Well, the results are all in now, and we can sit back and take a look at them, to analyse and to learn for the future.
It’s important to understand how the Welsh Assembly elections work. There are 40 constituencies, indeed the same as the UK Westminster election constituencies, and these are grouped into five regions. Each constituency returns one elected Assembly Member on a first-past-the-post basis, and then each region returns four members on a proportional basis. This uses the same d’Hondt method as the European elections (which is complicated so I won’t attempt to explain it) but it does take into account the constituency results before allocating members from party lists to the regional seats.
Voters have two votes – they place one against the constituency list, and one against the regional list, so tactical voting could well be employed by some voters. And in the two parallel elections, they elect 40 constituency AMs and 20 regional AMs, a total of 60.
It is not unsurprising that UKIP did not take any seats in the individual constituencies, as shown in the table below, but there were some creditable second places in Islwyn (Joe Smyth), Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney (David Rowlands), Newport East (James Peterson), Swansea East (Clifford Johnson) and Torfaen (Susan Boucher):
|Alyn & Deeside||4558||9922||980||1944||3765||17.35%||3|
|Brecon & Radnorshire||7728||2703||15898||1180||2161||7.12%||4|
|Cardiff South & Penarth||6353||13274||1345||4320||3716||12.27%||4|
|Carmarthen East & Dinefwr||4489||5727||837||14427||3474||11.68%||4|
|Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire||10355||6982||699||5459||3300||11.29%||4|
|Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney||1331||9763||1122||3721||4277||20.68%||2|
|Vale of Clwyd||8792||9560||758||2098||2975||12.30%||3|
|Vale of Glamorgan||13878||14655||938||3871||3662||9.69%||4|
In terms of percentages, in the constituency votes it averaged 12.5%, although in Torfaen Susan Boucher managed a very creditable 22.6%, which with four main parties contesting the places (Labour, Conservative, Plaid and UKIP) is a very good result. Mind you, having dismissed the Liberal Democrats as a major player, one must recognise their win of one constituency, and it is interesting to note that where they do well, UKIP does worst, indicating that voters still see UKIP and Liberal Democrat as different types of ‘anti-establishment’ vote.
In the regional lists, slightly more people voted for UKIP, reflecting the two constituencies where UKIP did not field a candidate.
|Region||Con||Lab||LD||Plaid||UKIP||UKIP %||UKIP Elected||Place|
|Mid and West Wales||44461||41975||23554||56754||25042||11.60%||Neil Hamilton||4|
|South Wales West||25414||66903||10946||29050||23096||13.65%||Caroline Jones||4|
|South Wales East||33318||74424||6784||29686||34524||17.79%||Mark Reckless, David Rowlands||2|
|North Wales||45468||57528||9345||47701||25518||12.48%||Nathan Gill, Michelle Brown||4|
|South Wales Central||42185||78366||14875||48357||23958||10.37%||Gareth Bennett||4|
As you can see from the table above, two former MPs are included in the list: Mark Reckless and Neil Hamilton, plus UKIP Wales’ leader Nathan Gill (also an MEP) and three others: Caroline Ones, David Rowlands and Michelle Brown. In her acceptance speech, Michelle said this:
This isn’t my victory or Nathan’s victory, this is a victory of the UKIP people who’ve been out there for years, pushing the message, letting people know that we don’t have two horns and a tail.
Anyway, there you have it, we now have seven UKIP members in the Welsh Assembly, so we look forward to being a strong voice for UKIP in Wales – worth watching their progress in that Assembly, and worth carrying on the push for an English Parliament and proportional representation to give UKIP a voice in the UK’s governance more in proportion to our support.