Plaid peer claims Tories may drop election change plan

 

At the time, it was billed as a policy "to avoid a disproportionate impact on smaller political parties". But has the UK government got cold feet over plans to allow candidates for the National Assembly for Wales two bites of the electoral cherry?

Seven months ago, the UK government announced: "To avoid a disproportionate impact on smaller political parties, there will be an end to the prohibition on candidates at assembly elections standing in both a constituency and a region at the same time."

The ban was introduced by the last Labour UK government to avoid a repeat of the 2003 assembly election in Clwyd West, where the top four candidates ended up in Cardiff Bay despite three of them losing the first-past-the-post constituency election.

Welsh Secretary David Jones told MPs: "We will end the prohibition on candidates at assembly elections standing in both a constituency and a region at the same time. The Government believes that, in principle, candidates should not be barred from standing in a constituency and a region, and the current prohibition impacts disproportionally on smaller parties."

But for the last couple of weeks rumours have been circulating at Westminster that the Wales Office is rethinking this policy ahead of the publication shortly of the draft Wales Bill on the assembly's electoral arrangements.

Two MPs have approached me in the hope I could shed light on the rumours, which have also reached the House of Lords. Plaid Cymru's former leader Lord Wigley tweeted last night: "Tories to scrap plans for assembly candidates to fight seats/list 2015. Why? Tory fears Labour will reverse it post 2015. Conservatives expect to lose election?" Plaid Cymru are taking a keen interest in the issue, as lifting the ban could allow Lord Wigley's successor-but-two Leanne Wood to fulfil her promise of standing in her home constituency while using the safety net offered by regional lists.

Over to the Wales Office then, where a political source chooses their words carefully: "We have said we would lift the ban. It is still our intention [my itallics] to do so". The reduction in certainty between those two sentences almost suggests what we hacks refer to as "a non-denial denial". We should find out for sure when that draft Wales Bill is published "later in the year".

 
David Cornock Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 83.

    So PC are going to "insist" on immediate granting of taxation varying powers if they win or share power at the next election.
    So what happens if London ignore them. Will Leanne Scweam and scweam and scweam until she is sick ??

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 82.

    ... I came across the following at the "syniadau" blog :

    "So, how should Plaid Cymru respond? Firstly, they should be brave enough to break the cosy consensus around this matter, and argue that it is completely illogical to hold a hugely expensive referendum ( £8m)) on such a minor technicality, and insist that Wales should have tax-varying powers immediately if they win/share power in 2016."
    .

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 81.

    ... I see the greatest danger to democracy in Wales is the level of intolerance created by the separatist agenda who have created, cultivated and used the "anti-Welsh" label as a weapon against any and all opposition to the devolved administration.

    The upshot is that democracy has been diluted because of the failure by politicians to challenge and defend plurality. Nationalism in action.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 80.

    I think that it has happened at constituency level at least once John. Ceredigion, when Plaid lost the seat to the Libdems. When you looked at the figures both the Tory vote and the Labour vote fell with the Lid dem vote increasing by much the same amount as the fall. I thought at the time that there was some tactical "anyone but Plaid " voting. Plaid blamed English students!

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 79.

    ... although Cardiff Bay and Westminster seem to be at odds, is it possible there is a coming together in response to the Scottish separatists.
    Not much is being given away, the largess might be political blue smoke and mirrors, Westminster helping out.
    Should the electorate put historic differences aside and start voting strategically to push Plaid and chums into the very long grass.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 78.

    I would think that the BBC staff for the most part would like to write comments like Mab or Cymro or Ieuan if the truth were known. I expect that they hold us in the same contempt that the late lamented Betsan did. I would caution against thinking that those who question Welsh political authodoxy are in any way a majority. About 30% I would guess...still three times the number of the zealots.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 77.

    76 BBC is regionalised and huge obstacles exist through complex complaints process that gets most people nowhere Perhaps DC could aske the Governors to look into BBC Wales its shroud of secrecy and its unquestionable allegiance to the Y Fro privileged classes BBC Wales should be subject to a Public Enquiry

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 76.

    Now the BBC shows it true colours. A poster on this forum hints that people who dont agree with his views should leave, I point it out and I my post gets removed, Lets be clear, the BBC is the unquestioning mouth piece of the Dear Leader. You only had to see the fawning garbage trotted out last night,

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 75.

    No referendum without more from Barnett seems to be Carwyn's position. No change to Barnett until after the Scottish independence referendum is the Westminster position....or, if you like, too thorny a problem for the present government; leave it to the next one. But surely a referendum will just see all 4 Welsh parties campaigning together for more powers?

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 74.

    ... many nationalists have claimed that "tax raising powers" should not be preceded by a referendum, it should be dealt with exclusively by the Assembly, of course we know that decisions made at the Assembly are agreed outwith the hallowed corridors of Cardiff Bay, e.g. IWA.

    The referendum offered will probably be the anchor or brake on devolution, give time for Carwyn and chums to make good.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 73.

    Maybe Ieuan meant "Put up or shut up"? Or maybe he was saying that if you disagree with a proposal that all the available political parties support, then you should leave Wales. There is a problem as always; Welsh politics is driven by the necessity to "Welsh up" your credentials. This means to never criticise any Welsh Language measure and never say that more powers aren't necessary.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 72.

    ... when ieuan used the expression "fight or flight" it was used incorrectly, he wrote at #44:

    "I thought we'd only get .... ? People have an opportunity of 'fight or flight'"

    People do not chose "fight or flight" it's a stress response, and dangerous to many, I wonder what was meant, is there an underlying suggestion that people might be obliged to flee Wales !

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 71.

    #65 "fight or flight' " Still no explanation of what is meant by this ?
    It is a term long used in English medical, physiological & endocrine literature to describe the nature of the responses to the 'stress hormones', cortisol or corticosterone and adrenaline. Thus 'fight or flight response' First used in 1929, according to the excellent Wikipedia short article.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 70.

    #64 "Goodnight I suspect you have multiple names on here"
    Curiously, No. Same old Boxer, trading only under this brand. Difficult as you may find to believe me, there are quite a few people out there who agree with me. And some of them also write to this blog, as far as I know under single, different names.

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 69.

    @64 "So no more WM schools everything in English.Now that's a form of ethnic cleansing."

    Not one single person asks for this Ieuan....but you trot it out because you cannot argue logically against those people simply asking for freedom of choice. You; free to have your children educated in Welsh Medium only, us in English only. Nothing sinister or unreasonable in that.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 68.

    DC What English speaking people of Wales need to do to get a vice on BBC Wales? Huge issues are happening as in more devolution and forced Welsh language in primary education, public jobs for Welsh speakers only etc but the majority is silenced by the Welsh media We need democracy and transparency in Wales and perhaps BBC will find the courage to change and bring back democracy to Wales!?

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 67.

    One thing that I notice about this forum is the character of the Culture and Langauge Nationalists that inhabit it. If I was to name one trait that stands out it would be sneering arrogance, this coupled inevitably with a habit of "putting down" anyone who disagrees with them.

    Ultimately you can guarantee that they will, with complete certainty, declare that the opposition is all one person!

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 66.

    ieuan, please. no one wants to stop WM schools, what you wont is what you wish.

    What the English speaking majority wants, is to be free of Welsh language compulsionists!!!! Rhodri Morgan and Carwyn Jones's types!!! Isn't it!!!

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 65.

    Re M61; "'fight or flight' " Still no explanation of what is meant by this ?
    Sinister..

  • rate this
    -5

    Comment number 64.

    63
    So no more WM schools everything in English.Now that's a form of ethnic cleansing. Goodnight I suspect you have multiple names on here.

 

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