Once again, Wales voted Labour, got Tory

Picture: Teacher Dude. (Public Domain Mark 1.0)

 

Ifan Morgan Jones

Once again Wales went beyond the call of duty in ensuring that a Labour government was elected at Westminster.

Contrary to the expectations that the Conservatives could take some seats such as Wrexham and Bridgend, it was Labour who over-ran the Vale of Clwyd, Gower and Cardiff North.

They even came within a whisker of taking Conservative strongholds such as Aberconwy and Preseli Pembrokeshire.

All in all Welsh Labour won 28 seats, almost three quarters of the total. It was a fantastic result for them.

And yet who will govern Wales?

  • The Conservatives, who are in bed with big business and climate change denying chancers such as Donald Trump.
  • The DUP, a party of religious extremists from Northern Ireland who are homophobic, anti-abortion and violent.

This is because England did not agree with Wales. The country gave the Conservatives a very clear majority of 297 seats to Labour’s 227.

For all the feel good factor around Jeremy Corbyn doing better than expected, this is the cold, hard reality.

As I said before the election, there was nothing Wales could do to stop a Conservative government. Zip. Nil. Nada.

Even if every single person in Wales had voted Labour, the Conservatives would still have 310 seats to Labour’s 274.

This is nothing new of course. Wales has voted Labour and got a Tory government for the majority of the last 100 years.

And here’s the kicker – even if Labour had won more seats than the Conservatives, they would have struggled to form an UK government because of the new English Votes for English Laws rules.

These rules mean that only English MPs can vote on some issues such as health, education and the environment.

Unless England votes for a Labour government, a Corbyn-led government will continue to be an inviable prospect. And there’s no indication of that happening any time soon.

The only way Wales can implement the left-of-centre policies almost three quarters of the population voted for is greater autonomy.

Welsh Labour MPs have consistently opposed giving Wales greater autonomy, abstaining on issues such as justice and policing even when the Welsh Government requested those powers.

The only group of MPs who consistently support greater autonomy for Wales is Plaid Cymru, whose vote share fell on Thursday.

The irony is that by tactically voting for Labour MPs to ensure a left-wing government on Thursday, Welsh voters ensured that what they wanted was even further from their grasp.

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Gwynfor
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Gwynfor

The only answer is to go for independence

Stephen
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Stephen

Independence, Why so insular? U.K. Is better together. Our nations’ futures have already become uncertain by narrow minded brexiteers.

Tal Mac
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Tal Mac

Because you have to go to Poland to find a poorer region in Europe. Not insular Stephen, Malta hold the European Presidency, where Wales has to settle for being dictated to by the DUP – Wales deserves so much better than this. The Valleys have highest prescriptions rate / suicide rate in Europe – if our representatives don’t look at every single option to improving the lives of the people of Wales, then it’s more clear than ever that it’s the Union before anything else. Separate Legal Jurisdiction – one of the main vehicles for a prosperous society – high… Read more »

R. Tyler
Guest
R. Tyler

Totally agree, Tal.

Charlie Medson
Guest
Charlie Medson

The day will come when Wales will have to decide whether we want to become an independent nation or assimilate into ‘western England.’ I’m quite scared about what we will choose.

Gwylon Phillips
Guest
Gwylon Phillips

Labour should become a legal entity in CYMRU. It would give them more freedom. Had the Tories won more seats here, Labour would have to demand more Devolution. As it is Labour Cymru is dominated by anti-Cymru MPs who don’t give two hoots for our Nation. All they want is London-Labour dominance. You know who they are. If Labour really put Cymru first it could be a success. There wouldn’t necessarily be any obstructive opposition. One can only surmise that Labour is more pro-London than pro-CYMRU. Tactical voting doesn’t work FOR Cymru. We will continue to be treated as lepers… Read more »

ChrisChris Poote
Guest

Well, Welsh affairs were airbrushed out of the national election campaign coverage and social media, focussing as they did on Lab vs Tory. Each side had its own little Project Fear, resulting in high turnout and lots of tactical voting, which stole voters from other parties. Despite that, Plaid Cymru gained a seat. And funnily enough, in the aftermath of the election that has been ignored too. The campaigning, reporting and social media commenting of the election has been overwhelmingly like this. It doesn’t have to be. The Scottish independence referendum and subsequent General Elecrtion put the SNP on the… Read more »

Gary Owen
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Gary Owen

Thanks for setting out the facts in such a handily quotable form. Typo bach – “English Votes for English Laws” dylai hi fod dwi’n meddwl.

Meleri Davies
Guest
Meleri Davies

DUP religious extremists? Hardly. They may be hardline protestant but they’re not blowing up children in pop concerts are they? Yet the left gets into bed with Islam and no one complains.

Plaid is going back to being a party for Welsh speakers which it should be. Leanne Wood has lost the plot and needs to stand down.

Now can we please have a return to three mountains and a dragon and Dafydd Wigley?

andrewjinks
Guest

The DUP have very strong links to the protestant paramilitary groups like the Ulster Defence Association and the UVF, UFF, et cetera, who until very recent times were murdering innocent people in Northern Ireland on a regular basis, just because they were Catholics. (Google “Shankhill Butchers” if you want to understand the bloodshed they have been involved in in the quite recent past). So yes, religious extremists is exactly what the DUP are. They are also very anti-science: to them, climate change is a just a con, and they advocate creationism being taught in schools instead of evolution, they oppose… Read more »

leigh richards
Guest

Um with reference to your claims about the ‘left’ i think you might have been reading the daily blackshirt a bit too often recently Meleri While it’s hard to see how Leanne could have ‘lost the plot’ when under her leadership plaid has just equaled its best result in a UK general election in terms of seats won.

Agree with you about the Triban incidentally – and yes whoever manoeuvred Dafydd Wigley out of the plaid leadership 17 years ago has a lot to answer for.

Martin
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Martin

Haha. Mad! Dafydd Wigley is not remotely anti-Islam or racist. Incidentally I met him once many years ago.

Llywelyn ap Gwilym
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Llywelyn ap Gwilym

From the simple fact that Wales has 40 seats to England’s 533, we will never have the destiny of who rules us in our own hands, unless we become independent. “Wales voted Labour. Got Tory … because England did not agree with Wales”. Okay but what’s the alternative scenario? It’s “Wales voted Labour and got Labour, because England happened to also vote Labour”. In the meantime, while support for and curiosity in independence grows, we in Wales need to vote for a party who puts Wales’ interests first. That currently means Plaid Cymru. It could in future also mean Welsh… Read more »

Leia
Guest

It is an utter, total mystery to me why Labour aren’t leading the IndyWales charge, it really is. I mean they’d be in a consistently strong position for government in an independent Wales, that seems obvious. So what is it? Is it ego? They’d rather lose in a big pond than win in a small one? What exactly is their problem? Welsh Labour only seemed to remember the existence of the actual UK Labour leade after the results came in. They consistently vote in the Senedd against things which are in UK labour’s manifesto. One solution might be Gwylon’s. A… Read more »

Robert Llewellyn Tyler
Guest
Robert Llewellyn Tyler

“The only way Wales can implement the left-of-centre policies almost three quarters of the population voted for is greater autonomy.”
Less than two thirds, I’m afraid.

Chantel Mathias
Guest

Am no mathematician or constitutional expert, but based on what you’ve said above, then it would have made no bloody difference if everyone in Wales had voted Plaid either. Or am I missing something? ‘Jeremy Corbyn was just 2,227 votes away from chance to be Prime Minister’ of ‘progressive alliance’: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/corbyn-election-results-votes-away-prime-minister-theresa-may-hung-parliament-a7782581.html As to: ‘a Corbyn-led government will continue to be an inviable prospect. And there’s no indication of that happening any time soon.’ Really? You think this DUP deal is likely to last, If an? I’m not even sure it will properly get off the ground. What about a vote… Read more »

Malwoden (@Gwlithod)
Guest

One of Wales’ parties need to come out for Indy at some point. I have a lot of sympathy with the greens, but I can’t vote for them because of their ‘EnglandandWales’ BS. They could massively wrong-foot Plaid by campaigning on IndyWales which would also force them to confront their constitutional dogpile.

Rhys Jones
Guest
Rhys Jones

If Plaid are serious about becoming an election force, it needs to look beyond its West Wales bubble. There is some good work being done by Leanne Wood and by the party in parts of Cardiff. However, if Plaid in the North can’t even win Mon, how on earth does it expect to be contenders in places like Clwyd West or the Vale of Clwyd, let alone Delyn or Wrexham. Perhaps if the party was serious about putting up a challenge in these seats it would put forward good candidates that can actually connect with voters in these places. Articles… Read more »

Siobhan McGurk (@SEMcGurk)
Guest

Rhys – I have previously expressed confusion about why Plaid won’t run a more viable candidate in, and throw some money at Cardiff North. There’s a large community of urban welsh speakers, and a large community of english-speaking people who send kids to welsh schools. It is also the constituency of Siop y Felin, and a number of businesses that buy and sell Welsh-only produce. I know many people who would be inclined to go with Plaid in Cardiff North, but they go over to Labour because, in my living memory, it has always been Tory v Labour swing seat.… Read more »

Billy Blagg
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Billy Blagg

I am not sure what the argument in this article is? The numbers seem wrong too. ‘The country gave the Conservatives a very clear majority of 297 seats to Labour’s 227.’ Am I missing something or have you read a completely different set of results? I get the value of showing England’s seat count, but voting for Plaid (whose ideas I would naturally support if they could make a difference under the FPTP System), will only make that situation worse. Scotland may well get just as much of a voice from the fact that their Conservative MPs under the command… Read more »

The Anderson Faction (@Incrementalists)
Guest

Interesting stuff, EVEL is a constitutional nightmare, not just for Labour, the tories in alliance with the DUP and Scottish tories are also restricted by it. Westminster needs to seriously decentralise power to Wales, Scotland has some significant powers that the welsh are yet to enjoy and they make a big difference, unfortunately it isn’t in the interest of Westminster centred politics to allow this.

Quite simply they need to learn to share or the nations of the dis-United Kingdom will go their own way.

good luck to the welsh indy movement.

TT
Guest
TT

The point of the article as I see it is to highlight the fact that Wales’ returning MP’s will not influence the composition of the Government, and that includes returning 40 Plaid Cymru MP’s. Based on the voting track record of Welsh MP’s it’s factually correct to say that PC are consistent in voting for more powers for Wales, and that Labour MP’s less so. It makes the logical argument that only through further devolution and ultimately a federal or independent Wales can have the flavour government its voted for. I don’t see this as a difficult argument but is… Read more »

Trailorboy
Guest
Trailorboy

The fear of conservatives winning seats in Wales is THE major factor in the minds of many Welsh voters, particularly in the South East that over-rides everything else – no other issue or factor has any relevance in the minds of many. So long as voting Plaid is seen as a risk, a risk that could allow a Tory candidate to succeed, then for many that is a risk too far. If the perception was that Plaid was a shoe-in in Ynys-Mon, then the tactical vote would have swung in their favour, but logic dictates that the incumbent was probably… Read more »