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Monday, May 09, 2011

Plaid Cymru start inquest on their failed election campaign

After a weekend of relative calm the week has started with a bang, as Presiding Officer Dafydd Elis Thomas joins other critics of Plaid Cymru's election strategy in questioning the party's approach.

According to the BBC, Dafydd has questioned Plaid Cymru's decision to go negative on their coalition partners, leaving themselves open to the charge of hypocrisy for not taking collective responsibility for government decisions.

Plaid Cymru lost four seats in the election and were overtaken by the Tories as the second largest party, a fact that the Presiding Officer believes was down to the party's approach to the election:

"I think there was a problem with the campaign itself in that there appeared to be a determination to be as negative as possible towards our previous partners in government and I don't think the position of the party was sufficiently clearly explained even on the particular political spectrum we have in Wales."

He said he made it clear he would not serve in a coalition under the Conservatives unless Labour was "decimated".

"It's very clear that the Welsh people have decided that they trust the leadership of Carwyn Jones as first minister."

These comments seem to reflect those of Rhodri Glyn Thomas on election night. The only questions remaining are where is Ieuan Wyn Jones and can Plaid continue with him as leader? I would love to be a fly on the wall at their first group meeting.
negative campaigning is not a pretty sight...hate it. So do a lot of people I think.[the AV no campaign was nothing less than despicable]
Elin Jones has remianed I see...
Elin Jones has publically acknowledged that her badger cull policy and the very effective campaign by local anti cull supporters meant she lost a significant (19%) of her vote.Although credit must go to Liz Evans the very strong Libdem runnerup. There was a similar decline in Plaid vote in Preseli where the cull is due to start soon (unless Labour stop it). It is less clear if Plaids decline across Wales was affected by the cull policy although the anti cull campaigners were very active in encouraging animal welfare groups to lend their votes to anticull (mainly Labour) candidates. In any event Elins Jones badger cull policy has tarnished Plaids image as a Green party. (Locals now refer to them as Plaid Scumry)Peter Maybe you should leave this last bit off
Plaid made a tactical error in their campaign. They tried to fight the 2007 Assembly election again. Politics and Wales had move on. It could be very easily argued that Plaid were the biggest loosers of the election night, given that Labour and Tories made gains, and the Lib Dems only made a net loss of just one seat (when everyone thought that the Liberal Democrats would be reuded down 3 or 4 members,if that).

Plaid has been in decline for some time now though, this is more then just a failure in a campaign. The risk now for Plaid is learning the wrong lessosn (from Scotland).

On the negative campaigning front, all political parties are guilty of it. And I don't see that changing anytime soon.
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