Why the Conservatives need to focus on Wales in 2016


 For 16 years since devolution began, Wales has been stuck with a Welsh Labour Government.

Within those 16 years, there have been numerous coalitions with the Welsh Liberal Democrats and with Plaid Cymru. In 2016, it will be the Welsh Conservatives fifth attempt at changing the Political structure of Cardiff Bay, and making it bluer than it’s ever been before. Assembly Members are elected by two voting methods; First Past the Post and Mixed-proportional representation. FPTP is easy, it’s whoever gets the most votes wins, however the way MPR works is based on FPTP. It uses the D’hont method and takes away the total seats that is given to a party via FPTP, and whatever they are left with, they are elected additional members. For example, in North Wales in 2011, the Welsh Conservatives were entitled to 4 seats, but because they gained Aberconwy and held Clwyd West, they were only awarded with an additional 2 Assembly Members.

In Mid and West Wales, they were awarded 0 additional members, because they had gained Montgomeryshire. This also resulted in the Leader of the Welsh Conservatives at the time, losing his regional seat. In Mid and West Wales, the biggest rival will be Plaid Cymru across the Region, but Kirsty Williams in Brecon & Radnorshire. UKIP have crept into the field, but in Mid and West Wales they managed to effect the Welsh Conservative mildly, so they could result in a loss of an additional seat for the Welsh Liberal Democrats and steal an additional seat off Welsh Labour (the only region where Labour have additional seats).

The polls during the General Election in Wales were certainly convincing for the vast majority of people, which predicted the Welsh Conservatives could gain Brecon and Radnorshire if it was a bad night for the Welsh Liberal Democrats. It was also widely thought and predicted that Cardiff North would be gained from Welsh Labour off the Welsh Conservatives as it was in the 2011 Welsh Assembly Elections. Vale of Clwyd and Gower were also predicted Labour holds, however the polls were very wrong with those last three seats. The Welsh Conservatives held onto Cardiff North with an increased Majority, whilst also gaining Vale of Clwyd and Gower with ultra-marginal majorities. Even the Vale of Glamorgan managed to double its majority from +3000 to +6000. In the 2015 election in Wales, the Welsh Conservatives achieved more votes in Constituencies, than Welsh Labour did in Constituencies in the 2011 Welsh Assembly Election. This has provided a boost for the local campaigns in the Vale of Clwyd and Gower, who have just recently selected their candidates for next year. What the Welsh Conservatives need to do now, is gain the seats they have in Westminster that they don’t have in Cardiff and also boost their regional vote, meaning they keep their additional members. The seats they don’t have in Cardiff but do in Westminster are; Vale of Clwyd, Cardiff North, Gower, Vale of Glamorgan and Brecon and Radnorshire. A March 2015 poll predicted a breakthrough for UKIP, whilst a major loss for the Welsh Liberal Democrats. The Welsh Liberal Democrats would be left with two seats (-3), Plaid Cymru would hold all 11 seats, the Welsh Conservatives would be left with 13 seats (-1), Welsh Labour would be left with 28 seats (-2), whilst UKIP would be up 5 seats (+5) and the Greens could snatch 1 seat (+1). Other polls after this, have seen the Greens with no seats. However, after the elections this year, can people really trust the polls?

Alongside the Welsh Assembly Elections, the Police and Crime Commissioner Elections will also occur, whilst across the UK other elections will also happen. Across England, local government elections will happen, in Scotland a Parliamentary Election will also happen, an Assembly Election in Northern Ireland, whilst also the London Mayoral Elections will occur, and I imagine the London Mayoral Elections will steal the Tories spotlight after numerous predictions have seen Labour gain the Mayoral position from the Conservatives. It is now the time to get into action mode and win Cardiff Bay for the Welsh Conservatives. Without talking about coalition prospects, the Welsh Conservatives could have a chance at forming a minority government like the current Welsh Labour administration. It’s now time to listen to all parts of Wales. Welsh Labour are often accused of not listening at all to North Wales but rather, pouring money into the South and not much into the North, and with the failing Health and Education systems, this could be the Welsh Conservatives chance for victory. With Welsh Labour having been in power for 17 years by the time the elections come along, the people of Wales need change.

 Follow Adam on Twittter

Comments are closed.