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What the campaign could look like in Wales

What the campaign could look like in Wales


Gareth Lewis,BBC Wales Political Editor

Conwy CastleGetty Images

New Bangor Aberconwy headquarters of Conwy Castle central to Labor plans

The 2019 general election changed the political map of Wales, with a Boris Johnson-inspired Conservative Party turning some unexpected parts blue.

The Conservatives took Bridgend and also swept across North Wales, taking Wrexham, Delyn, Vale of Clwyd, Clwyd South and Ynys Mn from Labour.

With Rishi Sunak announcing an election would be held on July 4, polls have indicated we could be dealing with a lot more red this time around.

Winning back seats in Wales will be an important part of Sir Keir Starmer's bid for prime minister.

Bottom line: expect lots of Labor campaign visits to North Wales.

If a recent BBC trip to the North Wales coast to gauge voter sentiment is anything to go by, politicians from all parties will hear one dominant thing: the Cost of life.

The constituencies of Ynys Mn, Bangor Aberconwy, Clwyd East and Clwyd North will be among those central to Labor's plans and they are quite confident about Bridgend and Wrexham, as well as Pembrokeshire Mid and South, Vale of Glamorgan and Monmouthshire.

These last three have something in common, which we will return to shortly.

Those who are more attentive may have noticed that some of these names are not familiar.

Indeed, the map has already changed: the 40 seats from 2019 have been reduced to 32 in an attempt to make the constituencies more equal in terms of population size, although Ynys Mn has a special status.

Major political figures in danger

So, what do these three seats we mentioned have in common?

All are currently represented by current or former Welsh secretaries: Stephen Crabb in Pembrokeshire, Alun Cairns in the Vale of Glamorgan and David TC Davies in Monmouthshire.

Add to that Simon Hart, another former Welsh secretary who is the current Conservative chief whip and sits in Caerfyrddin, and big political figures are in danger in this general election.

As for the other colors, Plaid Cymru's green could become a little more prominent if they manage to win their target seats of Ynys Mn and this seat again – Caerfyrddin.

Could there be a return to yellow, as the Liberal Democrats target one of their old strongholds in the new constituency of Brecon, Radnor and Cwm Tawe?

Problems with the Welsh Government

There are also a few aspects that might not get much coverage in the UK media, but certainly will here, namely the impact that the Welsh Labor government's recent problems might have on the way people vote.

The 20 mph policy was deeply unpopular and was introduced by the Welsh Government.

It is also the Welsh Government that controls the Welsh NHS, which is struggling to meet its targets.

And let's not forget the early months of Vaughan Gethings' reign as prime minister: dominated by a row over donations.

At least Britain's Labor won't have to answer questions about what it will do with unspent campaign funds after Tuesday's decision to donate the 31,000 to “progressive causes.”

What about Reform UK?

We should keep an eye on how the Reformed are faring in the South Wales valleys.

Some Labor politicians have suggested the party, previously known as the Brexit Party, could win votes at their expense.

There is nothing in the polls for them to win a seat, but with a different voting system for the Senedd elections (the next one is in 2026) then it could be different.

But that's in two years.

Over the next month, the focus will be on the 32 seats that could play a significant role in the outcome of the UK general election.




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