Welsh Politician of the Year 2007
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Regardless of what happens in the next eleven months, the race for Welsh Politician of the Year should be over.
In 2007, two AMs will give the public reason to believe that politicians aren't just money-guzzling cowboys. Two AMs will show that politicians aren't just in the business of watching their own backs. And two AMs will put a guaranteed spark into an election campaign that may otherwise fail to excite voters.
That's because two AMs have risen to the Labour challenge set down in the Government of Wales Act and will surrender their regional seats in order to fight a constituency from second place.
They are Plaid's Helen Mary Jones and the Conservatives' Jonathan Morgan. Two of the Senedd's finest performers who'll be battling it out in Llanelli and Cardiff North respectively.
It's a huge political risk - one which could put their careers on ice for at least four years. But it gives voters a reason to trust politicians again. That alone may see them back in the Assembly in May and for me, wins them this award hands down.
posted by Blamerbell @ 10:04 am,
- At 10:57 am, said...
i agree, i just hope the public get to understand the risk they take. HMJ will have to work hard, i noticed yesterday that while the NHS and the manufactoring industry is on its knees in Llanelli, Catherine Thomas has organised an Arts week in the Assembly.
- At 5:30 pm, PaulMartin said...
So doesn't that mean it's still a race? A two horse one.
- At 6:00 pm, said...
I agree - both are making a calculated gamble, although with HMJ having to overturn a small majority and Jonathan in line for a Parliamentary seat if he fails, maybe the risk is low...
It also interesting to consider whether the proposed new 'batch' of candidates are of any use i.e. have held down a proper job rather than leeching around political parties all their lives. Some of them certainly look green around the edges...
- At 6:11 pm, ianjamesjohnson said...
Surely it would be an equal (if not greater) risk to Helen Mary Jones and Jonathan Morgan if they didn't fight those respective constituencies, but were on the regional lists?
After all, these are two of the smallest majorities in Wales and therefore only a small anti-Labour shift (Cardiff North won't even have an incumbent fighting it) would mean victory.
It would hardly be a shock if Labour lost those two seats whoever the opposition, but if that constituency victory is not matched by a convincing swing across the region, then the party will simply be trading a constituency victory for a list seat.
- At 8:48 pm, Blamerbell said...
Picking holes Paul - I'd give it to both horses.
anonymous, I wouldn't underestimate the gesture. Remember, Jonathan Morgan finished second place in Cardiff North in the last two elections.
And Ian, these are not the two smallest majorities in Wales.
- At 9:14 pm, ianjamesjohnson said...
"these are two of the smallest majorities in Wales"
I think of is the important word ;)
The point is that these are both seats where you would expect opposition gains this time around in the current climate.
After all, as you have already pointed out, David Melding is equally facing a P45 should the Conservatives win in Cardiff North and the Vale of Glamorgan (without significantly increasing their share of the vote in South Wales Central).
- At 9:56 am, said...
If the opposition do not win these two seats then Labour is on its way to an historic win in May.There goes another flying pig!