Wigley or won't he?

I can't believe I've been writing this blog for six months without asking the question, what the hell is Dafydd Wigley playing at?

He is the nearest thing Wales has to a statesman. He was a consummate parliamentarian and continues to be respected across party political boundaries. And yet he is standing for election second on the North Wales regional list.

Now, at the moment Plaid have one list member in that region. To get another they'd have to do pretty poorly at constituency level. But in reality, they're in the hunt for two gains in North Wales: Aberconwy and Clwyd West. This would be great news for Plaid, but catastrophic for Dafydd Wigley who would be flung into the political wilderness (possibly accompanied by Janet Ryder).

So what's his game?

Well, apparently 'Dafydd's done his Maths', the implication being that he's got it all worked out because he is Dafydd Wigley and you absolutely have to trust that big boomy voice. I'm not convinced. Wigley is re-energised, that's for sure, but did he ever have his eyes on a political re-birth or was this always going to be a cameo appearance designed to give Plaid an election time lift? It is, perhaps, the political equivalent of taking one for the team - like the plucky midfielder who charges down a free kick only to get the ball lodged between his bollocks.

Dafydd Wigley is doing strange things to this election, not least because the list system makes psephology a whole lot of fun. Labour's Arfon candidate is reminding people to 'Vote Eaglestone Get Wigley', while the prospect of Plaid's leader losing his Ynys Mon seat to let Wigley in on the list would possibly even beat Rhodri Morgan's train journey as the most ironic moment of the campaign.

But I suspect that after all the hoo-ha on May 3rd not much will have changed. Except that Dafydd Wigley is likely to be holding his groin with some satisfaction, knowing that he hasn't let the team down.

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posted by Blamerbell @ 12:15 pm,

22 Comments:

At 1:27 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it simply the case that he has to be second placed due to Plaid having a policy of female-only nominations at the top of all the regional lists?

Gx

 
At 1:32 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

Who says he had to stand on the list, or more specifically, the North Wales list?

 
At 2:45 pm, Blogger hedd said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 2:45 pm, Blogger hedd said...

Could there be a behind closed doors deal, where Ryder will stand down if Plaid only get 1 regional seat in North Wales?

 
At 3:03 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I was you, I'd watch your spellings...
A linguistci nit comb should be applied to all potentially infested, thus, lousey, entries...

 
At 3:03 pm, Blogger Carl Thomas said...

Looks like a cock-up to me. If Whinge hadn't been so keen to boot Wigley out a few years back, could have been very different. Plaid might not have got a whipping last time round, and could be ready to govern now. As it is, it's more of the same with Wyn Jones and cap-in-hand lunges to catch on to Labour's coat-tails.

 
At 3:31 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

"Could there be a behind closed doors deal, where Ryder will stand down if Plaid only get 1 regional seat in North Wales?"

I doubt it.

"If I was you, I'd watch your spellings...
A linguistci nit comb should be applied to all potentially infested, thus, lousey, entries... "

Bugger. Yeah. It's Wiggly isn't it (as in Wiggly + Wobbly)?

By the way, what's a linguistci nit comb? Looks to me like your spelling's a bit 'lousey' too:)

 
At 4:21 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

plaid's women on top was a terrible mistake which plaid's National Left need to go on hand and knees and apologise for. Had IWJ been a proper leader with Plaid's success at heart he'd have campaigned against this list system, but that would mean saying and doing something of worth and not spouting platitudes.

Had Wigley been boss in 2005 and 2005 three or four MPs and AMs wouldn't have lost their seats. And Carl Thomas is right, Plaid could be fighting to govern now. Absolutely mad.

Thanks Plaid lefties for the stupid list selection which will give us 2 totally inexperienced young women who effectively deprive a small parliamentary party of front bench Ministers and for Janet Ryder - nice and intelligent, but hardly Wigley.

Plaid should be the government not Labour yesmen.

D. Enw

 
At 4:31 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Come on guys. It just shows that Plaid continue to be a pressure group, and not a party of government. Ieuan does not really want him back anyway, as he knows he will be under pressure if they go backwards, and there really is no one else in the Assembly group that can take over.

And really, when you look at Wiggers, you have an old man with a dodgy ticker in a shell suit who has been off the pitch for a while.

Rhodri may be older, and also sartorially challenged, but has not spent the last few years in his pipe and slippers.

 
At 4:32 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real question should be, how to persuade Adam Price to come back from the big smoke (and the big night clubs) and take over one of the seats in the Assembly when Ieuan has to stand down.

 
At 4:51 pm, Blogger bethan said...

might have known that the women would get the flack for this one. Wigley is perfectly capable of making his own mind up of where to stand- and he could have stood in perfectly winnable seats if he so wished.

By the way, Wigley was one of the people who supported the women top of the list in the first place.

 
At 5:54 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

His decision or not, you are essentially not getting the only politician with some real political prowess elected...Its a real lack of judgement, although Plaid campaigning to govern is a bit much me thinks!

 
At 7:29 pm, Blogger Amanwy said...

Wigley can't lose. If Plaid do badly and IWJ loses his seat Wigley can come to the rescue of his party and 'do a Salmond'. If they do really well, and stand a chance of being in Government in coalition with others, he'll be an AM and have a seat in the cabinet. If they muddle though he won't get in, but he wouldn't really want to in that situation.

 
At 9:29 pm, Blogger Valleys Mam said...

Wigley is one of the few with gravitas left in welsh politics
There are still a few out in no mans land like Ron Davies .Cynog Dafis and that really good labour woman Delyth something who was an am and found the assembly so bad she resigned
Plaid have problems with women top of RLs but may be this is the quality of women who get through in Plaid Many of the real talent is never allowed to rise to the surface, much like the other paries really.

 
At 11:00 pm, Blogger cymrumark said...

Well spotted that Clwyd West is now within Plaids grasp. Lots of negative stuff here which suggest we are really doing well.

Wigley made his choice for good reason and his aim is for Plaid to have five seats in the north...looks like we will have at least four with the fifth a matter of a few hundred votes either way.

The idea of Janet ryder standing down has been floated before.In reality it wont come up either Plaid will win three constituency seats and two on the list or four or five constituency seats and none on the list...

 
At 11:17 pm, Blogger Martin Eaglestone said...

Has anyone factored the loss of Plaid's vote in Llyn in to their calculations for North Wales?? (it now goes to Mid Wales)

I just don't see Dafydd coming back - unless the people of Arfon

Vote Eaglestone and get Wigley too.

But I might be baised !!

 
At 11:29 pm, Blogger Guto said...

wondered when Martin would come round to give his tired old piece! Who ever heard of a candidate basing his campaign on"vote me and get a much better and well-loved politician from the other party"!

 
At 4:49 am, Blogger Penddu said...

Plaid lose 5,000 or so votes from Llyn, but gain a similar number back in Nant Conwy, so not that much difference really - maybe a net loss of 1,000 votes??

 
At 9:24 am, Blogger Draig O Gonwy said...

Let's get a reality check here before the fantasy world that Plaid supporters live in intrudes upon the real world.

The only rivals to Plaid Cymru for additional regional seats for are the Conservatives.

If Plaid had won three first past the post seats in North Wales last time, then even Janet Ryder would not have been elected in 2003.

How on earth are they therefore going to get two regionals seats if they win three FPTP this time!

There is also this assumption that only Plaid Cymru will increase their regional vote - again, it is clear to anyone with any knowledge of current politics that the Conservatives could only do better across the region than their abject performance in 2003 and, given that they are riding high in the UK polls, this will have an effect given the vast numbers of Daily Mail readers who may actually turn out to vote this time.

Thanks to their own policies, Plaid are going to have Janet Ryder elected instead of Wigley.

However, I am sure Aberconwy Tories will have something to say about that.

The Tories being Wigley's saviour -now that would go down well wouldn't it...

 
At 12:01 pm, Blogger Penddu said...

Your 'Daily Mail' readers wont even know there is an election on in Wales!!

 
At 3:53 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before we all start talking about poor old Wigley and his position as number 2 on the list being the fault of the left it would be a good thing to remember who was the leader when this mad system was first introduced? He also spoke with passion in favour of the idea of putting women on top of all the lists.

Wigley has no one apart from himself to blame for being number 2 on the list. As for his resignation from Cardiff Bay in 2003 - 'ball' and 'walking away' are some words that come to mind. When the going got tough Wigley walked away. Was he scared of IWJ?!

 
At 9:39 am, Blogger Henlaw said...

I think most of us know that DW was working through some difficult family times. I hope we can all welcome the fact that life is now better for him and he can resume his contribution to public life. But anon's right about one thing - he knows exactly what he's doing, why, and what the mix of likely outcomes are.

 

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