Bad Show for Plaid?

Because few county council wards have a proper general election type competition with all the main parties contesting each seat, local elections are not a real test of what might happen in a general election to either Westminster or the Bay. The best indicator isn't the votes cast, but the numbers of candidates that a party can persuade to stand in each county.

In this respect Plaid Cymru seems to have been weekened by the coalition with Labour rather than strengthened. Apparently there will be fifty fewer Plaid candidates standing this year than there were last time the Welsh counties went to the polls.

It's not just fifty fewer candidates though. In Gwynedd, Ynys Mon, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire (Plaid's heartlands) Plaid is boasting that it is standing more candidates than ever before. So if Plaid is 50 candidates down on 2004, overall, but is competing in more seats than ever in its heartlands, there is a strong indication that the party isn't doing too well outside the Welsh Speaking West.

If Plaid really wants to challenge Labour as an alternative "lead party" in Welsh politics, it must fly the flag throughout Wales. Shrinkage in party candidate numbers outside the western heartland doesn’t auger well! Just one candidate in the whole of Blaenau Gwent, for example, (same number as the BNP)!!!!

If Plaid wants to be serious about being considered as the "Party of Wales" and the biggest Assembly party in 2011, it should have candidates, if not in all Welsh wards, in at least a majority of wards for each council.


  1. There's no party structure in the south Alwyn. Local branches are very weak, BG used to have a core of activists as did Merthyr. That's gone. If you want a strong national party as you know the strength comes from the roots.
    Plaid has lost so much in the valleys and the current AMs don't seem to be doing much out side of their own patches. I have a neighbour who once was strong Plaid, even to being a candidate, she has just washed her hands of the party and says, no one wants to know why. Plaid will have a shock outside their heartland I am sure.

  2. I heard Bethan Jenkins used to be part of the Merthyr branch. She obviously impressed and they 'gave' her a seat in the West!? She and similar people should fight to invigorate the party where she emanates from.

  3. interesting stuff Alwyn, Labour must be licking their lips at the prospect of Paid falling flat on its face in the Valleys and the South generally.

    At least it will make their own poor results look respectable come May 2nd.

  4. Do not anticipate the outcome in May.
    Labour will suffer heavy losses, and the gainers will be those who show that they care for the local communities.
    Plaid will do exceedingly well, where its candidates are standing, and the Independents and Conservatives in other areas. Lib Dems will have a poor showing.

  5. This is what happens when you let the party fall into the hands of a left-wing sect.

  6. The BNP comparison is fairly pathetic - the BNP is standing in 29 seats, Plaid already has 180+ councillors.
    Blaenau Gwent, I'd guess, is not a target due to People's Voice.
    As for the rest of Wales - gains in Cardiff, Newport and Caerffili?

  7. About 520 candidates, which is in fact about 20 less than last time. Your comments about not being strong enough in all areas are fair, but we are working on it.

    May 1st is wide open for all the parties, but I can confirm that we will have more than before.

  8. Does anyone know how to actually find out who is standing and where? I live in the valleys. I know who my Labour candidates are, because they stick spam in my letterbox. I have no idea who is standing (if anyone) for Plaid, Libs, Conservatives. Are we supposed to vote for a person, or a party? Is the person standing irrelevant?

  9. Does anyone know how to actually find out who is standing and where? I live in the valleys.

    Try your local council website. Your profile says you are in Blackwood, which I believe is Caerphilly. In which case HERE are the nominations. Blackwood ward seems to have 3 Independents, 3 Labour, 3 Conservative & 3 Plaid.

  10. I can't speak for other areas but in Barry (almost as south as it is possible to get) Plaid is the only party contesting every seat in the town at both Vale of Glamorgan County Council and Barry Town Council level, and in fact had a surplus of candidates.