Most of the leadership futures comments following the collapse of the Rainbow have concentrated on the very short future as party leader that Mike German has. But what are the prospects for Ieuan Wyn Jones?
Ieuan Wyn's strength is always claimed to be his ability to wrangle, his ability to do the backroom deal, his Machiavellian ability to plan and conspire. Rhodri Morgan's election as first minister today has shown the limit of Ieuan's wrangling ability, all his wheeler-dealing has ended in failure. On May the 4th he was in a position to get a deal out of Labour or to get a deal out of the other opposition parties. He has ended up with neither.
He has put Plaid in the unsavoury position of being seen as willing to work with the Hairy Arsed Tory Monster with nothing but the odium of that willingness to show for it. A coalition with the Tories that delivered the goods would have provided some buffer from the Tory lover jibe that Labour is sure to make (and make often), but without a single Plaid-Tory policy passed for the benefit of the people, the party is left defenceless against such Labour jibes.
The Rainbow Rebels have also shown IWJ's inability to maintain party discipline, which is made more serious by who those rebels were: The deputy party president, the party's A star election winning candidate and two new AM's who's first outing in the Bay was an act of rebellion against his leadership.
The election of Rhodri Morgan, the hopes raised by IWJ that have since been dashed and the internal disquiet must, surely, mean that Ieuan's days as Plaid's Assembly leader are numbered.