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Anti-Tory pact would leave Conservatives with just one constituency in Wales – but also cost Plaid Cymru

23 May 2022 3 minute read
Keir Starmer and Ed Davey

A Labour-Lib Dem-Green Pact at the next Westminster election would leave the Conservatives with only one seat in Wales – but would also cost Plaid Cymru half of their seats.

A report prepared by Professor Andrew Blick, Professor of Politics and Contemporary History, King’s College London for the Constitution Society suggests that the Conservatives would lose every seat in Wales apart from Montgomeryshire.

The report is based on polling which asked voters from Labour, the Lib Dems and Greens how thy would vote if their first choice stood side as part of a pact.

Across the UK, a deal between Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party at the next election could lead to an opposition landslide, with the Conservatives losing up to two-thirds of their seats, they said.

However, Plaid Cymru would also lose the seat of Arfon to Labour and Ceredigion to the Liberal Democrats, the polling projected.

In Wales, Brecon and Radnorshire would switch from the Conservatives to the Lib Dems, and the Vale of Glamorgan from the Conservatives to the Greens.

Ynys Môn, Clwyd South, Clwyd West, Delyn, Monmouth, Preseli Pembrokeshire, Vale of Clwyd, and Wrexham would switch from the Conservatives to Labour.

‘Obstacles’

The large-scale poll was commissioned by the Constitution Society and looked at how the electorate would respond if Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens agreed not to stand against each other in England and Wales.

The poll, which was run by Find Out Now and Electoral Calculus after the local elections earlier this month, found considerable public appetite for an electoral agreement between opposition parties.

According to current opinion polls, Labour might emerge as the largest party at a general election, but could still be short of a majority.

Given this, an electoral agreement with the Liberal Democrats and the Greens might seem an attractive option for Labour as it would avoid the need for SNP support in the event of a hung parliament, the Constitution Society said.

“There are various political and practical obstacles to bringing into being the pact we have modelled for this poll,” Professor Andrew Blick said.

“However, the results suggest that – if the three parties are willing and able to overcome these blockages – it could enable them to remove the Conservatives from power.

“What happened next would depend on how far the three parties had coordinated in advance. But it could involve policy commitments that might include a permanent change in the electoral system, and possibly a lasting change in the political balance of power in the UK.”


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Dai Rob
Dai Rob
6 months ago

That is interesting, as Labours current lead will not give them a UK majority, so this must be in their minds!
Yet again, it just shows Plaids inherent weakness!!

hdavies15
hdavies15
6 months ago
Reply to  Dai Rob

What is described here is an alternative Unionist Axis of Evil. Soft words, loads of misleading garbage but when the crunch comes they’ll be full on London centric and not give a damn about “that bit in the far west”. Umpteen good reasons for Plaid not to touch any of them with the proverbial bargepole unless of course they enjoy being an insignificant minority for the foreseeable future.

Cathy Hill
Cathy Hill
6 months ago

Plaid need to start doing a bit of looking into why they seem to be putting people off them.
It is probably just optics….but whatever it is Plaid need to make some swift changes.

Gruff Williams
Gruff Williams
6 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Hill

I have canvassed for Plaid for years and the feedback I get is that the Party is seen as irrelevant. The people I speak to are concerned, for example, with housing: rocketing house prices and new builds that are unaffordable to local people. There is an increasing feeling of marginalization among ordinary Welsh people. Plaid’s emphasis on climate, Islam, trans rights etc simply do not resonate on the doorstep.

Cynan
Cynan
6 months ago
Reply to  Gruff Williams

Do they not? I think they do on some doorsteps (EG Mine: Concerned, Supportive, and Supportive, respectively to the 3 listed). A major party needs a position on those things. Maybe not at a council level. But certainly at Senedd level and in the House of Chaos and Corruption. PC hold similar ground to Welsh Labour. They need to emphasise the differences (EG less authoritarian and the minimum acceptable standard for the relationship with Wasteminster, whether a Federal UK, Devo Max or full independence)

Last edited 6 months ago by Cynan
Glen
Glen
6 months ago
Reply to  Gruff Williams

Like the left in general, Plaid policies are tailored to appeal to the socially conscious, middle class Guardian reader rather than the Welsh working classes.

Cynan
Cynan
6 months ago
Reply to  Glen

“Like the left in general”
Are you effing kidding me? By your homogenised slur on parties of the left, you are either Gwlad, or Abolish, or a Tory.
What has ANY Tory in the history of humanity (and Tories) ever done anything positive for the Welsh working class on purpose? In several hundred years, not one of them.
Shake your gizzard elsewhere

Last edited 6 months ago by Cynan
Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
6 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Hill

It’s the Welsh language, plain and simple. There is still so much hostility to Welsh, including from people who would otherwise consider themselves progressive and would be supportive of other minority languages. The sort of people who would bend over backwards to support Irish Gaelic or Catalan but who have nothing but utter contempt for the Welsh language. Bunch of hypocrites the lot of them and I’ve no time for them.

Arwyn
Arwyn
6 months ago

“Given this, an electoral agreement with the Liberal Democrats and the Greens might seem an attractive option for Labour as it would avoid the need for SNP support in the event of a hung parliament” Is that the reasoning? This is desperate stuff. Yet more evidence of the dysfunctionality at the heart of UK politics. This is not a healthy democracy. Elected dictatorship of the largest minority via FPTP. Electoral pacts that exclude the largest party in Scotland and deny the Scots their democratic choice. This UK will not last. Trying to hold it together forcibly will not work either.… Read more »

Cynan
Cynan
6 months ago
Reply to  Arwyn

Apparenty in’t Nurth of England they think the Tory Government can solve the problems

Quornby
Quornby
6 months ago
Reply to  Arwyn

No…….. But it seems to me that the majority in Wales and England and NI vote not FOR anything but AGAINST the careerist grovelling offerings presently seen on TV….. Only in Scotland do people vote FOR something, so naturally the London-centric media are constantly in attack mode against such forward thinking. Don’t hold your breath but the only thing that will change Wales in any meaningful way is a huge Plaid breakthrough. Those that doubt this need only compare the grudging respect accorded to Scotland with the open contempt shown to Wales. I’m getting a bit long in the tooth… Read more »

Arwyn
Arwyn
6 months ago
Reply to  Quornby

What seems interesting in Wales is that Welsh independence appears to be making a breakthrough within Welsh Labour ranks. If independence comes via Plaid or Labour or both or the Greens too, then great. In fact I’d be more than happy seeing a cross-party constitutional convention laying the foundations of our desperately needed new Nation State.

Doctor Trousers
6 months ago
Reply to  Arwyn

Agreed absolutely, though it’s worth pointing out that not only are the SNP the largest party in Scotland, they are the third largest party in Westminster, and have been since 2015.
They currently hold 45 seats, have held over 50 in the past, and will likely win over 50 in the next general election.

Glen
Glen
6 months ago

And the SNP achieved their success by going on the attack against Labour, not sucking up to them like impotent Plaid.

Doctor Trousers
6 months ago
Reply to  Glen

The SNP achieved that success because Scottish Labour totally failed to stand up for Scotland’s interests. They lost voters and the SNP hoovered them up. They lost voters because they are utterly, dogmatically unionist to the point where they prioritise the union above everything else. They’re basically a single issue party at this point. They would sooner help the tories win seats than give an inch of cooperation to the SNP. They even have bigoted, unionist extremist orange order members amongst their ranks. There’s no real comparison to Wales at all. For Plaid to try to mimic the SNP by… Read more »

Arwyn
Arwyn
6 months ago

Agree with you here. IMJ has mentioned in the past that part of Plaid’s success has been to pull Labour towards their own position. There’s very little between them in other policy areas so collaboration in the Senedd is practical if it moves Wales forwards. Yet Labour will be conscious of the fate of Scottish Labour. Let’s not forget that the Tories are pushing Labour towards our position. Interestingly Dafydd Iwan spoke about the potential for a merger in the future. Welsh Labour are not very far from Plaid’s position. How much of a leap is it from Home Rule… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Arwyn
Glen
Glen
6 months ago

Dream on ‘Welsh’ Labour are just as unionist as their Scots branch.
If Wales is ever to win independence Plaid has to first defeat Labour in Cardiff not the Tories in Westminster.

The original mark
The original mark
6 months ago

This doesn’t bode well for the working people of the UK, and typically Wales gets the s**t end of the stick, don’t forget the part the lib dems played in bringing in austerity, cuts in benefits, increases in student fees, selling off royal mail and Labour uk are a waste of neoliberal space at present, and seriously, what influence would the greens have over the yellow and red tories. At 59 I’m sick and tired of uk politics, nothing has changed and nothing will change.

Dave
Dave
6 months ago

I’m Welsh Labour, but if I vote in a Tory area it will always be for Plaid, so pinch of salt article for me and any supporter of #Labour4IndyWales

Cynan
Cynan
6 months ago

Whilst anything which drives the Tories out of Cymru is not a bad thing per se, it is Unionist parties ganging up and the Tories are pretty much committing political suicide in Cymru on a daily basis themselves without any need for other parties to waste time on them. Welsh Labour need Plaid support in Y Senedd. Perhaps Plaid should reconsider their endorsement of and cooperation with the Welsh Labour manifesto. Perhaps we need some clear red water between PC and their two faced Unionist “allies”. As the old saying goes “Nothing good for Cymru comes from the East of… Read more »

R W
R W
6 months ago

If you add all the votes the LibDems, Labour and the Greens received in Ceredigion in 2019, they would still be 1,253 votes short of the total votes Ben Lake received for PC, and that is assuming that every single one of the Labour and Green voters switched their votes to the LibDems (which seems highly unlikely)!! How they came to these conclusions I’ll never know!!

Name
Name
6 months ago
Reply to  R W

2019 was a very bad year for both Labour and the Lib Dems though. The likelihood is they’ll bounce back to some extent.

The big question is whether Plaid’s vote holds up. I think it will, bit it would be naive to assume its a foregone conclusion.

R W
R W
6 months ago
Reply to  Name

Fair argument. However, the same could be argued for Plaid ‘s performance in 2019 as well. Another thing, why would Labour and the Lib Dems go into coalition with the Greens who are in favour of Welsh independence, but not with Plaid, who also support Welsh independence? Unless they’re complete hypocrites of course??!!

Name
Name
6 months ago
Reply to  R W

I think Welsh Independence wouldnt be a dealbreaker for the Greens because, after all, hey’re still the Green Party of England & Wales. They support Welsh Independence bit not enough to split from their own English party? That’s an odd position.

Plaid’s position is a lot clearer but also more of an obstacle for Unionist parties.

R W
R W
6 months ago
Reply to  Name

True, it is strange that they haven’t split from the English party given their stance on independence. Nevertheless, they do still unequivocally support Welsh independence here in Wales, so the argument is still completely valid.

Glen
Glen
6 months ago
Reply to  R W

Probably because most Greens in Wales are English colonists, moved to wales because it’s cheaper than Devon or Dorset.

CapM
CapM
6 months ago

From the Constitution Society here’s all anyone needs to know about the veracity of their poll as applied to Cymru and how little the Consitution Society care about that lack of veracity.

The poll was undertaken in that homogenous country, “England and Wales”
“Pact did not apply in Scotland and that Plaid Cymru were not included”

Mark Hoffer
Mark Hoffer
6 months ago

It would be interesting to see if the parties support, or lack of it, for independence would make a difference.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
6 months ago

Why should we trust the Lib-Dems after what they did in 2010? I for one would never vote for them.

If they had an electoral pact with Labour who’se to say they wouldn’t just stab us all in the back again and throw in their lot with the Tories like they did on 2010?

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

Doctor Trousers
6 months ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

My prediction: they’ll inevitably fail to win enough votes to form a government, they’ll go into crisis talks with the SNP, and the lib dems will then jump ship to the tories to save the union.

Arwyn
Arwyn
6 months ago

I quite agree. Never ceases to amaze me how so-called progressives become frothing regressives whenever it comes to Welsh democracy. I noticed one such “liberal” who uses their Twitter account to fling accusations at Plaid and YesCymru has been given an opinion column on another supposedly independence supporting publication.

Rob
Rob
6 months ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

But then we could say the same thing about Labour, why should we trust them after they took us into Iraq? I agree Nick Clegg backstabbed his voters, but if I lived in a constituency where it was a straight choice between Tory or Lib Dem then I would definitely vote Lib Dem. Thanks to the first past the post system, voting for anyone else would be a waste of time. I’d doubt the Lib Dems would go into coalition with the Tories again (even if they did, it would still be better than what we have got now). Not… Read more »

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
6 months ago

So according to this professor Andrew Blick the Welsh Liberal Democrats with one sole MS in Cardiff Bay and no MPs at Westminster, any pact with Labour would be to the detriment of Plaid Cymru, even though the Lib Dems in London back in 2010 dropped their political knickers to get into bed with their sister party Conservative, which is not a surprise seeing like-attracts-like as both were founded out of the ashes of the English right-wing Whig party in 1850s,. The Liberals Dems are liberal with most things i.e the truth etc….. Not forgetting they could have changed the… Read more »

Doctor Trousers
6 months ago

“Anti-tory pact”? If this was about being anti-tory first and foremost, we would be talking about a Labour-SNP pact. This is desperation tactics, trying to find an angle that could potentially get them into government by the skin of their teeth, without having to agree to a second independence referendum. They’re willing to take the massive risk of handing the country back to the tories yet again, because to the British Labour party, that’s a preferable outcome to giving Scotland the right to choose its future, and of course running the risk of having to find somewhere else to keep… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Doctor Trousers
Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
6 months ago

Again we see figures being extrapolated from a poll taken mostly in england and crudely attempted to fit wales 😡. We saw the same rubbish predicting plaid would lose dozens of seats in the recent local elections. Also im pretty sure the welsh greens – who now support welsh indy – wouldnt be part of any unionist party ‘pact’ against plaid.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
6 months ago

To add further to my first post. Seeing all the political & democratic damage the Conservatives have done to Wales & Britain over the past decade or so, can understand how this professor would deduce that any would-be General Election pact would mean Conservatives loses being the ruling party, but the very idea that the Liberal Democratic English block vote would be used in any pact with Labour to effectively punish a party like Plaid Cymru seeing currently they have only one MS and no MPs at Westminster, a tad perverted?. He’s assuming also that voters in Plaid Cymru condituencies… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Y Cymro
Cat
Cat
6 months ago

This analysis does not seem to take into account the new boundary changes to parliamentary seats which, according to Electoral Calculus’ previous report, would result in a Conservative loss and Labour gain in the new constituency of Montgomeryshire and Glyndwr and thus a potential Tory free Wales. Can’t happen fast enough …..

Last edited 6 months ago by Cat
Richard
Richard
6 months ago

Is that the Green Party of England ( Wales section ) being referred to the Wales Green movement that delivered a joint ticket 🎟 in Ceredigion for Cynog Davis ?

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
6 months ago

…. could lead to an opposition landslide, with the Conservatives losing up to two-thirds of their seats ….

Please do it!

Last edited 6 months ago by Mr Williams

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