‘People aren’t sheep’: Labour has earned its 100 year dominance in Wales says former First Minister Carwyn Jones
Former First Minister Carwyn Jones has said that “people aren’t sheep” and that Labour has earned its political dominance in Wales.
Labour is closing in on 100 years of winning every General Election in Wales, having done so since November 1922, replacing the Liberal Party which has previously dominated since the 1860s.
Labour has also won every Senedd election since 1999 – only failing to win two European elections, in 2009 and 2019.
But speaking on S4C programme Y Byd yn Ei Le, Carwyn Jones told presenter Guto Harri that their dominance was based on their electoral record.
“People aren’t sheep,” he said. “If people didn’t think the Labour Party was doing a good job, they wouldn’t vote for the Labour Party.”
Guto Harri had suggested that people had “gotten into the habit” of voting Labour, as Wales was “poorer than the rest of the UK, wages are lower, and one of every five are on waiting lists”.
Carwyn Jones responded: “Well, if you look at the situation compared with England, the health service in England is under strain, joblessness is lower in Wales – that historically never happened, but it’s true now.”
“Nid defaid yw pobl. Os oedd pobl yn meddwl bod y Blaid Lafur yn gwneud jobyn gwael, yna bydden nhw ddim yn pleidleisio dros y Blaid Lafur.”
🏴 🌹 🐑
— Y byd yn ei le (@ybydyneileS4C) January 5, 2022
Presenter Guto Harri asked whether the Labour party were taking people’s “votes for granted, and there are constituencies across the south of Wales where things never change?”
Carwyn Jones said: “There are seats in England that were Labour for a century but have now switched to the Conservatives. But that hasn’t happened in Wales.
“Why? I would argue that it’s because the people of Wales see that the Labour party are working for them.”
Guto Harri asked whether it was “healthy to depend on the same party that been in power for 100 years to come up with new ideas?”
“Labour haven’t been in power for 100 years of course, because Wales has had Conservative governments,” Carwyn Jones said. “Since ’99 the Labour party have never won a majority, we’ve always had to work with other parties, and I welcome that. I think that’s wise.
“The other parties need to appeal more to people rather than complaining that they don’t get the votes.”
Y Byd yn ei Le is on S4C at 8pm tonight.
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