Jones calls for an anti-Tory alliance in Wales

The Welsh first minister has urged Plaid supporters, and others seeking progressive politics, to support Ed Miliband

 

Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones will today call on all Welsh voters who want rid of the Tories to rally behind Labour at the General Election.

Ahead of a speech in Ammanford in Carmarthenshire, Jones has urged supporters of Plaid Cymru and others seeking progressive politics to support Ed Miliband.

In echoes of similar appeals made by Labour to SNP voters in Scotland, the first minister said:

“In every constituency I’ve visited in Wales someone has told me they’re coming back to Labour after years of voting for other parties – or they’re saying they are lending us our vote this time to kick out the Tories.

“A progressive alliance of Welsh voters is building up and we want more people to join.”

Appealing to this alliance to stick together, he went on to say:

“The vast majority of voters, up to 75 per cent of them in Wales, will be going to the polls in less than two weeks with one big thing in common – they want an end to Tory rule at Westminster.

“But many of them are going to wake up disappointed if we let the Tories in the backdoor by splitting the progressive vote where Welsh Labour can win.”

He continued:

“There are seats right across Wales – particularly in North and West Wales – where a slight shift from Plaid Cymru, the Greens and the Liberals will give us a real chance of getting a vital handful more Labour MPs into parliament.

“An extra two or three Welsh Labour MPs, with Welsh Labour values, could mean the difference between banning zero hours contracts, or not – scrapping the bedroom tax, or not – ending the war on Wales, or not.”

According to the most recent Welsh Political Barometer published earlier this month, the Labour Party is now on 40 per cent of the vote in Wales, up just under four percentage points on the 2010 election.

Replicated across Wales, this would mean Labour picking up an additional two seats in Wales compared to the 26 they currently hold, taking Cardiff Central from the Liberal Democrats and Cardiff North from the Conservatives.

The Conservatives, according to the poll, are on 26 per  of the vote, about the same that they secured in 2010. Such a result would see them maintain their current tally of eight Welsh MPs, with the loss of Cardiff North offset by picking up Brecon and Radnor from the Lib Dems.

On 12 per cent of the vote, Plaid Cymru appear to have made little progress from 2010, on course simply to retain the three seats they held in the last House of Commons.

Such a position would disappoint Plaid HQ, where leader Leanne Wood has made clear her desire to see the party achieve its best ever result for a Westminster election.

The Lib Dems meanwhile remain in dire straits in Wales, polling at six per cent, down from the just over 20 per cent of the vote they secured in 2010. Under such a scenario they would lose all but one of the three Welsh seats they are defending, keeping only Ceredigion.

Although UKIP are on 13 per cent and the Greens on four per cent this would not, according to the analysis by the Elections in Wales blog, give them any Welsh representation at Westminster.

Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter 

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