Wales politics

Smaller parties trying to end domination of big four

Could 2011 be the year when Wales' four biggest political parties are forced to make room in the assembly for a smaller rival? BBC Wales political reporter Daniel Davies looks at the smaller parties contesting the election on 5 May.

All but one of the 60 members in the last assembly came from Labour, the Conservatives, the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru.

The other, independent Trish Law, is not standing again this year.

Will the stranglehold of the big four be broken on 5 May?

Many of the smaller parties are concentrating their efforts on the 20 regional seats. Among them are the Wales Green Party which is trying to persuade Labour supporters to use their second vote to go Green. Their leader Jake Griffiths tops the party's regional list in south Wales central where he hopes to become the party's first AM.

The party is offering a Green New Deal it says would create 50,000 jobs in a low-carbon economy. It is also offering a free insulation programme, aiming to insulate 40,000 homes a year.

Since the 2009 European election, the UK Independence Party (Ukip) has had a foothold in Welsh politics, through MEP John Bufton. It would get MPs to do the work of AMs, but Nathan Gill, who is standing in the north Wales region, hopes to be Ukip's first AM.

Although Ukip says Wales is over-governed, it does not want to abolish the assembly. Instead, it argues it should be "renewed" in what it says would be a far less costly form.

The BNP has seven constituency candidates and 20 on regional lists, including Roger Phillips, who is standing in mid and west Wales.

In its manifesto for the assembly election the BNP promises to "champion local communities" and says that migration "erodes the social cohesion of communities".

The Christian Party(Wales) has 20 candidates on the regional lists. Among them is Jeff Green in the mid and west Wales region.

He says the party's main priorities are the health and wealth of Welsh people. In its manifesto, the party says it would "seek to re-establish the Biblical foundations of education" as found in the Bible in the book of Proverbs.

The Welsh Communists, part of the Communist Party of Britain, is standing in all five regions. Its general secretary is Robert Griffiths, a candidate on the south Wales central list.

The party wants an economic plan for Wales based on the extension of cooperative, municipal and public ownership of industries and development land.

Also looking for left-wing votes on regional lists is the Socialist Labour Party, founded by Arthur Scargill.

David Lloyd Jones, who is standing for the party on the north Wales list, says it wants to "bring fairness to the people" in areas such as health, education and farming