Monday, 11 January 2010

Golwg Column: An interesting year for political anoraks

Over Christmas we had a house full and whilst watching the news one of the family said 'fast forward' it because she was not interested in the item. Oh for the power to fast forward and see the future, but unfortunately that's not possible to the great relief of the bookies.
But it is possible to foresee some political events that will grab our attention during the year. One thing is certain there will be a general election in the next few months. When exactly?
Most commentators believe that Gordon Brown will leave it to the last before facing the electorate. If they are right then the first Thursday in May will be the appointed day. It is the day that local elections will be taking place in many parts of the country and out prospective Councillors will be available to distribute propaganda on behalf of their parties. Brown almost confirmed this as the likely day in his new year's interview.
And the result? Despite the Conservatives having been in the lead in the opinion polls for some time, in an election campaign the gap between the parties usually close, so its not in the bag for Mr Cameron, yet. Its more than possible that there will not be an overall majority and the smaller parties may become important in Westminster politics. A coalition in London and Cardiff, as Tom Jones would sing, 'its not impossible.'
And what about Welsh representation in the House of Commons? I foresee a change in our political landscape. The Tories with 12 members, Plaid Cymru 5, the Liberal Democrats losing ground with only 2, an independent in Blaenau Gwent and Labour down to 20. Am I right? We'll see.
The other big Welsh question: will there be a referendum on more powers?
I expect that the Assembly will take the next step by voting in the next few weeks on the principle of a referendum on more powers. Then it will be up to Westminster to consult on the nature of the referendum question. Its not out of the question that there will be a an October referendum.
If the signs are good for a positive outcome it will take place in the Autumn. If it looks more problematic, it will be delayed until the Spring of 2011.
All in all an interesting year for the political anorak.

No comments:

Post a Comment