Page last updated at 10:48 GMT, Monday, 5 April 2010 11:48 UK

Election first for Plaid Cymru as party of government

Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones addresses a party conference
Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn Jones is also deputy first minister in the coalition with Labour in the Welsh Assembly Government

Plaid Cymru enters the general election as a party of government for the first time in its 85-year history.

Since the 2007 Welsh assembly election the party has governed in coalition with Labour in Cardiff Bay despite the two parties' long and bitter rivalry.

Plaid holds three cabinet seats with its ministers responsible for economic development, rural affairs and culture, while party leader Ieuan Wyn Jones is the deputy first minister.

The party claims that this election marks its "coming of age" as a political force, while some of its opponents believe that the association with Labour will harm the party in its rural Welsh-speaking heartlands.

Plaid Cymru logo
Founded: August, 1925
First MP: Gwynfor Evans, Carmarthen, 1966
Leader: Ieuan Wyn Jones
Elected members: 3 MPs, 14 AMs, 1 MEP
Ministers: 3 Welsh Assembly Government cabinet members, 1 deputy minister

In 2005 Plaid won three Westminster seats and hopes to at least double that number at this election. It is targeting two seats that it previously held, Ynys Mon and Ceredigion, and two that it holds in the assembly, Aberconwy and Llanelli.

The party dismisses claims by political scientists that boundary changes could imperil its hold on the redrawn Arfon constituency, pointing to its easy win in the seat in the 2007 assembly election.

Plaid is campaigning on the basis of the influence it might wield in the event of a hung parliament.

In particular Plaid says it will demand changes in the formula that governs public spending in different parts of the UK. The party argues that the so-called Barnett formula short-changes Wales and that the country should receive an additional £300m a year from the Treasury.

Plaid is also likely to stress its continued opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and its opposition to major cuts in public spending.

The party is also calling for generous pension increases paid for by the scrapping of the Trident missile system and the ID card scheme.

For the first time, Plaid will not be making the constitutional status of Wales a centrepiece of its campaign.

An agreement between the four main parties in Wales to hold a referendum on further devolution of powers to the assembly has largely defused the topic as an issue in this election, although it is certain to re-emerge in future years.

Parties review BBC licence policy
04 Mar 10 |  Wales politics
SNP and Labour clash over debates
03 Mar 10 |  Scotland
Deal on prime ministerial debates
02 Mar 10 |  UK Politics
Televised election debates agreed
21 Dec 09 |  UK Politics
SNP to hold talks over TV debates
27 Dec 09 |  Scotland

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Wales Online Politicians locked in battle for grey vote - 24 hrs ago Wales: general election guide - 42 hrs ago

But now comes the difficult part - making it work
Why has Eton College produced 18 British PMs?
Frantic talks on who will form the next government


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific