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Monday, May 09, 2011

Are the Tories poised to hand Labour a majority in the Welsh Assembly?

I only ask because rumour has it that the Welsh Conservative Group are poised to support a suspension of standing orders to enable the Presiding Officer and the Deputy Presiding Officer to both come from the opposition. As both posts are non-voting this would give Labour a two vote majority.

Apparently the rationale is that this will guarantee a Conservative Presiding Officer. They may expect the Deputy Presiding Officer to come from Plaid Cymru or the Liberal Democrats but as neither group will nominate for the post, it is likely that the Conservatives will inadvertently end up providing the nominee for this post too.

If this is the case then Labour will have a working majority and will be able to push through their budget and their legislation for the next five years. Every time a Conservative amendment is defeated we will remind them that they created the situation that led to them being out-voted.

But how does Labour feel about entering into an effective confidence and supply arrangement with the Welsh Conservatives?
I vaguely recall the same thing happening at a local election for Cardiff when the Liberals increase their seats from 3 to 12 holding the balance of power. The Tories abstained for the elections of Leader and committee chairs.
But the Conservative favourite for Presiding Officer, David Melding, has ruled himself out. Is there a credible alternative from the Tory side?
I really can't see the logic behind it and so won't believe it!

I mean, why would the Tories want to lose two members? quite odd.

I didn't realise the DPO has no voting rights. So even when the PO is presiding, and the DPO is just sitting on the benches he/she can contribute to debates (as I HAVE seen Rosemary do that) but CANNOT vote?
I'd never realised that before!
Peter, You've got in their and take control of the leaderless tories. Your chance for governemnt is gone if they be PO
Are they planning to kick some of their less palatable (to the welsh public, at least) erstwhile leadership contenders to PO posts then?

This would seem very strange, if it happened - and surely Elis-Thomas would hardly willingly give up 'his' position?
Another question is over Angela Burns' role - as she has a fighting chance of leading the tories (other candidates Millar and RT in all likelyhood) can she be Cons Leader and PO simultaenlously?
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