Skip to 0 minutes and 4 seconds Finally, let’s turn to the Green Party. I was actually living in Ceredigion back in 1992, when the Greens got their first big electoral breakthrough in British politics. And that which almost everybody has forgotten about, when the joint Plaid Green candidates kind of have this one extraordinary victory in the Cardigan constituency in that year’s UK general election. And at that time, the Greens did seem to be a force in Welsh politics. And yet, fast forward to the present day, they haven’t had a single assembly member during the whole life of the National Assembly. And prospects are pretty bleak again this year. Yes, it’s not looking awfully likely.
Skip to 0 minutes and 50 seconds One of the interesting things that’s happened since the election during the Coburn as Labour leader, as we’ve seen across Britain in the polls, and the Green support sliding. I mean, the one section of the electorate where Coburn seem to help Labour gain additional votes is some of those in some cases, sort of former left wing dissolution labour supporters, and people who’ve moved to the Greens, many of whom have moved back to the Labour Party. And we see, across Britain and Wales as well, the Green’s really struggling to make any sort of electoral impact.
Skip to 1 minute and 23 seconds So– And that’s actually– and really again in the contrast with Scotland, it’s pretty striking, yeah, because the Greens have established themselves as part of the Scottish, seen as a distinctive, different separate voice. Yeah, and there’s been quite a long standing difference though between the Green Party in Scotland, and in England, Wales. The Scottish Green Party is a distinct and separate entity, and indeed an entity which campaigned for independence during the 2014 referendum. And I think lots of people felt that Patrick Harvey, one of the leaders in Scotland, had a very effective referendum campaign, was one of the most articulate and persuasive voices in favor of independence.
Skip to 2 minutes and 8 seconds In sort of the rest of Britain, we have the England and Wales Green Party. And the Welsh bit of it described itself as semi-autonomous, but it’s still in a broadly unified structure with the party in London. And in terms of his constitutional position, it’s pro-devolution, but it’s not pro-independence for example? No. Indeed, under their sort of previous Welsh leadership, which was in office until late last year, the party in Wales often seemed quite actually cautious about the evolution and getting back to the Welsh culture and language. I mean, the party in Scotland seems sort of unashamedly, unabashedly Scottish. In Wales, it’s seen very much more cautious about sort of embracing Welsh culture, Welsh identity, or advocating significant advances in devolution.
Skip to 3 minutes and 2 seconds Yeah. I mean, in a sense, it was almost a neuralgic reaction to that previous period of having a pact, an electoral pact, with Plaid Cymru. In terms of that there’s now a new leadership, the party now led by Alice Hooker-Stroud here in Wales, I’m going to hazard, to suggest, that she’s got no kind of public profile at all at the moment. Pretty much. I mean, she was only elected late last year. And of course, with a party that’s very low in the polls, doesn’t get a great deal of media attention, it’s difficult to attract much focus. I mean, their previous Welsh leader, Pippa Bartolotti was the somewhat colorful and flamboyant presence in Welsh party debates last year.
Skip to 3 minutes and 40 seconds And actually, I think that sort of rather flamboyant persona she adopted did, to some degree, help attract some attention to the party. We’ll have to wait and see, I think, with the new leader, how effective she is articulating the party’s message. But also, I think something which is going to be necessary is how effective she is at just saying and doing things which do just grab some attention for the party. Because otherwise, they could well face a situation that’s in an assembly election, that itself is going to struggle for attention relative to the EU referendum campaign.
Skip to 4 minutes and 14 seconds The Greens, a minor party in an election that’s not getting that much attention, the Green’s could be really marginalized, and really struggle to make any sort of public impacted at all.
The Green Party in Wales
Richard Wyn Jones and Roger Scully of Cardiff University discuss the Welsh Green Party’s leadership, history and future.
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