Others have been trying to predict the results of the May elections, so I have decided to join in the fun.
The Independent Candidates. Loses 1 (1)
I foresee John Mareck keeping his seat in Wrexham but Trish Law losing hers in Blaenau Gwent. I don't think that Ron Davies in Caerphilly or People's Voice in Torfaen have a hope of winning.
Polish people are fairly new to the concept of democracy, so new that they value the right to vote and are highly likely to use their vote. There is a strong Polish community in Wrexham and John Mareck has been vigorously courting its vote. The Polish vote may be enough to save him by the seat of his pants. Trish Law has proved herself to be an acceptable constituency AM, but she faces two problems in May. Firstly that Plaid, Conservative and Lib Dem voters who have lent her and her late husband their votes are likely to return to their traditional folds. Secondly, and more importantly, the bad publicity given to Dai Davies' record in Westminster is going to send many of Mrs Law's old supporters back to Labour
The Liberal Democrats. Gains 2 (8)
I can't see the Lib Dems winning any additional constituency seats. The antics of the local MP may actually put Montgomeryshire within the grasp of the Conservatives, but I suspect that Mick Bates will scrape his way back to the Senedd by the skin of his teeth. The Lib Dems have a theoretical chance of winning up to four new list seats if the Tories do extremely well in the elections, but I am going to compromise and give them just two of the four
The Conservative Party. Gains 1 (12)
This is the most difficult party to forecast. At the moment 10 of the Tories' 11 seats are list based. There is no doubt, that in May, the party will win many more constituency seats. The difficulty arises from trying to forecast the effects that wining constituencies will have on current list member numbers.
If they did exceptionally well nine constituencies are within the Tories' grasp and they could win them all and still have four list seats, which would give them a total of a measly 13 seats.
If the Conservatives won an extra 8 constituencies it would be a fantastic result for them, a fantastic result that would not be reflected in the number of seats won. I doubt that the Conservatives will win all of their target seats (few parties do) some will be lost by a hairs breadth. Whatever the result the Conservatives are going to lose two list seats to Labour. I foresee an "academically" brilliant election night for the Tories, but a "practically" bad one with only one extra Assembly seat as a reward for their successes.
Plaid Cymru Gains 7 (19)
I can't see Plaid losing any of its constituency seats (although keeping Ynys Môn from the Tories will be tight). Aberconwy is within Plaid's grasp, but I tend to think that the Tories will have it; gaining Wigley on the list will be a good enough consolation prize for most Plaid supporters in losing Gareth Jones in the constituency. Plaid will win in Llanelli, but as happened in 1999 this will result in a list seat for Labour at the Tories expense. Plaid Cymru is probably the only party that can increase the number of both list and constituency seats, I suspect that this will happen. Cwm Cynnon, Caerphilly and another two valleys seats will be won by Plaid, they will also win two extra list seats. My prediction is 19 seats for Plaid
The Labour Party Loses 9 (20)
Its going to be a bad night for Labour, but as I've allready forcast who will win 40 of the seats, all that is needed is a sum to prdict Labour's result 60-40 = 20
So here is the MOF's prediction:
Labour 20; Plaid Cymru 19; Conservatives 12; Lib Dems 8; Independents 1.
Cymraeg Hen Rech Flin: Proffwydo Canlyniadau Mai