Will Conservative controversy open the way to an alliance win in Wales?
We are likely to see a very different electoral landscape in Wales on the 13th of December as polling suggests that a number of Labour held seats are expected to turn Conservative. Labour only maintain a 1 point lead in Wales compared to the 15 point lead they enjoyed in 2017 – with this putting nine Labour-held seats in play for the Conservatives. This comes after Labour suffered their worst electoral performance in Wales in over a century in May, coming third after the Brexit party and Plaid Cymru.
Despite this, the Welsh Conservatives have had a poor start to their campaign. Before the rosettes had been ordered, the candidate in the key target seat of Gower hit the front pages for old social media posts where she appeared to advocate violence against benefit claimants and the homeless. The official campaign didn’t start any better, with the resignation of former Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns coming on the very first day, over allegations he knew that his former aide and Vale of Glamorgan Assembly candidate Ross England had ‘sabotaged’ a rape trial. This was followed shortly by Chris Davies, the ex-MP who lost his seat in a by-election caused by his false expense claims, being selected and promptly de-selected as the candidate for Ynys Môn.
The Remain Alliance pact between Plaid Cymru, the Liberal Democrats and the Green party is active in over a quarter of seats across Wales. Plaid Cymru are hoping that this will boost their chances of winning in their key target seat of Ynys Mon as the incumbent Labour MP stands down, and it is likely to see the Liberal Democrats hold onto their sole MP in Brecon and Radnorshire.