Friday, 23 April 2010

What effect will the Lib Dem surge have on Ynys Môn? (updated)

      
Having just listened to BBC Radio Wales's phone-in debate from Holyhead featuring the Anglesey parliamentary candidates, I can tell you exactly who lost the debate: the Lib Dems.

Why? Because despite all the other candidates (Albert Owen, Anthony Ridge-Newman, Peter Rogers, and Dylan Rees) taking part, the Lib Dems' PPC Matt Wood was the only one not present. His agent, Aled Morris Jones, ably filled-in for him - but we are not able to vote for Aled Morris Jones. What could be more important for a credible candidate than debating the other parties and reaching thousands of electors on the Island is a mystery to me. But then it appears that Matt Wood is not a credible candidate. My spies at the Beaumaris Hustings last week reported that Matt was the weakest debater and the only candidate to leave immediately after the hustings and not engage the audience in conversation afterwards. Perhaps he had to leave early in order to drive back to his home in St Asaph? After all, according to Ynys Môn Lib Dems website, Matt's contact email is listed as: valeofclwydlibdems@googlemail.com! And, whilst we are at it, the Lib Dems are also the only party to have an Ynys Môn Association with an address in Cardiff…

And it is precisely local issues like this which will eventually blunt the progress the Lib Dems have made recently in national voting intention polls. People may like that nice Mr Clegg off the telly; but, crucially, they can't vote for him - they have to vote for local candidates, like the elusive Matt Wood, who aren't actually very good.

And then, leaving behind personalities, we have the problem of Lib Dem policies. The Lib Dems are emphatically opposed to nuclear power - not a policy which is likely to appeal to the majority of Anglesey voters who recognise that Wylfa B is crucial to this Island's future (incidentally the only letter from Matt Wood which I have seen published in the local press was actually all about Energy Policy - it was quite a long letter and astonishingly failed to mention once that the Lib Dems are opposed to nuclear power - I wonder why that might be? Doesn't sound like the new transparent politics which Clegg is always going on about, does it?).

Of course there are few constituencies like Anglesey where the majority of residents support the building of a nuclear powerstation - but there are other policies too which are unlikely to appeal to rural voters. For instance, in an attempt to promote the use of public transport the Lib Dems propose to charge drivers between 8p and 12p for every mile they travel on roads. That might seem like a good idea in cities, but it will wreak havoc in places like Anglesey and elsewhere in North Wales where there are no credible alternatives to travelling by car.

These are just two examples - there are many more. At the last general election on Anglesey the Lib Dems polled only around 2,500 votes out of a total of 35,000 cast. Because their candidate here is so weak and because their policies are unlikely to attract large support on Anglesey, I would predict that despite the large poll leap the Lib Dems are enjoying nationally, they will struggle to attract more than 3,000 votes here on Anglesey. The extra 500 votes they may pick up will probably come evenly from all the other parties (perhaps disproportionately affecting Plaid Cymru slightly more as they have missed out from not participating in the Leaders TV Debates) and will therefore not have a major impact on the result.

Conclusion: Although the national Lib Dem poll surge will not affect the result either way here in Ynys Môn, the fact that nationally they may do much better than previously predicted makes the likelihood of a hung parliament much more likely. A hung parliament will have disastrous consequences for Anglesey as the Lib Dems will hold the balance of power and will make the abandonment of nuclear power a condition of their support. Make no mistake this WILL kill Wylfa B.
      
UPDATE: Just to underline my point that the Lib Dem candidate isn't really taking Ynys Môn very seriously see the below quick snap of the postal ballot for Anglesey. As you can see, Matt Wood's address is given as being in the Vale of Clwyd constituency...

        
UPDATE 2: It appears that absentee Lib Dem candidates are a common theme here in North Wales. BlogMenai has just published the postal ballot form for our adjacent constituency of Arfon showing that the Lib Dem candidate there has an address in Acton, West London!
         

23 comments:

John Vooght said...

Yes, even as a Lib. Dem. 'sympathiser', I have to agree that this bloke seems all but dead from the start.

That said, I rather doubt a far-flung poverty-ridden corner of Wales is ever going to feature prominently in any national party's list of priorities. Unless you want a nuclear power station or host a waste repository, of course.

Energy Island? Lack of Energy Island, more like.

The Druid of Anglesey said...

JV - You're too honest for your own good!

Anonymous said...

OMG you have a ballot paper - how, why - are you an agent of the government !!! - nope just remembered postal voting

Anonymous said...

Matt Wood / Lib Dems cannot be taking Ynys Mon seriously if their front man is the pompous, insignificant and slightly effeminate little Doris from Rhosybol....a man with a dubious past and an even more dubious present .....??

MAC said...

The dreaded "paper" candidate!

Anonymous said...

go on mac don't be shy post something anything

Anonymous said...

Unfortunate photo of Matt Wood...is he in a toilet ?

Anonymous said...

No, I thought he was in St Asaph not Anglesey, and I can understand why

Anonymous said...

Wow I'm moving to St Asaph it's not Anglesey apparently

Anonymous said...

Its the Doris connection, apparently ?
(But enough of this)

Anonymous said...

OMG - you mean there is life outside the island - if I cross the bridge, that one or the other one, I will survive - after all where did Ieuan fly to?

Anonymous said...

He doesn't come back - a new Ieuan is regenerated each time.

Anonymous said...

That is why he repeats himself so much.

Anonymous said...

Wow a new Ieaun every time - maybe he got a room in St Asaph

Anonymous said...

I remember a Doris of Rhosybol - he wasn't that small if I recall

Anonymous said...

Men on Angeslaey have small minds and small ....

Anonymous said...

Today we stand on a cliff edge, sadly though certain people are unwilling to jump - lemmings to the left of me, lemmings to the right - I think you've got the picture!

Anonymous said...

Druid - you have overstepped the mark. I will be making a formal complaint to the Ombudsman and the Police as the ballot papers for Ynys Mon are not yet available to the public at large - HOW DID YOU GET ACCESS TO THESE? Answers in next week's Daily Post and Anglesey Mail (and News of the World possibly!).

Anonymous said...

By the time you get through to the Police the Libs will be in power. Unless you got one of them special bat-phones for batty boys.

Anonymous said...

Ah everybody is postal voting
They are fast as lighting
In fact it was a little bit frightning
But they fought with expert timing

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Anon - I think you're being tongue-in-cheek but just in case: its a POSTAL ballot! They have already been widely distributed throughout the Island to those who have applied for them! No need to call the News of the World!

Anonymous said...

I was being toung in cheek - got you worried though eh!Keep up the good work on thios blog - but try to be a bit more impartial!!

Anonymous said...

Tougue even - sorry for the spelling mistake