Once again, Wales voted Labour, got Tory

Picture: Teacher Dude. (Public Domain Mark 1.0)


Ifan Morgan Jones

Once again Wales went beyond the call of duty in ensuring that a Labour government was elected at Westminster.

Contrary to the expectations that the Conservatives could take some seats such as Wrexham and Bridgend, it was Labour who over-ran the Vale of Clwyd, Gower and Cardiff North.

They even came within a whisker of taking Conservative strongholds such as Aberconwy and Preseli Pembrokeshire.

All in all Welsh Labour won 28 seats, almost three quarters of the total. It was a fantastic result for them.

And yet who will govern Wales?

  • The Conservatives, who are in bed with big business and climate change denying chancers such as Donald Trump.
  • The DUP, a party of religious extremists from Northern Ireland who are homophobic, anti-abortion and violent.

This is because England did not agree with Wales. The country gave the Conservatives a very clear majority of 297 seats to Labour’s 227.

For all the feel good factor around Jeremy Corbyn doing better than expected, this is the cold, hard reality.

As I said before the election, there was nothing Wales could do to stop a Conservative government. Zip. Nil. Nada.

Even if every single person in Wales had voted Labour, the Conservatives would still have 310 seats to Labour’s 274.

This is nothing new of course. Wales has voted Labour and got a Tory government for the majority of the last 100 years.

And here’s the kicker – even if Labour had won more seats than the Conservatives, they would have struggled to form an UK government because of the new English Votes for English Laws rules.

These rules mean that only English MPs can vote on some issues such as health, education and the environment.

Unless England votes for a Labour government, a Corbyn-led government will continue to be an inviable prospect. And there’s no indication of that happening any time soon.

The only way Wales can implement the left-of-centre policies almost three quarters of the population voted for is greater autonomy.

Welsh Labour MPs have consistently opposed giving Wales greater autonomy, abstaining on issues such as justice and policing even when the Welsh Government requested those powers.

The only group of MPs who consistently support greater autonomy for Wales is Plaid Cymru, whose vote share fell on Thursday.

The irony is that by tactically voting for Labour MPs to ensure a left-wing government on Thursday, Welsh voters ensured that what they wanted was even further from their grasp.

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