Thursday, 28 April 2016

Leaders debate

Possibly a quarter of those who are going to vote in the Welsh general election have already done so, by post. However, the remainder have had the chance to make a final assessment of the party leaders' performance against each other in BBC's televised debate last night. (For those who have the broadband speed, there is a rerun of the 90-minute session at

I have seen reports from not totally impartial sources putting Leanne Wood or Alice Hooker-Stroud as the top performer on the night. However, those both placed Kirsty Williams in second place well ahead of the Conservative leader and UKIP. My Facebook friends give Kirsty top spot of course, so a spot AV count would make the Liberal Democrat leader the overall winner!

 The Western Mail, which for a long time has leaned towards Plaid Cymru, has this assessment of Kirsty's performance:

The Welsh Liberal Democrat leader has both an encyclopaedic grasp of policy – an advantage of having been an Assembly Member since day one of Wales's devolution story – and plenty of passion. She cast herself as someone who is good on detail but who also brims with anger at failings in the system. Things did get tricky when she attempted to skewer Mr Gill over a vote in the European Parliament and he said he was not a member there at the time but this did not sink her performance.
Ms Williams is confident that her pledge to bring down infant class sizes will strike a chord with the public and she even made a stab at turning her UK party’s tuition fees debacle to her advantage. Her party may be fighting for survival but if she can return to the Senedd with a clutch of AMs there are plenty of scenarios in which she could end up playing a major role in Welsh politics in the years ahead.
- and there is growing confidence in the party that the clutch will be a significant one, certainly larger than the published opinion polls predict, though these do show the upward trend.

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