Andrew R T Davies told BBC News today he took responsibility for both the party's failures and its successes

Continuing as Conservative Leader in the Assembly, Penarth AM Andrew R T Davies told BBC News today that he took responsibility for both the party’s failures and its achievements .

The Penarth Conservative Assembly Member Andrew R T Davies has been asked by the remaining Conservative AMs to carry on as leader of the party in the Assembly despite the party’s lack-lustre performance in last Thursday’s elections.

In the elections the Conservatives lost 3 of the 14 seats they had previously held and gained 0 and now has fewer seats that the Welsh Nationalist Party Plaid Cymru . The Conservatives’  share of the vote also declined.

In the Vale of Glamorgan,  and Cardiff South and Penarth, and in Cardiff North the party has been criticised  for its poor selection of candidates – picking people who  didn’t engage the public and who didn’t improve the party’s support.

Defeated Cardiff North Conservative Candidate Jayne Cowan

Defeated Cardiff North Conservative Candidate Jayne Cowan

In Cardiff North, Conservative candidate Jayne Cowan (a former Independent councillor) polled fewer votes than the party had achieved in 2011 –  whereas the incumbent Labour candidate Julie Morgan, who was expecting to lose, saw her vote go up.

Defeated Cardiff South and Penarth candidate Ben Gray

Defeated Cardiff South and Penarth candidate Ben Gray

In Cardiff South and Penarth Conservative candidate Ben Gray polled 1,202 votes fewer than he had achieved when he previously contested the seat in 2011 – despite having campaigned since September last year.

Defeated Vale of Galrmogan Candidate Ross England - author of the "Post It" Note stunt.

Defeated Vale of Glamorgan Tory candidate Ross England – author of the “Post It Note” stunt.

In the Vale of Glamorgan, where the heavily-criticised Labour veteran Jane Hutt was the incumbent, there was a virtual open-goal waiting for the Conservatives . Unpopular Hutt’s vote collapsed by over 8% – but even so the Conservative candidate Ross England (chiefly remembered for the somewhat juvenile “Post-It-Note” note stunt)  failed to turn the situation to his party’s advantage – and also failed to attract anything like the necessary  increase in votes (gaining only a .7% increase in share of the vote).

The Conservatives  also lost their only Police and Crime Commissioner in Wales – Christopher Salmon in Dyfed Powys who was defeated by Plaid Cymru.

Conservative chairman Jonathan Edwards announced a "review" of the party's performance is to be carried out and party's AM's shoudl await the outcome of that

Conservative chairman Jonathan Edwards announced a “review” of the party’s performance is to be carried out and party’s AM’s shoudl await the outcome of that

The now-smaller band of 11 Conservative Assembly members yesterday issued a statement saying “Andrew RT Davies’s leadership of the Welsh Conservatives was universally backed in a Welsh Conservative group meeting this afternoon.”

But  that had appeared to be contradicted by the chairman of the Welsh Conservatives  Jonathan Edwards who had said, on the BBC Sunday Politics programme, that it was important to focus on the EU referendum five weeks hence and get that out-of-the-way before dissecting the party’s Assembly Election performance . This is to be done in a forthcoming “review” of the party’s election performance and he thought that AMs should wait for the outcome before making decisions about the leadership.

Today Andrew R T Davies said in a BBC interview that he did not regret coming out in support of Britain’s withdrawal from Europe (an issue that put him at odds with Prime Minister David Cameron) .

Davies also said didn’t regret not standing as the constituency candidate in the Vale of Glamorgan (in place of the inexperienced and largely-unknown Ross England) .  Some had asserted that if Davies – rather than England – had stood in the Vale of Glamorgan , the Conservatives could have defeated Jane Hutt .

Davies was asked whether, after the election results were announced, he had considered resigning.  He said I have made no excuses for what has gone on. Ultimately as Leader I take my share of responsibility but I also take my share of pride in what we achieved at this election of those huge swings in Labour-held seats, the great bunch of candidates we put forward into the field to fight this campaign and the great team of supporters who delivered leaflets on the doorstep”  .

Critics however say that swings don’t mean anything – it’s winning that counts –  and that the Welsh Conservative Party’s Achilles heel remains same  problem that it has suffered for years –  poor organisation and poor candidate selection.




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Penarth Daily News email address . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
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  1. pompousfruit says:

    The Tories deserved to lose in Cardiff North as Jayne Cowan concentrated on campaigning in Rhiwbina the ward she represents and then Whitchurch. She was hardly seen in the Heath and Llanishen wards which are two Labour-Tory marginal wards and large in size.

    • Peter Church says:

      Are you turning into another Phil “the post” Rappier?
      Cardiff North/Whitchuch/Llanishen all areas of Penarth 🙂

      • Lindsay says:

        So the post-it note stunt which, at the time, caused us so much hilarity proved, in the end, to be a suicide note stunt.

      • pompousfruit says:

        What did you mean by that?

    • Philip Rapier says:

      Somewhere in the PDN archives surely there is a splendid romantic photograph opportunity taken by Andrew RT Davies and Boris Johnson in Newport during the recent Campaign. Perhaps PDN would be kind enough to publish it for us as an example and lesson to us all of “Marry in Haste- Repent at Leisure!”
      “he must have a long spoon that must eat with the devil.” -A Comedy of Errors
      W. Shakespeare (very appropriate)
      Let me putteth it another way forsooth. He that aligneth himself with UKIP opportunists , Boris Johnson and Gove may threaten and try to frighten the People of Wales all they like into leaving the EU but as Andrew discovereth they falleth for it not.

      • Peter Church says:

        Here’s a Shakespeare quote for you, which seems totally appropriate:

        “Many wearing rapiers are afraid of goose-quills.”

        or to paraphrase it for you, good sir!

        “Many whining rappiers like the sound of their own goose-quills.”

  2. John64 says:

    It may be complicated and possibly wrong but under the electoral system for the Welsh Assembly had Andrew R T stood for, and won, the Vale of Glamorgan seat that really lacklustre AM, David Melding, would have lost his seat. Likewise, Jane Cowan (formerly a Conservative councillor at Cardiff County Hall, then an independent) being selected for Cardiff North by the Conservatives and winning could have ended with both Andrew R T and David Melding losing their seats. Gain 1 – loss 2.
    I cannot see any blame with Andrew R T, he has led a group in Wales that has been consistently undermined by that total idiot who presently has the use of 10 Downing Street.
    Summary, again the politicos are using the system to keep their own little bubble of power; the results have shown that the people that really count (the electorate) saw through all of it and voted accordingly.
    One person who came through all of this with credit was Leanne Wood, I don’t like her and her party’s politics, but she did show that with a true commitment to those she represents and hard work.

    • hopenotnasty says:

      I agree about your comments regarding Leanne Wood. The concern for Welsh voters is to remember Plaids main policy and that is independence. The scots unfortunately have mixed up Nationalism and Patriotism which has resulted in a one party state. I like the Tory Scottish leader who believes this one policy should be shouted from the rooftops. If we do not the Welsh may well sleepwalk into independence themselves.

    • pompousfruit says:

      If Arty had stood and won in the Vale of Glamorgan constituency David Melding would have still won his regional seat and come third instead of fourth. Eluned Parrott would have then come fourth in the South Wales Central region and retained her regional seat. If Jayne Cowan had won in Cardiff North and Arty not stood in the Vale of Glamorgan then David Melding would have been elected in the region. If both had won constituency seats only then would David Melding not been elected.

      • Rowland says:

        In response to ‘pompousfruit’: for the sake of accuracy, I’d like to point out that had the Conservatives won a constituency in South Wales Central, Plaid Cymru would have taken the fourth regional seat and not the Lib Dems. For my fellow anoraks, the final tally would have been Plaid 16,119 (48,357 divided by three); Lib Dems 14,875; Conservatives 14,062 (42,185 divided by three).

  3. johnm says:

    The 2 out-standing performances surely were leeane wood’s and kirsty williams, and the real flops must be the tories in the vale and cardiff north. i don’t think
    it’s fair to lump the performance in cardiff south and penarth with them since the support given to a candidate in a non-marginal seat would be much less.
    i don’t know much about cardiff north, other than that labour expected to lose.
    your choice of word ‘juvenile’ probably best sums up the vale campaign as i saw it, worth a shot somewhere but surely not in a target seat.

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