Saturday, 5 March 2011

Wales Says YES , now for Round 2

Yesterday afternoon, the chair of the Electoral Commission announced the final result of the referendum on the subject of law making powers for the Assembly (in word perfect Welsh as well as English)

Do you want the Assembly now to be able to make laws on all matters in the 20 subject areas it has powers for?

YES 516,332 votes (63.45%) NO 297,380 votes (36.54%)

So Wales said YES to law making powers for the Assembly and was all agreed (well, nearly all as Monmouthshire said YES 49.36% NO 50.63%, so expect the English Democrats to start campaigning for a referendum on Monmouthshire's future) but that now leaves the way clear for the next Welsh election and that is for the Assembly itself on May 5th.

Labour's primary aim in those elections will be to get an overall majority (which if they make five net gains they will be able to do). However, as the Assembly elects in a proportional system, Labour do have to be careful. If they gain their top five targets (Carmarthen West, Clwyd West, Llanelli, Preseli Pembrokeshire, Cardiff North) they risk losing their regional list seats in Mid and West Wales (2) which means they would then have to gain the next two targets (Blaenau Gwent, Aberconwy) but as Aberconwy requires a swing of 8.40% from Plaid to Lab, getting their five net gains will not be as easy as it first sounds.

Over the next weeks as the Assembly campaign gears up, I shall be tracking the polls that the campaign will produce as well as looking at the targets each party needs to win. The coverage will start on Thursday with a look at the fate of the sole elected Independent in the Assembly, Trish Law in Blaenau Gwent (who is standing down). Will her independence carry on to the new Independent candidate or will the constituency revert to form (just as it did in the general election last year and Merthyr Tydfil did in 1972)?

1 comment:

  1. I wonder whether it's time now to talk of "Wales and Monmouthshire", as was the fashion some decades ago.