Nikolay Kalinin delves into Labour’s success in Wales in the recent elections and suggests if the party wants to win nationwide they should pay heed to what went on there
If there’s anything that the Senedd election results can tell us, it is that the Welsh people are amongst the few that have not gone completely crackers and voted for parties that will make their lives worse at this time.
This can be evidenced by the fact that there are now no seats taken by members of UKIP and the Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party, with the former losing all seven of their seats and gaining a miserable 0.8% of the constituency vote and 1.6% of the regional vote. This is an even more shameful result than AWAP, which gained 1.6% of the constituency vote and 3.7% of regional vote.
However, both the Green Party and AWAP had a high chance of winning a regional seat in the South Wales East – where back in 2016 UKIP came second with 17.8% and got 2 out of the 4 regional seats. Nevertheless, both parties fell short by just over 5,000 votes.
The anti-lockdown Reform UK also failed in their goal to “change politics for good,” gaining no seats and once again showing Nigel Farage and Richard Tice that no one cares about their party.
So far, none of the party leaders have said anything about their predicament, meaning that they have truly been defeated in a literal and mental sense, and hopefully they will keep their filthy noses out of Welsh politics for as long as possible.
How was Labour successful? They avoided focusing too much on attacking BoJo and his sleazy Eton pals and ‘Carrie Antoinette,’ and focused instead on positive messaging, even managing to attract the voters who backed UKIP back in 2016.
Welsh Labour’s leadership during the pandemic has also meant that the electorate feels more comfortable with voting for a party which has led the region during one of the biggest public health crises the country has ever seen, with many describing this attraction to the government as “Stockholm syndrome,” which I personally find to be very stupid.
Another conclusion that we can take from the results is that Plaid Cymru’s dreams of a Welsh referendum of independence is going to be very hard to achieve due to the lack of seats they have. They only managed to gain 13 seats, which is only one seat higher than their results in 2016.
The Welsh Labour manifesto has been seen as a big reason why Labour did not gain a majority, since it has been criticised as over-cautious, although looking at it I don’t see anything too tame there. Labour for example wants to keep prescriptions free in the region, open up a new medical school and develop the Young Persons Guarantee that will give everyone under 25 the offer of work, education, training, or self-employment.
Labour’s results in Wales should be a model for Labour as a whole party; there’s some speculation that by 2040, Labour will have enough support for a coalition government, although I don’t see this as possible if Labour keeps going at this rate.
As I previously mentioned in my article about Hartlepool and when I spoke to Nick Abbott on LBC, the reason Labour won in Wales was because they appealed to the former UKIP working-class voters. So, next, it’s time Sir Keir Starmer applied that same tactic nationwide.
Pictured top: First Minister of Wales, The Right Honourable Mark Drakeford.