Welsh Labour vows to be ‘radical and ambitious’ following surprising result

Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford
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Mark Drakeford has vowed to be “radical” and “ambitious” in government as his party looks set to remain in power in Wales. Meanwhile, Keir Starmer has been accused of having no “vision”.

Welsh Labour

Labour has equalled its best ever Senedd election result by winning 30 seats – just one short of a majority – though it is not expected to take any of the remaining four regional seats left to be declared on 8 May.

If it does not pick up any of the remaining seats, Drakeford can choose to form a minority government. Or, he may also invite members of other parties into a Labour-led administration, giving the party greater control of the Senedd.

Welsh parliament elections
(PA Graphics)

Welsh Labour put the “extraordinary set of results” down to Drakeford’s leadership during the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen the first minister’s approach go down well with voters.

Asked if he planned to continue his cautious brand of politics during a new administration, Drakeford told the PA news agency:

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Well, absolutely as far as coronavirus is concerned. The pandemic has not gone away.

A government I lead will continue to follow the science to do what our medical advisers tells us we should do, and that does mean doing things in a way that continues to keep Wales safe.

But on other matters, our manifesto is a radical manifesto with a host of ideas that are ambitious for Wales.

I’ll be very keen to ensure that we give that the most powerful sense of momentum behind it to get those things happening here in Wales.

English Labour

Following a “shattering” set of elections for the national Labour Party, Keir Starmer also spoke about what would happen next:

When asked if he’d reshuffle his shadow cabinet, Starmer avoided answering directly and repeated the same response almost word-for-word multiple times:

Some have criticised Starmer for having no “vision”:

A poll from Channel 4 News suggests the main change Starmer will need to “bring about” relates to his own leadership:

A surprising result

Drakeford returned to Labour’s offices in Cardiff for reserved celebrations after a night of constituency results gave the party 27 seats. The first set of regional results led Labour to equal their best ever result. Drakeford will visit Porthcawl, Bridgend, on the afternoon of 8 May to make a speech to party members.

Senedd election
Counting continues in the Welsh Senedd elections at the Cardiff City House of Sport (Ben Birchall/PA)

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds, who won a regional seat in Mid and West Wales after her party lost the Brecon and Radnorshire constituency to the Conservatives, said she has yet to be approached by Drakeford to help form the next government. She told BBC Radio Cymru:

I need to speak to other people within the party and we shall have to see.

Meanwhile, the Welsh Conservatives have 14 seats, including taking Vale of Clwyd from Labour, and Plaid Cymru have 11, having lost its high-profile former leader Leanne Wood’s Rhondda seat to Labour. Wood said on her Facebook page that the result was “disappointing”, but that her team can “hold our heads high in the knowledge that we ran a clean and honest campaign, we did not denigrate our opponents and we worked hard”.

Polling at the start of the campaign suggested Labour was facing its worst ever result and was at risk of winning as few as 22 of the Senedd’s 60 seats, a loss of seven from 2016, though later polls suggested a stronger showing.

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  • Show Comments
    1. Watch what Starmer does next. Will he promote Streeting and Reeves? Here are two followers of Herzl who are unapologetic supporters of Israel: apartheid, occupation, illegal settlements, brutal killing of kids with slings and the rest. How can such people claim to support equality, democracy, human rights, anti-racism? Israeli Statists are skilled in cognitive dissonance. It’s how Israel functions. If Starmer does promote these apologists for rank injustice, will he have been leant on? He rolled over when the B o D ten pledges were imposed on him. He describes himself as a Zionist (does he know what that means?). Is he lining up Israeli Statists as future Labour leaders to ensure no one who supports Palestinian rights can be a member? He looks more and more like a puppet, less and less like a man who knows what he’s doing. What does he stand for? So far, all we know is he supports Israel, has never spoken a word in defence on the Palestinians, and calls himself a Zionist. He loves Israel. Anything else?

    2. Welsh Labour obviously bucked the national trend because of their Blairite policies 🙂 Over to you for an explanation Mr Mandelson.

      As for Sir Keith, a limp, wet rag who does what he’s told by the centrists, who lied to the Labour membership in order to become leader, and who seems to have some very dubious views when it comes to Zionism.

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