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Were you still up for ..?

Betsan Powys | 21:53 UK time, Thursday, 5 May 2011

I'll let you fill in the blanks as the night goes on.

I'm going to be talking, listening, then talking some more for the next 24 hours - but if you want to join in the conversation tonight and into the early hours, then please do head here.

See you on the other side.


  • Comment number 1.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    Can somebody please explain something to me?

    Here in Brecon and Radnorshire, Kirsty Williams won by a massively reduced majority. She lost 9.2 per cent of the vote. The Tories also lost votes (although not nearly as many), dropping 0.3 per cent.

    In contrast, Labour nearly doubled its share of the vote, which shot up from 8.7 per cent to 16.9 per cent. By a strange quirk of statistics (I'm told) the number of votes the party gained was exactly equal to the number that Kirsty lost.

    But the BBC news website is calling the result a 4.5 per cent swing from Liberal Democrat to Conservative. How can the Conservatives have gained from the Lib Dems' losses, when they also lost ground? Why isn't the BBC recording a swing towards Labour, who made the greatest gains?

    It may be that my lack of campaigning experience is showing but I really would like to know the answer to this one.

  • Comment number 3.

    A tough night for Plaid in Wales and in spectacular contrast to the SNP's fortunes in Scotland. The SNP benefits from being a broader church than Plaid, and is able to attract voters from a wider political spectrum rather than slugging it out for a share of the centre-left to hard left. The SNP was also able top fight a positive campaign based on achievements during its minority administration. Plenty of lessons here.

    Well done Elin for managing to ensure that politics prevailed over fear in Ceredigion and welcome back Simon Thomas. He was by all accounts a fine MP, one that enhanced the reputation of the House of Commons as a whole and he is badly needed in Cardiff.

  • Comment number 4.

    ... waking to the news that Caerphilly rejected Plaid's Ron Davies was a little like waking Christmas morning, well done Jeff Cuthbert, thank you Santa ...

  • Comment number 5.

    @Mike: Try this:

  • Comment number 6.

    At 05:08am 6th May 2011, Mike Sivier wrote:

    “Can somebody please explain something to me? ......... Why isn't the BBC recording a swing towards Labour, who made the greatest gains?”

    They’re wrong, you’re right. Simplistic computer algorithm.

  • Comment number 7.

    no 3 wrote:

    "The SNP benefits from being a broader church than Plaid"

    indeed it does.... but have you spotted the elephant in the room ;)

  • Comment number 8.

    A great pity about Nick Bourne. He has come a long way since 1997-99 and had a lot to offer to the Assembly as a whole. I doubt if we have seen the last of him.

  • Comment number 9.

    7. At 10:07am 6th May 2011, comeoffit wrote:

    "........ indeed it does.... but have you spotted the elephant in the room ;)”

    No, please point it out.

  • Comment number 10.

    #7 who is the elephant in the room - for SNP or Plaid did you mean, I'm intrigued! ;)

    Listening to coverage this morning, cannot help but contrast the fortunes of SNP with that of Plaid. The personality issue got to be a big factor - followed Scottish politics fleetingly when was living up there, and love/loathe him Salmond is a political biggy. More significantly though, well and truly the face associated with the SNP. On the other hand, with Plaid over the course of the last 2 elections (UK + Assembly), I have never quite had the feeling of there being sole party control? Elfin Llwyd is a big contributor, Ieuan Wyn Jones likewise, Helen Mary Jones comes across as confident: conveys to me though that the is party lacking a distinct 'face' as per SNP and Salmond.

    This staggered result time lag thing is great, political equivalent of a sporting time out: time to give the team a barracking, let the pundits pore over the stats etc etc....

  • Comment number 11.


    Yep, parties need to concentrate on a sound-bitey focus and a face these days. A pity, but that is how things are.

  • Comment number 12.

    Is 7 referring to language?

  • Comment number 13.

    Isn't the elephant in the room the Welsh Language?
    Scotland has no divisive language to drag the nationalist vote down.
    I wrote to one of Plaid's AM/MP's some years ago and suggested to him that without the issue of the language, Plaid could have a much bigger following.
    He replied that it was against his principles to let it take a lesser role.
    I imagine there are quite a few who have had a good chew on their "principles" with their breakfast today.
    The people of Wales has shown that they do not want a welsh speaking, independent Wales.And whatever new powers have been gained, they do not want Plaid making new Laws.
    In all, it is a good, good day for Wales..

  • Comment number 14.


  • Comment number 15.

    Being somewhat of a political voyeur - interested but not sufficiently engaged by any one political party - I didn't exercise my right to vote yesterday. But looking at the results today I'm fascinated from an impartial political analysis / historical perspective due to seeming uniqueness. I say this because, party politics aside, few will argue that a clear body of evidence shows that over the last 12 years standards in public services (e.g. education and NHS) and the state of the economy have declined quite dramatically in Wales (relative to the rest of UK and beyond). Yet the leading party in government during that period is in effect being endorsed for this failure. Surely this is exceptionally unusual - for example, a decline in the economy saw last UK Labour Government ousted from power; before that, lacklustre performance by a longstanding Conservative Government saw it voted out.

    What does this mean?! A Welsh electorate quite content with poor government and sub-standard public services? Or a Welsh electorate that largely doesn't understand what devolution is and exactly what they're voting for? Either way, I don't think it will be long before the eyes of the outside World start looking in on what a strange political state our country is in! Of course there are those that might say this is too light-hearted an analysis and that one should be fighting for change. But is there an alternative? And, more to the point, if there were, would the Welsh electorate be able to distinguish what it was and vote for it?

    Interesting times!

  • Comment number 16.

    How about complete and total independence for Wales and the Welsh. Raise own taxes to pay for their politicians. No tedious and expensive journeys to Westminster for Welsh representatives to fight for laws that the Welsh want.

    Complete and total independent freedom for the Welsh to raise their own taxes for their own principles. No interference from Westminster. No Barnett formula - own Health Service, own housing decisions etc., etc., raised from own taxes and no subsidies from Westminster. Now, that would be true freedom!

    The Welsh have more to gain from EU subsidies and be cut free from English legislation and interference from English Parliament. Go for it Wales - total independence. Freedom!

  • Comment number 17.

    Even though Ron Davies did not make it, the election system he insisted on in office all that time ago has proved its particular worth in preventing Labour from winning an outright majority. It is easy to forget that in those heady first days of devolution, all the talk was of concensus and new styles of politics so that system was applauded. How quickly all that good spirit evaporated!

    30 seats is an unusually strong result for any Party - I hope Carwyn has the bottle to govern alone so that all the jobs go to deserving Labourites. He should not forget that the Blaenau Gwent saga started with the removal of Peter Law from Cabinet to satisfy the coalition demands of Mike German....

  • Comment number 18.

    ellie whoever makes the new laws that the senedd aquired following the successful referendum result the the important thing to remember is that these laws will be welsh laws made by democratically elected welsh politicians - the party that the respective AMs come from s irrelevant! The senedd has not in any way become more british after these results.......its more a case that all the other parties have become more welsh......

  • Comment number 19.

    @ read animal farm

    Haven't you grasped anything from today's result? Wales doesn't want independence! Labour trounced everybody and the Conservative Party (do they come any more unionist) are now by far the second party in Wales (even more so if you look at the recent european and general election results).

    There is absolutely NO apetite for independence! How much more proof do you need?! Best go put your efforts towards forming the Gwynedd Independence Party! Now there's a nice acronym :)

  • Comment number 20.

    I assume 16 is some sort of complicated joke.

    That's certainly how it reads. Perhaps a better punchline is all that is missing.

  • Comment number 21.


    'Absolutely no appetite for independence'? By definition, that is materially in error.

  • Comment number 22.

    Quite. Perhaps it would be wiser to suggest there is very, very little appetite for independence in Wales and that this has had a material impact on the party for which the primary raison d'être is independence.

    Actually one thing us political nerds have forgotten to weigh in the balance is that around 2007 (Plaid's purple patch) Welsh culture was enjoying a surge internationally. Grand Slams, major successes on the music scene, major national TV series coming from Wales, high profile Welsh speakers and Welsh origin stars being wooed by international media... all this brought a wave of national euphoria, buoyed by an effective welsh language campaign driven by the BBC and others.

    Now, the party is over. Cash feeding cultural promotion has dried up and the international love affair with Wales has cooled. We look around us and see a nation struggling to compete, riven with division and suspicion and once again the age old inferiority complex rears its head. We look for culprits and, like the heavy headed reveller eyes the empty bottle of wine lying in the corner next morning, we blame the very thing that fed the party...

    We confused national pride with nationalism for a moment there. Silly us.

    Now, normal service resumes. Let's get on a get the economy going and spend less time fretting about who's welsher than whom.

  • Comment number 23.

    6. Glyndo

    Thanks for that. I wouldn't accuse the BBC of bias but sometimes it seems the corporation's people don't think about what they're saying!

  • Comment number 24.

    Never mind Welsh nationalists your day will come ,the unionists only concern is their parties gravy train to london ,Wales as always comes second to them .

    Thats why they talk down Wales

    Labour`s legacy to Wales

    "we canna de it " attitude

    Poverty and dependency.

    keep a lid on Welsh asperations.

    talk down Wales.

  • Comment number 25.

    Ben at 22 sums up the backward provincial mindset that holds Wales back.

    Do people like these hate Wales?

  • Comment number 26.

    8. At 10:20am 6th May 2011, WelshKnot wrote:
    A great pity about Nick Bourne. He has come a long way since 1997-99 and had a lot to offer to the Assembly as a whole. I doubt if we have seen the last of him

    Maybe he should have had the bottle to stand in a constituency and let people actually vote on him, rather than hope his party did badly enough for to get him in via the back door

  • Comment number 27.

    Could the Scottish vote bring Welsh Independence closer? If Scotland goes it alone the change of a Labour Government in Westminster would be slight. Labour needs its Scottish MP's. With the Tory party cutting Welsh MP's from 40 to 30 that can only hinder the change of a Labour Government further.

    Wales is a Socialist country and the thought of years of Tory government could mean that Wales would vote for Independence from Conservative England.

    I have never voted Plaid Cymru and never will but a Independent Socialist Wales without the language hang up? Well I might vote for that.

  • Comment number 28.

    25. No.

    27. I agree with the sentiment. However Wales is not a socialist country.

    Which is a saving grace.


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