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