Socialist Worker

Wales: more disaster in Labour’s heartlands

Issue No. 2100

In an echo of the general trend, Labour lost over a quarter of the seats it was defending in the elections in Wales.

The party lost control of areas where traditionally “they weigh the Labour vote rather than count it”, such as Merthyr Tydfil, Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen, Caerphilly and Newport.

Labour is now the third party in Cardiff. Average wages in Wales are lower than in the rest of Britain, so the abolition of the 10p tax band caused an even greater outcry than elsewhere.

In Blaenau Gwent, People’s Voice, the independent group created by the late former Labour MP Peter Law, won its first council seats. People’s Voice already has the MP and the Welsh Assembly seat.

Overall Plaid Cymru, the Welsh nationalist party which also backs some Old Labour policies, increased its number of councillors.

But there were significant reverses for the party. Plaid’s ability to stand as a left alternative has been weakened by its entry into a governing coalition with Labour.

Llais Gwynedd (Gwynedd Voice) won 12 seats on a platform of opposition to school closures, causing Plaid to lose control of the council and see the defeat of its president and party leader in Gwynedd, Dafydd Iwan.

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