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Tuesday, February 16, 1999 Published at 08:46 GMT

UK Politics

Michael gets safe 'seat'

Alun Michael: Standing in the Mid and West constituency

Welsh Secretary Alun Michael has won a place at the top of the list for the Wales Mid and West constituency to fight the May election.

Welsh labour leadership contest
The decision essentially guarantees the Labour leadership candidate a seat in the Welsh Assembly.

Mr Michael chose not to stand as an assembly candidate when it was first announced. When he entered the race to become Labour leader after Ron Davies quit, he was forced to look for a place amongst the party's top-up lists.

Since Labour is expected to win the majority of constituencies balloted under a straight contest between candidates, it is likely to receive few top-up members in the assembly.

Some observers had raised the prospect of the Welsh secretary winning the race to become Labour leader - and as a result the likely first secretary of Wales - but failing to secure a seat in the assembly.

Mr Michael now sits at the top of Labour's list of four in the Mid and West constituency and should gain his assembly place whatever the outcome of the two votes.

He has previously pledged not to stand down as an assembly candidate even if he loses the leadership bout with left-wing backbencher Rhodri Morgan. The result of that election is announced on Saturday.

Voters in the Mid and West constituency will elect 40 candidates under the first-past-the-post system on 6 May. The top-up element will then be allocated in order to make the result more proportional.

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