Friday 23 May 2014

Votes and rumours

Votes from yesterday's European elections in Wales won't be counted until Sunday, and it is unlikely that we will get the results until Monday, but the Carmarthen Journal is reporting that turnout for Carmarthenshire was slightly down at between 36 and 37 per cent, compared with 38% in 2009.

That still compares fairly well with the overall turnout for Wales, which is provisionally put at 32% (ITV), up from 30% in 2009.

As Roger Scully from the Wales Governance Centre points out, Labour's best results in elections to the Assembly were achieved when turnout was lowest. We'll see, but ahead of the count comes the job of verifying the votes, with party representatives in attendance to scrutinise the process.

Early glimpses and samples suggest that the Plaid vote in Carmarthen East and Dinefwr was very strong, with both Labour and the Tories taking a hammering. Plaid sources say that the party was ahead in every single ward.

In Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire the rumour is that the Tory vote has collapsed and that Ukip has polled more than expected. Tory Simon Hart took the seat from Labour in 2009.


Back in Carmarthen, the County Council held its Annual General Meeting this week. Judging from the empty seats, quite a few councillors understandably came to the conclusion that it was a waste of time showing up.

The only surprise was the no-show of chief executive Mark James who returned to work after almost three months of self-imposed exile a fortnight before. In the meeting the previous week Mr James spoke only once when he read out the list of apologies.

Labour's Cllr Keri Thomas (Tyisha) meanwhile clocked up his eleventh successive apology for absence, and he was last seen at a meeting of the full council in September.


Anonymous said...

"A low turnout is generally thought to work against Labour, who are hoping to win a second Welsh seat."

Low turnout is usually good for Plaid but not good for Labour.

UKIP voters also had a high "certain to vote figure" so, as long as UKIP don't poll 24% and Labour 33% Plaid should beat the Tories.

Cneifiwr said...

Apologies - I meant to put in a link to Roger Scully's blog, and have now done so. The accepted wisdom is that low turnout is bad for Labour, but Roger Scully has evidence that the opposite has been true on two occasions.

Anonymous said...

If you look at his county by county breakdown you will see that the Fro Cymraeg had 36.5% turnout and elsewhere 31.3%

This is an indicator that Plaid got its vote out but it's still in the lap of the Gods because even if Labour's vote falls UKIP could take a high percentage leaving slim pickings. Still I expect UKIP to rob the Tories so it looks better for Plaid at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Rogers thesis applies to the valleys and Cardiff in Assembly elections, and not so much the fro Cymraeg. Plaid voters were the most likely to vote in this election, and therefore you have to assume that the Plaid voters did turn out as all the polls suggested they would, particularly in the fro. Outside of the fro Plaid are nowhere near the labour vote, despite having gambled on Leanne to take them forward, it's a simple game of numbers and a low turnout in the urban areas still provides a large labour vote that outnumbers Plaid's cornered vote in the West. Plaid will only keep their seat if the Tory vote is absolutely abysmal.