A STRATEGIC approach mindful of the present political nuances in Wales.
That will be at the heart of Gwlad’s first ever Welsh Senedd Election Campaign.
The new pro-independence party will be contesting 13 constituency seats and putting up a full slate of 20 candidates on the List System for the election in May.
The approach means that Gwlad will not contest Plaid-held seats this time round, but rather focus in the main on those areas where nationalist support has been traditionally weak.
The 13 constituencies are: Llanelli, Gower, Aberavon, Bridgend, Vale of Glamorgan, Cardiff South and Penarth, Cardiff Central, Torfaen, Monmouth, Brecon and Radnor, Montgomeryshire, Wrexham and Delyn.
Gwlad’s Policy Director, Stephen Morris said that it made sense to take a strategically canny approach at this stage of the party’s development.
‘We’re targeting seats along the south coast and border where nationalist support has been historically low. But they’re places where we believe our message of an open Wales, cultivating good relations with our neighbours, and putting the focus first and foremost on the economy, will resonate’ he said.
But, he added that he hoped the party’s campaign would also help to scotch the ‘splitting of the nationalist vote’ trope.
‘We are a very different party from Plaid and people who would incline towards them probably won’t be attracted to us. That’s fine. Our interest is in winning votes from people who would normally vote Labour or Conservative. Ironically, in many constituencies, that will help Plaid’.
‘But, if we were in a position to field a full pack of candidates, one for every constituency in Wales, we would do so without hesitation.’
At this stage though, it’s probably very helpful for the national movement to have two nationalist parties targeting different areas of Wales.
This form of ‘entente cordiale’ does convey a certain unity of purpose towards the goal of independence, although no formal deal making has taken place.
It also suggests that Wales is learning lessons from elsewhere, especially from Scotland where the national movement is so divided at the moment, and different sections at each other’s throats.
A fraternal ‘unity with difference’ is not a bad message for both Plaid and Gwlad going into this crucial election.