The SNP is more ‘brutal’ than Plaid Cymru, top academic suggests
The SNP is more “brutal” than Plaid Cymru, a top academic has suggested.
Professor Laura McAllister, of the Wales Governance Centre, was discussing some of the reasons why the Scottish nationalists has been more successful than their Welsh sister party.
She also said that the SNP has been able to establish a “broader platform” than Plaid.
The SNP has been in government for over a decade in Scotland, and it won 64 seats at the election to the Scottish Parliament, compared to 31 for the Conservatives, and 22 for Labour.
Plaid Cymru on the other hand, came in third at the Senedd election, with 13 seats, compared to Labour’s 30, and 16 for the Conservatives.
Professor McAllister told WalesOnline: “One of the things the SNP has done very well is be politically pragmatic – and a little bit brutal.
“You can make your own call on whether you want political parties to be as brutal as the SNP have been. Or you can say that this is the only way that you can usurp a major party’s hegemony like Scottish Labour’s.
“What I mean by brutal is that the SNP had one goal which was to take over from Scottish Labour and to govern in the new parliament and it set about making sure that actually happened as a precursor to an independence referendum.”
She also said the make up and origins of the parties has had an impact on their electoral fortunes: “The sort of civic nationalism that the SNP was able to drive, even before modern democratic devolution, but certainly in the run-up to the establishment of the Scottish Parliament, gave it a much more rational, balanced and broader platform than Plaid Cymru was able to use because of Plaid’s origins.
“Plaid was established to protect the Welsh language and culture and to protect Wales in a very general sense, all without the infrastructure of a semi independent state to give real credibility and credence to that.”
It was also suggested by Dr Jac Larner, research fellow at Edinburgh University and lecturer in politics at Cardiff University, that Welsh Labour have been a far tougher opponent than Scottish Labour.
He said the party in Wales has been able to project a distinct Welsh “identity”.
Professor Richard Wyn Jones, director of the Wales Governance, added that it has been much better at managing the issue of independence than the party in Scotland.