned out by the right wing media.

    Serves you all right if this government does collapse, and you get what you do not wish for, a Tory government under that yob gob Cameron.

    For sure you will regret the day, just as you did after Thatcher wrought her magic on you all, especially here in Wales.

    She certainly should have taught you all the folly of greed and personal enhancement.

    It is amazing what short memories you people have.

    But it seems you need further lessons, a case of sado masochism that returns every few years to disrupt the normal run of the mill status quo, when all factors are considered.

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  • 6. At 08:17am on 06 Jun 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    I would be very very cautious about transferring the European Union results to a UK general election. As others will no doubt point out the vote was based on a low turn out. Having said that the trend is clear, Labour is on the downslide and the combined opposition, in various seats, is on the up. Huw Lewis is probably right, the last thing the Labour Party in Wales needs is a leadership contest now. Rhodri has secured his place in history, he undoubtedly is feeling his age at this point (the health scare didn't help) and a gentle retirement is in order, but he may well delay his departure until after the UK general election next year. It will not give much time for his successor to bed down in the job of First Minister but from the point of view of Labour probably the best thing to do.

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  • 7. At 3:48pm on 07 Jun 2009, FiDafydd wrote:

    Re 5

    m ap exx,

    "a mid term blip"!!!!!!

    Then perhaps you should join those of us who wish to have a proper, strong Welsh Parliament that can stand up to the tories at Westminster who could very well be in power for the next 12-16 years. Is that really waht yopu want - a defenceless Welsh nation?

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  • 8. At 3:53pm on 07 Jun 2009, John Henry wrote:

    I'm sorry mapexx, I missed your #5 been a little preoccupied.

    MT wouldn't have rolled over, you might not like her but she would have made mincemeat of Brown.

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  • 9. At 4:47pm on 07 Jun 2009, John Henry wrote:

    FiDafydd, your #7 .....

    ..... you imply by writing "a defenceless Welsh nation" that Westminster is at war with its regional components, nothing could be further from the truth.

    Why, only the other day DC was specific when he said devolution was important and wondered why the Assembly wasn't making a better job of it.

    And, Shadow Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan is very interested in finding out what has been going wrong with the higher education in Wales; and she expects better representation for Tory women in Wales.

    This is just the beginning .....

    What an excellent prospect for the, how long was that, 12 to 16 years, time for Wales to prosper.

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  • 10. At 09:03am on 08 Jun 2009, Lyn David Thomas wrote:

    Would be interested to see what is taking so long for my post to be either rejected or approved, not sure what was offensive in it or why it was referred.

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  • 11. At 10:09pm on 08 Jun 2009, mapexx wrote:

    Message 7...

    Must I keep reminding you NOT to take remarks out of context?

    Whatever it is you are trying to say, bears no relationship to my FULL phrase.

    But to fall onto your message 11....

    The 'collapse' of Labour has 'peaked' far too soon, they have a whole year almost, to recover.

    Unless the right wing media can 'discover' anything else that will impact on Labour alone, they are relatively safe, despite last week.

    Keep in mind, the Labour party were NOT the only ones in the trough game, nor did it create the global economic collapse, both factors that have caused the recent election results. And which will both be ancient history by the time the general election comes.

    The reference to 'a mid term blip', means exactly that, whenever a government has problems, of their making own, or not, half way through the term, they take a hammering.

    In this case however, they did not take a 'hammering' all they were given was a slight kick up the rump, an 'attention getter' in other words, Far more than enough to steer them onto a winning streak for the general election, next summer.

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