A second vote to elect the first minister is likely to take place tomorrow
Nicola Sturgeon is today expected to be confirmed by the Scottish Parliament as its nominee for First Minister, while in Wales things may be coming to a head.
Following last week’s bizarre vote, in which Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood gained the support of the Conservatives and UKIP to secure the same number of Assembly votes as Labour’s Carwyn Jones to be the nominee for First Minister, Plaid and Labour Groups at the Assembly will today consider the outcome of talks held between the two parties.
In a statement issued yesterday following talks led by Labour’s Finance Minister, Jane Hutt and senior Plaid AM, Simon Thomas two parties noted that following ‘a positive few days of discussions’ negotiations between the parties were at an end which, they added, had led to ‘good progress’ being made.
The statement went on to note that the leaderships of each party would put the outcome of the talks to their respective AMs today, with a view to the Assembly holding a second vote to nominate a First Minister tomorrow.
This all leaves a lot still to be answered, namely what the basis of any deal really is.
There are likely to be two options, neither of which will lead to Plaid AMs finding their feet around the cabinet table.
The first is a loose supply and confidence arrangement that would see Plaid supporting Labour to get Budgets passed and on any no-confidence votes that may or may not occur. Under such a scenario Plaid will probably seek early sight of budgets and legislation to help shape them.
The second potential option would be for Plaid to make a series of policy demands to be traded in for support for the Government. One policy area in particular that Plaid is thought likely to be pursing is its proposals for improvements to the M4 to be made via the Blue Route or a variation of it, rather than Labour’s proposals for a new motorway south of Newport to ease congestion.
AMs have until 2 June to agree on a nominee for First Minister, otherwise they will face fresh elections.
Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor at Left Foot Forward
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