2007 May 3rd Elections
Comment at end of page
9th July, 2007
Now that Plaid Cymru is about to go into coalition with Labour in Wales, Rhodri Morgan has been hospitalized. So – I can’t quite decide which of the two parties is sickest at the moment – but Get Well soon, Mr Morgan. You’re going to need your strength.
1st July, 2007
Gone on a bit too long for my liking – but finally Scotland has happy slappy Salmond in charge and Wales has a coalition between Labour & Plaid Cymru. So enough of that then. Let’s move on.
2nd June, 2007
Tony Blair still can’t quite bring himself to ring Alex Salmond to congratulate him on becoming Scotland’s First Minister. Is he taking his personal feelings about Salmond too far – “he never phones, he never writes” joked Salmond the other day.
Well, it may seem churlish, but have you ever watched Salmond’s behaviour on a personal level towards Blair in PMQs? Now THAT’S personal. Rubbing his thumb and fingertips together when the PM stands up – innuendo, snide remarks about police hands on his shoulder. All unproven stuff got up by his small-minded party for party political reasons. And the mud has stuck to Blair. One of the reasons the Scottish people don’t trust him any more.
Now, Gordon Brown HAD to ring Salmond, although even he took four weeks to get round to it! After all HE can’t be seen to ignore the Scottish electorate, and that’s how the press would portray it, even though Brown has reason to bear personal antipathy towards Salmond too. Are politicians never allowed to get “not close up and personal” as it were? Are we supposed to expect and be impressed by statesmanship which disregards personality regardless of everything?
Scottish Nationalists have benefited by calling Blair (and Brown) everything under the sun – and not just the usual political slings and arrows. Now it’s Salmond’s turn. Let’s see who tells it like it is about this man – and how long it takes.
Blair? Well he has important things to be getting on with. Sorry, Salmond – you might wait a long time for that phone call from Tony.
25th May, 2007
LABOUR BACK IN POWER IN WALES
Under their leader since the Welsh assembly was formed, RHODRI MORGAN is back as First Minister in Wales
Well, ALL of the UK hasn’t actually gone from the power grip of Labour; yet. After the Welsh Assembly elections, Labour is back in power in Wales, albeit in a minority government. The expected ‘rainbow coalition’ of yesterday (A DAY IS A LONG TIME IN POLITICS THESE DAYS) has collapsed and Ieaun Wyn Jones of Plaid Cymru has seen the First Minister prize grabbed from just beyond his fingertips. In the Assembly elections Plaid Cymru won 15 seats, the Conservatives 12 , and the Liberal Democrats 6. Labour won 26 of the 60 seats, five short of a majority.
Today you can bet that all the ethereal colours of the rainbow are looking kind of grey for one reason or another. So near and yet so far. In the end the coalition prospects collapsed because some Liberal Democrat grassroots members, and their National Executive Committee refused to back their leader’s support for the rainbow, because some of them couldn’t stand the nationalism of Plaid Cymru, and others couldn’t stomach putting the Tories back into power. And, of course, Lib Dems fight on all fronts and felt that working with the Tories and Plaid would weaken their hand for the next battle. Somehow, Rhodri’s Labour isn’t such a bogey man to ALL Lib Dems, and they have supported Labour before in a minority government. The Liberal Democrats are holding a conference tomorrow, Saturday, to discuss the options. “Closing the stable door…” comes to mind here.
Might we expect that Morgan & the Liberal Democrats’ Mike German are right now in talks about some sort of coalition – to “bring stability to Wales”?
Mike German, the man who has been the Liberal Democrats’ mainstay in local government in Wales for years – long before the Welsh Assembly was set up – and has led the party in the Assembly from the beginning – is likely to be challenged by those less keen on working with other parties! The Liberal Democrats are being blasted from all sides as well as from within. Seems a bit weird to me that some in his party want Mike German’s head on a plate, but then, I don’t agree with sacrificing a leader for the sake of expediency, as you might have already guessed.
What a strange turn of events. The one party associated with coalitions and working with other parties refuses to do. Can’t have it both ways. Better dump that p.r. policy now. Or didn’t they realise that proportional representation will actually bring coalition? Back to the drawing board.
And meanwhile, Rhodri Morgan has saved Wales for Labour, or saved Labour for Wales! What a turn-up for him! Now too see if the “clear red water” strategy of distancing himself from UK’s New Labour will be easier or harder with Brown at the helm of the big ship. I wonder.
17th May, 2007
Ten days after my previous post at this page and smirky Alex Salmond has the top job in Scottish politics. And now he can show us his charming side and win them all over to independence.
I don’t suppose Salmond has given much thought to the fact that it is due to his hated opponent Tony Blair, who brought devolution to Scotland, that there IS such an opportunity for him and his Scottish Nationalist Party! Anyway, democracy has spoken, so let my fellow Scots get on with. They voted for it. Just glad I don’t live there any more. Salmond’s self-satisfied mug on the dailies would be too much.
7th May, 2007
A couple of cans of worms opening up in Scotland and Wales today while they all try to work out who is going to work with whom. Democracy’s a difficult thing at times, isn’t it?
4th May, 2007
RESULT: SCOTTISH NATIONALISTS BEAT LABOUR BY ONE SEAT
Not the news that Messrs Blair or Brown wanted to hear – one seat only- and the student of the slimey, sneering, snide remark Salmond has it. (I’d say “master” but I don’t reckon he’s master of anything apart from judging the prime minister on cash-for-honours, Iraq and anything else his nasty little mind can conjure up.)
First Minister Alex Salmond! Ugghh … what a thought! (And I speak as a Scot).
Tony Blair in his optimistic way, says that Labour has avoided a “rout” and a “hammering” despite suffering a historic defeat to the SNP and big losses in England and Wales. Putting on a brave face the PM described the results as “a springboard” for the next general election. (Or maybe a high diving board? So does that make two for the high jump – Brown AND Blair.)
You have to admire the man. He states that Labour can still win and use this as a springboard for the next election. Or is he delivering a challenge to his heir, Brown, viz ‘I did it in 2005, when we had scored lower than this in the locals. So, Gordon, there’s no excuse for you next time round’.
As for Wales – well, with a loss of 3 seats, Labour has 26 seats, Plaid Cymru 15, Conservatives 12, Liberal Democrats 6 and 1 Independent. So it looks like the Lib Dems are the power-brokers here too.
3rd May, 2007
We’re all out there voting in our millions now – possibly. Anyway, I’m not commenting until we know the results. There are enough polls going round without me adding to the ignorance.
29th April, 2007
Labour under threat in Scotland – Recent Opinion Polls
Pro-Union supporters are attempting to highlight their deep concern about the threat to the UK from the SNP, which is planning a referendum on separation in 2010 if it wins power. Whether this is enough to stem the tide against the SNP will not be known until Friday morning.
Conducted between 17-23 April today’s poll shows the SNP has 38 per cent to Labour’s 30 per cent in the constituency section. The Liberal Democrats are on 15 per cent, the Tories have 12 per cent and others five per cent.
Meanwhile Gordon Brown said today that voters will be passing a verdict”on all of us”, and not just on Tony Blair in the local elections. That attempt to prevent the “kicking” Mr Blair referred to in Scotland this week, might backfire, but as they once said, “things can only get better”.
26th April, 2007
Local Elections, and Wales & Scotland
A Newsnight report says that Labour could be heading for its worst election night ever.
Across the country all the parties have their own targets. For Labour it seems to be to avoid meltdown.
In the Midlands the Tories might manage to take Lincoln. They have only one councillor in Manchester, and none in many northern cities. Labour is facing its own difficulties in the south of England.
If the Scottish Nationalists are the largest party, there could be growing tension between Salmond in Edinburgh and Brown (or whoever) in London.
Newsnight’s vote projection across the country:
- Conservatives 38%, Liberal Democrats 29%, Labour 24% of vote.
This would be the worse for decades for Labour, worse than with Michael Foot in 1982. It would be even lower than John Major’s 25% in the 1995 locals.
This would be an appalling result for Labour. The Liberal Democrats would be holding their own, and the Conservatives would be pleased to be ahead. However, as far as the next general election is concerned the Tories would need to get 40%+ to withstand a new Labour leader so at 38% would be somewhat disappointed.
Projected to number of council seats, Labour will lose 500 seats, the Conservatives will gain 331 and the Liberal Democrats will gain 110 seats. Smaller parties may be more of a story.
In Scotland, Tony Blair suspects that most voters want to give him a kicking and they are not necessarily voting positively for Labour’s opponents. The SNP says they are only dealing with domestic issues, but there are uncertainties about their economics. The Tories and the SNP won’t work together, and the Liberal Democrats won’t go along with separation.
In Wales, the ‘clear red water’ of Rhodri Morgan separating him from Tony Blair, might protect Welsh Labour from the New Labour ‘meltdown’. But Labour in Wales is not likely to get an overall majority. So will Plaid Cymru be the official opposition or the Welsh Tories. And will the Liberal Democrats share power in Cardiff? Who will talk to whom.
In the Midlands, the Tories in Birmingham think they can replace Labour for the first time in 24 years. A string of councils is expected to go Tory.
A whole generation of Labour councillors may be blown away because of the party’s unpopularity.
Projected to the House of Commons this would give Labour 200 seats, the LibDems 92 seats, the various Nationalists and others 30 seats, the Conservatives 328 seats. This provides a majority of 6 seats for David Cameron’s Tories. Shades of John Major?