Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hello!

Well, sorry for being so quiet. I've been trying to settle back to normality. Lot to catch up with at work and also trying to catch up with all the friends I neglected! They've all forgiven me luckily for my obsession with campaigning over the past few months. Its been so nice to do normal things like going to the cinema and so on, though I do miss the campaign trail. Especially when the sun is out! There was nothing better than being outside all day, every day in glorious Montgomeryshire...

Its been an interesting time hasn't it. Who would have thought it? A Tory-Lib Dem coalition... Its going to take time to adjust! I just don't know how its all going to pan out. I am conerned by how few females there are in the Cabinet, and also how many millionaires. New Labour was certainly far more representative of our society...

As for the Montgomeryshire candidates, you'd think Lembit Opik was still an MP from the amount of times he's been on television since the election! I hope Glyn isn't too annoyed by that - must be quite awkward with both hanging around parliament!

As for myself, I keep getting asked the question - what's the next step. Simply put - I don't know. Time for serious consideration. I do see my future as being in the Assembly more than Westminster, but which seat is the question and when. I'm currently looking for inspiration!

My priorities now however is getting on with the day job which I love and finishing a novel I started writing ages ago. Plus, once again, getting far more active. The one benefit of campaigning - all the walking got rid of my clot so I can take up exercsie again! Yay!

Anyway, hope everyone is keeping well. Thank you for all your lovely emails following the campaign, I really have appreciated them. It makes me determined to win next time I run as I don't want to disappoint them who are kind enought to vote for me. Quite the challenge but I think you need to aim high in this game!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Camau bychain...

Diolch i bawb sydd wedi cysylltu heddiw - hynod ddiolchgar o'r holl gyfarchion a'r geiriau caredig. Yn bersonol, dwi'n hynod o hapus gyda'r canlyniad neithiwr. Mi wnaetho ni gynyddu'r bleidlais ym Maldwyn yn sylweddol a dod yn drydydd! Ffantastig! Dal i deimlo bach yn rhwystredig bod nifer o'n cefnogwyr wedi pleidleisio yn dactegol ac dwi'n grediniol bod hynny wedi bod o gymorth i Glyn ennill neithiwr. Er, i feddwl pa mor fudur wnaeth y Lib Dems ymladd yr etholiad yma, dwi'n falch i Lembit gael sioc neithiwr. Roedd o'n sicr yn ei haeddu, jest damia nad fi gafodd y pleser o'i guro!

Mae yna lwyth o bobl wedi cysylltu heddiw yn awgrymu lle dylwn redeg nesaf, ac yn gofyn be ydi fy nghynlluniau. Mae'n rhy fuan i feddwl am hynny - dwn i ddim eto. Ond diolch ichi am feddwl y dylwn i fynd amdani eto! Mae yna nifer o opsiynau posib ond bydd angen ystyried yn ofalus. Yn sicr, fe hoffwn fod yn y Cynulliad yn y dyfodol - fan yno dwi'n gobeithio fydd fy nyfodol. Ond cawn weld! Mae yna fater bach o orfod cael fy ethol yn gyntaf!

Ond yr un peth sy'n sicr, dwi'n falch imi gael y cyfle i redeg ym Maldwyn. Gesh i gefnogaeth anhygoel gan y tim yno, a chyfarfod perthnasau newydd! Dwi'n grediniol bod y sedd yma'n enilladwy i'r blaid, a byddaf yn ymladd ar gyfer rhagor o adnoddau ar ei chyfer yn y dyfodol. Watch this space!

And that was that!

Amazing how quickly tonight went. Not at all tired, just buzzing. Delighted that we managed to come third here in Montgomeryshire - my realistic target when I was first selected as a candidate. Still think a lot of our supporters lent their vote to either Glyn or Lembit to keep the other one out but still... Fantastic result that my team will hopefully be proud of. And even more proof that this seat will be winnable in the assembly elections. As long as we have the necessary resources!

I'd like to congratulate Glyn on tonight's result. I know he's worked extremely hard for it, and for years. Though I hate to see the Tories do well, I was glad for Glyn especiially after hearing some of the nasty tactis and rumours being used against him this week. Opik did take this seat for granted and it showed throughout the campaign. He was aggressive and seemed on edge from the very start - and never once said sorry about some of the things he did wrong.

Anyway, enough for now until the morning. Disappointed that we didn't win more seats, but know how hard our teams worked. Congratulations all! And don't forget, it's the assembly elections next year - and we will gain ground there for sure as there won't be any British leaders debate to mess things up. Chin up all. We still have three amazing MP's and lots of young candidates eager to stand again!

So, a huge huge thank you to everyone who's supported me - either throughout the campaign or by contacting me via facebook, twitter or the vblog. I really do appreciate everything, We did well here and I know we can do even better, Time will telll!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Saith awr i fynd...

Wel, llai na saith awr i fynd tan fydd pobl yn dechrau pleidleisio. Dim arall fedra'i wneud rwan ond gweddio am wyrth! Mi fysa hi'n wirioneddol ffantastig medru rhoi sioc go iawn i bawb drwy gipio Maldwyn nos yfory. Dwi'n gwybod fod o'n anhebygol, ond eto, mae'r ymateb wedi bod yn anhygoel o gefnogol. Cyn belled bod pobl yn stopio pleidleisio yn dactegol mae yna obaith!

Dwn i ddim be ddigwyddith, ond o leiaf dwi'n gwybod mod i wedi trio fy ngorau. Dwi wedi bod yn hynod o lwcus i gael tim ymroddgar a chefnogol yn fy helpu, a phobl fydd gobeithio yn ffrindiau oes. I feddwl mod i erioed wedi byw ym Maldwyn yn barhaol cyn yr etholiad, mae nhw wedi fy nhrin fel taswn i wedi bod yma ar hyd fy mywyd. Mae'n help wrth gwrs bo nhw'n nabod nifer o aelodau o fy nheulu yn barod! Ond serch hynny, allwn i ddim fod wedi dymuno am dim gwell yn y byd i gyd. Mae nhw wedi bod yno i fy nghefnogi bob cam o'r ffordd, a tynnu arna fi pan dwi wedi bod yn mynd bach yn stressed! Arwydd da dwi'n meddwl bo nhw'n teimlo bo nhw'n medru fy herian erbyn hyn!

Mae wedi bod yn brofiad a hanner rhedeg yn yr etholaeth yma fel ymgeisydd am y tro cyntaf yn erbyn dau 'gymeriad' fel Lembit a Glyn. Dwi'm yn meddwl gwna nhw fy anghofio rywsut! Dwi wir wedi mwynhau'r cyfnod etholiad, a dwn i ddim be wna'i ar ol hyn os nad ydw i'n digwydd ennill nos yfory. Mi fydd hi'n od iawn peidio bod yn canfasio bob diwrnod!

Edrych ymlaen rwan i weld beth fydd y canlyniad nos yfory. Gan obeithio y cawn ni gynnydd sylweddol yn y bleidlais ac na fydd y 'cleggfactor' wedi rhoi hwb arall i Lembit! Amser a ddengys...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Predictions...

Well, the big question here in Montgomeryshire - who will be the next MP. To an outside observer, it seems crazy that the question is even being asked given the long Liberal tradition here plus Lembit's impressive majority in the last election. But the result is very much up in the air, mainly because of Lembit's 'interesting' approach to politics and the promotion of his personal life over the past few years. Glyn Davies, the Conservative candidate, has campaigned for years since losing his Assembly seat and has undoubtedly given the campaign his all. But has he done enough? And has the recent 'Cleggmania' scuppered his chances?

As for me, my aim at the start was to increase the Plaid Cymru vote and offer people an alternative. I knew how difficult it would be to jump from a poor fourth to first, but I have tried my very best to fight an energetic campaign and fight for as many votes as possible. From the reception I've received, I know people support Plaid and our policies here but the one thing holding them back from voting is that they're scared that a vote for me would be a wasted vote. Interestingly, its the non Welsh speakers or the people who've moved into the area that have been the most receptive. All I can do tonight is hope that my message that Plaid has a real chance here has reached enough people, and that they'll decide it is worth giving me a chance.

It's impossible to predict what will happen, but here's three possible scenarios that I think might happen tomorrow night:

1) Worst case scenario: Plaid's vote here stays the same or collapses due to Plaid Cymru being left out of leaders debate, Lembit holds on to his seat but with a smaller majority, finishing about 1500-2000 votes ahead of Glyn.

2) Middle of the road scenario: Lembit/ Glyn both end up with approx 11,000 votes and a few hundred votes decide the winner. Plaid rises up to third place, with a respective performance gaining at least 10% of the vote. UKIP finishes fourth, and Labour fall to fifth place.

3) Ideal scenario!: Lembit's vote falls to approx 9000. Glyn goes up to approx 9000, having lost votes to UKIP, who poll approx 4000 votes. Plaid steals 4000 of Lembit's votes, plus 2000 from Labour and go up to approx 9000 as well. Resulting in a three horse race, with a few hundred votes deciding the result! And me emerging as the shock winner!

Whatever happens, I know that there's nothing more my team and I could have done. We've really gone for it in terms of the campaign, and targeted those who feel disillusioned with the three London parties. Montgomeryshire is a winnable seat for Plaid, and if it doesn't happen this time, then I'm certain it will happen in the near future. Montgomeryshire needs and wants a change. Let's hope for the voters sake that they get one tomorrow night....

04.05.2010

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A few thoughts...

I haven't managed to cover everything I've been up to on the campaign trail properly in the video blogs, so I thought it would be worth writing a few of them up quickly.

First of all, the Gwerin y Coed hustings in Machynlleth on Wednesday night. It had been organised by a group of young people between 13 and 18 years old, and I was seriously impressed by them. It was well organised - a red light flashed if we went over time and there were yellow cards ready to be waved in the air if the audience thought we were unlcear in our answers (maybe an idea for the next parliament?!) - and the questions were tough and thought provoking. The two chairs were brilliant and had no problem telling any of the politicians to stop speaking! Whilst listening to the audience giving their views on a range of issues, I couldn't help but think how unfair it is that you can't vote until you're 18. Surely, the time has now come to change the voting age to 16.

On Thursday night, we had the Churches of Newtown hustings. Another well organised event, with approximately a 120 people in attendance. It's the hustings I've been most nervous about because it was my first time meeting and hearing the National Front candidate here. I feel extremely saddened by the fact that such a party with such views contiunes to exist. No one should preach hatred of others, and I'm afraid the NF do just that. Never the less, I can understand the churches decision to invite him and at least people were able to judge for themselves what they thought of what he had to say.

The questions were tough. Euthanasia, the right of Christians who run bed and breakfasts to refuse to let homosexuals stay, stay at home/working mothers, debt and how we'd tackle it, our plan for the next 6 months if we became MP's next week and so on. It would be easy to be a crowd pleaser and just say what they wanted to hear, but I decided just to be honest instead. Personally, I do feel that Christians are unfairly persecuted these days and I would do everything in my ability to allow Christians the freedom to express their beliefs. But it would have been hypercritical of me to say that I would always uphold Christian principles in the way I would vote in parliament. For example, I am not completely against euthanasia. And neither do I think gay people should be turned away from a Bed and Breakfast. As I said in my closing speech, I hope those there can see that though I may not share the same beliefs on some issues, I would stand up for all my constituents and be there for them and the christian community at all times. During his answers and speeches, the current MP, Lembit Opik quoted the bible time and time again and we heard about his spiritual journey. I was tempted to throw in a biblical quote in my speech to show that he wasn't the only one who could do so, before realising that I only know them in Welsh! Since most of the audience were non Welsh speakers I decided against it - plus I think people would have thought I was playing to the crowd, rather than answering from the heart. Bruce Lawson encouraged people to vote for the best man for the job, before I jumped in saying or woman!

Yesterday was the FUW hustings on a farm outside Llanfair Caereinion. A great turnout, and very apt setting for the discussion. We had a wide range of questions, from Glastir, to reform of CAP, sheep tagging and the future of agriculture. Plenty of food for thought. I was disappointed by a lot of what Lembit had to say. I still don't think he 'gets' farming even after being the MP for Montgomeryshire for 13 years. Interesting to note that there were no biblical quotes today either but he did mention his keep the pint campaign! Glyn knew what he was talking about of course, so I felt he and I could discuss things far more thoroughly with the farmers and with one another. One person even heckled suggesting Glyn might vote for me if I spoke for any longer about my hope for the future of farming! Glyn was kind of enough to say a few nice words about me, before adding that he hoped my career in politics wont' start quite yet!

Today, we are hitting Newtown and tonight, I have a pint and politics night in Machynlleth, kicking off at 7pm in the White Lion. All are welcome so hopefully will see some of you later!

30.04.2010



Ebostiwch eich cwestiynnau/ Email your questions: heledd.fychan@plaidcymru.org