Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/11978

Posted on 9 May 2011 at 16:55 GMT

Labour wins Welsh Assembly election

But socialist alternative to cuts needed

Welsh Labour has won the Welsh Assembly elections, although it has been unable to secure an overall majority, winning just 30 of the 60 seats in the Senedd. Welsh Liberals tried to present themselves as different to the Clegg Liberals in Westminster and kept their loss down to 4% of the vote. The biggest loser is Plaid Cymru that lost 3% of the vote and four seats.

Dave Reid, Socialist Party Wales

Labour is trying to form an Assembly government on its own. It is unlikely it will be able to have a working majority on its own for the entire five year term of the Assembly but it will probably try to muddle through on each issue in the short run.

A coalition with the Liberals or even Plaid Cymru remains a possibility in the long run. The reality is there is very little to choose between the policies of the three parties on all the key issues of public services.

Clearly, as in the English council elections, working class voters voted Labour as the best way to oppose the Con-Dem government in Westminster and to punish the Liberals for their perceived betrayal.

This was played on by Welsh Labour. Peter Hain, Labour Shadow Secretary for Wales and MP for Neath, said during the election: "What I'm finding on the doorstep is a lot of concern about the actions of the Tory-led UK government.

"Whenever someone tells me they're not sure that they'll vote, I start talking about student tuition fees, the need to defend the health service and the public spending cuts.

"It's like a political lightning conductor".

But this is a cynical line by New Labour, that introduced tuition fees and trebled them, is cutting the health service in Wales by 1 billion and would implement enormous public spending cuts if in power in Westminster.

The next Assembly government will attempt to blame the effects of deep cutbacks on the Westminster government. But health cuts in particular will be a big issue in Wales over the next five years.

The outgoing coalition led by Welsh Labour agreed to cut spending on health by 7.6% despite the NHS struggling to keep up with the intense demands in Wales.

Low turnout

The lacklustre nature of the Assembly campaign was reflected in the turnout of just 42%. The Assembly election failed to capture the interest of working people across Wales.

Those who did vote were polarised. In middle class areas the Tory vote strengthened, as the Lib Dems have carried the blame for the cutbacks, while working class voters have returned towards Labour in reaction to the Tory cuts from Westminster.

However the Labour vote is quite weak. Labour won 42% in the constituencies but just 37% in the regional lists.

A substantial socialist alternative to the cuts could have won a lot of those votes.

Socialist Party Wales stood as part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) for two regional seats: South Wales Central and South Wales West.

TUSC laboured under the big disadvantage of a low profile at this stage without the resources to reach its potential supporters and with no media coverage.

TUSC gained 1,639 votes (0.5%) in the two regions. With the Socialist Labour Party and Communist Party also standing in the lists the left vote was split three ways.

In South Wales Central, for example, the combined left vote was 4.1% of the vote and a united campaign would have overtaken UKIP. Nevertheless the canvassing and street campaigning that was done by TUSC got an excellent response from working people.

In Cardiff Central, Swansea West, Pontypridd and Cynon Valley a lot of posters went up in windows indicating the support that we received on the doorstep.

Plaid Cymru has been thrown into crisis by its worst result in an Assembly election. The fault lines between its southern regions, which rely on working class support, and its northern regions which are based more on small business and farming interests, are being exposed.

Leader Leuan Wyn Jones from Ynys Mon is coming under intense criticism for refusing to rule out a deal with the Tories during the election campaign which undermined Plaid in the south Wales valleys.


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 9 May 2011 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 






Related links:

Wales:

triangleGoing viral - Socialist comments and letters

triangleSocial partnership is an attempt to shackle trade unions and prevent industrial action

triangleSocialist Party Wales: New workers' party needed to tackle coronavirus and capitalist austerity

triangleWhere's the PPE Welsh Assembly?

triangleRoyal Glam A&E: Victory is within our grasp

Cuts:

triangleStrong union response needed against job cuts

triangleSafe protests against Tory corona chaos continue

triangleJohnson's plan terrifies me - readers react to lifting lockdown

triangleSafe social-distancing car-cavalcade protests

Welsh Assembly:

triangleKeep the pressure on to save Royal Glam A&E

triangleNHS: Fight for full funding!

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: A socialist programme for the Welsh Assembly

Election:

triangleSabotage - the inner workings of Labour's political machine exposed

triangleLabour leadership election: Starmer wins but the fight for socialism goes on

TUSC:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

27/5/20

Fighting Fund

We need readers' support to fight capitalist crisis

27/5/20

Ferries

Fight P&O's billionaire bosses' jobs cut plan

27/5/20

Schools

Schools aren't safe

27/5/20

Energy

Energy firm plans to make 2,600 redundant

27/5/20

Hull

Hull Trades Council debates workers' political representation

27/5/20

Covid

Eerily quiet before second wave - don't reopen schools!

25/5/20

Coronavirus

No return to unsafe construction sites

22/5/20

Obituary

Mick Cotter 21-9-57 to 20-5-20

22/5/20

Rolls Royce

Strong union response needed against job cuts

20/5/20

CWU

Postal workers' action results in double victory for union

20/5/20

NSSN

Organising to fight for workplace safety

20/5/20

Peterborough

Posties walk out in Peterborough after manager tests positive

20/5/20

Covid

Johnson claims workplaces safe but HSE cancels inspections

20/5/20

Protest

Safe protests against Tory corona chaos continue

19/5/20

Hull

Trades council debates workers' political representation

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999