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Plaid Cymru MP blames Starmer’s ‘aversion to hope’ for Uxbridge failure

21 Jul 2023 2 minute read
Liz Saville Roberts. Photo Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru’s Westminster Leader Liz Saville Roberts has criticised the Labour Party’s ‘Tory policies in red packaging’ after it’s failure to unseat the Conservatives in the Uxbridge by-election on Thursday (21 July).

Three safe Tory seats were up for grabs but despite a Labour win in Selby and Ainsty and Liberal Democrat victory in Somerton and Frome, both overturning majorities of about 20,000, Labour came up short in Boris Johnson’s old constituency.

Reflecting on Labour Leader Kier Starmer’s “mixed fortunes”, Ms Saville Roberts blamed Keir Starmer’s “borrowed Tory policies and aversion to hope” for a lack of enthusiasm, particularly among young people.

She also highlighted a poll released this week showing that a majority in Wales of people aged 18 to 34 now support independence.

Despair

“Despite a fair wind in his sails, Keir Starmer’s borrowed Tory policies and aversion to hope led to mixed fortunes,” she said.

“Labour’s Tory policies wrapped up in red packaging will only drive home the despair many young people feel towards politics.

“A majority of young people now support Welsh independence. As Labour becomes indistinguishable from the Tories, Plaid Cymru is the answer to build a fair, prosperous and ambitious Wales.”

The poll published by Redfield and Wilton Strategies on 19 July revealed that the majority of 18 to 24-year-olds (53%) said they would vote for independence for Wales. With don’t knows removed, this stands at 55%.

The majority of 25 to 34-year-olds (52%) also said they would vote ‘yes’ to self-determination.

In an overall vote the results were 58% for No, 32% for Yes – up to two percentage points from last month – with 10% saying Don’t Know.

However, with Don’t Knows removed, 36% of people would vote Yes if there were to be a referendum tomorrow on the question “Should Wales be an independent country?”.

The majorities of those aged 35 to 44 (55%), 45 to 54 (66%), 55 to 64 (55%), and 65+ (70%) would vote No in a referendum.


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A.Redman
A.Redman
8 months ago

How many were polled?

CapM
CapM
8 months ago
Reply to  A.Redman

You asked the same question yesterday.
Today’s reply is the same as yesterday’s.

“Are you suggesting that Redfield and Wilton Strategies handed round a questionnaire in a pub in Caernarfon!
The Redfield and Wilton Strategies website provides details.
1050 polled.”

Annibendod
Annibendod
8 months ago

Labour now have nothing to offer Wales. They’ve purged the party of Left Wing thought, persecuted members and lurched massively to the Right. We need our Senedd to be constitutionally protected. We need the political means to determine our own futures. All we’ll get from them is a patronising pat on the head. Why any Welsh elector would vote for any of the Unionist parties is beyond me. A purely self-defeating act.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
8 months ago
Reply to  Annibendod

I don’t think the majority care one way or another about whether Wales is independent or not at this juncture. The concerns of most people are the cost of living, healthcare, employment and education, (not necessarily in that order). Any party that can successfully begin to tackle those issues, whether locally or on an all Wales basis, (if they are in power in the Senedd) will begin to build trust. I know things are very constrained financially, but if places like Preston can implement changes that bring along significant improvements at a local level, then I’m pretty certain that similar… Read more »

Rob
Rob
8 months ago

Labour’s failure to win Uxbridge was because of Sadiq Khan’s expansion of ULEZ (Ultra Low Emissions Zone), so sadly they probably would have suffered a bigger loss if Starmer was adopting more progressive policies.
Where Labour did go wrong however was failing to point out that ULEZ was actually a Conservative policy implemented by Boris Johnson himself when he was London Mayor. The Department of Transport under Grant Shapps actually supported its expansion & provided funding for it. Now thats its proven to be unpopular they oppose it and blame it on Khan.

Annibendod
Annibendod
8 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Starmer has turned Labour into the party for England’s aspiring middle classes. Wales will never get the policies it votes for so long as the current constitutional arrangements prevail.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
8 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Maybe it was Labour’s total rejection of ULEZ and its apparent readiness to see children and the elderly suffer from the effects of pollution that kept many voters from voting Labour?

Rob
Rob
8 months ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

But they didn’t reject it, they were very much in favour, that’s why they lost. I’m not against ULEZ, but Uxbridge is a commuter town. Therefore if they feel penalised by it then they are going to vote against those who are implementing it.

Paul
Paul
8 months ago

Rubbish. Labour overturned a 20000 majority in Selby.

Maesglas
Maesglas
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul

And the Lib Dems had an even greater swing in Somerton. The swing in Selby is much more to do with the voters disliking the Tories than positivity towards Labour

Maesglas
Maesglas
8 months ago

Well said. Starmer flip-flopped during the campaign as soon as he started to think that ULEZ might be unpopular. Like all his so-called concerns for the climate crisis, his words are meaningless because he is incapable of selling his policies. Whenever he encounters resistance to a policy he will shut down resistance by threatening to expel – as he did when he stopped members criticising Brexit and the Monarchy. This is a tragedy because climate change is real and something has to be done about it. We can all see how it is affecting us all. But Starmer had already… Read more »

Puerto Talbot
Puerto Talbot
8 months ago

I hardly think ULEZ would affect that many people in this “minted south” constituency. There can’t be that many driving around smoke belching old bangers unless its the odd classic Aston or Rolls.

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