Welsh Labour most successful party ‘in the democratic world’ as it celebrates 100 years of election wins says FM
The First Minister has said that Welsh Labour is the most successful political party “in the democratic world” as it celebrates 100 years of winning every Westminster and Senedd election in Wales.
Tomorrow will mark 100 years since November 15, 1922, when Labour became the largest party in Wales at a General Election.
Since then it has won every election in Wales at a UK and Welsh level, falling short only in EU elections in 2009 and 2019 where they fell behind the Conservatives, the Brexit Party and Plaid Cymru.
The party will celebrate its achievement at the Norwegian Church in Cardiff Bay tomorrow with an evening of music and speeches. A website Llafur100 has also been created by the National Library for Wales Political Archive to track the timeline of events over the last century.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s events, First Minister Mark Drakeford told the Daily Mirror: “Labour has much to celebrate by being the most successful political party in Wales – and indeed in the democratic world.
“Even when the party had difficult times across the UK, in Wales support remained solid – especially at the local government level.
“A part of the reason for that success is because we have never been complacent and we do not take the Welsh public for granted.
“Our politicians are rooted in our communities and we retain a strong link with our trade unions which gives us a real sense of what the public wants.
“Our work is never complete and we will continue to fight for social justice at every opportunity adapting to the demands of a changing society.”
Marking the centenary, Labour leader Keir Starmer also paid tribute to a “remarkable and unparalleled achievement”.
“Labour’s success in Wales reflects two things: first, the role of Wales in our party’s history. Welsh trade unionists were instrumental in the founding of our party, and it was a UK Labour government that created the now Senedd,” he told the Mirror.
“Devolving power to the Welsh people was about respecting the Welsh way of life and recognised that Welsh people are best placed to make decisions for their nation; this respect is held as firmly by the UK party today as it was then.
“And second, earning continued public trust is possible when we have and are guided by a firm set of values and principles.
“Labour’s record in Wales is an inspiration to our whole movement – but it’s more than electoral success.
“Successive Welsh Labour governments since 1999 have been able to put those values into practice to deliver for the Welsh people.”
Baroness Eluned Morgan, who has organised the centenary events, said: “‘Identity politics’ is a recently coined phrase, but throughout the last 100 years, Labour’s unique identity in Wales has meant we’ve built and maintained that special connection with the electorate.
“We haven’t always got it right, but we are big enough and representative enough to reflect upon the times when things have gone wrong and sought to put them right.
“It isn’t always easy, but we have done it in election after election.
“We have also demonstrated that above all we are pragmatic and practical politicians who will compromise and work with others if it helps us to achieve our political ambitions.”
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