Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Plaid's Elfyn Llwyd says there will NOT be a hung parliament

On a radio interview yesterday Plaid Cymru's parliamentary group leader, Elfyn Llwyd, said:

"Do we know for example if it's going to be a balanced parliament? I rather doubt whether it is."

This is quite astonishing as Plaid Cymru's entire pitch to the Welsh electorate for this general election has been built around presenting themselves as potential power brokers in the event of a hung parliament and therefore somehow getting a better deal for Wales. Now it appears that their leading man in Westminster doesn't even believe that a hung parliament is likely.

The Druid has repeatedly argued (here and here for example) that, even in the event of this election producing a hung parliament, the probability of either a Labour or Conservative minority government needing Plaid Cymru votes are remote. This is in contrast to how the issue is normally presented by Plaid Cymru - for instance here is Dylan Rees, Plaid's Ynys Môn candidate, in a letter to the Daily Post:

[T]his general election is very likely to produce a hung parliament. In that event Plaid Cymru will have an even more influential role to play as it seeks to win a fairer deal for the people of Wales.

In other words he makes it sound as if it is a fact: "In a hung parliament Plaid Cymru WILL have a more influential role" - when in reality it is no more than a remote possibility. Now that Elfyn Llwyd has said that he doesn't even think there will be a hung parliament I wonder what reasons Dylan Rees will now give to Anglesey voters to elect him? I personally can't think of any.


Anonymous said...

I think you have come confused between a hung parliament, where no party has an overall majority (but could still form a minority government), and a balanced parliament where a minority government could form a government in coalition with others parties.

Anonymous said...

Sorry above should have said

"and a balanced parliament where a minority party could form a government in coalition with other parties"

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Anon - I would direct you to this quote in a blog by Betsan Powys when Plaid first began talking about "balanced parliaments':

"Note the interesting use language too. Plaid are not talking about a parliament that is 'hung', rather one that is 'balanced'. Why, I heard the party's Director of Elections Helen Mary Jones asking the other day, is the language surrounding agreements between parties so macho and unpleasant? It's all about 'getting into bed with' or 'cosying up to' another, larger party. A 'hung' parliament sounds stymied, hamstrung, not able to get on with anything. A 'balanced' one sounds quite different."

It seems to me that the phrases "hung parliament" and "balanced parliament" are interchangeable. (URL:

Also, BBC Wales's parliamentary correspondent David Cornock seems to agree with me:

Anonymous said...

Putting aside what Ieaun Wyn Jones may have said, it's very unlikely there will be a balanced parliament - where a minority party could form a government in coalition with others. But based on the swing of votes the Conservatives would need to form a majority government, and on previous history a hung party is most likely - that is no party with overall majority- a minority government.

But as you can't think of a reason we should vote for Plaid Cymru, which party do you feel most represents your interest best?


The Druid of Anglesey said...


I'm afraid I found it rather difficult to follow your first point. I think you are trying to say that Elfyn Llwyd didn't actually say what he appears to have said. The BBC report I linked to seems to be pretty clear on how they interpreted his words however.

"But as you can't think of a reason we should vote for Plaid Cymru, which party do you feel most represents your interest best? "

I'm a floating voter. I haven't made up my mind yet.

Welsh Ramblings said...

Druid, you yourself in your previous posts have put as much importance on local representation as you have on the composition of the Westminster government. In fact you've acknowledged that your island has suffered under both Labour AND the Tories.

So bearing that in mind, Dylan Rees seems a viable option, he hasn't been in power yet, so at least is blameless for Ynys Mon's woes.

Your own narrative presents Plaid as an attractive and island-focused option. It would also increase the pressure on Ieuan Wyn Jones to deliver for Ynys Mon, as he would have a Plaid MP reporting issues to him constantly.

Write Plaid off at your peril.

The Druid of Anglesey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Druid of Anglesey said...

Ramblings - as always thanks for your measured contribution. I appreciate the point you are trying to make but have to point out that the problems which Anglesey is facing are economic ones. The Problem with Dylan Rees is that he has been a public sector man all his life - every pay cheque he has ever received came courtesy of taxpayers. What this Island needs it jobs - and lots of them. Dylan Rees has never employed any body, he has zero business experience, he is totally unsuited to solving the problems facing Anglesey.