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‘Excitement’ for independence in north east Wales could see more voters backing Plaid, says leader

05 May 2021 4 minute read
Pictured from left to right are: Plaid Cymru’s Clwyd South candidate Llyr Gruffydd, party leader Adam Price and Wrexham candidate Carrie Harper outside Wrexham AFC’s Racecourse Ground.

Liam Randall, local democracy reporter

The level of “excitement” for independence in the north east of Wales could see more voters backing Plaid Cymru, the party’s leader has claimed.

Adam Price said Plaid Cymru would hold an independence referendum in the first five year term if elected to govern following tomorrow’s Senedd elections.

One recent opinion poll put support for Welsh independence as high as 39 per cent, with Wrexham selected as the next location for an independence rally once large gatherings are permitted.

However, other surveys indicate that a lesser proportion of between a quarter to a third of people would vote yes.

During a visit to Wrexham, Adam Price was asked whether he felt there was enough support for independence in the area to return Plaid candidates to the Welsh Parliament.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, he said he believed voters were prepared to switch from backing Labour, which currently holds most seats in the region, to his party.

He said: “The north east has been in some ways ahead of the curve in understanding that independence is the only way that we can solve our economic problems.

“It’s not going to come from Westminster – it’s been neglected and let down by Westminster governments, both Labour and Tory over many generations.

“Independence is the answer to the problems that we’ve all grown up with, in terms of that one in three children live in poverty and one in four of every person in Wales.

“That’s never going to change sustainably unless we take complete control of our own future.

“It’s communities like Wrexham and the wider north east that have borne the brunt of those Westminster policies and actually realised that that only way we’re going to solve those problems is by looking to ourselves and becoming a strong, successful and socially just country.

“You can see droves of Labour voters telling their own story on social media at the moment, saying: ‘I never thought I’d say this, but I’m voting for Plaid Cymru for the first time.’”

Plaid Cymru would likely need to become the largest party in the Senedd in order to deliver on its promise of holding a referendum.

‘Time for somebody else’

Other pledges by Plaid Cymru include locating the headquarters of Prosperity Wales, a new economic development agency, in Wrexham.

But Adam Price did not answer when questioned whether his party would be prepared to do a post-election deal with Labour to achieve its aims.

Speaking outside Wrexham AFC’s Racecourse Ground on Friday (April 30, 2021), he said: “We’re very much focused on winning and to us, that is really crucial because we’ve had the Labour Party running the government for 22 years.

“I’m trying to avoid being negative and critical, but I think they’ve run out of steam and run out of ideas because of the length of time they’ve been in power.

“Even by their own admission, in terms of the economy, they’ve said that they’ve thrown the kitchen sink at it and it hasn’t budged.

“It’s time for somebody else now to have a chance – Wales is crying out for real change and we’re not going to get that unless we have political change.”

The list of candidates standing to be elected to the Senedd in Wrexham is as follows: Paul Ashton (Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party), Charles Dodman (Reform UK), Lesley Griffiths (Welsh Labour), Carrie Harper (Plaid Cymru), Jeremy Kent (Welsh Conservatives), Aaron Norton (Gwlad), Sebastian Ross (UKIP) and Tim Sly (Liberal Democrats).

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