General Election Results: what does it mean for Wales?

CEWales followed the election closely and tracked reports and updates from Positif. Here, their managing director, Daran Hill, shares his thoughts on what the results mean for each party in Wales

So how did we do with our predictions? Positif Managing Director, Daran Hill put his neck on the block throughout this campaign and called it for the Conservatives, right up to the close of the ballot boxes.

"I think the Conservatives will end this General Election close to double the seven seats they entered this election within Wales, and certainly pass the eleven seats they won in 2015. I will also go further and suggest that at least one or two of these seats will be won by a candidate who lives outside Wales. Because, when it comes down to it, Conservative voters and potential voters just aren't part of the same analytical groupthink that dominates the Welsh airwaves and, most particularly, the Welsh social media scene." The Conservative campaign in Wales has been amateurish – but will it even matter? Click on Wales, November 19, 2019

And, "There has been an upsurge in voter registration in recent weeks. This can only be good news for Labour. But they are still playing a defensive game, and everyone knows that turnout will be critical. That crucial factor will determine whether Labour loses one seat or ten seats on December 12." We asked five experts for their predictions on what will happen in the General Election 2019, Wales Online, 6 December 2019

The Conservatives entered the election with 7 seats in Wales and finished with 14. Daran was totally and utterly vindicated in his predictions. So, what does he think will happen next?

CONSERVATIVES: With the biggest mandate in Wales since 1987, an emboldened and empowered Conservative Party in Wales will be bullish and determined. But the party is also renewed, with nine new faces amongst the fourteen, and for the first time has women MPs – three of them in fact. Don't expect the "same old Tories" in Wales as we watch the next few months. Some will want an assessment of devolution, and one pretty definite change is a new face as Secretary of State for Wales, with the surest bets being on low profile veteran Simon Hart MP, the member for Carmarthenshire West and Pembrokeshire South. Another thing to watch is how the Conservatives play the very divided map of Wales, with Labour winning just one seat north of Merthyr Tydfil, and the Tories holding more blue blooms than a big bunch of flowers. Wales looks pretty divided on the map: what will the Wales Office do to heal these divisions?

LABOUR: A sloppy and lacklustre campaign by Wales' dominant party saw them lose six seats to the Conservatives, virtually all in North Wales. Apart from Cardiff and the Gower they have little to smile about, having come close to losing Newport West and Alyn & Deeside too. Jeremy Corbyn will depart at some point, but the bigger question is where this drubbing leaves his supporters and the Momentum movement, including Welsh leader Mark Drakeford. Never in the devolution era has the party achieved so little outside its south Wales heartlands. Nothing about the big debate that is already beginning in Labour makes it look and feel that they will be able to conduct it in a cordial manner or do it discretely behind closed doors. PLAID CYMRU: For a sixth consecutive General Election, Plaid has failed to capture Ynys Mon and, to make matters worse, it was won by a Conservative with no connection to the seat and an antagonistic attitude to the Welsh language. Plaid may get some comfort in the stonking majority achieved by Ben Lake in Ceredigion, and the robust result for Hywel Williams in Arfon, but there is a way bigger problem here. Plaid just can't seem to make General Elections work for them and, even more brutally, every time they praise the great strides made by the SNP in Scotland it just makes their own failure more acute. Oh, and there's the other business of the party's role in the so called Remain Alliance...

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS: Just like in 2017, the Lib Dems emerged with no seats in Wales. But this time it was even worse because they ended up coming third in their targets of Ceredigion and Cardiff Central, and a distant second in both the Powys seats. Not even the misconceived Remain Alliance could save them from their worst result in modern times. There's no excuse, no explanation, and arguably no way back from this. The Welsh Liberal Democrats with their one AM and not a single viable target seat in Wales in Westminster is now a micro party on a par with UKIP or the Greens.

BREXIT PARTY: Some healthy results in the eastern valleys point to the viability of the Brexit Party surviving beyond the next Assembly election, despite their failure to actually win anything this time around. Yet their aim in this campaign was never to win seats in Wales – it was stealing enough Labour votes to help the Conservatives make a breakthrough and this is what happened throughout most of north Wales.