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That Labour heartland

Leanne Wood, the leader of Plaid Cymru, achieved the shock of the night when she won the Rhondda constituency seat from Leighton Andrews, a Labour stalwart and minister in the last administration.

Rhondda? Srisly?

Obviously I’m out of date but I thought Plaid was for the Welsh speaking North, not the transplanted midlanders in the Valleys.

17 thoughts on “That Labour heartland”

  1. The shock of the night was that she could string together five words into a coherent sentence. She really does take spastic public servant to a whole new level to be fair.

  2. So Much For Subtlety

    To quote Osama Bin Laden, people will support the strong horse not the weak horse. Men have decided to be weak, no wonder more and more of them prefer to be women. The English have become self-loathing and spineless. Of course the grandchildren of midland immigrants would rather identify as Welsh.

    The continuing story here is the pointlessness of the Labour Party. The fiscal conservatives are as dead as the socialists. Everyone is congregating in the middle ground. So instead British politics is about race and identity. The Welsh have their own party. So do the Scots. The English seem to identify with the Tories. Where does that leave Labour? The party of Third World immigrants?

  3. I remember they lost a seat there a decade or so ago after a major corruption scandal involving the local Labour Party.

  4. I think we’re seeing a nationwide move away from Labour.
    A person who has previously voted Labour and been brainwashed to hate the Tories will find someone else to move to, might be SNP, Plaid, Ukip, and has been the Liberal Dwmocrats, depends what’s available locally.

  5. Rhondda was the only constituency to change hands (I think). It was a rather special case as Leanne Wood is a Rhondda girl and has had a very high media profile as party leader.

    Still, Labour did get a kicking, but unfortunately not enough of one to be terminal.

    The other interesting outcome was the election of 7 UKIPs from the regional lists (which is a top-up mechanism to allow a measure of proportional representation). Not a terrible thing in and of itself, but one of these new members is Neil “just stuff it in an envelope” Hamilton, who currently lives in that lovely Welsh county of Wiltshire…

  6. While it was huge swing (PC +21.1%, Lab -27.3%), it’s hardly unprecedented; the seat was first held by Plaid, with Geriant Davies being its inaugaral AM in ’99. It swang massively to Labour (Lab +21.1%, PC -21.7%) at the subsequent election in ’03 and they’ve held it until this week.

  7. Rhyds

    I believe Hamilton at least has various ties to Wales (birth, lived there, university, iirc).

    As for Mark Reckless…

    But yes, can’t see the Kippers have done themselves any favours with this one. Is this really who they want to be represented by?

  8. From what’s been reported UKIP wales have had Reckless and Hamilton forced upon them by central office.

    We have plenty of home-grown swivel eyed loons and don’t need no immigrants…

  9. Immigrants from the West Country I think you’ll find.

    With the decline of the “respectable” working class, the Labout hegemony in Wales isn’t quite what it was.

  10. It was I believe John Redwood, needing to split Wales in two to claim EU grants, who noticed that there wasn’t a North:South divide as much as an East: West divide. The further West you.go, the greater the chances of running into Welsh speakers.

    Living in Bridgend at the time (no, I got the therapy, I dealt with it) I got to vote in the devolution referendum. It was an imcredibly close call, only settled by the final count in Bridgend itself. The West voted for; the East voted against.

  11. The Meissen Bison

    The West voted for; the East voted against.

    A bit like Ukraine, only the other way round. Was there talk of secession in Barry Island?

  12. FWIW, I think Reckless is half Irish.


    Re language (and the devolution vote), sure, east-west is relevant.

    But north-south very much does exist (certainly did when I was growing up in N Wales, and family still there). It’s not complicated: geography (and including mountains & transport links).

  13. Obviously Norh-South exists. However, as you will know, Deeside and Anglesey might as well be on different planets. Rolling hills housing English-speaking commuters to Liverpool and Manchester has little in common with the mountainous Welsh – speaking Snowdonia.

  14. Leighton Andrews, the Labour member she beat is widely detested here in Wales. After being sacked as Education minister for running against his own policies he was shamelessly brought back into government. He is a poster boy for entitled Labour in Wales.

    I have no time for Plaid but raised a cheer to Leanne.

    English Tory retread Mark Reckless is now my AM FFS. I shall watch the inevitable UKIP implosion in Wales over the next 4 years with glee.

  15. Ironman

    Deeside/Flintshire versus the Nationalist strongholds of Caernarfon/Bangor – sure, you’re absolutely right.

    What I remember clearly was the west spoke Welsh (and sometimes enjoyed burning cottages) and the East didn’t (we were half way – therefore rural mostly did (speak Welsh that is, except us) and the bigger towns mostly didn’t), but that essentially it was all the same place (or region), whereas “the south” really was a different planet.

    Indeed, on the occasions that people say travelled down to Cardiff or wherever, it would be via England – unless you took the slow roads.

    Ie, any east-west divide was only relevant in the context of North Wales (as a whole) being quite separate from the south.

    I think, from conversations I’ve since had with those who lived in the south, that that distinction may have been more of a northern distinction than southern?

    No idea if that reads properly at all…

  16. No major transport link between north and South Wales and never has been one, geography certainly plays its part, but also lack of political will.
    I recall that Bridgend has returned Tory MPs since it was split out from the valleys constituency, the joke there being labour could put up a donkey and it would win, to which the reply was you’ve met our MP then.

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