Labour advances west of the Loughor and the Clwyd

Mark Drakeford says the challenge for all parties is to drag democracy into the world which today’s voters occupy

May 10th, 2012

Last week’s county council elections were outstandingly successful for Welsh Labour, meeting and beating the Party’s own expectations. Not only did the party resume its dominant position in its traditional heartlands, it also exceeded the substantial success it had obtained in 2011, in the urban concentrations of Newport, Cardiff, Swansea and Wrexham, as well as making emphatic gains in the Vales of Clwyd and Glamorgan. Moreover, for the first time since 2001, Labour advanced rather than retreated west of the Loughor and the Clwyd. Looking ahead to the General Election intended for 2015, and the Assembly elections of 2016, Labour’s revival in Carmarthenshire and Conwy may be the most significant result of all.

The timing of Labour’s revival prevents the long-term hollowing-out of the party, in a way which has inflicted such deep and long-term damage on the Conservatives in Wales, from the 1980s onwards. Amongst the best news for Labour is the diversity of its new councillors. For example, in Cardiff every constituency now has Labour representatives from minority ethnic communities, people in their twenties to their sixties, as well as an unprecedented number of women.

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