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For over a century the Labour Party have dominated the Welsh political landscape, usually winning between two thirds and three quarters of parliamentary seats.

However, in 2016, the Labour Party – along with Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats – discovered just how out of touch they were with their electorate as Wales voted to leave the European Union, despite the party’s best efforts to campaign for Remain...

Brexit could help cause a dramatic change in the Welsh political landscape at this election





Written by Matthew MacKinnon
BrexitCentral
15th November 2019

Matthew MacKinnon was the Vote Leave Regional Director for Wales and is now Co-Director of the Centre for Welsh Studies ( www.centrefor.wales )

For over a century the Labour Party have dominated the Welsh political landscape, usually winning between two thirds and three quarters of parliamentary seats.

However, in 2016, the Labour Party – along with Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats – discovered just how out of touch they were with their electorate as Wales voted to leave the European Union, despite the party’s best efforts to campaign for Remain.

At the time I was running the Vote Leave campaign in Wales, working with a small team and hundreds of volunteers. We saw daily that the political landscape was changing and changing rapidly; once-loyal Labour voters were refusing to listen to the unions and the party and had decided that Wales would be better off outside the European Union.

When the results came in on 23rd June 2016, it was clear to see that a political revolt had taken place: almost 90% of senior Welsh politicians had backed Remain, yet despite this, 17 out of 22 Welsh council areas voted to Leave.

Every Labour-controlled area apart from Cardiff voted to Leave, with the Labour heartlands of the South Wales valleys and the North East of the nation voting heavily in favour of Leave. Even the former Liberal strongholds in Mid Wales and Plaid Cymru strongholds in Anglesey and Carmarthen joined the revolt and told their political elites that they were not happy with the status quo and wanted to ‘take back control’.

Three and a half years on, we face the biggest election in my lifetime – a battle for the future of the UK, with the majority of parties wanting to ignore the will of the people of Wales and only the Conservatives and Brexit Party standing up for the Welsh electorate.

It comes as no surprise to anyone involved in Welsh politics now to see that the Labour Party are in real trouble at the upcoming election. Currently the polls suggest the Conservatives could take former Labour strongholds in both North and South Wales, possibly doubling their currently tally of seven seats. It could even make the Welsh Conservatives, once a party struggling to make any significant inroads in Labour strongholds, the largest parliamentary party in Wales.

The Brexit Party are also channelling a lot of their energy into the South Wales valleys in an attempt at gaining their first Members of Parliament. This will be a tough task but, with the right strategy and targeting, they could unseat Labour in one or two seats, where the sitting MPs have shown nothing but contempt for their electorates.

From rural Mid Wales to the industrial North East and across to the tourist heartlands in the North West, all these areas are up for grabs if the Conservative and Brexit party campaigns step up to the challenge. The coming month will be an opportunity for pro-Brexit voices to take control here in Wales and break the century-long reign of the Welsh Labour Party.

https://brexitcentral.com/brexit-cou...this-election/