A tale of two websites
Over on Ordovicius, Sanddef dismisses the proposition by the Western Mail's David Williamson that the Conservatives will make any serious gains at the next election in Wales.
However, on Vaughan Roderick's website, Karl the Bookie calls fourteen seats for the Conservatives:
- Labour 15 (Aberavon, Swansea West, Alun and Deeside, Caerphilly, Cynon Valley, Neath, Cardiff South and Penarth, Cardiff West, Delyn, Islwyn, Merthyr and Rhumney, Ogmore, Pontypridd, Rhondda, Torfaen)
- Conservatives: 14 (Aberconwy, Vale of Glamorgan, Brecon and Radnorshire, Carmarthen West and South Pembroke, Cardiff North , Newport West, Vale of Clwyd, Clwyd South, Clwyd West, Gower, Monmouthshire, Bridgend, Preseli Pembrokeshire, Wrexham)
- Plaid Cymru: 5 (Arfon, Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, Dwyfor Meirionnydd, Llanelli, Anglesey)
- Lib-Dems: 5 (Swansea West, Ceredigion, Cardiff Central, Montgomeryshire, Newport East).
The Plaid factor is also unknown i.e. will recent Plaid voters revert back to old allegiances at a general election as opposed to Assembly or local elections? Will those who voted for Plaid in the hope that they would gain power now vote tactically as their party as no hope of winning power at Westminster?
Also will Labour voters stay at home in droves, switch to the Conservatives or see the Lib Dems or Plaid as a lesser evil? Certainly, this will depend on whether the seats are in English speaking areas or further west.
There also a number of seats which may not revert to type.
Montgomery is certainly one, given the Lembit factor and Glyn Davies' strong campaign to date. Another is Ceredigion, where Plaid will be throwing everything at the seat and will expect to win it back.
Ynys Mon could be a different kettle of fish with a strong Welsh speaking Conservative candidate from a farming background, whilst Delyn saw a strong performance from the Conservatives in the last Assembly election which is being built upon by the same candidate for the general election.
Also, Cardiff West was strong for Plaid in the recent council elections and they could steal enough votes from Labour to let the Conservatives in via a three horse race, although they would need the right candidate to be selected for that seat to maximise any chance of winning.
Anyway, it's all conjecture until the General Election is called but I think we would agree that the political landscape, regardless of which opposition parties win the various seats, seems destined to change across Wales at the next election.