One Crisis, Two Approaches

The contrast between two governments and two parliaments is something Welsh Labour is keen to emphasise and, if the Welsh Barometer Poll is correct, this is something the electorate in Wales are in agreement with.  The data showed for the UK Government, the rating for handling the crisis well is down to 34% from a peak of 59%. The same sample showed the number of people who believe the Welsh Government is handling the crisis well has steadily climbed from 29% in March to 62% today. Undoubtedly the Dominic Cummings effect will have been the major factor in dipping the ratings of the UK Government in such a catastrophic way.… Read More

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The Name Game

Politics is all about priorities. To some changing the name of the Assembly to Welsh Parliament/Senedd Cymru was always a crucially important issue. To others, it was a distraction from more important things that should be legislated upon. Then it became the fight over whether a single mono-lingual word “Senedd” should be applied in both English and Welsh. After heated debate it was decided that it should not, though of course all of the elected members are now known as Members of the Senedd (in English). Confusing? Oh yes. It was the best tray of Welsh fudge made this century. At Positif we’re getting used to the new system and… Read More

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The F-bomb

“OMFG!!!” was the reaction of one of the Positif team in our overused WhatsApp group. It spoke to us all who were watching and, two hours later when everyone at Positif had finally watched the clip, that was the collective view. Ever the political historian, I couldn’t help think back to when Peter Rogers had said “Bollocks, First Minister” and Rhodri Morgan had replied from the lectern “It’s not bollocks.” Or the time that Glyn Davies had meant to say “twin track” and it had come out as “twin twat.” What both those occasions have in common is that they have ended up in the Record of Proceedings. F-gate wasn’t… Read More

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Welsh Conservatives 1, Everyone Else 0.

“There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” ― Lenin Many of us prayed for an end to Brexit if only to rediscover a sense of normality in politics. How wrong we were. Politics has now turned into the EastEnders Christmas special with plot upon sub-plot, challenge upon adversity, misery upon agony, are all heaped together to create the perfect storm of utter desperation, panic and loathing. So complex and indigestible has the sheer weight of news been this week that even the Budget came and went with just twenty-four hours focus. Which is quite an achievement really when you consider the Go Rishi extravaganza… Read More

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May the Fourth be with you….

The Next Assembly Election Briefing Event May 4th 2020 5pm to 7.30pm The Law Society, Greyfriars Road, Cardiff In May 2021 Wales will go to the polls to elect the first Welsh Parliament.  From Tatooline to Tylorstown, Denbigh to Dagobah, and Erwood to Endor, the whole of Welsh civilisation is waiting……… To prepare for this Positif has secured the attendance of the three politicians leading manifesto compilation for the three main political parties at a briefing event. Jane Hutt AM, Darren Millar AM and Sian Gwenllian AM have the future of Wales and the galaxy in their hands.  Are you ready to join them? Sign up for FREE by emailing… Read More

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Commentary: Slow Goodbyes

At every Assembly election there’s usually a few AMs who leave it to the last minute to stand down. But usually about a year out there’s clarity mostly over which ones are going. If that’s true, the only real clarity we have now is that most of the changes in 2021 will be involuntary rather than voluntary. So far only a tiny number of incumbent AMs have said they are standing down. The news today that David Melding will not contest South Wales Central in 2021 will surprise and sadden many, but he is one of very few seemingly making this decision. Just Carwyn Jones in Labour and Angela Burns… Read More

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Commentary: Blue Sky Thinking

As the shape of post Brexit politics starts to manifest itself, the Conservative Party in Wales is in a fascinating place. Setting aside the challenges related to individual politicians, with the Ramsay conundrum being the sharpest case in point, Conservative strategists are focused on trying to replicate their General Election performance when May 2021 comes. Nevertheless, even with a strong electoral performance, absolutely nobody believes the Conservatives could win an outright majority in an Assembly election. The best they might hope for based on recent polling is a very strong second to Labour, having picked up enough seats to stop Labour getting anywhere near a majority government. In such circumstances… Read More

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Commentary: The Numbers Game

The first Welsh barometer poll of 2020 made powerful reading this week, setting a new record high for Conservative polling in Wales. The headline scores for a Westminster election were 41% to them, 36% to a struggling Labour Party, and just 13% to Plaid Cymru. This is what has captured the headlines… Yet there is an equally remarkable polling outcome for the next Assembly elections, with the forecasts coming out as 35%, 33% and 19% respectively. These are striking figures which, if they are in any way replicated in 2021, will result in an even bigger political earthquake than the Assembly experienced with the arrival of the then forceful UKIP… Read More

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Commentary: The Big Ideas

Plaid Cymru often faces a challenge in cutting through the news agenda, despite the apparent willingness of outlets like BBC Wales and the Western Mail to listen to them. During UK General Election periods, this can at least be partly explained (or excused) by the lack of chance to make an impact on what is becoming a contest which is ever more dominated by just two parties. On a Wales only level, the opportunities are much greater. The Assembly elections are therefore always their better option of making an impact, even if they have only properly done it in two of the five Assembly elections so far held. What explains… Read More

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Commentary: Picking a Winner

With the new year brings a new leadership contest in Labour to succeed Jeremy Corbyn, though very little analysis of the way in which Welsh politicians are feeding into this. A few Welsh Labour AMs are already pinning their colours, with Jack Sargeant AM, Vikki Howells AM and Ann Jones AM choosing Keir Starmer. All of which is very nice for the candidates, of course, but doesn’t materially affect the process of nominations. That is in the hands of the Members of Parliament from Wales. Their depleted numbers seem to be most firmly in the Starmer camp too: Keir Starmer: Carolyn Harris MP, Nick Smith MP, Stephen Doughty MP, Anna… Read More

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