COMMENT: Labour lost the north of England. It’s only a matter of time before Wales falls too
Updated: Nov 3, 2020
Labour took the red-wall for granted and they lost it. Labour are now taking Wales for granted and they will lose that too.
The 2019 general election saw spectacular results across England, with Labour’s post industrial ‘red wall’ being washed away by a blue tidal wave. After years of neglect, being taken for granted and feeling disillusioned, the North voted to turf out the party they hung on to for so long.
All but one of Labour’s seats in North Wales voted their MPs out and delivered Tory MPs in all but two, most for the first time ever. This is after decades of failure from a Cardiff focused, incompetent Welsh Labour government, which treats anything outside of Cardiff and the Valleys with sheer contempt.
Labour invests millions in their Valleys heartlands with new roads and GP surgeries to keep their strongholds in tact, while ignoring the rest of Wales. In my own constituency of the Vale of Glamorgan, per pupil funding is around £200 less than the rest of Wales because we “don’t have the same needs.” This behaviour will be the reason Wales is the next Labour bastion to crumble and collapse.
The failures on the NHS, the antiquated infrastructure, the abysmal waste spending and the economic stagnation will end in tears for Labour.
In 2017, the Welsh Conservatives gained 79 council seats while Labour lost 112 and losing control of 3 councils, leaving only 7 red councils out of 22. This shift wasn’t as radical as the results of 2019 which saw 6 Labour seats in Westminster fall but it was a step in the right direction. In 1997, every Tory seat in Wales was lost and wasn’t won back until 2005. There’s no doubt that the Welsh Conservatives are marching forward.
Next May, welsh voters will go to the polls again for the newly rebranded Welsh Parliament elections. This provides us with a strategic opportunity to increase representation, weaken Labour’s grip and crack Plaid Cymru’s ‘green dam’. This won’t be easy in the wake of COVID-19 but the Welsh Conservatives have been enjoying their highest ever poll ratings.
Decades of incompetence, complacency and neglect puts Labour in a precarious position. The Welsh Conservatives are promising a ‘devolution revolution’ to slash waste spending and empower forgotten communities, the very communities Labour thinks it owns. If this message is communicated properly, these same voters, and maybe more, will abandon the Labour Party and put their faith in the true workers party.
Labour have taken Wales for granted for far too long. They haven’t learnt from 2019 and they seemingly never will. Labour, continue to ignore Wales at your peril. Their neglected heartlands and marginal areas will not tolerate being taken for granted any longer.
The Welsh Conservatives provide a true alternative to this neglect and now the people of Wales must crush Labour’s impenetrable bastion and bring a brighter future for our union.
Owen Edwards - Secretary of Cowbridge Conservatives