Abolish politicians ‘absolutely annihilated’ at Senedd election, says politics professor
Politicians who support abolishing the Senedd got “absolutely annihilated” at the election, according to a politics professor.
Professor Richard Wyn Jones, of Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre, was reacting to the news that Abolish the Assembly Party and UKIP, which also supports scrapping devolution, failed to win any seats at the Senedd election.
He told BBC Politics Wales that the movement for getting rid of the Welsh Parliament has been “fatally undermined”.
Professor Jones also argued that the Conservatives can’t “go to that space” because they would “undermine the union” if they did.
The election saw the likes of Neil Hamilton from UKIP and Mark Reckless from Abolish, booted out of the Senedd by the Welsh electorate.
UKIP won 7 seats in Wales’ national parliament at the 2016 election but saw its share of the vote plummet this time around.
Abolish had some representation in the Senedd after Mark Reckless and Gareth Bennett switched to the party after being elected in 2016 under the UKIP banner.
Some opinion polls suggested that Abolish would win a few seats at the election this time around, but its vote share actually fell from 4.4% in 2016, to 3.7 in 2021, and it ended up with precisely zero Senedd members.
Professor Jones said: “I think the whole abolish position is fatally undermined at least for the foreseeable future because they had, there was a party representing that.
“They had fulltime staff members in the Senedd. There was an infrastructure. They put that forward as a proposition, and they got absolutely annihilated.
“The Conservative Party base in Wales is actually quite anti-devolution but the party can never be because they will undermine the union if they go to that space. So, I think Abolish is gone.”