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In the Blue Cafe

Betsan Powys | 12:32 UK time, Monday, 26 April 2010

It may be called "The Blue Cafe" but the early-risers in the cafe just off Guildhall Square in Carmarthen were still undecided where their vote will go, still as confused as the rest of us who are paid to try and work out what will happen on May 6th.

Yes Nick Clegg, they thought, had definitely come out of the tv debates best but just because he'd been better than they'd thought he'd be on telly didn't mean he'd be picking up their votes. But boy it was time for a change, though if big cuts were on the way - and a quick read of today's State of the Nation report from the Centre for Economic and Business Research will leave you in no doubt at all about that - then maybe Gordon Brown was the one who'd be the safest pair of hands. Then again, they weren't sure it would matter how they voted. It would be fairer if there were a system where every vote counted.

What about Plaid? Oh yes, possibly ... but truth be told? They liked things about each party, disliked things about each party. There wasn't one who got it right so there wasn't one they could plump for. You got the impression that in the past at least, there'd been an obvious choice. Not any more; the cut and paste generation couldn't see why there couldn't be a system that allowed them to cut and paste politics in a way that works for them.

Will the political map of Wales look like a cut and paste job after May 6th? It might well.

Between the coffee and toast Professor Richard Wyn Jones of the Governance Centre in Cardiff University sunk his teeth into comparisons with the 1983 campaign and election.

Their share of the vote yielded only a handful of seats but it handed the Conservatives their highest ever number of seats in Wales. If that chapter in history is repeated - if Labour are truly running third as polls now seem to suggest - then not only will the map be multi-coloured and parliament hung. The whole future direction of the Labour party will be hanging in the balance too.

But if Mr Cameron's plans to hit the next tier of target seats backfires and if he finds that he really hadn't sealed the deal in the first lot yet - and there's plenty of evidence to suggest he might want to pause and consider that thought - then Labour will come through far, far less scathed than you might think.

What way do they think it's going? "I'm perplexed" said one Welsh Labour figure who was fighting elections when I was learning about them in school. He doesn't know. He genuinely doesn't know. His party doesn't know. Their number one hope? That you don't know either and that sometime before a week Thursday it'll strike you that if you were truly ready for change, you ought surely to know exactly what you wanted by now.


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