The Nuclear Option

If Wales doesn't choose a First Minister by June 20th then we have to go to the polls again. How likely is this to happen?

The Lib Dems look as if they aren’t playing ball with anybody - not for a Lib / Lab pact and not for a Rainbow Coalition either.

The Tories aren’t going to support Labour in any way, shape or form.

Which leaves only one realistic option that can save us from another election, an agreement between Plaid and Labour, be it a formal coalition or an informal agreement to support a minority government.

Backing the loser might prove a very dangerous move for Plaid, one that might be seen as unforgivable by Labour hating Plaid loyalists and those who lent the party their support in order to give Labour a kicking. Supporting Labour in any form will make things difficult for Plaid in next year's council elections, never mind 2011.

If Plaid is going to take the risk of supporting Labour then Plaid has to extract a BIG reward for doing so - from Labour in Cardiff and Labour in Westminster.

These are things that I think should be non negotiable in the circumstances:

  • Passing more functions from Westminster to the Assembly including local policing, business rates and local authority taxation rules.

  • A referendum, supported unequivocally by Labour, within the next 18 months on extended powers, or an amendment to the Government of Wales Act making a referendum unnecessary for the additional powers to be effected by 2011

  • A thorough review of the housing for locals problem.

  • An updated Welsh Language Act and a huge increase in the number of Welsh Medium Schools.

  • Annual environment targets for the next 10 years, not a total long-term target that can't be judged.

  • Free Lap Tops for Bloggers - we deserve them much more than school kids do!

If Labour can't deliver on all of these issues (? other than the last one) then Plaid may as well go for the Nuclear Option and force the discredited Labour Party to re-run the election.


  1. I think referendums are dangerous - they end up being about the popularity or otherwise of the government. No, lets have the powers and forget about Referendums.

    A re-run assembly election would also be very dangerous for the opposition parties, the voters would punish them for forcing them back to the polls. Just look at what happens to candidates who have forced re-run elections in the past - they have been crucified.

  2. A referendum is a horrible idea. The turnout will be pitiful and the people most likely to vote will be retired English UKIP voting Nazis in Colwyn Bay. Large parts of the south Wales Labour Party will also surreptitiously campaign against. Why does Wales have to suffer a referendum every time they change the design of the Assembly stationery?

    We should push for legislative powers without a new referendum, and for devolution of Home Office powers when the department is split up later this year.

  3. Free laptops for bloggers? Yes, as long as free wireless internet access is included.

  4. You need 2/3 of AMs to vote for a fresh election under the Government of Wales Act. Labour have 26 AMs, so it wouldn't hapen unless they backed it - which is highly unlikely

  5. But Amanwy you need 31 votes to nominate a First Minister and if no FM is nominated within 28 days it automatically triggers an election.

  6. Oh, I didn't know that. That'll teach me to be a smart ass. I've been in exile too long.