26 to 31 October
Wales remains one of the poorest countries in Europe. Consequently it’s to receive £2bn in European aid between 2014 and 2020. It is the third time in a row that Wales has qualified for what is called “structural funding”. This latest amount has to be used by the Welsh government for long-term sustainable economic growth and jobs. The money is given to areas where the value of what is produced is three-quarters or less of the EU average. Lets hope that good use is made of the money in this round.
Money, money, money, preoccupied not Abba, but Plaid Cymru this week. So much so that the party had a meeting with the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney. The meeting was confidential so we don’t know whether they asked for the bank to be renamed to better describe its role as the UK’s central bank but they did ask for Wales to be represented on the monetary policy committee which sets UK interest rates.
The nearest Wales’s gets to a state visit happened this week when the Irish President visited Wales. Michael Higgins spent two days in the country where he met First Minister Carwyn Jones to discuss the economic and cultural links between Eire and Wales. The President also visited Swansea to mark the centenary of Dylan Thomas’ birth.
The Labour leader in Scotland Johann Lamont has stood down. In her going she accused the Labour party of trying to run Scotland “like a branch office of London and describing some of her Westminster colleagues as dinosaurs who do not understand the politics of Scotland. http://welshpolitics.co.uk/2014/10/labour-lost/
Whoever is chosen to be Labour’s new leader in Scotland will have his or hers work cut out. The polls there show the SNP in Scotland steaming ahead. Mori shows them in a 29 point lead over Labour. The YouGov poll isn’t quite as dramatic but still shows a very solid lead for the SNP. If there was an uniform swing the SNP would bag a hefty number of seats and would by far the largest party in Scotland. It looks as if Labour can’t count on the Scots branch office to bail them out in the Westminster elections.
Thursday Scotland polls
YouGov/Times Con 15% Lab 27% LD 4% SNP 43%
Ipsos Mori Con 10%(-7) Lab 23%(-19) LD 6%(-13) SNP 52% (+32) Green 6%(+5)
YouGov/Sun Con 33% Lab 32% LD 7% UKIP 15% Green 7%
YouGov/Sun Con 31% Lab 34% LD 6% UKIP 17% Green 7%
Ashcroft Con 31%(+3) Lab 31%(nc) LD 7%(nc) UKIP 18% (nc) Green 5% (-3)
YouGov/Sun Con 32% Lab 32% LD 8% UKIP 18%
Populus Con 34% (nc) Lab 36%(nc) LD 8%(-1) UKIP 13%(nc) Green 3% (nc)
ComRes/Indy Con 30%(+1) Lab 30%(-5) LD 9%(-1) UKIP 19% (+4) Green 4%(nc)
Opinium/Observer Con 33%(+5) Lab 33%(-2) LD 6%(-3) UKIP 18%(+1) Green 4%(nc)
YouGov/Sunday Times Con 33% Lab 33% LD 7% UKIP 16% Green 6%