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Welsh parties draw battle lines in vote

Welsh parties draw battle lines in vote


David Deans,BBC Wales political journalist

PA Rishi SunakPennsylvania

Rishi Sunak has called a general election for Tuesday

Labour's Vaughan Gething said people in Wales were calling for a change of government as Welsh parties prepared for the general election.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak ended speculation on Wednesday, saying voters would go to the polls on July 4.

His party's leader in the Senedd, Conservative Andrew RT Davies, said Labour's record in the Welsh government was a “stark warning to the rest of the UK”.

Meanwhile, Plaid Cymru said it would prioritize Wales.

The election is the first since a major revision of the borderswhich will reduce the number of MPs in Wales from 40 to 32.

All seats will have their boundaries changed except Ynys Mn.

Welsh Labor hopes to extend its dominance in Wales, while the Conservatives will defend the ground they gained in 2019.

Led by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the party won seats in traditional Labor areas of the North East and Bridgend.

Meanwhile, Plaid Cymru is hoping not to be crushed by the two main parties – it held four seats.

In the last election, the Welsh Labor Party won 22 seats, which remains the largest party despite the Conservatives' performance.

Welsh Prime Minister and Labor leader Vaughan Gething said on X: “People across Wales are calling for a change of government, an end to Tory chaos and two Labor governments working together – for Wales and Great Britain.”

Jo Stevens, Welsh Shadow Secretary of State and most senior Welsh Labor politician at Westminster, said: “We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver a Labor government at both ends of the M4, working together to deliver positive changes in people every day. daily life. »

In 2019, the Conservatives won their biggest gain since the Thatcher years, with 14 seats.

The party launched the campaign by criticizing the Welsh Labor government. Andrew RT Davies, the Conservative leader of the Senedd, said Mr Gething was 'mired in controversy' over donations, 20mph speed limits and 'disconnected plans to spend $120m on 36 more politicians' .

Hours before the announcement, Welsh Conservative secretary David TC Davies said he did not expect an election to be called.

Later, on BBC Wales Today, he said: “It shows, don't follow any of my betting advice.”

He added that the economy will dominate the elections: “We saw inflation fall today to just over 2%. We have seen growth better than France or Germany.”

Plaid Cymru won four seats in 2019.

Party leader Rhun ap Iorwerth said: “Only a vote for Plaid Cymru will put Wales’ best interests first in this election.

“The Conservatives have collapsed the economy and hard-working people continue to pay the price in high bills. Labor, on the other hand, are taking Wales for granted.”

Liz Saville-Roberts, leader of Plaid Westminster, said on X: “Look around and ask yourself: is this as good as it can be?

“Plaid Cymru is ready to fight against the Conservatives and Labor to demand the fairness and ambition that Wales deserves.”

What could elections in Wales look like?

By Gareth Lewis, BBC Wales Political Editor

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.

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

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 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?

Read more from Gareth

Getty Images ParliamentGetty Images

Voters in Wales will elect 32 MPs

Battlefield Sieges

By Mark Palmer, BBC Wales

Vale of Glamorgan is the classic benchmark seat: if there is a Labor government in the UK, a Labor MP is elected here, if it is a Conservative MP, then normally a UK Conservative government wins.

Ynys Mn is a classic three seat currently held by the Conservatives, but Plaid and Labor will also be eyeing it.

It is also the only seat in Wales held by all four major parties.

Monmouthshire looks interesting because, looking at the polls, the current Conservative MP and Welsh Secretary, David TC Davies, could be under threat from Labor.

The west Wales seat of Caerfyrddin will see a three-way fight between the Conservatives, Labor and Plaid Cymru, which could become a four-way contest.

This could pose problems for Plaid Cymru, if former Plaid MP Jonathan Edwards decides to stand.

Meanwhile, the 'Blue Wall' seats in the north east won by Boris Johnson's Conservatives five years ago will be closely watched: will they return to Labour?

How will the seats change?

The districts in which voters will vote for the 2024 general election will be different from those in 2019.

The number of seats will be reduced from 40 in Wales to 32 – and all seats except Ynys Mn will change in some way.

Everything was agreed in a review which ended in 2023which sought to make the seats more equal.

You can learn more about the changes here.

What is Westminster doing in Wales?

The existence of the Welsh Parliament means that you will hear a lot of promises and commitments during this election campaign on topics that don't really have anything to do with elections, at least not in Wales.

This can lead to confusion, especially when Welsh politicians themselves blur the lines and fail to make the distinction, as has happened in the past.

Areas for which the UK government is responsible include criminal justice and policing, social benefits, most taxes, foreign affairs and the military.

For 25 years, the Senedd, the Welsh Government and the former National Assembly for Wales have controlled, among other things, health, education, agriculture and local councils.

However, most of the money for these projects comes from the UK government, which is especially relevant as Welsh public services are under pressure.

Meanwhile, Welsh leaders like Vaughan Gething, Rhun ap Iorwerth and Andrew RT Davies are not themselves seeking election to Westminster, but are instead members of the Senedd.

Find out more about what's at stake for Wales in these elections.




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