Ein Gwlad has continued to follow our policy of not standing in Westminster elections. However, we have watched on closely as the events unfolded last night in the Newport West By-Election.
Westminster elections usually have a higher turnout, the previous Westminster election, out of 64,399 registered voters in 2017 managed a turnout of 43,438 votes or 67.5%.
Yesterday’s by-election, out of 63,623 registered voters, only 23,515 or 37.1% turned out to vote.
Labours Ruth Jones romped to victory with 9,308 votes or 39.6% of the 23,515 votes cast. She was closely followed by the Conservative candidate Mathew Evans with 7,357 votes or 31.3% of 23,515.
Propping up the century old Westminster establishment parties was UKIP’s Neil ‘cash for questions’ Hamilton, with 2,023 votes or 31.3% of votes cast.
Hamilton must be a glutton for punishment or a sadist to want to get back into the Westminster political arena after the cash for questions scandal. The TV career must have fizzled out so he may be looking for a financial boost
Plaid Cymru however, although enjoying a 2.5% increase from their previous result of 1,077 votes came in with a disappointing and meagre 1,185 votes or 5.0% of votes cast.
2.5% in numbers means they managed to secure only 108 more votes than last time out.
There’s been a lot of talk from Plaid recently about forming the next Welsh Assembly Government. That dream of a Plaid Assembly Government in 2021 may already be dead in the water if this result is anything to go by.
The Liberal Democrats, a party that are widely regarded increasingly as non relevant political party in Wales after losing all their Welsh Westminster seats in the last General Election, received 1,088 votes or 4.6% of the vote share
But it does make me wonder, if the Lib Dems are so irrelevant and Plaid Cymru can only muster 97 more votes than them, Plaid are sailing awfully close to irrelevancy, there’s no room to spin on this one unfortunately.
And then we have with the Green Party shouldering the top half of the results table who managed 924 votes, up by 2.5% from their previous 497 votes in 2017.
Smaller and non-established parties formed the lower half of the results. From the bottom up was For Britain who came in with 159 votes and the Democrats & Veterans party with 185 votes.
The SDP’s Ian McLean received 202 votes and The Abolish the Welsh Assembly parties, Richard Suchorzewski and Renews’ June Davies manged 879 votes and 924 votes respectively.
The Real Kick in the Teeth
It’s one of those certainties in life that the numbers don’t lie and tell the real picture.
While the establishment parties continue to hold on, the turnout of below 40% was the most telling statistic.
The turnout should be a real kick in the teeth as the vast majority of those in Newport West preferred to stay at home rather than cast a vote for more of the same.
As the Tories in London continue to turn Brexit into an almighty disaster, Corbyn’s Labour are wherever they are, and the UKIP vote has generally continued on a downward trajectory since 2016 despite yesterday’s result, there’s no party the people of Newport West wanted to vote for.
They feel lost, un-heard and betrayed so decided to vote with their feet and went about the day to day lives instead.
Clutching at Straws
The Greens, Lib Dems and Plaid Cymru can all clutch at straws and point to the slight increases in vote-share but the brutal reality is only their party faithful turned out to vote.
The same can be said of Labour, the Tories and UKIP.
An increase in vote share is a positive but when other factors are considered, the result remains a failure to live up to expectations and failure of the establishment parties to listen to the people they are supposed to represent.
As mentioned, Plaid Cymru will be or should be disappointed, they’ve flattered to deceive with this result and all the talk of increases in membership etc was just that.
Time will tell wether the people of Newport West or indeed Wales are ready to embrace Plaid’s national socialist lite policies. The next real opportunity will be the 2021 Assembly elections.
What About Ein Gwlad?
Well it’s plain to see that people in Newport West are for lack of a nicer word, pissed off with the establishment parties. The same old parties that have been around for donkey’s years.
Even though it’s the establishment that won the day, the numbers don’t lie, the turnout tells the real story of a people who are completely turned off by what’s on offer. Quite rightly so to.
The old establishment parties, parties that have been around for a century or more are in fact just like old donkeys. They all need to be out to pasture.
There’s room for another new political party in Newport, a party without the baggage and dogma of Labour, Tories, Plaid etc.
In my mind that’s Ein Gwlad.
My name is Lee Felton, I’m one of the editors on Ein GWALD’s News Portal, National Secretary and Graphics Officer. I have a Valley’s working class background and I’m not afraid to say what I think. If i’m wrong, I’m wrong, and I’ll be the first to put my hand up.