Nicola Sturgeon: Plaid Cymru could emulate SNP’s electoral success in Wales

The SNP leader insisted there were strong parallels in the political landscapes of Scotland and Wales

Nigel Morris
Deputy Political Editor
Friday 23 October 2015 19:59
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Nicola Sturgeon (right) with Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood
Nicola Sturgeon (right) with Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood

The Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, insisted that Plaid Cymru could emulate the SNP’s stunning electoral success and sweep to power in next year’s Welsh Assembly elections.

Speaking at Plaid’s conference, the SNP leader insisted there were strong parallels in the political landscapes of Scotland and Wales.

She sought to raise activists’ spirits following a disappointing election campaign in which Plaid barely raised its share of the vote and failed to add to its three seats at Westminster.

Ms Sturgeon insisted the SNP had proved that political fortunes could change rapidly – and said the conditions were right for Plaid to make a breakthrough in the Assembly elections.

The First Minister said the Welsh government was being led by “complacent” Labour party which resembled the administration in Edinburgh before the SNP took office in 2007.

“Eight years ago we in Scotland faced many of the same challenges you face now with a Labour government that had become complacent and careless,” Ms Sturgeon told activists in Aberystwyth.

“If the SNP can win in Scotland, there is no reason, no reason at all, that Plaid Cymru can’t also win in Wales - not at some distant point in the future, but now, next May, at this election.

“Believe it, you can win. Believe in it, work for it, and you will do it. And when Wales does turn from Labour to a party with ambition, vision and determination, people will realise just how different things can be. How do I know? Because that’s what happened in Scotland.”

She praised Plaid’s leader, Leanne Wood, as principled and passionate and thanked her for standing firm against the London government’s plans for deep cuts in public spending.

Ms Sturgeon also thanked the Welsh Nationalists for supporting last year’s referendum campaign for Scottish independence.

“I just hope that one day we will get to repay the favour,” she added.

In her speech, Ms Wood urged Labour voters to “take another look at Plaid Cymru” and accused the party of taking Welsh electors for granted.

She said Plaid was ready to “lead on the issues that matter most” and promised NHS reform.

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