Friday, 15 April 2011

When Andy met Kirsty... Labour woo Lib Dems?

It may have been an innocent event, but the sight of Andrew Davies (retiring Labour minister) having lunch with Lib Dem leader Kirsty Williams at the St David's Hotel has sparked some frantic speculation in the Cardiff Bay bubble.
What's in it for both parties?

For Labour, it's unlikely that they will have a working majority in the next Assembly, despite the opinion polls. The battle in individual constituencies - in the north east at least - suggests their majority will be much less than anticipated. So they need another coalition to govern with any certainty. For a hardcore in the dinosaur tendency, coalition with Plaid Cymru would be anathema, although that isn't the view of the Carwyn Jones wing. The splits in the Labour Party over the relatively uncontentious "yes" referendum suggest that battle is far from won.
That leaves them with only one option - coalition with the Lib Dems.

The Lib Dems are on course to have their Assembly group reduced from its present six to three or four due to public anger at their u-turns in London government and ineffectiveness in Wales. So the chance to get even one ministerial car and a couple of policies into a coalition government would be welcomed.

Watch this space as they say.

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