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Plaid Cymru election results have been ‘disastrous’ since 1999, says ex-minister

06 Aug 2021 2 minutes Read
Rhodri Glyn Thomas. Plaid Cymru (CC 2.0)

Plaid Cymru’s election results since 1999 have been “disastrous” according to a former minister.

Rhodri Glyn Thomas, who was the Plaid Cymru AM for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, as well as a Minister for Heritage in a coalition government with Labour, has taken aim at his party’s strategy.

In the first Assembly election in 1999, Plaid Cymru won 17 out of 60 seats, compared to 28 for Labour.

However, the party has struggled to reach the same heights in subsequent elections. It won 13 seats at the 2021 Senedd election.

According to Thomas, since 1999, his party has been “derelict in terms of leadership, strategy and thought”.

He also said Plaid needs an electoral machine that enamles its leader, Adam Price, to be “successful beyond the west” of the country.

In a column for the Welsh language magazine Golwg, he wrote: “The 1999 Assembly election was historic. Obviously it was the first of its kind, but also the Labour Party didn’t get a clear majority in Wales.

“The purpose of the electoral system was to ensure a permanent majority for the Labour Party – but that’s not what happened. Though Labour was the largest party, it didn’t have a clear majority. A sunning and completely unexpected result.

“The Labour Party originally believed that this was a unique result and the old order would return soon. For Plaid Cymru, the result was stunning. Some of us weren’t even aware of who the candidate was in some of the constituencies that were won!”

‘Derelict’ 

He added: “Plaid Cymru’s results have been disastrous since 1999. It’s been derelict in terms of leadership, strategy and thought. It lost seats after winning them unexpectedly.

“It didn’t succeed in creating an alliance of opposition parties to defeat the Labour government and it didn’t take advantage electorally after being part of the One Wales Government.

“Leanne Wood was an effective and brave communicator but Adam Price is Plaid Cymru’s true hope. Be has the creative thinking and the charisma to turn the tide for the party.

“But side by side to that there needs to be an electoral machine that enables him to be successful beyond the west.”

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cudyll
cudyll
1 month ago

Clywch clywch. We MUST get this right. Adam, tell them to get it together – quick time!

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
1 month ago

It doesn’t help that English/Welsh Labour gave us a worse devolution package than Scotland and Northern Ireland. FFS we still don’t control our own press and we are still under the rule of the English court system. It’s pathetic how we have to beg and be ignored by Westminster for things that are rightfully ours. This is something Plaid need to laser in on.

Glen
Glen
1 month ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

There are too many Plaid MS’s completely at ease with the status quo and have no ambition beyond being Labours faithful little helpers.

The prospect of power terrifies most of them.

Llewelyn
Llewelyn
1 month ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

Should any government, anywhere, control the press?

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
1 month ago
Reply to  Llewelyn

No, it shouldn’t, but the absence of a national Welsh media that is Wales-focused would help the Welsh electorate to be better-informed and would almost certainly give Plaid Cymru and Gwlad a higher profile nationally. Plaid’s problems with the electorate are manifold. As a socialist party, many of their aims for this country are already covered by Welsh Labour,and this is perhaps the main reason why they can’t get a foothold in the Valleys or the North-East beyond community council level. But they are also the authors of their own failure, with some policies that are of little relevance to… Read more »

#1Chris
#1Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Llewelyn

When you look at the “British” press, someone should control the pr1cks. They are vile and without sanction. Maybe not government, but a non-political ombudsman with real teeth to sanction and punish

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
1 month ago
Reply to  Llewelyn

Every government on the planet has a say in its press.

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago

I am not a Plaid C. supporter. But, my view from here on the right is, that if Mr Drakeford continues to be wimpy in the face of one of the most corrupt, incompetent and lying UK governments ever, we may well see a huge change in people’s voting.
But Plaid and Gwlad will have to simplify their messages, and those in Labour for Indy must do some thinking as to their future. Yes Cymru also needs to get things together quickly.

Last edited 1 month ago by j humphrys
#1Chris
#1Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  j humphrys

I agree. Not sure Mr Drakeford is wimpy, but would like to see a bit more fire. However, he is a Unionist at this most fragile time for the Union. He just doesn’t want to fan the flames that Fatshanks seems to be eternally farting on

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