I thought that the causes of Lembit Opik’s defeat in last May’s election were self-evident. However there is one person who still cannot see why the Liberal Democrat lost in my home constituency of Montgomeryshire, and that’s Lembit himself!
Lembit explained in a piece of election literature (for his London mayoral candidacy) that he only lost the 2010 election in Montgomeryshire because of the actions of Mick Bates, who was the constituency’s Welsh Assembly member at the time. For those of you unfamiliar with the antics of Mick Bates you can read more here.
So, the fact that Lembit was a shameless self promoter, who seemed more interested in being a two bit celebrity, dating a string of young women than representing his constituents. Lembit was seen as a joke in the constituency, and its is no surprise that he lost. Of course I mustn’t take away from the successful candidate, Glyn Davies. Lembit lost to a popular candidate who knew the area, and had previously represented the people of Mis and West Wales in the Welsh Assembly.
Mick Bates was responsible only for his own downfall, not Lembit’s. Lembit’s Daily Sport articles, “I’m a Celebrity” appearances and string of dalliances were responsible for his downfall.
Here’s a good blog by Tim Roll-Pickering about Opik’s long term decline in Montgomeryshire before thumper Bates got handy with his fists.
It would seem that the Lib Dems have cut John Dixon adrift to concentrate on Aled Roberts (you know the disqualified AM). It would seem that the Lib Dems are trying to be bastions of Welsh language rights by claiming that Aled Roberts was at a disadvantage because the rules he read, which was in Welsh was not correct and different to the rules written in English. However when it came to filling in his consent to nomination, he filled in the english version of the form.
Now when I read an official form in Welsh I then go on to fill it in Welsh also. Of course this doesn’t disprove Aled Roberts claim but it seems very inconsistent! Here is a link to that form. nomination form
So Plaid Cymru were ridiculed for their plans called Build4Wales where bonds would be issued to pay for investment in Welsh infrastructure etc. However it would seem that the UK government have agreed that this is a great idea, and offered it to Scotland. So what about Wales? When will Wales get its “Calman like” commission that was promised, and when will we be getting borrowing powers so we can pay our own way.
Incidentally, it would seem that Labour have decided that a few months after the election campaign that this is now a good idea. As Mabon ap Gwynfor succinctly puts it:
“Who is it that called it Pie in the sky? Lib Dems.
Who called in “ineffective”? Conservatives
Who said it was “to good to be true”? Labour”
I have written before about the Lib Dems’ misleading graphs in their election literature, but this is a new one to me! Today I received a leaflet through the post from the Lib Dems (see picture). When I opened the letter I was expecting to see Wyn Williams pointing at various points of local greivances, however there was a leaflet with Kirsty Williams standing in front of an Ambulance, hugging a lamb, and sitting with schoolchildren (and one, which I can only assume, of Kirsty hiding behind a corner – bottom right of the picture).
Anyway, this must have been a regional leaflet, however the title read “Time for real action for Montgomeryshire”. But correct me if I’m wrong, Kirsty isn’t standing in Montgomeryshire. I can only assume that this is a regional leaflet, but she isn’t standing on the regional list either! Neither does it say anything about the regional list on the leaflet, apart from the suggestion that i should “look for the bird” (maybe an idea from the former MP Lembit Opik?).
Shortly after the formation of the ConDem coalition last year I predicted that the government wouldn’t last more than a year. Well, it’s almost a year and the coalition still stands… for now. I might have been a bit hasty in my prediction, however the situation seems more fragile than ever.
The last year has been relatively plain sailing because it’s only now an issue that is close to the Lib Dems’ hearts. I’m not sure why commentators are acting surprised by this though, it was inevitable that the government would be split on the issue of AV.
May will not be a good month for the Lib Dems, they could very well AV slip through their fingers at the same time hundreds of their councillors in England face being turfed out of their wards – and as for the Lib Dems in Wales, well they could possibly find themselves with as little as 2 seats in the Assembly.
With all of these factors considered I feel confident in saying that the Westminster government won’t last until 2015. I would go so far as to say that the coalition won’t be in place this time next year.
With electioneering in full swing right across Wales I thought it timely to discuss the way things look in the constituency I live in. As I have already mentioned in an earlier post, I have already cast my vote via postal ballot where I voted for David Senior (Plaid Cymru). I believe that Plaid are the only group in the Assembly that could offer an alternative to a Labour government. The Tories have no experience in WAG, and as for the Lib Dems, well their share of seats will either remain the same or, as expected decrease.
However, in Montgomeryshire there are two plausible outcomes to this election, either Wyn Williams, the Lib Dem candidate, or Russell George, the Tory candidate will win. As many of you will know the Tories took the seat from the Lib Dems in the 2010 Westminster election, and so are riding high off that victory. Lib Dems have had bad press in the area over the last few years with Lembit Opik (as seen on TV – and any other two bit reality show / tabloid newspaper) and his exploits, and of course the incident between the former AM, Mick Bates and paramedics.
The situation for the Lib Dems isn’t helped by the fact that the Tory that already represents Montgomeryshire in Westmister is a popular individual. Glyn Davies MP (and former AM) has earned great respect amongst many in the county accross the political spectrum. Glyn has managed to raise his profile, and that of the Tories in the county with his campaign against proposed plans for windmills and electric pylons in the county which has certainly reflected well on Russell George.
It should also be noted that it is only Russell George placards that can be seen along the roads around Llanidloes and Newtown. I know such a sentence can easily be hyperbole, but I have literally seen no poster nor placard in support of Wyn Williams up anywhere, up to this point anyway.
So I gingerly raise my head above the parapet here to say that in my opinion it will be Russell George and Montgomeryshire Tories who will be celebrating come May 6th.
Another letter I have sent to the County Times in Montgomeryshire, after receiving a leaflet from the local Lib Dem candidate.
It often amuses me to read election leaflets from political parties, and none amuse me more than those of the Liberal Democrats. I refer in particular to their infamous bar graphs that would seem to “prove” that its a two horse race! This year is no exception to this. On Saturday I received a leaflet stating that “We [the Lib Dems] called to called to see you [me] today”. In this leaflet was a convenient bar graph showing how Plaid Cymru and Labour cannot contend with the Tories in Montgomeryshire.
I take issue with this misleading bar graph for one fundamental reasons. They are based on the election result of the last Westminster elections. Now, I and I’m sure all of your readers aren’t as naive to believe the graphs produced by the Lib Dems. Of course they are based on real figures, but we all know that the issues for the Assembly elections are different to those of the 2010 Westminster election. And so is the way we elect the Assembly, therefore the results in the election will differ to the Lib Dems “Two horse bar graph”.
I also was amused by the following line more than the graph’s misleading nature, the line was: “Voting Lib Dem is the only way to keep the Tories out”
The irony is certainly not lost on me, neither I’m sure it is on your readers and electors of Montgomeryshire. We have heard that line before.