Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Signing Off for this campaign

Phew. I am ready to drop, but have two more hard days slog in me.

This has been the first national campaign I have been heavily involved in. It has been a lovely experience and has taught me alot about so many different aspect of things. I am going to stop blogging from here on in, primarily because I won't be around to blog, but also I am not offering my opinion post-results, good or bad and my words be used by others for twisted means. I will leave you with some observations;

The Welsh Electorate are still not receiving a Welsh signal

Tonight the Scottish leaders debate is being shown at peak viewing time - 830-10p. In Wales we have had debates all after 1030. Is it any wonder that so little is known about devolved politics?

The time has come to actively campaign against the BBC's current malaise. Far more has to be done to federalise the BBC. We have hours and hours of AV referendum, while the Welsh General election has not featured.

This has led to a campaign about other things and places

Any one of the parties could get 100% of the vote in this election and it won't make a blind bit of difference to the ConDems in London. Labour's unwillingness to give us Scottish style powers during their 13 years in power has left the Welsh Government unable to 'be the alternative' that Labour are now arguing they can be. Most of the worst cuts will be felt in the non-devolved areas - cuts promised by Labour if they won in Westminster anyway.

Labour have been allowed to get away with this because they know the Welsh media simply does not have the power to sway opinion.

2011 will be Labour's easiest 'opposition' year

The fact is that this so soon after a General Election and with the inherent lack of reach of the Welsh media, people are rewarding Labour for little more than not being the party bringing in the cuts they all promised. This will be temporary. If the polls are correct they will remain in power in Cardiff Bay and eventually they will have to appear like a potential Government in Westminster.

If Ron Davies wins in Caerphilly we could see a Valley's revolution

I don't like to comment on a campaign I am so involved in, despite what others may say, it is very difficult to gauge the result of close seats. However, I am confident Caerphilly is going right down to the wire and we are in it to win it.

If we can win Caerphilly, it could act as a lightning rod for a Plaid revolution in the South East.

Plaid need to be measured post-election

Hand on heart, it's been a pretty static campaign in general. We have hardly seen any deviation in the polls, it's been stop start with the holidays, the Royal Wedding etc. It's been very difficult for Plaid to change the political tide. Many will offer reasons as to where we went right and where we went wrong, but I believe we have been unlucky in that the focus is still on London. While we can work the ground war in seats, the air war in the media (that swings people we cannot reach) is being fought in a different place.

I also think it would be unrealistic to measure the 'being in Government' factor at this election. Labour's poll rating is not because of One Wales, it is because they are given equal UK media time to oppose the Tory Cuts.

Given this, I hope that we don't get carried away either way. From what I understanding the margin between 12 or 15 seats was quite small and even holiding our vote might not bring us the same seats.

I believe we have alot to be positive about

We probably all wish there was more movement's in polls during this campaign, but ultimately I believe Plaid are winning the war. I believe this election will feature famous victories, down to the wire races and new areas of Growth.

All that's left is the results.


  1. Good Shout on the campaign :) I agree with a new era in the valleys, but we need to work now ond changing the media specturm in Wales, becuase labour thrive off it being a party disinterested in Wales and the best future for Wales, leaching of a British press is ultimately supreme for them. We as plaid activists need to change this and oust Labour once and for all.

  2. The BBC's Vaughan Roderick has suggested that perhaps YouGov's methodology has been underestimating Plaid and overestimating Labour, suggesting that almost all Labour's new support represents disenfranchised Lib Dems alone rather than any national Plaid > Lab trend.

    Much as we all like to pretend the Lib Dems are irrelevant in Wales, the fact is they got 15% of the vote or so in each Assembly election so far; their voters are a significant part and by switching to Labour they have given them a shot at a majority they would never otherwise have had. Whether or not they stay with Labour will have far-reaching implications.

    I think at least some of them should be able to be persuaded to support Plaid in the future however. Last night I was at a pub with about 7 students, all of whom pretty universally agreed that they had been torn between Plaid and the Liberals in the past, deciding on Plaid for this election. We should work to make Plaid Cymru the natural home for the anti-Labour left vote.

    Excellent post though Plaid Panteg; hope you're right about Caerphilly!

  3. This is a Good post, particularly on the post-result aftermath.

    People need to be rational and calm, because a crisis of confidence and existential questioning only helps their opponents. The margin between getting 12 seats and 15 seats, the margin of creating One Wales and the referendum, was as you say a handful of votes nationally.

    In historic terms Plaid is hugely influential on the political agenda. Any setback has to be seen as temporary, not existential. Plaid is still not seen as being as established as the London parties- alot of people aren't aware Plaid was in government, but I know amongst people I associate with the perception of the party is already dramatically different to that of previous years.

    Commentators in the Welsh media, desperate for summer stories, will try and exploit any reversals in Plaid to create crisis stories so calm, rational blog posts will be important in putting across an alternative and realistic case. Not rising to the bait will be important.

  4. Thanks guys all good comments.

    It's probably a bit 'meh' to say that it's proving difficult to reach voters outside of on the ground campaigning, but I do think alot of things holding Plaid back at this election are not because of Plaid's strategy.

    We have produced the only memorable idea of the campaign with 'Build for Wales' and I haven't had any bad words about Plaid in Torfaen.

    Sometimes the tide is just not with you...but Ramblings is right, that won't be forever.