Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Thursday, September 23, 1999 Published at 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK


UK: Wales

Plaid celebrates year of success

Plaid Cymru's conference finds the party in buoyant mood

The Plaid Cymru Conference takes place in the north Wales town of Llandudno at the end of the most successful 12 months in the party's history, writes BBC Wales's Vaughan Roderick.

In the assembly elections in May, the party almost trebled its share of the vote and emerged as the main opposition party.

Conference99
The scale of that advance is evident in the Conwy constituency in north Wales, where the conference is being held on 23 September.

In the general election, Plaid was in a poor fourth place with just 6% of the vote. In May, it leapfrogged the other three parties and took a seat which had been a key target for both the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.


[ image: Plaid president Dafydd Wigley]
Plaid president Dafydd Wigley
Across Wales, Plaid took 17 of the 60 Assembly seats, including the Labour south Wales Valley strongholds of Rhondda and Islwyn.

That gave Plaid its longed-for breakthrough outside its Welsh-speaking heartlands.

That success was mirrored at the European elections in June when the party came within 2% of overtaking Labour as Wales's largest party.

Success has brought its problems, though. The party has been accused of having too cosy a relationship with Labour in the Assembly, and this week the party president Dafydd Wigley admitted that they had given Labour "an easy ride" in Cardiff Bay.


[ image: Gareth Jones took Conwy in a shock Plaid gain]
Gareth Jones took Conwy in a shock Plaid gain
The party's leaders plan to use the conference to distance themselves from Labour and to warn that should the administration in Cardiff fail to deliver in a number of key areas, the party will not hesitate to bring the government down.

The party is likely to highlight the securing of matching funds from the treasury for European grants as one issue that could lead to the fall of Alun Michael's government.

The new radicalism is partly an attempt to silence critics within the party but on one issue the division between the pragmatists and radical wings is certain to be highlighted.

The radicals are fundamentally opposed to the party accepting any offer of additional seats in the reformed House of Lords - a move which the party leadership regard as an important means of strengthening the Plaid voice at Westminster.





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©



Relevant Stories

15 Sep 99 | Wales
Plaid 'bottling out' of farm debate - Tories

14 Sep 99 | Wales
Plaid to lead debate over farming crisis

10 Sep 99 | Wales
Wigley warns Labour: 'Don't fail the farmers'

24 Aug 99 | Wales
Plaid "no confidence" warning to Labour





Internet Links


Plaid Cymru

National Assembly for Wales


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




In this section

Labour explores Assembly election wounds

Delays hit coach crash compensation

Ex-headmaster guilty of more sex charges

Museum in pay-off probe

Euro row over "Welsh" money rebate

Germans challenge Cardiff for Tyson fight

Ticket chief resigns after World Cup fiasco

Quick-thinking driver foils 'carjacker'

Spring clean for river

Roman remains may halt rugby centre plan

Olympic rider Sir Harry is mourned

The Welsh Week at Westminster

Hanged farmer had been cautioned

Children take over the Assembly

Assembly security review follows pupil's 'threat'

Opposition parties criticise Health Secretary

Welsh airline is launched

Anglesey power plan may bring 1,500 jobs

Former paratroopers recruited drugs courier

Star's cyber-fans help Welsh charity

Labour election inquest blames party rifts

New factory creates 500 jobs

Bassey will go world wide on the web

French boycott gathers pace

Villagers fume at delay over sewage problem

Pensioner leaves fortune to birds

MP demands return of Glyndwr letter