Plaid lost Rhondda because they ‘banged on’ about independence, says Labour MP
Plaid Cymru lost Rhondda at the Senedd election because it “banged on” about independence, according to a Labour MP.
Chris Bryant, who holds the seat at Westminster, said his party reclaimed the constituency from former Plaid leader Leanne Wood because “most voters didn’t care about the constitutional matters at all”.
Buffy Williams won the Valleys seat with a majority of 5,497 and a 19.1% swing.
Bryant made the comments during The Guardian’s Politics Weekly podcast, which discussed First Minister Mark Drakeford.
He said: “I think the most important thing that Labour generally needs to keep in front of its mind at every stage is that we want to be in government.
“We don’t just want to be a protest movement, and that is in essence I think what we learnt from the Welsh elections.
“I mean we worked very very hard in the Rhondda because as you know Plaid’s former leader Leanne Wood had taken the seat off us in the last, well it was Assembly elections then, and we wanted to make sure we won.
“We had the biggest swing to Labour of anywhere in the UK, 19% to Labour. I think that is because people in the Rhondda, A they trusted Mark Drakeford, B they thought Buffy was a great candidate.
“But equally it was because Plaid banged on and on and on, and the media supported them all the way through, including the Guardian is saying everybody now, everybody’s indycurious and all that kind of stuff, and actually most voters didn’t care about the constitutional matters at all.
“I detect absolutely no appetite for full blown independence.”